Do you need to form a company, but you don’t want to bother with the complexities and hassles of forming your own LLC?

There are many online companies like Inc Authority and LegalZoom that offer high-quality LLC formation services, but it can be tough to figure out which one is the best option for your new business.

In this Inc Authority vs LegalZoom comparison guide, you’ll find all the relevant information about these two reputable service providers organized in a convenient manner. Let’s find out which one is the right choice for your LLC!

7 Things They Have in Common

1) Affordable: With either LegalZoom or Inc Authority, you’ll save a significant amount of money on your LLC formation compared to hiring a business attorney to handle your formation process.

2) Efficiency: These companies both work quickly, and they can get your formation processed with the state in a matter of weeks or even days.

3) Customer Support: These two services both have customer support networks that can answer all of your tough questions. Why go it alone when you can get help from LegalZoom or Inc Authority?

4) Experience: Both Inc Authority and LegalZoom have helped form thousands of businesses over the years, and they both have plenty of expertise. You can definitely trust them to have the experience they need to form your compliant LLC.

5) Trustworthy: These are both entirely legitimate operations with strong track records. These aren’t fly-by-night companies, but rather they’re well-respected entities with plenty of expertise to get the job done right.

6) Additional Services: Both LegalZoom and Inc Authority have many other services that they can provide to your business, from registered agent service to annual reports and much more.

7) Informative: Inc Authority has a blog where they share business tips, information about different entity types, etc. Similarly, LegalZoom’s Knowledge Center has plenty of info regarding legalities and other issues that commonly face entrepreneurs today.

Side-by-Side Comparisons

Pricing

It’s impossible to beat Inc Authority’s offer when it comes to pricing. That’s because they’re one of only a few companies in this industry (along with ZenBusiness and IncFile) that offers free LLC formation, as long as you pay your own state fee. As for LegalZoom, their base-rate business formation package costs $79.

Features

In their free package, Inc Authority includes one year of registered agent service and an S corporation tax election filing (which most LLCs don’t need). By contrast, LegalZoom’s $79 package includes a banking resolution to help you open a business bank account.

In our opinion, the tax election filing and the banking resolution are roughly equivalent in value, but the full year of registered agent service is an advantage for Inc Authority. If you wanted to add 12 months of registered agent service to your LegalZoom LLC package, it would cost an additional $249-299.

Experience

This is a category where LegalZoom has a noteworthy advantage. Inc Authority was formed in 1989, and they’ve formed more than 140,000 LLCs and corporations over the years. On the other hand, LegalZoom has formed more than 2 million business entities since 2001.

Customer Support

LegalZoom has customer support available via email, chat, or phone. Their extended support hours can be a great help, as they’re available on weekdays from 8 am to 10 pm ET, and on weekends from 10 am to 7 pm ET.

Inc Authority offers responsive and helpful support through the same three mediums of phone, email, or chat. Their hours are shorter than LegalZoom’s, and they also lack weekend availability, as Inc Authority’s reps are only available from 11 am to 8 pm ET on weekdays.

Turnaround Times

With Inc Authority, turnaround times are based on the requirements of each state. These processing times can vary from just a couple of business days all the way up to several weeks.

LegalZoom takes a different approach that bases processing times on which level of LLC formation service package you purchase from them, although they do say that these speeds vary a bit in some states. Their cheaper packages can take up to 30 business days to process, while their top-tier Express Gold package cuts that time down to 7-10 business days.

Order Tracking

Both of these service providers have order-tracking tools available on their websites. Simply log into your account, and you’ll find your order status in your profile.

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.

Inc Authority includes 12 months of registered agent service with any LLC formation package, and they charge a reasonable $99 per year otherwise.

As for LegalZoom, they do not include registered agent service with any of their three business formation plans. If you want to add registered agent service to a formation package, they charge $299 per year (or $249 for your first year if you purchase it with your LLC formation package).

Customer Reviews

Inc Authority’s customer satisfaction reputation is very good. We found more than 11,000 reviews of their services, and they were overwhelmingly positive. Their clients clearly love their free LLC formation service offer, and they also seem to appreciate their quick processing speeds.

We found 6,000+ reviews for LegalZoom, and while they do have some negative reviews mixed in, a majority of this feedback is positive. Their satisfied customers often talk about how convenient and easy to use LegalZoom’s services are.

Ease of Use

These companies are relative equals in this category, as they both make the LLC formation process quite simple compared to forming your own business using the DIY method. Still, we will give LegalZoom a slight edge because their website is a bit more streamlined and user-friendly than the Inc Authority site.

Additional Services

Inc Authority and LegalZoom offer many of the same services, but they also each have some services the other one doesn’t offer. Specifically, Inc Authority has a business funding service and business credit package that LegalZoom doesn’t provide.

However, LegalZoom has more business services available for intellectual property issues, and they also offer a wider variety of personal services like estate planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I Decide to Use Inc Authority, Which Package Should I Choose?

Inc Authority’s entry-level LLC formation package is its best offering. Not only is it free of charge (except for your state fee), but it also includes a year of registered agent service and an S corporation tax election filing.

Does Inc Authority Handle State Requirements Like New York Publication?

LLCs in some states have additional compliance steps – publishing your LLC’s formation in a reputable local newspaper.

Unfortunately, Inc Authority does not offer publication service, so you’ll need to handle this step on your own. In case you’re wondering, LegalZoom doesn’t offer publication assistance either.

If you’d like more information on the best options for New York LLC publication services, like ZenBusiness, check out our full guide on this topic.

Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?

LegalZoom sprinkles in $1,080 worth of upsells as you work your way through their order form.

Inc Authority includes a page of optional add-on features at the end of their order form, but seeing as they’re a free service to begin with, this doesn’t bother us.

Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?

On Inc Authority’s website, they specifically mention that they will not grant any refund requests for any reason. LegalZoom has an advantage in this category thanks to its fantastic satisfaction guarantee. It’s nearly identical to the ZenBusiness refund policy.

If you’re not entirely pleased with their services, you have 60 days from the date of your initial purchase to request a refund, and they will grant it. No questions asked, no cancellation fees!

Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?

Inc Authority’s turnaround times vary from state to state ― in some states, they can get your LLC formed in just a few days, while in some others it will take several weeks.

LegalZoom has a different tactic for calculating processing speeds. Here’s how long they take to process an order (keep in mind that these can vary by state):

  • Basic ($79): 30 business days
  • Standard ($329): 15 business days
  • Express Gold ($349): 7-10 business days

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

Quite a few people do choose to form their own LLCs using the DIY option, and this option is available to you as well.

In Conclusion

Inc Authority and LegalZoom are two of the most popular LLC formation services available, and they both have plenty of strong attributes.

We wouldn’t blame you for preferring one over the other — either way, you’re using one of the best companies in the industry.

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