Direct Incorporation vs ZenBusiness

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Comparison Overview

ZenBusiness and Direct Incorporation are two popular companies in the LLC services industry, and we’re quite confident in either company’s abilities to form your compliant business entity efficiently.

ZenBusiness offers LLC formation service for free (just pay your state’s fee), which is $170+ cheaper than Direct Incorporation’s entry-level LLC package. In addition, ZenBusiness has thousands of positive customer reviews available online, whereas Direct Incorporation has a few dozen.

Would you like to learn the details that set these service providers apart, as well as the common characteristics both share? Read on as we discuss all the information you need to make a decision between these two respected companies.

7 Things They Have in Common

1) Affordable: With either ZenBusiness or Direct Incorporation, you’ll save a significant amount of money on your LLC formation compared to hiring a business attorney to handle your formation process.

2) Valuable Features: Both of these companies have feature-rich LLC formation service packages.

3) Efficiency: Whether you choose ZenBusiness or Direct Incorporation, you’re getting a service provider that’s capable of processing an LLC formation quickly. If you’re in a hurry, both have options available that can speed up your formation.

4) Experience: Both Direct Incorporation and ZenBusiness have helped form thousands of businesses over the years, and both have plenty of expertise. You can definitely trust these companies to have the experience necessary to form your compliant LLC.

5) Trustworthy: These are both entirely legitimate operations with strong track records. These aren’t fly-by-night companies, but well-respected entities that know how to get the job done right.

6) Additional Services: LLC formation is far from the only service offered by ZenBusiness and Direct Incorporation. Both have tons of other services available, from registered agent service to foreign qualifications and much more. These are one-stop shops for business services.

7) Customer Support: These two services both have customer support networks that can answer your tough questions. Why go it alone when you can get help from ZenBusiness or Direct Incorporation?

Side-by-Side Comparisons


ZenBusiness: If you’re looking for a full-service incorporation company with some of the lowest prices in the industry, look no further than ZenBusiness. We offer LLC and incorporation services for free (just pay your state’s fee). If you’re looking for some advanced features, our $199 Pro package adds ongoing compliance assistance, an operating agreement or corporate bylaws, and faster processing. You also might like our $299 plan as well, as it adds our fastest processing, a domain name, and a business website package.

Direct Incorporation: Direct Incorporation’s pricing starts with the Standard package at $174 (plus state fee), which includes six months of registered agent service, along with EIN acquisition. While that’s not exactly a great deal, they do have some interesting features in their more expensive packages that most competitors don’t offer, like trademark protection, custom logo design, full-service web design, and more.


ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness is a recent addition to this industry, as we were founded in 2015. Since then, we’ve served 500,000+ customers, and our goal is to form one million LLCs and corporations in the next few years.

Direct Incorporation: As for Direct Incorporation, they’ve helped more than 80,000 clients since opening in 2003.

Customer Support

ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness provides access to our customer service team by phone, email, or web chat. We have expanded availability that even includes Sundays — very few competitors have any weekend availability. We pride ourselves in continuously improving the quality and responsiveness of our customer support, and we believe we compare favorably to the vast majority of competitors in this area.

Direct Incorporation: With Direct Incorporation, you can access customer support via phone or email. One aspect of their customer service that we really appreciate is the fact that they have every employee’s direct extension and email address on their website. In our experience, their support is quite responsive, and their representatives are knowledgeable.

Turnaround Times

ZenBusiness: With ZenBusiness, all formation speeds vary based on state capabilities. Also, if you’re in a hurry, you can choose one of our premium packages to speed things up a bit! When compared to other formation services, we are usually either just as fast or slightly faster. To find out your turnaround time, simply plug in your state and immediately see your estimated processing speed.

Direct Incorporation: On Direct Incorporation’s website, you can pull up a page that conveniently lists their estimated processing speeds for each state, including both standard and expedited service options. They also usually prepare your business formation documents and submit them to the state within one business day, which is always impressive.

Customer Reviews

ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness excels when it comes to customer feedback, as we have more than 10,000 reviews available online, and nearly all of them are positive. Our clients are clearly satisfied with our services, and they frequently praise our efficiency, along with the general ease of use provided by our platform.

Direct Incorporation: As for Direct Incorporation, they have a few dozen reviews available. While a slight majority of them are positive, there are some critical reviews out there as well. Either way, when we were only able to find 30 reviews for a service with 80,000+ customers, it’s basically impossible to do any meaningful analysis.

