Best LLC Service in 2020 — Top Rated Online Companies for LLC Formation & Registration
Choosing the best LLC service is extremely important to start off your business on the right foot. The wrong LLC service can set you back in terms of compliance breaches, fines, and even the dissolution of your business by the state.
Here are our reviews of the best LLC services that provide a range of services including the best LLC formation services, provision of Employer Identification Number (EIN), and best registered agent services.
Reviews of the Best LLC Services
Hiring the best LLC service saves you more money and helps you focus on growing your one business instead of scrambling to fulfill all your compliance requirements day by day.
There are plenty of business formation services that will help you form a limited liability company or corporation, get an Employer ID Number (EIN) , get a worry-free guarantee, and add on registered agent services for one year.
However, the best LLC formation services understand the specific corporation requirements for states and streamline the business formation process for you. We’ve reviewed several LLC formation services available today, with the following as our picks for the best LLC services.
Incfile comes first on our list of the best LLC services for businesses because of its great features, reliability, and affordable company formation cost of $0 before state fees. For owners working with a limited budget but looking for the best value for your money, Incfile is a go-to LLC service for forming businesses.
Incfile offers three packages, namely Incfile Silver Package, Incfile Gold, and Incfile Platinum. Each comes with one full year of free registered agent services. However, you would have to pay only $119/year for the services after that. Incfile also charges as low as $99 for annual report compliance. With this, attorney fees are still more expensive.
Incfile Silver is completely free but you would have to pay for the state fee and an additional $40 for your business operating agreement. This includes company formation service, lifetime company compliance alerts, a registered agent service for one year, and more.
Incfile Gold costs $149 per year in fees, excluding the state fee. It contains all the features in the Incfile Silver package including a free business operating agreement, and EIN, which is like the social security number for LLC businesses.
For forming an LLC, Incfile Platinum costs $249 excluding the state fee. This incorporation service contains all the features included in the Incfile Gold package, including a free business website and domain name, express shipping of all legal documents, and business contract templates for your company. And if you want your LLC filing services done stat, they can do it in 2 business days for a fee.
Incfile offers quality customer service to clients throughout your order. Incfile’s amazing services have earned several thousands of positive online customer reviews that have established them as the best LLC formation service that’s operating in the industry.
- Over 15 years of experience in forming an LLC in different states
- Thousands of positive customer feedback and reviews
- Registered agent service included free for one year for all corporation packages
- Obtains a Federal Tax ID or Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business entity
- Fast shipping of any legal document
- Small business owners claim that Incfile Platinum is a bit overpriced
- Incfile includes a few third-party offers in their checkout process
Northwest Registered Agent
The next best LLC service on our list is Northwest Registered Agent. This formation service is one of the best services available to companies and LLCs due to its top-notch customer service and excellent value for money. Northwest is an LLC filing service that can receive and process your order in 3–5 business days.
After Incfile, Northwest Registered Agent is the second cheapest LLC service available for anyone looking to form an LLC or small business in different states. With Northwest, you can get professional services to form an LLC at a cost any company can afford.
Unlike other competitors such as Rocket Lawyer, Northwest Registered Agent has streamlined its packages to a single offering. Complete incorporation services are offered at just $225 (plus state fees) which includes a year of registered agent service for free. The registered agent service has an annual cost of $125 after the first year.
This includes the preparation of all necessary legal documents, which will be filed with your state to officially create your business. Northwest provides an Employer Identification Number, which will enable you to open business bank accounts, file your business tax, and hire employees. Plus, Northwest also offers a custom LLC operating agreement for your small business which defines the internal rules that’ll guide your business operations, and a corporate guide who is your dedicated customer service support to guide you through the entire process.
You also get same-business-day processing with Northwest if you opt to use their service to incorporate your company.
- Affordable pricing
- One year registered agent service included in each Northwest pricing plan
- Personalized and excellent customer service with a dedicated agent
- Offers return policy
- Processing is done on the same business day
- Northwest scans every corporation document on your behalf
- Not many online customer reviews
- The Premium plan can be pricey for some companies
It may not be as affordable as Incfile, but ZenBusiness offers cheaper pricing compared to Northwest Registered Agent and Rocket Lawyer.
ZenBusiness offers three business formation plans which are named Starter, Pro, and Premium, with a starting price of just $49 per year (plus state fees). All ZenBusiness pricing plans include state fees and offer features to create your online LLC, such as worry-free compliance for your company, free business operating agreement template, one year of registered agent services for free that is then priced at $119 per year, and a business filing service for paperwork.
