Incorporating a business and registering it is never an easy process. A lot of work goes into the general approach, and you could find yourself needing professional help. To that end, BizFilings provides a great deal of assistance to companies and entrepreneurs looking to expedite the registration process.
Founded in 1996, BizFilings has managed to stay relevant in the industry for decades. It has helped register thousands of businesses, and it has maintained its standing in an ever-expanding industry with several other businesses like it.
The service provides several free packages, even for companies that might not pay for its full-service fees. While it might not be perfect, BizFilings definitely deserves some accolades for how well it operates.
This BizFilings review will look into the company’s operations and help you to understand what you can expect from its services. You can use it to determine whether BizFilings is the right business registration service for you.
BizFilings Pros and Cons
- Legitimacy guarantee: BizFilings has been working for decades, and they’ve helped thousands of companies register and get up and running. That definitely has to count for something.
- Support for state-level compliance: Many states have specific compliance steps that you will need to work with when forming your LLC. So, after you ensure compliance with the federal statutes, you will need to also comply with these standards. BizFilings can help you with this process, making the task easier for you.
- Registered agent service: BizFilings offers you a free registered agent service for six months, regardless of the pricing tier you go with.
- Business name availability check: This is one of the most critical services available for an LLC formation service. BizFilings offers it to both paying customers and non-paying companies.
- Effective customer support: As you can expect, BizFilings maintains extensive customer service. You can write to them, send them an email, and call them. You can also write them directly or visit them if you’re in their home state of Wisconsin. All of this is in addition to an FAQ page on their website.
- Relatively higher prices: The package offerings on BizFilings are somewhat higher than those of their competitors. While the company does a good job, you might have difficulty keeping up with the package prices.
- Price variations: The prices on BizFilings also tend to vary from state to state. For instance, while you pay a typical Basic package fee, the prices of the Standard and Complete packages vary between states. You should also keep in mind that you will need to consider state fees.
It is evident that the good outweighs the bad when it comes to BizFilings. For a more detailed breakdown of what the service offers, look through below:
BizFilings LLC Formation Packages
BizFilings offers three pricing plans:
Here’s a breakdown of each and what you stand to gain from them:
1. Basic Package
As its name suggests, the Basic package is the fundamental offering available with BizFIlings. It provides everything you will need to register your business and begin operation, ensuring that you can work through the requirements and optimize your business formation.
The Basic package costs a base price of $99. However, there are also state fees, which will vary between states. You pay the fees annually, so you only have to contend with them once a year.
In the Basic package, you get the following services:
Articles of Organization
Articles of organization are fundamental documents that outline a company’s operation and expected means of doing business. They primarily help to establish the company at the state level, and they include several vital details. Primarily, articles of organization will outline the liabilities, power, duties, and rights of each member of an LLC – as well as those which exist between the LLC and its members. Articles of organization are filed with state authorities, although many cities also have their specific zoning and licensing requirements.
Given the complexity of preparing and filing articles of organization, you need a reliable partner to help you out. BizFilings will help you to draft the documents, collecting business information from you and outlining them properly. The service also helps you file the documents with your state authorities and effectively create your new LLC.
Name Availability Searches
The name availability search is another vital service that every company needs. Regardless of your field or location, it is always possible that some other company around you has chosen a name you would like and is already operating with it.
Sometimes, it gets challenging to find these companies because they might not be operating at large scales yet. Even at that, the fact that they own your desired name means they are most likely trading with it and using it to do business. To avoid any mixups down the line, you want to ensure that a name you look into choosing doesn’t have any business tied to it already.
BizFilings will conduct a thorough search, looking through state databases to ensure that a name you’re looking to give your LLC is still available.
One of the many benefits of this service is that it is free. You can do as many searches as you want, whether you’re a paying BizFilings customer or not.
Registered Agent Service
Just about every LLC in the United States will need to have a registered agent. These professionals carry out several tasks, including accepting legal notices and summons on your company’s behalf. Essentially, a registered agent is a conduit for authorities to be able to contact and reach your company at all times.
Beyond government summons and notice receptions, registered agents also have other uses. They help with filing important documents, including and especially your company’s formation papers. As expected, they will be your point people if there’s ever a need for a back and forth with state regulators and authorities.
BizFilings will essentially operate as your registered agent. Even better, the company provides this service for free for the first six months. After this, they charge $164 a year to continue the service. Note that you are not obligated to purchase the registered agent service. However, most will recommend that you do to ensure your company’s smooth running.
