Advertiser Disclosure We earn a commission from partner links on StartupWise. Commissions do not affect our opinions or evaluations.

Best LLC Formation Services: Complete Comparison Guide

Share:

Table of Contents

One of the first and most crucial steps when starting a business is forming your company as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). While it’s possible to file your LLC independently, many business owners opt for professional help. This blog will explore why you choose to use a third-party service for your LLC formation, what to look for in these services, and a detailed comparison of some of the top providers in the market.

Why Consider Business Formation Help?

Ease and Convenience: Filing an LLC involves navigating paperwork and understanding state-specific legal requirements, which can be complex and time-consuming. A professional service can handle these logistics for you, letting you focus on other aspects of launching your business. Expertise: LLC formation services are knowledgeable about the legal intricacies of business formation. They can ensure that everything is filed correctly, helping to avoid costly mistakes. Additional Services: Many LLC formation companies offer additional services, such as obtaining an EIN (Employer Identification Number), drafting an operating agreement, or providing registered agent services, which are essential for maintaining good standing with state laws.  

Benefits of Using Professional Third-Party Platforms

  • Error Reduction: Professionals are less likely to make the mistakes that someone might make when forming an LLC for the first time.
  • Speed: A formation service can speed up the process, as these companies often have streamlined systems.
  • Ongoing Support: Many services offer support after the LLC is formed, which can be invaluable for new business owners.
 

What to Look For in an LLC Formation Service

When choosing a service to help with your LLC formation, consider the following factors:
  • Reputation: Look for services with vital customer feedback and high ratings on review platforms.
  • Cost: Compare what each service offers for their pricing. Cheaper is only sometimes better if it means sacrificing essential features.
  • Ease of Use: The service should have a user-friendly website and a straightforward filing process.
  • Support: Excellent customer support via phone, email, or live chat can be crucial, especially for new business owners.
  • Additional Services: Depending on your needs, you might want services like annual report filing, compliance checks, or registered agent services.
 

Detailed Comparison of LLC Formation Services

Here’s an overview of some popular LLC formation platforms: ZenBusiness, BizFilings, Northwest Registered Agent, Doala, and Swift Filings.

ZenBusiness

Key Features:
  • Affordable plans that include LLC formation, operating agreement, and EIN registration.
  • Worry-free compliance service that keeps your LLC in good standing.
Pros:
  • Low-cost options with great features.
  • Positive customer reviews.
  • Worry-free compliance.
  • Fast processing time. 
Cons:
  • Younger company with a shorter track record.
  • Limited range of legal services


Bizee

Key Features:
  • Offers basic LLC formations and more comprehensive packages with ongoing compliance.
  • Six months of free registered agent service with formation.
Pros:
  • Decades of experience in the industry since 2004.
  • Educational resources to help new business owners.
  • Positive customer services 
Cons:
  • Mixed reviews on service speed. 
  • A lot of up-selling and add-ons. 
  • Higher cost compared to some newer services.


Northwest Registered Agent

Key Features:
  • Privacy by Default®: They use their address on your filings to keep your address private.
  • Local Corporate Guides® provide customer support.
  • Decades of experience in the industry.
  • Have offices in all 50 states.
Pros:
  • Strong focus on data security and privacy.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Quick LLC Setup
Cons:
  • Premium pricing.


Doola

Key Features:
  • New player with competitive pricing.
  • Simple service offerings.
Pros:
  • International audience.
  • Easy and quick filling times.
  • Offers DAO LLC
  • Affordable price
Cons:
  • No customizability 
  • Offers only 3 entity types (LLC, C-Corp, Dao LLC) 


Swift Filings

Key Features:
  • Basic LLC formation with options for EIN and operating agreement.
  • Personalized customer support.
Pros:
  • customizable packages
  • Affordable price
  • Easy process
  • Fast turnaround
  • Helpful customer service 
Cons:
  • Limited entity options (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, Non-profit) 


LegalZoom

Key Features:
  • LegalZoom offers a wide range of legal services beyond just LLC formation, including intellectual property, compliance, and estate planning.
  • Known for its reliability and established presence in the legal services market.
  • It provides options for legal advice through consultations with licensed attorneys.
Pros:
  • Well-known, and its long track record can give clients confidence in its services.
  • It offers one-stop shopping for a business’s many legal needs, from LLC formation to trademark registration.
Cons:
  • High pricing, especially when factoring in upsells and ongoing services.
  • Complexity in Pricing with many upsells that can add up quickly.


