ZenBusiness vs. Inc Authority: Which LLC service is better?

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Discover the key differences between ZenBusiness and Inc Authority in our comprehensive comparison guide.

Find the best fit for your business formation needs.

$199/yr - $349/yr
State filing fees only - other pricing not publicly available
Best For:
Entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to form an LLC or corporation quickly and affordably.
Best For:
Aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs
$199/yr - $349/yr
Best For:
Entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to form an LLC or corporation quickly and affordably.
State filing fees only - other pricing not publicly available
Best For:
Aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs

Embarking on the thrilling path of business formation and in need of the perfect partner to accompany you?

Look no further! We’re about to delve deep into a comprehensive comparison of ZenBusiness and Inc Authority, two trusted companions dedicated to simplifying the intricate journey of business establishment, compliance, and more.

Here are the answers you’ll find: 

  • Which one aligns best with your unique business needs and aspirations?
  • Which service offers the most bang for your buck?
  • How many support options are available in each service? 
  • Is simplicity your top priority, or do you crave all the extra features and functionalities?

These burning questions and more are precisely what we’re here to address.

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned business connoisseur, choosing between ZenBusiness and Inc Authority marks a pivotal crossroads.

Let’s get started on this comparison expedition and we’ll uncover which is your best business formation match. 

Pro-tip: For a more in-depth introduction to these dynamic contenders, don’t forget to explore our detailed reviews of ZenBusiness and Inc Authority.

ZenBusiness vs. Inc Authority at a glance

FeatureZenBusinessInc AuthorityWinner
SMB Guide’s Rating8/108/10ZenBusiness
Business Formation ServicesTie
Processing Time2-3 weeks for standard filing2-3 weeks for standard filingTie
Registered Agent Services and Costs$199/yearFree for the first year, $179/year afterInc Authority
Name Availability SearchLacks in-house search toolPreliminary name search availableInc Authority
Online Document AccessTie
Money-Back GuaranteesTie
Platform User-FriendlinessVery user-friendlyFairly easy and straightforward to useZenBusiness
Customization OptionsZenBusiness
Compliance AssistanceWorry-free compliance assistanceLimited compliance servicesZenBusiness
Industry-Specific ExpertiseFounded in 201532+ years of experienceTie
Customer Education and ResourcesZenBusiness
Customer SupportPhone, email, and live chatPhone supportZenBusiness
Pricing$199/yr – $349/yrPaid packages starting at $299ZenBusiness
ScalabilityLLC scalable plansLimited scalabilityZenBusiness

How we evaluate and test softwares

When testing softwares/apps, SMB Guide employs a dual approach based on free trial availability and demos. For platforms offering free trials, we test their functionalities, usability, navigation, and ease of use. In the case of tools lacking a free version or trial, we rely on in-depth research and user testimonials through software review platforms like G2, Capterra, TrustRadius, Software Advice, and GetApp to gauge their performance and capabilities. Learn more about our ratings criteria for business formation services here.

ZenBusiness: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

ZenBusiness homepage

ZenBusiness operates as an online platform dedicated to facilitating small business registration and providing essential tools for the establishment and management of enterprises.

ZenBusiness stands out for its cost-effectiveness, offering a highly user-friendly platform rich in resources, and boasts exceptional customer support as its hallmarks.

Its core features encompass business formation, registered agent assistance, online document access, a business website builder, and reporting tools.

Pros & Cons


$0 starter plan

1 year free registered agent

Fast filing

Expert customer service


Limited online features

EIN unavailable on starter pack


ZenBusiness offers three pricing tiers:

  • Starter: Priced at $0 plus state fees, this plan encompasses fundamental business formation tools and guidance. It also includes ZenBusiness’s worry-free compliance service at no cost during the first year.
  • Pro: Available at $199 per year plus state fees, this plan provides EIN generation, expedited filing speeds, and dedicated operating agents.
  • Premium: Priced at $349 per year plus state fees, this comprehensive plan includes all features from Pro and introduces advanced tools such as business documents and templates, a business website builder, a dedicated domain name, and a business email address selector.

