ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom: Comparing LLC Formation Services

Our ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom comparison reviews each service’s formation time, customer service, and other features so you make an informed choice.
zenbusiness vs legalzoom - Swyft Filings
Updated September 22, 2023
Polina Solovyeva
Written byPolina Solovyeva
Alexis Konovodoff
Edited byAlexis Konovodoff
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An online LLC formation service can make starting a new business much easier. Instead of navigating all of the paperwork yourself or hiring an expensive lawyer, an online legal service provider can get your limited liability company up and running for a fraction of the cost. 

LegalZoom is an established legal service provider that has helped over 3.5 million business owners start and run their own businesses. ZenBusiness is a younger company in the legal tech space, but it has already established itself as a solid alternative. So, which provider is right for you? 

Read this ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom review to get all the information you need about their incorporation services, registered agent services, customer support, and more so you can make an educated decision on which provider to choose for your LLC formation.  

ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom: At a Glance

  • ZenBusiness offers LLC incorporation services at a lower price than LegalZoom, but past customers have reported encountering hidden fees. 

  • Both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom offer additional compliance and legal services after incorporation. 

  • LegalZoom offers more robust legal services to entrepreneurs and small businesses than ZenBusiness. 

ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom: What Sets Their Business Formation Services Apart

Founded in 2001, LegalZoom is one of the industry’s most established online legal service providers. It started as a tech company providing online legal services, including LLC formation services, but has since begun offering legal advice for entrepreneurs and tax and accounting solutions as well. 

According to its website, LegalZoom aims to democratize law and support small business owners by making legal services easy to use and accessible. 

Founded in 2015 in Texas, ZenBusiness is a relatively new online legal service provider. Nevertheless, it has helped 400,000+ entrepreneurs start and operate their businesses, earning over 11,496 reviews on Trustpilot. 

When it comes to ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom, there are quite a few differences between their formation packages, registered agent service, price, customer support, and ease of use. Read on for more details. 

Business Formation Pricing

When you incorporate with LegalZoom, the price of the business formation package depends on the type of business structure you’re registering. 

  • Limited liability company (LLC): $79 + state filing fees

  • Corporation (c-corp or s-corp): $149 + state filing fees

  • Doing business as (DBA): $99 + state filing fees

  • Nonprofit: $99 + state filing fees 

Incorporating an LLC is the most affordable package with LegalZoom, costing just $79 + state filing fees. It’s important to know that state fees vary greatly depending on where you want your business registered. For example, incorporating an LLC in Mississippi costs just $50.[1] At the same time, starting an LLC in Nevada comes with a charge of $425.[2]

The $79 + state filing fees LLC package provides basic business filing services. You can also decide to add on additional services, such as: 

  • Operating agreement: $99

  • Operating agreement and EIN: $159

  • Operating agreement, EIN, and licenses: $199 

ZenBusiness offers three LLC formation packages: starter, pro, and premium. 

The starter package is free, and you’ll only need to cover the state filing fees. It includes: 

  • LLC business filing

  • Standard LLC filing speed (2-3 weeks) 

  • Automatic expense tracking

  • Tax deduction tagging

  • Name availability search

  • Phone and email support

  • Online document access

  • Statement of organizer 

  • Free tax savings consultation

  • Virtual business guide 

For a free package, the ZenBusiness starter package packs a lot of value and, most importantly, gets the job done and incorporates your LLC. However, past customers have reported that ZenBusiness used the free package to upsell them on other services, and, in the end, their bill ran quite high.[3] 

The pro package costs $199/year + state filing fees and includes: 

  • LLC business filing

  • Expedited LLC filing speed (4-6 business days) 

  • Operating agreement 

  • Annual worry-free compliance (annual report filings and up to two yearly amendments) 

  • Automatic expense tracking

  • Tax deduction tagging

  • Name availability search

  • Phone and email support

  • Online document access

  • Statement of organizer 

  • Free tax savings consultation

  • Virtual business guide 

This package renews annually because it includes an annual report that your new business must submit every year to stay in compliance with the law. 

