LLC formation services specialize in forming limited liability companies for business owners. They help entrepreneurs save time by leveraging experts and technology to complete required paperwork, navigate confusing business jargon, help your company stay legally compliant, and more.
LLC creation companies also offer a variety of other useful features, such as registered agent services, operating agreement templates, EINs, and more.
There are a plethora of LLC formation services out there in 2022.
It can be overwhelming to figure out which is the best fit for your company’s unique needs.
That’s why we did the research for you. We pored over the details of every LLC service, their customer reviews, and tested customer service via every available channel to see how helpful they actually are.
Overview (Our Favorites)
Before we dive into the list and review of the nine best LLC services, here’s a quick overview of this buyers guide:
We know you’re a busy entrepreneur and have a lot on your plate. If you’d like to skip the research and get started with one of the entrepreneur-favorites and ‘best’ LLC services, here they are: ZenBusiness (most popular) and Northwest.
These are the LLC formation services that’ll form a business for you at a great price while still including great features. They’re both excellent deals and can save you $50+ rather than using other options on this list.
ZenBusiness are a public benefit corporation with industry best pricing, excellent customer support, easy-to-use online interface, and an overall customer rating of 4.7 out of 5. – ZenBusiness is our #1 recommendation for LLC formation services. Their service is a perfect fit for first time founders, small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to avoid bureaucratic hassles.
Most Popular Service
- Great Value & Features
- Excellent Pricing ($39).
- Socially Conscious Company
- Very Easy to Use.
- Quick Turnaround Time.
- Rated 4.7/5 on Trustpilot.
- Thousands of Positive Reviews
- Extended Support Hours.
- Very Experienced Company
- Fast Business Formation & Same-Day Filing.
- Very Easy to Use..
- Included registered agent service
- Strong Privacy & Data Protection.
- Reliable and Well-Respected.
- Hundreds of Positive Reviews
- Excellent Customer Support.
Best LLC Services Reviewed
Now that we’ve outlined the two most popular services overall, let’s break down and review the five best LLC services online .
- Northwest Registered Agent
- Inc Authority
- CorpNet, Incorporated
ZenBusiness | #1
ZenBusiness impressed us with their great value, excellent customer reviews, simple and easy formation process, and their ability to form LLCs within just a few days (even during peak seasons). With ZenBusiness scoring well across all categories, we have no reservations about recommending their business formation service to anyone looking to form an LLC.
ZenBusiness offers the most competitive and comprehensive business entity creation services, based on our comprehensive review of more than a dozen formation companies.
Best overall pricing
ZenBusiness offers three pricing options for limited liability company formations, with its least expensive bundle costing only $39. And that bundle includes all of the services we consider essential for a full LLC formation.
For just $39, you get not only document preparation and the filing itself, but also a drafted operating agreement, as well as an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for your business.
Having a registered agent is required by law in all states, and having an operating agreement is vital in order to protect your interests and personal assets (plus, it is mandatory in some states as well). With ZenBusiness, you get all of these essential services for less than what some other competitors charge for a formation filing alone.
Unlike many of their competitors, ZenBusiness’s higher-tier packages include services which we find legitimately useful, such as annual compliance filing, a banking resolution, and digital services such as the setup of a business website and business email. We can confidently recommend all three of ZenBusiness’s packages.
Rated 4.7/5 by customers
ZenBusiness is one of the best-reviewed LLC formation services. They hold an excellent 4.7/5 average on Trustpilot, with more than 5,750 individual user reviews. Many of ZenBusiness’s customers express their disbelief at how easy the LLC formation process is and how quickly their new LLC was formed with the state.
We think that ZenBusiness’s success in establishing their reputation is all the more impressive considering that the company is relatively young, being founded in 2015.
Easy and simple to use
Customers who are just starting their first small business may find the entire formation process to be a bit intimidating – but using ZenBusiness, they’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out how simple an LLC formation can be.