ZenBusiness has all the tools you need in one place to start, run, and grow your own business.

Start an LLC
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Inc Authority: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

Inc Authority homepage

Inc Authority specializes in providing comprehensive assistance with LLC formation, guiding professionals, business owners, and entrepreneurs through the foundational paperwork and essential elements of business ownership.

Clients benefit from a complimentary registered agent service of up to a year, ensuring the business remains in compliance with legal requirements.

You also get access to live expert support, providing valuable guidance and assistance throughout the business formation process.

Pros & Cons


Free LLC and EIN

Free registered agent

5 star rating on TrustPilot

Live expert support


Pricing not listed on website

State filing fees vary


Inc Authority doesn’t have a very transparent pricing scheme. They offer a totally free entity setup, where you only pay for state fees and postage. 

With some extra digging, you find out that Inc Authority does have two pre-packaged plans available that work on an add-on basis: 

  • Starter: Priced at $299 plus state fees, it includes RA services for one year, EIN/ID tax number, and a corporate forms package.
  • Fast Track: Priced at $499 plus state fees, it includes all of the features of the Starter plan, plus a private banking specialist and expedited filing.
Inc Authority

At Inc Authority your future is at your fingertips, with the ease of online convenience, free entity setup and our dedicated business startup specialist on standby.

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Business Formation Services

ZenBusiness provides an all-encompassing business formation service with a particular focus on LLCs and corporations.

They excel in aiding with the reservation of an appropriate business name, guaranteeing adherence to state regulations, and facilitating seamless amendments.

Should your business journey involve dissolution, expansion to new states, the acquisition of a Certificate of Good Standing, or the registration of a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, ZenBusiness stands ready with highly accessible online solutions to fulfill all your business-related necessities.

To initiate the process, you simply need to provide your particulars and requirements, leaving the rest in their capable hands.

In essence, ZenBusiness delivers a one-stop solution designed to promote business growth and ensure compliance with ease.

Inc Authority formation services

Inc Authority exclusively provides free LLC and Corporation (including S-Corporation) formation services, meaning if you intend to establish a different type of business entity, you’ll need to explore alternative service providers.

Their LLC formation service encompasses the preparation of essential documents like the Articles of Organization and Operating Agreements.

The process begins with a series of inquiries designed to gather the necessary information, allowing them to craft the required documents accurately.

For this category, both services offer the same registration services and so they tie due to the similar range of formation services that they offer.

Winner: Tie

Processing Time

ZenBusiness prides itself on expeditious processing times that outpace the standards set by most states.

On average, the completion period ranges from 2 to 3 weeks, contingent upon both your selected state and the package you choose.

Notably, the higher-tier plans such as Pro and Premium offer accelerated processing speeds, with a maximum turnaround time of just 1 to 3 days.

For those who require an even faster turnaround, ZenBusiness extends expedited processing alternatives, available for an additional fee.

These expedited options range in cost from $49 to $99 per order, ensuring a tailored solution that caters to your specific needs.

Inc Authority processing times

Upon initiating an order with Inc Authority, the processing procedure kicks off with an assurance of completion within 24 hours.

However, it’s important to note that the specific processing duration can fluctuate from state to state, dictated by varying state requirements.

For those seeking expedited service for a quicker turnaround, this option is available.

Your designated specialist will be capable of establishing clear expectations regarding the anticipated processing timeline.

However, do keep in mind that some aspects of processing times are not entirely within either ZenBusiness or Inc Authority’s control.

Government agencies and state authorities have their own timelines as well. 

As ZenBusiness provides expedited services at a more cost-affordable price point, ZenBusiness wins this category.

Winner: ZenBusiness

Registered Agent Services and Costs

ZenBusiness offers the convenience of registered agent services for an annual fee of $119, which can be seamlessly integrated as an add-on to your selected business formation package.

This valuable inclusion guarantees that vital company documents, including tax notifications and legal summons, will be managed by seasoned professionals.

As a result, you are relieved from the burden of continually overseeing incoming mail and legal notifications.

ZenBusiness also offers a smooth transition to an alternative registered agent service provider, all without the imposition of penalties or cancellation fees.

