It’s always a safe and sensible option to opt for the most popular services when you’re not sure which one to pick, and that principle applies to the incorporation business. If you’re starting your own corporation, then you can’t really go wrong with either of these options.
But while you may toss a coin to make your decision, you may want a closer look at each incorporation service so you can make an informed choice between the two. Both Incfile and ZenBusiness are terrific, but one of them may well be more suitable for your needs.
It’s time to compare these 2 incorporation services directly, with the following crucial factors in mind:
Brand History and Reputation
It’s simply not a good idea to go with a service that’s very new to the business, since how can you be sure they know what they’re doing? In addition, a long track record allows you to check out what their previous customers have to say about them.
Incfile is a veteran in the incorporation service industry, as they’ve been around since 2004. Since that time, they’ve assisted in the incorporation of more than half a million startups. They have an exalted reputation for their brand, and you can easily find thousands of glowing reviews from thankful customers.
In comparison, ZenBusiness is comparatively newer, with its roots starting from just 2015. But that fairly recent founding only makes their ascent in the industry a lot more impressive. They’ve quickly garnered thousands of customers, and more than 80,000 startups used their platform to launch their business.
ZenBusiness is thriving, with its revenues doubling in 2020. They’ve been racking in serious seed money from investors in recent years, starting with $4.5 million seed money in 2018 and then $15 million more in 2019. In 2020, they raised another $55 million so that ZenBusiness can grow while its services expand.
True, the growth of ZenBusiness is nothing short of astonishing. But Incfile is a proven brand with half a million satisfied customers and lots of glowing reviews to back up their reputation.
Costs and Bang for the Buck
In this day and age, every penny counts. So, you can’t really go with an expensive incorporation service that doesn’t offer a lot of services you need. But both Incfile and ZenBusiness offer attractively priced incorporation service packages that offer a lot of value for your money.
Keep in mind that state fees for incorporation vary depending on the state:
Incfile offers very inexpensive incorporation options, even including free LLC filing.
|Package Option||Cost||Features and Services|
|Silver||Only the state fee
(free incorporation service)
|Gold||$149 + state fee||Silver Package features, plus:
|Platinum||$299 + state fee||Gold Package features, plus:
ZenBusiness doesn’t offer any free package, but then their prices are quite low as well. At the same time, you get a nice set of features and services:
|Package Option||Cost||Features and Services|
|Starter||$49 + state fee||
|Pro||$199 + state fee||Starter package features, plus:
|Premium||$299 + state fee||Pro package features, plus:
Winner: Incfile (by a nose)
This is a close race, but it’s really hard to beat free service with topnotch features. It’s like Incfile is giving back to the business community by helping startups without charging them for the service.
With their 2nd-tier package, you still pay very little (at least compared to the 2nd-tier package from ZenBusiness and you’re getting a lot of services. Now it’s easy to understand why they have thousands of glowing reviews from more than half a million served customers.
That’s not to say that the ZenBusiness pricing is otherwise unfair. In fact, these prices are also terrific, and they explain the quick rise of the brand on the incorporation service industry. You’re also getting a lot of bang for your money.
Ease of Process
What differentiates these online incorporation services is from traditional services is that you don’t have to meet personally with the experts who will do the incorporation for you. Everything’s online, which is why it’s crucial that the website gives you clear directions on what you have to do to get things started.
Also, it’s much better (and lots less annoying) when the website isn’t that aggressive in pushing their upsells and 3rd-party offers for you.
Using the Incfile website is very straightforward and quite uncomplicated. You can start by checking out the available plans, neatly laid out side by side for you with the prices and features listed.
You start filling up the order forms, and you simply follow the next steps laid out for you nicely. Through each step of the application process, you have convenient links that give you more detailed explanations of various features and services. That way, you’re able to make an informed decision as to which package suits your startup best.
It’s also fairly simple even for a newbie to use the ZenBusiness website. You begin the process with the formation service order form. You get very clear and detailed instructions, so you only need a few minutes to complete the form.
You’re simply asked to decide whether you’re going with the corporation or LLC option, and then you have the packages for each option laid out neatly. Pick the package you want, add a few bits of basic information about your business, and you’re basically done. ZenBusiness does the rest.
It’s all very fast and easy, without a lot of annoying offers for upsells and 3rd-party services getting in the way. Those extra features and services are available, but they’re not aggressively promoted.
