LegalZoom LLC Services Review (Advantages & Disadvantages)
Since opening in 1999, LegalZoom has built their brand to be the most well-known LLC formation service available.
There are dozens of service providers that will form an LLC for you online, but LegalZoom is by far the most recognizable brand, thanks to their millions of customers and their extensive advertising campaigns.
As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to using their services. This LegalZoom LLC formation service review will outline everything you should keep in mind before choosing them to form your new LLC.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of LegalZoom:
– When it comes to experience, LegalZoom is second to none in this industry. They have millions of business customers, they have more brand power than any other LLC service provider, and they’ve been well established for nearly 20 years.
– LegalZoom offers a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee that you can leverage at any time within 60 days of your purchase. Not all competitors have such a guarantee, and nearly none of them give you two full months to make your decision.
– You can do a business name availability search on LegalZoom’s website for free, whether you’re a customer or not.
– We appreciate LegalZoom’s extended customer service hours that run until 10pm ET on weekdays and 7pm ET on weekends. Not many competitors can beat that availability.
– Beyond your LLC formation, LegalZoom has some other business services that we really like. For example, their annual report filing service is among the best in the industry.
Disadvantages of LegalZoom:
– LegalZoom’s pricing is much more expensive than their competitors. Their cheapest “Economy” LLC formation package costs a jaw-dropping $149 plus state fee, and they don’t include any advanced features to compensate for the sky-high price. Some competitors (like IncFile) undercut LegalZoom’s prices by $100 while also including a full year of registered agent service. (See Top Services)
– Their “Standard” package costs $329 plus state fee and adds nearly nothing to the $149 Economy package.
LegalZoom LLC Formation Packages
LegalZoom offers three levels of LLC formation service packages: Economy, Standard, and Express Gold. To review the full details of each package yourself, take a look at how they advertise them on their own website.
Economy = $149 + State Fee
– Business Name Availability Check: LegalZoom searches through the business database of your formation state, in order to determine whether the business name you want is available, or if it’s claimed by another entity.
– Preparation and Filing of Your Articles of Organization: These documents are the forms required by the state to create your new LLC. LegalZoom will draft your articles of organization, then file them with your state of formation.
– Lifetime Customer Support: LegalZoom’s customer service team is available to you seven days a week, with extended support hours that run until 10pm ET Monday through Friday, and 7pm ET on weekends.
– Banking Resolution: This financial account authorization letter indicates who is eligible to open a checking or savings account on your LLC’s behalf, and can help you acquire a business bank account.
Standard = $329 + State Fee
Includes everything from the Economy package, plus…
– Deluxe Organizer: A box embossed with your company name.
– Membership Certificates and Seal: They include 20 personalized membership certificates for your LLC’s owners, along with a decorative seal.
– VIP Processing: LegalZoom prioritizes your order above those of customers from the Economy tier.
Express Gold = $349 + State Fee
Includes everything from the Standard package, plus…
– Expedited Processing With Secretary of State: If your state of formation offers expedited processing, LegalZoom will pursue that option. This can cut your turnaround times from weeks down to mere days.
– Express Shipping: They’ll ship your completed documents via Express Mail with a tracking number.
What Are Other Entrepreneurs Saying?
There’s certainly no shortage of customer feedback available online for LegalZoom, as they have hundreds of reviews all across the web. We always advise taking a look at some reviews to get a feel for what a company’s customer experience is like, so let’s dive into LegalZoom’s feedback.
Customers are split rather evenly between having positive and negative impressions of their LegalZoom experience. To get a closer look at their feedback, we recommend taking a look through some of their reviews for yourself.
In general though, customers are impressed with their quick turnaround times, although some have issues with inconsistent customer service representatives.
– SiteJabber: 3.5 out of 5 stars (671 reviews)
– Consumer Affairs: 1.2 out of 5 stars (213 reviews)
– Yelp: 1.0 out of 5 stars (143 reviews)
– Better Business Bureau: 1.3 out of 5 stars (99 reviews)
Is There a Better LegalZoom Alternative?
These days, there are dozens of LLC service providers, so it’s certainly worth discussing whether there might be one that can serve your needs better than LegalZoom. Our favorite LegalZoom LLC alternative is IncFile, which is another highly popular LLC service, although they don’t have the same level of customer volume that LegalZoom has.
First and foremost, IncFile’s $49 base rate is a full $100 cheaper than LegalZoom’s most affordable package at $149. Even though it costs less than ⅓ as much as LegalZoom does, IncFile offers more features with their LLC packages, as they include a full year of registered agent service, a business tax consultation, and more with every package.
Throw in IncFile’s superior customer reviews and it’s a pretty easy choice in our book. How can you argue with saving $100 and adding advanced features at the same time?
Is LegalZoom Right For You?
At the end of the day, LegalZoom has some significant positives, but they also have some serious disadvantages that shouldn’t be overlooked.
When To Use LegalZoom:
If you place a high value on customer volume and brand power, LegalZoom is your best bet.
When NOT To Use LegalZoom:
If you want to save some money and add valuable features at the same time, there are many competing service providers that can beat what LegalZoom has to offer.
Their pricing just isn’t competitive with many other LLC service providers, and their service packages lack some features that you can find rather easily elsewhere. On the other hand, they have a ton of experience, and their 100% satisfaction guarantee is a nice safety net.
Frequently Asked LegalZoom Questions
Does LegalZoom Offer Any Discounts?
LegalZoom’s partnership with Sam’s Club gives Sam’s Club members 20% off all LegalZoom products.
Does LegalZoom Have Good Customer Support?
We really like LegalZoom’s extended customer support availability, as they have longer hours than most competitors. They do get some complaints about the quality and consistency of that support though, and sometimes you’ll need to wait a while during peak times, but these are both characteristics that are quite normal for companies as large as LegalZoom.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
LegalZoom has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you request a refund within 60 days of your purchase date, they’ll provide it with no questions asked.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
You certainly do have this option, and plenty of entrepreneurs do choose to form their own LLCs. The DIY option is really only a good idea if you’re willing to deal with the hassles involved. You’ll need to look into your specific state’s compliance requirements, and it’ll definitely take more time than a service like LegalZoom.