This flexibility ensures that your business can adapt to changing needs with ease.

Inc Authority registered agent

With Inc Authority, upon signing up, you’ll enjoy a complimentary one-year registered agent service.

Subsequently, an annual fee of $179 applies for this service. Should you decide to discontinue the service before the initial year concludes, you can do so to prevent incurring any charges.

Due to its affordability, Inc Authority wins this category.

Winner: Inc Authority

Name Availability Search

ZenBusiness does not offer an internal name availability search tool. Instead, ZenBusiness directs users to the respective Secretary of State’s websites in each state for conducting name availability checks.

You also get comprehensive guidance on efficiently navigating these state websites, streamlining the process for users, even if it involves foregoing the incorporation of an in-house search tool.

Inc Authority name search

A preliminary name search option is available with Inc Authority, but I cannot guarantee its effectiveness. 

Inc Authority does perform an extensive name availability check to ensure the name’s availability in your specific state.

This process is conducted privately, and while it’s essential, its effectiveness is not readily accessible.

Due to the preliminary search feature being available, Inc Authority wins this category.

Winner: Inc Authority

Online Document Access

ZenBusiness provides seamless online access to critical business documents, which encompass formation certificates, annual reports, compliance records, and EIN confirmation letters.

This digital repository allows for effortless viewing, downloading, printing, and management of these documents from any location with an internet connection.

By embracing this digital approach, ZenBusiness effectively removes the necessity for physical document storage and mitigates concerns about misplacing pivotal records.

This, in turn, promotes enhanced organizational efficiency and ensures that you remain well-informed regarding your business-related affairs.

inc authority document access

Upon registration with Inc Authority, you’ll be granted entry to your individual client portal, where digital copies of all your business formation documents, including your EIN, can be readily accessed.

Moreover, this portal serves as a gateway for integrating another business into your account.

The client portal extends beyond document access, offering supplementary services such as web design solutions and tax consultations, delivering a holistic platform for your business requirements.

Winner: Tie

Money-Back Guarantees

ZenBusiness provides two robust money-back guarantees aimed at securing customer satisfaction.

The first is a comprehensive 100% satisfaction guarantee, granting clients the opportunity to seek a full refund within 60 days of purchase should they find themselves dissatisfied with their membership or any add-on service.

zenbusiness refund policy

The second guarantee, known as the worry-free guarantee, goes a step further by committing to refund costs and rectify any issues in the event that clients miss filing deadlines or incur fines due to ZenBusiness’s negligence.

This additional layer of assurance serves to instill heightened peace of mind among customers.

Inc Authority guarantees

With Inc Authority, You have a 14-day window starting from the order placement date during which you can request a refund.

Subsequent to this period, your order transitions to a non-refundable status.

However, if your reason for cancellation can be backed by valid claims related to the quality, you can avail the 60-day money-back guarantee

It’s important to note that this policy does not extend to LLC formation, as those fees are remitted directly to the state for the purpose of company formation and thus cannot be refunded.

Winner: Tie

Platform User-Friendliness

ZenBusiness has gained a reputation for its highly user-friendly online platform, which greatly simplifies the intricate process of business formation.

This platform offers an intuitive website layout featuring explicit instructions at each phase, ensuring that entrepreneurs can effortlessly navigate through the essential steps required to establish their businesses.

The interface is thoughtfully structured to streamline the entire formation process, covering everything from reserving a business name to filing the requisite paperwork.

It accommodates both newcomers and seasoned business owners, delivering an accessible and efficient experience.

Inc Authority interface

Inc Authority’s client portal also boasts a user-friendly design that’s both uncomplicated and relatively straightforward to pick up.

This simplicity makes it particularly accessible for beginners, allowing them to easily navigate and get acquainted with the platform.

ZenBusiness wins this category due to its extensive customer reviews praising this.

Winner: ZenBusiness

Customization Options

ZenBusiness places a strong emphasis on customization within its incorporation and business formation services.

This extends to a diverse array of customizable templates, conveniently accessible online and optimized for mobile usage.

