MaxFilings vs LegalZoom (Who’s Right For You?)
Are you forming a new LLC, but you would rather not go the DIY route? Fortunately, there are plenty of LLC service providers like MaxFilings and LegalZoom that can assist you with the formation process and more. But how do you discern which one is the best fit for your business?
This MaxFilings vs LegalZoom comparison is built out in a way that highlights the common points and major differences between the two companies. With any luck, this comparison might just make your decision a bit easier. Let’s dive in.
* Quick Note: If you would like to compare the top LLC services, we reviewed and ranked the best based on overall value-price-reliability. See Comparison.
7 Things They Have In Common
- If saving money is a priority for you, both of these providers can save you a significant sum over hiring a traditional law firm. Furthermore, given the nature of LLCs as a relatively flexible and simple business structure, you may not require a lawyer’s expertise to begin with.
- Even though you’ll save hundreds of dollars with these providers, they still support you throughout your formation. If you have any questions, just call or email MaxFilings or LegalZoom. You’ll have an answer in a timely fashion instead of digging around on your own.
- These companies both have impressive guarantees backing their services. LegalZoom has a satisfaction guarantee that ensures a refund if you’re unhappy with your LLC service, while MaxFilings takes it a step further and gives you an extra 10% if you find a lower price for similar services elsewhere.
- Is experience a priority for you? Both LegalZoom and MaxFilings have thousands of business clients, and they have the expertise to effectively and efficiently draft and file your LLC formation documents.
- Do you require additional business services? Whether you need federal tax ID number (EIN) obtainment, registered agent or many other services, there’s no need to shop around. MaxFilings and LegalZoom both offer wide selections of services that could come in quite handy for your company.
- These companies care about your online security. MaxFilings protects their site using TrustWave, which validates merchant identities for online shopping, while LegalZoom uses Norton Web Security to encrypt data transfers and defend from malware.
- Whether you plan on becoming a customer or not, both of these companies have comprehensive online learning centers where you can learn about a number of topics from formations to taxation and more. It’s all free of charge and ready when you are.
Side by Side Comparisons
MaxFilings has a base rate of just $49 plus state fee, so it’s clear that they can save you quite a bit of money over LegalZoom, which starts their LLC formation pricing at $149.
With MaxFilings, all LLC service packages receive a full year of registered agent to receive and forward your important government documents. They also bundle in a business tax consultation. LegalZoom doesn’t include either of these features, but they do have a customized operating agreement which defines the structure of your LLC.
LegalZoom is one of the industry giants in the LLC service world. They’ve been in business since 1999, with nearly 4 million total customers since then — nearly half of which are business clients. MaxFilings is a smaller operation that opened in 2007, but they’ve still served thousands of customers themselves in a little over a decade.
MaxFilings has a pretty standard customer service department. Available from 10am to 8pm ET on weekdays, they have helpful and professional service reps answering their phones. It’s nothing special, but they get the job done.
As we established earlier, LegalZoom is a massive operation. As such, it’s not terribly surprising that their support is somewhat inconsistent. Plenty of their service agents are quite good at their jobs, but there are also some that are less than impressive. This is a common issue for nearly all large companies, as it’s harder to ensure consistent quality as quantity drives ever upward. However, they do have great extended support hours that run from 8am to 10pm ET on weekdays and 10am to 7pm ET on weekends.
With MaxFilings, turnarounds are based on your state of formation and whether that state offers rush processing. In general, you’re looking at estimates that range from about 2 days up to 4-6 weeks. LegalZoom gives estimates based on whether you ordered an advanced LLC service package from them or not. Their basic package has turnarounds of about 30 days, which decreases to 15 days and then 7-10 days with their more expensive premium packages.
MaxFilings offers a handy real-time tracking tool that shows exactly where your formation stands, from reviewing your initial order to the shipping of your completed documents to you. With LegalZoom, you can certainly check your status in your account on their website, but it isn’t quite as fancy as MaxFilings.
Registered Agent Service
LegalZoom has a price point of $159 per year for their registered agent service. On the other hand, MaxFilings charges just $99 annually and they also bundle your first year of registered agent in with any formation package. (What is a Registered Agent?)
For a company that’s been open for over a decade and served thousands of customers, it’s odd that MaxFilings does not have any customer reviews available online. It’s not exactly a red flag, but it is unusual and I don’t know what the explanation might be.
In quite the opposite situation is LegalZoom, a company with hundreds of reviews all over the web. While they do have plenty of positive reviews, they also have a significant amount of critical feedback. Overall, their reviews are fairly evenly mixed between happy and unsatisfied customers.
In short, neither of these companies are likely earning or losing your business on the basis of customer feedback.
Ease of Use
I honestly don’t have a preference here. Both MaxFilings and LegalZoom have intuitive, user-friendly websites with professional design. Also, their services are so simple to use that most of them just require you to fill out some basic contact info for your business.
MaxFilings and LegalZoom are both among the best LLC formation services available online. Still, some of you may remain undecided. To help you make your decision, I’ll close by describing a few scenarios in which you might be inclined to use one over the other. Whichever one you choose, we wish you well in all your business endeavors!
Choose MaxFilings if You Are:
Is saving money a priority for you? MaxFilings can certainly do that. Also, if you need a registered agent, they include a full year in any formation package.
Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
LegalZoom’s biggest selling points are their experience, customer volume and brand power, which are obviously all connected attributes. If these are important to you, give LegalZoom a look.