BizFilings has been around since 1996, and they’ve formed 500,000+ businesses in that time. The company is a subsidiary of the information services company Wolters Kluwer.
On its website, BizFilings shares its mission statement as follows: “Our single focus is to help entrepreneurs and business owners start, run, and grow their companies. We work with companies of all sizes and offer products, services, and tools that provide companies the support they need throughout the life of their business.”
✔ If your state has additional steps involved with your LLC formation, like an initial report or publication requirement, BizFilings can handle these state-level compliance items, just like ZenBusiness can. Many competitors don’t offer these services.
✔ No matter which LLC formation package you choose, BizFilings includes three months of registered agent service.
✔ Their Business Owner’s Toolkit is a valuable resource including info regarding LLC formation, compliance tips, taxation guides, and much more.
✖ BizFilings charges at least $99 + state fee for an LLC formation. By contrast, you can form an LLC for free (just pay your state’s required fee) by using us at ZenBusiness.
BizFilings offers three packages of LLC formation service: Basic, Standard, and Complete. Take a look at how they break down below.
➢ Articles of Organization (Preparation and Filing): BizFilings will draft and file this document, which is submitted to your state of formation to officially create your new limited liability company.
➢ Name Availability Searches: They’ll search state business databases to ensure that the name you want for your business is available.
➢ Three Months of Registered Agent Service: Registered agents are required for every LLC in the U.S. This is a person or entity that you designate to receive important government documents and service of process on behalf of your company. BizFilings will serve as your registered agent for three months, after which they charge $220/year.
➢ Three Months BizComply Tool: This online compliance management tool helps you keep track of state-specific rules, regulations, and filing deadlines. This tool is included with registered agent service, so like that feature, this only lasts for three months until you have to pay for a registered agent subscription.
Includes everything from the Basic package, plus…
➢ LLC Kit and Seal: A binder with your LLC’s name printed on the spine, along with a decorative seal, custom membership certificates, and a membership transfer ledger.
➢ LLC Template Forms: You’ll receive a CD that includes customizable templates of business documents like operating agreements, meeting minutes, resolutions, and more.
➢ Expedited BizFilings Processing: BizFilings will prioritize the processing of your order before any Basic package orders received at the same time.
Includes everything from the Standard package, plus…
➢ Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): This number, also called an employer identification number (EIN), is like a Social Security number for your LLC. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, hire employees, and more. BizFilings will acquire your EIN from the IRS.
➢ “Now That You’re Formed” Compliance DVD: This is essentially a video instruction manual for your LLC formation.
➢ Certified Copy of Your Documents with Overnight Shipping: They’ll acquire a certified copy of your Articles of Organization from your state after they’re filed, then overnight it to you.
➢ State-Specific Features: Depending on which state you’re forming your business in, this package may include additional features. For example, in the state of Washington, the Complete package also includes an initial report, a certified copy of your filed formation papers, and a state tax ID form. But in some other states, there are no additional features.
Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.
BizFilings offers a handy tool that helps entrepreneurs figure out which entity they should form. However, their packages are all more expensive overall than some competing formation services (for instance, ZenBusiness offers a free LLC package that only requires you to pay your state’s fee).
At $99, the BizFilings Basic package includes three months of registered agent service. The Standard and Complete packages vary in price from state to state, even before factoring in the state fee. For example, in some states, the Complete package is priced at $199, but in others, it costs up to $434, and then you add your state fee on top of that.
BizFilings got its start in the online incorporation services industry in 1996. The formation company was established by two entrepreneurs who later sold the company to Wolters Kluwer, a global compliance firm that offers a multitude of business services.
To date, BizFilings has completed more than 500,000 business filings. However, we were only able to track down a total of 18 customer reviews on third-party review websites.
BizFilings offers phone and email support, and there’s also a “leave a message” feature on their website. We called the listed phone number, and we were quickly able to navigate through their phone tree to speak with a real person.
When we emailed, we received a response the same day after sending it early in the morning. Both their phone and email responses were professional, and they answered our questions thoroughly. You can reach BizFilings representatives from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET every weekday.
The point of using an incorporation service is to save time and make the formation process simple. With some online services, it can still feel like you’re basically filing on your own, but with BizFilings, the process is straightforward.
As you navigate the order form itself, BizFilings leads you through seven pages that take you from selecting your formation package through the final payment step. There are opportunities for upsells along the way, but they’re mostly unobtrusive.
From the moment you start filling it out, they automatically assign an order number to your application, so you can reference it with customer service if you need assistance.
BizFilings doesn’t have conveniently listed estimates for their turnaround times listed on their website. They do offer in-house expedited processing, which is a $60 upcharge for them to “prioritize your order above non-expedited orders.”
They have official state expediting fees tied in with that expediting option, but again, we couldn’t find any indication of how much this will speed up your turnaround time. If you’re curious about how long it will take to form an LLC or corporation in your state, we suggest contacting their customer service department.
BizFilings won’t be the perfect fit for every business, so let’s discuss a couple of scenarios that might help you decide whether or not to use their LLC formation service.
