ZenBusiness and Incfile give you the legal information to drive your business toward success. Each offers resources to support different types of companies, including small businesses and nonprofits, as they grow. We researched both companies to see how they can benefit you and where they can improve using criteria such as ease of use, unique services, and processing and filing speed.
ZenBusiness’s comprehensive services simplify the business formation process for an easy, step-by-step way to build your business. Its Worry-Free Compliance lowers stress and makes sure you hit every deadline, and ZenBusiness comes with accounting services that make everything from invoicing to taxes simple. Get ZenBusiness free with state filing fees.
Incfile’s high-quality business formation services help you every step of the way. It starts with planning, helps you set up your business, and carries you through as you grow with legal expertise and resources. It works for any kind of business formation and even provides a registered agent free for a year. Start your business at $0 plus state filing fees.
ZenBusiness and Incfile Compared to the Best Business Formation Services
Discover more of the best business formation services with our Golden Eggs, and learn how they can help you take the right steps to build your business.
Northwest Registered Agent is a complete solution for registered agent services and resources for incorporating your business carefully and efficiently. Create your free account and get all the information you need to stay compliant.
Rocket Lawyer has resources, including a document library, vetted by legal experts so that you can create your own documents without risk. Sign up for a seven-day free trial to access all the information you need to protect your business.
LegalNature has everything a DIY professional needs at a lower cost, like a full library where you can download any documents you need. Try it with a seven-day free trial before you jump into building your business on your own.
ZenBusiness Compared to Incfile
ZenBusiness and Incfile both specialize in getting you set up with the legal resources you need, including documents and filing, advice, and organizational tools. They work for many kinds of businesses, from LLCs to nonprofits, and have enough flexibility to help you no matter where you are in your formation process. Here’s where we get deeper into what ZenBusiness and Incfile have to offer and show you why they sit among the best business formation services.
ZenBusiness ranks at the top of our best business formation services for a reason, and it starts with its free package that charges only state filing fees. Its all-in-one platform has extensive tools for business formation, starting with planning resources and carrying you through as you grow.
It lets you create your LLC for free, plus filing fees, and includes tools that help you stay organized and always meet your deadlines, including Worry-Free Compliance. ZenBusiness keeps you on track to reduce the risk of forgetting important documents or other business formation components.
ZenBusiness helps with your day-to-day operations with invoicing and tax resources. You can get advice for business growth, whether you want to buy another location, acquire a company, or get more funding for future plans. It also provides market research and brand creation tools where you can search your business name and industry to ensure you have a standout presence before you even get started.
Incfile is great for people who want to do as much of their business set up on their own as possible. It offers independent resources with a user-friendly dashboard that lets you track all your business tasks, including filing documents. It also tracks any order statuses and business formation tasks you’ve already completed and stores documents you’ve submitted or drafted, so you can return to them later.
Incfile provides several perks that make building a new business much easier, including a one-hour business tax consultation and free registered agent service for a year after signing up. It’s easy to use and ideal for first-time business owners, as it provides a lot of DIY resources that you can use to stay compliant, order additional services when you need them, and get the licenses and information you need.
ZenBusiness vs. Incfile: Pros and Cons
ZenBusiness and Incfile both let you form your business using their services for $0, plus state filing fees, and they have many similar offers. However, the two have unique offers and qualities that may make one better for your business than the other. Find out where each one can benefit your business and where they may fall short of your expectations with the detailed comparisons below.
Where ZenBusiness Shines
All-in-One Service: ZenBusiness makes your business formation more efficient with a platform that gathers all your documents and information in one convenient location. It ensures that all your initial steps are taken care of with tracking and updates that show you how far you’ve come in setting up your LLC, S-Corp, nonprofit, or any other type of business you’re building. It provides you with the services you need to stay compliant and meet deadlines, includes a registered agent for the first year, and processes your documents fast so that you don’t have to wait to move to the next step.
Quick Processing Time: ZenBusiness’s $0 plus state filing fee plan takes two to three weeks to file, which is about the same as what you get with Incfile. When you upgrade to the Pro plan, ZenBusiness files in four to six days and is often faster than that. Premium is fastest at one to two days, which is even speedier than what Incfile offers and can make all the difference if you’re on a time crunch.
Worry-Free Compliance: Worry-Free Compliance is one of ZenBusiness’s star features, as it keeps you informed about deadlines, regulation changes, and other essential details you need to stay compliant and on task with your business. It delivers annual reports from your business on time, and you see fewer errors since it’s an automatic process. The best part about this feature is that while it tracks your deadlines, you can focus on running your business, and it continues to help you as you grow.
Invoicing Services: Many business formation services help you with taxes and call it a day, but not ZenBusiness. This company has resources for everyday accounting, including invoicing, collecting payments, bookkeeping, and more. Plus, for small business owners, ZenBusiness has a resource library of tax tips to ensure you do everything right throughout the year.
Self-Help Resources and Customer Service: ZenBusiness has online resources that you can search and use to help form your business. They include articles, guides, and an online Q&A feature where you can ask specific questions about your business formation needs and get answers tailored to you. Once again, ZenBusiness goes the extra mile for small businesses with online resources to lay out your options and learn more about which one suits your needs. If its online resources don’t cut it, ZenBusiness is available to contact by phone, email, and chat with helpful experts who can guide you.
