LegalZoom is the pioneer and still trusted business within the disruptive industry of online legal services. They now have a growing number of competitors grabbing a larger piece of the LLC formation business. The company was founded as early as 1999 during the infancy of the world wide web. One of the first companies that saw the internet’s potential for online legal services. In 2019 continues to have a strong presence but they are no longer the only kid on the block and in regards to the other online LLC formation services available today people are asking “is LegalZoom the best?” We will try to answer that question and give our picks for best LLC filing services, let’s get started.
LLC starting $0.00 + state fee
LLC starting $49 + state fee
Northwest Registered Agent
LLC starting $100 + state fee
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LegalZoom Services Pros & Cons
LegalZoom launched in 2001, focusing on business formation, intellectual property registration, and estate planning.
Moreover, since there were no social media platforms back then, word on this new online company that can make the process of filing and forming new businesses easier, spread through the grapevine. The TV ads went on for years giving viewers the impression that they were the best and only choice for online legal services. With almost four million customers served, Legalzoom remains a trusted force within the online legal service industry.
LegalZoom’s many services include:
- Formation of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) – Legalzoom has helped launch over 1 million LLCs.
- Incorporation – Legalzoom has already helped set up over 3.5 million corporations.
- Attorney-led Trademark Legislation – Legalzoom can help you get in contact with an attorney to help you with trademark registration. Instead of expensive hourly fees, this service allows you to pay a flat fee for the attorney plus the government filing fee.
- Last Will and Testament – Legalzoom makes it easier for people to come to grips with their mortality by helping ensure that affairs are in order through legally binding wills.
- Prepaid Legal Plan – for a low monthly fee, customers can consult with a lawyer for 30-minutes a day, unlimited while subscribed.
- Business Compliance – after LLC or corporation formation, Legalzoom also has business compliance services including assistance with annual reports, minutes of meetings, bylaws, business licensing, and help with federal taxes.
- Legalzoom is the pioneer in the business – Being the first and the oldest means plenty of experience. After 18 years, Legalzoom should know the trade inside and out. Over 3.6 million customers can’t be wrong.
- Pricing – $31.25 per month for business customers is peanuts compared to ordinary legal fees from law firms, even for the simplest legality.
- Access to tax professionals and lawyers – Even though Legalzoom itself cannot provide binding legal advice, LegalZoom can connect businesses to attorneys through their Prepaid Legal Plan. Legalzoom also has a network of tax professionals to help Especially during that season when the piper comes calling.
- Sixty-day money-back guarantee in case of the following.
- Their customer reviews – Google Legalzoom, and you’ll surely see that flattery rarely goes there. Plenty of unsatisfied customers out there, but those that were satisfied swear by the service.
- Hit and Miss customer support – Legalzoom’s size and longevity goes against them as well when it comes to customer support. Some feel that they’re talking to programmed robots that cannot go beyond scripts while others encounter well-trained and courteous professionals; after managing to get a hold of them after many minutes.
- Expensive document reviews – keep your contracts or legal documents down to 15 pages or incur some hefty lawyer fees. 11-15-page documents cost $39. While 16-25 page documents can cost up to $99, any more pages and the attorney will dictate the terms.
Legalzoom’s pricing is average compared to others yet affordable. LLC formation only costs $79 plus state fees. Trademark registration is $199 plus federal filing fee. Their Prepaid Business Legal Plan is an affordable way to talk with lawyers for 30 minutes a day at $31.25 a month. Other services offer more for less such as Incfile and ZenBusiness where you can form your business for much less.
Legalzoom is best for starting your company while anticipating many legal transactions. But there are other options out there which might be better if you’re not expecting any legal hurdles.
LegalZoom Reviews on Trustpilot – August 2019
Best Alternatives For LLC Services
If you research on the web long enough, you’ll see that Legalzoom is not always in best terms with its customers. Many reviews generally call it a hit or miss experience. Therefore it’s okay to have doubts and look elsewhere for your simple legal needs. Below are the three best alternatives to Legalzoom out there. Legalzoom may have more services are better at some of those services.
Zenbusiness is a business formation company that started in 2015. It may not have much experience yet, but it is making quite a headway when it comes to quality service. Its reviews are mostly excellent, and they have a 90+ rating on Trustpilot. Plus, the basic business formation package with Zenbusiness is free, except for the state fee. Of course, nothing is truly free as you may need to sign up for some support service for the filing and afterward.
The next package is called the Starter Plan, which starts at $49. which includes a registered agent service, which is quite a bargain. Both packages, however, allow for up to four weeks in the filing. Their Pro Plan costs a meager $149 but includes compliance services, EIN, operating agreement and bylaws, as well as free consultations with accounting professionals and formations, are done in about 1-2 weeks.
Finally, they have their Premium Plan at $249, which include monthly accounting services as well as accounting software. From that, we can gather that Zenbusiness is more on the financial side of things after business formation. So its advantages over Legalzoom include:
- Professional business formations and inexpensive pricing
- A finance-centric business model that offers accounting and bookkeeping services as well as business insurance.
If you want to form your business at the least possible cost and you’re not in a hurry, Zenbusiness can help. Need it done extra fast? They can get it done, just a little additional cost involved nothing big. If you’re also on the lookout for financial services like bookkeeping, then Zenbusiness is the one for you.