Every LLC formation service has services that they provide as part of their unique suite. For BizFilings, one such service is BizComply. This service is an online compliance management tool that allows you to keep track of changing rules in your jurisdiction.
As many know, regulations, filing deadlines, and much more are subject to sporadic change from time to time. Keeping track of these changes can be a chore, especially when your business is still looking to grow and find its footing. With so many things to focus on, you might not have the time to get this done.
BizFilings provides BizComply to help with this. The service essentially provides updates when rules get changed, so you get to know about the changes firsthand and can weigh their impacts on your business.
Note that BizComply is part of the BizFilings registered agent service. So, it is also free for six months, and you get it when you renew your subscription for the latter. It is another incentive to purchase the registered agent service in the first place.
Ideal for: Small business owners looking to get their businesses off the ground.
Summary: The Basic package gives you everything you will need to register your company. For small businesses with limited capital, this package is more than ideal.
2. Standard Package
The Standard package is the next tier on the BizFilings offering. With it, you get several advanced services that can help you to establish and run your business. The Standard package primarily works to help keep your business compliant. Now that you’ve registered your corporation, you need to ensure that you stay in line with the laws of your state.
You should know that the price of the BizFIlings Standard package varies. It usually runs between $159 and $244, and you also need to consider the state fees. For most states, however, you will have to pay $229.
Generally, the BizFilings Standard package comes with everything in the Basic package, as well as the following services:
LLC Kit and Seal
Essentially, this is a binder with your company’s name printed on the spine. The document also comes with a decorative seal bearing your company’s name and logo, which you can use to stamp official documents. The kit and seal help lend an additional professional look to your company, and you can use them to stamp a wide array of forms.
Many states will require that you get the LLC kit and seal when you register your business. You can use it to mark all official documents that you send out, reducing the risk of counterfeiting or fraud.
The LLC kit and seal come with the Standard package, so there’s no standalone billing structure for it.
Expedited Incorporation Processing
Ordinarily, incorporating your LLC and getting setup could take several days – in some cases, perhaps even weeks. Given the volume of companies that the service works with, it is easy to see how BizFilings might also delay with getting your company’s processing done.
With the expedited processing, you can essentially jump the line. This service ensures that BizFilings will prioritize processing your company’s incorporation before any other organization paying for the Basic package.
LLC Operating Agreement
Your LLC operating agreement is a document showing the terms surrounding your business’s formation. The document outlines the duties of the company’s owners and members at all points in time. Like the articles of incorporation, the document is critical to your company’s operations.
Amongst other things, the LLC operating agreement allows you to set out your company’s working and financial relations. It shows relationships among business owners, as well as those among managers and business employees. The agreement also creates a line of succession that goes into effect if you need to leave the company for some reason.
BizFilings provides a template for an LLC operating agreement. The template is easy to understand, and you will simply need to put in your company details to incorporate it. As long as the information it contains is correct, you will be able to use it as you register the business.
Ideal for: Small to medium-sized business owners
Summary: This package works best for businesses looking to expand even more after a few years of operation.
3. Complete Package
This package takes you even higher up the rung. As you scale your business and expand – maybe even to different states- you will need to ensure compliance with their laws as well as the statuses of the federal government. With that in mind, it is critical to have everything you need going forward.
The Complete package comes with everything available in the Basic and Standard packages. Like the latter, it also has a price structure that varies based on your state. However, you should be ready to pay between $199 to $434. In most states, you will have to pay $359.
Some of the services available in this package include:
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The Employer Identification Number is a unique number given to every registered business entity. It is your identity before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and you will need to call on it whenever you make your tax payments.
Companies usually employ the EIN when reporting their taxes. It is also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number, and it works primarily like the Social Security Number. However, while the government uses the latter to identify individuals, the EIN is used to identify registered business entities.
Every business needs an EIN, so it is only fitting that BizFilings helps you to get one. You will need an EIN to perform tasks like hiring workers, opening a bank account, and more. By helping you with an obtainment, BizFilings ensures that you can expedite the process of setting your company up.
“Now That You’re Formed” Compliance DVD
This is essentially an instruction manual that talks about yoru LLC formation. Many company owners might still not know their obligations and duties as registered entities, and BizFilings has taken the responsibility of educating you on what you need to know.
This is one of the custom services that are available with BizFilings. The company provides detailed explanations of what you need to know to run your operations smoothly, and they also outline some of the areas where they can be of help to you.