ZenBusiness’s website is laid out in a clear, neat, and easy-to-understand manner. Users are guided through all the steps that are necessary to form an LLC. After you have placed an order, ZenBusiness’s dashboard will let you keep track of the progress of your formation filings.
ZenBusiness’s website also includes a variety of useful articles, explaining the many aspects of setting up a new business entity in plain English.
|ZenBusiness Pros||ZenBusiness Cons|
|Great Value & Features|
Excellent Pricing ($39).
Socially Conscious Company
Very Easy to Use.
Quick Turnaround Time.
Rated 4.7/5 on Trustpilot.
Thousands of Positive Reviews
Extended Support Hours.
|Limited Website Templates|
Where ZenBusiness could improve
ZenBusiness is an excellent LLC formation service and performed great across all five of our ranking categories. In our review, we found no issues with their LLC formation service itself. They are our recommended nationwide incorporator.
The only minor issues we found related to their business website services – most business owners will be better served by using a dedicated web hosting service.
Additional Services and Features
- Worry-Free Compliance ($119/year): ZenBusiness will manage your annual reports and keep track of other important filing deadlines to help your business stay compliant.
- Amendments ($100): If you need to amend your articles of organization, they will make the necessary changes with your Secretary of State.
- Publication Service ($200): If your state requires publication of your LLC’s formation, ZenBusiness will handle the entire process.
- Federal Tax ID Number ($70): Also known as an EIN, this is like a Social Security number for your business.
Northwest Registered Agent earns a spot on our list because they provide top-notch customer service that we think is the best in the industry.
They make it easy for anyone to form an LLC, for just $39. However, their LLC service doesn’t include as many features as ZenBusiness.
But we know that prices and features are just one of your considerations in choosing the best LLC service to help you establish and even manage your business. With that in mind, let’s dive into the details of what they have to offer.
|Northwest Pros||Northwest Cons|
|Included registered agent service|
Industry-best customer support
Fast Business Formation & Same-Day Filing.
Very Easy to Use.
Strong Privacy & Data Protection.
Reliable and Well-Respected.
Excellent Customer Support.
|Have to Call for Refund|
Free Registered Agent
Along with great customer support, their registered agent service is included for a full year when you hire them to form your business.
After the first year, it costs just $125 annually, a price that’s lower than average compared to competitors. This is a huge plus, as many formation services don’t include registered agent service.
In addition, Northwest is the only major national service provider that scans every document they receive as your registered agent, whereas their competitors only scan the government-issued forms that they’re legally required to scan.
Northwest also has excellent customer service. This is made extremely clear both by the customer reviews we found online and by our own experiences.
Their Claim to Fame
Simplicity is the name of the game for Northwest. The ordering process is streamlined in two specific ways.
First, they remove the confusion by narrowing their features and add-ons down to a select few. You won’t spend hours poring over options and trying to decide what is worth paying extra for. Second, completing the order form only takes 10-15 minutes.
While their tagline “We’re Just Not Annoying” is a bit cheesy, it’s very clear this company actually cares about their customers, which is rare in this industry.
Northwest vs Other Top LLC Websites
How does Northwest Registered Agent compare to our other top LLC services?
Northwest vs ZenBusiness:
- ZenBusiness and Northwest charge the same price for LLC setup
- Northwest has better customer support
- ZenBusiness has more customer reviews
Northwest vs Incfile:
- Incfile is a free LLC service, Northwest starts at $39
- Northwest has more specialized customer service
- Incfile has a better customer feedback reputation
Additional Services and Features
LLC formation and registered agent service aren’t the only things that Northwest Registered Agent offers. Here are some other features and services they can offer your business:
- Mail Forwarding ($40/month): They will provide you with a unique address and suite number that you can use on your letterhead, website, bills, and more.
- Annual Report Filing ($100): Northwest guarantees on-time filing of your annual reports, so you have nothing to worry about regarding this ongoing compliance requirement.
- Virtual Office ($49/month): Northwest provides a fully staffed office location with a full suite of on-demand secretarial services to enhance the professionalism of your business.