The business filing service is a great way for companies to stay organized and have ZenBusiness complete your filings for you. ZenBusiness Pro has an annual cost of $199 (plus state fees) and includes many other LLC creation services like expedited filing service (4–6 business days), a worry-free guarantee, and obtaining an Employee Identification Number (EIN) which is similar to a social security number.
ZenBusiness Premium plan costs $299 per year and offers additional features like domain name registration, domain name privacy, business website, business email, and rush filing services.
These ZenBusiness features may be helpful to your business entity if you need a website and email, while the rush LLC filing service offered by ZenBusiness helps entrepreneurs and small business owners who want urgent service.
- One year of registered agent service included in all packages
- ZenBusiness has outstanding customer reviews for forming an LLC
- User-friendly company formation service platform
- Wide range of additional services including worry-free compliance for businesses
- ZenBusiness offers great prices and features such as annual reports, certificate of good standing, business tax ID, domain name registration, and domain name privacy
- ZenBusiness is a fairly new company
- The business website and domain name in ZenBusiness Premium may be unnecessary
- No attorney services
Similar to ZenBusiness, you can form an LLC for $49 on Swyft Filings. Although Swyft Filings is a relatively new business formation company for Limited Liability Company (LLC) structures, it has served lots of clients and earned a great number of excellent customer reviews and feedback. Swyft Filings offers three pricing plans which are Basic, Standard, and Premium.
The Basic plan costs $49 per year (plus state fees) and includes top features for LLC business formation, which include a statement of the organizer. The Standard plan costs $149 and includes all features of the Basic package in addition to a custom LLC operating agreement for your company, a custom banking resolution, Employer Identification Number, and organizational minutes.
The Premium plan costs $299 and adds features such as electronic delivery of state documents, FedEx shipping, expedited processing with your state, a custom digital LLC kit, and a third-party business website and hosting plan.
Swyft Filings also offers excellent customer support through phone, email, or webchat. Like ZenBusiness, this company formation service always responds quickly when they are contacted.
- Affordable pricing plans
- Positive customer feedback
- Same-day state filing guaranteed
- LLC business formation packages do not include registered agent service
- Does not have multiple delivery time options available
Since its creation in 2008, Rocket Lawyer has helped over 20 million clients create a Limited Liability Company. Rocket Lawyer’s strong customer feedback indicates that most of its company customers are satisfied with their corporation services and legal advice.
But unlike other companies like ZenBusiness, Rocket Lawyer goes beyond creating an LLC as it also offers legal services such as filing a trademark application and creating a contract. If you need personalized legal counsel, an attorney can be hired.
Rocket Lawyer’s main focus is on legal services subscription. You don’t need to sign up for a formation package with Rocket Lawyer to use its services, unlike ZenBusiness or Incfile. You can pay à la carte for services like a 30-minute legal advice consultation ($59.99), legal documents ($39.99), or incorporation filing ($99.99 plus state fee) by hiring an attorney at Rocket Lawyer. With an attorney, companies can start managing the required forms and paperwork with the right legal advice.
You can decide to become a member by subscribing to Rocket Lawyer’s legal services plan, which costs $39.99 per month. As a new customer, you’re entitled to one free LLC business formation for your company by Rocket Lawyer.
If you’re an existing customer or business entity who needs quality legal advice, you’ll get a 25 percent discount on incorporation services by Rocket Lawyer. To see how they match up with another known company formation service, see this evaluation of Rocket Lawyer and Legal Zoom services against each other.
- Good customer reviews for Rocket Lawyer
- Rocket Lawyer has years of legal experience
- 100 percent satisfaction guarantee by Rocket Lawyer
- You can hire an attorney for legal information and document processing
- Rocket Lawyer offers excellent customer support via phone, webchat, and email.
- Online incorporation has a more expensive pricing for Rocket Lawyer’s LLC formation service if you’re not a new customer
- No additional LLC services features included with Rocket Lawyer subscriptions other than incorporation and registered agent services
Since its creation in 1999, LLC LegalZoom has served over 3.5 million clients and formed over 1 million small businesses. It has a strong brand name as LegalZoom is one of the first names that come to mind when seeking business entity services.
However, LegalZoom is the most expensive of all LLC services, even if you compare it to a subscription service such as Rocket Lawyer or ZenBusiness. All LLC packages also do not include registered agent service.
The LegalZoom Economy package costs $79 and includes all the necessary products for LLC formation together with a banking resolution. The Standard package costs $329 and includes all features in the Economy in addition to an LLC kit and seal.
