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BizFilings vs LegalZoom LLC Service Comparison ReviewDo you need to form a new limited liability company (LLC), but aren’t sure where to start?

LLC services like BizFilings and LegalZoom can assist with your formation, but how do you know which one you should use?

This BizFilings vs LegalZoom comparison is structured so that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision, from the characteristics they share in common to the ways in which they differ.

 

Quick Summary of Our Comparison

— BizFilings wins, but we recommend shopping around —

ServicePriceValueRecommended?
🥇ZenBusinessStarts at $39ExcellentAbsolutely
🥈BizFilingsStarts at $99FairSometimes
🥉LegalZoomStarts at $79FairSometimes

Overall, compared to LegalZoom, BizFilings has advantages that make them a better alternative for most of our readers.

First off, BizFilings includes six months of registered agent service and access to their online compliance management tools, which are features LegalZoom’s LLC service packages lack. In addition, if you want ongoing registered agent service, BizFilings charges $164 per year, compared to LegalZoom’s $299 annual rate.

Why We Recommend Shopping Around

While BizFilings and LegalZoom both have plenty of positives, neither of them are among our absolute favorite companies in this industry. For nearly all of our readers (plus our friends and family) looking for an LLC service, we recommend ZenBusiness.

ZenBusiness has the best combo of prices and features, giving you the essentials without charging a fortune. Plus, they’re a socially conscious organization focused on making a positive impact.

 

6 Things They Have In Common

1) Affordable: With either BizFilings or LegalZoom forming your LLC, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over hiring a lawyer. Many LLC formations are relatively simple, so an attorney may not be a necessity for you.

2) Customer Support: As opposed to the full DIY route, hiring a provider like LegalZoom or BizFilings gives you access to their customer support networks. If you have a question or concern, simply call or email their service reps to get help, rather than trying to figure out the answers on your own.

3) Strong Guarantees: Both of these companies guarantee their services. With LegalZoom, there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee which ensures that if you’re unhappy for any reason, they’ll refund the fees you paid them. As for BizFilings, they warranty their services against filing defects for the life of your company.

4) Experience: LegalZoom and BizFilings are highly experienced companies, with thousands upon thousands of clients. These are legitimate operations that are capable of handling most LLC formations.

5) Additional Services: LLC service is just the tip of the iceberg for these providers. Need a registered agent? Require assistance with federal tax ID (EIN) obtainment? No problem. BizFilings and LegalZoom offer these and many other business services.

6) Efficiency: If you need your LLC formed in a hurry, both BizFilings and LegalZoom have ways to speed up your turnaround time. While expediting an order obviously costs an additional fee, it can be worth it if you’re short on time.

 

Side by Side Comparisons

Pricing

LegalZoom’s $79 price point undercuts BizFilings’ $99 price tag by $20. Obviously, everyone would rather pay $79 than $99 for similar services, right? As we move through the following categories, take a look at how BizFilings not only regains the ground they lost to LegalZoom in this area, but also takes the overall lead in this competition.

Features

With BizFilings, you receive six months of registered agent service and access to their online compliance management tool with any LLC formation package, which LegalZoom doesn’t provide.

For their part, LegalZoom includes a banking resolution to help you open business checking and savings accounts, which isn’t included in BizFilings’ base-rate package. Still, BizFilings has the advantage in this category.

In our opinion, six months of registered agent service is significantly more valuable than a banking resolution. In fact, it’s enough for us to say that BizFilings is our preference over LegalZoom. Considering that LegalZoom charges nearly $300 for registered agent service, you would need to add around $150 to a LegalZoom LLC formation package to receive the same benefits you get from BizFilings.

Experience

BizFilings is a highly experienced company, with more than 500,000 business formations since they opened in 1996. They’re still not on LegalZoom’s level though, as LegalZoom has served more than 4 million total customers since 1999, with about half of those being business clients.

Customer Support

BizFilings is rather easy to get ahold of in our experience, as they have phone, email, and web chat options available from 9 am to 8 pm ET Monday through Friday. Their support agents are courteous and helpful.

We also have plenty of personal experience with LegalZoom, and they’re a bit more of a mixed bag. They’re such a huge company that it’s understandable that not all of their reps are top-notch. While their customer service experience can be a bit hit or miss, there’s no denying that their extended service hours can be a godsend. They’re open from 10 am to 8 pm ET weekdays and 10 am to 7 pm ET weekends.

Turnaround Times

Compared to every other LLC formation service provider that we’re aware of, BizFilings and LegalZoom determine their turnaround times a bit differently. While their competitors base their processing speeds on each individual state’s average processing times, these companies have turnarounds based on which level of LLC service you choose. With LegalZoom, you can choose Express Gold (7-10 business days), Standard (15), or Economy (30). With BizFilings, you have the option of Basic (4-6 weeks), Standard (7-10 business days), or Complete (7-10).

Order Tracking

LegalZoom has a simple system for tracking. They’ll send you a notification when your order is received, and you can check your order status at any time on their website. BizFilings has a more detailed 7-step status system that tracks your LLC formation from the moment your order is submitted until they ship your completed documents back to you.

Registered Agent Service

Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or online service that receives important document deliveries (like service of process) from your state government, informs you of the receipt, then forwards the documents to you. This is so crucial because the state needs to have a reliable means of contacting your business at any time.

With LegalZoom, you’ll pay $299 per year for registered agent service (or $249 for your first year if purchased with your LLC formation service), whereas BizFilings has an annual price point of $199 for the exact same service. Also, keep in mind that BizFilings packages in six months of registered agent service with any LLC formation service package, while LegalZoom does not.

