ZenBusiness and LegalZoom both can assist small business owners with business formation and business expansion. However, which service is better? In this review of ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom, we dive into both their strengths and weaknesses. After reading this article you should be able to determine which service best suits your business needs.
Zenbusiness vs. LegalZoom: Features comparison
1. Name Availability Search
ZenBusiness checks if your desired business name is available by searching through your state’s database. If it’s already taken, they’ll work with you to find a suitable alternative before filing. It’s all done to ensure your business has a unique and available name.
2. Phone and Email Support
You can reach ZenBusiness agents on the phone from Monday to Friday between 8 and 8 in the evening and on Sundays from 10 in the morning to 7 in the evening, all in Central Time. ZenBusiness promises that its agents will reply to your emails within a business day.
Their web chat feature has proven extremely helpful, and a representative responded to their query in only 3 minutes. It’s all part of their commitment to providing top-notch customer service.
3. Online Document Access
ZenBusiness LLC’s homepage offers clients access to many templates for crucial legal documents required to run a business.
These documents include operating agreements, corporate by-laws, and banking resolutions and are readily available round the clock via your personalized online dashboard. It’s all done to make your business experience as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
4. Virtual Business Guide
ZenBusiness will give its customers a guide with an essential checklist with all the information they need to run their business virtually when they form an LLC.
Besides providing useful tools and advice, the guide provides information on staying on top of the latest trends and marketing yourself online.
5. Registered Agent
All businesses are legally required to have a registered agent. In U.S. business law, a registered agent is the business’s representative when accepting tax and legal documents. ZenBusiness can handle this responsibility for your business by acting as the registered agent.
6. Guided Operating Agreement
Only a few states require an operating agreement (California, Delaware, Missouri, New York, and Maine). Still, regardless of whether your state requires one, it is highly recommended that you have one in place. A guided operating agreement is included with ZenBusiness’s Pro and Premium business formation plans to assist with this.
The purpose of this document is to protect a business owner’s assets from the actions of the LLC, outline which actions are acceptable for the business, and create a succession plan if the owner were to leave the company.
7. Google Ads Credit
All ZenBusiness business formation customers can use a $150 Google Ads credit, which will help your business increase traffic, phone calls, sales, and revenue online.
8. Employer Identification Number (EIN)
A company’s employer identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit code used to identify your business as an employment-related tax I.D. The EIN must open a bank account, obtain financing, hire employees, and more for a partnership, corporation, or LLC.
9. Worry-Free Compliance
Suppose you miss an important filing date and must regain your good standing and LLC protection from the state.
In that case, ZenBusiness’ Worry-Free Compliance service will provide alerts for substantial compliance and filing events, support your annual filings and up to two annual amendments, and provide expert support should you miss an important filing event.
1. Name Check and Business Filing
LegalZoom will provide a LegalZoom representative to execute your business formation paperwork and file it for you with its Peace of Mind™ review. This review process ensures that all boxes are thoroughly checked and everything is up to your state’s standards.
2. LLC Next Steps Guide
After your business is filed, LegalZoom will give you comprehensive step-by-step instructions to help you scrutinize your LLC documents and initiate your business operations.
3. Lifetime Customer Support
LegalZoom offers a hotline service open 7 days a week from Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. P.T.
On weekends from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, you may also send inquiries through its website with a guarantee from LegalZoom that the agents will respond as soon as possible. Furthermore, the company has an online chat feature you can use.
4. Entrepreneurs’ Business Newsletter
LegalZoom’s business formation services offer a newsletter that provides valuable professional information to help you successfully manage your company.
In what do both business formation services excel?
These two business service providers overlap in different ways. Here are a few areas where both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom excel:
1. Business formation:
If you need to form a business and are uncertain how it will be accomplished, you can lean on ZenBusiness and LegalZoom for aid. They provide services that walk you through the business formation process by your state’s regulations and your particular requirements. Each firm provides different types of business options.
2. Customer reviews:
ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are both rated highly by the Better Business Bureau. Although, ZenBusiness has a lower customer review rating on Better Business Bureau than LegalZoom. Both businesses have received many positive reviews for their speed and ease of use.
3. Customer service:
A wide variety of customer service options can never go wrong! ZenBusiness is cooking up a storm with chat, email, and phone options, and LegalZoom offers chat, email, and an online submission form. With all these options, you will never be left without support.
