Best LLC Service in California (2024 Update)

Finding the best LLC formation service in California is crucial when you’re ready to establish an LLC.

The right LLC service will ensure your business gets off the ground quickly and that your official documents are accurately drafted and promptly submitted to the California Secretary of State.

The wrong LLC service can delay your business setup for weeks, or even months, disrupting your daily operations due to the absence of necessary licenses.

I have evaluated the top 10 LLC formation services in California using a four-stage, five-factor process. Here are the results of my analysis.

1. Northwest Registered Agent: 9.45/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)

Northwest Registered Agent is the top LLC service in California due to its cost-effective formation package and outstanding customer support.


Northwest’s formation package includes all the essential services to establish your California LLC. This covers obtaining a business name and address in the state, filing your articles of organization, drafting your operating agreement, providing an online document storage portal, and sending compliance alerts to ensure you don’t miss critical filing deadlines.

Additional services include a 90-day free trial of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, a business tax consultation with Northwest’s in-house accountants, and a complimentary year of registered agent service.

Northwest also offers extra comprehensive services for an additional fee, such as acquiring an employer identification number (EIN), certified copies of your formation documents, and a Certificate of Good Standing.

However, the standout feature is their customer support team.

Unlike many LLC service providers that outsource their customer service to overseas call centers, Northwest has a US-based team known as Corporate Guides. This team comprises former lawyers, accountants, and small business owners with extensive experience in California LLC matters.

Their expertise allows them to offer valuable advice and assistance throughout your business journey. Such specialized support can cost up to $5,000 a day from third-party advisors, making it a significant benefit of Northwest’s service.

Northwest Registered Agent’s formation package is normally priced at $225, but our readers can enjoy an 82% discount by using my dedicated link, reducing the cost to just $39. This discount is due to the high traffic I bring to Northwest’s site.


The only drawback with Northwest is the absence of services to help build your online presence, such as a personalized business website, email service, and domain name registration.

However, this is a minor issue as you can obtain these services from providers like Wix and Squarespace for as low as $15.


Northwest is the best business formation service in California due to its superior customer support and comprehensive, affordable LLC services.

Their $39 formation package includes everything needed to establish your business in California, including a free year of registered agent service. Their Corporate Guides provide ongoing support throughout your business journey.

If you want affordable LLC formation services with excellent guidance for your California LLC, visit Northwest Registered Agent using my dedicated link to get an 82% discount.

All prices listed are per state, per year.

2. ZenBusiness: 8.25/10 (Best Essentials LLC Service)

ZenBusiness offers an attractive starting price of $0 plus the filing fee, but its lack of registered agent services and small business support makes it more costly than it first appears.


ZenBusiness’ standout feature is its $0 fee for basic services. For this price, you get essential services such as a business name availability search and help with completing and filing your formation documents.

For $199, the Pro plan includes expedited filing (4–6 days) and assistance with drafting your operating agreement.

The $299 Premium plan offers rush filing (1–2 days), a business email and domain name, and a custom website-building tool.


While the $0 plan covers the essentials for forming your LLC, any additional services come with extra costs.

One major shortfall of ZenBusiness’ packages is the absence of a free year of registered agent service. Only the $199 plan includes registered agent service, which can be expensive for some business owners.

This means if you need a registered agent in California, ZenBusiness will cost you more from the first year and every year thereafter.

ZenBusiness’ customer service is adequate for standard tasks like updating billing information or changing passwords but lacks the capability to provide tax advice or offer HR and logistics solutions.


ZenBusiness is a solid choice if you’re on a tight budget and need only basic services. Its price for covering the fundamentals is unbeatable.

If you think ZenBusiness is the right LLC formation service for your needs, you can read more on its website.

3. Harbor Compliance: 7.15/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)

Harbor Compliance stands out as the best premium LLC service provider in California due to its personalized customer support.


Harbor Compliance offers all the essential services needed to establish your California LLC. This includes filing your formation documents, providing a draft operating agreement template, assisting with applying for an employer identification number (EIN), and offering a free year of registered agent service.

The most notable feature of Harbor Compliance is its personalized customer support. Instead of dealing with a hotline, an online chatbot, or an anonymous email address, you are assigned a personal representative. This representative understands your business challenges and provides credible advice and guidance during your business formation and beyond. You’ll have consistent contact with the same person, avoiding the need to repeatedly explain your business to different people.


The main drawback of Harbor Compliance is its cost. The lowest formation package is priced at $399, while the premium Compliance package costs $799. This makes Harbor Compliance significantly more expensive than Northwest.


Harbor Compliance offers a premium LLC formation service in California with all the necessary business services to set up your LLC. The personal account manager who guides you through the business formation process is a unique feature not offered by other companies on this list.

