Active Filings vs LegalZoom (Which is Better?)
Are you looking to form an LLC, but you don’t want to do it alone? There are plenty of LLC service providers like Active Filings and LegalZoom that can help you, but how are you supposed to figure out which one is the best choice?
This Active Filings vs LegalZoom comparison outlines their commonalities and differences, in a way that should simplify your decision-making process.
* Quick Note: If you would like to compare the top LLC services, we reviewed and ranked the best based on overall value-price-reliability. See Comparison.
7 Things They Have In Common
- With either of these companies, you’ll save a significant sum over enlisting the services of a lawyer to draft and file your formation documents. Both Active Filings and LegalZoom can save you hundreds of dollars.
- Just because you’re saving a bunch of money doesn’t mean you’ll be left out to dry. LegalZoom and Active Filings have customer service departments that can help you find the answers to any questions or concerns that might come your way.
- Both of these providers have plenty of experience. Active Filings and LegalZoom have each processed thousands of LLC formations, and they have the knowhow to get the job done right.
- Do you require other business services, like registered agent or federal tax ID (EIN) obtainment? These companies both offer extensive suites of services that you can take advantage of if you’d like. They’re truly one-stop business service shops.
- They take your online security seriously. Active Filings protects their site with GoDaddy Verify Security, while LegalZoom enlists Norton Web Security. They’re both powerful security tools, and you can feel safe that your private data will remain private.
- If you would like to learn more about their services, both Active Filings and LegalZoom have loads of information on their websites. Even if you’re not going to become a customer, these companies have lots of info you can take advantage of to develop your LLC, with topics including formations, tax issues and much more.
- Their customer reviews can give you a clear impression of the customer experience with each company. If you require feedback before making your decision, both of these companies have plenty of reviews written by real clients.
Side by Side Comparisons
With LLC formation pricing that starts at $25 plus state fee, Active Filings is significantly less expensive than LegalZoom which has a base rate of $149.
Active Filings includes a full year of registered agent to receive and forward your official government documents with any formation package. On the other hand, LegalZoom provides a customized operating agreement to define the structure of your LLC. Other than these differences, their basic LLC services are quite similar.
LegalZoom has a huge volume of customers, with nearly 4 million clients served since they opened in 1999. Active Filings is a smaller operation, but they still have 60,000+ customers since 2001.
Active Filings customers rave about their excellent support, as they have a personal touch that their clients really appreciate. In addition, they have bilingual service agents that can make the process much easier for Spanish-speaking customers. They’re available to take phone calls from 9am to 5pm ET Monday through Friday, and you can even schedule a meeting in person if you’re located in Florida.
LegalZoom’s support is a bit more hit or miss. Some of their service reps offer excellent support, but that isn’t the case across the board. With a company this large, it’s no surprise that their service is somewhat inconsistent because they require so many agents to staff their phone lines.
One thing that is consistently great is their extended hours of operation, as they’re available from 8am-10pm ET weekdays and 10am-7pm ET weekends.
Active Filings posts estimated turnaround times for both regular and expedited filings on their website. All 50 states are represented here, with average turnarounds ranging from 2 days to 11 weeks. With LegalZoom, turnarounds are based on what level of LLC service you purchase from them.
Their baseline Economy package has an estimated turnaround of 30 business days, while their Standard tier takes about 15 days and the Express Gold package checks in at 7-10 days. In short, LegalZoom is faster in some states, Active Filings in others.
Neither of these providers have anything particularly fancy for order status tracking, but they both have simple tools that work. You can check your status in your Active Filings profile on their site, while LegalZoom has a similar online tool.
Registered Agent Service
LegalZoom offers registered agent for an annual rate of $159. Active Filings has a price point of $99 per year, and keep in mind that they also bundle in a full year of registered agent at no extra charge when you purchase any of their LLC formation service packages. (What is a registered agent?)
Significant differences exist between these two companies, both in volume and quality of customer reviews. Active Filings only has a few dozen reviews across the web, but I was unable to find even one negative review of their services. Their clients are quite satisfied, with customers specifically referring to their excellent support and speedy services.
LegalZoom has hundreds of online customer reviews, but they’re much more mixed in nature. Their feedback is split fairly evenly between positive and critical, and while their positive reviews mention things like efficient and convenient service, the more negative reviews raise issues like inconsistent customer support and billing confusion.
Ease of Use
Both LegalZoom and Active Filings have efficient services that are quite easy to use. These companies can both effectively execute any services you may purchase from them, and they both have convenient processes that make forming an LLC quite simple. Finally, they both have intuitive and user-friendly websites.
With Active Filings and LegalZoom, you have two companies that are both capable and worthy of handling your LLC formation. I understand that some of you may remain undecided, so to close let’s review some situations where you may be inclined to choose one or the other.
Choose Active Filings if You Are:
Concerned about saving money? Do you prefer to use companies that have strong positive customer feedback? Or maybe you appreciate bilingual support? These are just a few of the many reasons that Active Filings might be a good fit for you.
Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
Do you appreciate companies that wield impressive brand power, or that handle a large volume of clients? If so, LegalZoom may have the right LLC service for your company.