Customer Reviews

Customer feedback is not a strength for either of these companies. BizFilings has very few reviews available online ― in fact, we were only able to find 18 reviews on any third-party review websites. LegalZoom has a much larger volume of customer feedback, as you might expect, considering the fact that they’re a bigger operation. We found 4,700+ reviews for LegalZoom, and while they do have some negative reviews mixed in, a majority of this feedback is positive.

Ease of Use

For the most part, both of these companies offer easy-to-use services. We will give this advantage to LegalZoom though, because their website is much more modern, and laid out in a convenient user-friendly manner.

Additional Services

BizFilings and LegalZoom offer many of the same services, like registered agent service, foreign qualifications, operating agreements, and EIN acquisition. However, LegalZoom also has quite a few services that BizFilings doesn’t offer, which mostly revolve around personal services rather than those marketed to businesses. For example, LegalZoom will help you with your last will and testament, power of attorney, and divorce proceedings.

 

Which LLC Service Should You Choose?

ServicePriceValueRecommended?
🥇ZenBusinessStarts at $39ExcellentAbsolutely
🥈BizFilingsStarts at $99FairSometimes
🥉LegalZoomStarts at $79FairSometimes

Whether you choose BizFilings or LegalZoom (or ZenBusiness), you’ll receive compliant and efficient LLC service. Still, we would understand if you remain undecided, so let’s wrap up this comparison by discussing some situations that might swing your opinion one way or the other.

Choose LegalZoom if You Are:

If you place a high value on brand power, LegalZoom has the edge. Their experience, in general, is a big advantage as well.

Choose BizFilings if You Are:

If you’d like registered agent service bundled in with your LLC formation, choose BizFilings.

Our Recommendation: While BizFilings and LegalZoom offer fair overall value and have formed thousands of businesses, they’re not our #1 pick. Read our list of the 7 top LLC services (which includes services like ZenBusiness) for the best deals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

If I Decide to Use BizFilings, Which Package Should I Choose?

Of the three LLC formation packages offered by BizFilings, we prefer their Basic plan ($99 + state fee).

This package includes the formation of your LLC, plus six months of registered agent service, and six months of their online compliance management tool. It’s a well-rounded package that includes everything most LLCs need to get started.

How Does LegalZoom Stack up to Other LLC Websites?

LegalZoom, one of the most well-known services online, has formed more than 2 million businesses since 2001. Check out the comparison reviews below if you’d like to see how this giant stacks up to other good LLC websites.

LegalZoom compared to:

Does BizFilings Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?

BizFilings handles all state-specific compliance requirements, including New York’s publication requirement.

BizFilings prides itself on taking care of every possible step on the road to forming a compliant LLC, while some of their competitors just handle the basics.

Furthermore, their prices for publication service are very good, as they charge just $100 (not including newspaper costs or county fees), while some competitors charge three times that much. For what it’s worth, LegalZoom offers no assistance with these requirements.

 

Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?

BizFilings has hardly any upsells at all, which is one of the things we like about their service.

We never feel pressured to upgrade our service package or add more features unless we want to. However, LegalZoom is a pretty serious offender when it comes to excessive upsells. Before you even get to the point where you choose your LLC formation package, LegalZoom attempts a ridiculous $1,080 worth of upsells.

Considering that you haven’t even chosen your package yet, it’s very odd that they push these additional services as much as they do.

Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?

We appreciate the way LegalZoom maintains its focus on its own products and services, rather than entering into info-sharing agreements with third-party partners.

As for BizFilings, they’re one of the worst offenders in this area, as they pour on the “free extras” and “additional services” from a variety of different companies, including Palo Alto, ADP, Pitney Bowes SendPro, Grasshopper, Hubspot, and an unnamed business insurance provider.

Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?

BizFilings’ refund policy has some pretty costly processing fees attached to it. For refunds requested before they start any work on your LLC formation process, they charge a $50 cancellation fee. Any refund requested after the initial name check is performed will be subject to a $75 fee.

On the other hand, LegalZoom has one of the industry’s best refund policies. They provide their customers with a satisfaction guarantee that says they will grant a refund to anyone requesting one for any reason within 60 days of their purchase. They don’t even have a convenience fee, which is the icing on the cake.

Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?

BizFilings and LegalZoom are the only two companies we know of in this industry that don’t base their turnaround times on the actual state processing speeds.

Instead, these two providers base their processing time estimates on how much money you spend on their service. With BizFilings, they structure their turnaround times as follows:

  • Basic: 4-6 weeks
  • Standard: 7-10 business days
  • Complete: 7-10 business days

LegalZoom has a similar method, as you can see:

  • Economy: 30 business days
  • Standard: 15 business days
  • Express Gold: 7-10 business days

Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?

The DIY route is always available to you, and many entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs without any form of assistance.

The reason we don’t typically recommend this is because the actual process for forming an LLC varies from state to state, and it can be more of a hassle than you might expect to learn the exact rules and regulations used by your formation state.

Furthermore, we love the peace of mind we get from using a professional service like BizFilings or LegalZoom, because we trust their expertise.


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About Aaron Franklin

Frustrated by all the options and aggressive online sales tactics, I created BestLLCServices.com to cut the clutter and bring clarity to entrepreneurs starting an LLC. Our focus is on reviewing and comparing the top LLC formation services while also crafting free resources that help you start a business. We sincerely believe finding the right service and free information should be a simple process so you can get started with minimal friction.