Are you in the process of forming a new LLC, but you’ve come to the conclusion that you could use some help?
With this Nationwide Incorporators vs LegalZoom comparison, you’ll find the key points you need to know about each company laid out in a convenient fashion. Read on to make your LLC service decision a bit easier!
With Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom, you’re getting two of the top LLC formation services available online. Either one of them would be easy to recommend, so there’s really not a wrong choice here. Still, LegalZoom has some advantages that make them a very slight preference for us.
LegalZoom’s entirely web-based services give them a convenience advantage over Nationwide Incorporators, who require you to call them and purchase certain services over the phone. In addition, LegalZoom is the biggest name in the LLC formation game, with unrivaled customer volume and brand power.
However, if the attorney-powered aspect of Nationwide Incorporators appeals to you, we would entirely understand if you prefer them to LegalZoom.
Is There a Better Alternative?
While Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom both have plenty of positives, neither of them are among our absolute favorite companies in this industry.
In general, we prefer to use an incorporation service like ZenBusiness, IncFile, or Northwest Registered Agent. They include a full year of registered agent service with all of their LLC formation packages and a lot of other solid features. Plus, they have fabulous customer feedback reputations, with hundreds of positive reviews all over the web.
6 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: With either of these companies, you’ll save a significant sum over hiring a traditional law firm. Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom are both able to form an LLC for a fraction of the cost of an attorney, and given the nature of LLCs as relatively simple structures, you may not even need a lawyer to draft and file your formation documents.
2) Customer Support: Saving money is great, but the whole point of an LLC service is to make your life easier. With Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom, you get access to their comprehensive customer support systems that can help with any questions or concerns you may have.
3) Guaranteed Service: They both offer strong guarantees that can back you up if any problems arise. LegalZoom has a 100% satisfaction guarantee that provides you with a refund if you’re unhappy for any reason, while Nationwide Incorporators will correct any issues until you’re satisfied.
4) Experience: If experience is a priority for you, these companies should put your mind at ease. They’ve each helped form thousands of businesses, and they both have years of experience in the LLC formation services industry.
5) Additional Services: Do you have other business services on your to-do list, like federal tax ID (EIN) obtainment or registered agent service? No need to track down other providers for these or many other services, as Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom both offer plenty of other business solutions.
6) Educational: If you would like to learn more about business solutions including formations, ongoing compliance, or taxation issues, these companies both have online learning centers where you can find loads of free info on these and many other topics.
Side by Side Comparisons
LegalZoom’s pricing starts at $79 (plus state fee), which is quite a bit more affordable than Nationwide Incorporators’ baseline price point of $200.
Clearly, this is a rather significant difference in pricing, as Nationwide Incorporators costs more than twice as much as LegalZoom does. While everyone would obviously rather pay $79 than $200 for similar services, the fact remains that these companies have pretty different offerings when it comes to LLC formation service. Let’s take a look at the other categories in this competition to see if Nationwide Incorporators can close the gap.
Nationwide Incorporators includes some sample forms in their base package, like meeting minutes and an LLC operating agreement that you can customize. For their part, LegalZoom includes a banking resolution that can help you open business checking or savings accounts.
Aside from these relatively minor differences, Nationwide Incorporators has attorney reviews of every document they draft for you, which is a rather unique advantage that LegalZoom’s LLC service packages can’t match.
Overall, we think Nationwide Incorporators has a significant advantage in this category. It’s hard to place a dollar value on how much it means to have a business attorney draft and review your LLC formation documents, but we can tell you that it definitely provides significant peace of mind. In our opinion, the other features involved in these two companies’ LLC service packages aren’t all that valuable and balance each other out.
Nationwide Incorporators has more than 20 years of experience, and their CEO Robert E. Stenson has 25+ years of experience as a business lawyer. They are a solid mid-sized company with the resources to form an LLC with ease.
On the other hand, LegalZoom is one of the industry leaders. Since they opened in 1999, they’ve helped more than 2 million business clients.
With Nationwide Incorporators, you’re just a phone call away from company owner Robert E. Stenson, who handles many steps of your formation personally. He’s also often personally available to answer any questions you may have from 9 am to 6 pm ET on weekdays.
LegalZoom’s service department has many helpful professionals answering their phones, but as such a large company it’s no surprise that some of their support reps are better than others. One thing that is consistently great is their extended service hours, which run from 10 am-8 pm ET weekdays and 10 am-7 pm ET weekends.
Like most providers, Nationwide Incorporators base their processing times on the requirements from your state of formation. There is no convenient place to find their turnaround time estimates on their website, but you can always contact them and ask.
With LegalZoom, their turnarounds are based on what level of LLC service you purchase from them. Their top-tier Express Gold package has estimated processing times of 7-10 business days, while customers who choose Standard get 15-day turnarounds, and Economy customers have their orders processed in about 30 days.
Neither of these companies has anything particularly fancy when it comes to order status tracking tools, but they do both have simple systems that can inform you of the status of your LLC formation.
Registered Agent Service
Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or online business service 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.
