Do you want to form an LLC, but you don’t know if LegalZoom is the best company to assist with your formation? With so many choices for LLC service online, it can be tricky to figure out which one would best serve your company.
This LegalZoom LLC service alternatives guide is structured in a way that gives you a quick rundown on a few of their competitors, in order to discern if one of them might be a better choice for you.
3 Fast Facts About LegalZoom
Before we get too far into our discussion of its alternatives, let’s quickly dig into some core components of LegalZoom as a company. Here are the three most important attributes of LegalZoom to know before examining your other options:
- Unrivaled Experience: LegalZoom has an incredible amount of experience compared to most of its competitors. While most companies in this industry have served a few thousand customers, LegalZoom has millions of successful LLC formations.
- Satisfaction Guaranteed: The online business services industry is not known for its generous refund policies. However, LegalZoom is the exception to the rule. They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee that’s one of the strongest refund policies in the industry.
- No Registered Agent Service Included: It’s not all positives for LegalZoom, however. Many competitors include a year of registered agent service with LLC formation packages, but LegalZoom does not. In addition, they charge more for this service than most competitors.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Great low rates, feature-packed formation packages, and a dedication to giving back.
ZenBusiness opened their doors in 2015, and they have a unique approach to business formation services thanks to their use of automation to speed up and simplify several parts of the process.
Let’s see how they stack up when compared to LegalZoom.
- ZenBusiness is one of the most affordable LLC services online. For just $39 (plus state fee), they will form your business and provide a full year of registered agent service. That off the bat will save you $40 as opposed to forming an LLC with LegalZoom.
- If you like seeing positive customer reviews, you’ll love ZenBusiness. They have more than 6,200 reviews available online, and it’s difficult to find more than just a small handful of negative reviews.
- We really appreciate ZenBusiness’ commitment to giving back. As a public benefit corporation, ZenBusiness partners with Kiva.org to provide financial lending services to poverty-stricken individuals, and they also loan money to women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
The only negative with ZenBusiness is that if you’re on a VERY tight budget, they might not be the best option for you. If that is the case, IncFile has a free LLC service.
Want to learn more about ZenBusiness? Read our review.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Free LLC formations that still come with plenty of valuable features.
IncFile opened in 2004, and they’ve served more than 500,000 businesses since then. Their popularity can be attributed to a number of positive qualities, from their low prices to their great customer feedback. Let’s take a look at how they compare to LegalZoom.
- With a base rate of $0 + state fee, IncFile is the most affordable LLC service available. Especially compared to LegalZoom’s $79 price point, it’s easy to see why IncFile is one of our top choices.
- Another of IncFile’s major advantages over LegalZoom is the features included in that LLC service package. IncFile provides a full year of registered agent service with any LLC formation, along with a 30-minute business tax consultation. LegalZoom doesn’t include either of these, although they do provide a banking resolution to help you open business bank accounts.
- Customer feedback is a major strong point for IncFile. They have more than 26,500 reviews available online, and they maintain extremely high average ratings ― much better than LegalZoom’s mediocre customer reviews.
In general, it’s tough to beat what ZenBusiness has to offer. They excel in just about every way a discerning customer could ask for, and they also have one of the lowest price points in the industry.
Want to learn more about IncFile? Read our review.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Industry-best customer support and outstanding registered agent service.
Northwest was formed in 1998, and with thousands of LLC formations since then, they’re an experienced and reliable option. If you’re looking for a solid mid-size company, they might just be the right choice for you. How do they compare to LegalZoom?
- When it comes to price, Northwest Registered Agent falls a tad short. Their price point of $225 is much more expensive than LegalZoom’s $79 package.
- Northwest’s claim to fame is its next-level customer support network. While some competitors outsource their support to anonymous call centers in foreign countries, Northwest keeps it all in-house, with knowledgeable reps providing highly personalized service.
- As you may have guessed from reading their name, Northwest Registered Agent excels at offering registered agent service, and they include a full year with any formation package. Furthermore, Northwest is the only major registered agent provider that locally scans each and every document they receive on your behalf.
Finally, Northwest Registered Agent receives mostly positive customer reviews, although they only have around 270 reviews available online, so their sample size isn’t nearly as large as that of ZenBusiness, IncFile, or LegalZoom.
Want to learn more about Northwest Registered Agent? Read our review.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Well-rounded services including a 100% satisfaction guarantee and outstanding customer feedback.
The ownership group behind CorpNet started providing LLC services in 1997, and since then they’ve served 100,000+ businesses. They’re another LLC provider with their own set of advantages, so let’s see where their pros and cons are in relation to LegalZoom.
- Their base rate of $108 (plus state fee) is higher than any of the other services discussed in this guide except for Northwest Registered Agent.
