May 10, 2024

LegalZoom LLC Review

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LegalZoom offers affordable legal services, great customer support, and flexible payment options. But what's the downside? Read on for the full review.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Low-cost legal services
  • 20+ years experience
  • Monthly installments
  • Pricey add-ons
  • Slow turnaround time

Bottom Line

Reputable company for LLC formation and legal services

LegalZoom is one of the country's most recognizable business formation companies. Its brand power is backed by its wide range of affordable legal services, including free LLC formation.

However, some of LegalZoom's paid services are somewhat expensive, especially if you only have simple needs.

So, is it still worth choosing over the competition? This detailed review will help you decide.

What Is LegalZoom?

LegalZoom is an online legal service company known for its convenient and affordable LLC formation services.

You can also get a wide range of other services to help you manage your LLC and comply with state requirements. This includes annual reports and registered agent services.

What's more, LegalZoom makes legal services more accessible through its independent network of attorneys. It provides low-cost legal assistance, like attorney consultations, tax preparation, and document review.

Thanks to this, business owners can get personalized legal advice without worrying about expensive fees.

That said, how do you know if this company is right for you?

Who Is LegalZoom Best For?

LegalZoom is best for business owners with more complex or extensive legal needs. You can get expert advice for a fraction of the cost of an in-house legal team or attorney.

It's also best if you want an experienced business lawyer to handle your LLC formation. But it might not be the best option if you want faster filing times or if you're on a budget.

The cost for add-ons like registered agent services and business license reports can pile up. It can get pretty expensive.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Extensive and low-cost legal services
  • Pay in monthly installments (for eligible services over $200)
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee (full refund within 60 days)
  • 20+ years of experience

Cons:

  • Add-ons are pricier than competitors'
  • Slower turnaround times (1-2 weeks)

Is it safe to form an LLC on LegalZoom?
Yes, it's safe to form an LLC on LegalZoom. It's one of the most reputable formation services around. Plus, it has 60-day money-back and accuracy guarantees.[1] If their team makes mistakes with your paperwork, you won't pay extra. You can also request a refund if needed.

Convinced by the pros? This is how much you'll need to budget if you opt for LegalZoom's formation services.

What's your primary concern when picking an LLC formation service?

LegalZoom Features and Pricing

For LLC formation, LegalZoom has three pricing tiers you can choose from. Each one is designed to cater to different needs. [2]

Basic$0 + state fees
Pro$249 + state fees
Premium$299 + state fees

Here's what you should know about these plans:

Basic: $0 + state fees
Basic is LegalZoom's free plan. It has everything you need to make your business official. You only need to pay for the state filing fees.

With Basic, you get the following features:

  • Business name availability check
  • Preparation and filing of formation documents
  • Digital welcome packet
  • Access to its library of customizable legal forms
  • Customizable business website (by WIX)

It's the simplest and cheapest way to form an LLC. This is a great option for business owners who just want to form an LLC in their state without worrying about the costs.

You only get email and chat support with the Basic plan. If you want access to phone support, you need to upgrade to Pro or Premium.

Pro: $249 + state fees
Pro is LegalZoom's mid-tier formation plan. It comes with everything from Basic, as well as a few helpful extras, like:

It's a good choice if you want all your LLC essentials, like an operating agreement or EIN, in one plan. This can give you additional savings compared to getting each service separately.

LegalZoom's Installment Plan
LegalZoom offers an installment plan but it only applies to eligible services. So double-check if what you're getting is covered by the plan. LegalZoom also charges a small processing fee, which adds to your monthly total.[3]

Premium: $299 + state fees
Premium is LegalZoom's most expensive plan. It bundles the formation services and features with legal consultations.

With Premium, you get everything in the first two plans, plus:

  • First 30 days of subscription included for LegalZoom's legal guidance services
  • First 30 days of subscription included for its monthly copyright registration service
  • Entity amendments with rush filing (within 30 days)

This plan is a solid option if you need additional legal assistance while setting up your LLC. It also lets you see if its legal consultation services are worth getting without committing to a subscription immediately.

If you don't want to start an LLC, LegalZoom also offers formation services for other business entities, like corporations, nonprofits, and limited liability partnerships (LLPs).

LegalZoom Add-ons

Besides LLC formation, LegalZoom also has a comprehensive selection of other services. These can be useful for running and managing your limited liability company.