If your state of formation has extensive local compliance requirements, and you’d rather have some assistance with those than go the do-it-yourself route, BizFilings and ZenBusiness are two of the only major service providers that even offer to take care of these steps.
If you want to save some money or if you feel more comfortable using a company that has lots of available feedback from their customers, BizFilings may not be the answer for you.
The main way BizFilings stands out is if you want help with state-specific compliance requirements, in which case ZenBusiness and BizFilings are two of your only options.
BizFilings has a reasonable base rate of $99 (plus your state’s required fee). However, some competitors like ZenBusiness offer LLC formations for free + state fee.
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Frequently Asked Questions About BizFilings
BizFilings has been in business since 1996, and to date, they’ve helped form more than 500,000 business entities. However, we were only able to find 18 reviews of their services, so it’s hard to get a complete picture of the way their customers feel about BizFilings.
We’ve done countless hours of research on this topic, reviewing and comparing LLC formation services. We invite you to check out some of our comparison guides, which take a head-to-head view of the competition between BizFilings and their top competitors:
BizFilings vs ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness will form your LLC for free (just pay your state’s required fee). Meanwhile, BizFilings charges at least $99 for its LLC service, and you’ll still need to pay the state’s fee on top of that. ZenBusiness has more than 10,000 positive customer reviews online, and BizFilings has hardly any feedback.
BizFilings vs Northwest Registered Agent: Northwest charges $225 while including a year of registered agent service, while BizFilings charges $99 and includes a registered agent for three months. Another noteworthy difference is Northwest’s 700+ mostly positive customer reviews, compared to fewer than 20 for BizFilings. If you want help with state-specific compliance requirements (like New York’s publication requirement), you may prefer BizFilings or ZenBusiness.
BizFilings vs Incfile: Like ZenBusiness, Incfile offers LLC formation service for free (plus state fee), compared to BizFilings’ base rate of $99. Incfile also has 50,000 customer reviews, while BizFilings only has a handful of feedback. On the other hand, again, Incfile doesn’t offer state-specific compliance services, while BizFilings and ZenBusiness do.
BizFilings vs LegalZoom: LegalZoom offers LLC formation for free (plus your state’s fee), while BizFilings charges $99 and includes a registered agent for three months. LegalZoom has more than 4 million customers served, and it has thousands of customer reviews available online.
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any discount codes for BizFilings. BizFilings does have reasonable pricing to begin with, but it’s disappointing that there aren’t any ways to knock their rates down a bit.
They certainly do. You can contact BizFilings from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, via phone, email, or web chat.
They do have a refund policy, but it carries significant processing fees. If you cancel your order before they do your preliminary name check, they’ll refund your purchase price less a $50 processing fee. If you cancel after that, it’s $75.
Sure, you can form your own LLC. In fact, there are quite a few entrepreneurs who do just that. However, we will caution that the do-it-yourself route includes a decent amount of red tape and paperwork, so it can be a hassle. Furthermore, there isn’t one set way to form an LLC, but rather every state has its own requirements, so you’ll need to research the exact process your state uses.
Each state has a way to reserve a business name before forming your entity itself. In general, this is only necessary if you aren’t yet ready to enter the formation process.
If you’re ready to start your business, there’s no reason to reserve your name before forming your LLC. We will note that certain states (like Alabama) require you to reserve a name before you form your business.
BizFilings offers registered agent service, managed annual reports, business license research, business forms, and ownership certificates. They can also provide certified documents like Certificates of Good Standing, apostille, and certified copies. In addition, BizFilings offers some other filing services, including foreign qualifications, dissolutions, amendments, EINs, conversions, and reinstatements.
Yes, there is no requirement that you be present in the U.S. to form an LLC. In fact, you don’t need to be a U.S. citizen or resident to form an LLC either, as foreign nationals are allowed to own and operate LLCs just like U.S. citizens are.
Much like ZenBusiness, BizFilings is one of the few LLC formation services that actually does handle state-specific requirements. For example, they charge $150 ($100 BizFilings fee, $50 New York state fee) to take care of a publication requirement on your behalf, not including the cost of newspaper advertising fees.
You can contact BizFilings via phone by calling 608-827-5300. Instead of publishing a specific email address, they have an email contact form on their website.
Their Basic package typically takes 4-6 weeks, while their Standard and Complete packages have 7-10 day turnarounds, although these can vary from state to state.
This is a tough question to answer without knowing the specific needs of your unique business. We personally enjoy getting an EIN included with our LLC formation, even if it means spending extra to add it or to upgrade to a higher level of LLC service. The convenience of not having to get one ourselves through the IRS is worth it for us.
The biggest advantage for BizFilings is the fact that they offer state-specific compliance assistance, much like ZenBusiness does. Their biggest disadvantage is that they charge at least $99 to form an LLC. By contrast, ZenBusiness offers a free package — and you’ll have to pay your state’s required fee either way.
They certainly do. BizFilings offers registered agent service for the rate of $220 per year. They also offer managed annual report service, although you’ll need to call them for a pricing quote.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
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