The pro package is a solid deal for your first year of business. For $199 + state filing fees, you’ll get LLC formation services, an operating agreement, an annual report, and nice perks like a statement of organizer and a tax savings consultation. A similar package with LegalZoom would cost you at least $277 + annual state fees. 

After your first year of business, the pro package will keep renewing for $199 + state filing fees, but the only thing you’ll continue to get will be the annual reports and up to two yearly amendments. LegalZoom offers the annual report filing service for $99 + state filing fees, which makes it a cheaper alternative to ZenBusiness beyond your first year. 

The premium package costs $299/year + state filing fees and includes: 

  • LLC business filing 

  • Rush LLC filing speed (1-2 business days) 

  • Operating agreement

  • Annual worry-free compliance (annual report filings and up to two yearly amendments) 

  • Automatic expense tracking

  • Tax deduction tagging

  • Name availability search

  • Phone and email support

  • Online document access

  • Statement of organizer 

  • Free tax savings consultation

  • Virtual business guide 

  • Business website

  • Business domain name

  • Business email address

Like the pro package, the premium package renews annually to maintain your annual report filing service and business website. 

Compared with LegalZoom, ZenBusiness’s premium package costs significantly more than LegalZoom’s annual report filing service, which comes at $99 + state filing fees. That said, the ZenBusiness package includes a business website, domain name, and email address.

ZenBusiness will also suggest optional upsells you can add to your package, such as a registered agent service, your employer identification number (EIN), and business documents.  

Overall, ZenBusiness offers LLC formation services at a lower cost than LegalZoom. The basic, standard package to incorporate your LLC is free with ZenBusiness (but you’ll need to cover the state fees), while LegalZoom charges $79 + state fees for a comparable service. 

Turnaround Times

LegalZoom offers three different packages that vary by processing time.


Processing Speed




5-10 business days


$79 + state filing fees


5 business days

Founder’s Kit with a personalized notebook

$329 + state filing fees

Express Gold

One business day

Founder’s Kit with a personalized notebook

$349 + state filing fees

Rush filing is quite expensive with LegalZoom. The cost of the LLC formation package jumps from $79 + state fees for the economy package to $329 + state fees for the standard package. The only differences between the packages are the processing times and non-essential extras, such as the Founder’s Kit and a personalized notebook. 

The package with the fastest turnaround time of one business day is the Express Gold package, which is $349 + state filing fees. This is a $270 jump from the basic economy package with standard processing times. 

ZenBusiness offers rush filing as a part of its pro and premium packages.


Processing Speed

Important Extras 



2-3 weeks, no rush filing options available 


$0 + state filing fees


4-6 business days, expedited filing speed 

Operating agreement  

Annual worry-free compliance (annual report filings and up to two yearly amendments) 

$199/year + state filing fees


1-2 business days, rush filing speed

Operating agreement  

Annual worry-free compliance (annual report filings and up to two yearly amendments) 

$299/year + state filing fees

Overall, expedited and rush filing is significantly more affordable with ZenBusiness. Plus, it comes with other perks, too. 

The ZenBusiness pro package, with an expedited filing speed of 4-6 business days, costs $199/year + state fees. It includes an operating agreement, an annual report, and other upsells, such as tax dedication tagging and a tax savings consultation. 

LegalZoom’s standard package, which has a processing speed of 5 business days, costs $329 + state fees and doesn’t include any additional services. 

Similarly, ZenBusiness’s premium package offers a rush filing speed of 1-2 business days for $299/year + state fees. LegalZoom charges $349 + state fees for a package with the same turnaround time but without any essential add-ons. 

It’s important to remember that, ultimately, the speed of the formation process depends on government timelines and varies by state. LegalZoom and ZenBusiness can file for your LLC in one business day, but it doesn’t mean that your LLC will be incorporated in one business day. 

Registered Agent Service

The law says that your business needs a registered agent (RA) to receive important legal documents and IRS notices on behalf of your business. This requirement exists because some documents, such as lawsuits, can only be served in person. 

