SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness

SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness: Which Legal Service is Best?

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In our SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness comparison, we’ll be looking at two of the best services to help you deal with the technicalities of starting a business.

Why Go with ZenBusiness?
ZenBusiness does NOT offer every imaginable legal service. That's a good thing! If you need an LLC or Corporation formed QUICKLY, it's hard to beat the easy registration wizard, rock bottom prices, and high ratings from happy customers.
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Table of Contents

The Main Differences Between SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness

The main differences between SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness are:

  • SwyftFilings have been around for 8 years, whereas ZenBusiness has been going for five years (at the time of writing).
  • SwyftFilings doesn’t have partnerships with charities, whereas ZenBusiness does.
  • SwyftFilings has a slightly longer registration process, whereas ZenBusiness automates this process a little and making it faster.
  • SwyftFilings charges more for their Registered Agent Services, whereas ZenBusiness charges less.
  • SwyftFilings offers you a personal rep to contact if necessary, whereas ZenBusiness doesn’t.
  • SwyftFilings have a lot of extra services in terms of business management, whereas ZenBusiness has less.
  • SwyftFilings has a fairly quick turnaround time, whereas ZenBusiness offers a faster turnaround time for an extra price.

These differences aren’t huge. SwyftFilings has a lot of advantages, including a personal rep – this personal connection to a real person can give you real peace of mind and perhaps save some time having to explain an ongoing problem to a different person each time.

Whether you want to start an LLC, a nonprofit, a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation, you’ll be facing a mountain of paperwork. From registration to licenses to operating agreements to bylaws and resolutions, there are a lot of processes to deal with. Although you can deal with these yourself, legal service providers offer a centralized platform to deal with these tricky processes. They can also prevent you from overlooking something crucial, keeping you in good stead with the state and following all the relevant processes properly. For example, if you need to apply for a state-specific license, or if you’re registering in New York and need to publish an announcement in newspapers, they can deal with that for you (but this usually involves extra fees).

Basically, it’s really important to keep on top of this paperwork – and legal services can help not only to start but also to continually manage your business. This saves you a lot of time and stress and provides you with peace of mind.

SwyftFilings and ZenBusiness are two great services – but which one is best? We’ll take a look at their features, pricing, and pros and cons, to see how they stack up against each other.

If you want to get to the essential details quickly, let’s take a look at the main differences between SwyftFilings and ZenBusiness.

ZenBusiness has its advantages, too. With a customizable package and fast turnaround time, it’s an attractive option. Plus, if you want to choose a socially conscious company, it’s going to be the better choice – they are a Public Benefit Corporation, which means they want to give back. They do this via their ‘Pay-It-Forward’ project with Kiva.org, randomly selecting women-owned and minority-owned businesses to loan money to each year.

On the other hand, SwyftFilings offers more services for an extra cost, plus they have a couple of years more experience than ZenBusiness.

They’re pretty similar in a lot of ways, however.

SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness The Similarities

They both offer a fairly quick business registration process

  • They’re both efficient, cutting out a lot of paperwork for you
  • They have very similar pricing plans
  • They both offer a Registered Agent Service
  • They both offer extras like Sales Tax IDs and LLC Operating Agreements
  • They both have helpful articles and videos to guide small business owners
  • They’re both aimed at small businesses
  • They both offer expert advice for every state
  • They both offer documentation to download online

As you can see, both services can take a lot of the headaches and stress out of starting up a small business. They do differ slightly in the services that they offer – let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.

SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness – What is SwyftFilings?

SwyftFilings was founded in 2012. It covers a whole range of services including compliance maintenance, business incorporation, corporate filings, registered agent services, corporate bylaws, tax filing, and more. In short, they can take care of the paperwork side of forming a business. They offer a lot of extra services outside of their main price plan.

It’s aimed at smaller businesses and has a lot of positive reviews from clients.

SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness – What is ZenBusiness?

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ZenBusiness is a public benefit corporation helping with business formation. It offers a range of services including business filing, report filing, compliance guidance, registered agent services, operating agreements, and Employer Identification Number application. You can choose to sign up to a premade plan or to pick and choose the services you require.

ZenBusiness uses automation in some of their processes when it comes to collecting information from you, speeding up the process slightly. They offer extra-fast processing on the higher price plans.

Features of SwyftFilings

Business Formation

The services offered by SwyftFilings covers not just LLCs, but also C-Corporations, S-Corporations, DBAs, and Nonprofits. It has an incorporation wizard to help you establish which kind of business you want to start.

The fee covers entry-level business formation services plus state fees. This gives you a business name search, incorporation document viewing on the SwyftFiling’s dashboard, plus customer support.

Essentially, if you want to start a business, SwyftFilings will prepare all the relevant documents and file them with the Secretary of State and send you the completed documents in the mail – it’s simple as that.

Ease of Use/Registration

It’s simple to sign up for SwyftFilings. Choose a package and then fill out a form – this takes about fifteen minutes at the most. Unfortunately, you’ll have to click through a lot of upsells, as SwyftFilings offer a lot of extra services too (which we’ll look at shortly). This slows down the process a little.