These resources empower customers to adapt their documents and materials to align precisely with their unique business demands.

Moreover, ZenBusiness extends this commitment to customization by presenting an array of add-on services and packages.

These encompass offerings such as Registered Agents, New York Publication, business credit cards, business banking solutions, and more.

This wide selection of options and the flexibility to mix and match services grant businesses the capacity to craft a bespoke package that meticulously caters to their specific requirements.

Inc Authority customizations

Inc Authority provides several add-on options that clients can incorporate to enhance their experience. 

However, it’s important to note that the overall range of services offered by Inc Authority is somewhat limited in comparison to the comprehensive suite of services available through ZenBusiness.

While you can customize your experience with add-ons, ZenBusiness offers a more extensive array of services right from the start.

For this reason, ZenBusiness wins this category.

Winner: ZenBusiness

Compliance Assistance

ZenBusiness provides a comprehensive range of compliance support services, encompassing crucial functions like annual report filing.

This service proves invaluable for clients seeking to maintain their good standing with the state by guaranteeing the timely submission of mandatory annual reports.

Furthermore, ZenBusiness extends dedicated compliance management and worry-free compliance assistance, empowering businesses to efficiently track and oversee deadlines related to various regulatory obligations.

This level of support is instrumental in ensuring that businesses remain fully compliant with both state and federal requirements.

Inc Authority compliance

In the realm of compliance, Inc Authority focuses primarily on offering registered agent services.

Specific details regarding annual report filings and other compliance-related documents aren’t readily available on their website.

It’s possible that these services may be accessible as custom add-ons, but obtaining detailed information on them might require separate inquiries. 

For this reason, ZenBusiness wins this category.

Winner: ZenBusiness

Industry-Specific Expertise

With a wealth of experience spanning more than 8 years, ZenBusiness stands as a well-established authority equipped to cater to a diverse spectrum of industries and business sectors.

Their substantial proficiency in areas like business formation, compliance, and ongoing management positions them as a versatile and adaptable choice for entrepreneurs spanning various industries.

Having assisted over half a million small businesses throughout the years, ZenBusiness boasts a formidable foundation of expertise and services, each of which can be meticulously customized to align with the distinct requirements of individual business sectors.

Inc Authority expertise

Inc Authority has an extensive background in the industry, rooted in a mission to alleviate the apprehension, confusion, and high costs associated with business formation.

With over 30 years of experience, Inc Authority and its affiliated companies have been dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs across the nation in realizing their dreams of business ownership. 

Throughout their journey, they’ve successfully facilitated the formation of hundreds of thousands of businesses and remain enthusiastic about expanding this number further.

Winner: Tie

Customer Education and Resources

ZenBusiness offers an extensive selection of top-notch educational materials designed to aid customers in comprehending the nuances of the incorporation process, compliance prerequisites, and the continuous management of their businesses.

Within their website, you’ll discover a comprehensive repository of guides, articles, FAQs, and tutorials.

These valuable resources provide in-depth insights and detailed, step-by-step guidance on a wide spectrum of facets related to business formation and management.

Notably, they feature their exclusive ZenBusiness Academy, further enriching the array of available learning tools.

Inc Authority resources

Inc Authority’s offerings in terms of customer learning resources are notably limited.

Their website primarily features a basic blog as the sole source of informational content. 

This setup falls short in comparison to more comprehensive educational platforms offered by other service providers, leaving clients with relatively few resources for DIY learning and guidance.

Winner: ZenBusiness

Customer Support

ZenBusiness offers a range of avenues for customer support, ensuring accessibility through multiple communication channels.

zenbusiness customer support

You can connect with their customer service team via phone, email, chat, or various social media platforms.

Their support services are available on weekdays, commencing at 8 a.m. and concluding at 8 p.m. CST.

Furthermore, they extend their phone and chat support to Sundays, with operational hours spanning from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST.

To reach out to Inc Authority’s customer support, you have the option of using their online contact form.

Inc Authority customer support

However, the primary and most readily accessible channel for assistance is through a phone call.