You can be your own registered agent, or you can appoint someone else to represent you as your registered agent, as long as they are: 

  • 18 years of age or older

  • have a street address in the state (not a P.O. box)

  • can be present at that address during business hours

Not complying with these requirements can result in serious problems for your business. 

Your registered agent must be present at their designated address Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, which makes it a relatively inflexible responsibility. This is why many new business owners prefer to hire a registered agent service to free up their time and ensure their essential documents aren't misplaced or lost. 

LegalZoom charges $299/year for their registered agent service. In addition to receiving your mail and delivering it to you, the LegalZoom package also includes: 

  • Alerts whenever mail is received

  • Emails about critical tax and annual report deadlines

  • $1M in identity theft protection and credit monitoring services

  • Unlimited cloud storage

If you are switching your RA, LegalZoom will also handle the change paperwork and cover your fees.

You can include registered agent services as an add-on when choosing your LegalZoom business formation package. 

ZenBusiness offers a registered agent service with annual worry-free compliance. You get 50% off for your first year, costing $199/year. When you renew, the package cost will go up to $398/year. 

ZenBusiness’s registered agent service includes: 

  • Management and communication of your legal and tax documents 

  • 24/7 online document access

  • Expert support via phone, email, and chat during regular business hours

  • Alters about important compliance deadlines

  • Support for annual filings 

  • Up to two yearly amendments

  • Support if you miss a filing deadline and need help regaining good standing in your state 

LegalZoom and ZenBusiness offer a comparable service, but LegalZoom charges a lower fee after your first year. After your first year, the cost of the registered agent service with ZenBusiness will go up to $398/year, while LegalZoom always charges $299/year. 

Another significant difference between LegalZoom and ZenBusiness is that LegalZoom will cover your Change of Agent fee while ZenBusiness won’t.  

Compliance Services

You must file important compliance-related documents for your business to stay in good standing with the state. These documents can include: 

  • Operating agreement

  • Articles of organization

  • Annual report 

  • Employee identification number (EIN)

LegalZoom offers multiple compliance-related services to small business owners, including: 

  • Operating agreement: $99 + fees

  • Initial report: $35 + fees

  • Annual report: $99 + fees 

  • Compliance calendar: $69/year

  • Record keeping: $99/year for unlimited usage

  • Bylaws and resolutions: $99

ZenBusiness offers three main compliance services. They are only available as a part of a business formation package or after you incorporate with them. 

  • Comprehensive worry-free compliance service: starting at $199/year 

  • Annual report: $100 + state filing fees 

  • Business license report: $99 

Ultimately, LegalZoom offers more diverse compliance services than ZenBusiness. What’s even more important is that you can hire LegalZoom for a compliance service, such as an annual report or an operating agreement, on a one-off basis, without incorporating your LLC with them. 

If you want ZenBusiness to do your annual or business license report or get their worry-free compliance service, you must first register your LLC with them. 

Suppose you need legal services to support you as you operate and grow your business. In that case, LegalZoom offers a Business Advisory Plan that gives you access to an independent network of lawyers to use for legal advice. 

The Business Advisory Plan is a pre-paid subscription, and you can choose to get either 6 or 12 months of legal services. The 6-month plan is billed twice a year at $259 ($43.16/month), and the 12-month plan is billed once a year at $469 ($39.08/month). 

Each plan includes: 

  • 30-minute vetted lawyer consultations 

  • Contract and legal document reviews (up to 10 pages)

  • Annual business evaluation (12-month plan only)

  • Unlimited downloads from legal form library

  • Discounts on other LegalZoom services 

ZenBusiness doesn’t offer legal services outside the business compliance services discussed in the previous sections. 

Add-On Business Services

LegalZoom offers additional miscellaneous business services, including: 

  • Corporate supplies, such as stock certificates or a company seal 

  • Certified copies of documents your business has filed with the state

  • Certificates of Good Standing to show that you’re in compliance

LegalZoom offers two packages to get certified copies of your business documents and a certificate of Good Standing. The standard package costs $45 + state fees, and a rush package costs $75 + state fees.

