Are you ready to form a limited liability company but aren’t sure which LLC setup service to use?
LLC service providers like IncFile and LegalZoom can prepare your formation documents and file them for you, which removes a large weight from your shoulders.
Do LegalZoom and IncFile Offer Good Value?
|🥇IncFile||Starts at $0||(4.8/5)||Excellent||Absolutely|
|LegalZoom||Starts at $79||(3.7/5)||Fair||Sometimes|
Before we dive into our comprehensive comparison of IncFile vs LegalZoom, let’s briefly outline if either LLC services are actually good deals.
LegalZoom overall has subpar value and charges $79 + state fee to form an LLC, with minimal included features. IncFile, on the other hand, starts at $0 + state fee and includes a lot more features in every package. Yes, IncFile will form an LLC for free!
As you’ll see below, IncFile is a far better deal than LegalZoom.
6 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: Both of these providers can save you a significant amount of money over hiring a business attorney to draft and file your formation papers.
2) Customer Support: If you have any questions or concerns, IncFile and LegalZoom have extensive customer support systems with helpful, professional representatives. This is one of the biggest advantages over the DIY route.
3) Experience: LegalZoom and IncFile both have extensive track records. Both companies serve thousands of customers every year and are quite capable of handling your formation. Experience matters, and these companies have plenty of it.
4) Additional Services: They each offer extensive business solutions beyond LLC formation. From registered agent service to business licensing, they can help you just as much down the line as they can today.
5) Efficiency: If you’re in a hurry to get through the formation process, these companies can help. IncFile has expediting service available, and LegalZoom will speed up your formation if you purchase a higher tier of LLC service package. Both of these options have additional costs attached, but if you need your LLC formed quickly it can be worth it.
6) Educational: LegalZoom’s Knowledge Center has loads of information sorted by category for entrepreneurs who want to know more about the legalities of the business world. Similarly, IncFile has a learning center with articles about different business structures and ongoing compliance issues, plus they have a helpful blog as well.
Side by Side Comparisons
Pricing (The Main Difference)
Obviously, paying nothing is better than paying $79 for similar services. What makes IncFile an even better bargain is the fact that they include more valuable features in their LLC formation packages than LegalZoom does. In the next section, we’ll show you why we would prefer IncFile over LegalZoom even if they had the exact same price point.
Overall, IncFile has a lot more included features than LegalZoom, without the extra cost. With IncFile, you get a full year of registered agent service and a 30-minute business tax consultation with any formation package, which are two features that LegalZoom doesn’t include.
That’s right, even though they save you $79 compared to LegalZoom, IncFile still provides significantly more value. A year of registered agent service is nothing to scoff at, and it would actually cost you $299 to add this feature to your LegalZoom formation package (or $249 for your first year if added to your LLC formation service order). At that point, it’s really a question of spending $0 or spending $378.
IncFile has formed 500,000+ businesses since they got started in 2004. On the other hand, LegalZoom has a much higher client volume, as they’ve helped more than 2 million business clients and formed more than 1 million LLCs since 1999.
LegalZoom has a large volume of customer feedback, as you might expect, considering the fact that they’re a massive 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. On the other hand, IncFile gets nearly universally positive feedback from its customers, as the vast majority of its 26,500+ reviews are very positive. With an even larger collection of feedback and overwhelmingly high average ratings, IncFile wins this round fairly easily.
Ease of Use
This is one area where these companies are dead even. Both of them can save you a ton of time and hassle, with well-explained websites. The only downside, however, is that LegalZoom slowly puts you through a lot of add-ons that can drastically increase your overall costs. IncFile does have add-ons, but they’re not nearly as overwhelming or aggressive.
These are both large companies with extensive support systems and are both a bit inconsistent as a result. With providers this big, some reps might be more helpful than others, and that’s certainly the case with LegalZoom. As for IncFile, their response times can be quite long, as we’ve experienced wait times in excess of 24 hours to get a response at times. In addition, IncFile basically never responds to emails in our experience, as they have entirely ignored multiple messages we’ve sent them.
LegalZoom has extended customer service hours that are convenient because you don’t have to interrupt your business day to contact them. They’re available from 10 am to 8 pm ET every weekday, and 10 am to 7 pm ET on weekends. IncFile’s support reps are available from 10 am to 7 pm ET on weekdays, and they are not open on weekends.
LegalZoom’s estimated turnarounds are based on the level of service you order: Economy (30 days), Standard (15 days), or Express Gold (7-10 days). IncFile’s turnaround times are based on your state of formation, and there’s a wide range from 1-2 days all the way up to 8 weeks. Due to these different approaches, LegalZoom will be quicker in some states, while IncFile will have them beat in others. Overall, we strongly prefer IncFile’s method, as we’re not fans of LegalZoom intentionally slowing down your formation just because you didn’t purchase one of their (overpriced) premium packages.
