LegalZoom Reviews

Read about LegalZoom's highlights and shortcomings with our in-depth review. Includes pros and cons, and comparisons with Incfile and ZenBusiness.

Updated on May 15th, 2020

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LegalZoom is an LLC formation service, Registered Agent service, and online legal services and forms resource for small businesses. Through simplified, self-guided legal services or an independent attorney, LegalZoom's services and forms cover everything from starting a business legally to tax, licenses, and permits.

Updates:

Updated 12th of May 2020

We added comparisons with ZenBusiness, Incfile, and Northwest, included additional information about LegalZoom's business services and latest news, and reviewed LegalZoom's shortcomings and highlights.

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Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • Multiple business formation packages.
  • Intuitive and easy to use website.
  • Good customer support.

Cons

  • Services are expensive.
  • Operating Agreement and EIN registration costs extra.

Review:

LegalZoom is a professional business services platform that offers essential documents, Registered Agent services, and business formation packages. LegalZoom's website is easy to navigate, and it has a wide range of services and forms available, but services can be expensive.

Highlightings:

LegalZoom offers a variety of plans to choose from, including a competitive entry-level plan that starts at $79.00. The company's website is easy to navigate and includes direct access to documents and tracking systems. Furthermore, users enjoy the service for its business management services, which help ensure your business remains legally compliant.

Shortcomings:

Unlike most of its competitors, including ZenBusiness, Incfile, and Northwest Registered Agent, LegalZoom's formation plans are missing key documents, licenses, and services required to formulate a business, including permits, an EIN, and an operating agreement. Instead, you are expected to pay an additional fee for these services, which will hike up your overall costs.

Reputation:

LegalZoom has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website with 249 customer reviews. With an average of 1.5 stars, the majority of reviews are negative. Customers have highlighted unexpected charges, incomplete work, and unresponsive customer services.

We did find several customer reviews that were more positive, stating the service provided them with excellent service and knowledgeable support.

Pricing:

Service

Flat Rate Pricing

Limited Liability Company

$79.00 + state fees

Corporation (Inc.)

$149.00 + state fees

Non-Profit

$99.00 + state fees

Package Comparisons:

LegalZoom vs. Incfile
LegalZoom vs. Incfile:

LegalZoom and Incfile both offer business formation services but each company specializes in different areas. While Incfile is great for business taxes and compliance, LegalZoom provides a more full-service package that includes trademark applications and customized legal contracts.

LegalZoom vs. Incfile Comparison:

Features

LegalZoom

Incfile

Starting Price

$79.00 + state fees

$0.00 + state fees

Fastest Filing Speed

10 business days

Next day (Gold & Platinum packages only)

Online Access

LLC Operating Agreement

x

Employer Identification Number

x

Registered Agent Service

x

Customer Support

Lifetime

Lifetime

LegalZoom vs. ZenBusiness
LegalZoom vs. ZenBusiness:

ZenBusiness and LegalZoom both offer multiple LLC formation packages, but the pricing is what distinguishes them. ZenBusiness is the cheaper option and includes everything you need to form a business, whereas LegalZoom's packages are more expensive but do not include the preparation of an operating agreement or EIN registration.

LegalZoom vs. ZenBusiness Comparison:

Features

LegalZoom

ZenBusiness

Starting Price

$79.00 + state fees

$49.00 + state fees

Fastest Filing Speed

10 business days

Three business days

Online Access

LLC Operating Agreement

x

Employer Identification Number

x

Registered Agent Service

x

Business Email

x

LegalZoom vs. Northwest Registered Agent
LegalZoom vs. Northwest Registered Agent:

Northwest Registered Agent's formation package is $74.00 cheaper than LegalZoom and has more sought-after features included as well. Unlike Northwest, LegalZoom offers multiple packages but users will have to pay extra for an operating agreement and EIN registration.

LegalZoom vs. Northwest Registered Agent Comparison:

Features

LegalZoom

Northwest Registered Agent

Starting Price

$79.00 + state fees

$225.00 + state fees

Fastest Filing Speed

10 business days

Varies by state.