4. Refund policy:
It’s crucial to be chill when purchasing pricey services that might break the bank. What if you aren’t happy with the outcome, or it’s not what you expected?
ZenBusiness and LegalZoom covered you with their 60-day refund policy. But these policies don’t cover some third-party processing fees and state filing fees, so you better watch out for those.
Important business services:
ZenBusiness and LegalZoom offer essential services to help you comply with state regulations. Among them are registered agent services, which keep you up to date with important deadlines and the actual preparation and filing of legal documents that can save you a great deal of time.
Both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom provide these services, which are essential for most businesses.
LegalZoom vs. zenbusiness: Major Differences
Consider the differences between ZenBusiness and LegalZoom to gauge a proper comparison. Below are a few of the differences between the two companies.
The pricing structures for the business formation services provided by ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are different, with each company offering three plans but the same number of options.
ZenBusiness has three annual plans, each including many services, whereas LegalZoom has three one-time fee plans. Choosing between the two companies’ pricing structures depends on your preferences and business needs.
For instance, state compliance and annual report filing are included in ZenBusiness’ annual plans, while LegalZoom offers those services separately.
LegalZoom’s compliance calendar service requires an annual subscription for continued annual report filing, and its plans range in price from $79 to $349.
On the other hand, ZenBusiness offers pricing that ranges from $49 to $299 per year.
While LegalZoom’s one-time fees may be more appealing than ZenBusiness’ annual plans, you must also consider the additional services you may require, as the cost increases with every service added.
In contrast, ZenBusiness already includes many services in its higher plans.
2. Processing time
State requirements may stifle your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Before your business can be considered official, you must file the necessary paperwork with your state.
According to ZenBusiness, processing paperwork can take 2 to 12 business days. A higher plan would benefit you from a faster filing process, while a lower-tier plan would result in a longer process.
On the other hand, LegalZoom claims that filing times can range from 10 to 30 days. This is a much larger timeframe than ZenBusiness, where LegalZoom’s fastest estimated time is nearly as slow as ZenBusiness’s slowest time. ZenBusiness is a better choice for a quicker turnaround time if you’re rushing to file your business documents.
3. Accounting consultation
Accounting is one of the most important aspects of running a business. ZenBusiness provides a free consultation with a certified accountant to help you navigate the uncharted financial waters of business expenses.
You can use this perk to determine which accounting resources would work best for you, and it is automatically included in your ZenBusiness plan.
In contrast, LegalZoom does not have this particular feature.
4. Additional services
The needs of each business are unique, so it’s crucial to provide different customizable services to meet these different requirements.
Three of ZenBusiness’s plans include bundled services. In addition, ZenBusiness also offers a business bank account, a business website, an email address for businesses, and domain name registration services that can be added to those plans or used independently.
LegalZoom offers similar services, including personal legal services such as wills and trusts, real estate, and intellectual property. While not all business owners need these services, they can be helpful in certain situations. Besides offering corporate name changes and employment agreements, LegalZoom provides numerous other business-related services.
Regarding additional services, you have various options with LegalZoom, but ZenBusiness offers fewer choices.
Which business formation service should you choose?
Choosing the exemplary LLC service between ZenBusiness and LegalZoom requires careful consideration. The best choice for you depends on many factors and preferences that may not apply to others.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive set of services to help you set up and maintain your company, ZenBusiness might be the right choice. You’ll be able to choose from a range of annual plans with tons of features that can cover your business’s needs, such as yearly reports, operating agreements, and accounting consultation, to name a few.
In addition, you can pay a fee for additional services like a business website or a registered agent service.
However, LegalZoom offers a one-time payment plan for most services, with additional options for a wide range of services. If you don’t want to be locked into an annual subscription fee, you might like to check them out. Registered agents and compliance calendars are some of their services that require an annual fee.
It is also unique that LegalZoom provides business as well as legal services, which is a unique advantage. This could be convenient for those needing legal and business services, such as real estate, wills, and intellectual property. In contrast to using multiple companies for each service, LegalZoom can save you time and effort.
ZenBusiness and LegalZoom offer valuable services for business owners who need assistance forming and running their companies. While they share some similarities, there are distinct differences between the two that may make one more suitable than the other for your specific needs.
Making an informed decision on which service best suits your business goals can be done by considering the factors mentioned in this article.