LegalZoom Review: Starting a Business with Neat Legalities

by Denny Pencheva

Starting a company? Applying for a trademark? Changing your name? 

LegalZoom can give you legal documents for a fraction of the price of hiring a lawyer. 

With over 12 years of experience, they’re among the best-established (and most disruptive) companies in the legal space. They’ve helped over 2 million businesses get started. The thousands of positive LegalZoom reviews online are absolutely deserved. 

But is LegalZoom actually good for starting a business?

We took an in-depth look to help you decide! 

Everything You Need to Know

LegalZoom is an affordable and full-featured legal services provider that can help you open an LLC, start a non-profit (and understand the tax benefits), or protect your personal assets with a will or living trust.

And these are but a few of the things they offer!

With a wide range of packages and years of experience, LegalZoom is one of the most trusted providers of legal services online.

For our LegalZoom LLC review, we researched the pros and cons, the services available, and the pricing options. Here’s what we found out:

Pros Vs. Cons

There are thousands of raving reviews of LegalZoom online and for a good reason.

Pros

The main perks of using LegalZoom include: 

  • 12+ years of experience
  • Much cheaper than hiring a legal consultant
  • Comprehensive range of services
  • Easy-to-use even with no legal background
  • Straightforward explanations about the procedures
  • Legal plans with unlimited attorney consultations with an experienced lawyer
  • Responsive and efficient customer support
  • Millions of happy clients 

Cons

Still, is LegalZoom the best LLC website? Here are some of the disadvantages of their service: 

  • LegalZoom LLC pricing is higher than competitors
  • Documents like employer identification number or operating agreement cost extra

LegalZoom Online Formation Services

LegalZoom offers a wide range of legal services for families and businesses alike. Whether you want to legally change your name or start a corporation, they can get it done. 

They offer over 35 different business services alone, with the main business formation ones including: 

LLC Filing Services 

Set up an LLC to protect your personal assets and take advantage of more straightforward filing procedures and tax flexibility. You can start with a name availability search or begin filing and come up with a business name later

The company has helped start over 1.6 million LLCs, making them one of the most popular online formation services. LegalZoom reviews for LLC formation praise how knowledgable and efficient they are, helping owners navigate bureaucracy effortlessly. 

Corporation Formation

LegalZoom can assist in forming both a C corp and S corp and help you decide between the two options. The process is straightforward and quick, much like the LLC formation service.

Non-Profit Registration

Non-profit organizations get tax benefits, and donations to them are tax-deductible. In exchange, there are some specifics when it comes to forming and running one. LegalZoom can help you get started without having to hire a lawyer or sift through endless documentation. 

Legal Zoom Registered Agent Services

Receive important legal documents and have them securely stored online with the registered agent service. LegalZoom provides additional perks for your business like: 

  • Hiding your address from state records (to avoid solicitors) 
  • A compliance calendar to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines
  • Unlimited cloud storage for your essential documents  

Seller’s Permit

If you’re in the business of selling or leasing anything, chances are you need a seller’s permit. LegalZoom can help you get it with specialized US-based client support or attorney consultations at an affordable price. 

Trademark Registration

With 280,000 trademark applications filed, LegalZoom has perfected the process of protecting your brand. Reviews of LegalZoom praise how straightforward the service is – just fill up their 15-minute questionnaire, and you’re good to go. 

DBA Registration

You might need a “Doing Business As” if you’re operating with a name other than your personal or official name. LegalZoom will do a preliminary name search, file the documents, and publish your DBA quickly and fuss-free. Plus, their package includes a 14-day trial of free attorney advice (consultations with a real lawyer, not a bot or a customer service agent.)

LegalZoom Prices & Packages

LegalZoom reviews often cite the higher prices as the company’s main disadvantage. But LegalZoom does offer a lot of value for your money. Here is how much their services will set you back: 

LegalZoom LLC Packages 

There are three pricing tiers for forming an LLC with LegalZoom with processing time being the main difference between them: 

  • Economy for $79 has all the basics you need – name check, filing, articles of and helpful next steps instructions.  
  • Standard for $329 also includes faster internal processing, official certificates, company seal, and deluxe organizer embossed with your business name.
  • Express Gold for $349 is even faster with express shipping and rush processing with the Secretary of state, so your company can be registered in 7-10 days. 

The LegalZoom LLC formation cost doesn’t include state filing fees, which can differ significantly between states. 

