ZenBusiness Review: Pros, Cons & Features in 2023
If you want to start a business the right way, then there are a few things you need to consider.
The legal aspect is one of the most important of these areas, and that’s where having the proper business formation and LLC services comes in.
From business planning, branding, banking, and finances, there’s a lot to think about when you’re starting up.
Having a reliable service to help you with everything can be a lifesaver.
ZenBusiness is one of those services, and in this review, I will look at the pros, cons, and features of what they offer.
Let’s get right into it.
What Is ZenBusiness?
Ross Buhrdorf founded ZenBusiness in Austin, Texas, in 2017 to help small businesses get started and grow.
Over 300,000 businesses so far have utilized ZenBusiness’ services, including business formation, compliance, filing, and more.
As such, ZenBusiness offers 360-degree services for businesses of all sizes.
Being a one-stop solution when it comes to business formation means that you can focus on what’s important – running your business.
ZenBusiness Incorporation Packages
When setting up your LLC, ZenBusiness has three different business incorporation packages for you to choose from.
They are as follows:
- Starter Plan: $49 per year
- Pro Plan: $199 per year
- Premium Plan: $299 per year
All of these packages exclude the state filing fees.
These fees differ based on the type of business you have, the location you’re opening up in, the number of shareholders, and much more.
The main difference between the three plans is the level of support and features you get access to.
The above packages include some (or all) of these features:
- Domain Name & Email Address: A professional domain name and email address are essential for building your brand online, and ZenBusiness can help with this.
- Customizable Business Website: ZenBusiness can help you create an online business website that is professional and branded. You can also choose from a variety of templates to get started quickly.
- Worry-Free Compliance: One of the most important aspects of running a business is ensuring you comply with all the relevant laws and regulations. ZenBusiness takes care of this.
- Guided Operating Agreement: An operating agreement is a legal document outlining your LLC’s ownership and operations. ZenBusiness will help you create this agreement so there is clarity about who owns what and who is responsible for what within your business.
- Expense and Deduction Tracking: This feature helps you track your business expenses and deductions to maximize your tax savings.
- Fastest Rush Filing Speed: If you want to get the formation process out of the way as quickly as possible, ZenBusiness can help. As a ZenBusiness customer on the premium plan, you get the fastest service possible when incorporating.
Business Formation Services Add-Ons
While you can opt for set packages as described above, ZenBusiness also offers several business formation add-on services in an à la carte fashion.
Here are the various services you should consider.
If you want your business to be in good standing with all the relevant laws and regulations, you can sign up for ZenBusiness’s worry-free compliance service.
For a new business to be compliant, there are a lot of requirements that need to be met.
And if you need to become more familiar with the ins and outs of compliance, then it can be a daunting and time-consuming task.
The platform’s compliance service will take care of all the paperwork and requirements for you to focus on running your business.
Guided Operating Agreement
Small business owners must have an operating agreement to delineate their LLC ownership and operations.
Without an operating agreement, there could be confusion about who owns what and who is responsible for what, within the business.
ZenBusiness will help you create the proper agreement, so everyone is on the same page.
Registered Agent Services
When it comes to the best LLC services, these often come included with registered agent services.
From ensuring you receive your business formation documents, to being available during business hours to answer any questions, a registered agent service will take care of various things for your company.
With ZenBusiness, you get a registered agent service if you decide to opt for this service.
Get started with ZenBusiness.
Employer ID Number (EIN)
A business entity needs an employer identification number to open a business bank account, apply for business licenses, and more.
This addon from ZenBusiness will help you get your EIN quickly and easily.
Business Document Templates Library
Items like your operating agreement template, LLC formation documents, and more are all included in this business document templates library.
You can access these templates anytime and customize them to fit your business needs.
Fast Filing Speeds
Sometimes, LLC formation services take a lot of time to file the paperwork and get everything set up.
But with ZenBusiness and this specific add on, you can rest assured that your LLC will be formed in no time.
Since the starter plan does not include filing services with a quick turnaround time, you could choose to go with the features offered within this plan and then opt to pay extra for a quick turnaround.
In some situations, an LLC service that can get your business up and running quickly is essential, especially if you’re looking to launch your business as soon as possible.
In such cases, ZenBusiness can help.
New York Publication
For those in their first year of business, ZenBusiness will help you file the necessary paperwork for a New York publication.
This is required for businesses that want to operate in the state of New York.
Business License Report
Zen helps entrepreneurs stay on top of the ever-changing business licenses and permits landscape.
With this service, you’ll receive a comprehensive report outlining all the licenses and permits you need to operate your business legally.
Annual Reports Filing
New business owners must be aware that they must file annual reports with their state.
An annual report service ensures that this vital task is taken care of for you.
And with ZenBusiness, you can also rest assured that your annual reports will be filed on time and without hassle.
A limited liability company may need to file amendments from time to time.
Apart from LLC filing services, ZenBusiness also offers amendment filing services.
This is an essential service that helps keep your business compliant and up-to-date.
Certificate of Good Standing
ZenBusiness LLC also helps with issuing certificates of good standing.
A certificate of good standing is often required when you’re applying for licenses or trying to open a business bank account.
While this might fall under other business formation services that are rarely required, it’s still an important service that ZenBusiness offers.
Marketing Your Business
Only a few LLC service providers consider that marketing is one of the most important things you need to think about when you’re starting a business.
On the ZenBusiness website, there is a section for the marketing services on offer.
Here is a list of these services.
Domain Name Services
A service that is often overlooked but is essential for businesses is domain name services.
Your business domain name is how customers will find you online.
Since this typically renews yearly, it’s vital to stay on top of your renewal date and ensure that this is done on time.
ZenBusiness can help with your domain name registration (and renewal) process and ensure your domain name is always available.