When you work with BizFilings, they essentially handle all your company filings and registration processes. When it’s all said and done, you will need the documents they’ve procured so you can start operating and have them on call.
Thankfully, BizFilings can help you with this. The company will ship all the documents to you once they acquire them. Once all documents have been filed, and your approvals have been granted, BizFilings will immediately send them to you via an overnight shipping service.
This shipping is free of charge, so you don’t have to worry about any rates or dealing with shipping carriers.
Additional State-Specific Features
As explained earlier, different states have their regulations and requirements when it comes to operating and registering an LLC. Many of these requirements vary, and it will be important for growing businesses to keep an eye out for these as they look to expand and set up shop elsewhere.
This is what the BizFilings Complete package gets you. Whenever you’re ready to move to another state and incorporate there, the service will also help you to look into the new state’s requirements and how they might vary from those of a state you previously set up in.
For instance, if you’re looking to incorporate in Washington State, you will need to get an initial report, a certified copy of your formation papers, and a tax ID form obtained from the state. BizFilings will be there to help you navigate these requirements.
Ideal for: Large-scale businesses
Summary: Most businesses tend to start looking to expand and move into other states when their operations get to a certain point. With the BizFilings Complete package, you can get that done easily.
Sales Tax Registration
Sales and Use taxes tend to differ between states a lot. Sometimes, the differences could boil down to your very municipality. Given the diversity of applications, making your filings can be an arduous process.
BizFilings will have their professionals work with you to get state tax identification numbers. Their professionals understand the nuances of tax filings, and you can rest assured that they will work to get you a stable tax environment. From registering with the appropriate regulators to ensuring that you always make your filings in good time, BizFilings will work round the clock to get you grounded.
With their help, you will be able to focus on your core business areas while keeping in compliance with the correct tax structures. Note that the service isn’t allowed in states like Arkansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Oregon.
Payroll Tax Registration
If your business will hire employees – which it most likely will – then payroll taxes are another area where you need to focus your energy. Like other tax forms, payroll taxes have requirements that vary based on your state.
For instance, most states will require that you open tax withholding and unemployment accounts if you comply with their payroll tax rules. Even in states that might not require you to set up a tax withholding account, you will still need to set up an unemployment tax account for compliance purposes.
BizFilings also helps in this regard, ensuring that your tax withholding and unemployment accounts are set up and adequately incorporated in the state. Their experts will be available at all times to help you with whatever you need.
Business License Application Package
Most businesses will need licenses to operate in their states and municipalities. BizFilings has a Business License Wizard Tool, which they use to gather the right information and research the requirements for you to get a business license in your desired state.
With this wizard tool, you will simply answer a few questions related to your business. From there, the company’s team of experts will research the requirements for setting up a company of your nature in your desired state. This service is thorough enough, providing a snapshot of the requirements for you at the national, state, and local levels.
Note that this tool only covers one state, county, and city. If you like to cover multiple, you will need to speak with BizFilings’ professionals and get more information.
Palo Alto’s Live Plan
At some point, you could need help with expanding your business. It might be time to create a business plan so you can show prospective investors and banks who might be in a good position to give you money.
With Palo Alto’s Live Plan, you have a reliable solution for this. Palo Alto’s Live Plan is a service that is unique to BizFIlings. With it, you get a step-by-step guide that will take you through creating your business plan and presenting it.
This service includes various features, such as:
- Professional-looking business plans to give you an edge
- A simplified breakdown of your finances, both current and prospective
- Over 500 sample business plans
- Built-in research data based on your industry’s benchmarks
- An impressive, visually engaging elevator pitch
- Optimal collaboration tools
- A scoreboard dashboard
- Live support
ADP Payroll Service
Employees will take up a significant chunk of your time as a business owner. It is understandable, of course. You need to ensure that your workers are okay, and this includes everything from handling health insurance and taxes to hiring and more. Your workers are the lifeblood of your business, and you need to ensure that their needs are met.
Sadly, seeing to your workers’ needs could also affect your ability to focus on other equally important parts of your business. This is why BizFilings helps you to manage your workers’ expenses and more.
The ADP Payroll Service includes the following to help make your life and work easier:
- Tax filing
- Flexible payroll options
- A general ledger interface
- An add-on for state unemployment insurance management
BizFilings is undoubtedly one of the most impressive LLC formation services available. The service has remarkable features that work for any business, regardless of the location or industry you operate in. You will also love how much help they give with things like tax assistance, employee management, and business plan drafting.