Inc Authority | #3
Inc Authority| #3
Inc Authority is among the most experienced LLC formation services out there, having been in business for more than 30 years. Inc Authority’s standout feature is that they offer a fairly bare-bones LLC formation service at no cost (excluding state fees).
Unfortunately, their higher- service tiers come at inflated prices, and their service has questionable turnaround times.
Free Basic LLC formation service
Inc Authority’s free basic package includes some essential services, such as a business name availability check and document filing, although it does not include operating agreement drafting, which we consider essential.
The package also includes a free year of their registered agent service, which otherwise costs $99 per year. If you are looking for a simple and straightforward LLC filing service, Inc Authority can be a decent option, provided you don’t need the fastest possible service.
The company’s premium packages are priced at $399, $499, and $799. They are of questionable value, and we don’t recommend buying them.
Excellent customer feedback
Inc Authority has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from online users on major review sites. They are rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot and 4.6/5 on Google, with more than 5,000 individual reviews. The vast majority of customers report a smooth limited liability company formation experience and praise Inc Authority’s professionalism and helpful customer service, with many customers naming and thanking their support representative.
|Inc Authority Pros||Inc Authority Cons|
|Truly Free LLC Formation and Incorporation|
Top Customer Reviews
30+ Years Track Record
|Low pricing transparency|
Upselling of unnecessary services
Expensive non-basic bundles
Where Inc Authority could improve
Unfortunately, Inc Authority is among the LLC formation services that appear to internally delay formation orders in order to ‘encourage’ users to pay an additional filing fee for expedited servicing. Customers who pay an additional $49 will have their orders bumped to the front of Inc Authority’s queue. We dislike such practices.
Note that this sort of order expediting is not the same as expedited filing services offered directly by some state governments (which will expedite the process with the state, rather than with your specific service provider).
Inc Authority tries to heavily upsell services during the checkout process. Most of these services and products (such as physical Ownership Certificates) are not at all necessary for new businesses and can be avoided
Swyft Filings provides personal customer support to answer any questions you may have whenever you have them.
Upon signing up, you get assigned a personal “Business Specialist.” From there, you’ll be given their direct phone number and email to answer questions as and when required. It’s a next-level service available when you need it, removing the waiting time you can typically expect elsewhere. Your Business Specialist can even handle your business filings for you.
|Swyft Filings Pros||Swyft Filings Cons|
|Quick Application Process|
Lifetime Access to Customer Support
Business Formation Guidance
|Lots of Upselling|
Lack of Free Registered Agent Services
Inconsistent Quality of Support
Swyft Filings also offers annual reports, name change services, and you can get your EIN or Federal Tax ID using the service. There’s also a handy incorporation wizard available to help you select the right business type for you—this is clearly presented and provides all the information a new business could need in a single place, comparing and contrasting the key differences.
The Basic package costs $49 plus the state filing fees, and you can get started right here.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Business Formation Services
Here you’ll find the most important factors you need to consider when picking the best business formation services.
Knowing what business or entity type you fit under will significantly help you pick the best formation service.
There are Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), C Corporations (C-Corps), S Corporations (S-Corps), Non-profits, Certified B Corporations (B Corps), and Sole Proprietorships to name but a few.
Not every business formation service on the market will provide the solutions for all of these or even specialize in them, which can stop you in your tracks. If you don’t know your entity type, it’s best to pick a service that helps you decide and go from there.
While value for money is something you’d look for across many different business services, formation services are particularly good at advertising prices that seemingly include everything…but actually don’t.
It’s imperative to carefully look at the service you like and see what you actually get for your money. You might see a low price, but then realize all the extras quickly add up and push you over budget. Higher prices might be less attractive but can sometimes include everything you need, and in reality, for cheaper.
Once you like the sound of a formation service, be sure to take the necessary time to work out the actual costs, so you don’t get a nasty shock later—it’s the last thing a new business needs.
