BizFilings vs LegalZoom (Who Wins For You?)
This BizFilings vs LegalZoom comparison is structured so that you have all the information you need to make a decision, from the characteristics they share in common to the ways in which they differ. This will help you make an informed choice for your company’s future.
6 Things They Have In Common
- Affordable: With either BizFilings or LegalZoom forming your LLC, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over hiring a lawyer. Many formations are relatively simple, so an attorney may not be a necessity for you.
- Help If You Need It: 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.
- Money Back 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.
- Lots Of 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.
- 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.
- Your Info Is Secure: If online security is a priority for you, BizFilings and LegalZoom have your back. Both companies use Norton Web Security to protect their websites from malware, while also encrypting all data transfers.
Side by Side Comparisons
BizFilings charges a base rate of $99 plus state fee for LLC formation service, while LegalZoom’s LLC service starts at $149.
With BizFilings, you receive 6 months of registered agent with any LLC formation package, which LegalZoom doesn’t offer. On the other hand, LegalZoom includes a custom operating agreement to outline the structure of your LLC, a feature BizFilings doesn’t have.
BizFilings is a highly experienced company, with hundreds of thousands of business formations since they opened in 1996. They’re still not on LegalZoom’s level though, as LegalZoom has served nearly 4 million customers since 1999, with about half of those being business clients.
BizFilings is rather easy to get ahold of in my experience, as they have phone, email or web chat options available from 9am to 8pm ET Monday through Friday. Their support agents are courteous and helpful.
I 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 8am to 10pm ET weekdays and 10am to 7pm ET weekends.
BizFilings has convenient state guides on their website where you can see estimated turnaround times for all 50 states, as well as other relevant state-specific info. LegalZoom operates a bit differently, with turnarounds based on which level of LLC service you choose: Express Gold (7-10 business days), Standard (15) or Economy (30). In short, BizFilings is quicker in some states, while LegalZoom has the edge in others.
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
With LegalZoom, you’ll pay $159 per year for registered agent, whereas BizFilings has an annual price point of $149. Keep in mind though that BizFilings packages in 6 months of registered agent with any LLC formation service package. (What is a Registered Agent?)
Customer feedback is not a strength for either of these companies. BizFilings has very few reviews available online, and most of them are quite old. For example, their newest positive review was written way back in April 2011. LegalZoom has plenty of reviews to read through, but they’re mixed pretty equally between positive and negative feedback.
For me, this area is a toss-up, because I don’t see any real advantage to either having mixed feedback or none at all.
Ease of Use
For the most part, both of these companies offer easy-to-use services. I will give a slight advantage to LegalZoom though, because their website is a bit more modern and laid out in a convenient user-friendly manner.
Which Should You Use?
Whether you choose BizFilings or LegalZoom, you’ll receive compliant, efficient and effective LLC service. Still, you may be undecided so let’s discuss some situations that might swing your opinion one way or the other.
Choose BizFilings if You Are:
If saving money is a priority for your formation, their rates are a bit lower than LegalZoom’s are. Additionally, BizFilings is quicker in some states, so depending on where you live that may be another major advantage.
Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
If you place high value on customer volume and brand power, LegalZoom has the edge there, as well as with experience in general. Also, depending on your state of formation they may be faster than BizFilings.