Forming a limited liability corporation is the first step in creating a professional business. Not only does this create a separate entity for tax purposes, but it also shields you from some liability.
In the past, people often needed support to create an LLC. They would work with an attorney, financial advisor, and other professionals who had the knowledge and resources. However, relying on these experts is often expensive and unaffordable for new small businesses.
These days, there are many online LLC formation services that can help you get off the ground. One such company is BizFilings. This firm has conducted business for 24 years and may know a thing or two when it comes to establishing LLCs.
BizFilings can assist your small business when incorporating or registering to conduct business in a state. The online firm can even help you acquire an employer identification number (EIN) so you can file taxes. They can also connect you with a registered agent service that will receive your business’s documents and ensure you meet legal requirements.
Before you turn to BizFilings to help you with all this, you may want to know if they are worth the price. So, read over our BizFilings review to get the inside scoop.
The BizFilings Process
If your company is looking to incorporate, you can conduct the process online with BizFilings. The incorporation process will only take five steps, and you will receive help from BizFilings along the way during each step. To begin, BizFilings will collect your paperwork and prepare your information for filing. Whether you apply online or by phone, the company ensures that everything is within state regulation before submitting it.
Next comes the verification for your business name. Name availability may not have been something you have considered, but it is important. BizFilings will check with your state to see if someone is using your intended name to make sure that you can do business under this entity.
Then, once all of the information that you have submitted has passed these two quality checks, BizFilings sends your documents for state filing. At this point, the turnaround time is up to the state. Even with expedited service, the approval may take up to 10 business days to process.
After the state approves your filing, you will receive a package that includes your approved documents. This packet will also contain guidelines to help your LLC or corporation succeed and abide by regulations.
Finally, when your incorporation process is complete, BizFilings offers assistance and customer support as your new business grows. Whether you need some help with payroll or sales tax or want to see what licenses you need, the BizFilings team can help.
BizFilings’ LLC Formation Services
When you use BizFilings LLC formation services for your business, you have a few different LLC packages to choose from. BizFilings offers the Basic, Standard, and Complete LLC packages, depending on the needs of your growing business.
Let’s go over the different packages that BizFilings has to offer to see which best suits your company. Keep in mind that features carry over to higher plans, so everything included in the Basic level is automatically included in the Complete package.
Basic LLC Services: $99 Plus State Fees
BizFilings’ Basic package includes everything that you need to get started, but you will be on your own from there.
Basic level features include:
- Name Availability Searches: BizFilings will comb through state business databases to make sure your name is not taken. And if someone else is using it, you can do as many searches as you want for free until you find the right name.
- Articles of Organization (Preparation and Filing): The service will draft and submit all required documents. The Articles of Organization are filed to your state of formation to officially create your LLC.
- 6 months of registered agent services: The free registered agent will receive government documents on behalf of your new entity. This is required for all LLCs. After the first six months, the registered agent service will cost $164 annually, but you are not obligated to continue.
- Six months of access to BizComply: This tool helps new business owners keep tabs on all of the important filing deadlines that their business has in the near future.
- Free 60 day trial of ClientBooks: Take some of the headaches out of managing finances with this professional bookkeeping tool by 1-800Accountant.
Who is this package for?
The Basic package is for business owners who simply want to create a business for a low price. If you are a self-starter and don’t mind doing a lot of the heavy lifting after formation, this is a good choice. However, if you have never written operating agreements or used other company documents, you should avoid this level.
Standard LLC Services: $159-244 Plus State Fees
The Standard package is the middle-tier package that BizFilings has to offer. The standard package will include all of the services that come with the basic package plus a few extras.
With the Standard Package, you receive everything from the basic package, as well as:
- An LLC Kit and Seal: This kit includes membership certificates for LLC formation and stock certificates for corporations. You will receive a customized binder embossed with your business’s information in the LLC kit as well.
- Expedited services with all of BizFilings’ processes: Your paperwork will be processed earlier than any orders from Basic plan members who submit documents at the same time. Keep in mind, however, that BizFilings cannot guarantee turnaround times while your legal documents are being processed by the state.
- Template LLC Forms: BizFilings will send you a CD with sample business documents. You can then create operating agreements, take meeting minutes, write resolutions, and more with these.
The Standard package is $229 in most states, with outliers ranging from $159-244, excluding individual state filing fees.
Who is this plan for?
This package is best for those who need a little help adjusting to their new business formation but still are hesitant to invest a large amount into their LLC. While you still have to do many things on your own, you get helpful templates and some professional items to get the ball rolling.