However, several other services also work the same way. One prominent name is ZenBusiness – an LLC formations service that is beginning to make some serious waves. Despite being relatively new, ZenBusiness combines excellent features and an affordable service package structure.
BizFilings Customer Reviews
When researching companies and services, it is always a good idea to do your extensive work and ensure that you’re not being sucked into some marketing hype or the other.
We have noticed that BizFilings doesn’t have many reviews online. The service doesn’t have a page on TrustPilot or even Google Business Reviews. However, we did get some information on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) page.
While there were a few complaints, BizFilings was able to address them and provide resolutions. As far as accountability goes, this shows that the service is quite trustworthy.
BizFilings also scored a 5-star rating on the BBB page, so that should give you some assurance.
Should You Start an LLC With BizFilings?
Now that we see all the above. It’s worth asking if you should start a business with BizFilings as your LLC formation service. Some entrepreneurs might be looking to try some other options, and this is understandable.
Generally, here is a breakdown of reasons why you might – or might not – want to work with BizFilings
Pros of forming an LLC with BizFilings
- Their service covers all industries and jurisdictions
- They help with additional business aspects as well
- Great customer reviews
- Impressive customer service
Cons of forming an LLC with BizFilings
- You might not get speedy service, especially if you pay for the Basic package
- The pricing tiers might be a tad expensive
BizFilings is undoubtedly one of the best LLC formation services available. The service has favorable customer reviews and a strong support structure. The fact that it has also managed to stay operational for almost three decades shows that it is doing something right.
There are only a few customer reviews online, although most of them are positive. When you compare the services you get from BizFilings, you will find that they do a pretty impressive job overall.
However, BizFilings is also relatively more expensive than several of its competitors. With such high prices, you might be wondering whether the service provides the best bang for your buck.
All in all, BizFilings is a pretty mixed bag. It’s not the best LLC formation service, but it is definitely not the worst. With a reputable and trustworthy brand, you can rely on them to work pretty well for you – as long as you can afford them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is BizFilings Legit?
BiFilings has been operational for decades. To date, they’ve helped over half a million businesses with incorporating and registering their services. Given their legitimacy and volume, it’s safe to say that the company is legitimate.
Reviews aren’t so abundant online, but the longevity value definitely lends itself to the company and what it stands for.
Are There Any Discounts on BizFilings?
BizFilings operates a partnership program for affiliates and resellers. Other than that, we’ve not seen anything pointing to promos or discounts for services.
Is There a Refund Policy on BizFilings?
BizFilings has a refund policy. However, it has some high processing fees. For instance, if you cancel your order before they do a preliminary name check, you pay a $50 processing fee. If you cancel after that, you will have to pay $75.
Can I Form an LLC Without Being in the United States?
Absolutely. No law requires you to be in the United States before forming an LLC. In fact, you don’t need to be an American citizen either to form an LLC. Foreign nationals have the same rights to form LLCs as citizens.
Does BizFilings Handle Extra State LLC Formation Requirements?
BizFilings is one of the few LLC formation services that handle state-specific requirements. You might have to pay extra for some of them, but you will find that they are effective on several fronts. Given that many of their competitors don’t even offer this service, you have a unique advantage here.
How Do I Contact BizFIlings?
BizFilings has an extensive customer support line. You can contact them via the following channels:
- Phone Number: Call them on 855-300-7729. Theta re available from 9 AM to 9 PM ET on Monday to Friday,
- Email: There is an email contact form on the BizFilings website. Contact them from 9 AM to 8 PM ET on Monday to Friday.
- Live Chat: There is also a live chat setting available from 9 AM to 8 PM ET on Monday to Friday.
Does BizFilings Share My Information With Third Parties?
BizFilings has a few areas on the LLC formation service order form that introduce third-party partnership offers. These include the APD and Palo Alto sections.
Also, there are third-party offers in the “Free Extras” section. If this is a concern, you can let BizFilings know you want to opt-out of these special offers.
Does BizFilings Have Any Upsells?
Beyond the third-party offers, BizFilings actually doesn’t have so many upsells. They have only a few upsells on the order form, but they’re not quite as pushy. This status is a benefit for sure.
Bsidesd LLC Formation, What Else Does BizFilings Do?
BizFilings has quite a sprawling selection of compliance services. These include managed annual reports, a registered agent service, business license research, and more. They can also provide documents like certified copies, certificates of good standing, etc.
Also, BizFilings provides some filing services like dissolutions, amendments, EIN obtainment, reinstatements, and more.