Incfile began shortly after Legalzoom in 2004, giving it almost as much experience as the online legal service pioneer. Unlike Legalzoom, Incfile specializes in company formation and thus tends to be better and faster in helping entrepreneurs form their LLCs, corporations, and non-profit organizations. Incfile has already helped over 250,000 businesses worldwide. So why is Incfile better than Legalzoom?
- Incfile is faster – Incfile is much quicker than Legalzoom when it comes to business formation. The company gets to work the very next day after receiving all the requirements. Legalzoom meanwhile starts to process in as early as ten days for its most expensive business formation package.
- Business Taxes – Unlike Legalzoom, Incfile includes a business tax service which assists business owners in filing their taxes. Their tax packages also include consultations with tax professionals. Legalzoom does not have a tax filing service but can facilitate contact with its network of tax professionals.
- Incfile is Cheaper – Legalzoom’s business formation package starts at $79. Incfile begins at $49. If you want to form your company as fast as possible within reasonable price and quality, Incfile is the best alternative to Legalzoom.
Visit our Top 3 Best LLC Formation Services
Incfile is ranked #1
Northwest Registered Agent
Why use Northwest Registered Agent?
Privacy (they don’t sell account holder’s information) and they have a proven history of being expert registered agents while not being annoying.
Prices – LLC + 1 yr. registered agent = $225.
Northwest R.A. is also one of many online legal service alternatives to Legalzoom. Northwest differentiates itself from Legalzoom and Incfile by focusing on its Registered Agent Services which it has done so for over 20 years. The Northwest slogan is “We just aren’t annoying” which means they take care of things like the correspondence duties of being a registered agent without continually contacting the LLC owner every day when junk mail arrives, or little things happen. If it’s essential, Northwest R.A. will surely let you know.
Northwest also contains the full spectrum of services needed to start an LLC or Corporation. Much like Incfile, Northwest charges a little more than Legalzoom for $100 for the basic business formation package and $125 added for one-year registered agent services. All their packages include a one-year free registered agent service just like Incfile. The premium LLC package costs $199. Moreover, it provides lifetime customer support, operating agreement, EIN, and same-day processing.
- Website is informative – there’s a lot of information and content to be seen on their website so those who cannot understand the language around the business formation and registered agents become well-informed.
- Less expensive than Legalzoom – Northwest’s basic package for business formation starts at $100 while Legalzoom begins at 79. Legalzoom’s registered agent service is also pricey at $249 versus Northwest’s $125. There are also no hidden fees or upsells.
- More Experience – Have much more experienced in the business of registered agents as well as responsive and knowledgeable customer support.
LLC Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Online LLC Service?
An Online LLC Service or Online legal technology company is one that helps its customers create legal documents without the help of a lawyer through the use of technology. These include companies such as LegalZoom, Incfile, Northwest, and ZenBusiness. These companies mostly help in crafting business formation documents, trademark registrations, and offer registered agent services.
What is an LLC?
A Limited Liability Company or LLC is one of the more popular ways for new and small businesses to operate. The LLC is also commonly perceived as an easier type of business to run than a corporation since there is less paperwork or documentation required. Furthermore, LLC’s provide limited liability protection to its owners (called members). In case of legal trouble, lawsuits are directed at the company instead of the owners, thus their limited liability.
What is a State Filing Fee?
The state filing fee is a one-time fee paid to the state for them to recognize an LLC, a corporation, or a trademark. The state also collects an annual payment from LLCs for them to remain in compliance and good standing. Failure to pay the yearly fee could result in the dissolution of the LLC. The amount also varies from state to state.
What is a Registered Agent Service?
A Registered Agent Service is a company of individually assigned by another company to receive paperwork from the state or government. Its other primary function is to accept legal documents or service of process on behalf of its client and to notify the client of these documents’ arrival.
Should I do it myself or use an online legal service?
If you need legal advice or certain legal documents but cannot afford a lawyer, an online legal service is a good idea, especially if you’re forming a company.
Can online legal services provide legal advice?
No. Online legal services like Incfile, Legalzoom, Northwest, and Zenbusiness cannot offer legal advice directly, but they can connect businesses to their network of lawyers and tax professionals for a certain fee. These companies can provide assistance in the creation and filing of legal documents.
Which service is best for LLC formation?
In terms of speed and pricing, the best online LLC service available would be ZenBusiness or Incfile.
Which online legal service will serve me well for finances?
In terms of service, pricing, and financial services, try out Zenbusiness.
I may need more legal services in the future. Which service best suits me?
Legalzoom has a broad spectrum of legal services available. Thirty-five services for business alone. Their Business Legal Plan allows for daily 30-minute attorney advice.
I need an excellent registered agent after my business is formed. Which online legal service is best?
Go with Northwest R. A. Northwest is more focused on registered agent services which differentiate them from other online legal technology companies. They have been in business for over 20 years and have excellent customer support.
LegalZoom LLC Services Review & Best Alternatives 2019
Legalzoom is the pioneer and still trusted business within the disruptive industry of online legal services. They now have a growing number of competitors grabbing a larger piece of the LLC formation business. The company was founded as early as 1999 during the infancy of the world wide web.