Domain Name Privacy
Having some privacy when it comes to your domain name is essential.
Businesses without this privacy service risk their contact information being made public.
ZenBusiness offers domain name privacy services to help keep sensitive information safe.
Business Email Address
If you want to look professional when it comes to your business email, then you need an email address that follows your domain.
ZenBusiness can also help take care of this for you.
Your site is how potential customers will find (and judge) your business and the products or services it offers.
It’s essential to have a well-designed website that is easy to navigate and looks professional.
ZenBusiness offers website design and development services to help you get started online.
Google Ads Credit
Google Ads provides one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site in the short and long term.
ZenBusiness offers Google Ads credit to help you get your first customers who are searching for specific keywords online.
Managing Your Money
From ensuring your credit card spending does not get out of control, to issuing 1099 forms at the end of the year, businesses must take care of many money-related tasks.
Like the above marketing services, ZenBusiness can also take care of these requirements as part of its various addons.
The following are some of the services that they offer.
Banking Resolution Templates
A banking resolution template is the best way to keep your business finances in order.
This document outlines who can sign checks, how much they can spend, and other important financial details.
Coming in with all packages, this service provides you with an app that can help you with the basics of tracking your business finances.
The app allows you to track your income and expenses, create invoices, and more.
If you need more features than what Money Essentials offers, then you can upgrade to Money Pro.
This service provides a more advanced app to ensure your stay on top of your finances.
Bank of America Offer
As a partner with Bank of America, ZenBusiness can help you get started with your business bank account.
You’ll also get a bonus of $100-$500 based on specific conditions.
Free Tax Consultation
A huge perk of working with ZenBusiness is getting a free accounting consultation as part of their online legal services.
This allows you to get help with your taxes and get the right answers to the questions that matter, ensuring you’re compliant every step of the way.
How Does ZenBusiness Do It All?
ZenBusiness uses automation to enable them to offer lower rates than its competitors.
Their software takes care of everything from the creation of legal documents, bookkeeping services, and filing deadlines that need to be met.
That said, their pro package does require more human involvement, and as such, is more costly.
However, this is well worth it for the features and support you receive.
Get started with ZenBusiness.
Phone, email, or web chat support are available during business hours.
With timely responses and accurate information, they state that one business day is the maximum time required for a reply, but usually, this only takes a few minutes.
The representatives offer support on weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm CT and Saturdays from 10 am to 7 pm CT.
Steps To Start Your Business Formation With ZenBusiness
It only takes a few minutes to get going when working with ZenBusiness.
First, you’ll need to fill in the order form on the homepage.
The instructions are simple: just choose which package you’d like to purchase and enter some basic information about your business.
You’ll be asked to provide your contact information, your business name, address, and a few more critical pieces of information.
ZenBusiness will also upsell you additional services and features at this stage.
However, these are by no means imposed on you.
Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, ZenBusiness will take care of filing your paperwork with the state of choice and getting everything set up for you.
Overall Turnaround Time
As mentioned earlier, this is based on the package you choose to go with.
If you are OK with the service taking a few weeks to complete, then the Standard package could be a good option for you.
However, if you need your business set up as quickly as possible, consider one of their expedited packages.
Keep in mind that your formation state can also affect turnaround time.
For more information on this, you can ask their support for an estimated timeframe before you begin the sign-up process.
Who Is ZenBusiness Best For?
If you’re happy to get started with business using an online incorporation method (and don’t need as much hand-holding as someone doing it in person), ZenBusiness is a good fit.
That said, there is plenty of personalization to ensure your company’s documents are filed correctly.
For small to medium-sized businesses, startups, and businesses concerned with their budget output, ZenBusiness’s affordable price and mix of features could just do the trick.
ZenBusiness Refund Policy
While this is not offered by all business formation services, ZenBusiness provides a 60-day money-back guarantee for those who feel they haven’t received what they paid for.
This is a good safety net for those worried about not getting their money’s worth.
This policy also shows that ZenBusiness is confident in delivering on its promises.
ZenBusiness Customer Reviews
Featuring a whole section of customer reviews and feedback on their website, it’s evident that ZenBusiness takes pride in its customer service.
This is a very good sign, as it shows that they are willing to listen to feedback and make changes based on what their customers want.
They also have a 4.6 rating on Trustpilot, which is extremely impressive and indicates that most of their customers are happy with the service they’ve received.
ZenBusiness Review – FAQ
Who Are ZenBusiness’ Competitors?
These include IncFile, LegalZoom, and Northwest Registered Agent.
What Is A Name Availability Search In Terms Of Business Formation?
A name availability search is a way to determine whether the desired name for your business is available for use.
The search can be conducted with the Secretary of State in the location where you plan to form your business.
Does The IRS Require A Separate Bank Account For My Business?
No, the IRS does not require a separate bank account for your business.
However, it is generally recommended that you open a separate account to track your business expenses and income more efficiently.
What Is A Public Benefit Corporation?
A public benefit corporation is a type of corporate entity required by law to impact society and the environment positively.
Public benefit corporations must consider their decisions’ impact on all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
What Are The Differences Between The Starter Package And The Premium Package On ZenBusiness?
The Starter package is the most basic package offered by ZenBusiness and includes everything you need to get your business up and running.
The Premium package includes additional features, including incorporation in just a few days – instead of the several weeks it takes with the starter package.
Whether you just want to form an LLC or need various online legal services to ensure compliance and reduce risk in your business, you can’t go wrong with ZenBusiness.
If you factor in ZenBusiness’s low cost, ease of use, and extensive customer support, it’s hard to find an alternative that offers such a wide range of services.
Get started with ZenBusiness.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: Small business insurance companies can help protect your business from potential risks.
No matter what your small business idea is and how much money you have to start with, there’s an insurance policy out there for you.