- Do you appreciate the safety net provided by a 100% satisfaction guarantee? With CorpNet, you have 60 days to analyze your purchase, and if you regret it for any reason, simply request a refund and they’ll pay back any fees you paid to CorpNet. LegalZoom has a similar guarantee, but ZenBusiness, IncFile, and Northwest do not.
- CorpNet has fantastic customer feedback, with hundreds of reviews that are almost universally positive. As we’ve discussed, LegalZoom struggles from time to time when it comes to customer reviews, so this is a major advantage.
CorpNet doesn’t exactly jump off the page in any one area compared to their competitors, but they’re a strong company with well-rounded formation packages. They’re well worth considering.
Want to learn more about CorpNet? Read our review.
Which LegalZoom Alternative Should You Choose?
These four service providers are all worthy of forming your LLC. They’re reliable, legitimate operations with extensive track records.
Generally, ZenBusiness has the best combination of pricing and features, IncFile is the most affordable LLC service, LegalZoom handles the most clients, Northwest Registered Agent has outstanding customer support, and CorpNet is fairly good at all.
Regardless of which LLC service you choose, you’ll be saving a significant amount of money over hiring an attorney to draft and register an LLC for you.
At the end of the day, ZenBusiness is our favorite out of these top LegalZoom LLC alternatives. Their low prices and great features are a winning combination that not many competitors can match. Plus, they’re a socially conscious organization that gives back through small-business lending platforms to support women- and minority-owned businesses.
Customer Feedback Comparison
One of the most important aspects of any LLC formation service is the customer feedback the company receives. To help you analyze each company’s customer reviews, we decided to create this customer feedback comparison section that breaks down how these companies stack up next to each other in this crucial area.
LLC formation services can have customer feedback collections that vary considerably in both quality and quantity. With this in mind, we created the following comparison in an attempt to make it as easy as possible for you to compare these companies in an apples-to-apples manner.
- LegalZoom: 4,070 reviews / 4.1-star average score
- ZenBusiness: 6,260 reviews / 4.8-star average score
- Northwest Registered Agent: 269 reviews / 4.4-star average score
- IncFile: 26,608 reviews / 4.8-star average score
- CorpNet: 494 reviews / 4.6-star average score
Frequently Asked Questions
Q&A for these alternatives to LegalZoom
Which Service Has the Best Customer Support?
We like the customer support provided by all five of these companies, but Northwest Registered Agent has a distinct advantage in this area. None of these services can match Northwest’s support personalization or the helpful and knowledgeable nature of their service representatives.
Do Any of These Services Handle Requirements Like Publication?
Only two of these five companies provide state-specific publication services: CorpNet and ZenBusiness.
Northwest does at least provide their customers with a set of instructions to complete their own publication requirement, but IncFile and LegalZoom don’t help at all. With this in mind, it’s a pretty significant advantage for CorpNet and ZenBusiness to be the only options in this guide for those of you forming businesses in states that require publication.
Which Service Has the Fewest Upsells?
LegalZoom attempts a ridiculous amount of upsells, to the point where we added this question to our FAQ sections because of them.
By the time you progress through their LLC formation service order form to the package select screen, you’ve already encountered $1,080 worth of upsell attempts. This is especially egregious considering that none of the other companies discussed in this guide bother us regarding upsells in the slightest.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
ZenBusiness and IncFile are the only two of these five companies that extensively share customer information with third-party partners.
To get an idea of what we’re talking about, take a look at IncFile’s LLC formation service order form, where you’ll see features like a business bank account with Bank of America, a website builder and domain name offer from SnapWeb, and a tax consult session with an accountant. As for ZenBusiness, their upper-tier packages have features like domain name registration and a corporate website that are provided by third parties.
Are Any of These Services Faster Than the Others?
The filing times for Northwest, IncFile, and CorpNet are all quite close in most states, because these companies all use the same criteria to come up with their turnaround time estimates: the actual processing times of each state.
While one of them might be a day or two quicker in a few isolated states, for the most part there is no significant difference. The only exceptions to this are LegalZoom and ZenBusiness because their turnaround times vary based on which level of service you purchase from them. LegalZoom’s cheapest package takes 30 business days, while their most expensive plan takes 7-10 business days.
Meanwhile, ZenBusiness does vary your turnaround times somewhat from state to state, but they also speed up or slow down your formation based on how much money you spend.
Which Service Has the Best Refund Policy?
CorpNet and LegalZoom both have fantastic refund policies that are the best in this industry. With either of these services, you’ll receive a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with their service for any reason, all you need to do is request a refund and they will grant it. They don’t even charge any sort of convenience fees!
Can I Just Form an LLC on My Own, Without a Service?
You absolutely can. In fact, it’s not uncommon at all for entrepreneurs to form their own LLCs without professional help. However, there’s nothing quite like the peace of mind we get from using a professional service because we have the utmost confidence in their expertise.