Complete LLC Services: $199-434 Plus State Fees
The most involved package offered by BizFilings is the Complete package. With the Complete formation package, your business will receive everything from the Standard package with a few more perks to give your top-tier LLC formation.
The Complete plan includes:
- Employer Identification Number: Your Federal Tax Identification Number is similar to a social security number. You will need an EIN for tax purposes.
- Certified Copy of Your Documents: BizFilings will send you your articles of the organization via UPS Overnight shipping.
- State-Specific Documents: Depending on your state of formation, you may receive your initial report, a certified copy of state filed formation papers, and a state tax ID form.
- “Now That You’re Formed” Compliance DVD: This is an informative video about LLC formation and the formation of corporations. Think of it as an instruction manual.
The Complete package is $359 in most states, with outliers ranging from $199-434, excluding individual state filing fees. As with the Standard and Basic packages, fees occur after the first six months of registered agent services from BizFilings.
Who is this plan for?
The Complete package is for business owners who want total assistance throughout the process. If you want to stand out as a professional, legitimate business, the documents, federal tax ID, and compliance DVD will help. You also get a few more bells and whistles that help celebrate your new LLC.
A Note About State Fees
The state fee for incorporation will vary from state to state and can drastically affect the cost of your service with BizFilings. You would, of course, still have to pay this state fee regardless of how you form an LLC. Each state will have its own filing fee for LLC formation as well.
These preparation and filing fees can also be drastically different. For example, in some states, the state fee for incorporating an LLC or corporation can be as low as $50, whereas other states require over $400.
BizFilings Review Summary
BizFilings’ LLC formation service can work for many businesses, but its incorporation services may not be the best LLC service for all businesses. We’ve consolidated a few main points from customer reviews about BizFilings to help you find the best LLC formation service for your company.
Overall, BizFilings customers review the service positively. LLC owners appreciate the incorporation service offered by BizFilings and seem to find it to be among the best LLC services. Customers like BizFilings’ flexibility when it comes to the services that they need.
Customer reviews also mention BizFilings’ customer support as one of the service’s advantages, and that speaks volumes about any service. The company is easy to contact and aims to help.
If we saw a negative BizFilings review, price points were usually to blame. Some competitors offer many similar services, like EIN creation, at lower prices.
When it comes to professional reviews, there are not many to find. That said, BizFilings is an accredited service with the Better Business Bureau. As of writing this, the company’s BBB rating was A+.
The Pros and Cons of Using BizFilings
Now that we have an understanding of BizFilings’ packages, we’ll examine the pros and cons of using BizFilings’ business formation services to form an LLC or Corporation.
Even at the lowest plan, there is a lot to like with BizFilings’ LLC formation package. The best features include:
- Fast customer service: Both email and phone support customer service are available. Customer service is available every weekday, and customer support inquiries via email are typically answered in the same business day.
- BizFilings is fairly user-friendly: The online system is straightforward, so even new entrepreneurs will find it easy to file documentation.
- Free business name check: Anyone, even non-customers, can use BizFilings to see what names are available in their state of incorporation.
- Business Owner’s Toolkit: The Standard and Complete plans give you immense value when it comes to getting your business off the ground.
- Helpful resources: All plans get trial access to BizComply and ClientBooks after LLC formation.
While BizFilings does have its many advantages, nothing is without its flaws. None of the disadvantages with the Basic, Standard, and Complete services make them automatically dismissible.
However, during our review, we found these areas that could use some improvements:
- Short trial periods: While BizFilings offers six months of registered agent service with each package, other competitors might offer one year. The same goes for resources like BizComply.
- High pricing: Some BizFilings’ competitors offer similar services at a more cost-effective rate.
- Lack of transparency: The “Expedited Processing Service” does not clearly explain wait times. It is hard to tell if this service is worth the value without knowing how much time you save during state filing.
Is BizFilings the Right LLC Service for You?
There are a ton of LLC formation services online, so who should choose BizFilings?
Based on our review, the company provides excellent services for the essential items needed to start an LLC. If you just need to get your company off the ground and don’t want to worry about the hassle, BizFilings is for you.
Likewise, if you are not sure what services you’ll need during the life of your LLC, you want to choose a package that lets you explore different features. BizFilings is a perfect choice because it connects you with BizComply and ClientBooks.
