New business owners have an easy time nowadays setting up their businesses. I am saying this because they do not have to be involved in the paperwork process. They can set up their business in minutes at the comfort of their home using a computer.
The business formation process has received a blessing because incorporation companies have flooded the internet. A single search of an online LLC formation company yields hundreds of results on Google. As a result, new business owners are spoiled for choice in choosing the best business formation company.
It is this call that has influenced me into writing this review. My main aim is to separate the chaff and the wheat by outlining what serves best, where, and why. That, getting to know the best LLC formation service.
My first experience with the LLC formation services was messy and costly. I didn’t know the requirements. Over the years, I have learned and mastered what works and what doesn’t.
At this juncture, I wish to share my experience as a business owner with some of the formation companies. I have used and written reviews on some of the big names in the business formation industry like Swyft Filings Vs. ZenBusiness and Swyft Filings Vs. MyCorporation. Other reviews are independent, like the Swyft Filings review. You can read about them here. The refined information you get from my reviews is through firsthand experience.
Enough with the bragging! Let’s start.
Table of Contents
- Swyft Filings vs. LegalZoom: Similarities
- Swyft Filings vs. LegalZoom: Differences
- Swyft Filings Review
- LegalZoom Review
- Swyft Filings vs. LegalZoom: Comparison
Swyft Filings vs. LegalZoom: Similarities
- Both offer business formation services.
- Both offer 30minutes of free consultation.
- Both have articles to guide you when using their services.
- Both offer three plans.
- They offer registered agent services.
- Both provide payment plans.
Swyft Filings vs. LegalZoom: Differences
- LegalZoom was started in 2001 and has served millions of customers. Swyft Filings began in 2012.
- Swyft Filings is purely an LLC formation company, while LegalZoom combines LLC formation services and some corporate laws.
- Swyft Filings is easy to use for novices, while LegalZoom is faster but tricky at the start.
- LegalZoom plans are expensive compared to Swyft Filings plans.
- LegalZoom has over 20 years of experience, while Swyft Filings has almost a decade.
- Swyft Filings offer a personalized business specialist alongside other customer support channels, while LegalZoom support firsthand channels are only through a phone call and email.
Swyft Filings Review
Swyft Filings is an online incorporation service founded in 2012 by an experienced lawyer. The founder’s main intention was to automate the business incorporation process and save the new business owners from the hassles involved.
This LLC formation company has helped many small business owners set up their business. The company’s business formation process involves choosing the services you want and then leaving the company to do the paperwork for you. Additionally, they offer other services that help in keeping your business compliant with state laws.
Swyft Filings alternatives include MyCorporation, ZenBusiness, Incfile, among others.
As mentioned earlier, the LLC formation process involves choosing the services you want, and Swyft Filings will take care of the paperwork. The registration process begins with deciding which type of company formation your business should have. Swyft Filings offers four business entities; limited liability company, C Corporation and S corporation, and Non-profit Corporations. Stay with us; we’ll discuss the business entities deeply later in this review.
Swyft Filings registration process is just that; swift. The LLC service process takes a maximum of 15 minutes (unless you take breaks). What’s more, they have a bar that helps you monitor the stages of registration.
Swyft Filings offer many services, and below we have discussed them in brief and their costs.
Federal Tax ID (EIN)
The government has mandated the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide every business with a Federal Tax ID or Employer Identification Number (EIN). Federal Tax ID is a unique 9-digit number that the IRS assigns and uses to identify your business. Additionally, this number is required when you want to open a bank account or hire new employees for the company.
You can have Swyft Filings obtain EIN for you at the cost of $70.
LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a document that outlines the owners’ or shareholders’ rights regarding the finances and management. Additionally, this document protects the owners of the company from potential failures of the business management.
Swyft Filings will customize an operating agreement for you with regards to the company information you provide for $35
This document often covers the business members who have the authority to open and transact on the bank account. A bank resolution is a requirement when you are opening a bank account.
Swyft Filing will make a custom banking resolution for your business at a $30 fee.
You should record the minutes during the first meeting when the shareholders agree to start the business. This meeting needs the operating agreement and articles of the organization before conducting it.
Swyft Filings customize the organizational minutes for you at the cost of $25.
