BizFilings Review 2021: Pricing, User Reviews, Alternatives

This BizFilings review covers what this service offers, pricing, pros and cons, user reviews and top alternatives.
Jennifer PostOct 27, 2020

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When you first started your business, a sole proprietorship or general partnership may have been the best fit. But as your business grows, you may find it’s time for a different business entity — one with greater personal liability protection or more clearly defined structural processes.

That’s where an online legal service like BizFilings comes in. BizFilings, helps business owners incorporate their business, among other offerings.

Overview

BizFilings offers services to help business owners form an LLC, corporation, nonprofit; register a DBA name or select or change their registered agent. It follows a five-step process when you incorporate using its services.

  1. Quality check: After you submit your paperwork, BizFilings ensures that all information provided meets state requirements for the state in which you are incorporating.

  2. Name check: A preliminary check will be done to make sure the business name that you’ve chosen isn’t already taken by another incorporated business in the state where you’re filing. The state will grant final approval.

  3. Documents filed: BizFilings will prepare your incorporation documents on your behalf and send them right to the state agency. It is then up to the state to approve and process, but once this is done, BizFilings will make those documents available for you in its Online Status Center.

  4. Documents delivered: After all of the processing is complete, the final documents will be sent to you, including company form templates specific to the business type you chose to help with ongoing compliance.

  5. Post-incorporation and ongoing support: The final steps are formalizing your business by holding meetings to issue ownership shares and certificates. You can also use its Business License Wizard to make sure you have all the necessary business licenses and permits to legally operate your business.

Features

BizFilings is all about helping business owners incorporate their business, and you can choose from a variety of business entities.

  • Limited liability company (LLC): An LLC is a business entity that has the benefits of the business owner not being personally responsible for business debts and liabilities; business taxes are typically reported on the owner’s personal tax returns.

  • Nonprofit: BizFilings can also help with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt filing services.

  • C-Corporation: This is a standard corporation and the most common corporate structure.

  • S-Corporation: This is a corporation that has elected a special tax status with the IRS — similar to an LLC, taxes are filed at the personal level of the owner rather than the business.

  • Registered agent: Selecting a registered agent service is typically required by law. BizFilings will file the paperwork and pay the state’s change of agent filing fee.

  • Doing business as (DBA): Also known as a trade name, your DBA is the name, other than your business’s legal name, that your business operates under.

  • Limited partnership (LP): Limited partners act as “silent partners” and have no involvement in management or business decisions. This is similar to a general business partnership in that it still offers limited liability protection to some of the partners.

  • Limited liability partnership (LLP): This is typically only used by business owners in industries that require a state license in order to operate, such as accountants, architects, attorneys, doctors, dentists, etc.

BizFilings will also handle all the necessary paperwork included in the services listed above.

Pricing

Registered agent services are required by law when handling state, tax and legal documents when operating a business, so that is included in even the most basic plan. You’ll also see that some type of kit and seal is in all of the plans. This includes all the tools needed to comply with business formalities. BizComply is also included in all of the plans, which is BizFilings’ 24/7 business monitoring tool and document library.

It’s important to keep in mind that some fees will vary depending on the state you’re incorporating in, so the package prices are just a base price.

Entity Type

Price

Features

LLC

Basic: $99 per month + state fees

Standard: $229 per month + state fees

Complete: $359 per month + state fees

Business name verification, preparations and filing of documents, BizComply, registered agent services, LLC kit and seal, sample operating agreement and other customizable LLC forms, expedited processing service, Federal tax ID (EIN), compliance DVD, certified copy of state-filed documents, overnight shipping

C-Corp and S-Corp

Same Basic, Standard and Complete package rates

Same as LLC, except you will receive a compliance kit and seal, sample bylaws and other customizable corporate forms, corporation-specific compliance DVD

Nonprofit

Same Basic, Standard and Complete package rates

Same as LLC except you will receive nonprofit kit and seal, a book: Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations, and no sample bylaws or other agreements

LP

Same Basic, Standard and Complete package rates

Same as LLC except you will receive LP kit and seal, sample partnership agreements and other customizable forms

LLP

Same Basic, Standard and Complete package rates

Same as LP but with an LLP kit and seal

Pros and cons

So, where does BizFilings stand out — and where does it fall short?

Pros

  • BizFilings is essentially one-stop shopping for incorporating your business.

  • Additional resources to ensure customers are as educated as possible.

  • Founded in 1996 by entrepreneurs, so the people behind the business have experience in what BizFilings is offering.

  • Have a full team of incorporation specialists available to assist customers and answer questions.

  • No hidden fees.

  • The BizFilings team will be with you and your business for the lifetime of your business.

Cons

  • To get everything you need, the price might be a little steep for some small businesses.

  • You’re still responsible for state fees in addition to the package pricing.

  • There is so much information on the website, it can be overwhelming to take it all in and understand where to start.

  • No access to legal advice.

Customer reviews

An interesting thing about BizFilings is how few reviews it has compared to how many customers its website claims to have served: over 500,000. A quick search only brings up less than a handful of negative reviews dating back to only 2017.

Not having a ton of BizFilings reviews isn’t necessarily a bad thing; however, as you compare your options, you may find yourself more comfortable choosing a service that has more transparency around how customers like the service.

Alternatives

It’s always good to have competition, and as a small-business owner, it’s especially helpful to have more than one option so you can find the best fit for your business needs. Here are a few alternatives to BizFilings, and what makes them viable competitors.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom offers very similar services as BizFilings, like LLC and nonprofit creation, DBA filing and EIN services. Plus, LegalZoom will help customers compare business types so they can decide which is best for their business. LegalZoom also offers a variety of packages for customers to choose from ranging in price from $149 to over $349. LegalZoom is a little bit more comprehensive when it comes to access to attorneys, which could be a huge plus for your business. If you need a more hands-on approach when it comes to business legal proceedings, having access to an attorney to bounce questions off of and get expert advice may make LegalZoom the better option for you.

Rocket Lawyer

Another viable option for those looking to incorporate a business is Rocket Lawyer. Rocket Lawyer’s packages are a little bit different, as it offers a premium membership that includes things like free incorporation filing for new members, 25% off registered agent services and free legal documents. Then, there is non-member pricing where everything is priced on a more à-la-carte basis. The non-member pricing is going to be best for businesses that only need a few documents or services here and there and don’t have something coming up often enough where paying a monthly fee would be worth it for them.

Incfile

Incfile advertises business formation for as little as $0 + state fees. Incfile can help with LLC, S-corp, C-corp and other entity formation. It offers lifetime customer support, online access to incorporation documents and free registered agent service for one year. Incfiles’s packages are similar to BizFilings in that they vary based on the type of business you are forming and where you are located. For example, an LLC in New York will run you $205 for the Silver package, $354 for the Gold and $504 for the Platinum.

Incfile’s prices are much higher than BizFilings, but it offers additional services like bookkeeping and banking, as well as a very easily accessible learning center where you’ll find tools like a business name generator, a checklist for starting a business and tax calculators, among others. These extra services make Incfile a good alternative to BizFilings for someone who has never started a business before and is in the very early stages of doing so.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet