We don't blame you for wanting to find a Zen moment. In the midst of the business formation process, with all the hassle, headaches and paperwork, you deserve a breather. When you hand off your formation to a trusted partner, you should be able to relax, right? You should feel a sense of calm, knowing your business is in good hands.
Until you get hit with recurring fees and hidden subscriptions and your business grinds to a halt because you don't have all the critical elements you need.
That's...not very Zen at all.
Quite the opposite, actually. Upselling, surprise charges and mismatched services are the last thing you need when you're trying to launch your LLC, S Corp or C Corp. But weeding through the numerous business formation services out there is tough. We get that. How do you know who you can trust? Who has your best interest — and the best interest of your business — in mind? And who will put your dollars to work...instead of just working to get more of your dollars?
Incfile vs. ZenBusiness: A Comparison
We'll be straight with you — it's hard for us to be totally unbiased when it comes to which company offers the best business formation services. Our founders bootstrapped their way to success without ever taking a cent from investors. They've been where you are right now. We're pretty proud of their accomplishments — and yours, too.
More than anything, we respect your autonomy and your authority as owner of your business. We did not build our business predicated on the perception that the consumer is ignorant...unlike some others. Instead, we want to empower you to make an informed choice so you get the best business formation experience and the most opportunity to grow and thrive.
Let's look at everything you can get from Incfile and everything you can get from ZenBusiness (including a few unwanted surprises) so you can make the best choice for your business and your future.
Incfile: Zero Catch
What can you get for $0? Not much, right? Except maybe a brand new business venture. With Incfile's $0 formation, zero gets you...a lot more. And there's really no catch.
We're committed to complete transparency in the business formation process. You will need to pay your state formation fee (that's required whether you DIY or choose a formation partner), but other than that, $0 gets your business ready to roll. No subscriptions, no forced upsells and no hidden fees.
But let's say you want more than bare-bones business formation. We've got you covered there, too! Our formation packages come with all the services and add-ons you need...and none of the ones you don't. Even better, you only pay once. Every single package is priced at a low, one-time fee – never a subscription, like those other guys.
ZenBusiness: Zero Chill
ZenBusiness is an up-and-coming business formation service with heavy outside funding. By contrast, Incfile has always been completely self-funded, so we've been able to grow without bending to private equity or investment banks.
And while ZenBusiness seems to offer similar services and packages, the differences can be found in the small print. Basic business formation ($0 with Incfile) starts at $49 with ZenBusiness — and it grows into a recurring fee you'll need to pay for the life of your business. So that package you purchased? You'll be paying that amount (and likely more) – Every. Single. Year.
We don't expect you to just take our word for it. That's why we've put together a comparison chart so you can see all the value $0 will get you with Incfile.
Why Choose Incfile? Zero Gets You More
Zero recurring fees. If you select $0 formation, that's what you get. You can choose to add on services now or down the road or select one of our premium packages, but that ball will always be in your court.
Zero hidden charges. We don't really like surprises (unless we're talking about parties), so you won't get roped into any sneaky subscriptions with us. Business formation is a one-time purchase (you can add additional services later if you choose), and our recurring services are clearly noted upfront.
Zero hassle. You choose the package you need, and that's it. You're the boss, after all.
More value. Our $0 formation comes with a full year of Registered Agent service (a $119 value) at no obligation. When it's up, you decide whether you want to continue. With others, you'll pay more right from the get-go.
More of what you need. Our premium packages come with an EIN — one of the cornerstones of business formation. With the competition, it's only available at an additional charge of $99.
Zero of what you don't. Choose the package that fits your needs, or buy services individually as you need them. Don't want to use our Registered Agent service? No worries. There's never any pressure from us, and no compounding charges, either.
Taking pricing and services into account, Incfile proves to offer the most bang for a s14mall business owner’s buck. And despite Incfile and ZenBusiness Platinum and Premium packages costing the same, you'll find that Incfile includes more services for the price.
3 Reasons to Choose Incfile Over the Other Guys
To be honest, we could list more than three. But these are the top differentiators that set your initial business formation experience apart from the competition.