While Nationwide Incorporators does offer registered agent service, you’ll have to contact them to order it or get a price quote. LegalZoom allows you to order registered agent service from their website, which costs a flat rate of $299 per year, which is definitely on the high end of the scale compared to the vast majority of their competitors.
We could only find five online reviews for Nationwide Incorporators, though they are all quite positive. LegalZoom has more than 4,000 reviews available online, and its reputation for customer feedback has improved significantly in the last few years. LegalZoom used to have a mixed bag of reviews, but recently, their feedback has become much more heavily slanted toward positive reviews.
Ease of Use
Some of Nationwide Incorporators’ services, such as registered agent service, are only available over the phone and cannot be ordered online. LegalZoom definitely has the advantage in the realm of convenience, as all of its services are available from its simple and user-friendly website.
Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom both have some additional business services available, and there’s quite a bit of overlap between their offerings. For instance, either one of these companies can help you with business licensing, registered agent service, foreign registrations, operating agreements, and more.
However, LegalZoom offers many services that Nationwide Incorporators doesn’t offer, like doing business as (DBA) names, 501(c)(3) applications, trademark services, and corporate supplies. In addition, LegalZoom offers quite a few personal services like last will and testament, divorce papers, and power of attorney.
Which LLC Provider Wins?
With either Nationwide Incorporators or LegalZoom, you’re getting a strong LLC formation service at a reasonable price. Still, some of you may remain undecided, so to close, we’ll walk through a couple of different scenarios that may sway your decision in one direction or the other.
➥ Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
LegalZoom is the more established company, with big-name brand power. They also have lower price points for their baseline LLC formation package.
➦ Choose Nationwide Incorporators if You Are:
Does the idea of attorney-drafted and/or reviewed documents appeal to you? Nationwide Incorporators is unique in this field for their lawyer-powered filings, so if this is important to you, they’re a great choice.
While both of the LLC services in this comparison offer decent overall value and have formed thousands of businesses, we think Nationwide Incorporators is the better option. However, in the larger picture, neither of these LLC services are our top pick.
We highly recommend checking out our list of the top LLC services to see which is the best option available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use LegalZoom, Which Package Should I Choose?
To be honest, we only think one of LegalZoom’s LLC formation packages is worth buying, and that’s their $79 Economy plan.
This package is rather simple, as it includes the basics of your formation, as well as a banking resolution to help you open business bank accounts. LegalZoom’s other two packages cost $329 and $349, but they barely add anything of real value to the Economy plan.
How Does LegalZoom Compare to Other Good LLC Formation Websites?
LegalZoom, one of the most well-known services online, has formed more than 2 million businesses since 2001. Check out the comparison reviews below if you’d like to see how this giant stacks up to other good LLC formation websites.
LegalZoom compared to:
Does LegalZoom Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?
Unfortunately, they do not. We called their customer support team to get some clarification on this question, and they said that because the publication step takes place after the LLC itself is formed, that this requirement is not their responsibility.
There are quite a few competing services that do offer publication service though, like Nationwide Incorporators.
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
While Nationwide Incorporators does a great job of avoiding annoying upsells, LegalZoom has a ton of them.
In fact, as you navigate through their order form, they attempt $1,080 worth of upsells before you even select your LLC formation package! It’s quite obvious that Nationwide Incorporators wins this category, and it’s not remotely close.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
We’re always a bit turned off by how many companies in this industry share or sell customer info to third-party partners, usually disguised as “special offers” or “free extras.”
Thankfully, Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom aren’t guilty of this, as neither of them has any info-sharing partnerships with third parties that we’re aware of.
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
Nationwide Incorporators doesn’t have the most straightforward refund policy in the industry, as they state in their own words that they will “gladly correct any errors we have made at no cost to you by providing you with revised documents or forms or re-filing any documents.”
As for LegalZoom, they have one of our favorite refund policies of any LLC formation service. Their satisfaction guarantee ensures that anyone who requests a refund for any reason within 60 days of their initial purchase date will receive a refund, with no convenience fee.
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
Nationwide Incorporators has turnaround times that are based on the ability of each state to process LLC formations. As a result, their processing speeds are as quick as just a few days in some states, but can take several weeks in others.
LegalZoom takes a different approach from most competitors. Instead of basing turnaround estimates on each state’s actual requirements, they adjust your LLC’s processing time based on which level of LLC service you buy from them.
Their cheapest Economy package takes 30 business days, while their Standard package can be completed in 15 business days, and their Express Gold option has a 7-10 business day turnaround time.
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
The DIY option is always available to you, and quite a few entrepreneurs do indeed form their own LLCs without assistance.
However, we don’t usually recommend this to our readers, because each state has its own set of rules and requirements governing LLC formations, and it can be a rather significant hassle to learn the intricacies of your specific state’s regulations.
Also, we simply enjoy the peace of mind we receive from hiring a professional service like Nationwide Incorporators or LegalZoom, because we can trust them to get the job done right.
Ready to Start Your LLC?
Create your LLC with Nationwide Incorporators or read our comparison of the top 7 best LLC formation services.