LegalZoom can also serve your business in the following areas: 

  • Legal forms and agreements

  • Business changes and filings

  • Tax consultations

  • Licenses and permits 

ZenBusiness has a platform called ZenBusiness Money to track and manage all your business finances. You can start with a one-month free trial, but ZenBusiness is not transparent about the pricing of the subscription after your free month ends. 

Customer Support

You can reach LegalZoom for support Monday through Friday, from 5 am to 7 pm PT and from 7 am to 4 pm PT on the weekends. There are two options: contact customer support over the phone or email via a contact form on LegalZoom’s website. 

LegalZoom offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with the service. 

ZenBusiness is available for support via chat on their website during business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm CT or Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm CT. You can also call the customer support team during business hours. Alternatively, you can get in touch via email, and ZenBusiness will reply within one business day. 

Similarities Between ZenBusiness and LegalZoom

Many of the services that LegalZoom and ZenBusiness offer are similar, including their LLC formation services, registered agent service, annual report filing, and other legal services. 

For LLC filing specifically, LegalZoom and ZenBusiness have the same process of having a basic package and then offering a variety of add-ons to create a comprehensive service. 

ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom: Customer Reviews

Both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness generally get positive reviews. 

However, LegalZoom, in particular, also has a fair share of negative reviews. Most highlight poor customer support, unresponsiveness, and failure to deliver quality service. Some customers mentioned they were charged for services and subscriptions they had already canceled.[4]

Negative customer reviews for ZenBusiness emphasize being unclear on how much things cost and being surprised by hidden fees. Additionally, some past customers have shared that they didn’t appreciate how often ZenBusiness tried to upsell them on add-ons and services they didn’t need.[5]  

Positive reviews for LegalZoom and ZenBusiness mention a fast and easy process as the main benefit of using these online service providers. 

Alternatives to ZenBusiness and LegalZoom

As a business owner, you’re not looking for just anyone to incorporate your business. You want the best LLC service out there. While LegalZoom and ZenBusiness are decent choices, multiple negative reviews make entrepreneurs choose alternatives like Swyft Filings

Swyft Filings features over 5,000 five-star reviews and can help you start your LLC in as little as 10 minutes. In addition to a fast business formation process, Swyft Filings offers multiple advantages over LegalZoom and ZenBusiness, which we will break down below. 

Lower Fees 

Swyft Filings charges $0 + state fees for their basic package, which includes business name availability verification, LLC filing, articles of organization, statement of organizer, free domain name, and more. 

LegalZoom charges $79 + state fees for their starter package, and if you want faster filing speed, you’ll have to spend at least $329 + state fees. 

ZenBusiness offers a free package similar to Swyft Filings, but the processing times can take up to 3 weeks. Swyft Filings provides some of the fastest processing speeds on the market for a relatively small fee compared to competitors. 

Reliable Customer Support 

To get in touch with LegalZoom or ZenBusiness, you’ll have to contact their general customer support during business hours. Multiple reviews on Trustpilot highlight how impersonal and unresponsive customer support representatives from both companies can be.  

When you incorporate with Swyft Filings, you can get in touch with a real business specialist at (877) 777-0450 from 9 am to 6 pm CST Monday through Friday or send a message through their support page. With over 5,000 five-star reviews on Trustpilot, customers frequently state how helpful, speedy, and reliable Swyft Filings’ representatives are with their LLC formation orders.[6]

Fast Processing Times 

With Swyft Filings, your entire order process is going to take you less than 10 minutes. Then, your business specialist will file your paperwork directly with the Secretary of State with some of the fastest turnaround times in the industry. 

If you need your business up and running as soon as possible, you can get rush filing. 