Package Comparison

Here’s a table comparing the essential features and costs of each service: Startup Wise Business Formation Package Comparison

Which One is Best for Your LLC?

Choosing the exemplary LLC formation service depends on your specific needs, your budget, and the level of legal assistance you anticipate needing:
  • For Cost-Effective Formation: ZenBusiness and Swift Filings offer competitive pricing with solid features for those on a budget.
  • For Comprehensive Legal Services: LegalZoom might be the right choice if you foresee needing various legal services and direct access to legal advice.
  • For Privacy and Support: Northwest Registered Agent is top-tier if you prioritize personal data privacy and exceptional customer support.
  • For New Businesses Focusing on Simplicity and Cost: Doola offers a straightforward, particularly appealing service for first-time entrepreneurs who need essential formation services at an affordable price.
 

Hidden Costs of LLC Formation Services?

Some hidden costs to be aware of include:
  • Renewal fees for registered agent services: Some services offer a free first year but charge a higher renewal fee.
  • Compliance fees: Fees for additional compliance support or document filing beyond the basic formation.
  • Cancellation fees: A fee might be involved if you cancel the service.
  • Always read the fine print and ask the provider about all possible charges before signing up.
 

Things to Consider

Before deciding on a service, consider the total cost of formation and the first year, including any recurring fees for services like registered agents. 
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend on the initial formation and ongoing fees?
  • Service Needs: Do you need simple formation services, or do you anticipate requiring more comprehensive legal advice?
  • Customer Service: Consider how vital access to responsive and helpful customer support is to your business operations.
  In conclusion, starting an LLC can be a smooth process with the right formation service. Consider your business needs, budget, and the additional features each service offers to make the best choice for your new venture.

FAQs: LLC Formation Comparison

  • How important is having a registered agent for my LLC?

    In most states, an LLC must have a registered agent. A registered agent receives official documents and legal notices on behalf of your LLC. This ensures you get all necessary information regarding tax payments, lawsuits, or state filings, which could affect your business’s compliance and legal standing.

  • Can I switch from one LLC formation service to another if I am dissatisfied?

    You can switch services if you’re unhappy with your current provider. However, depending on the terms of service with your current provider, the process might involve some paperwork and potential fees. Understanding the cancellation policy and any associated costs is essential before switching.

  • How do LLC formation services handle state-specific requirements?

    Reputable LLC formation services are well-versed in each state’s specific requirements. They tailor their services to ensure your LLC complies with local laws, including state-specific documentation and ongoing compliance requirements like annual report filings.

  • Is it necessary to purchase ongoing compliance services from these providers?

    While not mandatory, ongoing compliance services can be beneficial, especially if you’re unfamiliar with maintaining an LLC’s legal intricacies. These services help ensure that your business remains in good standing with the state by handling annual reports, tax documents, and company structure or operation changes.

  • How do I know if a service's customer support is reliable before I sign up?

    To gauge the reliability of customer support, consider reading customer reviews, particularly those that mention support experiences. Additionally, you can test the responsiveness of their customer service by contacting them with a query before you purchase any services.

  • Are there any services that should be avoided when forming an LLC?

    Avoid services that have consistently poor reviews, particularly those mentioning issues like hidden fees, poor customer service, or failure to deliver on promised services. Also, be wary of services that need more transparency about costs or their package details.

  • Should I use the same service to form my LLC and for ongoing legal advice?

    While you can use the same service for formation and ongoing legal advice, it’s unnecessary. You can use one service for the initial setup and another for ongoing legal counsel. Evaluate your business needs, budget, and the expertise of the service providers to make the best choice.

Submit Your Email to Download Freebies