LegalZoom Nonprofit Review
Is It Right For You?
Are you looking to start a nonprofit, but you don’t want to go it alone? The DIY option can be confusing due to the multiple layers of compliance necessary for nonprofits, but it can also be hard to identify which nonprofit formation provider has the best deal.
To complement your own research, we invested countless hours into finding the best nonprofit formation services available. Our goal is to provide you with the info you need to make a smart decision for your company.
Recommended Nonprofit Formation Service:
Northwest Registered Agent ($39 + State Fees)
Northwest is reliable, offers great customer service, and includes a free year of registered agent services at a lower price.
Our Review of LegalZoom's Nonprofit Service
In this LegalZoom nonprofit review, we’ll go over the pros and cons, pricing and features, customer reviews, and much more. Let’s find out if they’re a good fit for your future organization!
Pros and Cons of Legalzoom
- LegalZoom’s satisfaction guarantee ensures that if you’re not completely happy with their services, they’ll refund any fees you paid to LegalZoom as long as you request your refund within 60 days.
- With nearly 4 million customers served since they opened their doors back in 2001, they have a client volume that most competitors can’t touch, and speaks to how popular LegalZoom is.
- Their website is protected at all times by Norton Web Security, which scans for malware and other vulnerabilities while encrypting your private data.
- They understand that a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work for nonprofit formation, with three service packages supplemented by some a la carte features. It’s easy to find the level of service that’s right for your business.
- When it comes to customer feedback, LegalZoom stumbles a bit. It’s not overly critical, but it is a mixed bag, which is to be expected somewhat with a company of this size. The bigger your operation, the higher the likelihood that some unsatisfied customers will slip through the cracks.
Legalzoom Nonprofit Pricing and Features
With LegalZoom, you have the option of three nonprofit formation packages, ranging from $99 to $359 (plus state filing fees): Economy, Standard, and Express Gold.
Economy = $99 + State Filing Fees
- What It Includes: The basics of formation come with this package, including a name availability check, and the preparation and filing of your articles of incorporation. In addition, you get their Peace of Mind Review in which they double-check your forms for potential mistakes, ten sample membership certificates to provide proof of membership, and LegalZoom’s newsletter and nonprofit formation guidebook.
- Who It’s Right For: Any entrepreneur looking for the fundamental basics of nonprofit formation should be interested in this package.
Standard = $239 + State Filing Fees
- What It Includes: Everything from the Economy package, plus a customized nonprofit kit and seal to keep your important documents organized, 20 customized membership certificates, and minutes forms to maintain records for your business meetings.
- Who It’s Right For: The kit and seal are largely symbolic these days, so we’re not sure this package is all that valuable. This package costs $140 more than Economy, and there just doesn’t seem to be that much value here.
Express Gold = $359 + State Filing Fees
- What It Includes: Everything from the Standard package, plus rush order processing, two-day delivery of your completed filing, and expedited processing for your federal tax ID number or Employer Identification Number (EIN). Please note that this does not include your actual EIN, which costs an extra $49 to add on to Express Gold.
- Who It’s Right For: This is basically the “I’m in a hurry” package.
Recommended Package: In our opinion, most customers should be able to get by with adding an EIN to the Economy tier. Most nonprofits do need an EIN, which makes it a bit odd that it’s not included in any of LegalZoom’s formation packages, but a total of $178 for nonprofit formation and an EIN is still a solid price point.
Customer feedback is not exactly LegalZoom’s strong suit, but it’s not a huge concern either. The largest collection of online reviews for LegalZoom is on SiteJabber, where they hold a respectable but unremarkable 3.3 average score out of 5, while feedback on other sites falls a bit further on the critical side of the scale.
Their happy customers praise them for their turnaround times and friendly customer support, while their unsatisfied clients bring up issues like inconsistent service reps and billing confusion.
- SiteJabber: 3.3 out of 5 (668 reviews)
- Consumer Affairs: 1.1 out of 5 (199 reviews)
- Yelp: 1.0 out of 5 (123 reviews)
- BBB: 1.3 out of 5 (94 reviews)
Conclusion: It’s tough for a company of LegalZoom’s size and reach to satisfy every single customer, so the mixed nature of their online feedback is not surprising.
LegalZoom Nonprofit Alternative
Northwest's customer reviews are excellent and the full year of registered agent service is a valuable addition at no extra charge.
Legalzoom vs. Northwest
Legalzoom Nonprofit Formation
- Pricing Starts at $99
- In Business Since 1999
- Perfect for: Anyone wanting a company with a proven track record and basic features
- Pricing Starts at $39 (+ state fees)
- In Business Since 1998
- Perfect for: Anyone wanting to work with an A+ rated company & enjoy a number of free additional services
How Legalzoom Compares
LegalZoom is a solid nonprofit formation service due to their satisfaction guarantee and their impressive brand power. Still, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition, so let’s also take a look at Northwest, our favorite nonprofit formation service.
- Pricing: While LegalZoom’s base package has a reasonable $99 price point, Northwest offers nonprofit formation service starting at just $39
- Features: LegalZoom and Northwest have similar nonprofit packages, but Northwest is more fully featured. While LegalZoom doesn’t add much of anything to the basics ― a business name search, along with the preparation and filing of your articles of incorporation ― Northwest adds a whole year of registered agent service, which most organizations need anyway.
- Customer Support: Northwest has a tremendous reputation when it comes to customer service, as their representatives are known to be professional and helpful.
- Experience: Northwest is an industry giant. They have been serving customers since 1998 and have wonderful customer reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I File a Nonprofit Independently?
It’s a possibility, but not always recommended seeing as nonprofits can have some tricky compliance requirements. Providers like LegalZoom can alleviate this concern, leaving you more time to actually start your organization. If you do want to go the DIY route, check out our comprehensive how-to guide.
What’s Their Refund Policy?
If you’re unsatisfied for any reason, simply request a refund within 60 days of purchase and they’ll pay back any fees paid to LegalZoom.
How Secure Is LegalZoom?
With Norton Web Security protecting their site, you can feel confident in your security with LegalZoom.
Do They Offer Ongoing Support?
They certainly do. Simply give them a call or send them an email at any time. It doesn’t matter if you formed your nonprofit last week or months ago, they’re willing and able to assist.