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Pros and Cons of ZenBusiness Services



ZenBusiness Services

ZenBusiness has many services that can help budding entrepreneur start their business. They are a relatively young company but have quickly become a leader in the industry. Their services are competitively priced and designed to save a new business owner time and money. 

But, like every company, there are pros and cons to utilizing ZenBusiness. Here we will lay out the pros and cons of ZenBusiness services so that you can decide if they are the right choice for your business needs. 

What Does ZenBusiness Offer?

ZenBusiness can help you get your business off on the right foot by handling your business entity formation. Whether you’re starting a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, ZenBusiness can handle the state filings required to form those entities. This can save you considerable time and ensure that the process is done correctly.

ZenBusiness also offers registered agent services. A registered agent is a person or company authorized to accept official correspondence and documents on behalf of your business. 

Most states require that you have a registered agent, and that person or company must be available at your registered agent’s address during normal business hours. If you act as your own registered agent, you must be available at your registered address during those hours, which can keep you from doing what you need to do to grow your business.

ZenBusiness registered agent services will give you flexibility and ensure that no important documents are missed.

ZenBusiness also offers many business document templates, including an operating agreement, which is a critical document that defines the ownership and profit distribution structure of your LLC. Having an attorney draw up an operating agreement and other necessary business documents can be very expensive. Utilizing the ZenBusiness operating agreement and other documents can save you considerable money.

ZenBusiness also offers compliance services, ensuring that you meet all your state’s filing requirements and saving you time.

Pros of ZenBusiness Services

Here we will get into the specific pros of what ZenBusiness has to offer.

Good Value Plans

Two of the three of ZenBusiness’ business formation plans offer great value. 

Their Starter Plan, at $49, includes a business name availability search, your business formation, a free accounting review, and full customer support. The ZenBusiness price for this plan is less than that of their leading competitor, which charges $79.

Their Pro Plan is $199 annually and includes everything in the starter plan, plus the operating agreement template and their annual compliance service. It also includes expedited filing, which means that your LLC or corporation will be formed faster.

Both the Starter and Pro plans offer excellent value compared to the competition. The operating agreement template in the Pro Plan can also save you a considerable amount in attorney fees.

You can also add registered agent services to any of their plans for $99 per year, which is a great price compared to the competition.

Great Customer Service

If you read customer and professional reviews of ZenBusiness, you’ll find much positive feedback on ZenBusiness’ customer service.  They have chat, email, and phone support, all of which have very quick response times.

Customers report that representatives are very professional and helpful, answering questions and resolving issues efficiently.

Easy Purchase Process

When you visit the ZenBusiness site, you can immediately start to enter your business information and get service recommendations based on your needs. The site walks you through the process, allowing you to make your selections quickly and easily. 

In about 15 minutes, you can go through the whole formation process, checkout, and then sit back, relax, and wait for your state business formation documents, which you will receive electronically within a few weeks at most.

Once your business is formed, you can access your documents online at any time.

Excellent Ratings

ZenBusiness has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau with 4.27/5 stars in customer reviews.

Again, positive customer reviews centered around great customer service. They also mention how easy the site is to use and the speed of the business formation process.

ZenBusiness also has an Excellent rating from TrustPilot, with 4.6/5 stars in customer reviews. 

The theme continues, with customers touting the wonderful customer service they received and the smooth processes. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

ZenBusiness also is a company that actively promotes entrepreneurship, as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

They have awarded grants and loans to small business owners, and they support organizations that are dedicated to promoting positive workplaces for employees.

Cons of ZenBusiness Services

While ZenBusiness has much to offer, they are not perfect. 

Premium Plan Is Expensive

The third business formation plan offered by ZenBusiness is the Premium Plan, which comes in at $299 per year. The only things the plan offers that their $199 Pro Plan does not are some web services that you can get for a lower price from web service companies like GoDaddy. 

Overall, compared to their Pro Plan, you don’t get a lot for your money with the Premium Plan.

Pricy A La Carte Services

ZenBusiness offers many a la carte services that can be added to the plans, but their prices can add up quickly. You can also purchase these services alone without purchasing a business formation plan.

A prime example is the Employer Identification Number (EIN) service. ZenBusiness charges $99 to obtain your EIN for you from the IRS. This is very expensive, considering that you can go to the IRS website yourself and easily obtain an EIN in a few minutes, and it’s free.

Another example is their Certificate of Good Standing service, which costs $100. At some point during the course of your business, a lender or a vendor may request that you give them a Certificate of Good Standing for your LLC or corporation, which will simply show that your business is current on all state filings and fees. 

