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Top 5 Best LLC Services
If you’re looking to start an LLC, the process can be overwhelming and confusing. Luckily there are many LLC formation services available that can help you in 2021, but which one is the best? We reviewed the top online LLC services to determine the 5 Best LLC Services. The best LLC filing services include LLC essentials like obtaining an Employer ID Number (EIN), operating agreement, registered agent service, and the ability to rush or expedite the processing of your filing.
We’ll jump right into a quick recommendation of the two services we found to be the best. Regardless of your needs, you can’t go wrong with our top picks for the best LLC formation service: ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent.
Both ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent offer great prices and services combined with thousands of positive reviews. Their prices for other essentials like EIN obtainment, operating agreement, rush processing, and registered agent make them an excellent pick for any entrepreneur.
- #1 Rated Affordable LLC Service
- Great Value on All Packages
- Over 6,000 positive reviews
$49 + state feesForm your LLC with
- #1 Rated Premium LLC Service
- Top Notch Customer Support
- In Business Since 1998
$225 + state feesForm your LLC with
Northwest Registered Agent
The Top-5 Best LLC Formation Services Ranked
- ZenBusiness – 4.8 out of 5.0
ZenBusiness offers excellent value in their packages and includes all the LLC essentials. In addition, they offer some of the lowest prices for most of the essential LLC features and have great reviews.
- Northwest Registered Agent – 4.4 out of 5.0
Northwest Registered Agent is the go-to choice for those who want the best, hands-on customers support. They are one of the only providers that offers a monthly payment option with their monthly VIP Service.
- BetterLegal – 4.4 out of 5.0
BetterLegal is a newer and smaller company but offers an excellent value premium service that includes all the LLC essentials. We especially liked their straightforward option that includes many features.
- Inc Authority – 4.0 out of 5.0
Inc Authority is great low cost online LLC formation service. They offer a free filing option that includes one year of free registered agent service. We also like that they let the customer choose only the services they want and offer the lowest prices for nearly every feature.
- LegalZoom – 2.8 out of 5.0
LegalZoom is the most well-known name in the LLC formation serivce industry and has helped over 5 million people start their business.
- Low Starting Price of $49
- Easy to Choose Packages
- Lowest Price for LLC Essentials w/o Registered Agent
ZenBusiness is our pick for best overall value LLC service. They are based out of Austin, Texas and were founded in 2015. While ZenBusiness is a newer LLC formation service, they have grown to be one of the industry’s biggest and most highly rated. ZenBusiness has over 6,000 positive reviews showing just how fast they have grown.
Their services are presented in a simple, three-tier package style. The lowest package, which they call “Starter”, is priced at $49 +state filing fees. This makes ZenBusiness one of the most affordable LLC services on the market. In addition, ZenBusiness’s Starter package is a great deal because it includes an operating agreement, which is one of the features that we consider an “LLC Essential”. ZenBusiness has the lowest price for any provider of the LLC services we evaluated that included an operating agreement.
Key Highlights of ZenBusiness’s Service
- Lowest Price for LLC Formation, EIN, and Operating Agreement at $119
- All Packages include Annual Report Service
- Free Accounting Consultation
- Google Ads Credit up to $150
- 60-day money-back guarantee
ZenBusiness’s Pricing on LLC Essentials
- EIN – $70 for Starter, Included with Pro & Premium Packages
- Operating Agreement – Included with All Packages!
- Rush Filing – $50*
- Registered Agent Service Annual Fee – $199
Additional Features and Services
- Banking Resolution Template – $30 for Starter, Included in Pro & Premium Packages:
ZenBusiness provides a banking resolution template so your business can quickly and easily complete the resolution to open your business bank account and assign signature authority.
- Worry Free Compliance – $119/year for Starter, Included in Pro & Premium Packages:
Worry Free Compliance service sends alerts for important compliance and filing events, supports your annual filings and up to two yearly amendments, and provides expert support should you miss a filing event and need to regain your good standing and LLC protection from the state.
- Business Domain Name – $25/year for Starter & Pro, Included in Premium Package:
ZenBusiness will register your business’s domain name for use with your business website and email address.
