Are you looking to form a new limited liability company (LLC), but you’re not sure which of the many formation services can best assist you? Companies like ZenBusiness and Active Filings can do the heavy lifting for you, but how do you know which one you should use? In this ZenBusiness vs. Active Filings LLC service comparison, we’ll walk through these companies’ main commonalities and differences.
ZenBusiness and Active Filings are both reliable LLC formation services, and either can form a compliant entity. However, we have a few advantages, starting with our strong customer feedback reputation. We have thousands of mostly positive customer reviews available online, whereas Active Filings has very few reviews at all.
Another important difference is that we have considerably more experience, with 500,000+ LLC formations compared to 100,000+ for Active Filings. If you’d like to learn more about these two service providers, read on to discover all the relevant details.
ZenBusiness: We offer LLC service 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 template, an employer identification number (EIN), and faster processing. You also might like our $299 Premium plan, as it adds a business website builder, a domain name, a business email address, and 25+ business document templates.
Active Filings: With Active Filings, The Starter package costs $0 (+ state fee) and includes one year each of registered agent service and ongoing compliance assistance. For $100, The Sprinter package adds an employer ID number (EIN) and business address, along with faster processing. However, the $250 Finisher package only adds a three-ring binder and decorative seal, making it hard to justify at this price point.
ZenBusiness: We were founded in 2015 in Austin, Texas. Since then, we’ve served 500,000+ customers. We’re a public benefit corporation that provides $5,000 grants to help our customers kickstart their businesses.
Active Filings: Active Filings was founded in Miami, Florida, in 2001. On its website, Active Filings says that it has served more than 100,000 customers with business services over the years.
ZenBusiness: We provide 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.
Active Filings: Overall, we have no complaints about the quality of Active Filings’ phone or email support, as we’ve received prompt, courteous, and knowledgeable assistance from their reps. However, their hours of operation are very short (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays).
ZenBusiness: With us at 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’re 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.
Active Filings: With Active Filings, turnaround times depend on two things. First, each state has its own timelines for processing LLC formation paperwork. Secondly, Active Filings processes LLC formations a bit quicker if you order one of their premium packages as opposed to the free version.
ZenBusiness: We excel when it comes to customer feedback, as we have more than 12,000 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.
Active Filings: We were unable to find many reviews of Active Filings’ services, as we only dug up a few dozen reviews on any given site.
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 this.
Active Filings: The process of ordering LLC formation services from Active Filings is pretty simple. You’ll start by selecting your state and your business entity type (LLC, corporation, or nonprofit). Then, you choose which of Active Filings’ three LLC formation packages you’d like to purchase. From there, you only have one screen left to complete, where you’ll enter some basic information about yourself and your business and pay for the order.
With either Active Filings or ZenBusiness, you have access to a selection of additional services that can help you grow and maintain your business. As you might expect, these companies offer many of the same services, as either can help you with ongoing compliance assistance, operating agreement templates, registered agent service, and more.
However, there are also some services that are only available from one company or the other. For instance, we provide our customers with invoicing tools and business funding information, which are features that Active Filings lacks. However, Active Filings offers buy-sell agreements, which we don’t.
Active Filings and ZenBusiness have many similarities regarding LLC services but also differ in a few key ways. Furthermore, depending on your specific needs and priorities, your preference may vary. If you’re not yet decided between Active Filings and ZenBusiness, let’s review a couple of scenarios that may sway you in one direction or the other.
If you want a free LLC formation service package that includes ongoing compliance assistance, Active Filings could be worth a look.
If you’d like to form your LLC for free (+ state fee), we’re an excellent choice. We also have a much higher volume of positive customer reviews than Active Filings. Form your LLC quickly and get more tools to start your dream business.
Get Started with ZenBusiness
Starts at $0 + state fees and only takes 5-10 minutes
Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.
It’s hard not to be a fan of our Starter plan because it’s free as long as you pay your state’s required fee. If you’re looking for some more advanced features, our Pro package ($199 + state fee) adds ongoing compliance assistance, EIN acquisition, an operating agreement template, and faster filing. Meanwhile, our Premium package ($299 + state fee) adds a business website builder, a business email address, a domain name, and 25+ business document templates to the Pro package.
We’re proud to offer New York publication service — see our pricing page for more information about this service. Active Filings also offers New York publication service, but you’ll need to contact them for a pricing quote.
With Active Filings, you’ll have access to a refund policy that’s quite similar to ours at ZenBusiness. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee that lasts for 90 days — you can request a refund anytime in those 90 days, and they’ll grant it.
We also have one of the industry’s most reasonable refund policies. We provide our customers with a satisfaction guarantee that says we’ll grant a refund to anyone requesting one for any reason within 60 days of their purchase.
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.
Active Filings’ turnaround times are primarily based on each state’s formation speeds. In addition, Active Filings offers faster internal processing for customers who purchase their premium package rather than the free option.
You can. In fact, plenty of people do form their own LLCs without assistance every day. However, we simply like to caution our readers that because every state has its own requirements to form an LLC, it can be a hassle to familiarize yourself with the details of your state’s specific rules and regulations.
In addition, we appreciate the peace of mind we get from hiring a professional service because we trust their expertise. Services like ours at ZenBusiness can form your LLC for free as long as you cover the state fee.
In our opinion, Active Filings’ offering of ongoing compliance assistance with every LLC formation package is an advantage over many competitors. As for us at ZenBusiness, we have a far better customer feedback reputation than Active Filings, with thousands of positive reviews available online and only a small handful of critical feedback.
We offer registered agent service for $199 per year, and we also provide annual reports for $100 each. Active Filings offers a year of registered agent service and annual reports in each LLC formation package, and it also sells registered agent service separately for $99 per year.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information 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.