You can obtain this form yourself from your state, usually for an extremely nominal fee. Some states do not charge a fee at all.

Cancellation Issues

In the reviews from BBB and TrustPilot, some customers reported having issues canceling their ZenBusiness services. They spent considerable time trying to cancel and were charged fees that they had difficulty getting refunded. These were fairly isolated incidents, however, with most customers reporting satisfaction with their ZenBusiness experience.

In Closing

ZenBusiness does have pros and cons, but overall, the positives seem to weigh out the negatives by far. ZenBusiness clearly has many satisfied customers, which is really the best measure of a company’s services. A company like ZenBusiness can make your life as a business owner easier so that you can focus on growing your business. They can also save you money, so it’s worth taking a look at what ZenBusiness can do for you!


LinkedIn Rolls Out AI Assistant for Premium Members



LinkedIn Rolls Out AI Assistant for Premium Members

LinkedIn is currently testing an AI assistant for its Premium members, integrating Microsoft’s advanced AI technology. This initiative marks LinkedIn’s first significant consumer-facing AI product, expanding beyond its traditional enterprise-focused services.

Why It Matters: This development places LinkedIn alongside other social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, which have already introduced similar AI features. The move underscores a growing trend where social networks leverage AI to enhance user engagement and provide personalized experiences.

Background: Previously, LinkedIn launched several AI tools aimed at recruiters and job seekers, including AI-assisted candidate discovery and AI-powered coaching tools. The tease of a consumer AI assistant last year set the stage for this broader rollout to Premium users, which has been picking up pace in recent weeks.

Details of the AI Assistant: The AI assistant feature on LinkedIn prompts users to explore more about companies or topics mentioned in posts within their feeds. This feature combines insights from LinkedIn’s vast user base and data from Microsoft’s Bing search engine to deliver comprehensive information.

How Does It Work?

When users interact with a feed prompt, they’re directed to a chat interface where they can ask the AI assistant for further details. This interaction is labeled as “Powered by Bing,” ensuring transparency about the source of the information. The responses are tailored to the user’s professional background and skills, enhancing the relevance of the information provided.

Privacy and Personalization: The chat feature includes a disclaimer about its beta status and potential for errors, with a note that Microsoft’s privacy policy may apply. This is part of LinkedIn’s effort to maintain transparency and user trust as it rolls out new AI capabilities.

LinkedIn’s introduction of this AI assistant is just one part of a broader strategy to integrate more AI-driven tools into its platform. These tools are designed to connect users with relevant content and insights, potentially accelerating career growth and enhancing professional networking.

As AI technology continues to evolve, platforms like LinkedIn are finding innovative ways to harness these advancements to benefit their users. This new AI assistant for Premium members could transform how professionals interact with content and gather insights on LinkedIn, making it a critical tool for career development.

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Harold Goldstein’s and Lilo Alfaro’s Practical Approach to Social Responsibility



Harold Goldstein and Lilo Alfaro

At the heart of organizational success lies a partnership between leadership and social responsibility. It’s not just a corporate checkbox; it’s where the influence of leadership goes beyond business boundaries.

Lilo Alfaro and Harold Goldstein of OPAD Consulting have unique stories that exemplify such influence. These leaders bring diverse experiences and perspectives, going beyond organizational growth and societal impact.

Social responsibility in the corporate world fosters positive public perception and builds trust. It benefits communities and enhances employee morale, creating a more sustainable and ethical business environment.

Harold Goldstein’s Perspective

Harold’s journey to executive roles in big companies like Levi and Johnson & Johnson has shaped his perspective. These experiences provided the foundation for his current role as CEO at OPAD, where he emphasizes social responsibility as providing “direction, process, and accountability.”

Social responsibility impacts organizations by fostering positive public perception, building trust, and enhancing employee morale. In an interview, Harold delved into the nuances of fear within organizations. He acknowledges leaders’ accidental creation of fear that hinders taking social responsibility.

Therefore, he leads his company with humility and transparency, creating an environment where fear is recognized and managed. This provides OPAD’s workforce with a chance to thrive in their careers.

Presently on the board of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Harold is committed to creating long-term positive change through a holistic approach to social responsibility.

Lilo Alfaro’s Outlook

Lilo Alfaro has BAs in Theatre, Technical Design and Production, and Business Management. Additionally, she has completed an MBA with a focus on Social Innovation. She has diverse experience in business, including her work as a consultant for large, national companies like The Kroger Company, mid-sized semiconductor corporations like Pure Wafer, and local nonprofits like Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble and Our Children Oregon.