Check out some of the available options below:

  • Registered agent services: $249/yr[4]
    LegalZoom can fill the role of being your LLC's registered agent. You can keep your schedule flexible while still complying with this state requirement.

    This service comes with unlimited cloud storage for your documents and business data protection.

    LegalZoom will also notify you by email about upcoming compliance deadlines through its Compliance Calendar feature. This normally costs $69/yr, but it's free with their registered agent services.[5]

  • Annual report filing: from $99 + state fees[6]
    Most states require your LLC to file an annual report to keep its information with the state updated and accurate.

    Late and non-filings can result in fines and penalties, like losing your LLC's good standing. LegalZoom can handle yours for a small fee, so you can focus on running your business.

  • Operating agreement: from $99[7]
    An LLC operating agreement defines the ground rules for your business, including how it's run and managed. Not every state requires a written operating agreement, but all of them encourage businesses to have one.

    If you're not sure how to draft or what to include in one, LegalZoom can do it for you for an additional $99. If you upgrade to Pro or Premium, you already get one as a freebie.

  • Employer identification number (EIN): $79[8]
    Unless it's a single-member LLC, you need to apply for a separate federal tax ID number (aka an EIN) for your LLC. You'll need it for filing business taxes, opening a business bank account, and applying for business credit.

    LegalZoom can get one for your LLC for an extra $79. But it's already included if you choose one of their paid packages.

    Some states require a separate state tax ID number for business entities like LLCs. LegalZoom can also secure yours if it's necessary in your area. Just contact its sales team to place an order.

  • Business license report: $99[9]
    Your LLC might also need to get additional licenses or permits to operate legally after it's formed. However, these will vary depending on your company's industry, location, and specific business activities.

    For $99, LegalZoom will research and find out which ones you need. This includes a detailed report of every license and permit. It can also secure your seller's permit if your business sells taxable goods or services.

  • Certificate of Good Standing: from $45 + state fees[10]
    There may be times when you need to prove your business complies with federal and state requirements. Like when you're opening a business bank account or starting an LLC in a different state.

    The best way to do this is by presenting a Certificate of Good Standing. LegalZoom can secure yours for an additional fee. Just give its team your company's information, and they'll handle the rest.

  • Foreign qualification: from $229 + state fees[11]
    If you want to start an LLC in another state, LegalZoom can help your business apply for foreign qualification. It'll handle the entire process, including filling out the forms and submitting them to the Secretary of State's office.

    LegalZoom can also help with the paperwork if you want to convert your LLC into a corporation (or vice versa). It can also handle the dissolution process if you decide to close your business entity for good.

  • LZ Tax Services: from $799/yr[12]
    If your company needs help with its taxes, LegalZoom can make things easier. You'll get unlimited support from tax experts, as well as comprehensive tax preparation and filing.

    The company also has separate accounting services called "LZ Books." These two services can help your business stay on top of its taxes and finances, which is critical for maintaining your LLC's liability protection.

    LZ Books costs $9.99/mo. But there's usually a free 30-day trial you can use to check it out first and determine if it's worth it.[13]

  • Business legal services: from $39.09/mo (billed at $469/yr)[14]
    LegalZoom also has legal consultation services for companies that need legal assistance before and after forming an LLC. It comes with unlimited 30-minute attorney consultations, legal document reviews, and access to their template library.

    You also get unlimited access to their eSignature service to sign your documents securely. If you opt for their Premium package, you get the first 30 days of subscription included as part of its features.

Aside from these, LegalZoom can help protect your company's intellectual property by handling the registration process for copyrights, trademarks, and patents.

This includes searching the government's database for existing registrations and facilitating the application process.[15]

It also has virtual mail services, corporate kits, stock certificates, and more. The company can also secure certified copies of your paperwork for additional fees.

Is LegalZoom cheaper than a lawyer?
LegalZoom is generally cheaper than a lawyer if you need long-term or regular legal assistance. For lower rates, its licensed business attorneys can give you personalized legal advice through 30-minute consultations.

Is LegalZoom Worth It?

LegalZoom can be worth it. It's one of the best LLC services around. Its comprehensive legal services make it a good choice for business owners with long-term or more complex legal needs.

In addition, LegalZoom's rates are far more affordable than an in-house attorney. You can get regular legal advice from experts without worrying about it costing a fortune.

