Which Is Right For You?
Looking to form a business? Enlisting providers like IncFile or LegalZoom is highly recommended. Both handle preparing and filing the paperwork in a more secure and structured way than your typical DIY approach.
In this IncFile vs LegalZoom comparison, we’ll answer the big question – which is the better service for you?
While both services do the same things and IncFile is $100 cheaper (see details), there are several major differences to consider as well. By the time you finish, you’ll know which company’s likely the best option. Enjoy!
IncFile and LegalZoom are both capable of handling the entire incorporation process for you.
There’s no need to write up documents or learn any legal lingo. All you do is answer simple questions about your business, pay state fees of course, and they take care of the rest.
Here are some other things they share in common:
1) Fast and reliable services. Similarly to Startup Savant, you’ll find both services rank high and be compared compared side-by-side on many business formation sites.
2) Personalized attention and assistance from competent customer-service professional.
3) Useful info and advice beyond basic doc-prep and processing. Both sites are loaded with tips and tricks for business owners.
4) Consistent and lifelong compliance support, keeping your business squeaky clean.
5) Reasonable and affordable prices. Both services are much cheaper than hiring a lawyer.
6) Both keep your information safe and secure, as the sites are both covered by Norton Web Security.
IncFile is undeniably cheaper than LegalZoom, with their entry-level package costing $100 less. LegalZoom does close the gap a bit in the top tier though, as their Express Gold package costs just $60 more than IncFile’s similar Platinum tier.
2) Free Operating Agreement
LegalZoom offers a customized operating agreement – an important feature for any business – in all three of their incorporation packages. IncFile doesn’t.
3) Order Tracking
IncFile’s tracking system allows you to check the status of your new business in real time, a feature LegalZoom lacks.
4) Track Record & Experience
The experience advantage easily goes to LegalZoom. While IncFile boasts over 150,000 customers in their 13 years, LegalZoom lays claim to 3 million in 16 years.
5) Registered Agent Services
With IncFile, you get a full year of registered agent service for free with any package. LegalZoom charges $159 for this same service. Similarly, IncFile includes Tax ID Numbers for free in their top two packages, whereas on LegalZoom this costs $49-79.
6) Processing Times
The two companies have vastly different processing times, with IncFile being faster in some states, and LegalZoom holding a speed advantage in others.
There are three IncFile packages that you can choose from: Silver, Gold and Platinum.
When it comes to turnaround times, IncFile varies dramatically by state. Standard processing times range from one week to eight weeks, while expedited processing takes anywhere from just one day to nearly a full month.
We mentioned IncFile’s cool real-time order status tracking feature earlier. Take a look for yourself:
From pre-processing to final shipping, IncFile lets you know exactly where you stand during every step of the process. Another cool feature IncFile offers is a specialized dashboard that you have lifetime access to. You’ll be notified of any requirements you need to take care of in the future, with your state, county and more. This is extremely helpful for entrepreneurs who want to stay on top of compliance matters with no surprises!
Of course, we have to mention again that IncFile includes both a full year of registered agent service and Tax ID numbers for free in their top two packages. On LegalZoom, those features cost a combined $208-238. That’s a ton of added value — if your company happens to need those services.
LegalZoom also has three packages: Economy, Standard, and Express Gold.
The turnaround time for the Economy package is 30 business days, while the Express Gold package takes just 7-10 days.
If you place high-importance on experience, LegalZoom’s the front-runner over IncFile. Both companies formed around 15 years ago, but LegalZoom has served about 30 times more customers in that timespan. That’s a massive difference, and enough to make up some people’s minds entirely (cue up the trusty “3 million customers can’t be wrong!” argument – cliche but not untrue!).
Also, LegalZoom’s base Economy package does include some features that IncFile’s Silver tier lacks, including a banking resolution ($35 on IncFile) and a personalized operating agreement ($40 on IncFile). While their service is more expensive, you clearly do receive more features in the LegalZoom base-level package.
LegalZoom and IncFile are both well-respected companies, with A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau.
IncFile has more than 1,500 reviews on ShopperApproved, with a sparkling 4.8 rating — composed of 1,267 five-star reviews, and just a single, lonely one-star review. To be frank, it’s not easy to find negative reviews for IncFile in general. That said, here’s a couple examples:
“Awesome service. Very quick, easy and straight to the point. They take all the hassle and worry out of renewal so you can concentrate on running your business. I love IncFile!” – Kamulah T.
“Very fast and efficient company to work with, always someone ready to answer any question. Will work with them for years to come.” – Kirvo Travel, LLC
LegalZoom’s more of a mixed bag. On the one hand, they maintain a three-star average out of 556 reviews on SiteJabber, while on the other hand you’ve got their Yelp page sporting a 1.0 out of 5, but out of only 46 reviews. Overall, many of their reviews are quite positive, like this one:
“LegalZoom set up several LLC’s for me – easy one-stop shopping. Their support people are their greatest asset as they are always helpful and answer any questions or concerns promptly. Love the fact that all can be achieved over the internet and through e-mail.” – Jane M.
In contrast to IncFile though, there’s a significant number of highly-critical reviews of LegalZoom, particularly around customer service and payment processing issues. Keep in mind, LegalZoom is a big operation dealing with a high volume of customers.
“They blindly enroll you into a myriad of subscriptions that have zero value and then make it nearly impossible to cancel. [. . .] I wish the horrible customer service was just negligence instead of what it really is – a way to wear you out instead of trying to reach the right person, to simply cancel an annual subscription that you never needed in the first place.” – Chris L.
While we haven’t run into these issues with LegalZoom ourselves, it’s certainly worth noting that more than a few reviews cite unwanted subscriptions. Then again, maybe more people should pay attention to what they’re purchasing?
LegalZoom doesn’t hide anything, and they offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee. Like IncFile, legions of customers appreciate the company’s services. Still, if customer reviews carry a lot of weight in your decision making process, you might consider IncFile over LegalZoom.
At the end of the day IncFile has better prices across the board, gives you a free registered agent, and has slick real-time order tracking.
LegalZoom holds the experience advantage, and their base package is far more fully-featured. Both are excellent, so we recommend evaluating which factors matter most.
You really can’t go wrong either way. Whether you want to save $100 with IncFile or start your business with the experience of LegalZoom, it’s up to you. Cheers!
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