Electronic Delivery of State Documents
When Swyft Filings receives the documents of incorporation from the state, they immediately upload them online on your account. You can access and download them once they are available at the cost of $20.
Digital Corporate Kit
The digital corporate kit design keeps your company compliant. It has tools to keep your business on the right side of the law. The tools include;
- Company Seal
You can use this seal customized with your company name, year, and state of formation to mark all your business documents.
- 20 Customized Stock Certificates
You can award the certificates to the pioneer shareholders as legitimate ownership documents.
- Ownership Ledger
You can use the ledger to document ownership transfers in your company.
The digital corporate kit with the three products will cost you $99.
- Express Filing Time
This service aims to reduce the time your LLC formation process will take. This filing time and costs depend on the state of LLC formation.
- Business Address
Your business needs to have a physical address where parties can forward all mails. This address should not be a P.O. Box address.
Swyft Filings will provide you with a physical address for free in the first month, and then you will pay a monthly fee of $29.
- Registered Agent Service
The state requires companies to have a registered agent. The registered agent handles all the legal documents from the state to your business.
Swyft Filings offer registered agent service at the cost of $149 annually.
- Business License and Permits Package
Businesses require specific licenses and permits to hit the ground running. You, therefore, need to research and obtain those licenses for your business can start operating.
Swyft Filings offer to tackle the hassle that involves researching and finding the licenses needed. They offer your business this service at a fee of $99
- Minutes Manager
Every business needs to hold meetings periodically, be it a board or shareholders. This meeting’s minutes will help keep your business or company compliant.
Swyft Filings will be your business’ minutes manager at the cost of $60.
- Seller’s Permit (sales tax I.D.)
Seller’s permits enable you to obtain tax for the sales you make in your state.
Swyft Filings have professionals who will help your business apply for the seller’s permit at the cost of $129.
- Corporate By-laws and Resolutions
Laws and resolutions are fundamental in your business. They establish the formalities and protect your business from creditors. Resolutions are important because they form a peaceful way of parting ways.
Swyft Filings customize your business by-laws and resolutions at the cost of $35.
- Shipping Options
Once Swyft Filings receive your documents from the state, they can ship them to you in two different ways;
1st class shipping and handling
Swyft Filings will send your documents via USPS 1st class mail, and the delivery is within 4-5 business days. The basic and standard package is shipped using this option.
FedEx – includes Tracking.
This shipping method takes 2-3 business days. Swyft Filings offer to ship using this option to its premium package customers in 1-2 business days.
LegalZoom has been in the industry for a long time offering business formation services and legal services. Their journey began back in 2001 when they launched their web-based products involving real-estate planning, business formation, and intellectual property protection.
Over the years, LegalZoom has made business formation easy. They use the company information you provide and take care of the paperwork involved in the business formation process. Additionally, they offer legal services to keep your business by the law.
Below is the process involved.
The business formation process involves choosing the right business entity for you and providing the information needed in the registration process. LegalZoom offers four business entities in the company formation. The four entities are; Limited Liability Company, Corporation, Non-profit, and Doing Business. If you are unsure which business entity is for you, LegalZoom offers a procedure to help you decide the right business entity.
After choosing the business entity, you should select the state of business operation. When all is well and done, you can start the business registration process.
LegalZoom has a bar that shows the progress of the registration process. The bar has a green coloring, and every time you provide information in the process, the green color moves forward. What’s more, you can save the process’s progress by creating an account.
It is important to note that with LegalZoom, you don’t start with you choosing the package. Instead, it comes at the end. The process takes 10minutes or less.
LegalZoom offers many services that you can choose from in the registration process. Below is an overview.
A registered agent is a person the state serves with the legal documents when they want to contact your business. The state law requires companies to have a registered agent. The Registered Agent must be living within the state and be available within the office during business hours.
LegalZoom offers registered agent service at the cost of $249 annually. The service is subject to change at any time, but you must first find a new registered agent.
1. Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a legal document that protects your business’s status, be it an LLC or corporation. Additionally, it dictates how the company owners will behave and how they will run the business. It can be very instrumental when disputes arise between co-founders.
LegalZoom will create for you an operating agreement at the cost of $99.
2. Operating Agreement and Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The Employer Identification Number is a 9-digit number that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns to businesses. The IRS uses this number to identify and tax your business. This number is a requirement when you are opening a business bank account or when paying employees.
