Starting a new business can be an exciting venture, but it’s important to ensure that the legal aspects of your company are in order.
One of the first steps to take is forming a limited liability company (LLC), which provides personal liability protection for the business owner(s) and separates personal assets from those of the company.
Many entrepreneurs turn to LegalZoom for LLC formation services, but there are a variety of alternatives available that may better suit your needs. Below, we explore these alternatives for LLC formation, their features, pricing, and pros and cons.
Whether you’re on a budget, looking for more personalized services, or seeking a more comprehensive approach, you’ll find a range of options to choose from.
|Company||ZenBusiness||Northwest Registered Agent||Swyft Filings||Incfile|
|Price||Check Plans||Check Plans||Check Plans||Check Plans|
|Basic Package||$0 + state fees||$225 + state fees||$49 + state fees||$0 + state fees|
|Registered Agent||Free for the first year||Free for the first year||$199||Free for the first year|
|Reason to Register||Flexible plans and pricing||Excellent customer service||Fast turnaround time||Solid entry-level plan|
ZenBusiness has three incorporation packages: Starter, Pro, and Premium, each with unique features. All plans include one year of free registered agent services and worry-free compliance, which renew for a fee.
|$0 + state filing fees||$199 + state filing fees||$299 + state filing fees|
The Starter plan is now free, but you still pay the state filing fees. It includes a name availability search, expense and deduction tracking, but lacks an operating agreement, which is important for LLC formation.
The Pro plan adds an operating agreement and expedited filing, while the Premium plan includes everything from the Pro package plus web hosting and prioritized rush filing. However, the Premium plan costs an additional $100.
The sign-up process with ZenBusiness for LLC formation is conversational and personalized. It’s a refreshing alternative to traditional online forms. ZenBusiness also offers three processing speeds, ranging from 2 weeks to as fast as one business day for an additional fee.
Who Is It For: ZenBusiness’s free Starter plan is ideal for those on a budget, and the paid plans offer additional features, making it suitable for businesses that want more customization and flexibility in their LLC formation process.
For details on the plans, check out our ZenBusiness LLC Formation review.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent has over two decades of experience and offices in all 50 states, making it well-equipped to help entrepreneurs nationwide. Moreover, they boast a dedicated team of subject matter experts who can provide personalized assistance.
For a basic LLC formation service priced at $225, Northwest Registered Agent simplifies the process without tiered pricing or unnecessary add-ons.
The $225 package includes a full year of registered agent service, which renews at $125 per year after the first year, making it a cost-effective option for small businesses. However, you can also get a discount, allowing you to form an LLC for just $35.
The order form is streamlined and easy to navigate, requiring personal and business information. Optional upsells are clearly labeled, allowing you to decline them if not needed. Northwest Registered Agent also provides an order summary that offers a transparent view of the total cost, including the state filing fee.
Customer support is excellent, too. Northwest offers phone, email, and live chat support during business hours with in-house experts and a comprehensive knowledge base on their website.
Who Is It For: For no-nonsense entrepreneurs who prioritize simplicity, Northwest Registered Agent is a top choice with only one plan, making it easy to get your business up and running without unnecessary complexities.
For more details, check out our Northwest Registered Agent LLC formation review.
Swyft Filings is a Texas-based company that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses since 2012. Known for their fast turnaround times and exceptional customer service, they offer three different LLC formation packages: Basic, Standard, and Premium, each with varying features and benefits.
|$49 + state filing fees||$149 + state filing fees||$299 + state filing fees|
The Basic plan includes name verification, articles of organization, a free statement of the organizer, and filing services, along with online access to your incorporation documents and first-class shipping and handling.
On the other hand, the Standard plan includes all of the features from the Basic package plus a Federal Tax ID, a custom LLC operating agreement and banking resolution, and custom organizational minutes.
For a more comprehensive solution, the Premium plan includes all of the features from the Basic and Standard plans, as well as electronic delivery of state documents and upgrades to FedEx shipping and tracking.
Swyft Filings provides a digital LLC kit for your business and a free domain name for the first year courtesy of Squarespace, as well as lifetime customer support and compliance alerts. However, a registered agent is not included with any of their plans and must be purchased as an upsell for $199 a year. Business licenses and compliance packages are also add-ons that cost $99.
Fortunately, these upsells are generally less intrusive and do not detract from the sign-up process. Plus, Swyft Filings is upfront about their processing time, with the basic and standard packages having a processing time of 5 to 10 days, while the premium package offers expedited filing with a one-business-day filing time.
Who Is It For: We recommend Swyft Filings for those who want a more substantial basic package and for clients who want fast turnaround times.
Incfile is a trusted provider of LLC formation services that has been helping businesses get started since 2004. With over 800,000 businesses under its belt, the company offers three different LLC formation plans: Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
|$0 + state filing fees||$199 + state filing fees||$299 + state filing fees|
All of Incfile’s plans come with a free registered agent service for the first year, which is renewable for $119. The Silver plan, which is the most popular option, is completely free apart from state filing fees and does not have any additional service fees attached to it.
The Gold plan includes everything in the Silver package and adds important features such as an EIN from the IRS, a customized operating agreement, a banking resolution, and express shipping of physical documents. This makes it a comprehensive choice for businesses that require additional services.
For those who need even more features, the Platinum plan includes everything in the Gold Plan plus contract templates, expedited filing, FedEx delivery, and a website domain name. However, it’s important to note that not all businesses require these additional features.
Signing up with Incfile is easy and straightforward. However, one potential drawback is that Incfile presents its premium plans first and pre-selects upsells, so it’s important to double-check your selections before checking out to avoid any unexpected charges.
Who Is It For: Incfile’s Silver Plan is an excellent option for entrepreneurs on a budget, as it’s free apart from state filing fees and includes a free registered agent service for the first year.
LegalZoom is undoubtedly one of the most well-known options for LLC formation services, but it’s not the only choice available. If you’re in the market for an alternative, there are several solid options to consider.
For businesses on a budget or those who want more flexible pricing, we recommend ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness offers a range of LLC formation packages, including an affordable plan with basic features like registered agent services and a personalized dashboard.
If you want a no-nonsense package, we suggest Northwest Registered Agent. Their LLC formation services come with all the necessary features, including a year of registered agent services and basic compliance alerts. They also provide premium services like mail forwarding and virtual office services.
For those who want fast turnaround times, we recommend Swyft Filings. Swyft Filings offers LLC formation services with an average turnaround time of just three to five business days. They also offer additional features like registered agent services, compliance services, and operating agreement templates.
Lastly, for its solid entry-level plan, we recommend Incfile. Incfile offers a free Silver Plan, which includes basic features like registered agent services and online order tracking. This plan is great for entrepreneurs on a tight budget.