And with the satisfaction guarantee, LegalZoom will correct any mistakes on their end at no additional cost. It also offers a money-back guarantee that lets you request a full refund within 60 days.

LegalZoom can't give a refund once it submits your paperwork to the state. State filing fees and third-party processing fees are also non-refundable.[16]

If you agree that it's worth it, here's how you can get started.

How to Get Started with LegalZoom

Placing an order on LegalZoom is easy and simple because their system guides you throughout the entire process. Here are the usual steps involved:

  1. Pick one of the available packages.
  2. Input your company's information.
  3. Select add-on services (optional).
  4. Review your order details.
  5. Finalize and pay for your order.

Is it easy to cancel LegalZoom?
Yes, it's easy to cancel with LegalZoom. To cancel an order, just call its hotline (800) 773-0888. If you want to cancel a subscription, you can do so through your account dashboard or by calling its team at (888) 310-0151.

Is LegalZoom Trustworthy?

LegalZoom is a trustworthy company. It is one of the biggest names in the business formation industry, with 20+ years of experience and mostly positive reviews from verified customers.

It's also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with an "A+" rating.[17]

In addition, LegalZoom's team consists of licensed business attorneys. They can help you not just with LLC formation but also with more complex legal matters, like starting a different business entity or protecting your intellectual property.

Does LegalZoom have a refund policy?
Yes, LegalZoom has a 60-day money-back guarantee. You can request a full refund within 60 days of placing an order as long as it still has your documents. Once the company submits your paperwork to the state, your order is final.

LegalZoom Customer Service

LegalZoom is well-known for offering excellent customer support. It has received mostly positive reviews throughout the years, which is impressive because it's been around since 2001.

If you encounter issues of your own, you can get in touch with LegalZoom through:

The customer care hotline is available from 5 AM to 7 PM PT during weekdays and from 7 AM to 4 PM PT during weekends.

LegalZoom also has an article center where you'll find useful guides, articles, and other information you can use for running your business.

Have you used LegalZoom's customer support? How would you rate your experience?

How LegalZoom Compares

LegalZoom is a solid choice if you need regular legal advice but don't want to spend all of your money on a lawyer. However, it's not the only formation company around.

Here are the most popular alternatives and how they compare against LegalZoom:

LegalZoom vs. ZenBusiness

Why Choose LegalZoomWhy Choose ZenBusiness
Extensive, low-cost legal assistanceLower prices for paid services
20+ years of experienceFree year of compliance services
Can form other business entitiesMore support for small businesses

Both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness offer free LLC formation packages, a competitive money-back guarantee, and great customer support. They also have a wide range of business services and a comprehensive online library of helpful resources.

However, LegalZoom is the better option if you need more than basic LLC formation. It has a team of licensed business attorneys who can handle more complex concerns. And they can do so at lower prices than hiring your own lawyer.

But if you want lower prices overall for business services, it's better to go with ZenBusiness. Its formation packages also include a free year of compliance assistance. You won't worry about missing important deadlines and risking penalties for your business.

Which one is better, ZenBusiness or LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is better if you need budget-friendly legal services, or if you need help with more complex concerns. But ZenBusiness is better if you're a small business owner because of its programs and resources meant to support small businesses.

LegalZoom vs. Bizee (formerly Incfile)

Why Choose LegalZoomWhy Choose Bizee
Extensive, affordable legal assistanceBetter value for money
Flexible refund and payment policiesLower prices for paid services
Better customer supportFaster turnaround times

Like LegalZoom, Bizee (formerly Incfile) has been around since the early 2000s. This gives both of them 20+ years of experience in the formation industry. Each of them also has a free LLC formation package where you only pay for the state fees.

However, Bizee's plan offers better value for money. Its free package already comes with a year of registered agent services and same-day filing. LegalZoom charges extra for both of these, even in the paid plans.

LegalZoom's still better, however, if you want low-cost legal advice from licensed attorneys. Or if you want a more flexible refund policy and payment options. It also has better customer support compared to Bizee.

Can I get legal advice on LegalZoom?
Yes, LegalZoom offers low-cost legal services. Through its business legal plans, you can get unlimited 30-minute consultations with its licensed attorneys.

How important is a flexible payment option when forming your LLC online?