On our list, you’ll find some business formation services that offer personalized support, while others will provide things like email or live chat options instead.
It’s important to think about the level of customer service you require from a business formation service to help make your decision easier.
If you feel like you need personal, specialist support—someone you can talk to whenever—then email support is unlikely to be enough. Others may be perfectly happy with just that.
Swyft Filings price
The Basic package costs $49 plus state fees. It includes all the basics you need to incorporate your business including:
- Company name availability check
- Prepare and file articles of organization
- Prepare and file articles of incorporation (if applicable)
- Free 30 minute business tax consultation
- ComplianceGuard company alerts
- Free domain name
- Standard filing time
If you’re looking for a no-frills approach to incorporating your business, the basic package will give you exactly that. However, if you’re looking for access to a few more essentials for launching your business, the Standard package may be more up your alley.
The Standard package costs $149 plus state fees. It includes everything listed above as well as:
- Federal Tax ID (EIN)
- Custom LLC operating agreement
- Custom LLC banking resolution
- Custom organizational minutes
If you want to speed up the filing process, you can pay an additional $50 on both the basic or standard plan for express filing. This will see your approved incorporation documents delivered to you within five business days, instead of the usual 15.
The Premium package is Swyft’s most complete package, costing $299 plus state fees. It includes:
- All Basic and Standard services
- Electronic delivery of state documents
- Customized digital LLC kit
- Free business website and web hosting
- Express filing
- Express and tracked shipping with FedEx
When comparing the packages side-by-side, we recommend the Standard package to be the best value for money.
If you’re starting a business, you might like to check out CorpNet! Founded by experienced entrepreneur Nellie Akalp, who’s helped over 100,000 small business owners get their start, CorpNet can assist you with filing a DBA (“doing business as”), forming a corporation, or an LLC (Limited Liability Company), by completing the process quickly and affordably, saving you time and money with fast, reliable service. CorpNet packages start at $79, plus state filing fees. This is more expensive than the most popular and well-known companies, such as ZenBusiness and Northwest. .
CorpNet provides a very good level of service and gets high ratings from its customers, which prompted us to put it in the top 5 list.. The site also offers a free business name search feature where you can conduct unlimited business name searches and get your results within 24 hours.
|CorpNet Pros||CorpNet Cons|
|Owned and operated by a married couple focused on the best customer experience.|
Hundreds of good reviews from satisfied usersResponsive customer support
Who Uses Corpnet?
Entrepreneurs who are looking for a nice balance of personalized service and experienced help use CorpNet to start their LLC.
What to look for in an LLC Service
We use five key factors when reviewing and ranking formation companies. Not all of these factors are weighted equally, but all are important.
We provide a brief overview of each one here, both to help you find the best value formation service possible, and to help explain our scoring process.
Pricing and Packages – 2x Weight
Pricing is perhaps the most important factor when selecting an LLC formation service. We want to see the services we review to add value to your startup without breaking the bank. We assign a heavier weight (2x) to pricing when calculating our ranking scores.
LLC formation services can differ significantly in their prices. While some can file your Articles of Organization for less than $50, or even for free, others demand many hundreds of dollars for service packages that contain a multitude of individual products and additional services, many of which are often unnecessary.
In our reviews and rankings, we look not only at prices themselves, but also at the overall value of a given service package. Depending on your particular situation, an expensive service package might still be a good value, if it provides specialized services that you need.
LLC Turnaround time – 2x Weight
Time is money, which is why we expect all services we review to be as quick as possible when it comes to filing for your LLC formation paperwork with the relevant authorities. If you could finish your LLC formation faster by yourself, there would be no point in using an online service in the first place.
We consider turnaround time to be just as important as the service pricing, and for this reason, we assign a heavier weight (2x) to this metric when calculating our final ranking score.
It should be noted that the LLC formation services don’t have full control over how long it takes to form your new company, after they file your documents. The actual processing of your Articles of Organization is done by state government agencies, over which the services have no control (although some states do allow for expedited filing for an extra fee).
