Business licensing is one of the most important steps for any limited liability company (LLC) or corporation’s compliance. Most American business entities require at least one license or permit to operate in accordance with federal, state, and local laws, but it can be hard to determine which licenses your business needs.
That’s where business license services come in. Instead of doing the research yourself, you can hand over the process to an experienced business services provider. They’ll figure out which licenses your business needs to operate in compliance with all levels of government and provide you with the applications. All you need to do is fill them out and turn them in!
LegalZoom is one of the most popular business license services thanks to its strong track record of experience and reasonable pricing model. That said, they’re only one of many reputable companies offering this service. Let’s take a closer look at LegalZoom to see if it’s the right choice for you.
A Brief Overview of Business License Services
Some states require all businesses operating within their borders to acquire general business licenses. Even if your state doesn’t require a general license, it’s quite likely you’ll need to obtain at least one license. After all, many industries require some sort of licensing, and your county or municipality may have licensing requirements of their own.
As you might imagine, hunting down all of the business licenses you need from federal, state, county, and municipal government entities can be a significant hassle. Thankfully, there are plenty of reputable business services companies offering affordable business license services.
But is LegalZoom the best option for your business licensing needs?
LegalZoom Business License Service Review
LegalZoom is one of the most popular choices for business license research service, for a handful of reasons. Let’s start by talking about the pros and cons of its service, then move into the details.
- Strong pricing model
- Tons of experience
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- Offers assistance completing and filing license applications (at an additional cost)
- Business license package is outsourced to a third party
- Mediocre pricing for many other services
The LegalZoom Business License Research Service Package
With LegalZoom, you can get business license research on the federal, state, and local levels for just $99.99 total through its partner company, Avalara. They will seek out the license and permit applications for your entity type and industry, then provide you with a summarized report.
While many competitors stop there, LegalZoom also provides the option to have “professional help” with the applications. We will note that adding this service bumps your price point from $99.99 to $399.
Overall Pricing and Value:
We are not aware of any companies that can beat the $99.99 price point offered by LegalZoom for business license research service, except for a few that charge a mere 99 cents less.
However, we will note that LegalZoom sometimes has very high price tags for some of its other services. Don’t just assume they have reasonable pricing until you check what other companies have to offer.
LegalZoom has more experience than the vast majority of its competitors. For instance, it says it has more than 1 million subscribers to its registered agent service, which is an impressive customer volume considering the high pricing model. In addition, LegalZoom has formed more than 2 million business entities over the years.
When it comes to customer feedback, LegalZoom does pretty well but not great. We tracked down around 6,500 reviews of its services on reputable third-party review websites. While LegalZoom does receive more positive reviews than negative ones, there are competitors with both a higher volume and a higher quality of feedback.
There is no other company in this industry that provides more access to its customer support team than LegalZoom. Just check out how long its support availability hours are:
- Weekdays: 8 am to 10 pm ET
- Weekends: 10 am to 7 pm ET
With LegalZoom, you’ll never have to take time out of your busy workday to contact customer support. With the longest hours of availability in the business services industry, this company offers greater access than any competitor.
How is the quality of LegalZoom’s support? We have never had any complaints, although we will note that, due to the large size of this company, its support is less customized and personalized than some competitors.
Ease of Use:
Do you prioritize using a tech-savvy company with an intuitive user interface and a super-simple ordering process? Look no further than LegalZoom. This company offers an easy-to-use website and plenty of advanced tech to help your business stay on the cutting edge.
That said, LegalZoom’s user-friendly web design won’t help you as much with its business license service because this service is outsourced to a partner company called “Avalara.” While Avalara’s website is also relatively easy to use, it’s not nearly as advanced as LegalZoom’s site.
How Does LegalZoom Work?
The process for purchasing business license service from LegalZoom isn’t quite as simple as it would be for most other LegalZoom services. That’s because LegalZoom sends you to a third-party website operated by a company called Avalara to sign up for a business license research package.
Let’s take a look at how the process works once you select your location and industry and click the “GET YOUR LICENSES” button on the Avalara business license service webpage.
- Provide basic information: First, you’ll select your business entity type. Then, you’ll select your state again, even though you just did that on the previous page as well. The following question asks if you have already started operating your business. If you haven’t, you can indicate when you’ll be ready.
- Enter more details: Avalara will then ask if you will operate your business under a DBA or use your official business name and whether you run the company from a commercial or residential space. Next, you’ll indicate whether your business is a full-time, part-time, or side-hustle pursuit for you. You will then inform Avalara if you have any employees, and if so, how many there are.
- Provide payment: The final step involves choosing whether you want to add $300.01 to your price tag to have Avalara apply for your applications on behalf, or simply pay $99.99 for the business license research package. Then, you will enter your billing info and credit card information to complete your order.
What Are LegalZoom Customers Saying?
As we mentioned earlier, we found about 6,500 mostly positive reviews for LegalZoom. We will note that this is a smaller volume of reviews than some competitors have available (like Swyft Filings’ 36,000 reviews), and the quality of LegalZoom’s reviews lags slightly behind these companies as well.
We found plenty of customers who seem very pleased with the service they receive from LegalZoom. These people often discuss how helpful LegalZoom’s support network is and how easy it is to use its services.
On the other hand, we also found a decent chunk of reviews from people who were not as satisfied. These customers talk about things like high price points and inconsistent customer support. Overall, LegalZoom’s customer satisfaction reputation is definitely more good than bad, but it’s not all sunshine and roses either.
Our Final Thoughts
LegalZoom is one of the most popular business license services, thanks to its reasonable pricing and high level of experience. While LegalZoom outsources its business license research package, we still think there’s plenty of value included with this package.
If you want to check out the competition for business license research services, our complete guide to the best options has the information you seek.