Lastly, BizFilings is for those who do not worry about the price and want to pay for convenience. While you might be able to save a little bit by using other platforms, this is the service for people who want an EIN, documents, and templates to hit the ground running.
While we certainly enjoy this service, there are a few other alternatives to the services from BizFilings.
If price points are your biggest concern, consider an option like Inc Authority. At the lowest package, they offer free LLC formation. You only need to pay the state fees to use their business filing services, which is very different from BizFilings pricing. While Inc Authority offers many of the same services as BizFilings, the company has many more positive reviews.
If you want continued support after creating your business, consider using Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom. Both of these services will connect with your attorneys who can help your business grow and stay compliant with the law during the process. Platforms like LegalZoom are ideal if you will have complex hiring requirements, want to bring on more partners, or might find yourself in legal situations quite often.
If you want more value, Corpnet might be the choice. The online company has lower pricing than BizFilings but includes many of the same perks. While its lower packages do not have free registered agent service, its top package includes 12 months of free registered agent services. Corpnet also has plans that include 24-hour rush processing, which is a little more transparent than BizFiling’s expedited processing.
More About BizFilings
The BizFilings Guarantee
BizFilings guarantees that all of your filings will happen punctually and will be accurate. It guarantees that in the event of any sort of error, the company will correct mistakes promptly.
BizFilings warranties any business services that it renders for the life of your corporation. This means that if you incur any fees for errors that BizFilings made on behalf of your company, it will cover the cost no matter how far into the future.
The service’s refund policy is also fairly lenient. If you cancel your order with BizFilings after it has already collected payment, but before the service verifies the availability of your business name, you can receive a refund for the cost. However, per the refund policy, a BizFilings customer will not receive a full refund as the service will take a $50 processing fee.
If the cancellation occurs after the name verification has taken place, but before the state receives the documents for filing, you can also receive a partial refund. But at this stage, BizFilings will take a $75 processing fee. If that state has already received your documents for filing, your payment is nonrefundable.
Start an LLC
There is no need to stress when you start an LLC with BizFilings. The Incorporation Wizard is free to use and can help you decide what business entity is right for your business. BizFilings can assist you through every step of the incorporation process, from securing a name to banking resolution.
Additionally, BizFilings offers an abundance of other resources to help you start your business, including a helpful ten-step infographic that can walk you through the process you need to follow to start a business.
Manage an Existing Business
For entrepreneurs who have already established their business, but would like a few extra resources to help manage it, BizFilings can assist you as well. In addition to giving you a checklist to verify your agent has the proper qualifications, you can also take part in several filing services, including:
- Foreign Qualification
- Name Amendment
- FEIN Obtainment
- Share Amendment
- Other Amendments
BizFilings can also help you with certified documents and has resources to assist you with your Certificate of Good Standing, Apostille, or Certified Copy. Additionally, a few compliance resources are available as well, including BizComply and the annual report service.
Companies that are looking for the best incorporation services for their LLCs will have a few questions, so we included some in this BizFilings review. See a few common questions below.
Q: Why is BizFilings’ pricing different from state to state?
A: There are different costs associated with doing business in different states. The incorporation service with BizFilings can vary widely based on these state costs. However, this is an issue that companies will find with most other incorporation services as well.
Q: What are the Articles of Organization?
A: Articles of organization are similar to articles of incorporation documents. In most cases, your state may require these documents during the formation process to recognize your business services legally.
Q: Do I need an EIN for my LLC?
A: There are only a few instances where you will not need a federal tax ID for your LLC. As a general rule, you will need an EIN if you have employees working for your LLC, even if it’s only a partner.
Q: What is the difference between the Basic, Standard, and Complete incorporation services?
A: Each LLC service available with BizFilings has a few differences. The Basic LLC service is just the bare minimum that you may need as a formation package. The upgraded services include extras like a business kit and seal for your company, as well as EIN acquisition.
Q: What kind of companies will get the best LLC service with BizFilings?
A: Companies who need additional resources outside of the Basic package will find the most value with BizFilings, as some of the most basic services are free with other companies. The higher plans give you everything from registered agent services to the LLC kit and seal.
Q: Do I need to live in the United States to form an LLC?
The U.S. does not have many restrictions when it comes to forming a limited liability company. You can start your company without being in the U.S., and you do not even have to be a citizen. You can live in another country while your registered agent service receives all legal paperwork
Q: What forms of payment can I use with BizFilings?
BizFilings customers can pay online with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and PayPal. You can also pay for the formation process with personal checks or send wire transfers.