BizFilings opened back in 1996, with hundreds of thousands of businesses formed since then.
Even with so many companies offering online LLC formation services these days, BizFilings finds a way to remain relevant and popular.
This BizFilings LLC service review is structured to give you an overview of their services in a way that should help you decide if you want to use them to help form an LLC.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of BizFilings:
✔ If your state has additional steps involved with your LLC formation, like an initial report or a publication requirement, BizFilings can handle these state-level compliance items. Many competitors don’t offer these services.
✔ No matter which LLC formation package you choose, BizFilings includes six months of registered agent service. Some competitors do offer a full year, but six months of registered agent is still valuable.
✔ Their Business Owner’s Toolkit is a valuable resource including extensive info regarding LLC formation, and many other topics including compliance tips, taxation guides, and much more. Most competitors have a similar feature, but most don’t provide the value that BizFilings does.
✔ Even if you’re not a BizFilings customer, you can still take advantage of their complimentary business name availability check.
Disadvantages of BizFilings:
✖ Their prices are higher than many competitors, but BizFilings doesn’t have enough features in their packages to make their rates more justifiable. For instance you can save $60+ by using other LLC services and get the same amount of features. (See Top 7 Services)
✖ Speaking of their prices, they vary quite a bit depending on which state you’re forming your business in. Their Basic package is $99 in every state, but their Standard package varies from $159 to $244, and their Complete package varies from $199 to $434 ― and that’s without factoring in the state fee.
✖ Not all of their features are clearly explained. For example, they offer “Expedited Processing Service” with some of their LLC formation packages, but if you read the fine print you’ll discover that this does not actually expedite your order with the state.
BizFilings LLC Formation Packages
Is BizFilings Good Value? Before we look at the pricing and packages for BizFilings, let’s outline what good value in an LLC service looks like.
While $99 to form an LLC is certainly fair and less than the cost of hiring an attorney, BizFilings doesn’t offer nearly as much value compared to other LLC services. For example, with ZenBusiness and IncFile you get 3x more features and end up saving roughly $60 that can be put to good use while starting your business.
BizFilings offers three packages of LLC formation service: Basic, Standard, and Complete. If you want to review all of the individual features available at each level, take a look at how they break down below.
Basic = $99 + State Fee
➢ Articles of Organization (Preparation and Filing): BizFilings will draft and file these documents, which are submitted to your state of formation to officially create your new limited liability company.
➢ Name Availability Searches: They’ll search through state business databases to ensure that the name you want for your business is actually available. You can do as many searches as you want at no charge.
➢ 6 Months Registered Agent Service: Registered agents are required for every LLC in America. This is a person or entity that you designate to receive important government documents on behalf of your company. This makes sure that the state always has a way to reach a representative of your LLC. BizFilings will serve as your registered agent for six months, after which they charge $164/year (you are not obligated to purchase this service).
➢ 6 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 six months until you have to pay for a registered agent subscription.
Standard = Price Varies ($159-244) + State Fee
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 for stamping documents, custom membership certificates for your owners, and a membership transfer ledger to keep track of how your LLC’s ownership is distributed.
➢ Sample LLC 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 they process any Basic package orders received at the same time. If you want to expedite your order with your state of formation, you will still be required to pay that expediting fee.
Complete = Price Varies ($199-434) + State Fee
Includes everything from the Standard package, plus…
➢ Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): This number 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 (or it might not!). 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.
BizFilings Customer Reviews
We were only able to find a total of three customer reviews for BizFilings. Despite having customers numbering in the six digits, it appears that none of them ever review their services. Which is odd, isn’t it?
It’s hard to say that a general lack of feedback is an objectively bad thing, but it’s not a great sign either, especially when some of their competitors have hundreds or even thousands of positive customer reviews.
- FitSmallBusiness: 3.5 out of 5 stars (2 reviews)
- Better Business Bureau: 1.0 out of 5 stars (1 review)
Three BizFilings Alternatives
There are so many online LLC services available these days that there’s no point in using one that doesn’t feel exactly right for you. With that in mind, let’s go over three popular BizFilings alternatives.
☆ ZenBusiness – $39: We’re big fans of ZenBusiness, as they have the best combination of pricing/features. You get the same level of features as BizFilings but save $60. Plus, as opposed to getting just 6 months of registered agent service, you’ll get a full 12 months.
IncFile – $0: Another good LLC service is IncFile, which has pricing that starts at $0. Like ZenBusiness, IncFile charges much less than what you’ll pay for BizFilings’ while giving you 12 months of registered agent service. Plus, their customer feedback is extremely impressive, with very high average ratings across thousands of reviews.
