ZenBusiness vs Incfile

Features, pricing, and contract terms compared

Patrick Ward Patrick Ward Follow Published: Sep 27, 2022

ZenBusiness formation services are geared towards small businesses (SMBs) such as local service businesses and small shops. Incfile, on the other hand, is designed with solopreneurs in mind. The flexibility of ZenBusiness packages is well designed for companies that can't quite justify a lawyer, but need ongoing help with formation, tax papers, and compliance. Incfile is the right choice for side hustles graduating to the big leagues; especially consultants and freelancers.

Content on this page does not constitute financial advice. It is intended for general information purposes only.

ZenBusiness

4.2/5 stars

ZenBusiness features a fast onboarding flow that quickly routes new customers to a suggested formation type and package. It's not as nuanced as working with a lawyer, but it comes closer than Incfile on the formation advising side.

IncFile

4.4/5 stars

Incfile's core differentiation is their $0 fee for new LLCs, which makes the first year costs equivalent to managing all the paperwork manually in person. To make this possible, their packages are less flexible than ZenBusiness.

Summary of key differences

FeatureZenBusinessIncFile
Entry price$49 + state fees$0 + state fees
Standard processing time3 business days1 business day
Foreign qualification fee $49 $149

Pricing Analysis: ZenBusiness vs IncFile

Both ZenBusiness and Incfile are highly affordable, starting at $49 + state fees for ZenBusiness and $0 + state fees for Infile. This compares favorably to the industry average for first year fees. Renewal fees for services like registered agent are similar between the two. Incfile is overall the more budget-friendly option, which is part of why it's popular for one-person LLCs.

ZenBusiness pricing

The base pricing from ZenBusiness is more expensive than IncFile. However, note that pricing is impacted by state fees. For example, ZenBusiness customers setting up an LLC in Delaware will see an initial cost of $139 (package cost plus the state LLC fee). In Wyoming, the same package would cost $249 because of the higher state fee.

IncFile pricing

IncFile is the less expensive formation service offering compared with ZenBusiness. However, note that pricing is impacted by state fees. For example, IncFile customers setting up an LLC in Delaware will see an initial cost of $90 (package cost plus the state LLC fee). In Wyoming, the same package would cost $200 because of the higher state fee.

ZenBusiness vs IncFile market value analysis

Market average based on analysis of 9 formation services providers.
MetricMarket AverageZenBusinessIncFile
Lowest package price$156 before state fees$49 + state fees$0 + state fees
Formation processing time9 business days3 business days1 business day
Registered agent annual cost$152 $49 $149

User experience & onboarding

Onboarding for ZenBusiness is more complex than average, and they require new customers to complete a chat interview before showing their pricing. This is good for non-standard LLC and C-Corp setups, since it better accounts for additional fees. The price shown has fewer hidden fees than the industry norm.

Onboarding for new Incfile customers can be completed within an hour, and they list their packages clearly on their website with no need to go through a complex vetting quiz. Incfile also offers chat support for onboarding. Using chat, a live agent walks new customers through the process and collects the required information directly in the chat.

Incfile is more of an off-the-shelf product, while ZenBusiness packages are more customized based on the company details. Onboarding with both is very fast and can be completed within a half hour. ZenBusiness has a step-by-step quiz used to collect user details, while Incfile has a more standard three-package click-to-buy offering. Incfile also allows customers to sign up via chat.

Formation speed

Incfile makes a stronger formation speed promise than incfile, claiming one-day delivery versus the three days promised by ZenBusiness. Both score well in this departement, since some services take up to 20 days to complete the same paperwork.

ZenBusiness promises a maximum of three days for most standard formations, placing it in the low-mid range for processing times among formation services. ZenBusiness commonly matches one-day services, but doesn't advertise it heavily because state processing systems can delay some formation types.

Incfile's one business day promise is among the fastest turnarounds on the market. They're able to accomplish this because they err on the side of rigid, clear-cut plans rather than customized packages. Note that time can lag in some states due to limitations on state processing systems.

Are they worth the cost?

ZenBusiness is targeted at traditional SMB and Bootstrapped Startups. Their messaging is focused on business owners who have standard SMB businesses that can be started with family and friends funding or personal savings rather than requiring investment from outside sources such as VCs, Private Equity or Wall Street. If your business concept falls into a quintessential SMB that will require a handful of employees but isn't likely to scale, ZenBusiness is targeted at you.

IncFile is aimed at Solopreneurs. Their site consists of a number of resources around individuals turning their side hustles into full-time businesses, powered by IncFile. They also brag as social proof about the number of Entrepreneurs specifically that their product has helped. If you fall out of the solopreneur category i.e. looking for tax advantages or future fundraising, then the angle of IncFile may not be appropriate for you.

The NanoGlobals editor's rating for ZenBusiness is based on a mix of their strong marks for smooth onboarding and package flexibility. Although pricing trends high compared with similar services, part of this is because they are transparent about add-on costs. They feature fewer hidden fees than the industry norm, and we like that they don't vary the recurring fees.

The NanoGlobals editor's rating for Incfile reflects the fact that while their pricing is among the lowest in the industry, the add-on and recurring fees often come as a surprise to first-time solopreneurs using the service. Incfile is a reliable service for customers who understand the fees and the fact that registered agent fees are recurring. Incfile gets strong marks for offering a transparent and simple package pricing scheme.

Author Credentials

Patrick Ward is an expert on working with startups and new businesses. He has 8 years experience serving tech-enabled companies with staffing and growth.

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