Ease of Use

ZenBusiness: Forming a new business entity is simple with ZenBusiness. You’ll start by selecting your formation package, then you’ll provide us with some basic information about yourself and your business. After that, we’ll take care of the rest. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Direct Incorporation: We were able to complete Direct Incorporation’s order form in less than 15 minutes, which is pretty impressive. They explain all of their features clearly, and they recently redesigned their package selection screen to improve the ease of use. They also have FAQs that can help you decide which package is the right one for you.

Additional Services

With either Direct Incorporation or ZenBusiness, you can access an impressive variety of additional business services. There are several services that you can purchase from either of these companies, like registered agent service, annual reports, operating agreement templates, amendments, and more. However, each company has some exclusive services as well.

For instance, only ZenBusiness offers publication service in states that require it for LLC formations, while Direct Incorporation provides access to a broad selection of advanced services, including logo and web design, as well as marketing and tax advice through their Executive Club service.

Which Is the Best LLC Service for You?

ZenBusiness and Direct Incorporation have plenty of common characteristics that make these companies two of the top LLC formation services available, but the two also have some major differences. If you haven’t yet made up your mind between these options, let’s finish this comparison by quickly describing some scenarios that may sway your opinion one way or the other.

Regardless of which one you ultimately choose to help form your LLC, we think you’ll be quite pleased with the service you receive from these companies.

🎉 Choose ZenBusiness if You Are:

Seeking reasonable price points? The free LLC formation package offered by ZenBusiness is an excellent bargain. In addition, ZenBusiness has fantastic customer reviews.

➦ Choose Direct Incorporation if You Are:

If your company can take advantage of its advanced features, Direct Incorporation’s LLC service is usually worth the money. Very few competitors can match their offerings of logo design, web design, trademark service, and more. On the other hand, some businesses don’t need these features.

Starts at $0 + state fees and only takes 5-10 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Got LLC service questions? We’ve got answers.

  • It’s impossible to not be a fan of the ZenBusiness Starter plan because it’s free as long as you pay your state’s required fee.

    You might also be interested in our Premium package for $299, which adds ongoing compliance assistance, a custom operating agreement, and a business website package, among other features.

  • While some competitors won’t handle state-specific compliance requirements on your behalf, ZenBusiness offers a truly comprehensive LLC formation service.

    This means that if you’re forming a business in a state that requires publication service to form a compliant LLC, ZenBusiness offers to take care of it for you. For example, here’s our description of our excellent New York publication service.

    Direct Incorporation does not offer assistance with publication services in any state. If you’d like more information on the best options for New York LLC publication services, check out our full guide on this topic.

  • Direct Incorporation’s refund policy is pretty strict. At best, you’ll get a refund less a $40 processing fee, but “any order that has been partially processed and has had formation documents sent to the state’s office for filing, and/or trademark documents sent to the USPTO is nonrefundable.”

    The ZenBusiness refund policy is one of the best in the industry. While many competitors have vague refund policies or even refuse refunds outright, ZenBusiness offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.

  • Quite a few people do choose to form their own LLCs using the DIY option, and this option is available to you as well. We don’t typically recommend that our readers try the DIY route though, because every state has different rules and regulations for LLC formations, and it can be a real hassle to figure out exactly what your state requires.

    Additionally, there’s no substitute for the peace of mind we receive from professional services like ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services. These companies have so much experience that you can sit back and relax, knowing the entire process is being handled by professionals.

  • ZenBusiness has a significant advantage over most other companies in this industry, Direct Incorporation included. That, of course, is our outstanding offer of a free business formation package ― no other company in this industry can beat this offering. (State filing fee not included)

    Direct Incorporation has a few of its own advantages, with the biggest one being advanced features. If your company wants branding or marketing tools or needs a new website, Direct Incorporation’s higher-priced packages are quite appealing.

  • You can get assistance with ongoing compliance issues by using either of these services, as both have several features that can help you maintain your good standing with the state.

    With ZenBusiness, registered agent service costs $99 for the first year and $199 per year after that, and we also have annual report service available for a rate of $100. Direct Incorporation offers these features as well, with annual reports costing $97. Their registered agent service is included for free for six months with any formation package, but they provide no information regarding the price of this service after that.

Best LLC Service

Customers ❤️ ZenBusiness

Simple intuitive walkthrough

Simple intuitive walkthrough

– customer

Angel D was the most…

Angel D was the most helpful,professional, knowledgeable represenatative ever!

– Bianca Brock

Jordan was incredibly helpful!

Jordan was incredibly helpful during the filing process, and we are more than confident our company is on the right track!

– Phil Carper

over 500,000 customers agree!