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We spent several hours sifting through the best limited liability company (LLC) services on the market. There are five services that stand apart from the rest, and Incfile is the best LLC service for most people. Incfile can register 10 different types of LLCs, provides registered agency services, and it can incorporate LLCs, nonprofits, and corporations.
The Best LLC Service for Most
Incfile is the best LLC service for most because it can incorporate 10 different LLC types, and it can help with ongoing services like banking and bookkeeping. The service can also be used for nonprofits and corporations, and it handles annual state report filing. Incfile has been trusted by more than 500,000 business owners.
The Best LLC Options to Consider
- Incfile – Best for Most
- LegalZoom – Best for Speaking with Attorneys
- ZenBusiness – Best for Quick Incorporation
- Inc Authority – Best for Skipping Service Fees
- BizFilings – Best for Choosing the Right Entity Type
When It Makes Sense to Invest Into an LLC Service
It makes sense to invest in an LLC service when you want to unload the burden of personal liability, when you need external financing and permits, or if you want to be taken more seriously as a business.
LLC stands for “limited liability company” for a reason. When you register your business as an LLC, you’re no longer personally liable for anything that negatively affects your business. For example, someone with a registered LLC can amass one hundred thousand dollars of debt. Because their business is an LLC, debt collectors cannot come for his or her personal assets.
The business is liable for the debt, not the owner. This can also be extremely helpful when your business is sued. If you no longer want to have personal liability for your business, find an LLC service and get your company formed.
Another reason to invest in an LLC service is if you need external funding or business permits. External financiers like banks or angel investors are more likely to lend you money if your business is incorporated. Incorporating your business can also be required if you need to obtain state permits or licenses.
Finally, invest in an LLC service when you want people to look at your organization as a professional business. Including an “LLC” at the end of your company name will make it easier to attract customers and partner with other businesses. People would rather do business with a registered company than an unofficial business.
#1 – Incfile — The Best for Most
Incfile is the best LLC service for most because it can register 10 different LLC types, and it’s been used by more than 500,000 business owners. The service can not only incorporate businesses, it can also help with tasks like banking and bookkeeping. Incfile can be used to incorporate LLCs, nonprofits, and corporations.
Business owners can use Incfile to incorporate domestic LLCs, foreign LLCs, member-managed LLCs, manager-managed LLCs, single-member LLCs, multiple-member LLCs, series LLCs, restricted LLCs, L3Cs, and anonymous LLCs.
If you need help deciding if your business should be an LLC, use Incfile’s helpful online guide. LLCs have minimal compliance requirements, versatile tax statuses, and limited liability protection. For over 80% of small businesses, an LLC is the best entity type.
Incfile also helps you determine if your state requires annual report filing. If so, the service will take care of it for you.
Incfile users need to submit a one-time payment that varies depending on the package selected, state of formation, and entity type.
Incfile Silver is technically free, but users must pay state filing fees. This package includes one year of registered agent services, preparation and filing of Articles of Organization, and unlimited name searches.
For Incfile Gold, users must pay $149 plus state filing fees. This package comes with an EIN business tax number, IRS form 2553, banking resolution, online access dashboard, lifetime company alerts, unlimited phone and email support, a business banking account, and a tax consultation.
To purchase Incfile Platinum, users must pay $299 plus state filing fees. This package includes a domain name, business email, expedited filing, and business contract templates.
#2 – LegalZoom — The Best for Speaking with Attorneys
Best for Speaking with Attorneys
LegalZoom offers a refund of its services within the first 60 days. For less than $40 per month, you can access its team of attorneys and tax experts. Attorneys can help with tax questions, licenses and permits, formation documents, business websites, and more.
LegalZoom is the best LLC service for people who also would benefit from speaking with an attorney. This service has helped over two million entrepreneurs start their businesses, and it’s booked more than 650,000 consultations. People can use it to incorporate LLCs, doing business as (DBAs), sole proprietorships, nonprofits, and corporations.
