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Active Filings Review: Pros, Cons & Pricing

In this article, I review Active Filings, a company that helps you form an LLC. You’ll learn what they offer, the price, and if it’s a good service.

Review Summary

Best for Spanish Speaking Entrepreneur
Active Filings
Free Registered Agent
Yes, for the first year
Basic Package Price
Free + State fee
Support Quality
Live Chat
Turnaround Time
Mobile App
Ease of Use
Very good
Active Filings is a comprehensive LLC formation service, offering free basic LLC formation, free registered agent service for the first year, and affordable renewal fees. The company stands out for its bilingual customer support and user-friendly platform, although some users report mixed customer support experiences and difficulties with service cancellation. While it lacks a mobile app, its range of services and competitive pricing make it a strong candidate for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and international clients. However, those seeking more personalized legal guidance or additional legal support may want to consider other options.
  • Free basic LLC formation
  • Free Registered Agent Service
  • Spanish customer support
  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Affordable registered agent renewal
  • No mobile app
  • Mixed customer support experiences
  • Service cancellation difficulties
  • Unclarity on refund policy

What Is Active Filings?

Active Filings is a company founded in 2001 by Roberto Neuberger, focusing on LLC formation services. It provides a comprehensive suite of services aimed at assisting businesses in their startup phase, including legal and branding services. The company distinguishes itself by offering a free year of registered agent service with its starter package, highlighting its dedication to supporting new businesses.

Packages and Pricing

Active Filings offers three distinct packages for LLC formation, catering to various needs and budgets. Their pricing structure is designed to accommodate the essentials for starting an LLC and includes options for expedited service and additional features like privacy protection and EIN acquisition.

FeatureThe Starter ($0 + State Fee)The Sprinter ($100 + State Fee)The Finisher ($250 + State Fee)
Basic LLC FormationYesYesYes
Registered Agent ServiceIncludedIncludedIncluded
Annual Report ComplianceIncludedIncludedIncluded
Business Address & Expedited ServiceNot AvailableYesYes
Privacy Protection & EINNot AvailableNot AvailableYes

This table shows the core offerings of each package. The Starter package provides the basics for LLC formation along with a free registered agent service for the first year. The Sprinter package adds a business address and expedited service, while The Finisher package includes all of the Sprinter features plus privacy protection and EIN, making it the most comprehensive option.

Ease of Use

Based on my testing and feedback analysis, Active Filings ensures ease of use through a streamlined process. Clients receive dedicated support from specialists, making it straightforward for users to navigate the platform and manage their LLC formation efficiently. The intuitive online platform is designed for easy navigation, simplifying complex steps, and making it accessible to those unfamiliar with LLC formation processes.

active filings

Registered Agent Service

Active Filings offers a registered agent service with all LLC formation packages. This service is crucial for legal compliance, acting as a reliable contact for official documents. Active Filings provides this service for free for the first year, followed by an annual renewal cost of $99. This arrangement is facilitated through their partnership with Registered Agents Inc.

Registered Agent Review

Analyzing Active Filings’ registered agent service reveals its practicality for new businesses. The initial free year is an appealing feature for startups looking to minimize costs while establishing their legal framework.

Active Filings Registered Agent Price

The service is free for the first year across all packages, transitioning to a $99 annual fee thereafter. The $99 is also amongst the cheapest provided by any LLC formation service company. This structure supports businesses in maintaining legal requirements affordably.

Pricing Comparison: Active Filings vs. Others

A comprehensive pricing comparison of Active Filings with ZenBusiness, Bizee (formerly Incfile), and Northwest Registered Agent provides insight into their value propositions. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

ServiceBasic Package (excl. State Fee)Registered Agent (1st Year)Registered Agent RenewalExpedited ServiceEIN Acquisition
Active FilingsFreeFree$99/year$100 (Sprinter) / $250 (Finisher)Included in Finisher
ZenBusinessFree$199$199/yearIncluded in Pro PlanIncluded in Pro Plan
Northwest Registered Agent$39 (Special offer)Free$125/yearIncluded$50

This table highlights the competitive landscape in LLC formation services. Active Filings offers a balanced approach with a free basic package and a moderate renewal fee for the registered agent service. ZenBusiness and Bizee offer similar entry points with varying fees for renewal and additional services.