Both services offer online tracking where you can view real-time order status updates. IncFile’s tool is a bit flashier, but both are perfectly functional.
Registered Agent Service
Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or 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.
That said, IncFile gives you your first year of registered agent service for free with any formation package and charges $119 annually after that. LegalZoom does not include registered agent service with your LLC formation, and adding it on will cost $299 per year (or $249 for your first year if added to your LLC formation service order).
IncFile and LegalZoom both provide access to a wide variety of additional services that can help you start or maintain your compliant business entity. They offer many of the same services as well, including registered agent service, annual reports, doing business as (DBA) names, foreign qualifications, EIN acquisitions, and more.
However, LegalZoom also offers many other services that IncFile doesn’t offer, due in large part to the fact that IncFile only sells business services, while LegalZoom also provides its customers with quite a few personal services like last will and testament, power of attorney, living trust, divorce documents, and property deeds.
Which Is the Best LLC Service for You?
|🥇IncFile||Starts at $0||(4.8/5)||Excellent||Absolutely|
|LegalZoom||Starts at $79||(3.7/5)||Fair||Sometimes|
As you can see, there are plenty of similarities between IncFile and LegalZoom, but also a lot of differences. In our opinion, IncFile is the clear winner. You’ll save $79+ by going with their service and get a lot more features.
However, if you’re still undecided about which service to use, let’s review a couple of scenarios that can help you choose whether IncFile or LegalZoom should help you form your LLC.
➥ Choose IncFile if You Are:
Seeking the best prices? IncFile can save you money over LegalZoom’s base rate, while also including some valuable services like registered agent service that LegalZoom makes you pay extra for. Also, if customer reviews are important to you, IncFile has a big advantage in that area.
➦ Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
If experience and brand power are your top priorities, then LegalZoom is the better fit for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
Is IncFile Really A Free LLC Formation Service?
Impressively, yes. They used to charge $49 for their base package but have refined their systems over the last 15+ years to offer a service that will form an LLC online for free. All you pay for is the state filing fee.
This package includes all the same great features like registered agent service, lifetime company alerts, and next-day business processing.
IncFile also offers paid business formation packages for $149 and $299 that include more features and faster processing times. We’re just most impressed by their free offer. (Visit IncFile.com)
If I Decide to Use IncFile, Which Package Should I Choose?
We personally prefer either their $0 Silver package or their $149 Gold package. If all you need are the basics of LLC formation along with a year of registered agent service, we think the Silver package is a tremendous bargain.
If you’d rather add an EIN, an operating agreement, and several other features, we like the Gold package as well. Want a closer look? Check out IncFile’s pricing page.
How Does IncFile Compare to Other Online LLC Services?
IncFile, one of the best LLC formation websites, has formed more than 500,000 businesses since 2004. Check out the comparison reviews below if you’d like to see how this giant stacks up to other good LLC websites.
IncFile compared to:
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
IncFile has fewer upsells, and it’s not even close. While IncFile keeps the upsells to a minimum, LegalZoom piles them on to a rather ridiculous degree.
By the time you get from their package select screen to the payment portion of their order form, LegalZoom attempts six upsells that total $1,080 over the course of your LLC’s first year.
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
LegalZoom has a satisfaction guarantee that states you can request a refund at any time within 60 days of your initial purchase.
As for IncFile, they’re more strict when it comes to refunds, as they only offer refunds if you request one before they forward payment to the state (usually within 24 hours), with a $30 cancellation fee attached to it.
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
This largely depends on which state you’re forming your business in, because the way these two services calculate turnaround times is quite different.
IncFile bases their processing times on the requirements of your formation state, which can vary from just a couple days all the way up to several weeks. They also have expedited service available for an additional fee.
As for LegalZoom, their turnaround time estimates are tied to the service package you purchase from them. Their top-tier Express Gold package is the fastest (7-10 business days), the Standard package is in the middle (15), and the Economy package is the slowest (30).
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
You absolutely can, and many entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs every day. However, we appreciate the peace of mind we receive from using a reputable formation service like IncFile or LegalZoom. In addition, each state has its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, so there can often be more legwork than people might expect.
Does IncFile or LegalZoom Handle New York Publication Requirements?
We called both LLC services’ customer support number to get the answer to this question, and we were disappointed to hear that they do not handle publication requirements.
Both do handle some other state-specific requirements, like Alabama’s name reservation requirement, but you’ll only receive information/instructions for how to do it yourself.
Ready to Create Your LLC?
Create your LLC for free with IncFile or get started with LegalZoom for $79.