The dashboard is easy to navigate, and most users seem satisfied with the registration process.

Other Services

Digital Corporate Kit – $99

This gives you access to important corporate documents on a secure, cloud-based account in a digital corporate kit. These include the original filing papers, plus extra paperwork like bylaws, operational agreements and more. You can keep these here and print copies as and when required.

Business Licenses and Permits – $99

If you run a business that requires permits and licenses, SwyftFilings can find out which licenses are required and help you to complete them.

Seller’s Permit (Sales Tax ID) – $129

To collect sales tax in your state, you will probably need a seller’s permit (or Sales Tax ID). SwyftFilings can find out which permits you need and help you with the applications to ensure they are compliant.

Registered Agent Service – $149

SwyftFilings provide a registered agent service – their job is to receive formal correspondence between government agencies and your own business.

LLC Operating Agreement – $35

If you run an LLC, you might consider going for an LLC Operating Agreement. According to SwyftFilings, this shows corporate professionalism and can help to protect your personal assets. SwyftFilings creates this customized document for you.

Corporate Bylaws and Resolutions – $35

A shareholder’s agreement is another way you can protect your personal assets. This works in the same way as an LLC Operating Agreement – just fill out a form and SwyftFilings will take care of it.

Minutes Manager – $60

To receive professionally typed minutes for meetings, you can download a template to take a few notes. SwyftFilings will create minutes that will be stored in your secure cloud for download.

Other Services

They also offer S Corp Election (which helps you to avoid double taxation – $99), a Certificate of Good Standing to show banks and businesses ($45 + state fees), and State Certified Copies of your registration papers ($65 + state fees).

They also offer annual reports ($99 + state fees), dissolution ($149 + state fees), and more services to manage your business.

Features of ZenBusiness

Business Formation

ZenBusiness offers a ready-made business formation package, comprising the basic services you need to start a business. Alternatively, you can create your own business formation package, choosing from the services that they have to offer.

They also have three-time frames to choose from – the Starter Package takes 2-3 weeks, the Pro package takes 5-8 business days, and the Premium plan takes 2-4 business days (approximately). You’ll get a name search, verified filing, and expert support. ZenBusiness gathers the right documents and files them with the state for you. Once it’s finished, you can download your documents at any time using the online dashboard.

Ease of Use/Registration

ZenBusiness is pretty easy to use. The ZenBusiness platform is a free tool when you purchase any of their products, and it acts as a central hub for your businesses and documentation. It has an easy learning curve, which is great.

They offer some automation when it comes to gathering data to register your business. This makes the process really simple for you – it takes a few minutes to fill out a form and they sort out the rest for you.

Other Services

Registered Agent Service – $119 per year

Signing up with a registered agent will help you to stay compliant, avoiding penalties or fines. Any paperwork from the state will go through them, saving you time and hassle. You can view the documents at any time using the dashboard.

Worry Free Compliance – $119 per year

This keeps your business in good stead by staying compliant, covering your annual report and up to two yearly amendments.

EIN Service – $70

An EIN (Tax ID Number) is useful as it allows banks, the IRS, and other companies to track your business finances and your personal finances separately. This protects your personal assets and your limited liability (this is helpful if your company should ever be sued). It also decreases the risk of identity theft. ZenBusiness can help you to complete this using an automated form.

LLC Operating Agreement – $35

Like SwyftFilings, ZenBusiness offers help to set up an LLC Operating Agreement. This creates rules that will govern your new business, outlining ownership votes and succession plans. ZenBusiness helps to complete this, but it’s only available through a business formation plan.

Annual Reports – $75 + state fee

The automated technology provided by ZenBusiness helps you to quickly file your annual report. They will also send you notifications and reminders to help you to stay compliant.

New York Publication – $200 + publication fee

If you want to start an LLC in New York, there is a legal requirement to publish an announcement of your LLC in two newspapers for six consecutive weeks within the 120-day deadline. ZenBusiness will take care of this for you.

SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness – Pricing

SwyftFilings

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SwyftFilings offer three basic price plans. Let’s take a look at what you get:

Basic – $49 billed annually + state fees

  • Verify Company Name Availability
  • Preparation of Articles or Organization
  • Document Filing with Secretary of State
  • Online Access to Incorporation Documents
  • Lifetime Customer Support (via phone and email)
  • Free 30-Minute Business Tax Consultation
  • ComplianceGuard Company Alerts
  • Free Domain Name

Standard – $149 billed annually + state fees

  • All of the features in the Basic plan
  • Obtain Federal Tax ID (EIN)
  • Custom LLC Operating Agreement
  • Custom LLC Banking Resolution
  • Custom Organizational Minutes

Premium – $299 billed annually + state fees

  • All of the features in the Standard plan, plus
  • Electronic Delivery of State Documents
  • Customized Digital LLC Kit
  • Free Business Website and Web Hosting

They offer a payment plan, allowing you to pay in two instalments.