Northwest, while starting with a low-cost entry package, maintains a straightforward pricing model for their registered agent service. The choice among these services may come down to the specific needs of a business, such as expedited filing or EIN acquisition, and the value placed on the registered agent service beyond the first year.

Customer Support Quality

Based on user reviews and my analysis, Active Filings provides effective customer support. The company offers assistance through email, phone, and online chat during business hours. Users have highlighted the helpfulness and responsiveness of the support team, noting the convenience of the online dashboard for tracking orders and accessing documents.

The overall customer review rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Active Filings is 3.75 out of 5 stars. While most feedback is positive, emphasizing affordability and user-friendliness, some users reported challenges, particularly with the service cancellation process.

Active Filings Phone Number and Email Address

For direct support, Active Filings can be reached at +1-800-609-2521 or via email at [email protected]. Their customer service operates Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. More information and support resources can be found on their contact page at Active Filings Contact Page.

Turnaround Time

Active Filings’ turnaround time for LLC formation depends on the state and the package selected. Choosing the Starter package results in a standard completion time of 14 business days, which is quite slow compared to the other services that I reviewed, such as Northwest Registered Agent. Opting for the Sprinter or Finisher packages significantly reduces this timeframe to 3 business days, thanks to expedited processing, but I have found that it’s still slower than a few other services that offer faster turnaround time for free.

Customer Feedback Analysis

Active Filings generally receives positive reviews for its customer service and affordability. The online dashboard is appreciated for its ability to track orders and download documents. With a BBB rating of 3.75 out of 5 stars, the service is noted for its convenience and effectiveness for small business owners.

Common praises include affordability, ease of use, responsive customer support, and quick service. However, there are reports of difficulty with service cancellation and mixed experiences with customer support.

Common Pain Points:

  • Cancellation Difficulty: Some users find it hard to cancel services, calling for simpler processes.
  • Up-selling: Higher-tiered packages may include add-ons that some customers find unnecessary.
  • Mixed Support Experiences: While many report positive interactions, a few felt their needs were not fully met.
  • Refund Policy and Website Navigation: The clarity around refunds and website usability can be areas of improvement.

Despite these challenges, Active Filings is commended for its competitive pricing and comprehensive service range, particularly benefiting small businesses and entrepreneurs needing basic formation services quickly.

Operating Agreement Service

Active Filings includes drafting an Operating Agreement as part of their essential services. This critical document outlines the LLC’s operational and financial decisions, including rules, regulations, and provisions.

The service is noted for its value, particularly in the Starter package, which combines the Operating Agreement drafting with a full year of registered agent service at a competitive price point.

Active Filings Mobile App

Active Filings does not have a mobile app available for either iPhone or Android. This means clients managing their LLC formation and related services must rely on the website and direct communication channels such as email and phone support. For those who prefer managing their LLC formation via a mobile app, services like ZenBusiness, LegalZoom, and Rocket Lawyer offer this feature.

International LLC Formation Services of Active Filings

Active Filings is suitable enough for international clients looking to establish an LLC in the United States. They stand out for their bilingual services, providing dedicated Spanish-speaking staff, which enhances accessibility for a broader range of customers.

Additionally, their US Mail Forwarding service, which scans and uploads mail to an online folder, is particularly beneficial for international clients who need a physical U.S. mailing address. These features, combined with their competitive pricing and technology-driven service approach, make Active Filings a strong candidate for non-U.S. residents seeking to start and maintain a business in the US.