- Business Email Address – $25/year for Starter & Pro, Included in Premium Package:
ZenBusiness will set up a busienss email address with up to 5GB storage.
- Business Website – $100/year for Starter & Pro, Included in Premium Package:
A basic website for your business that is automatically created using the information provided in your business formation documents.
Our Take on ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness is a great option for anyone looking to form an LLC. All of their packages provide great value and include the essentials you’ll need to get your LLC started.
If you want more information read our detailed ZenBusiness Review
#1 Best Premium Service (Tied)
- Best Customer Support
- Monthly VIP Service for less than state fee
Northwest Registered Agent is a great premium LLC service option. While their price is higher than Inc Authority and ZenBusiness, they offer customer service that goes above and beyond any other service. Every customer gets their own Corporate guide who is there to assist with any questions you have or problems that arise. Northwest Registered Agent is also a highly trusted name in the industry and they’ve been helping customers start their business since 1998.
Monthly VIP Service
One of the factors that make Northwest Registered Agent so unique is their Monthly VIP Service. For a low monthly fee, you can start an LLC and get all the essentials you’ll need. The great thing about this is that the monthly payment is lower than the state filing fees, so you’ll end up paying less upfront than you would, even if you completed the filing on your own.
per month depending on state
Choose VIP Service
Services and Features included in Monthly VIP Price:
- State Filing Fees
- Business Formation
- EIN Filing
- Registered Agent Service
- Free Business Address
- Annual Report Filing Service
- Operating Agreement
- Banking Resolution Document
Is VIP Service a Good Deal?
The short answer – absolutely yes! There are only four states where the monthly fee is above $50, so the cost is reasonably affordable for those looking for premium service and support. We broke down the costs for every state and removed the state filing fees to determine the actual cost. The total cost for the year, on average, ends up being around $330. When you consider that to get the same services, you’d be paying $398 with ZenBusiness. As you can see, this is a phenomenal deal.
Additional Features and Services
- S Corporation Election – $50:
LLC’s can elect to be taxed as an S Corporation, which can result in a large reduction in the amount of self-employment taxes due.
- Virtual Office – $49:
Get a virtual office address in either Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Texas, or Wyoming.
- Phone Service – $9/month:
Get a private VoIP phone line with a local area code that can be used to call, text, and retrieve voicemails. You can forward this number to any phone number of your choice (for example to your cell phone) and adjust the outbound caller ID to display the name of your company.
- FMCSA BOC-3 Filing – $125/year:
This is a specialized federal filing that all transportation or logistics companies must file.
- FCC 499-A Registration – $125/year:
FCC form 499‑A must be filed by interstate or international telecommunications providers in the US to register for the Universal Service Fund and report their revenue.
Our Take on Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent provides a great premium service that has fantastic customer support. Northwest Registered Agent offers the best premium service available for those willing to spend a little more money. Their newest offering, Monthly VIP Service, provides everything you’ll need to get your LLC off the ground for a low monthly price. For those looking for a premium service, we highly recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
If you want more information read our detailed Northwest Registered Agent Review
- Best Value Premium Filing Option on the Market
- Registered Agent Service is one of the most affordable at $90 per year
- Includes Tax Analysis, Insurance Evaluation, and Employer Consultation
BetterLegal is another excellent premium LLC formation service. Unlike other services, BetterLegal focuses exclusively on providing a superb premium LLC formation service. Their LLC formation service is priced at a straight-forward $299 and includes that includes all of the services and features you’ll need to get your business off the ground. To top this off, BetterLegal has great customer feedback and ratings with a 4.8 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot.
Key Highlights of BetterLegal’s Service
BetterLegal’s LLC formation service includes all the essential items you would need to start a business off on the right foot, such as:
- Formation Document Filing
- Employer ID Number (EIN) Obtainment
- Operating Agreement or Corporate Bylaws
- Banking Resolution Document
- Business Website
- Free Tax Analysis
- Business Checking Account
- Insurance Evaluation
- Payroll, Benefits, and HR Platform
Additional Features and Services
- Registered Agent – $10/month or $90/year:
If you are unable to fulfill the role of registered agent or want to use a commercial registered agent, BetterLegal offers a very affordable option that can be paid monthly or paid in full for a 25% discount.