In addition to incorporation services, users can pay less than $40 per month to access LegalZoom’s network of attorneys and tax experts. Forming a new business can be confusing, and an attorney can help with tax filing questions, reviewing formation documents, determining the best entity type, obtaining licenses and permits, and setting up a business website.
LegalZoom can also help with the following:
- Legal agreements
- Trademark registration
- Trademark search
- Business advisory plan
- Registered agent services
- Minutes manager
- Compliance calendar
- Annual reports
- 501(c)(3) applications
- Business licenses
- Seller’s permits
- State tax IDs
- Federal tax IDs (EIN)
- Entity name reservations
If you aren’t satisfied with LegalZoom’s service within the first 60 days, you can receive a fee refund. The service charges only flat-rate fees and covers all 50 states.
Users must pay $79 plus state filing fees to start an LLC with LegalZoom. It costs $149 plus state filing fees to register corporations. It costs $99 to incorporate DBAs and nonprofits.
#3 – ZenBusiness — The Best for Quick Incorporation
Best for Quick Incorporation
ZenBusiness can incorporate LLCs, corporations, nonprofits, DBAs, and sole proprietorships super-quickly. Its expert service team stays with users through the life of the business, and users can upgrade for a business website, worry-free compliance, and even faster filing speeds.
If you need an LLC service with quick turnarounds, ZenBusiness is the best choice for you. Businesses like Fortune, Yahoo Finance, and The New York Times have trusted its services. Its advanced technology can get your business set up quickly, its service team offers lifetime support, and it has low business document filing fees.
ZenBusiness offers registered agent services, and it can incorporate LLCs, DBAs, sole proprietorships, and corporations.
Users must go through a simple five-step process to incorporate their business. To begin, users need to select one of three ZenBusiness plans. Packages also have optional add-ons like expedited filing speed, employee identification number (EIN), registered agent services, and worry-free compliance.
After a plan is chosen and customized, ZenBusiness will start the filing process with the user’s state. Depending on the user’s plan and the state’s approval speed, the new business will be confirmed after a few days or weeks.
The new business formation documents will then be sent to the user’s dashboard. In addition to storing business documents, the user dashboard can also receive state compliance alerts and manage domain names.
After a business is incorporated, ZenBusiness experts are there to support throughout the life of the business.
Users can choose from three different ZenBusiness pricing plans. ZenBusiness Starter costs $49 per year plus state filing fees, and it renews at $119 per year after year one. It comes with a 100% accuracy guarantee, operating agreement template, standard filing speed, prepare and file LLC, and annual report service.
The Pro package costs $199 per year plus state filing fees, and it comes with a banking resolution template, employer ID number (EIN), worry-free compliance, and expedited filing speed.
The most advanced package is ZenBusiness Premium. It costs $299 per year plus state filing fees, and it comes with a business website, business domain name, business email address, domain name privacy, and rush filing speed.
If not already included in their plan, users can upgrade with add-ons for things like faster filing speeds, registered agent services, and additional business formation services.
#4 – Inc Authority — The Best for Skipping Service Fees
Best for Skipping Service Fees
With Inc Authority, you only need to pay what’s required by your state. It can be used to incorporate LLCs and corporations. This service provides a tax planning consultation, one year of registered agent services, and funding and business credit advice.
Inc Authority is an LLC service that charges no service fees. To incorporate their business, users only need to pay required state filing fees. Using its simple three-step process, users need to select their state, type in their business name, and pay state registration fees to incorporate their company. Inc Authority can help register LLCs and corporations.
To help its users, Inc Authority partners with companies like Intuit QuickBooks, ADP, GoDaddy, Bank of America, and PayPal. It only takes three minutes to sign up, and users receive one year of registered agent services. The service can digitally store business files into an online client portal, prepare and file S-Election Form 2553s, and check business names in each state.
