LegalZoom first opened in 1999 and has made their brand as one of the most well-known LLC formation services available in the industry. Although there are loads of LLC service providers that will easily form an LLC for your online, but LegalZoom is the most popular one as it has an amazing advertising campaign and has received reviews from millions of customers.
However, similar to most other LLC service providers, there are a few advantages and disadvantages associated with their services. In this review of LegalZoom, we will tell you everything that you need to know about forming an LLC online with this service provider.
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons of LegalZoom
Pros of LegalZoom
✔ In terms of experience, LegalZoom is the best online LLC service provider in the market. They have helped millions of customers till now and have a well-known brand in this industry that helps them attract more customers. LegalZoom has been well-established for over 20 years now and that makes a lot of difference.
✔ One of the best things about LegalZoom is that they offer a 100% money-back guarantee which you can avail anytime within the 60 days of ordering a service. There are very few other LLC service providers that offer this guarantee and almost none give you two months to change your decision.
✔ LegalZoom allows people to search for the name availability regardless of being a customer or not.
✔ Another great thing about LegalZoom is that they offer extended customer support hours. During weekdays, they are available till 10 p.m. ET and during weekends, they are available till 7 p.m. ET. There are very few companies that can even match this kind of availability.
✔ Apart from the LLC formation, LegalZoom offers other services that it is really good at. One such service is annual report filing which is the best in the industry.
Cons of LegalZoom
✘ LegalZoom is more expensive than the cheaper packages of other LLC service providers and their starter package is priced at $99 + state fees which is comparatively expensive. Moreover, this package doesn’t offer any advanced services to the customers.
✘ Their ordering process is filled with upsells which can be annoying and can make the order expensive for you. Before getting to the package selection page, you are shown upsells for EIN acquisition, registered agent service, business tax software, compliance assistance, and so on. If you end up adding these upsells, then you would end up paying more than $1000 and that doesn’t even include the state fee yet.
Prices and Packages of LegalZoom
Is LegalZoom value for worth? Sure, before learning more about the packages and pricing offered by LegalZoom, let’s learn more about the good value in a LegalZoom service. Although $99 is not an expensive amount and is actually cheaper than hiring an attorney, it doesn’t offer as much value as other LLC service providers. For example, ZenBusiness costs $60 less and offers more features than the base package of LegalZoom.
Price: $99 + State Fee
In Economy package, you get the following features:
- Business Name Availability Check – This feature ensures that LegalZoom looks through the business database of the state where you are forming an LLC to check whether the desired business name is available or if it is already taken by a business entity.
- Preparation and Filing of Articles of Organization – To create an LLC, the state requires you to fill out some forms and file the documents with the state. LegalZoom will draft these articles for your organization and will then file them with your state.
- Lifetime Customer Support – LegalZoom also offers you customer support that is available throughout the week along with extended support hours that run till 10 p.m. ET on the weekdays and 7 p.m. ET on the weekends.
- Banking Resolution – LegalZoom provides you with a financial account authorization letter which is then used by the banks to determine whether you are eligible for a checking or savings account for your LLC and can be used to get a business account as well.
Price: $329 + State Fee
In Standard package, you get all the features of the Economy package, plus
- Deluxe Organizer – LegalZoom provides you with a box with your business name embossed on it to keep your important documents safely in it.
- VIP Processing – With this feature, LegalZoom will prioritize your order over an Economy package user and will help you in resolutions more quickly.
- Membership Certificates and Seal – They also offer you with 20 personalized membership certificates to share with the LLC owners and a decorative seal too.
Price: $349 + State Fee
In this package, you get all the features of Standard package plus
- Expedited Processing – If the state of your formation offers an option for expedited processing, then LegalZoom will choose that option. This can greatly reduce the turnaround time from weeks to a couple of days and is a great choice for anyone who is in a rush to form an LLC.
- Express Shipping – Once your documents are complete, they will ship you these documents using Express Mail and a tracking number.
Customer Reviews for LegalZoom
Since LegalZoom has been available for a while now, there is no shortage of customer feedback online for this LLC service provider. In fact, they have hundreds of reviews available online that are ideally split between positive and negative experience of LLC formation via LegalZoom.
You can take a closer look at their feedback but do check their rating on the 3rd party customer feedback sites. However, customers are usually impressed with the quick turnaround time of LegalZoom although a few have complained about inconsistent customer representatives.
Best LegalZoom LLC Alternative
There are many other LLC formation services available apart from LegalZoom. So, if you don’t like LegalZoom or if you wish to check out other available options, then you can check out ZenBusiness. It is one of our favorite LLC formation services and provides a better overall value in comparison to LegalZoom.