Finally, the LegalZoom Express Gold costs $349 per year and includes features like rush processing of business documents.
- Lots of experience
- LegalZoom is a well-known company name
- Their incorporation service is available in all 50 states
- Provides a refund in case a customer is not happy or satisfied with the services rendered
- No registered agent service included in packages
- LegalZoom formation plans are expensive
- Constant upsells
Harvard Business Services
Another excellent provider of LLC formation service in our list is Harvard Business Services. However, unlike LegalZoom, Northwest, and ZenBusiness, this LLC service offers its services only in the state of Delaware.
Since its opening in the state of Delaware in 1981, this online business formation service has formed over 175,000 small businesses within the state and received lots of great customer reviews in the industry.
Harvard Business Services offers three formation plans which are named Green, Basic, and Standard, and provides a full year of registered agent service with all its formation plans.
The Green Plan is the entry-level plan and costs $89. This plan comes with the required products to form your LLC, including a business name check and the preparation and filing of your articles of organization. This plan also includes a year of free registered agent service for your company, compliance coaching, and a custom digital seal.
The Basic plan costs $139. It includes all the products contained in the Green plan plus an operating agreement, priority shipping, a hard copy of your formation documents, a bank resolution, digital membership certificates, and some essential business documents.
The Standard plan costs $239. It includes all the products mentioned previously plus an LLC kit and seal, and 10 membership certificates.
The customer support team for Harvard Business Services can be contacted via phone, webchat, email, and Skype where you’ll receive prompt helpful and professional assistance from one of their representatives.
- Affordable pricing for registered agent services
- Fantastic customer feedback
- Solid and proven track record
- Their incorporation service is only available for business owners within the state of Delaware, not in all 50 states
- Federal tax ID Number (EIN) not included
A Guide in Choosing a Service When Starting an LLC
When choosing an LLC service to create LLC businesses, there are several criteria that you need to use to evaluate the different providers.
Value of LLC Formation Packages Offered
The best LLC formation service packages provide everything you need for business incorporation at the most affordable prices. Each LLC business formation package should include basic LLC formation and registered agent service. The Operating Agreement and Articles of Organization are usually included with the essential features.
While you may want low-priced packages luke ZenBusiness, you must ensure that you’re getting all the necessary features and perks you want for a worry-free experience. An LLC service may provide free registered agent service while in another, you may be required to purchase it separately. You may also want the option to avoid paying for any feature you possibly don’t need, like the LLC kit and seal.
But when forming new LLCs or businesses, you’re dealing with legal forms, tax filings, and document registration for your corporation. Companies like Northwest and ZenBusiness process and receive these on your behalf.
Additional Services Aside from LLC Registration
Depending on your chosen LLC service provider, an LLC business formation package may come with additional services and options. These include dissolution filing, business advisory plans, legal services, virtual office (domain and website), office supplies, seller’s permits, business licenses, foreign qualification, trademark registration, state fee, tax requirements, EIN/TIN, LLC publication service, amendments, and annual reports filing, among others.
If there is an incorporation service that you do not want to pay for, order something that does not include that additional service as they typically incur an additional fee. Alternatively, a subscription service like Rocket Lawyer may lower your overall cost if you frequently make use of additional services and options for LLCs.
Customer Experience in Starting LLC Online
Great customer experience can mean a smooth experience where you’re not always spending time on the phone trying to get a support agent to solve your problem while creating an LLC incorporation. If you want, you can read the online customer feedback and reviews about the LLC service.
Online reviews can provide insights on how the customer experience is like and any drawbacks to their service. Check out each LLC service’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings to ease your worry about the options.
Many LLC formation services out there have unnecessary upsells that you may not need. They can either persuade a customer to pay for more than they need or pack loads of unneeded features into their packages.
Carefully read through the upsells in each package and de-select those that you don’t need. Upsells are especially common with free LLC formation services, not in paid ones like ZenBusiness and Northwest.
Customer Support Service Reliability
No matter how simple and easy-to-use an LLC service may look, there may be a time you may need the help of the customer support team. Your chosen service should have a good track record of service reliability with longer availability hours.
Check whether they offer prompt phone and chat support, or if they only offer email support. Find out whether they handle their customer support in-house or whether they outsource it to call centers.
You can check out the company’s reputation and reviews online to get a better feel of what their customer support service and reliability is like.
Some online LLC formation services offer a full refund if customers are not happy or satisfied with the services they received to create an LLC for any reason. Some will only make a refund if customers can prove that the error was made by the LLC formation company. Other business formation services do not provide refunds at all.