To help with financial and credit needs, Inc Authority gives users access to funding and business credit experts. To help save money on taxes, users can schedule a tax planning consultation. The service also prepares and submits business formation documents automatically, and users receive email and phone support.
#5 – BizFilings — The Best for Choosing the Right Entity Type
Best for Choosing the Right Entity Type
BizFilings includes an Incorporation Wizard Tool to help you pick the perfect entity type. Start the process online or over the phone in three quick steps. Every package can be customized and there are no hidden fees. Users receive free registered agent services for six months.
BizFilings is an LLC service that can also incorporate C corporations, S corporations, DBAs, and nonprofits. If you’re not sure which entity type to choose, BizFilings can help you find the right type with its Incorporation Wizard Tool and Business Type Comparison Chart. The company is trusted by more than half a million companies, and it also provides registered agent services.
To determine which type of entity is best for you, open the BizFilings Incorporation Wizard Tool. First, you’ll be asked how many owners your company will have and more information about them. Next, you’ll be asked how you’re financing your business.
After the funding section, you’ll be asked industry-specific questions related to vulnerability to lawsuits, state license requirements, and more. Next, you’ll be asked specific questions about income expectations followed by questions related to taxes. Finally, you’ll be asked about long-term business goals and recordkeeping preferences.
Throughout the process, you’ll be shown a probability bar revealing which entity type is most likely for you. The process is extremely simple, and you’ll be given results immediately after finishing.
When you’re ready to incorporate your LLC or another business type, you need to select a BizFilings plan. Complete the online order process and then you’ll receive your incorporation documents once they’re approved.
Users will have access to a 24/7 business monitoring tool and document library called “BizComply”. They’ll receive business name verification, automatic document preparation and filing, registered agent services for six months, and chat and email support.
To help clients with legal questions, BizFilings partners with Wolters Kluwer, one of the top names in the legal services industry. The service has no hidden fees, and orders can be processed online or over the phone. BizFilings experts carefully monitor orders to decrease errors, and its support team is there to help for the life of each user’s business.
BizFilings offers three pricing plans that can be customized for each user’s preferences. The pricing for each is different depending on the user’s state and entity type.
The cheapest plan, BizFilings Basic, includes registered agent services and other basic features. The Standard package comes with expedited processing, sample operating agreements, customizable forms, and an LLC or compliance kit.
The most expensive package is BizFilings Complete. It includes domestic LLC initial report filing, copies of state-filed documents, overnight shipping, EIN obtainment service, and an informational compliance DVD.
Methodology for Choosing the Best LLC Service
Before you decide on an LLC service for registering your business, see if it includes legal services, has quick turnaround times, and includes lifetime support.
If you want the advice of licensed attorneys to guide you through the incorporation process, choose an LLC service that has this feature. Legal experts can help you obtain licenses and permits, go over formation documents, answer tax questions, and help you pick the right entity type. If you already have legal help or know exactly what type of business you want to form, this criterion isn’t as important.
If you want to receive the benefits of an LLC as quickly as possible, invest in an LLC service with quick turnaround times. A service like ZenBusiness can secure your finalized formation documents in as low as a few days. While the state’s turnaround time is not under your control, picking an LLC service that acts quickly will get your business formed promptly. Most services allow you to upgrade for priority filing to further decrease turnaround time.
Don’t just pick a service that registers your LLC then sends you off on your own. Choose a service that offers support for the life of your business. This can help with things like annual state document filing and legal assistance. Look for support teams that can be contacted via phone or email, and it can also be helpful to find one that offers registered agent services long term to keep your company compliant.
Make sure you factor in our three criteria when picking an LLC service for your company. For most business owners, Incfile is the best LLC service for you. LegalZoom is the best option for legal advice, and ZenBusiness offers the fastest turnarounds. If you want to only pay state fees, choose Inc Authority. BizFiling is the best service for quickly determining the right entity for your business.