LegalZoom vs. Rocket Lawyer

Why Choose LegalZoomWhy Choose Rocket Lawyer
Free LLC formationBetter long-term savings
A la carte services availableDiscounted rates for future LLCs
Lower prices for individual sericesExtensive library of customizable legal forms

Out of all the alternatives, Rocket Lawyer is the most similar to LegalZoom. Both offer low-cost legal services, including an extensive library of customizable legal forms. They're also known for providing great customer support with extended service hours.

However, LegalZoom's main advantage is its free LLC formation package. You don't have to sign up for a recurring membership to start an LLC for free. You can also get its other services individually as add-ons and at lower prices overall.

Rocket Lawyer, on the other hand, is better if you want long-term savings for your business. With a membership, you can start your first LLC for free and enjoy discounted rates for any additional LLCs you form after that.

If you're not sure if a monthly membership is worth it, Rocket Lawyer typically has a 7-day free trial you can use to evaluate their services before signing up.

LegalZoom vs. Northwest Registered Agent

Why Choose LegalZoomWhy Choose Northwest Registered Agent
Free LLC formationExcellent privacy protection
Comprehensive, low-cost legal servicesBetter value for money
More plans and services availableIn-house customer support

Northwest Registered Agent is another industry veteran when it comes to business formation services. Both companies have over 20 years of experience and are known for their efficient, reliable services and excellent customer support.

However, LegalZoom is better for business owners on a budget because it can start your LLC for free (excluding state fees). Its comprehensive legal services make it the best option if you need a business attorney's expertise.

Northwest Registered Agent, on the other hand, is the best choice if protecting your privacy is your top priority. This is thanks to its Privacy by DefaultĀ® policy. It also offers better value for money because registered agent services and an LLC operating agreement are already included in its plan.

How much does LegalZoom cost?
LegalZoom's formation plans typically cost $0 to $299 (excluding state fees). With the Basic plan, you only have to worry about the state fees.

Bottom Line

LegalZoom offers expert legal advice at affordable prices. However, their paid services can get expensive if you need more features beyond basic LLC formation.

That said, LegalZoom is one of the most trusted names in the industry. Its years of experience, combined with its excellent service, make it a great choice for business owners who want a reputable company to form their LLC at a low price.

References

  1. ^ LegalZoom. LZ Guarantee, Retrieved 04/07/2024
  2. ^ LegalZoom. Form your LLC with confidence, Retrieved 02/06/2024
  3. ^ LegalZoom. Terms of Service, Retrieved 02/06/2024
  4. ^ LegalZoom. Registered Agent, Retrieved 02/06/2024
  5. ^ LegalZoom. Compliance Calendar, Retrieved 02/06/2024
  6. ^ LegalZoom. Annual Report, Retrieved 02/06/2024
  7. ^ LegalZoom. Operating Agreement, Retrieved 02/06/2024
  8. ^ LegalZoom. Federal Tax ID (EIN), Retrieved 02/06/2024
  9. ^ LegalZoom. Why use LegalZoom to find business licenses?, Retrieved 02/06/2024
  10. ^ LegalZoom. Certificate of Good Standing, Retrieved 02/09/2024
  11. ^ LegalZoom. Foreign Qualification, Retrieved 02/09/2024
  12. ^ LegalZoom. LZ Tax, Retrieved 04/07/2024
  13. ^ LegalZoom. LZ Books, Retrieved 02/09/2024
  14. ^ LegalZoom. Attorneys, Retrieved 02/09/2024
  15. ^ LegalZoom. Intellectual property, Retrieved 02/09/2024
  16. ^ LegalZoom. LZ Guarantee, Retrieved 02/06/2024
  17. ^ BBB. LegalZoom, Retrieved 02/10/2024
LegalZoom

Form Your LLC at $0 + State Filing Fees

Form your business at $0, just pay the state filing fees, with the Basic package. The Basic package includes:
  • Articles of organization
  • Name check service
  • Digital welcome packet
  • Customizable website
ZenBusiness

Starter - $0 + State Filing Fees

  • Includes 1 optional free year of Worry-Free Compliance that renews at $199/year
  • Standard filing speed
  • 100% accuracy guaranteed
  • Other services are available with additional costs
Northwest Registered Agent

Business Formation Service - $39 + State Fees

  • Form Your LLC, Corporation, or Nonprofit Today
  • A Fully-Formed Business
  • Registered Agent Service
  • Business Address
  • Mail Forwarding
  • Privacy by Default

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