Want to start a business, but don’t have the resources for a lawyer? Don’t worry, there are less expensive and reputable filing services like LegalZoom or BizFilings.
The peace of mind you get from letting experienced professionals prepare and file your paperwork is almost priceless. With companies like BizFilings and LegalZoom, you can focus on the day-to-day operations of your new company, rather than learning all the applicable laws and regulations required for filing.
In this BizFilings vs LegalZoom review, we’ll look at what these companies have in common, as well as their notable differences. Along the way, we’ll figure out which service is better suited to your company’s unique needs. Enjoy!
We also highly recommend checking out our Top 7 LLC Filing and Incorporation Services guide to see who we think is #1 for starting your business.
Recommended Step Before Using LegalZoom or BizFilings
It’s important to name your LLC before going through the business formation process with a professional service. TRUiC’s Free LLC Name Generator will help you to do the following:
- Find the perfect name for your new LLC.
- Conduct a name search to make sure your desired LLC name is available.
- Help secure a domain name for your company.
Both BizFilings and LegalZoom are among the heavyweights in the industry, and fully proficient in all aspects of incorporation. With either company, the process is simplified, requiring only basic information about your new business to get started. Here are some features they share in common:
1) No paperwork or need to understand the many varying legal aspects of incorporation.
2) 100% satisfaction and money-back guarantees.
3) Safe, secure data transfers. BizFilings and LegalZoom both leverage Norton Web Security protection.
4) You get more than what you pay for and pay significantly less than hiring a lawyer. By some estimates, you’ll save more than $600.
5) Both companies keep you compliant throughout your company’s lifetime at no added cost.
6) 38 years of combined experience, incorporating businesses of all shapes and sizes. No company too big or small for BizFilings and LegalZoom!
7) LegalZoom and BizFilings both offer loads of additional services, beyond the basic preparation and filing of incorporation documents. One-stop shopping makes everything more convenient.
What Sets Them Apart
Of course, the whole point of a BizFilings vs LegalZoom review is to discuss where the two companies diverge. Let’s dive deeper into these differences and take a quick look at what sets BizFilings and LegalZoom apart.
- LegalZoom has a tracking tool that allows clients to check the status of their orders in real time. Instead of a tracking tool, BizFilings sends you email updates on your order so you know exactly where you stand.
- BizFilings’ basic package is $99, which is less affordable than LegalZoom’s basic package at $79, and offers very similar features — although their top-tier packages are nearly identically-priced at $349 and $359, respectively, with BizFilings offering a bundled Operating Agreement Sample and EIN, which costs an additional $159 on LegalZoom.
- LegalZoom’s packages all include bank authorization, which is only included in BizFilings’ top tier. BizFilings doesn’t.
- BizFilings includes 6 months of registered agent service with any of their packages. On LegalZoom, a registered agent can be ordered separately for an annual fee of $159.
- LegalZoom automatically checks forms for spelling and grammar mistakes to ensure all your information is correct before being filed.
For the most part, LegalZoom seems to have a positive reputation, with reviews like this one being a representative example:
“Sometimes things just work. I’ve been with LegalZoom for a long time now and have been satisfied on multiple levels. It’s nice to know someone has your back! For a very fair price, you get an exceptional service that has your best interest at hand, not just saying it like many companies do, but always delivering…Thank you LegalZoom.” – Jeffrey P.
However, some customers claim negative experiences with LegalZoom, especially when it comes to the areas of payment scheduling and customer service.
“They are rude and unresponsive, and will only take money from you, since they get paid by what packages they sell you. [. . .] After I cancelled the services, they still continued to charge my account.” – Bryan M.
As mentioned, LegalZoom is the biggest player in this market, and a few complaints about customer service are rather routine for companies this large. Furthermore, some of the critical reviews seem to blame LegalZoom for undesired subscription services, which could be attributed to a very few customers of a very big company not reading the details about what they’re buying.
As for BizFilings, there really aren’t that many reviews around the net. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as happy customers are less likely to spend the time to write up a review on the internet. For what it’s worth, most are positive, like these:
“It was obvious that BizFilings was going to deliver exactly what was needed. They felt less like a vendor and more like a vested employee.” – Clay Enos
“BizFilings never forgets a filing date and is always available to help with questions that come up.” – PawPlunger LLC
When it comes down to it, if you do put a lot of stock into customer reviews, BizFilings might be a better option for you than LegalZoom.
BizFilings: Starting at $99
BizFilings has three packages to choose from: Basic, Standard and Complete.
While not available in all states, BizFilings offers Rush Filing in more than 20 states, which decreases turnaround times to an incredible 24 to 48 hours. It’s quite literally impossible to beat those times!
Another BizFilings feature is the LLC Datasheet, which outlines the info BizFilings needs to file your new company in just five easy steps. It’s pretty cool that all the info BizFilings requires fits on one piece of paper that will take you 5-10 minutes to fill out.
BizFilings ups the value for customers with their Free Extras which can be added to any package. These offers include a free 30-day trial of QuickBooks, two complimentary months of a business mail address, $50 off a toll-free phone number and more. Not every company needs all – or even any – of these services, but the options are nice, especially on an opt-in level.
Of course, the biggest added value with BizFilings is the six months of free registered agent service, which is included in all tiers of BizFilings filing services. That’s $75-80 in savings that you’re not getting with LegalZoom!
LEGALZOOM: STARTING AT $79
Much like BizFilings, LegalZoom has three service tiers: Economy, Standard and Express Gold.
As you can see in the screenshot above, turnaround times range from 7-30 days, depending on which package you purchase.
LegalZoom’s biggest selling point is their experience – over 1 million businesses formed in their 16 years of operation. They’re the biggest player in the document filing game, with a sheer volume of customers that none of the competition can match. If experience is a quality you highly value, LegalZoom’s worth considering.
Unlike previous LegalZoom packages, the three tiers do not include an Operating Agreement or EIN registration. These are now only available for an additional $99 for an Operating Agreement, $159 for this and an EIN, and $199 for both and a business license search, on top of the Package cost, which makes LegalZoom a much more expensive option.
Which Should You Choose?
If super-fast turnaround times are important and you’re forming your business in a state where BizFilings offers Rush Filing, your mind is probably already made up.
For everyone else, your decision probably revolves around pricing and features. While there are small pricing differences at the package level, LegalZoom is significantly more expensive to obtain services like an operating agreement and EIN. .
BizFilings has an advantage with their six months of registered agent service, but LegalZoom and their 1 million business formation customers have a big leg up in the experience department.
Both LegalZoom and BizFilings are strong options to form your new company. Whichever one suits your specific business needs should provide you with great service, while saving you hundreds over hiring a lawyer.