Are you forming a new limited liability company (LLC), but going it alone with the DIY route is unappealing to you?
With this Incorporate.com vs LegalZoom comparison, you’ll find the information you need laid out in a convenient manner. By reviewing their commonalities and differences, we hope this helps make your decision a bit easier.
With Incorporate.com and LegalZoom, we’re talking about two of the most popular LLC formation service providers available. They’re both quality companies that are easy to recommend, in our opinion. Still, LegalZoom has a couple of advantages that make them the better alternative.
First off, LegalZoom has lower pricing than Incorporate.com for LLC formation services. Additionally, their thousands of customer reviews are almost all positive, while Incorporate.com has just a small handful of mixed feedback.
Would you like some more info before making your decision? Read on as we break down the major factors that set these two companies apart.
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6 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: Whether you choose Incorporate.com or LegalZoom, you can save lots of money over enlisting the services of a traditional business attorney. Most LLC formations aren’t complex enough to necessitate a lawyer, so these providers can fit your needs nicely.
2) Customer Support: One of the best selling points for these companies is customer service. Instead of spending hours digging around on your own whenever you have a question or concern, you can simply email or call them to get your issues resolved quickly.
3) Guaranteed Services: Both of these providers offer strong guarantees to back up their services. LegalZoom has a satisfaction guarantee which states that if you’re unhappy for any reason, they will refund the fees you paid them. Incorporate.com has a Corporate Compliance Guarantee which says they’ll pay you up to $75,000 if they make a mistake while filing your formation documents.
4) Experience: If experience matters to you, both of these companies have plenty of it. LegalZoom has served millions of customers, while Incorporate.com has been open since the 19th century.
5) Additional Services: LegalZoom and Incorporate.com both offer many additional services that you may find convenient after your formation. Whether you need registered agent service or EIN obtainment, they can provide these and many more services.
6) Educational: Incorporate.com and LegalZoom have tremendous amounts of free learning tools on their websites. If you want to know more about taxation issues, compliance requirements, etc., the information you’re looking for is right at your fingertips.
Incorporate.com starts its LLC formation service pricing at $99. Meanwhile, LegalZoom undercuts that price point a bit, with a rate of $79.
Everyone would rather pay $79 than $99 for similar services. However, as you’ll see while reading the rest of this guide, this is only just the start of LegalZoom’s advantages over Incorporate.com.
Both of these companies have extensive experience. Incorporate.com has served more than 750,000 businesses, and they’ve been around since 1899. No one can match their longevity. As for LegalZoom, they’ve served more than 2 million business clients since they started offering web-based services in 2001, a volume few competitors can touch.
Incorporate.com has helpful, professional service reps ready to assist you whenever you call or email them. They’re available from 8 am to 8 pm ET on weekdays and from 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays.
LegalZoom’s service department is a bit inconsistent in our experience. Some of their agents are great, but with any company this big, it’s inevitable that not all of their reps are top-notch. Their extended support hours are always appreciated though, as they’re open from 8 am to 10 pm ET on weekdays and 10 am to 7 pm ET on weekends.
LegalZoom’s turnaround times vary depending on the level of LLC formation service you purchase. Their top-tier Express Gold package has 7-10 business day turnarounds, whereas their Standard package takes about 15 business days, and Economy takes around 30 days.
Incorporate.com bases its turnaround times on your state of formation, and estimates for all 50 states can be found on their website.
Incorporate.com has a slick real-time order status tracking tool on their website, so you’ll always know exactly where you stand with your formation. LegalZoom has an order status checking function on their site as well that will give you live updates.
Registered Agent Service
Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or business entity 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.
LegalZoom’s registered agent costs $299 per year (or $249 for your first year if you add this service to your LLC formation), and Incorporate.com charges $235 annually. Considering that there are some competitors offering this exact same service for around $100, these price points are unimpressive. Furthermore, neither LegalZoom nor Incorporate.com includes registered agent service in their LLC formation packages, as some of their competitors do.
Incorporate.com only has nine reviews across the web, and most of them are critical in nature. Many customers complain about being signed up for registered agent service without their knowledge. Furthermore, it’s odd that a company with such an enormous amount of experience has less than ten reviews on the internet.