Find out the refund policy of the best LLC formation services you’re reviewing in case you’re not satisfied with the services they provide.
Pros & Cons of Using an LLC Company for your Business
Let’s consider both the pros and cons of hiring online business formation services.
Pros of Hiring LLC Companies for Business Formation Services
It’s not a must for you to hire business formation services, and you can decide to handle your LLC creation on your own. However, it may take more time for you to fill out the forms and understand all the compliance requirements for your business or company.
- The best Limited Liability Corporation company helps you get all your filings done right the first time, and you don’t have to struggle to find everything out yourself.
- Business formation services can also provide a dashboard to remind you to file documentation on time and update you on relevant government deadlines
- Business company formation services eliminate the need to get in touch with the state you’re doing business in directly. Instead, you can communicate with an LLC company for important questions. Most companies like LegalZoom and ZenBusiness offer phone, chat, and email support systems for instant communication.
- Online LLC formation companies can help you save money and time in contrast to handling things yourself.
Cons to Business Formation Services for LLC Formation
- The major drawback of hiring LLC services is the few hundred dollars you have to pay for your business filing. If that is not included in your budget, you may prefer to handle the filing yourself, especially if you’re able to fully understand the requirements.
- You can hire an attorney instead of the LLC service to gain some specialized insights which you may not get from the business company formation services.
- Most LLC services like ZenBusiness do not handle legal services. In such a case, an attorney will be needed to handle business-related legal services and information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best place to set up an LLC?
The best state to set up an LLC is the state where you’re domiciled and plan on carrying out your business activities. Alternatively, you may choose to set up an LLC in one of the states whose laws and taxes are favorable for your business. Alternatively, you can start larger business entities like a C Corp.
Does it matter if I choose the cheapest formation package?
It doesn’t matter if you choose the cheapest formation package if you’re only looking for very basic incorporation services. If you need more features and services for your business, you may want to consider more expensive packages offered by the LLC company.
Does an online LLC pay less in taxes?
Yes, an online LLC pays less in taxes. In fact, this is one of the most important advantages of an LLC as owners enjoy pass-through business tax treatment. This means that if you own an LLC, you don’t have to file corporate tax returns. Instead, you only have to report your share of profit and loss from the business while filing your individual tax returns.
Can I form my LLC for free?
Instead of hiring an LLC service to help you form an LLC, you can handle the entire process on your own if you’re able to. If you choose to form an LLC yourself, then you must research the legal requirements properly and file the necessary paperwork (including an annual report) correctly.
Note that each state has different corporation requirements. You need to know the specific requirement of the state you’re launching your business in. You would have to pay state fees, file an annual report, apply for an EIN/TIN, create the operating agreement, choose a registered agent, and think of a unique name that’s unused by other businesses.
How do online LLC services work?
Registering a business with an online LLC service is less complicated than registering your business yourself. All you have to do is provide your chosen LLC company with the necessary business information, which includes your business’ name, location, and the industry of operation. You would also need to provide some basic information about yourself (being the owner) and your registered agent. The LLC company will take care of the rest for your corporation.
You’ll also need to pay the company fees and state fee for the business formation. The LLC company would take care of the rest on behalf of your business entity, which include drafting the articles of organization. The articles of organization are used to officially form your LLC with the government of your state.
Once the articles of organization have been drafted, the LLC formation company will file it with your state and pay the fee they collected from you. When the state finishes processing your formation, you’ll receive a confirmation of the successful LLC formation process, and you can officially begin to operate your business within the state. Unlike a C Corp, there are less formalities with LLCs.
How do I know if the LLC services is legitimate?
You should check with the registry of your chosen state. Legitimate LLC formation services must be registered with the state in which you choose to operate in. Use the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website and read reviews to verify if your chosen LLC service provider is legitimate.
What LLC is best?
The best LLC company is Incfile followed by Northwest Registered Agent, based on features and reviews. While the best LLC services may depend on your new business needs and requirements, these two service providers are easy-to-use and reliable. Northwest and Incfile also form an LLC fast and will give you the best value for your money.
My Top Pick For An LLC Service: Incfile
Our top pick for the best LLC service is Incfile. Their package prices are extremely affordable, their formation packages offer valuable features, and their customer reviews and feedback are highly positive. They have one of the best ratings in the industry. You can be confident in choosing the best-trusted provider who helps you incorporate your business and alerts you when deadlines for important corporation deadlines are drawing near.