Inc Authority offers live phone support on weekdays, specifically from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm Pacific Time, ensuring that clients can directly connect with their support team during these hours.

Winner: ZenBusiness


ZenBusiness offers three pricing tiers: Starter, Pro, and Premium, each catering to different business needs.

Here’s a table breaking down the available plans:

PlanPriceFeaturesBest for
Starter$0 + state feeBasis business formation tools and guides
One-year worry-free compliance
Small businesses/individual entrepreneurs
Pro$199 + state feeFast filing speeds
Operating Agreement
Small businesses who want expedited processing times and worry-free taxing process
Premium$349 + state feeBusiness documents
Business domain name and email address
Business website builders
Medium to large sized business formation services that can make use of the features fully

The main drawback with Inc Authority is the lack of transparent pricing.

The site confirms they offer the following for free:

  • Business name check
  • Creating and registering entity formation documents
  • Online document access
  • Tax planning consultation 
  • Registered agent service for one year
  • Dedicated customer support 

Other paid services they offer include:

  • Registered Agent (after one free year)
  • Personal Banker Service
  • LLC documents package
  • Expedited processing 
  • Website design and registration 

However the pricing for these and whether you can get them in a bundle is unclear. 

Purely on pricing factor, since it offers basic registration for free with great reviews, Inc Authority wins this category.

Winner: Inc Authority


ZenBusiness predominantly adopts a pricing structure founded on a subscription model, granting customers access to a range of subscription plans tailored to their distinct business requirements.

These plans are artfully designed to facilitate scalability, with multiple tiers on offer, each progressively encompassing additional features and services. 

On the other hand, Inc Authority doesn’t quite provide growth and scalable avenues for businesses to consider.

It’s more niche-focused on registration and incorporation, limiting scalability here.

Winner: ZenBusiness

Standout Features of ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness stands out by expediting the business formation process through swifter filing times.

The Pro and Premium plans offer the fastest filing speed, allowing you to establish your business in a matter of days, a notable improvement over the weeks-long standard process.

This accelerated service minimizes waiting periods, providing you with the opportunity to concentrate on your business’s growth.

Moreover, ZenBusiness equips businesses with integrated web editing capabilities, enabling the creation of a robust online presence.

Through a personalized dashboard, you can effortlessly set up and tailor your business website at your convenience.

This inclusive service encompasses domain name setup, website template selection, as well as content and design customization.

Standout Features of Inc Authority

What truly distinguishes Inc Authority is their unwavering commitment to delivering unmatched customer service for free.

Many companies make this claim, but Inc Authority’s reputation is substantiated by an impressive track record of 5-star reviews and an A+ Trustpilot rating, affirming their dedication to customer satisfaction and their enduring industry expertise.

Other features worth mentioning include:

  • Assistance in trademark searches which connect you with specialists for trademark assembly and application filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 
  • “Direct-hit monitoring” for trademark protection.
  • Access to a credit building system, proprietary credit development software, 90 days of business credit coaching, and a Dun & Bradstreet business credit report
  • Consultation, connections to underwriters, application filing, and ongoing support for securing working capital

However, these are paid add-ons.

ZenBusiness vs. Inc Authority: SMB Guide’s Verdict

In the matchup between ZenBusiness and Inc Authority, our verdict leans towards a clear distinction. 

ZenBusiness emerges as the victor by offering a more comprehensive suite of services, making it an ideal choice for entrepreneurs seeking versatile and robust solutions for their business needs.

To get started with ZenBusiness, click this link.

However, it’s worth noting that Inc Authority serves as an excellent budget-friendly option, particularly for those not actively seeking extensive scalability.

You can sign up with Inc Authority here!

In the grand scheme of things, while both services have their merits, ZenBusiness claims the top spot in this comparison.


ZenBusiness has all the tools you need in one place to start, run, and grow your own business.

Start an LLC
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Beatrice is a seasoned productivity writer with a knack for uncovering game-changing productivity hacks that simplify life routines. Armed with a triple major in Commerce, Accounting, and Insurance, she also runs her own digital consulting firm. You'll usually find her immersed in crafting captivating literary novels and traveling the world.