Here is a quick comparison of the two LLC formation services to help you decide:
- In terms of pricing, LegalZoom is more expensive as the base package costs $99 while the base package of ZenBusiness costs $39. So, you can easily save $60 and get more amazing features with ZenBusiness.
- In terms of features, there is no surprise that ZenBusiness offers you more features out of the money that you pay in comparison to LegalZoom’s package options. With ZenBusiness, you get a full year registered agent service for free, a free operating agreement, and several other free add-ons.
- In terms of ease of use, both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness are easy to use for the customers. They make it quite easy to form an LLC on their websites.
Choose or Not
Should You Choose LegalZoom for Yourself?
Well, LegalZoom has a lot of amazing positives but it has its share of serious disadvantages as well. So, it is important to understand when or when not to choose LegalZoom to help with LLC formation.
✔ When to Choose LegalZoom to Form an LLC
If you are looking for a well-known brand to form an LLC for you and need the safety of the money-back guarantee, then LegalZoom is the best choice for you.
✘ When Not to Choose LegalZoom to Form an LLC
If you are looking for a budget-friendly LLC formation service that provides you with several valuable features as well, then you will find a lot of alternative LLC services that are better than LegalZoom.
Our Verdict on LegalZoom
When looking at LegalZoom, one important thing to keep in mind is that its package pricing isn’t really competitive with other LLC service providers and the packages lack a lot of valuable features that you will be able to find with cheaper packages. On the other hand, if you want an LLC formation service with tons of experience helping you with LLC formation and also provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, then LegalZoom is a good choice.
Overall, LegalZoom wouldn’t be our first choice to form an LLC but we do understand if you opt for it since it has a good track record in the past 20 years.
Frequently Asked Questions About LegalZoom
Do you have a few questions about LegalZoom? Well, we have all the answers for your questions.
How is LegalZoom in Comparison to Other LLC Providers?
Although LegalZoom is a good option in its own way, there are a few other companies that we prefer over LegalZoom for LLC formation services. If LegalZoom revised the package pricing, then it could easily move up our ranking list and will be considered an overall better option than many other LLC formation websites.
Currently, LegalZoom is at the 5th rank in our Best LLC Services guide because while they offer good services, ZenBusiness, Northwest Registered Agent, and IncFile are better for forming an LLC. In simple terms, these companies offer more valuable features at a better and inexpensive pricing.
Does LegalZoom Offer Any Discounts?
Sadly, we couldn’t find any promo codes, coupons, sales, or discount codes for LegalZoom services which is such a shame. All LegalZoom needs a little price reduction to compete with the top LLC formation wesbites in the industry and discount codes could have helped with that.
Is LegalZoom Legit?
As we mentioned earlier in this review, LegalZoom has been around since 1999 now and have worked with millions of customers in this time. They offer reliable and trustworthy business services to the customers and although they have lots of mixed reviews online, their customer feedback is greatly improving in the recent years.
Among the thousands of online reviews, majority of them are positive reviews so it is evident that clients do love their services. LegalZoom is majorly known for its quick turnaround time but they do have an issue with inconsistent customer support.
Would You Recommend LegalZoom LLC Services to Your Friends and Family?
This is a slightly tough question to answer because there is no objective answer for it. However, if our friend or someone we know were to ask whether LegalZoom is worth using, then we would tell them that the experience offered by LegalZoom and their money-back guarantee is definitely impressive but there are a few other LLC service providers that offer better features and pricing than LegalZoom.
We would highly recommend ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent for LLC formation services. Overall, ZenBusiness offers best overall value and helps the community by giving back as well but if you want premium service with amazing customer support, then Northwest Registered Agent is the perfect choice for you.
Does LegalZoom Offer Good Customer Support?
Yes, they certainly do and what we love the most about them is their extended customer support availability as they offer longer customer support hours than most LLC formation websites. There are a few complaints about the consistency and the quality of the support provided by the company and sometimes, you might have to wait a while during the peak hours.
However, these things are quite normal considering the size and the number of customers that companies like LegalZoom usually have.
Do They Offer a Refund?
Yes, they do. In fact, LegalZoom is one of the few companies that actually offer 100% satisfaction guarantee. So, if you don’t like what you are being offered, then you can easily ask for a refund within 60 days of placing the order and they will refund your fee, no questions asked.
Can You Form an LLC On Your Own?
Of course, you can totally form an LLC on your own and there are a lot of entrepreneurs who choose the DIY method to form LLCs. But this option is only good for you if you have the time and effort to research and then file the necessary documents with your state of formation.