That being said, formation services can still add value by internally processing orders on the same day, or by using their own network of physical offices in order to file paperwork in person whenever doing so will speed up your LLC’s formation.
Formation services should also do the utmost to avoid any filing errors, which can potentially set you back by weeks and delay other formalities related to your business’s formation, such as opening a business bank account.
Customer Satisfaction – 1.5x Weight
Who better to ask about a given formation service than those that have already used it? Track records are important, so we always consider the feedback and reviews left by previous customers on websites like Trustpilot and Yelp.
Sifting through reviews gives us a better picture of how a formation service behaves in the real-world. Does a company actually offer high-quality customer support, or do they only claim to do so? Customer reviews can help us figure that out.
Since positive or negative reviews are very likely to reflect the kind of experience you might have with a given service, we also assign a heavier weight (1.5x) to this component of our final ranking score.
Ease of Use – 1x Weight
Forming an LLC online should be a simple and straightforward experience. We ideally want to see websites that allow users to complete their filings in just a few minutes. We also want new small business owners to be able to quickly find clear and concise answers to any common questions they might have.
Many of the higher quality services we have reviewed will have dozens or even hundreds of pages explaining everything you need to know about starting an LLC. These articles will answer questions such as:
- What is the difference between an LLC, a corporation, and a non-profit?
- What is the difference between a C-Corp, an S-Corp, and a passthrough entity?
- Do you need an LLC operating agreement?
- Why should you avoid running a business as a sole proprietorship?
Good services will equip you with all the knowledge you need to make good decisions right from the start.
We assign our ratings based on a service’s overall ease of use, the clearness of their terms (costs, recurring payments, cancellations, etc.), and the informativeness of their web material.
Support and Help – 1x Weight
No matter how well designed a website is, odds are that at some point you will have a question or an issue that cannot be resolved in an automated way.
When an unexpected situation arises, it is important to be able to get a hold of an actual human quickly. It’s even better if they are knowledgeable and well-trained to help you with whatever issues you are having.
This is especially true in the formation industry, where a delayed filing or a clerical error could set back your plans by weeks, or even months.
Many of the companies in our list also offer recurring services, such as annual report filing or registered agent services, as part of their formation packages..These services are important to maintaining your company’s good standing with the state and federal government. That’s why it is important to resolve any issues with such services quickly and efficiently.
We take multiple factors into consideration when evaluating an LLC formation service’s customer support and help options. We look at things such as the availability of their staff – their working hours, or if they are available on the weekends – as well as available contact methods (phone, email, online chat, etc.). We also take into account the experiences of previous customers, as evidenced by available customer feedback.
5 Must-Know Tips when using an LLC Service
When it comes to deciding on an LLC formation service, looking at the five metrics we mentioned above will get you far. However, we’d also like to offer a few more tips that we think all new business owners and LLC-formation-seekers will find when starting their LLC.
1. Distinguish between the “essential” and the “nice-to-have”
Some formation services are absolutely essential. Without filing your Articles of Organization with the relevant state authorities, your business won’t officially exist.
You’re legally required to have a registered agent (even if that’s yourself) and some documents, such as an Operating Agreement, while not always technically necessary, are important enough to be considered “essential”.
These are things that you need to have. And depending on your business’ size and industry, there may be several more must-haves. For example, you might let your formation service handle your annual report obligations or research necessary business licenses.
Unfortunately, many LLC formation services sell “must-have” services right alongside “nice to have” services but don’t do a great job of distinguishing between the two.
Almost every service we have reviewed, for instance, offers some sort of personalized office gear package. Items like corporate seals, binders, record books, and meeting minutes templates are often included.
These are all nice to have, and shiny, personalized stuff with your company name on it may make you feel good… but none of it is strictly necessary. Third-party consultations and reviews (e.g. “tax consultations” “insurance reviews”) should be put in the same category.