Website-Building Option: ZenBusiness sets itself apart from other business formation services by letting you use its service to create your business website. Its website builder has templates, content and SEO services, connection to social media, and a mobile-optimized design that reduces your workload as you’re setting up your business. This helps you keep all your operations in one place, making running your business more efficient.
Affordable Plans: ZenBusiness’s basic package starts at $0, so you only have to pay state filing fees. If you need more than its entry-level plan, the Pro package starts at $199, or you can upgrade to Premium at $349. Premium costs about $50 more than Incfile’s equivalent, but you also get more features, tools, and support, including Worry-Free Compliance and more direct guidance throughout running your business.
Where ZenBusiness Needs Improvement
Expensive Add-Ons: ZenBusiness’s free plan may be too good to be true for some people. The company offers a lot of add-ons that can jack up the price on any package—especially the free one, since most add-ons are included automatically in the paid plans. Even the registered agent service is an add-on after the first year, though this is the same as what Incfile offers.
Lack of Website Customizability: While having a website builder is a great option with ZenBusiness, it’s not always the best one. If you want a lot of customizability, ecommerce, and other advanced features, ZenBusiness may not be the best place to create a unique website. You may have a better time looking for a website builder that has more options and capabilities.
Recurring Registered Agent Fee: Before you sign up with ZenBusiness, know that after the first year, you’ll have to pay a $199 fee for a registered agent. This annual fee may not be worth it for some business owners, and others may find it cheaper to find their own registered agent. You have to remember to cancel this service in your plan if you don’t want to be charged automatically, and ZenBusiness doesn’t offer the service at all for nonprofits or PLLCs.
Where Incfile Shines
Clean Interface: Incfile’s intuitive dashboard has a clear layout and is easy to navigate, even if this is your first time building a business. It has sections for filing forms, tracking order status, showing deadlines, and sending notifications, and you can customize it all based on your needs. It also enters basic information into its fields to reduce manual tasks, and if you get stuck, you can turn to the resources on the company website.
Fast Processing: Unlike most business formation services, Incfile doesn’t make you pay more for priority filing. It processes your submissions quickly, though you may still have to wait two or three weeks, depending on the state. Incfile has a tool that shows you how long your application will likely take to process, so you get a better idea of wait times and gives other state-specific details, like the cost of expedited filing.
One-Hour Business Tax Consultation: If you’re intimidated by business taxes—which most new business owners are—Incfile offers a complimentary one-hour tax consultation with a tax expert when you sign up for its Gold plan. This consultation helps you understand all the important financial components of creating your business. It focuses on LLCs, but it can take away a lot of the stress when it comes to the financial aspects of your business.
Low-Cost Initial Service: Like ZenBusiness, Incfile offers a $0 plan where you only pay the state filing fees, making it one of the most affordable options for business formation services. Its paid services are a one-time payment, and you can get the Gold plan for $199 and the Platinum, with more features, at $299, which is cheaper than ZenBusiness’s Premium. Incfile also has a tool on its website that shows you how much you’ll pay in state filing fees to form your LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, or nonprofit.
Free Registered Agent for One Year: Incfile gives you a free registered agent with your service for the first year, no matter which package you choose. After the first year, you do have to pay for this service or find your own registered agent elsewhere, but it’s one less thing to worry about in the first year when you’ve got so much else going on.
Online Storage and Tracking: Incfile makes accessing your drafted and submitted documents easy by storing them all in its system. You can find them on your dashboard, which is where you can track what you’ve submitted and how far along you are in the business formation process. This feature keeps you informed about your process and sends reminders for filing deadlines, too.
Where Incfile Needs Improvement
Many Expensive Add-Ons: Check the terms and services carefully when you sign up, especially for the free plan, because Incfile puts in some add-ons you don’t need. You don’t want to pay extra for something that doesn’t apply to your business or that you can get for free or cheaper elsewhere with the same quality. For example, Incfile makes you pay $70 for your EIN, which you can usually get for free.
Customer Support Availability: Although 84% of people are happy with Incfile’s customer support, this support isn’t as available as other services. It’s only available on weekdays from 9am to 6pm, which is much more limited than ZenBusiness’s longer weekday and Sunday hours. Having no weekend support limits many business owners who do other important tasks during Incfile’s open hours, though the company has recently added interactive help service and live chat along with phone service.
No Assistance with Articles of Organization: Although Incfile does file your articles of organization, it doesn’t help with creating them, which many business owners need. The requirements for these articles also vary per state, and without guidance, it’s easy to do them wrong.
The Last Word on ZenBusiness Compared to Incfile
As business formation services, ZenBusiness and Incfile both provide free plans and make it easier to set up your business. With expert legal advice and resources to help you every step of the way, these services give you the ability to do more of your business formation on your own with less stress.
ZenBusiness and Incfile are similar in terms of what they provide, including quick processing and compliance resources, but ZenBusiness gives you more comprehensive and continuous services as your business grows. It also offers its signature Worry-Free Compliance and extra services like invoicing and website-building. Incfile stands out with its one-hour tax consultation, but both companies compensate for their $0 service by trying to sell you expensive add-ons.
While ZenBusiness and Incfile are both great options, especially if you’re a first-time business owner, others can benefit you just as much. We cover several more in our review of the best business formation services, where you can find the best one for you.