Moreover, you will need to check the state specific compliance requirements and adhere to it. While it will save you a lot of money, it will take a lot of time and effort and is overall a slightly complicated process. So, if you are looking for a quick way to form an LLC, then it is a good idea to choose LegalZoom as it is cheaper than hiring an attorney and will save a lot of time in the LLC formation process.
Do I Need to Reserve the LLC Name Before Forming an LLC with LegalZoom?
Well, this depends on a lot of factors including your state of formation. There are a few states like Alabama that make it mandatory to reserve the name before you can begin the LLC formation process. Also, each state except for Florida has the option to reserve the business name before forming the LLC.
Generally, you don’t need to reserve the name unless you aren’t ready to start the formation process soon and don’t want your name to be taken by another business entity. On the other hand, if you have already begun the LLC formation service, then you don’t need to reserve the name before forming the LLC with LegalZoom.
Can You Form an LLC Without Being Physically Present in the United States?
Yes, you certainly can. To form an LLC, you don’t have to be physically present in the United States. In fact, you can form an LLC in a state without being an American resident or citizen since foreign nationals are allowed to form and operate LLCs like American citizens.
Due to the absence of such restrictions, forming LLCs is quite a popular option among entrepreneurs as it requires bare minimum effort on their end.
Does LegalZoom Manage State-Specific Requirements?
When we contacted LegalZoom’s customer support to enquire whether they handle state requirements or not, we were information that LegalZoom handles each and every step of the formation process. However, they don’t offer help with publication requirements since that technically occurs after the formation of the business entity so the customer needs to take care of that on their own.
But they do take care of the state requirements that occur during the formation process. For example, they will take care of name reservation if your state of formation is Alabama.
How to Contact LegalZoom’s Customer Support Via Email and Phone?
If you wish to contact LegalZoom’s customer support via phone, then you can dial 1-800-773-0888.They haven’t listed down their email address on the website but you can fill out the form on the Contact Us page to start the email support function. They will respond back at the earliest and try to resolve your query on email itself.
Does LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells?
Yes, they do. Honestly, LegalZoom goes a little overboard with the upsells and definitely has the most upsells in comparison to other LLC formation services.
Before you are even taken to the package selection page to choose the desired package, LegalZoom attempts around six upsells that cost around $1080 for just the first year of LLC in business. There are a lot of amazing things about LegalZoom such as its quick turnaround time, 100% satisfaction guarantee, and so on but the upsells are a major turn-off for us. If you are also annoyed with such upsells and would like to avoid them, then we would advise you to form your LLC using an alternative incorporation service.
How Much Time Does LegalZoom Take to Form an LLC?
Well, this depends on the LegalZoom package that you have opted for and the processing time offered by the state. Generally, LegalZoom offers a quick turnaround time but the actual processing time depends on the package that you purchased and not on the requirements of your state.
Basically, their Economy package can take around 30 days for the formation of LLC and is the slowest package available. If you want a slightly quicker turnaround time, then you can opt for the mid-tier Standard package that will take 15 days for the formation. If you are looking for something faster, then you can go for the top-tier Express Gold package that will take anywhere between 5 – 10 days to complete the LLC formation process.
What Services Does LegalZoom Offer?
LegalZoom has been serving the customers for 20 years now and offers several more additional services in comparison to its competitors. This is due to the fact they offer several personal services as well apart from the business offerings. So, customers can approach LegalZoom to help with their last will and testament, divorce proceedings, power of attorney, and so on.
Now, coming to the business services offered by LegalZoom, there is a huge list of services that they offer. They offer services such as registered agent service, doing business as names (DBA), trademark and copyright protection, dissolutions, amendments, conversions, foreign qualifications, annual reports, EIN acquisition, operating agreements, business licensing, and a lot more.
So, whether it is a business-related service or a personal service, LegalZoom handles it all and is a great place to manage all your troubles and solutions in work and life.
Should I Get an EIN via LegalZoom?
Well, without knowing about the specific needs of your business, we cannot give an objective answer to this question. There are several entrepreneurs who love to have the EIN acquisition included in their LLC formation package as it saves them time and effort on acquiring it separately, even if it costs them a little extra.
Getting an EIN from the IRS via LegalZoom’s service is quite convenient and is definitely worth it. And the best part is that your articles of organization and EIN confirmation is stored at the same place (dashboard of the LLC formation website) so, it becomes easier to manage the information.
However, if you are looking to save some extra bucks and don’t mind spending time on EIN acquisition, then you can get your EIN from the IRS directly free of cost.