On the other hand, LegalZoom has more than 6,000 reviews available online. The majority of this feedback is positive, indicating a high level of client satisfaction.
Ease of Use
Both LegalZoom and Incorporate.com offer easy-to-use services and user-friendly websites. This area is a toss-up.
With either LegalZoom or Incorporate.com, you can access quite a few additional business services and these two companies offer many of the same services as well. For example, you can purchase registered agent service, annual reports, business licensing packages, operating agreements, EIN acquisition, doing business as (DBA) names, and more from either one of them.
However, only Incorporate.com offers mail forwarding, and only LegalZoom offers assistance with trademarks and patents. In addition, LegalZoom provides its customers with a wide variety of personal services, like last will and testament, divorce forms, and power of attorney documents.
Better Service to Form an LLC?
Incorporate.com and LegalZoom are both capable and trustworthy companies with quality LLC formation service. We understand some of you still might be undecided, so to close let’s discuss situations where you may prefer one over the other.
➥ Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
If you’re looking for brand power and want to save money, LegalZoom is a strong pick for LLC formation service. Additionally, LegalZoom has a huge advantage for customer feedback.
➦ Choose Incorporate.com if You Are:
If you prefer to use companies that have been around for a long time, they’ve been in business since the 19th century. It’s hard to beat that level of longevity!
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use LegalZoom, Which Package Should I Choose?
The best LegalZoom LLC formation package is their Economy package for $79 (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 don’t add quite enough value to justify their price points, in our opinion.
Is LegalZoom as Good as Other LLC Formation Services?
LegalZoom is a very popular and well-known LLC service, as you may know. To get a glimpse of other top LLC formation services, check out our comparisons between LegalZoom and some of their top competitors:
Does LegalZoom Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?
Unfortunately, they do not. When we called LegalZoom’s customer support team to get clarification on this issue, they told us that they do not provide publication service because that requirement takes place after the actual formation of the LLC. For what it’s worth, Incorporate.com will also not help you with publication requirements.
If you’re looking for a company to handle this step on your behalf, take a look at ZenBusiness or BizFilings. If you’d like some more information about companies offering New York LLC publication services, check out our guide on this topic.
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
LegalZoom has a ton of upsells, and they’re actually the reason we include this question in our FAQ.
Before they even let you choose which LLC formation package you’d like to purchase, they attempt $1,080 worth of upsells. How do you even know which additional features you want before you’ve chosen your formation package?
Incorporate.com also attempts quite a few upsells, but in their case, they just repeatedly push their registered agent service. They also advertise features on their LLC package select screen that aren’t actually included with any of those packages ― you have to read the fine print to discover that their annual report service and online compliance dashboard are only accessible if you also purchase registered agent service.
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
LegalZoom has one of the best refund policies in this entire industry. As long as you request a refund within 60 days of your initial purchase date, they will grant it within five business days. They don’t even charge any sort of convenience or processing fee.
As for Incorporate.com, the language in their refund policy leads us to believe that you should not be relying on their willingness to provide refunds. Here’s the way they describe it in their own words: “If you cancel your order before we have submitted it to a federal, state, or local office, Incorporate.com will refund the total amount paid for such order less a service fee. If you cancel your order after we have already submitted it, we will use our discretion to determine what portion, if any, we will refund.”
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
The answer to this question depends on which state you’re forming your business in, because these two companies take entirely different approaches to turnaround times.
Incorporate.com bases their processing times on how quickly each individual state processes LLC formations, but LegalZoom’s turnarounds are based on which formation package you purchase from them.
The LegalZoom Economy package takes 30 business days, while the Standard package has a 15 business day turnaround, and the Express Gold package has a 7-10 business day processing time.
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
Of course you can. The DIY route is always an option.
The only reason we don’t typically recommend this option is that each state has its own guidelines for LLC formations, and to form your own LLC, you’ll need to learn all the details of your state’s rules and regulations.
Also, we always appreciate the peace of mind we get from hiring a professional service like Incorporate.com or LegalZoom, because we trust their expertise to get the job done right.
LegalZoom and Incorporate.com 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 a reputable LLC formation service.