- State Compliance Services – $10/month or $90/year:
Ensure your LLC remains compliant and keeps its good standing. This covers filings such as your annual report or franchise tax filings.
- Permit and License Search – $125
BetterLegal will research the all the relevant licensing and permitting requirements for your business to ensure you’re legally compliant. Once completed you receive a full list of all the licensing and permits your business is required to obtain along with instructions on how to apply for them.
Our Take on BetterLegal
BetterLegal’s premium LLC formation service is one of the most affordable and best value premium LLC services on the market. Their service includes all of the LLC essentials needed to get an LLC started and includes a business website, as well as free tax, insurance, and employer consultations. This is why we highly recommend BetterLegal as a great premium filing option.
If you want more information read our detailed BetterLegal Review
- Free Filing Option for both LLCs and Corporations
- Free Year of Registered Agent Service Included
- Best Overall Value Provider
Inc Authority is our #2 rated low-cost LLC formation service. They are based out of Reno, NV and were founded in 1989, making them one of the longest-running providers. Inc Authority also boasts thousands of positive reviews.
Inc Authority’s approach is unique in that they don’t try to force you into a cookie-cutter package. When you start your order, you begin their questionnaire style form to provide the details of your LLC. Then you are presented with other features and services that are highly recommended, like obtaining an EIN and creating an operating agreement. The great thing about this approach is that you know what you’re paying for, and they let you chose only the services you want.
What sets Inc Authority apart from other providers is the tremendous amount of value you get for free. Inc Authority only charges state filing fees for their basic service, so it’s like getting free professional assistance. Not only can you get your LLC formed for free, but they also include one year of registered agent service, a tax planning consultation, and a business credit & funding analysis.
Key Highlights of Inc Authority’s Service
- Free LLC Filing – Pay Only State Filing Fees to Form an LLC
- 1 Year of Free Registered Agent Service with Every Order
- Free Tax Planning Consultation
- Free Business Credit & Funding Analysis
- $500 Bonus Offer from Bank of America
Inc Authority Pricing for LLC Essential Services
- EIN – $49
- Operating Agreement – $89
- Rush Filing – $49
- Registered Agent Service Annual Fee – $99
Additional Features and Services
- Legal Documents Package – $99:
A custom embossed storage case where you can keep all the important records and documents about your LLC. Package includes ownership certificates, organizational meeting minutes, resolution documents for important business decisions, and an official custom embossing seal with your business name.
- Website Domain Registration and Business Email – $10:
Register your website domain name and get up to 5 email addresses set up on you domain. Having business email addresses on your business website helps to increase the professional appearance of your business vs using a personal email service like gmail.
- INC Success Advisor – $197 or $27/mo:
Get a personal advisor who can provide unlimited phone and email support for questions about IRS and State notifications, business permits and licenses, setting up payroll, business banking and credit cards.
Our Take on Inc Authority
Inc Authority is a great option for anyone looking to form an LLC. Their free basic filing approach and affordable prices on other features and services make it where you’ll always be getting a great deal. Not only are their upfront prices affordable but their registered agent service was the 2nd lowest of any provider we reviewed.
If you want more information read our detailed Inc Authority Review
- Well Known Name
- Been in Business for over 2 decades
LegalZoom is arguable the most well-known name in the LLC formation industry. Founded in 2001, LegalZoom was one of the pioneers of the industry. With their experience in the industry, LegalZoom has helped over 2 million businesses get started.
While LegalZoom has huge brand recognition and has been around for quite some time, they leave a bit to be desired. LegalZoom’s reviews are a bit of a mixed bag. For example, their overall rating on Trustpilot is good at 4.2 out of 5, however about 25% of the reviews are 1-star. Add to this, the prices of LegalZoom’s services are higher for what is included when compared with other providers.