When you’re reviewing package prices, make sure you separate necessary services from “nice to have” fluff. Some LLC formation packages are mostly fluff – look out for these!
2. Pay attention to recurring payment services
With everything that can be included with an LLC formation package, it can be tricky to remember what, exactly, you’re paying for. What’s important to remember is that quite a few formation-related services, like a registered agent service or an annual report filing and compliance services, are billed on a recurring basis.
We’re by no means saying that you shouldn’t sign up for recurring services. Plenty of them are extremely useful. But you should pay careful attention to the terms of the package you sign up for, so you know when you can expect to be billed, how much you’ll have to pay, and what steps you need to take to cancel services you no longer need.
Some LLC formation service companies are very upfront about recurring payments, others … less so. We’ve tried to highlight both the good and the bad in our reviews, giving high marks to transparent companies and low marks to opaque ones.
3. Figure out whether filing for S-Corporation status will suit your business
S-corp designation is a type of tax status assigned by the IRS. Both LLCs and standard corporations (C corporations) are eligible.
Being designated as an S-corp can help you save money on payroll taxes and can confer other tax benefits as well. Business structure questions such as whether or not S-corp status is suitable for your business is usually something to be discussed with a business tax expert.
It is to your benefit, though, to try and decide on S-corp election before you choose your LLC service provider. That’s because some service providers offer to file a Form 2553 (S-corp election) for free with their formation packages, while others will charge you for this service as an add-on. Other companies don’t offer the service at all.
When it comes to forming your LLC, it’s nice to get all your initial filing done in one fell swoop, as opposed to having to come back to refile even more paperwork at a later time.
That’s why it’s a good idea to try and figure out whether you’d like to file for an S-corp election beforehand. It’s one less thing to tack on later, and it may help sway your decision about which LLC formation service provider to go with.
4. Know the difference between state-expedited filing and internal-expedited filing
When it comes to forming an LLC, there are two main types of “expedited” services. The first are state-expedited services. Some states’ Secretary of State offices let filers “jump ahead” in line to form an LLC for their business, in exchange for an extra fee. This can turn waiting times of 2-4 weeks into waiting times of just 2-4 days.
Most incorporation services give the option to request state-expedited service. You pay an extra fee to the service, which is then forwarded to the state. Simple as that.
However, some LLC formation services also give you the option to pay for expedited internal filing. That has nothing to do with the state. Essentially, internal expediting means that the company is prioritizing your application within their own system. It means your application should get to the state faster, but it won’t move any faster than normal once it gets there.
If a quick turnaround time is important to you, but you don’t want to break the bank, plenty of services offer quick (one-day or same-day, in some cases) internal processing without having to pay to expedite anything.
5. Does a company require you to use their registered agent service?
A registered agent is legally required for every LLC (or other business entity) operating in the US. While it is possible to serve as your own registered agent, there are several good reasons not to – we consider a registered agent service to be essential when forming a new LLC.
Nearly every service we reviewed offered a registered agent service to new LLC owners. Some companies provide this service in-house, while others outsource it to third-party service providers.
Some of the companies we reviewed also include a registered agent service by default, and a handful won’t let you opt out at all. If you already have a specific registered agent service provider in mind, you should make sure your formation provider does have an opt-out option on its registered agent service.
LLC Services FAQs
What is the Best LLC Service?
- ZenBusiness is our top-rated LLC formation service. They offer a solid combination of great pricing, fast service, and excellent customer satisfaction. You can read our in-depth Zenbusiness review for more information on why they made our number one spot.
What is the cheapest LLC formation service?
- Incfile is our recommendation for those prioritizing affordability. They offer a great basic LLC formation service for $0 + state filing fees. Their basic package also includes a year of their registered agent service and an operating agreement.
Is an LLC service worth it for a small business?
Although you can form an LLC on your own, it may be worth it to hire a professional LLC formation service. These companies can save you time and money in the long run, reduce the risk of formation errors, offer useful tools and features, and provide you with peace of mind so you can focus solely on the success of your business.