What are the best LLC Services to start your busines?
Looking to start a business and don’t know where to start? Read the following guide on the best LLC services to use this year.
Learning how to set up an LLC can be extremely challenging by yourself, let alone learning about all the necessary documents that need to be compiled and submitted. Luckily, there are many LLC services available online that can help you get an LLC setup while saving time and money.
The best LLC service providers specialize in the state-specific laws required for LLC formation, ensuring your LLC filing is approved.
At a glance, here are the six best LLC services that we will cover in this guide:
- ZenBusiness: Best LLC service overall
- Incfile: Best free LLC service
- Inc Authority: Best free registered agent services
- BetterLegal: Best customer support
- CorpNet: Best variety of legal services
- Northwest Registered Agent: Best for worry-free compliance
Before diving into specific LLC services each of the providers above offers and how they may help you, it’s important to outline some of the basics regarding LLC formation.
What is LLC?
A limited liability company (LLC) is a specific business structure allowed by state statute. An LLC can have one or more owners, where each owner typically participates equally in the management of the business. The key term in the naming is “limited liability”, meaning that the owners of an LLC are protected from personal liability for any business debts or claims.
For example, if somebody takes it upon themselves to sue an organization that is an LLC and they succeed, the LLC owner’s personal possessions cannot be legally obtained by the person who sued them. Therefore, an LLC owner only stands to lose what they have put into the business, rather than all of their personal assets as well.
As far as tax purposes go, an LLC is not separate from the owners of the organization. Profits are “passed through” the business and reported by the owner(s) on their individual tax return.
Why Do You Need an LLC Service?
From pass-through taxation, legal services, ownership flexibility, and more, there is a myriad of reasons why new business owners may consider forming an LLC.
Compiling the legal documents needed to be filed with the secretary of state’s office can seem relatively simple on the surface, but the nuances that exist within state requirements can make it difficult.
This is where LLC services can really shine. They can help to streamline the business formation process and provide you with all the legal documents required for a limited liability company. This may include an operating agreement, annual report filing, employer identification number, articles of organization, and more.
How Do Online LLC Services Work?
Online LLC services specialize in LLC formation and are knowledgeable on individual state laws, along with the necessary documents and other items required for a successful filing.
The best LLC formation services will guide you through all of the information you are required to provide, fill out all the paperwork using the information you provide, and ensure that everything is in order prior to filing.
There are many benefits to using company formation services, but the primary benefits are two-fold: you don’t have to waste time researching LLC formation laws in your state and you reduce the risk of your filing being rejected. These providers are experts in online legal services and the business services industry at large.
With these benefits in mind, I’ve compiled a list including some of the best LLC formation services available to you today.
Best LLC Services for 2023
When choosing from the best LLC services available online, you need to balance the perks offered in conjunction with the price point that you’re looking at.
Here are six of the best LLC services to consider today:
ZenBusiness is one of the largest names in LLC formation and specializes in offering fast filings at a low cost, along with expert service and knowledgeable customer support.
They break down the items needed for the filing of an LLC, while also offering resources for the long-term growth of small businesses.
There are three subscription tier packages you can choose from that range from full-service offerings to just starting with getting your business off the ground. This variability makes ZenBusiness an excellent option for any new business owner.
Three primary packages are offered by ZenBusiness for business owners to choose from.
The basic package starts at just $49 + state fees, which includes all of the above perks and a full year of annual report service.
Their pro package starts at $199 + state fees and has a faster turnaround time of four to six days.
Finally, their premium package begins at $299 + state fees and can be ready in about one to two days.
Zenbusiness: Best Overall LLC Service
As a whole, ZenBusiness is our total winner due to the low-cost and 100% guarantee. A large number of add-ons is an extra benefit.
The only significant drawback to this LLC formation service is the potential higher cost that can occur from having the add-on services. Additionally, needing to sign up for an annual subscription may not be ideal for some.
- Multiple add-ons are available that can make ZenBusiness applicable to different needs
- 100% accuracy guarantee
- Worry-free compliance
- Good customer reviews
- An annual subscription is needed
- Increasing the add-ons can significantly increase the total cost
As with ZenBusiness, Incfile provides excellent value at an affordable price. Offering a silver, gold, and platinum package, those who are interested can receive services including LLC formation, registered agent service, expedited filing, a free business website, and domain name, and more depending on the package chosen.