Key Highlights of LegalZoom’s LLC Formation Service
- Affordable Pricing for Basic LLC Formation at $79 for Economy Package
- Digital LLC Welcome Packet
- Deluxe Founder’s Kit (Included with Standard and Express Gold Packages)
- Personalized Business Embosser and Membership Certificates (Included with Standard and Express Gold Packages)
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee – LegalZoom will refund their fee within the first 60 days if you are not satisfied with their services
LegalZoom Pricing for LLC Essential Services
- EIN – $60*
- Operating Agreement – $99*
- Rush Processing – $250**
- Registered Agent Service Annual Fee – $249
**LegalZoom does not offer stand-alone rush processing. Instead their packages offer different processing times. The $250 price listed is the price difference between the $329 Standard Package and the $79 Economy package. The Economy package has an estimated processing time of 30 business days, while Standard Package has an estimated processing time of 15 business days.
Our Take on LegalZoom’s LLC Formation Service
LegalZoom has a well-known name and offers the longest phone support hours of any LLC formation service. With that being said, there are other providers that we have reviewed that offer either a better low-cost filing option or more value for a premium price. As a result, we recommend using one of LegalZoom’s alternatives to form your LLC.
If you want more information read our detailed LegalZoom Review
What Makes a Good LLC Formation Service?
How do you ensure you get a good deal if you’re forming an LLC and want to use an LLC formation service? For those who are new to forming an LLC, the evaluation process can be very confusing. LLC formation services make money by upselling you additional services and features at the end of the day. But which services and features matter and which can you disregard?
If you’re starting an LLC using a professional LLC service, we recommend that you ensure that the service you choose offers good value for the extras that actually matter. While each business is different, these services are the most valuable that we referred to as “LLC Essentials”.
4 LLC Essential Features:
- Employer ID Number (EIN)
Almost every LLC will need an EIN. For example, an EIN is necessary to open a business bank account, which is essential to maintaining the limited liability protection your LLC provides. If you’re already going to use a service to form your LLC, you can remove the duplication of efforts by having your LLC service provider obtain one for you.
- Operating Agreement
When you start an LLC, you will want to get an operating agreement created. An operating agreement is essential because it details who the LLC members are, what their ownership % is, how the LLC will be managed, how much was contributed by members, how profits will be distributed, how disputes between members can be resolved, and how members can leave the LLC or how the LLC can be dissolved. An operating agreement is also a critical document that helps to prevent the loss of your LLC’s limited liability protection.
- Registered Agent Service
Every LLC needs to appoint a registered agent. While you can nominate an LLC member as your registered agent (if they fit the qualifications), the owner(s) personal information will be made publicly available. Using a registered agent service, you can get extra privacy and ensure that you are not held personally responsible for correspondence with the Secretary of State office.
- Rush or Expedited Processing
For most LLC formation services, the standard processing time is longer than the default turnaround from the state. If you want or need your LLC to be formed faster, having the option to increase the processing speed of your application is a great value.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an LLC?
The term LLC is an acronym for Limited Liability Company. LLCs are a type of business entity that is legally distinct from their owners. LLC’s have become a go-to choice for many small business owners since they combine the pass-through tax benefits that partnerships and sole proprietorships offer along with the limited liability protection standard with a corporation. This limited liability protection shields the owners of an LLC from being held personally liable for debts or in the event of a lawsuit. Without this limited liability protection, a business owner’s personal assets like their home, car, and personal bank account could be used to repay debts or a judgment from a lawsuit.
Why use an online LLC formation service to start your LLC?
If you are starting an LLC, using an online formation service can help to ensure that your LLC paperwork is filed correctly. In addition to helping to get your LLC legally formed, an online formation service can help complete other vital aspects needed to get your business started, like obtaining an EIN, creating an operating agreement, serve as your registered agent, assist with determining the correct permits and licenses needed, and even help you set up a business website.
Where should I form my LLC?
You can form your LLC in any state you desire; however, you should keep in mind that forming your LLC in a state other than where you reside or will conduct business can result in additional required filings and fees. For this reason, in most cases, it’s recommended that you form your LLC in the state where you live or will primarily conduct business.