LegalZoom will create both an operating agreement and an Employer Identification Number at a discounted price of $159.
3. The Operating Agreement, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and Licenses
Before operating any business, you should check and have the necessary business permits and licenses from the federal, state governments, and local authorities.
Researching for the necessary permits to obtain may be tiresome. LegalZoom makes your job easier by doing the research and giving you an overview of the licenses you should have. The three services will cost you $199.
4. Smart Employer
Many are times when a business runs into problems involving employees and contracts. This package protects your business and offers the necessary help when needed. This service gives 30 minutes of a free consultation with attorneys on legal matters, access to customizable H.R. policies and contracts, and other document reviews. This service costs a monthly fee of $39.
5. Total Compliance
Compliance is vital to the success of the company. Most people do not know what is needed by the states annually to keep your business compliant.
LegalZoom offers to take care of all the issues involving compliance while running the business. This complete compliance service costs $280 annually.
6. Minutes Manager
Your business is supposed to have periodic meetings, and you should record the minutes of these particular meetings. Recording the minutes keeps you compliant with the state and maintains your company’s limited liability protection.
LegalZoom can be your minutes’ manager at the cost of $99 annually.
7. Annual Report
You’re supposed to file a report with the state every year sometime after two years or ten years. Failure to file returns leads to penalties and fines, which may even cause the loss of your liability protection.
LegalZoom will file your annual reports annually at the cost of $55, which is the standard pricing, or the rush pricing, which costs $75.
This service protects your intellectual property protection so that no one else can claim ownership. This service has many products: trademark registration, trademark search, copyright registration, provisional patent application, utility patent, and design patent. LegalZoom offers these services at different costs.
LegalZoom also offers services that will help protect your personal property from a potential threat. The package provides services for solving legal issues in wills and trust, family (divorce and name change), and real estate.
Swyft Filings vs. LegalZoom: Comparison
There are many services that we can compare between Swyft Filings and LegalZoom. Below I have done a bit on the comparison.
The company formation process involves a lot of paperwork. This paperwork depends on the business entity that you choose. In the formation process, choosing the business entity is the first step because it determines all the other necessities. Below is a brief explanation of the most common business entities;
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
It is a simple way of structuring your business and separating its liabilities from personal assets.
It is complex structuring that allows your business to go public and raise capital from the public through shares. It protects personal assets from business liabilities; however, it faces double taxation.
It has similar benefits to C- Corporation. Using this corporation, you can avoid double taxation by filing legal forms (form 2553) with the Internal Revenue Service.
This corporation exists for charity reasons. Non-profit corporations have exemptions in taxes in some states.
- Doing Business As (DBA)
This business entity enables you to do business with a different name without creating a new business.
With a notable difference, both Swyft Filings and LegalZoom offer four business entities that you can choose from.
Swyft Filings offer four business entities. The cost of forming a business with Swyft Filings is independent of the business entity you choose.
LegalZoom offers four business entities. The cost of forming a business depends on the business entity you want. For example, the cost of starting a Limited Liability Company starts at $79 plus the state fee, while that of beginning a Corporation begins at $149.
Comparing the two, Swyft Filings is cheap to start and offers uniformity. On the other hand, Legal Zoom costs are expensive and non-uniform.
Winner: Swyft Filings
The price of the service influences the possibility of you buying it. In most scenarios, we work under different budgets and therefore want to stick to what works for you. Below, we have compared the various services you get from the two business formation companies.
Swyft Filings offers three formation packages; premium, standard and basic package. The prices should not worry you because you can pay for the packages in two installments. Below is what you get on every package.
The package costs $49 + the state filing fee. From this package, you will get the following services;
- Company name verification and availability
- Articles of organization preparation
- Filing documents with the secretary of state
- Free organizer statement
- Incorporation documents access
- Customer support through phone and email for life
- Free 30minute tax consultation for your business
- Alerts for ComplianceGuard Company
- Domain name free of charge
The package costs $149 + state fees. From this package, you will get all the services available on the basic plan plus;
- Obtain the Employer ID Number(EIN)
- Operating Agreement
- Banking Resolution for your LLC
- Custom Organizational Minutes
The package costs $299 + state fees. From this package, you will get all the services available on the basic and the standard package and the following;
- Electronic delivery of state documents.