ZenBusiness

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ZenBusiness has three price plans:

Starter – $49 billed annually + state fees

  • Prepare + File LLC
  • Name Availability Search
  • Phone and Email Support
  • Online Document Access
  • Special Credit Card Offer
  • Free CPA Assessment
  • Virtual Business Guide
  • Registered Agent
  • Operating Agreement
  • Standard Filing Speed

Pro – $179 billed annually + state fees

  • All the features from the Starter plan
  • Expedite Filing Speed
  • Banking Resolution
  • Employer ID Number
  • Worry-Free Guarantee

Premium – $299 billed annually + state fees

  • All the features from the Pro plan
  • Rush Filing Speed
  • Business Website
  • Business Domain
  • Domain Name Privacy
  • Business Email Address

You can also build your own plan, by picking and choosing the features that you require.

How the Pricing Compares

As you can see, the pricing is very similar, with the individual services offered (like the LLC Operating Agreement) at the same price point. SwyftFilings charge a little more for the Registered Agent Service.

ZenBusiness has a more expensive plan (the Premium plan). Unless you need a very fast turnaround and you need a business website, email address and domain, we’d recommend sticking with the Starter or Pro plan – this should cover everything most people need to start a business.

SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness – Support

SwyftFilings

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SwyftFilings have a Learning Center with articles and videos that are relevant and helpful if you’re starting a business.

They also offer support in terms of a personal Business Specialist which will be assigned to you once you sign up to a plan. You can call them directly, saving time and hassle.

ZenBusiness

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ZenBusiness offers a blog with plenty of support for those starting or running their own businesses – which is a useful resource to have.

They offer business formation experts. Although you won’t be given a specific person if you need support, you can speak to them on the phone during business hours or via email.

SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness – Pros and Cons

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each service.

SwyftFilings

Pros

  • Good customer support with access to the same representative each time
  • Quick turnaround times
  • Great, efficient services

Cons

  • Registered Agent service is more expensive than the one offered by ZenBusiness
  • Sign-up process involves skipping past a lot of upsells

ZenBusiness

Pros

  • Turnaround times can be quick
  • Good customer service
  • The company works in partnership with Kiva.org – this makes them a socially conscious choice

Cons

  • You don’t get a dedicated representative for your business
  • Turnaround time can vary depending on the state

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change my order with SwyftFilings?

Yes – you can, but you have to call their customer service number.

Do SwyftFilings ship documents to P.O Boxes?

Yes, they do.

Are there any hidden fees with SwyftFilings?

No – just the state fees (which vary depending on where you are).

What payment types do SwyftFilings accept?

They accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, checks, and money orders.

What is the SwyftFilings refund policy?

SwyftFilings offer a refund if they do not meet your business needs. They only refund their fees – state fees and other third-party fees are not refundable.

What is the ZenBusiness refund policy?

Your purchase is refundable from ZenBusiness, minus state and third-party payments. However, you cannot have a refund once the registration payment is sent to the state.

Does ZenBusiness have an error-free guarantee?

They cannot guarantee there will be no errors at all. They do have excellent reviews from a lot of satisfied customers who report little to no mistakes.

Are there any hidden fees with ZenBusiness?

No – there are no hidden fees with ZenBusiness, just state fees.

Do I need an EIN (Tax I.D Number) for an LLC?

You will need an EIN if you have employees or if you are required to file certain tax forms – both SwyftFilings and ZenBusiness can help you to figure this out.

Is it worth paying for a legal service when starting a company?

In our opinion, this is worth investing in. It’s worth it for the peace of mind alone – to know that all the legalities have been taken care of and there are other people looking out for anything you may have missed.

Why Go with ZenBusiness?
ZenBusiness does NOT offer every imaginable legal service. That's a good thing! If you need an LLC or Corporation formed QUICKLY, it's hard to beat the easy registration wizard, rock bottom prices, and high ratings from happy customers.
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

SwyftFilings vs ZenBusiness Conclusion – Which One is Best?

In a nutshell: pick SwyftFilings if you want more options to manage your company. Yes, it may take longer to register than ZenBusiness, but they do have a lot of services on offer. If you live in a state with a lot of regulations, or you have the kind of business that requires a lot of licenses and you’re concerned about forgetting something crucial, SwyftFilings is a great choice. Having your own rep is really helpful, too, as they’ll have knowledge of your specific business and the requirements you need to remain in good standing with your individual state.

However, if you want a really fast turnaround or you want to pick a company that is socially conscious, you might consider going for ZenBusiness. They offer less services, they don’t give you a personal rep, and they have a little less experience. However, they’re a great company that strives to give back, plus they have a really quick turnaround (depending on your individual state).

Either service is great if you want to ensure state compliance, streamline lots of headache-inducing admin tasks, and keep everything together in one centralized platform. Crucially, both have excellent customer reviews – this is always a really good sign. They both have a great reputation for customer service, and they both strive to work accurately and professionally, avoiding mistakes as much as possible – so with either choice, you know your business will be in safe hands.

We hope this has helped you to find the right service for you. Have you used either of these services? We’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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