Do you need to form an LLC or corporation, and you prefer to have a professional service handle the paperwork for you? BizFilings is one of several companies that can get the job done.
In this review, we’ll talk about the important details you need to know before choosing their service. Alternatively, you can check out our comparison guide of the top online incorporation services.
Why We Scored BizFilings 6/10
When it comes to online incorporation services, here’s what matters most:
- Do they offer good value for what you pay?
- Does the company have a track record for providing high-quality service?
- Do they have good customer support if you need help?
- How easy is it to place and create an order?
- How quickly is your business formed?
Based on these criteria, we scored BizFilings 6/10. We’ll get into the details below, but one of the main reasons they didn’t score higher is that you can pay less and get more with some other incorporation services.
Plus, there just isn’t much information about their track record, aside from the fact that they’ve been in business for 20+ years. For a business that’s been around as long as they have, it’s odd that more customers haven’t written reviews of their services.
Neither of these factors are major negatives, and they’re certainly not deal-breakers in our opinion either, but there are a few companies that we feel offer more bang for your buck, while also having more accessible information about their track record.
They Scored 6/10
- *Fair Pricing & Features
- *Good Customer Reviews
- *Backed by Massive Firm
Northwest Scored 9/10
- *Better Pricing & Features
- *Great Customer Reviews
- *No Up-Sells
BizFilings Overall Pricing and Value
Compared to other online incorporation services, BizFilings ranks somewhere near the middle of our ratings. On the positive side, we appreciate that they offer a unique tool that helps even the most inexperienced entrepreneur figure out what package they need to start their business.
However, their packages are all more expensive overall than some competing formation services. Their most basic package is a decent value since they include six months of their registered agent service, but there isn’t much included other than that.
The Standard and Complete packages are more expensive, but they don’t have enough valuable features to justify the additional expense. Some features (like their business license research package) that we would like to add to our LLC or corporation formation aren’t included with any of their packages, but are only offered as standalone services for an additional expense.
BizFilings got their start in the online incorporation services industry in 1996. The formation company was established by two entrepreneurs who later sold the company to Wolters Kluwer, a global compliance firm that offers a multitude of business services.
To date, BizFilings has more than 500,000 business filings under their belt, which is an impressive customer volume. Oddly enough, we were only able to track down a total of three customer reviews on third-party review websites, which is such a small sample size that we’re not able to do any meaningful analysis on it.
BizFilings offers phone and email support, and there is also a “leave a message” feature on the left side of each page on their website. We called the listed phone number, and we were quickly able to navigate through their phone tree to speak with a real person. The very first option in their phone tree is to ask questions about their products and services, so that was rather convenient.
When we emailed, we received a response the same day after sending it early in the morning. Both their phone and email responses were professional, and answered our question thoroughly, even providing additional details that were applicable based on what we asked.
The best part of their customer support is how long their hours of availability are. You can reach BizFilings representatives from 7am-9pm ET every weekday, which is a much longer window than most competitors provide for support.
Ease of Placing an Order
The point of using an incorporation service is to save time and make the formation process simple. With some online services, it can still feel like you’re basically filing on your own, but with BizFilings, the process is straightforward and streamlined.
We gave bonus points for the incorporation wizard that helps you on an even more basic level than we’ve seen with similar incorporation services. If you don’t know whether an LLC or a corporation is the right choice for you, BizFilings can help you figure it out.
As you navigate the order form itself, BizFilings leads you through seven pages that take you from selecting your formation package through the final payment step. There are opportunities for upsells along the way, but they’re quite unobtrusive and never feel pushy at all.
From the moment you start filling it out, they automatically assign an order number to your application, so you can reference it with customer service if you need assistance. This means receiving more personalized service based on the options you’ve already chosen for your particular business, and no wasted time trying to explain your situation to their representatives.
Overall Turnaround Time
BizFilings doesn’t have conveniently listed estimates for their turnaround times listed on their website. They do offer expedited processing of their own, which is a $60 upcharge for them to “prioritize your order above non-expedited orders,” but this does not actually speed anything up with the state.