Although its $399 basic package is more expensive compared to Northwest, it provides excellent LLC services in return.

If you need a personal representative to guide you through your California LLC setup process, contact Harbor Compliance today.

4. Swyft Filings

Swyft Filings is a relatively new player in the company formation industry. For $49, it offers services to draft and file your formation documents, provides an online document storage portal, and offers a 30-minute business tax consultation. Additionally, it includes a free business domain name for one year.

However, the reason it’s ranked fourth on my list is that it does not offer a free year of registered agent service. To get this service, you need to sign up for the $149 package, which doesn’t include state fees. For $100 less, you can get a free year of registered agent service with Northwest.

Despite this, Swyft Filings remains a reliable and reputable LLC formation service that will help you start your business smoothly.

For more details, read my Swyft Filings review.

5. MyCompanyWorks

MyCompanyWorks offers a $79 basic package that includes assistance with your operating agreement, filing your formation documents, an online portal for document storage, and compliance alerts to keep you on track with important filing deadlines.

The drawback, however, is the cost. To access a free year of registered agent service, you’ll need to upgrade to the $279 package. Northwest offers a free year of registered agent service for just $39.

6. Inc Authority

Inc Authority attempts to replicate ZenBusiness’ pricing strategy with a $0 LLC formation package. That’s right, Inc Authority doesn’t charge for filing your initial formation documents. However, if you require additional services such as an EIN, an operating agreement, or a company seal, you’ll need to upgrade to their $399 package. And if you want a year’s worth of registered agent services, you’ll have to pay $799!

If you’re short on funds and only need to file your formation paperwork, ZenBusiness is a better option.

7. Incorporate Fast

Incorporate Fast offers a $99 basic package that includes assistance with your operating agreement, help with filing your formation documents, sample document templates, and a year of registered agent services.

The standout feature of Incorporate Fast is its claim to process every new business filing the same day it receives your request.

8. BizFilings

BizFilings charges $99 for its basic package, which includes assistance with filing your formation paperwork, compliance alerts, and a free year of registered agent services.

However, it falls short by not providing an online document storage portal, a business tax assessment, or assistance with drafting your operating agreement. Given the price, BizFilings doesn’t offer much value for your money.

9. Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer is primarily an online legal services provider that also offers basic LLC formation services. For $99 (plus state filing fee), Rocket Lawyer will file your articles of organization and provide an online portal for storing important documents.

Considering that Northwest charges $39 for similar basic services, you’ll get more value with them than with Rocket Lawyer.

For a more detailed analysis of Rocket Lawyer’s services, read my full Rocket Lawyer review.

10. LegalZoom

LegalZoom, similar to Rocket Lawyer, is another legal services provider that offers minimal LLC services. For $99, it only assists with your initial formation documents and provides a banking solution. That’s it.

If you specifically need a legal service provider in California, LegalZoom can help. However, for comprehensive LLC formation services, you’re better off choosing a full-service provider like Northwest Registered Agent.

Other California LLC Services

The following seven LLC services are subpar compared to the top 10 and don’t warrant a full review, but they deserve a mention. Here they are in no particular order:

11., similar to Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom, offers a $99 package that only provides assistance with your articles of organization and an online document storage portal.

12. CorpNet

CorpNet’s $79 package includes assistance with filing your articles of organization and providing compliance alerts. That’s all it offers.

13. MyCorporation

MyCorporation provides online document storage and assistance with your articles of organization and operating agreement, but charges $133 for its basic package.

14. Direct Incorporation

Direct Incorporation offers the same services as MyCorporation but adds a banking resolution and an EIN. It charges $147.

15. InCorp

InCorp files your articles of organization and assists with your operating agreement, all for $117. Additional services come with extra costs.

16. Nationwide Incorporations

Nationwide Incorporations charges $200 for the same services offered by InCorp.

17. SunDoc Filings

SunDoc Filings offers a $79 package that assists with submitting your articles of organization. The $99 Key package helps draft your operating agreement, and the $279 Premier package provides you with an EIN.

The Best LLC Services Review Summary

After evaluating these LLC services, Northwest Registered Agent is my top choice for the best LLC service in California.

Its $39 basic package includes all the essential services needed to start a business in California, and its Corporate Guides offer unparalleled small business advice.

If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable LLC service in California with outstanding customer support, visit Northwest Registered Agent today.

Best LLC Service Review Methodology

This is the approach I used to determine the best LLC formation service in California:

Why You Should Trust Me

You can trust my recommendations for LLC services because I possess extensive experience and knowledge in the LLC formation industry.

My journey began when I launched my first business. Lacking the expertise to file my articles of organization with the Secretary of State, I hired an LLC service. Unfortunately, the service I chose was expensive and disappointing (though I won’t name it because it has improved over time).

