Are you in the process of forming a new LLC, but you’re finding the DIY option to be a hassle?
In this InCorp vs LegalZoom comparison, you’ll find breakdowns of their common characteristics and defining differences. Hopefully, this will make your decision a bit easier!
InCorp and LegalZoom are two highly capable companies that you can trust to form your compliant LLC in an efficient manner. They’re both easy to recommend, but in general, we prefer InCorp.
First off, InCorp offers excellent rates on registered agent service as low as $66 per year, compared to LegalZoom’s $299 annual price point. Considering the fact that all LLCs need to designate a registered agent, this is a significant difference. Furthermore, we don’t like the way LegalZoom attempts so many upsells ― if you opted into every upsell they offer on their order form, you would add $1,080 to your total!
Is There a Better Deal Elsewhere? While InCorp and LegalZoom both have plenty of positives, neither of them is among our absolute favorite companies in this industry.
In general, we prefer to use an online incorporation service like ZenBusiness or IncFile. They include a full year of registered agent service with all of their LLC formation packages and a lot of other solid features. Plus, they have fabulous customer feedback reputations, with thousands of positive reviews all over the web.
6 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: LegalZoom and InCorp both offer LLC services that are hundreds of dollars cheaper than hiring an attorney. Also, given the relatively basic structure of most LLCs, you may not even need a lawyer to draft and file your formation documents.
2) Customer Support: Even though they’re relatively inexpensive, these providers both have extensive customer support networks that can help you navigate your way through any questions or concerns that you may have. Instead of wasting hours trying to figure out answers for yourself, you can simply call or email their support reps instead.
3) Experience: If you find experience reassuring, InCorp and LegalZoom both have plenty of it. They’ve each handled thousands of formations, and they have the expertise to quickly and effectively form your LLC as well.
4) Additional Services: If you need additional services, these companies can help. From registered agent to federal tax ID numbers (EIN) and more, LegalZoom and InCorp have many business services that you can take advantage of.
5) Efficiency: If you need your LLC formed in a hurry, that’s no problem for these service providers. InCorp has expediting available from your state government, and LegalZoom will increase the speed of your turnaround time if you purchase one of their upper-tier formation packages. Both of these options cost extra money, of course, but it can be worth it for the quick filing speed.
6) Educational: Would you like to learn more about the business world, whether it’s info about business types, tax issues, or many other topics? InCorp has a large collection of business articles, while LegalZoom’s knowledge center covers loads of important compliance topics as well.
Side by Side Comparisons
Of course, paying $99 is always preferable compared to paying $117, especially when you’re receiving essentially the same service. However, as we work our way through the remaining categories in this competition, you might find that InCorp has some advantages of its own. However, they don’t exactly gain any ground in our next category…
These companies offer quite similar feature sets in their base packages, with the only notable exception being LegalZoom’s inclusion of a banking resolution to help you open business bank accounts. While InCorp allows you to choose additional features a la carte, LegalZoom offers premium packages that bundle additional features.
It’s not exactly a huge difference, but LegalZoom’s banking resolution is certainly more valuable than InCorp’s nonexistent added features. While we prefer companies that include registered agent service and other valuable features, a banking resolution is still better than nothing.
InCorp opened in 1998, and they currently have over 125,000 active clients. While it’s an impressive volume, it still doesn’t hold a candle to LegalZoom, which has served more than 2 million business clients since 2001.
InCorp has great support reps, as their customers frequently mention the quality service they receive when they write their reviews (more on that shortly). LegalZoom has somewhat inconsistent customer support, as their service agents are a bit hit or miss, although that isn’t surprising for such a large company. One thing we do really like about LegalZoom’s support is that they have extended availability hours that run from 10 am to 8 pm ET on weekdays and 10 am to 7 pm ET on weekends.
Like most LLC service providers, InCorp bases its turnaround times on your state of formation. LegalZoom does things a bit differently, instead basing your estimate on which level of service you purchase from them. Their top-tier Express Gold has turnarounds of 7-10 business days, while the Standard tier takes about 15 days and Economy around 30.
LegalZoom has an order status tracking tool on their website that indicates what step of the process your formation is currently in. InCorp doesn’t have a comparable status update tool, but you can email them at any time and ask them where you stand.
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.
InCorp has excellent rates for registered agent service, with a base rate of $99 that can get even cheaper with volume discounts: 2 years ($89.10/year), 3 years ($80.52/year), 4 years ($73.06/year), or 5 years ($66.56/year).
On the other hand, LegalZoom’s registered agent prices are set at the much higher rate of $299 per year. It’s worth noting that neither of these companies includes registered agent service in their LLC formation packages.
