Need help incorporating a new company, but not comfortable with spending hundreds — if not thousands — hiring a specialized attorney to fill out and file your paperwork? Worry not, there are less expensive filing services that are just as secure and probably much quicker. In this Incorporate.com vs LegalZoom comparison, we’ll go over two heavy hitters in the industry who can save you money and put your mind at ease.
We’ll talk a bit about how the companies overlap, where they diverge, how their package pricing stacks up and what kinds of features they offer. By the end, we’re confident you’ll know which service is best or if you should keep shopping around. Cheers!
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 Incorporate
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.
Incorporate.com — previously known as The Company Corporation — and LegalZoom are both capable of guiding your new company through every step of the business formation process.
Their filing services make it easy to get all the right paperwork filled out and filed and your company off the ground. Here’s a handful of their features they share in common:
1) Both work with businesses of all shapes and sizes, not just smaller startups and entrepreneurs.
2) The Company Corporation and LegalZoom provide lifelong compliance support so there’s aren’t any costly regulatory surprises.
3) Both have money-back guarantees.
4) Both offer feature-loaded incorporation packages, or you can choose services based on your needs.
5) User-friendly, easy to navigate, websites with plenty of helpful information and ways to reach their staff.
6) Both provide free information and advice spanning a number of topics, including many beyond document preparation and processing.
What Sets Them Apart
We wouldn’t write an Incorporate.com vs LegalZoom comparison if the two companies didn’t have some significant differences to discuss, which they do! Taking a look at the areas where they differ helps to give you an idea of which one’s ideal for your vision:
- The Company Corporation has a compliance watch that updates you on documents that need to be filed. They also have a $50,000 Corporate Veil Guarantee, which states that as long as you follow the guidelines of their registered agent service, they’ve got your back — to the tune of $50k in legal defense fees — in case someone tries to come after your personal assets.
- The Company Corporation offers useful free resources such as webinars, libraries, glossaries and hundreds of eBooks through their Learning Center.
- Once your legal documents are completely filled out, LegalZoom automatically checks them for spelling mistakes, errors and other inconsistencies. Folks love this automatic checker which The Company Corporation doesn’t offer.
- While The Company Corporation has a lower base price, their top-tier package costs nearly twice as much as LegalZoom’s comparable package.
- LegalZoom has served over 3 million customers since they opened their doors in 2001, but The Company Corporation got into the incorporation business in 1899! No one can match their incredible longevity in the business world.
LegalZoom and The Company Corporation both have A+ ratings with the Better Business Bureau.
Beyond that, neither company sprints away from the other on the basis of customer reviews. LegalZoom has a 3.1-star rating on SiteJabber, with mostly positive reviews like this one:
“Second to none customer service and expertise. I cannot say enough good about my sales consultant. She was prompt, informative, and well educated about the services and products that LegalZoom offer, which made my decision to use them simple.
She made me feel confident that I made the right choice in selecting them for my legal assistance to develop my LLC. She made the process simple, yet went through the steps and answered many questions.” - Heather M.
However, a company with such a high volume of customers like LegalZoom is bound to get some negative feedback like this over the years:
“Filed for PLLC 3/30/17. As of today, 5/15/17, we are still waiting for our package. Multiple calls, and an EIN finally emailed last week, but as we still need the certificates we can do nothing but wait to complete our business loan.
Everything, and everyone, is on hold and this has really messed us up. I was pretty impressed the first few times I used LegalZoom, but now wish I just paid the attorney. Did I mention this was for expedited service? I called about this, and was told no adjustments could be made.” - Tamara W.
Positive reviews certainly outweigh the critical ones, but we feel it’s important to present both sides of any potential disagreement. We’re not too concerned about LegalZoom’s occasional critical feedback, but if a few seemingly isolated incidents are enough to worry you, LegalZoom might not be your best option.
As for The Company Corporation, well, there just isn’t that much out there in a positive or negative fashion. Customers don’t seem particularly inclined to write online reviews for The Company Corporation, which we suppose is better than a bunch of angry customers, right?
The only reviews we could find for The Company Corporation were the anonymous testimonials on their own website, like this one:
“I have been working with Chris C. to form my LLC and he has been able to make this quite an easy and headache free process. He has been able to expedite the entire process and get me the documents I needed within 24 hours, which was extremely important.
I have sent him many emails going through this process and his communication skills have gone above and beyond. Being in the customer service business, I am aware how important it is but unfortunately not everyone is like that. I wanted to take a quick minute to say thank you and also tell you how dealing with Chris C. has made things go exceptionally well. Thanks again.”
At the end of the day, neither company is overwhelmingly positive or negative in the customer reviews department. Maybe your own personal preferences gave more weight to one or the other, but we don’t think there’s much separating LegalZoom and The Company Corporation here.
Incorporate.com Starts at $99
With The Company Corporation, you can choose from three tiers of service: The Starter, The Essentials or The Works.
The Starter, priced at $99, is the basic package you’d expect, although it does include the compliance watch and Corporate Veil Guarantee. Below’s a screenshot of the Essentials package, which adds on the compliance packages, an EIN, and an LLC operating agreement for $299 (+ state fees).
The Company Corporation’s top-tier package — fittingly named ‘The Works’ — is one of the more costly ways to file a business online, and adds in an online guidebook along with full access to an experienced business coach (supposedly a $395 value). If you aren’t interested in these, the mid-tier Essentials package is probably better.
- Their turnaround times vary by state, but their expedited filing can be as fast as 24 hours. They also offer express shipping via FedEx for a $20 charge.
- The $50,000 Corporate Veil Guarantee is a pretty big deal. Many startups don’t have legal defense funds, so even if they’re in the right, someone could force them into an unfavorable settlement by threatening to take them to a lengthy trial. The Company Corporation helps ensure this won’t happen.
LegalZoom Starts at $149
LegalZoom, like The Company Corporation, also has three service packages: Economy, Standard & Express Gold.
As you can see, their turnaround times range from 7-30 days, depending on which package you purchase. Now, despite the fact the The Company Corporation has been around more than 100 years longer, LegalZoom boasts over 3 million customers in their 16 years of operation.
LegalZoom processes a volume of customers that’s far beyond what any of their competitors in the document filing service industry can claim...which can be both a good or a not-so-good thing.
While you can save $50 with The Company Corporation’s base-level package, LegalZoom’s Economy tier has a better spread of features. For example, LegalZoom includes a custom Operating Agreement, which costs $99 as an add-on feature with The Company Corporation.
Which Should You Choose?
How concerned are you about piercing the corporate veil? If this is a worry for you, The Company Corporation’s $50,000 guarantee is probably a deciding factor. Otherwise, there’s no clear-cut winner here.
LegalZoom has some handy features, like auto-filling forms and a convenient error-checker. The Company Corporation can save you $50 for their most basic service, and they also have customer service legends like Chris C!
Either way, you can’t really go wrong with LegalZoom or The Company Corporation. Both companies offer fully-featured filing services that get your business up and running in no time. Cheers and here’s to a prosperous year ahead!
Or, check out the best LLC services in our review.