Northwest Registered Agent – $79: Another alternative to BizFilings is Northwest Registered Agent with a $79 price tag. In addition to a year of registered agent service, Northwest includes their outstanding personalized customer support and promise of zero-upsells.
Is BizFilings Right For You?
BizFilings is a good company with plenty of important points in their favor. They’re not going to be the perfect fit for every business though, so let’s discuss a couple of scenarios that might help you decide whether or not to use their LLC formation service.
✔ When to Use BizFilings:
If your state of formation has extensive local compliance requirements, and you’d rather have some assistance with those than go the DIY route, BizFilings is one of the only major service providers that even offers to take care of these steps.
✖ When NOT to Use BizFilings:
If you want to purchase well-balanced packages with lots of advanced features, 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 is probably not the answer for you.
BizFilings doesn’t really stand out in any one way from their competitors, but they’re a steady provider of LLC formation service with lots of experience.
They include six months of registered agent service with any of their LLC packages, and their base rate is a reasonable $99. On the other hand, some of their competitors can beat that price while also including a full year of registered agent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
Does BizFilings Offer Any Discounts?
BizFilings does have a Share Program that offers discounts for bloggers and other business influencers, but it obviously isn’t all that widely applicable.
How Does Bizfilings Compare to Other Options?
As you probably know, there are a lot of online LLC services. If you’d like a better idea of how BizFilings stacks up to the most popular and top rated services, check out our comparison reviews:
Does BizFilings Have Good Customer Support?
They certainly do. You can contact BizFilings from 9am to 8pm ET Monday through Friday, via phone, email, or web chat. Their incorporation experts are always just a quick call away, and they’re able to solve a wide variety of problems that you may have.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
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.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
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 DIY 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 their own requirements, so you’ll need to research the exact process your state uses.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC With BizFilings?
Each state (minus Florida) 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 with BizFilings. We will note that certain states (like Alabama) require you to reserve a name before you form your business.
Can I Form an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
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 an American citizen or resident to form an LLC either, as foreign nationals are allowed to own and operate LLCs just like American citizens are.
Does BizFilings Handle State-Specific Requirements Like New York Publication and Alabama Name Reservation?
BizFilings is one of the few LLC formation services that actually does handle state-specific requirements. Some of them cost extra, but considering most of their competitors don’t offer help with these requirements at all, that’s quite justifiable. For example, they charge $100 to take care of a publication requirement on your behalf, not including the actual cost of newspaper advertising fees.
What Is the BizFilings Customer Support Phone Number and Email?
You can contact BizFilings via phone by calling 855-300-7729. Instead of publishing a specific email address, they have an email contact form on their website. Once you submit your message, a BizFilings representative will reach out to you via email as soon as possible.
Does BizFilings Sell or Share My Information With Third Parties?
BizFilings has a couple different places on their LLC formation service order form where they introduce third-party partnership offers, including with Palo Alto and ADP in the “Additional LLC Services” section.
Then, when you get down to the “Free Extras” section, they really pile them on, with offers from Pitney Bowes SendPro shipping, Grasshopper call forwarding, Hubspot customer relationship management, and a business insurance provider that they don’t even tell you the name of.
If this is a concern or annoying for you and you’d like to use BizFilings, you can let them know that you want to opt-out of their special offers. Otherwise, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which doesn’t sell your info or have any unnecessary add-ons.
I’ve Heard LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells. Does BizFilings?
Other than the third-party offers we just discussed, BizFilings keeps the upsells to a minimum. They have a few of them on their order form, but they’re not pushy like LegalZoom, and they’re mostly things that you might actually want, like a business license application package or expedited filing.
How Quickly Does BizFilings Process LLC Formations?
BizFilings has a rather unusual method for coming up with turnaround time estimates.
Instead of basing processing speeds on how quickly each state processes LLC formations, like nearly every other company in this industry, they base their speeds on which LLC formation service package you purchase from them. Their Basic package takes 4-6 weeks, while their Standard and Complete packages have 7-10 day turnarounds.
I Need an EIN but am Not Sure I Want to Pay $79. Is It Worth it?
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 on, 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, and we like to have our articles of organization and EIN confirmation in the same place. However, we would completely understand if you’d rather save some money and acquire your own EIN from the IRS directly.
Ready to Form Your LLC?
Create your LLC with BizFilings or read our comparison of the top 7 LLC services.