Is It Really Worth It?
Are you excited to start a business and need an LLC, but aren’t sure where to start?
It’s possible you don’t know much about navigating the legal processes to turn your great idea into an actual business.
What’s even worse, often times state websites are vague or stuffed with complex instructions that do nothing but confuse or overwhelm you about the LLC setup process. So, to streamline your research my team and I have spent hundreds of hours researching and reviewing LLC formation services – like LegalZoom.
In this LegalZoom LLC review, we’ll take a look at their services being as objective as possible, to help you decide if their formation services are a good fit.
You don’t need any legal training or even computer savvy, they take care of pretty much everything and walk you through their process step-by-step.
Expect quick turnaround times in terms of filing and receiving your documents. (Note: LegalZoom isn’t the fastest filing service, but they’re reasonable considering their size.)
LegalZoom’s prices are competitive and substantially less expensive than working with a conventional law firm or business attorney.
LegalZoom charges $100 more than alternative services like IncFile, that will start your LLC for $49 rather than $149.
I’ve read other LegalZoom LLC reviews and noticed some entrepreneurs have experienced billing confusion. It’s common. To avoid any headaches, just pay close attention during the checkout process, especially when there are any small check-boxes present. Don’t be in a hurry.
Since LegalZoom is such a huge company serving a lot of customers, there are times when getting ahold of customer support will have extra waiting-time.
Below is a screenshot of LegalZoom’s LLC formation packages: Economy, Standard and Express Gold.
If this is all new to you, I know it can be a little overwhelming deciding which package would be best for you. Under the screenshot, I added some curation so you can get a better idea of what each one offers.
What It Includes: Basically it’s the minimum you’ll need to form an LLC. No bells and whistles, but it does include a free personalized Operating Agreement (legal document every LLC should have that establishes rights, management, ownership, etc.), which isn’t a feature other LLC formation services offer in their base package.
Who It’s Right For: This package is ideal for someone who isn’t in a hurry and only needs to form an LLC – since the turnaround time for this is 30 business days.
What It Includes: This package includes everything in the Economy package, plus a company seal/binder which are essentially a luxury, and 20 customized membership certificates (for multiple owners). The main added value here that’s worth noting is the overall turnaround time has been cut in half to 15 business-days.
Who It’s Right For: Realistically if you’re wanting a company seal and binder with slightly faster turnaround time, this a good package.
What It Includes: Everything included in the Economy and Standard packages, but a quick 7-10 business day turnaround time. Plus, $30 off their fee to get an EIN.
Who It’s Right For: The Express Gold package is ideal if you’re in a hurry (needing the fastest turnaround time) and want a discount on their EIN service. Even though getting an EIN is extremely easy, to some entrepreneurs it can be a distraction from starting a business, due to the added step.
Federal Tax ID (EIN): This add-on, as mentioned above, is available on all packages. However, if you choose the Economy or Standard package it’ll cost $79. If you decide to get the Express Gold, it’s $49.
Registered Agent: Another add-on which makes LegalZoom your registered agent, or service of process, for $159/year (note: automatically renews 1 year later!). This means they’ll handle all official/legal/court notifications from the state and important documents related to your LLC.
Compliance Calendar: A reminder-tool, that makes it so you don’t miss any licensing or permitting deadlines. Often applies to renewing at various times throughout the year on county, state, and federal levels. Definitely helpful for the busy entrepreneur with tons on your plate. Also, this is included in the Registered Agent add-on if you choose it.
At the end of the day, it mostly comes down to how quickly you need the LLC formed. If you’re needing the bare minimum and not in a rush, choose the Economy package.
If you’re wanting everything in one place with fast turnaround time, Express Gold has fairly good value. Just be aware that you’re signing up for LegalZoom’s ‘Business Advisory Plan’.
Are all entrepreneurs happy with LegalZoom’s services? Not all of them, no, but many have been pleased to work with LegalZoom in a variety of ways.
To be as comprehensive as possible, here are the overall ratings from 3rd party customer review websites to give you a better idea of how entrepreneurs feel after using their services.
Keep in mind that we haven’t done any curation on this section. All of the ratings and detailed LegalZoom customer reviews can be found online. They’re just added here so you get the gist.
Customer Reviews Section Last Updated: 7-12-17
Conclusion: Overall, considering the large number of businesses LegalZoom has formed, the majority of their customers seem to be fairly happy with the pricing and services they got while forming an LLC.
After reviewing every LLC formation service based on pricing, features, and reliability I’ve noticed some offer more value than others.
LegalZoom is certainly one of the most popular, but again, it’s worth looking at what other providers are offering. To round out this LegalZoom LLC formation review, let’s see how they compare to my personal favorite, IncFile.
If you compare the features of LegalZoom to IncFile, you’ll notice that IncFile offers significantly more, especially for their price. For example, LegalZoom charges $159/year for their Registered Agent Services while IncFile gives you one for the first year free and $99/year after that.
Another feature that IncFile offers that LegalZoom doesn’t is Order Tracking. This essentially keeps you updated on where your business stands and how much longer it’ll take for your LLC to be formed. However, LegalZoom offers an LLC Operating Agreement in all packages while IncFile only offers it in their medium package.
LegalZoom’s turnaround time varies depending on which package you choose. No need to factor in the state processing times or anything like that. However with IncFile, while they do offer ‘next day processing on all packages’ and expedited options when forming an LLC, you will need to keep a closer eye on the state’s processing time.
We tested the phone support for both LegalZoom and IncFile back to back on the same day – early morning Pacific Time. Getting through didn’t take much time – a couple minutes tops after making our way through the options they give you – and the reps we spoke to were friendly. Short wait times are possible when you call during their more peak business hours. In general, both companies have responsive customer support.
LegalZoom has formed over 3 million businesses since 1999. IncFile has formed over 150,000 business since 2004. From an experience perspective, LegalZoom has the upper hand.
Pricing Starts at
150,000+ businesses formed so far
Anyone forming an LLC on a budget and need quick formation with great added features
Pricing Starts at
3 million+ businesses formed so far
Anyone wanting to work with an LLC formation service that has a huge brand and basic features
Can you form your LLC yourself? Sure! If you’re a DIY kind of entrepreneur and don’t mind investing your time into learning the process, feel free to follow the step-by-step guides we built.
Yes for most, no for others. Their website has become very simple for even basic web-users but when you browse through their online reviews you find a portion of folks who still have a hard time understanding everything involved. If I had to rate usability, it’d be a ⅘.
No. There shouldn’t be any surprises as long as you aren’t in a hurry, make sure and pay attention to ALL check-boxes through the checkout process.
While there is technically no such thing as 100% safe information in the digital world, with LegalZoom your information is as safe as it would be working with a major bank.
LegalZoom will answer questions about your LLC, even if it's a year from now. However, it's important to mention there are a couple other LegalZoom LLC formation reviews that have done their own testing too. They have also pointed out that the customer support is not as helpful as it could be.
LegalZoom gets a 4.3/5 rating in my book and is ideal if you're wanting to form an LLC with the most well-known brand. I've personally used their services and walked away happy.
However if you'd like to do more research and get a close-up of your options, use the buttons below to see the top 7 formation services.Visit LegalZoom Or Visit Our Top Options