Incorporations & Non-Profit Organizations

Much like the LegalZoom LLC fees, pricier packages for corps and non-profits are worth it if you want extra fast processing. For corporations, the packages are: 

  • Economy for $149 with all the essential services
  • Standard for $329 that includes quicker internal processing and personalized certificates, seal, and organizer
  • Express Gold for $349, which throws in additional benefits like faster processing with the Secretary of State, so the procedure comes through in 7-10 days. 

For non-profits, the basic package starts at $99. For $239, you get the standard package, which throws in some personalized items like stamp and minute formats. To get an EIN, though, you have to opt for the $359 express package, which also comes with 2-day final package delivery. 

To use LegalZoom registered agent service, you have to pay an additional flat fee of $299 per year (for the first year.)

LegalZoom Customer Service

If you have any problems with LegalZoom, you can contact their support team during business hours and on weekends. All of their agents are based in the US, and they’re experienced enough to resolve issues quickly. If you need actual legal advice, look into the business legal plans, which include consultations with an attorney starting as low as $31.25/month. 

Ease of Use 

Finding your way around LegalZoom’s website and getting the job done is very quick and straightforward. They have explained everything, so it’s understandable even if you know nothing about legal proceedings. Overall, the experience is effortless and beginner-friendly so you can focus on actually running your business (instead of dealing with bureaucracy.) 

LegalZoom User Reviews [Updated 2020]

There are thousands of positive LegalZoom reviews online, which isn’t surprising considering they have registered over two million businesses.

The LegalZoom review consensus on Reddit praises its affordable pricing, but a lot of users mention there are cheaper options. LegalZoom LLC formation reviews, in particular, mention that you can download and file the documents yourself if you have some basic understanding of state-specific requirements. That said, there are some risks to DIYing essential company documents. In more complicated cases, you might even want to contact a lawyer (which LegalZoom does offer for a fee.)

Finally, LegalZoom reviews on BBB are mixed, with some clients swearing by the service, while others complain about less-than-efficient customer service. 

Our Verdict

While users often complain there are cheaper alternatives, for our LegalZoom review we saw an impressive quality and ease-of-use the company provides. With a comprehensive offer and an experienced team of legal experts, LegalZoom is one of the best legal service options, even if they’re not the cheapest LLC registration option. 

LegalZoom Alternatives: How They Stack Up?

While LegalZoom is one of the best LLC service companies, they’re far from the only option. Here’s how they differ from popular competitors: 

LegalZoom Vs. Rocket Lawyer

Currently the best LegalZoom alternative, Rocket Lawyer gives you full access to their library of legal templates and affordable consultations with experienced attorneys. They are also cheaper than LegalZoom while also offering a wide range of high-quality legal services. On the other hand, LegalZoom has more experience, and their customer service is way better. 

LegalZoom Vs. Incfile

Incfile reviews rave about the platform’s ease-of-use and low prices (starting at $49 for company formation.) Unlike LegalZoom, though, they are business-focused, so they don’t offer as many services. Even more worryingly, Incfile does work with third parties, so be extra careful when reading the Terms & Conditions.  

Common Questions About LegalZoom

Let’s recap the most common questions that we saw time and again while working on this LegalZoom review:

What Is LegalZoom? 

  • LegalZoom provides online legal services without necessarily having to hire a lawyer. With over 12 years of experience, they’re among the most experienced companies for both personal and business legal solutions. Whether you’re registering an LLC or looking for the best registered agent service, LegalZoom can help you get it done. 

Is LegalZoom Worth It for LLC Formation? 

  • Yes, using LegalZoom for LLC formation will save you a lot of time and money. Plus, it will ensure that things are done right, and you don’t experience legal problems down the road. 

Is LegalZoom Worth It for LLC Formation? 

  • Yes, using LegalZoom for LLC formation will save you a lot of time and money. Plus, it will ensure that things are done right, and you don’t experience legal problems down the road. 

How Much Does LegalZoom Cost? 

  • The basic LegalZoom package to open an LLC costs $79 plus state fees. Corporations pay $149 for the essentials package, while non-profit pricing starts at $99. Upgrades are worth it if you want to get the procedure done quicker. 

Is LegalZoom Good? 

  • Yes, LegalZoom is great for starting an LLC, and it’s also one of the best incorporation service options on the market. In order to keep this LegalZoom LLC review as honest as possible, we should mention that it is not the cheapest option. So, if you’re on a smaller budget, that might be a disadvantage. 

Is LegalZoom Legit? 

  • Yes, LegalZoom is a reliable company with decades of experience. They have helped register over two million businesses, and there are thousands of positive LegalZoom reviews to confirm the service is legit. 

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