My second business venture was much smoother. I selected Northwest Registered Agent as my LLC service, and their dependable Corporate Guides made the process straightforward.

My third experience with forming an LLC was equally seamless. This time, I opted for a premium formation service. I chose Harbor Compliance to benefit from their personal account manager.

Beyond using these services myself, I’ve helped many people choose the right business formation service for their startups. This motivated me to create A Platform for Good. Since then, I’ve assisted over 1,000 individuals in finding the best LLC service for their new businesses.

How I Selected the Best LLC Service

I used a thorough four-stage, five-factor analysis to identify the best LLC formation service in California.

Stage 1: Reviews

The initial step in my process was to examine popular business review websites such as Google Business, Facebook, TrustPilot, and the Better Business Bureau. Most business formation services request customer feedback (both positive and negative) on these platforms to gauge the quality of their offerings.

This analysis of customer reviews helped me identify which LLC services were legitimate and which were scams.

However, since customer reviews can be unreliable, I couldn’t rely solely on them.

Stage 2: Website Analysis

After distinguishing the legitimate formation services from the underperformers, the next step was to visit each service provider’s website to scrutinize their advertised claims and statements.

This allowed me to understand the range of services each provider offered and how they positioned themselves in the market. What promises did they make about their services?

Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers

Once I had a grasp of how these companies positioned themselves in the market, the next step was to speak with actual customers to see if they lived up to their claims. While online reviews provide some insight, they often reflect only the most extreme positive or negative experiences.

I reached out to friends and others I’d referred to business formation services, as well as speaking with A Platform for Good visitors, to gather firsthand feedback about their experiences with these LLC services.

Stage 4: Speaking With Sales Teams

In the final stage, I contacted the customer service departments of each formation company to probe them about the negative reviews they had received on the various customer-review websites I’d examined earlier.

This allowed me to observe how these LLC formation services’ customer care teams handled criticism and dealt with unfavorable reviews.

If you’re looking for Best Registered Agent Services in California, Check out our list here.

Rating Factors

Throughout the four-stage analysis process, I evaluated these business formation services using the following five criteria:

Factor 1: Offerings

The first criterion in my analysis was the range of services provided by each LLC formation package.

Some services offer only the basics, such as filing formation paperwork or drafting an operating agreement.

Other providers offer comprehensive packages that include applying for an EIN, compliance alerts, access to in-house accountants for financial advice, an online document storage portal, and an official business address in California.

A select few even provide legal services and free registered agent service to handle service of process and other important documents in addition to business formation.

The significant differences in the types of services offered by these LLC formation services made this a crucial starting point for my analysis.

Factor 2: Price

The second criterion I evaluated was cost. Prices for LLC services ranged from $0 to as high as $799. Considering the wide disparity in the types of services offered, the cost per service was a crucial factor in my ranking process.

Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up

The third criterion was the ease of the sign-up process.

Some LLC formation services have outdated, cumbersome systems that look like they were built in the 90s. Others feature modern, user-friendly websites designed to save time and effort.

I examined the sign-up systems of each LLC service to determine which required the least effort and time.

Factor 4: Ease of Use

The usability issues present in the sign-up process often extended to other important sections of the websites.

For example, some LLC formation services provided numerous blank forms to fill out, even though the same details had already been entered on other forms. In contrast, other services featured intuitive websites that pre-fill data, often requiring just a signature to complete the registration process.

Factor 5: Customer Service

The final factor I used in my evaluation was the quality of customer support.

Some companies outsource their customer support to call centers overseas, staffed by people who may not fully understand the intricacies of US business practices.

In contrast, companies like Northwest have US-based customer-care departments with highly experienced personnel who not only assist you in setting up your business but also provide credible business advice throughout your business journey.

This significant disparity in customer support quality was crucial in determining the overall ranking of these LLC services.

In Conclusion

After evaluating the 10 best LLC formation service providers using a thorough four-stage, five-factor analysis, I concluded that Northwest Registered Agent is the best LLC service in California.

Northwest offers everything you need to start your business while providing the best value for your money. For a discounted price of $39, you get assistance with filing your articles of organization, help drafting your operating agreement, and a 90-day free trial of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

Additionally, Northwest provides a business name and address in California, compliance alerts to keep you in good standing, a business tax consultation with their in-house accountants, an online document storage portal, and a free year of registered agent services.

Northwest’s Corporate Guides are a team of former business owners, lawyers, and accountants who understand the complexities of running a business. They are available to support you throughout your California LLC formation process and continue to offer credible business advice during your entire business journey.

If you are ready to start your business journey with a reputable company that ensures your success, visit Northwest Registered Agent today and enjoy an 82% discount.

I assessed each LLC service based on how simple and user-friendly their systems were to navigate.