The Expert Verdict

LLC Geek’s legal expert has reviewed Active Filings and considers it a cost-effective and user-friendly option for LLC formations, especially beneficial for small business owners or entrepreneurs seeking basic formation services at a competitive price.

It may not be the best fit for those looking for more personalized legal guidance or complex corporate services, as some reviews suggest potential challenges with customer service and navigating post-formation processes. Services like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, and Zenbusiness might be more suitable for more comprehensive legal support, which comes at a higher price in some cases. My extensive comparison of top LLC services offers a wider range of options to consider.

For individuals or businesses seeking straightforward, quick formation services without the need for additional legal support, Active Filings could be a good option. However, it’s always advisable to review service offerings and terms, especially for more comprehensive needs, beyond what this review has to offer.

Active Filings Promo Codes and Coupons

Active Filings does not publicly advertise promo codes or coupons for its LLC formation services. Typically, LLC formation services, including Active Filings, focus on providing value through their service packages rather than offering discounts via promo codes. Their competitive pricing, especially the inclusion of a free registered agent service for the first year, acts as their primary method of offering value to customers.

Active Filings Alternatives

Active Filings compares favorably to its competitors, offering a unique blend of services tailored to various needs. Here’s a closer look at how it stands against ZenBusiness, Bizee (formerly Incfile), and Northwest Registered Agent.

Active Filings vs. ZenBusiness

Active Filings and ZenBusiness both offer free basic LLC formation packages, emphasizing affordability and value. However, ZenBusiness provides a wider range of ongoing compliance services, potentially offering more value in the long term for businesses that prioritize hassle-free compliance support.

FeatureActive FilingsZenBusiness
Basic LLC FormationFreeFree
Registered Agent ServiceFree for 1st year, then $99/year$199/year
Customer SupportGoodBest
User-FriendlinessVery GoodBest

Active Filings vs. Bizee

Bizee, previously known as Incfile, offers a free package that includes a registered agent for one year. While Active Filings provides the same, Bizee is a more renowned company. It boasts excellent customer support and provides a broader range of services.

FeatureActive FilingsBizee
Basic LLC FormationFreeFree
Registered Agent ServiceFree for 1st year, then $99/yearFree for 1st year, then $119/year
Customer SupportGoodGood
User-FriendlinessVery GoodGood

Active Filings vs. Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest offers a more comprehensive registered agent service with a focus on privacy protection. While their basic package cost is higher than Active Filings’ free option, they excel in customer support and comprehensive service offerings.

FeatureActive FilingsNorthwest Registered Agent
Basic LLC FormationFree$39 (Special offer)
Registered Agent ServiceFree for 1st year, then $99/yearFree for 1st year, then $125/year
Customer SupportGoodVery Good
User-FriendlinessVery GoodVery Good

Active Filings provides a balanced option with its free basic package and moderate renewal fees, making it a competitive choice among its peers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Active Filings good for international clients?

Yes, Active Filings is suitable for international clients looking to form an LLC in the U.S., offering bilingual services and U.S. Mail Forwarding for global entrepreneurs.

Can I get a refund from Active Filings if I change my mind?

Users have reported mixed experiences, suggesting direct contact for clarification on refunds.

How does Active Filings handle legal documents?

Active Filings offers the drafting of Operating Agreements and ensures compliance with legal requirements, integrating these services within their packages for comprehensive support.

How quickly can Active Filings form my LLC?

Turnaround times vary by state and selected package. The standard service without expedited processing typically completes in about 14 business days, with expedited options reducing this time significantly.

Does Active Filings offer support after forming my LLC?

Yes, Active Filings provides lifetime support with reminders for annual/biennial reports, ensuring ongoing compliance and assistance beyond the initial LLC formation.

Ed Reid is an entrepreneurship coach and writer with over a decade of experience, specializing in empowering individuals and businesses through his work. His areas of expertise include entrepreneurship, business development, and the strategic use of online business platforms.