Bringing your business idea to life is easy with Swyft Filings. Get started today

ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom Reviews

LegalZoom and ZenBusiness both offer business formation services for small business owners. Still, a side-by-side ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom comparison shows that the two providers deliver their services differently. ZenBusiness offers business formation services at a lower cost than LegalZoom, especially with a free starter package. 

That said, LegalZoom and ZenBusiness have numerous negative reviews on Trustpilot, highlighting poor customer service, hidden fees, and being charged for a service that is no longer in use. 

This is why more and more business owners are switching to Swyft Filings, which offers lower fees, reliable customer service, and some of the fastest turnaround times in the industry. 


How much does it cost to start an LLC?

It depends on which legal service provider you choose. LegalZoom offers basic LLC formation services for $79 + state fees, with rush filing options available at additional cost. ZenBusiness offers a comparable service for free, but their turnaround times are quite slow. 

Swyft Filings offers the best of both worlds, with an LLC formation service for $0 + state fees and some of the fastest turnaround times in the industry, even without rush filing. 

Is ZenBusiness or LegalZoom a better way to start an LLC?

After comparing ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom, we recommend investigating other online legal providers. If you’re looking for a company that offers lifetime customer support, fast processing times, and handles everything you need to launch your business, Swyft Filings is a better alternative. 

Is ZenBusiness cheaper than LegalZoom?

Our LegalZoom vs. ZenBusiness review shows that ZenBusiness typically offers cheaper packages than LegalZoom. That said, past ZenBusiness customers have complained about hidden fees, endless upsells, and no pricing transparency. If you’re looking for an affordable business formation service, try Swyft Filings

LegalZoom offers Business Advisory, a pre-paid 6- or 12-month legal service that provides legal advice to small business owners. ZenBusiness LLC doesn’t offer ongoing legal services. 

What are some ZenBusiness and LegalZoom alternatives?

Swyft Filings is a better alternative to LegalZoom and ZenBusiness. It’s an affordable, transparent, fast option for business owners ready to bring their big vision to life. 


  1. Mississippi Secretary of State. “Business Documents Filing Fees.” Accessed January 29, 2023. 

  2. Nevada Secretary of State. “Start Your Business”. Accessed January 29, 2023. 

  3. Trustpilot. “ZenBusiness.” Accessed January 30, 2023. 

  4. Trustpilot. “LegalZoom.” Accessed January 30, 2023. 

  5. Trustpilot. “ZenBusiness.” Accessed January 30, 2023. 

  6. Trustpilot. “Swyft Filings.” Accessed January 30, 2023.

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Originally published on March 24, 2023, and last edited on September 22, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How much does it cost to form a corporation or LLC?

You can form a corporation or LLC with our help for as little as $0, plus state filing fees for incorporation. Filing fees vary depending on the state you incorporate in. For more information on specific states, check out our state guides on the Swyft Resource Center. You can also email us with specific questions or contact us at 877-777-0450.

What payment methods do you accept?

Swyft Filings accepts payment through Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, checks, and money orders. You can send any questions about payment to our email address or contact us at 877-777-0450.

Will I have to pay additional fees to Swyft Filings after completing my order?

It depends on what you ordered. If all you did was file your corporation or LLC, the price you paid when ordering is all you pay. You will have no further fees after that.

However, if you signed up for the Swyft Filings Registered Agent Service, you will be charged its initial fee three days after you place your order. From then on, you will be charged according to the terms of your subscription until you change your registered agent with the state or dissolve your company. If you change your agent or dissolve your company on your own, let us know so we can discontinue billing.

Other potential subscription-based options include SnapMailbox, 360 Legal Forms, and ComplianceGuard. If you opt for SnapMailbox or 360 Legal Forms, you will be charged a monthly fee after their respective 30-day free trials end. ComplianceGuard has an annual fee after a 14-day free trial. All three of these services are completely optional.

When will my order be processed?

Our team processes all Standard orders on a first come, first served basis. If you opt for Express or Same-Day Processing, we prioritize your order and send it to the front of the line. However, no matter how fast we get it out the door, you’ll still have to wait for your state to address your filing.

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