- Customized Digital LLC Kit.
- Free Business Website and Domain Hosting.
- Standard and express filing
Swyft Filings packages’ pricing is friendly and highly customizable; you can choose any package and add any services you need or can afford. What’s more, you don’t have to purchase the packages to access all the services; you can independently buy some services.
Similarly, LegalZoom offers three LLC formation plans; Economy, Standard, and Express gold. One notable difference is that the packages do not cost the same on the different business entities-for example, starting an LLC starts at $79+ state fees. However, if you are starting a corporation, the costs change to $149+ state fees, while for the non-profit business structure, the prices are $99. Additionally, the packages are not customizable compared to what other online LLC formation companies offer.
Enough talking; let’s check what you get when you buy each formation package. Below are the services you get from the packages if you are forming a Limited Liability Company.
This package costs $79 + State fees. The package offers the following services;
- A comprehensive state and federal name availability search
- LegalZoom Peace of Mind Review
- State articles of association Preparation
- LLC Filing
- Tax saving analysis
- Comprehensive LLC Welcome Packet
- All communication with the Secretary of State
- Processing all final paperwork for your business
- Digital Tracker
- LLC Next Steps Guide
- 1-2-1 Customer support
- 7- days a week, customer support for a lifetime
This package costs $329 + state fees. When you purchase this package, you will get all the services offered in the economy package plus the following;
- Founder’s kit
- Business newsletter
Express Gold Package
This package costs $349 + state fees. When you purchase this service, you will get all the services offered in the economy and standard packages plus the following;
- LegalZoom VIP Processing
- Priority filing
- Express shipping
- Exclusive LegalZoom Discounts
In comparison with LegalZoom, Swyft Filings services are cheaper and easily customizable than LegalZoom services. For example, using SwyftFilings, you can purchase the basic plan and enjoy express filing by purchasing it independently. However, if you want to enjoy fast filing time in LegalZoom, you have to buy the Express Gold package.
Winner; Swyft Filings.
Registered Agent Service
The state law requires companies to have a registered agent. Registered agents accept legal documents from the state for your business.
Most business formation companies like Swyft Filings and LegalZoom offer registered agent services, and below are the benefits of having them as your registered agent.
- They offer reliable and professional services.
- Your privacy is guaranteed.
- You will receive timely updates.
Below is an overview of registered agent service offered by both Swyft Filings and LegalZoom.
Swyft Filings act as your registered agent at a fee of $149. They guarantee professionalism, privacy, and compliance. What’s more, this service is available in all 50 states, and therefore, you don’t have to worry if your business plans to operate in different states. Additionally, you don’t have to buy a package to access this service; you can purchase it independently.
With over 1.5 million people who have used their registered agent services, you can be sure they will do the job right. They promise you compliance, alerts on deadlines, unlimited cloud storage, and identity theft protection. This service will cost you $299 annually.
LegalZoom has a good track and reputable experience; however, their registered agent service is costly than that of their competitor.
Winner: Swyft filings.
No one likes waiting forever. Business people work with deadlines. Therefore, it is probable that you will choose the business formation company that gives you an exact deadline of when you should expect your documents. Below is an overview of the turnaround time of the two services;
Swyft Filings filing time much depends on the state you are incorporating the business. You can also fasten the filing process by purchasing their express or rush filing time independently of the package you buy.
LegalZoom turnaround time is definite and more rigid. The turnaround time is much dependent on the package you purchase. Therefore, you have to buy the Express Gold package if you want a speedy filing process.
Having the filing process independent of the package feels excellent. It means that even those who afford the cheapest package can still enjoy speed processing time if they can afford it. Allowing you to customize your package shows freedom even more.
Winner: Swyft Filings
Either of the two business formation services has their perfections and imperfections. It is upon you to decide whether you love the experience. Below are some of the factors to consider when making your choice.
Choose Swyft Filings If you:
- Want highly customizable packages
- Are on budget.
- Looking for the best customer support
- Want cheap registered agent service
- Additional service
Choose LegalZoom if you:
- Are you looking for a firm with more extended experience?
- Might be interested in online legal services
- Want friendly payment plans
- Discounted operating agreements, EIN, and business licenses
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