She showcases exceptional organizational and management skills. From managing city-wide festivals like the “Vanport Mosaic Spring Festival” to conventions such as “Ghosts of Summer,” Lilo displays strong responsibility and leadership qualities. Her approach seamlessly combines discipline, creativity, and a solid commitment to social responsibility.

Lilo’s commitment to social responsibility goes beyond the corporate world. Her involvement in producing legacy educational events for Portland’s Black Panther Party Chapter and volunteering at national nonprofits shows a hands-on approach.

OPAD’s Pro Bono Work

Harold and Lilo, through OPAD, have also actively engaged in pro bono work for many organizations dedicated to children’s advocacy, homelessness prevention, disability services, and social justice.

According to Harold and Lilo, “Our devotion to pro bono initiatives stems from a belief that true leadership extends beyond boardroom walls. It’s about using our skills to uplift communities and spark meaningful change.”

They’ve helped some not-for-profits such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Children First for Oregon, and Northwest Children’s Theatre & School. Through university mentorship programs, they have nurtured many aspiring professionals and students with knowledge and guidance.

A Final Word

From diverse experiences, OPAD emphasizes transparent, fear-free work environments and a deep commitment to community engagement and societal betterment. Harold Goldstein and Lilo Alfaro, the driving force behind OPAD Consulting, shape organizational success while actively contributing to social change.

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Mastering the Art of Investment Management with Derek Pesta: Navigating Market Volatility



Investment Management with Derek Pesta

Investment management is a critical domain for individuals and businesses, as it involves complex decisions that shape financial futures. Success in this field hinges on expertly navigating market volatility, rather than relying on luck. Derek Pesta, CEO & Financial Advisor of Pesta & Pesta Wealth Management, offers valuable insights based on his experience in this crucial area.

Derek Pesta is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, with years in the field, he highlights some key points that might help individuals master the art of investment management effectively.

Patience: The Prime Attribute of Investors

In the realm of investments, patience is not merely a virtue; it’s a cornerstone of success. Derek understands that clients often want to see immediate results, especially during market volatility. However, as Warren Buffett once said, “The stock market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient.”

Derek firmly believes that making hasty decisions during market turbulence can lead to unnecessary losses. Instead, he advocates staying the course and adhering to a well-thought-out investment strategy. After all, financial plans are designed with market fluctuations in mind.

Transparency: The Prime Attribute of Finance Professionals

In a world where uncertainty looms around every corner, he emphasizes transparency as a guiding principle. He understands that not every client is comfortable with the idea of financial risks, and who can blame them? But avoiding risks also means missing out on potential gains.

Here, Derek’s approach is simple yet effective—be upfront about the potential risks involved. Whether you’re dealing with a novice investor or a seasoned pro, explaining the reasoning behind investment choices can alleviate fears and build trust.

Diversification: Key Attribute for Both

His investment strategy revolves around a fundamental principle—diversification. Regardless of a client’s profile, he believes that diversifying their portfolio is essential for maximizing returns and minimizing risks. This means spreading investments across different industries, including international markets.

While stocks may experience fluctuations during market volatility, bonds often provide stability. Derek advises clients not to rush into selling during downturns but to think about their long-term goals before making any impulsive decisions.

Informed Predictions: Using Data Meticulously

Market volatility can be unnerving, but he approaches it with a well-informed perspective. He acknowledges that predicting the future is impossible, especially in today’s unpredictable world. However, he leverages data and insights to anticipate market trends and create individualized client plans for the long term.

Every client is unique, and Derek understands that one size doesn’t fit all. Whether you’re a cautious investor seeking reassurance or a bold risk-taker ready to seize opportunities, he tailors his approach to meet your goals.

Communication: The Soul of an Investment Strategy

Communication is vital to any successful financial partnership, and he believes in going the extra mile. He knows that clients value personalization and want their concerns addressed. Over-communication, within reason, ensures that clients feel confident in their investment strategies.

In a complex financial landscape, seasoned professionals like Derek Pesta serve as valuable mentors, offering clarity and guidance. Their dedication to principles such as transparency, diversification, and personalized strategies provides a blueprint for navigating the challenges of investment management.

Financial professionals can enhance their skills and knowledge by conducting in-depth analyses and learning from experienced practitioners like Derek Pesta. This approach not only facilitates mastery but also encourages innovation in the field of investment management, ensuring a more robust and informed approach to financial decision-making.

Investment Advisory services are offered through CWM, LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Carson Partners, a division of CWM, LLC, is a nationwide partnership of advisors.

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