They have official state expediting fees tied in with that expediting option, but again, there’s no indication of how much this option will actually speed up your turnaround time. If you’re curious about how long it will take to form an LLC or corporation in your state, we suggest contacting their customer service department.
Pricing & Features of Each Package
BizFilings offers three packages for LLC and corporation formations. While the Basic package costs $99, the Standard and Complete packages vary in price from state to state, which makes it a bit difficult to do apples-to-apples comparisons with competing services.
Each one has a list of features that come standard for the price, and all features that are included in the higher-priced packages are also available as add-ons to the lower-cost packages for an additional fee. Unfortunately, the Basic package is more expensive than similar packages from competing incorporation services, and the Standard and Complete packages are not assembled in a way that makes them a better value.
This Package Is Best for: Entrepreneurs who are simply looking to form an LLC or corporation, without all the bells and whistles that other packages include.
This package costs $99 plus the state filing fee, and it includes the following features:
- Name availability searches – BizFilings will search your state’s business database to make sure that your desired company name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business entity.
- Preparation and filing of articles of organization (LLC) or incorporation (corporation) – They will create your formation documents, then submit them to your state government to officially form your new business.
- 6 months registered agent service – BizFilings will use their address as your mailing address to cut down on junk mail and the sharing of personal information. You can renew this service after your first six months for $164 per year.
Standard ($159-244 ― $229 in most states)
This Package Is Best for: Entrepreneurs who want to form an LLC or corporation while also getting a compliance binder that includes helpful documents for operating your business.
The Standard package varies in price depending on your formation state. In most states, this package costs $229, although in others, it’s priced as low as $159 or as high as $244. No matter which base rate you pay for this package, you will need to add your state fee to that price point. This package includes everything from the Basic package, plus:
- Business kit and seal – You will receive a binder embossed with your company name, along with a decorative seal customized with your business info. In addition, you’ll either receive custom membership certificates (LLC) or stock certificates (corporation).
- Expedited processing – With this feature, BizFilings promises to “prioritize your order above non-expedited orders” during the in-house processing phase of your formation. Once they submit your documents to the state, separate state expediting fees will be charged if you want rush service.
- Customizable sample documents
Complete ($199-434, $359 in most states)
This Package Is Best for: Entrepreneurs who are looking to form an LLC or corporation, while also receiving an EIN and some other bonus features.
The Complete package varies in price depending on your state. In most states, this package costs $359, but in others, it’s priced as low as $199 and as high as $434. Regardless of the base price, you will need to add your state filing fee on top. This package includes everything from the Standard package, plus:
- Federal tax ID number (EIN) – BizFilings will acquire your EIN, which you’ll need if you want to hire employees, and it also helps you pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, etc. You can obtain your own EIN from the IRS for free, but this feature removes that hassle.
- Certified copy of state-filed documents – An authenticated copy of your formation documents, produced by your state. A certified copy has several potential uses, from executing banking activities to replacing lost or stolen documents to foreign qualifying in other states.
- UPS Overnight shipping for your completed formation documents
- Informational “Now That You’re Formed” DVD
In many states, this is the full list of features for the Complete package. In others, there may be additional features, like an initial report, a state tax ID form, and more.
The standalone add-on features vary considerably from state to state. In most states though, your options for add-ons are a business license application package, a GoDaddy website builder package, and the Palo Alto LivePlan financial software. None of these features are necessary to form your compliant business, but they can certainly help if you need assistance in these areas.
Final Thoughts on BizFilings
BizFilings has strong customer support, and they also have a considerable amount of longevity to go with a high client volume. However, there are very few customer reviews available online, and at the end of the day their formation packages just don’t have as much value as we’d like to see for their price points.
There are certainly worse options to form your new LLC or corporation, but we don’t feel like BizFilings is the best option for many entrepreneurs either. However, they are reputable and trustworthy, and they never try to sneak any hidden fees past you.
All told, BizFilings is a middle-of-the-pack option for online incorporation service.