While you can figure out how to set up a limited liability company yourself, getting a professional LLC service to do it for you can save a lot of time and money in the long run. There are numerous LLC filing companies with expertise in each state’s LLC formation process, making it a challenge the best one to use. We looked at the top filing companies today to list the best LLC formation services below, ranking them based on reliability, affordability and usability.
Best LLC Formation Services Comparison Chart
|Most Recommended||ZenBusiness||Starter, Pro, Premium||Check at ZenBusiness.com|
|Most Affordable||Incfile||Silver, Gold, Platinum||Check at Incfile.com|
|Best for Small Businesses||Northwest Registered Agent||Single pricing||Check at NorthwestRegisteredAgent.com|
|Best for Online Businesses||LegalZoom||Economy, Standard, Express Gold||Check at LegalZoom.com|
|Best for Legal Services||Rocket Lawyer||Non-member, Premium member||Check at RocketLawyer.com|
Choosing an LLC Formation Service
What you need to know about starting a limited liability company
As you’ll probably know, an LLC, or limited liability company, protects your personal assets from any liability your business might incur. It provides a degree of separation between the business and the owner, while also giving professional credibility and possible tax advantages.
So first of all, you don’t need to use an LLC service in order to form an LLC. You only need to find out what paperwork and documentation your state requires and then follow the necessary steps. However, hiring an LLC formation service can be worth it if you’re not keen on preparing paperwork and want to ensure that the filing goes smoothly. Moreover, many LLC services offer additional benefits, including legal advisory services, tax consultation and even website development.
It’s highly recommended that you only consider LLC filing companies that have an established track record, acceptable turnaround time, and reasonable cost. Some also offer registered agent services, which may be required depending on your business.
Most Recommended: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness combines affordable pricing with a 100% accuracy guarantee to make it the best overall LLC filing company.
ZenBusiness is currently the most recommended LLC formation company due to its highly attractive introductory price for a very reliable filing service. Its Starter tier includes LLC filing and operating agreement template along with a 100% accuracy guarantee, meaning you’ll get a full refund if ZenBusiness makes an error. Note that all of its subscription tiers exclude state fees, which vary from state to state.
Those who want a faster turnaround time should consider the Pro plan, which also adds compliance support, or the Premium plan, which further speeds this up with rush filing. ZenBusiness further adds domain name registration and business website development to its most expensive package, and you can customize your subscription with many add-on services, such as annual report filing, business license report, and worry-free compliance.
If you need an LLC service with a lot of easy-to-use features with excellent results, ZenBusiness is our top recommendation. You can pay for exactly what you need, including a registered agent service, and even start at the lowest tier but still get topnotch LLC filing services that continue to receive positive reviews and customer feedback.
- Starter plan includes LLC filing and compliance support
- 100% accuracy guarantee
- Numerous add-ons and features for extra value
- Yearly subscription required
- Add-ons can be expensive, especially when compared with competitors’
Most Affordable: Incfile
With its free LLC filing option, Incfile is certainly the most affordable LLC service.
Nothing’s more affordable than free, so Incfile easily wins this category. Their free LLC filing service package includes one year of registered agent service after they’ve prepared and filed your paperwork. Note that you will still have to pay for state filing fees though. Still, this means it costs as much as it would if you do it yourself, minus all the time spent on preparing the articles of organization yourself.
Incfile offers more features in their Gold and Platinum plans. The Gold plan includes business tax consultation, EIN business tax number, operating agreement, and more. The Platinum plan further adds value with expedited filing, business contract templates and a business domain name plus email setup.
Incfile wants to be a one-stop shop for fledgling entrepreneurs, so they have more startup services beyond those included in their LLC formation packages.
- Free LLC formation service available
- Includes one year of registered agent service for free, too
- More startup support features as addons
- Processing time for free service can take longer
- No money back guarantee
Best for Small Businesses: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent provides a wealth of support for small businesses.
As their name implies, Northwest Registered Agent primarily offers those services while bundling LLC formation into their package. Registered agent services can protect your personal information, such as your home address and phone number, which is useful especially if you’re running a business out of your own house. Instead, you’ll get a separate physical location to be your registered office.
Northwest Registered Agent lets you choose between paying the full fee upfront or every month for a year, so you can pick the best option for you financially. In addition, every customer can get assistance from its “Corporate Guides” which are a team of 200 local business experts ready to answer your LLC inquiries.
- Option to pay monthly or in full
- DIY filing guide available with free account
- Support from local business experts per state
- LLC filing and registered agent services are bundled together
- Addons can drive cost even higher
Best for Online Businesses: LegalZoom
LegalZoom is a well-recognized platform for online legal help.
Popular and highly trusted for its trove of layman-friendly legal articles, LegalZoom is also a top choice for LLC filing. Consistency and completeness is assured with their “Peace of Mind Review” which checks all paperwork prior to submission. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can get a refund within the first 60 days if you’re unhappy with their services.
LegalZoom’s Economy plan is priced competitively, although you’ll likely have to wait a month or so before everything is processed and completed. Its Standard plan offers a lower time estimate of 10 business days along with company membership certificates and a deluxe founder’s kit. LegalZoom will expedite processing with its Express Gold plan, preparing all your paperwork within 24 hours, though the state will typically take its own time to process filings.
- Affordable basic pricing
- Legal help from experts available
- Online service is easy to use
- Long processing time for basic plan
- Delays can happen even with expedited service
Best for Legal Services: Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer provides ongoing legal support for businesses that need handy access to a lawyer.
Rocket Lawyer sets its services apart from other LLC filing companies through its membership plan which features ongoing legal help for a monthly fee. You’ll be able to get free consultations with a lawyer who can answer all your business-related questions and assist with preparing and creating legal documents. Plus, you’ll get complete access to the site’s massive library of legal docs.
While you can opt for their LLC filing service only, the real benefit to using Rocket Lawyer is their expanded legal services. As you may surmise, over time the membership will end up costing a lot more than what competitors offer for LLC formation, but it may be worth it if you require ongoing access to a lawyer. Members will also enjoy a sizable discount on the annual registered agent service or if they want to hire an attorney through the company.
- Membership includes ongoing legal help
- LLC formation only service also available
- Trusted and well-reviewed by customers
- Membership costs get expensive over time
ZenBusiness and Incfile are our top recommendations for LLC filing services.
Creating an LLC for your business venture can be made easy with the right LLC filing company. We highly recommend checking ZenBusiness and Incfile out, since they’re well-regarded in the industry and have affordable pricing. You can spend more to get expedited filing or gain access to extra features that can make running your business smoother. There are more top LLC formation services that can make more sense depending on your particular requirements so make sure to carefully consider their list of services.
Every state typically charges a flat fee to file LLC articles of organization, ranging from $40 to around $500. These fees are often excluded from the pricing set by LLC formation services, which can prepare and file the paperwork for you.
Yes, you can file your LLC yourself and pay only the state fees. We recommend using an LLC service though if you want to avoid accuracy mistakes that can cost you in the long run, and to make your personal information private, since most LLC filing companies also provide registered agent services.
LLCs with a sole business owner are not required to get an EIN or employee identification number. You can continue to use your Social Security number to file taxes with the IRS since it recognizes LLCs as a sole proprietorship. However, you do need to get an EIN if you want to add another owner to your LLC or hire employees to work under it.
LLC filing services will, at bare minimum, conduct name availability search (to check if your LLC name is available in your state), create and submit LLC articles of organization, and provide the option for legal help or registered agent services.