InCorp gets excellent feedback, with the vast majority of their reviews being quite positive. Their customers rave about how quickly they work and also how helpful their support reps are. InCorp only has about 160 reviews available online, but they’re nearly all positive.
LegalZoom is a different story, as their collection of 2,000+ reviews is decidedly mixed between positive and negative. There are plenty of people who are satisfied with their services, but they also have a large number of customers who have issues with their support agents.
Ease of Use
InCorp’s services are quite easy to use, but LegalZoom has a slight advantage in this area thanks to its extremely user-friendly website. InCorp’s site isn’t bad, it just isn’t laid out as conveniently as LegalZoom’s site is.
Both InCorp and LegalZoom provide access to a broad selection of additional business services, and they also offer many of the same services. For instance, you can order foreign qualifications, business licensing research packages, annual reports, registered agent service, amendments, and more from either one of them.
However, there are also some services that you can only purchase from one or the other. Only InCorp offers Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) search and filing services, while only LegalZoom provides entity conversions and real estate services. It’s also worth noting that LegalZoom offers many personal services as well as business services, so you can order things like last will and testament, divorce papers, and power of attorney from them.
Which Is the Best LLC Company for You?
LegalZoom and InCorp are both highly respected companies that are willing and able to help form your LLC. Some of you may still be undecided though, so let’s take a look at some scenarios where you may be more inclined to use one over the other.
➥ Choose InCorp if You Are:
InCorp can save you some money on registered agent service, and they have excellent customer feedback. It’s a winning combination that suits many types of businesses.
➦ Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
Do you place a high value on brand power? How about customer volume? Do you want to save $18 on your LLC formation? If so, LegalZoom is well worth a look for LLC service.
While both of the LLC services in this comparison offer good overall value and have formed thousands of businesses, we think InCorp is the better option. However, in the larger picture, neither of these LLC services are our top pick. We highly recommend checking out our list of the top LLC services to see which is the best option available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use LegalZoom, Which Package Should I Choose?
Our favorite LegalZoom LLC formation package is their Economy package for $99 (plus state fee). This package includes the basics of formation, along with a banking resolution to help you open a business bank account.
We do not recommend their $329 Standard or $349 Express Gold packages though, because they’re significantly overpriced considering what you get in the way of features.
Does InCorp Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?
Yes, they do. Many of their competitors don’t offer any state-specific requirement assistance, but InCorp does offer to handle publication requirements, name reservations, and more. This is one of our favorite attributes of InCorp, as they truly provide a complete formation service. We will also note that LegalZoom does not offer assistance with this process.
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
While InCorp does have a rather lengthy list of additional services on their order form, it makes sense because they only have one LLC formation package available. With that in mind, we don’t really consider the way they present these services to be “upsells,” and we think they present their products and services in a fair, level-headed manner.
As for LegalZoom, they’re one of the main reasons we even have this question in our FAQ sections. Before you even choose your LLC formation package, LegalZoom leads you through an outrageous $1,080 worth of upsell attempts. Considering the fact that they position these upsells before you select your package, it’s nearly impossible to even know whether you want or need any of them.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
So many companies in this industry push lots of “special offers” or “bonus features,” which actually turn out to be third-party partnership offers.
Rather than trying to get you to let them share your info with other companies, InCorp and LegalZoom focus on providing their own products and services in a reasonable way. They are equals in this regard.
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
LegalZoom has an excellent satisfaction guarantee that is one of the best refund policies in this industry, in our opinion. If you request a refund within 60 days of your purchase, they will grant it within five business days. That’s a guarantee that’s tough to beat!
InCorp also gives you 60 days to request a refund, but the big difference here is that they charge a $29 convenience fee when granting a refund.
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
The answer to this question varies depending on which state you’re forming a business in. InCorp structures their processing time estimates based on each state’s ability to process LLC formations, which can be as quick as just a few days or as long as several weeks.
LegalZoom takes a different approach, as their turnaround times are instead based on which LLC service package you purchase from them. Their Economy package takes 30 business days, the Standard package takes around 15 business days, and their top-tier Express Gold package has a 7-10 business day turnaround.
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
Absolutely! The DIY route is always an option, and many entrepreneurs use it to form their LLCs. The reason we don’t usually recommend this option is that there’s no one set way to form an LLC in America, and every state has its own requirements.
This means that to DIY your formation, you’ll need to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by your formation state. Also, the DIY route doesn’t provide the same peace of mind that hiring a professional service like InCorp or LegalZoom does.