EIN: Start at Business Basics
So, you're ready to form your business — what's next? A lot. The coming months will be full of excitement and potential but also full of a lot of paperwork and planning.
An EIN (Employer Identification Number) is a critical part of running your business. Whether you're ready to set up a business bank account, apply for credit, look for funding or hire employees, you'll need to have an EIN on file for all of it.
Incfile understands the vital role an EIN plays in getting your business up and running, which is why it's included in our most popular packages.
As you can see, you'll always end up paying more with ZenBusiness.
Registered Agent Service: More Value, Zero Headache
Every business is required to have a Registered Agent. It's possible to do it yourself, but we don't recommend it. Why? Because RAs have to be available at a registered address during normal business hours, year-round. Kind of puts a cramp in all the freedom and flexibility you're seeking in being a business owner.
Instead, we recommend using a trusted and reputable Registered Agent service. We believe in it so strongly, in fact, that we include it for free for 12 months after your business formation. Having a reliable Registered Agent will help ensure that your vital documents are properly received, managed and delivered to you, all while protecting your privacy and your valuable time.
In addition to the free first year, Incfile’s Registered Agent services also include:
Handling of all your documents, regardless of the state of incorporation
Access to a digital dashboard making online access and retrieval of your important documents easy and convenient
Email and SMS notifications alerting you whenever a document is received
Mail forwarding service of all your legal correspondence and documents
After the first year, the fee for maintaining the services and support of a Registered Agent through Incfile comes at a cost of $119. It's a great value, but if you want to go in a different direction, you're not obligated in any way (like we said, you're the boss).
ZenBusiness also provides Registered Agent services, but at a fee. Unlike Incfile, there is no one-year free offer. According to ZenBusiness, Registered Agent service costs $199 per year.
Incfile vs. ZenBusiness: Registered Agent Service
Processing Times: Because Time Is Money
When you're ready to start your business, you're ready to start it now. But filing your own paperwork can mean a longer waiting period. Expediting your formation services is a great way to get up and running ASAP. Like anything, it comes at a cost, but we believe Incfile offers the best value and the quickest turnaround time for your money.
With Incfile, we offer free next-day filing for every customer. We'll have your paperwork processed and sent to your state within a business day, every time. With ZenBusiness, you can choose expedited filing at $49 for 4-9 days or rush filing at $99 for 1-3 days — otherwise, it's going to be weeks for you to get to the top of their queue.
From there, you can choose expedited processing with your state, which is dependent on how much your state charges for this service. At Incfile, we charge $50 + the state fee for expedited services. ZenBusiness costs $100+ state fee.
Want More? We've Got You
As we've established, when you choose Incfile, $0 gets you a lot more. And when you find you need additional services, you can purchase and manage them within your dashboard. As an added value to you, we also offer a ton of free resources and tools you can use to plan, form and grow your business.
Incfile also offers bookkeeping and accounting services, as well tax consulting and filing support. These added assistances can help free up a business owner's valuable time allowing them to focus on their business and path toward success.
Most of these services, which can prove critical for small business owners in need, are offered by other companies. However, sometimes finding all this support in a single location can be difficult. But navigating Incfile's easy-to-use website and dashboard will guide you to all the tools, resources and services you need.
Bottom Line: Want More? Start at Zero
When it comes to starting your business and reaching for your dreams of entrepreneurship, you shouldn't settle for less. With Incfile, you don't need to. They say that "less is more," but we think we can do way better than that. At Incfile, we say, "ZERO is more." A lot more.
At the end of the day, we can't make the decision for you. We encourage you to do more research into what ZenBusiness can offer and how much it will cost for the life of your business.
Go into it with your eyes open and your head on straight, and you're sure to make the best choice for your business. We can't wait to see how your future business will grow!
Wendi is a freelance writer based in Indianapolis, IN, with over a decade of experience writing for a variety of industries from healthcare to manufacturing to nonprofit. When she isn't working on solutions for her clients, she can be found spending time with her kids and husband, working in the garden or doing more writing (of the fiction variety).