There aren’t many downsides to Incfile, but it’s possible that extra add-on features may cost you more than you’re willing to pay.
As mentioned above, Incfile’s basic plan starts at $0. Yes, that’s right. This is legitimately a free LLC formation service. There is no added charge beyond the state filing fee where you are located.
For a one-time fee, customers can opt to purchase the Gold package for $149 + state fees, which includes an EIN, IRS Form 2553, operating agreement, tax consultation, and more.
The Platinum plan is more expensive at $299 and includes expedited filing along with a business domain name and email.
Incfile: Best for Free Entry
As far as getting set up goes, Incfile is excellent for anybody with a smaller budget. If you are not in a rush to have the filing completed, taking advantage of the services Incfile offers for no additional cost beyond your state filing fee is a tough proposition to beat.
- Free LLC formation services are available
- All packages come with one year of registered agent services
- Potential to upgrade online LLC filing services
- Slower filings for free LLC filing
- No money-back guarantee
Inc Authority is similar to Incfile in that their package starts completely free for online LLC setup services. They also offer added perks such as short-term deals and the waiving of state fees. For instance, their current deal offers only a $1 state fee for registering an LLC in California.
Inc Authority only offers one plan, which may be seen by some as a downside, but they do allow for add-ons. They do not offer a money-back guarantee as some of the other providers on this list do.
As far as pricing goes, the basic package for Inc Authority is completely free not including state filing fees.
There are no other plans offered by Inc Authority, but the add-ons available to customers are priced and structured similarly to the other LLC filing services on this list.
Inc Authority: Best Free Registered Agent Services
Inc Authority offers a large number of perks with their free filing option that can help get any business up and running quickly. For these reasons, I believe it is the best option for anybody with a slightly higher budget who is looking for additional add-ons that providers like Incfile do not offer.
- Free LLC filing service
- One year of registered agent services
- Large number of add-ons
- Highly-priced add-ons
- No 100% satisfaction guarantee
Of the LLC formation services on this list, BetterLegal is one of the newer go-to sources. Known for its rapid response time, this organization provides services to both single and multi-member groups.
It offers a cloud platform featuring a live dashboard and real-time customer support that can help diagnose any issues. In terms of how BetterLegal stacks up to the other LLC formation services on this list regarding price, however, it is more expensive.
BetterLegal offers a flat fee of $299 + your state filing fees.
In addition to this, customers have the option to subscribe and receive a registered agent for $10/month or $90/year. There is also an option to subscribe at the same cost to receive state compliance services.
Finally, BetterLegal also offers a $125 Permit and License Search research tool that can be helpful to some business owners.
Better Legal: Best Customer Support
As mentioned earlier, BetterLegal is a newer LLC formation service provider compared to others on this list.
While there are some complaints about their customer support and the amount of up-selling they attempt to do, the impressive features they offer more than justify the price.
This isn’t the best LLC service for somebody with a stricter budget or for somebody who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, but it can provide a great deal for somebody who does.
- Impressive turnaround time
- Cheap agent services offered
- Free website and store services, along with a live dashboard
- It has been reported that there is a lot of upselling
- Substandard customer service according to reviews
Serving customers across all 50 states, the CorpNet team specializes in streamlining the business incorporation and compliance process for business owners. With a 100% satisfaction guaranteed offer or the refunding of your money, you can rest knowing you are getting great value with this company.
One reason I chose to add CorpNet to the list is due to the variety of options they offer assistance with, including business filing services, payroll tax registration, registered agent services, and business compliance services. All of these options can help a person take their newly formed LLC to the next level.
For standard processing, CorpNet’s basic package starts at $79 + state fees, $199 + state fees for the deluxe package, and $249 + state fees for the complete package.
To receive express processing, the basic, deluxe, and complete packages start at $199, $299, and $349 respectively (state filing fees not included).
Finally, the 24-hour rush processing filing for each of those same three categories starts at $229, $349, and $399 respectively.