They’re both fairly easy to use, and they both don’t make you just through hoops of upsell offers before you proceed to the next step. All in all, you can breeze through the process of both incorporation services with minimal annoyance.
Just how quickly does the incorporation service finish the job? While they’re both fairly quick, you do have to take their popularity into account. Once you apply for their services, you basically fall in line along with the other startups using these services.
The good news is that with Incfile, you won’t have to keep bothering customer support about the speed, because you’re already informed about how long it will take. Incfile has a very convenient webpage for state filing times.
The time it will take will depend on what kind of corporation you’re starting, and in which state you’re filing. Incfile shows you the normal processing time, which can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks.
But you do have the option of going with the expedited filing service, which can cut down on the processing time considerably.
For example, it takes about 6 weeks to complete the process if you’re filing in California. Go with the expedited filing service, and that’s cut down to just 14 business days. Alaska filing will normally require you to wait 3 weeks, but the expedited service cuts down that period to a single business day.
The cost of the expedited service depends on the state, though for most states it will only cost $50. But some states may cost you $150 or even more.
You’re at the back of the line if you go with the Starter plan, so it may take about 3 to 4 weeks to finish the process.
But you can cut in line when you opt for the Pro package and get the expedited filing service, which shortens the waiting period to just 1 or 2 weeks. If you stick with the Starter plan, you may opt for the expedited service as an add-on.
The Premium package really sets you ahead of the line, with the rush filing service. Only the other customers who also paid for the rush filing services first will be ahead of you. With this option, the entire process may be completed in just 3 to 5 business days. It’s up to you if this is worth the extra $100 cost.
While ZenBusiness offers 3 options for the filing service speed, you get a simpler choice with Incfile. For the most part, you only pay $50 and get the fastest filing service you can get. Incfile really speeds things up, and in some states, you can get everything done in a single business day. Nothing beats that!
Even if both websites offer clear instructions and explanations for just about everything you’ll want to know, there’s still a very good chance you’ll have questions and issues that you’d want to know more about. So how good are the customer support services offered by Incfile and ZenBusiness?
Incfile offers immediate help if you call them up, and their phone lines are available Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM CST. They answer their phones promptly, and you usually get to talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about. Over the phone, their answers and explanations are quite helpful and to the point.
Incfile also has a Client Support Request form you can fill up if you want to contact them through email. The response here takes a bit longer, but usually, you don’t have to wait more than a single business day. At least this time, the response is more detailed. That may be worth the wait.
The ZenBusiness customer support is among the best in the industry, and they offer 3 ways for you to contact their customer support department. You can contact them over the phone, through email, and through chat.
Their phone lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 7 PM (Central Time). They’re also available on Sundays, from 10 AM to 7 PM. You don’t have to wait for more than a few minutes before someone knowledgeable answers your call.
Their chat service on the website is also available and the response is similarly quick. On weekdays, the chat service is open from 8 AM to 8 PM (Central Time). They’re also open for a chat on Sundays from 10 AM to 7 PM (same hours as the phone service).
If you don’t mind waiting a single business day to have your answer, you can send them a message through email. If you’re able to send your message early in the morning, you may even get your response that very same day. The answers will be very informative and detailed as well.
There may be a few incorporation services out there that offer better customer support than ZenBusiness, but Incfile isn’t one of them. That’s not to say that the Incfile customer support is bad (they’re actually quite good), but ZenBusiness is simply better.
ZenBusiness offers a chat service, but Incfile doesn’t. You can also contact ZenBusiness on a Sunday, but you’ll have to wait for Monday to get in touch with Incfile.
Admittedly, there’s not really a lot of difference between the quality of the services offered by both Incfile and ZenBusiness. They’re among the most popular incorporation services in the industry, for the simple reason that they’re among the best.
But Incfile is slightly better, according to our more detailed head-to-head comparison. ZenBusiness ties with Incfile when it comes to how easy it is to use their website, and the ZenBusiness customer support is definitely better.
Still, Incfile offers a lot of bang for the buck. Their packages offer similar services and features, but Incfile charges slightly lower prices. They even have a free incorporation service!
Add Incfile’s excellent brand reputation and formation speed, and it’s the clear winner. You certainly get your money’s worth (and more) with ZenBusiness, but Incfile really offers a lot more value for the money you spend.