Online Access

LLC Operating Agreement

x

Employer Identification Number

x

x

Registered Agent Service

x

Customer Support

Lifetime

Standard

LegalZoom LLC Formation Plans:

Economy.

With the Economy plan, LegalZoom will perform a name availability search, complete all paperwork and file it with your state, and manage all communication with the Secretary of State. Users will also have access to a digital tracker and personal customer support to answer questions. However, the Economy plan has the longest turnaround time (30 business days).

Standard.

The Standard plan costs significantly more than the Economy plan but has a turnaround time of 15 business days and offers the same features, with the addition of a founder's kit and a business newsletter for helpful monthly tips.

Express Gold.

The Express Gold plan has the fastest service (10 business days) and is only $20.00 more expensive than the Standard plan. For this additional price, users have access to more features, including lifetime customer support, priority filing, and VIP processing.

At a Glance:

Offer

Economy

Standard

Express Gold

Package Fee

$79.00 + state fees

$329.00 + state fees

$349.00 + state fees

Turnaround Time

30 Business Days

15 Business Days

10 Business Days

Online Access

Registered Agent Service

x

x

x

Operating Agreement

x

x

x

Founders Kit

x

Customer Support

1-2-1 customer support

1-2-1 customer support

Lifetime customer support

Other Services by LegalZoom:

None of LegalZoom's plans include Registered Agent services and essential documents like Employer Identification Number (EIN), licenses and permits, and an operating agreement. Instead, users will need to purchase these services separately, which will significantly affect your overall price.

Registered Agent Services.

LegalZoom does not charge fees until documents are submitted to the state. Thereafter, users can expect to pay $249.00 for the first year and it will renew annually. Users opt for this service because it gives peace of mind that all documents are completed, scanned, and cataloged correctly.

Essential Documents.

LegalZoom has three essential document options with each option including an operating agreement. You can either choose to purchase an operating agreement separately, with an EIN, or with an EIN and licenses and permits.

Essential Documents

Pricing

Operating Agreement

$99.00

Operating Agreement and EIN

$159.00

Operating Agreement, EIN, and Licenses/Permits

$199.00

Important:

It's important to note that all three options are required in order to formulate a business. This means that if you choose to only purchase an operating agreement, you will need to apply for an EIN and permits and licenses yourself before you can continue with the process.

Business Management Services:

Smart Employer.

LegalZoom's Smart Employer service ensures that you everything required to manage a hassle-free business. With this service, users have access to unlimited 30-minute consultations with independent attorneys and customizable legal and HR employment forms. Smart Employer costs $39.99 per month and includes a 10-day free trial.

Total Compliance.

For $280.00 per year, you receive legal assistance to help guarantee that your business remains compliant with the state of formation. LegalZoom will take care of all annual report filings and formalities.

Key Information:

Legal Name

LegalZoom.com, Inc.

Founder

Brian Liu

Founding Date

Jul 01, 1999

Address

101 North Brand Blvd 11th Floor Glendale, CA 91203 US

Number of Employees

750

Number of Customers

3600000

Email

sales@legalzoom.com

Telephone

+1 (855) 787-1922

Website

https://www.legalzoom.com/country/us

FAQs:

Is LegalZoom worth the money?

LegalZoom is easy to use and has quick turnaround times for filing and receiving your documents. However, it can be pricey and customer support is sometimes slow.

How much does LegalZoom cost?

LegalZoom's pricing varies considerably from service to service.

LegalZoom is not a law firm and as such is not permitted to review your answers for legal sufficiency. It is also easy to make mistakes when filling in an online will. LegalZoom claims that 80% of people who fill in blank forms online do so incorrectly.

Is LegalZoom.com legit?

Yes, LegalZoom is an online legal service for small businesses to easily handle their paperwork and consult with lawyers when needed. LegalZoom is not a law firm.

What does LegalZoom do for you?

  • Start a business or file business formation paperwork.
  • Create legal documents with e-signatures.
  • Register a trademark or apply for patents or copyright protection.
  • Consult with a lawyer and get legal documents reviewed.
  • Get business tax advice.

Is there a LegalZoom free service?

LegalZoom does not offer a free service at this time.