CorpNet: Best Variety of Legal Services
CorpNet is an excellent middle-ground filing service for people with budgets of all types.
Their basic package is enough to get your business going, but those who seek more or have a higher budget can enjoy plenty of additional features on top of the basic package.
- Huge variety in features offered by different packages
- A relatively low basic starting point that offers enough to get going
- High price increase for faster filings
The last name on my list of best LLC service providers regarding formation is Northwest Registered Agent. Mainly focusing on delivering secure and reliable business formation as their bread and butter, their minimal cost is enticing for new business owners looking to create an LLC.
This LLC formation service group also offers a free introductory trial account that allows users to explore their various LLC forms. The base price for Northwest Registered Agent is closer to a premium value, but consistent discounts offered on their website mean that you can find a deal more often than not.
Filing your LLC using Northwest Registered Agent can be expensive at $225, but there are frequent discounts that can lower that closer to $40 if you happen to get in on it.
Northwest Registered Agent: Best for Worry-Free Compliance
Northwest Registered Agent offers a variety of legal services and provides customer support throughout every step up the process. This makes for worry-free compliance and fast turnaround times when filing. And they have the customer reviews to back it.
- Flexible payment structures (monthly or upfront)
- Flexible payment structures (monthly or upfront)
- Plenty of add-ons
- Higher entry price point
- Add-ons can quickly increase the overall cost
How to Choose the Best LLC Filing Service
Now that I’ve outlined some of the most prominent LLC formation service providers you can choose from, it’s important to go further in-depth on how to choose a registered agent service. Use some of the following tips I’ve compiled to get this process started:
Identify Your Budget
Everybody has a budget and that’s perfectly all right. The easiest first step in choosing the best LLC service provider is to figure out how much you are willing to invest. Choosing a cheaper alternative doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get your filing rejected, but cheaper LLC formation services may not provide as many perks.
Figure Out What Features You Need
It’s possible that you may already have strong knowledge of certain aspects of LLC formation. If this is the case, you may not need all the bells and whistles that some LLC formation services provide. Identify what value LLC formation companies can bring to you and guide your search using this answer.
By following the guidelines above, you can better guide your search for the best LLC service.
LLC Filing Services FAQs
How much does it cost to set up an LLC?
The base filing cost for LLC formation varies by state. On the low and high end, it’s not abnormal to see $50 and $500, respectively, so you can expect the initial fee to be in this range. Annual maintenance fees typically cost $100 and can include items such as state business taxes, annual reports, and more. Using LLC services to file and form your LLC can potentially save you money due to the lower charges they offer, depending on the provider.
Where is it cheapest to form an LLC?
Filing by yourself, Kentucky typically stays the cheapest state for forming an LLC with the initial cost only being $40. After this is Arkansas with a fee of $45, followed by a large number of states who charge a $50 average. Depending on the state you reside, this fee can grow as large as $500 for the initial filing of your LLC.
What is better for a small business: LLC or S Corporation?
The structures of an LLC and S Corporation are different and choosing the right option for your business is extremely important. Some key differences between these two types are that LLC owners must pay self-employment tax for all income and can have unlimited members, whereas an S Corp pays corporate taxes and is limited to 100 shareholders.
Beyond this, LLCs are typically more for sole proprietorships or small partnerships, whereas an S Corp is typically larger, having a board of directors and a CEO in many cases. S Corps also aren’t allowed to have non-U.S. citizens as shareholders. While LLCs cannot issue stock, S Corps are allowed this feature. Choosing between these two for your business is about picking the option that is best for your current management structure.
What company is best for LLC filing services?
While all of the above companies are some of the best LLC service providers available today, ZenBusiness is a winner. Offering flexible plans, available in all 50 states, and a 100% accuracy guarantee, this LLC filing service can get the job done for you quickly while offering long-term support with annual document submission and more.
LLC Formation Services: Key Takeaways
An LLC formation service may not be something you need in your life but depending on your situation it can be extremely beneficial. Consider your price point and the features you need to receive to make the best LLC service worth it for your business.
By saving you both time and money, you can focus on growing your business while leaning on the support of online LLC services. Not only will this make the filing and formation process easier, but the long-term support offered by many online LLC formation service companies will make your life easier for years.