LegalZoom Review

Review Page: Legalzoom

LegalZoom is an online LLC formation service that advertises itself as being able to help you get your business started in minutes. It is a trusted brand with over two decades of experience and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. However, our LegalZoom review found that the features and pricing the company offers are not competitive with other similar businesses we have reviewed.

Form an LLC with LegalZoom ($79 plus filing fees)

Advantages of LegalZoom

There are several advantages we noted in our LegalZoom LLC reviews.

Brand Recognition

LegalZoom is one of the most recognized names in the industry. The company credits itself with helping more than 2 million entrepreneurs start businesses and boasts over 20 years as an industry leader.

Customer Service

LegalZoom’s customer care agents are available from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT during the week and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT on the weekends. While this isn’t as good as 24-hour service would be, it provides several hours before and after work, plus weekend options, which should give most people an opportunity to contact the company at a convenient time. Customers can reach an agent by phone or chat or submit a question on the website.

Satisfaction Guarantee

LegalZoom guarantees that if an unsatisfied customer contacts the company by phone or email within 60 days of purchase, it will refund the customer’s money. However, only the fee paid directly to LegalZoom for the service is covered. Third-party processing fees, filing fees and attorney fees are not covered.

One-Stop Shop

You can check whether the business name you want is available on LegalZoom’s site, which saves you some effort. Additionally, LegalZoom offers a variety of other services that your business may need, such as registering a trademark or filing your annual report. Additionally, if you decide not to form an LLC, the site can help you form an S corporation, professional corporation, C corporation or nonprofit.

Professional Website

Throughout our LegalZoom review, we found the website to be professional-looking and easy to navigate. There’s an option to click on the chat assistant at the bottom of every page so that you don’t have to go hunting through the site if you get stuck. The site utilizes an easy-to-understand question-and-answer format to walk you through the LLC setup process.

Disadvantages of LegalZoom

We have noted a few features that we did not like in our LegalZoom LLC reviews.

The Price

LegalZoom is more expensive than many of its competitors. For example, LegalZoom’s cheapest LLC formation service costs $79 plus filing fees. IncFile offers its basic LLC formation package for free, though you still need to pay the filing fees.

Economy Service Can Be Slow

While the Standard and Express Gold services promise expedited processing times, the Economy service can take up to 30 business days.

Cumbersome Upsells

LegalZoom doesn’t miss many opportunities to try to sell you one of its other services. By the time you manage to sign up for the formation service, it will have tried to get you to purchase the registered agent service, business license research package, legal services subscription service and more. You are given the chance to opt-out, but it forces you through several pages of extra clicking.

Expensive Registered Agent Service

You don’t have to sign up for LegalZoom’s registered agent service, even if you are operating in a state that requires you to have a registered agent. However, if you do select it, you will pay a $249 annual fee that automatically renews every year until you remember to cancel it. By contrast, Northwest Registered Agent offers a year of free registered agent service with a $125 annual renewal fee.

Cost of the LegalZoom Formation Service

We examined three LLC formation service packages in our LegalZoom LLC reviews.

Economy

The Economy package costs $79 plus the state filing fee. It comes with basic features and can take up to 30 business days.

1. Comprehensive Name Search and Business Entity Filing

You input the name you want on the LegalZoom website and the company searches the name directory to see if it is available, fills out your LLC paperwork and submits it to your state.

2. Peace of Mind Review™

LegalZoom reviews your paperwork for consistency and completeness before submitting it.

3. Tax Savings Consultation

Tax guidance to help you maximize your deductions and income and optimize your tax strategy. Additionally, you get a 30-minute phone consultation with a tax advisor.

4. Digital LLC Welcome Packet

Your welcome packet includes the articles of organization, a financial account authorization letter and a checklist to use after your LLC is formed.

5. Digital Tracker

The digital tracker checks the status of your order.

6. Lifetime Customer Support

All customers have access to LegalZoom's customer support.

7. Entrepreneurs' Business Newsletter

Get tips and information from LegalZoom.

Standard

You get everything that comes with the economy package, plus some additional features for $329 plus the state filing fee with the Standard package. Processing time takes up to 15 business days.

1. Deluxe Founder's Kit

An embossed binder to store your important documents in.

2. Personalized Business Embosser and Membership Certificates

Company membership certificates and a company embosser with your business name on it.

Express Gold

This package includes everything in the Standard package plus two more features for $349 plus the state filing fee.

1. Expedited Processing

Your order gets priority processing and LegalZoom will attempt to complete it in 10 business days.

2. Express Shipping

LegalZoom will use its fastest shipping method to send your completed documents.

Add-On Services

We also noted the available add-on services for our LegalZoom LLC reviews:

  • Registered agent service
  • Employer identification number
  • Compliance calendar
  • Operating agreement
  • Business licenses

These services can be useful, but many of them are available at lower prices elsewhere.

Best LegalZoom LLC Alternatives

While LegalZoom is one of the best-known formation services, it is far from the only option. These are three other services we believe are worth considering:

1. IncFile

IncFile offers its service, including one year of registered agent service, for free. This makes it one of the best options for companies on a tight budget. However, you still must pay the state filing fee.

2. Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest’s VIP service gives you the option to have the company cover your state filing fees in exchange for a monthly fee. Alternatively, you can opt to pay a $225 fee upfront or go with the basic plan for $39 plus state filing fees. All of the plans come with one year of free registered agent service.

3. ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness, which starts at $49, is another low-cost option with some nice features.

LegalZoom Customer Reviews

One of the benefits of the popularity of LegalZoom is that there are plenty of customer reviews available on the internet. We take a look at three of the most popular review sites here.

SiteJabber

3.9out of 5

There are over 1,000 LegalZoom reviews on this site with an average rating of 3.59 stars out of 5. Positive reviews note the ease of using the service, professional staff and fast document delivery. However, the service has received a high rate of negative reviews in recent months, many of which note that the redesigned website is difficult to navigate. Other customers complained about customer service issues and hidden fees.

Consumer Affairs

4.6out of 5

There are over 700 customer ratings on this site with an average score of 4.6 stars out of 5. Satisfied customers note the ease of using the site and the friendly customer service. Unlike SiteJabber, most of the recent reviews on this site are positive with a few negative reviews complaining about mistakes or slow service.

– Karen A.

Better Business Bureau

4.42out of 5

LegalZoom has an A rating with the BBB and received accreditation in 2001. The over 3,800 customer reviews have an average score of 4.42 stars out of 5. The majority of recent reviews are positive and note the professional and friendly staff. The few negative reviews mention issues with slow service and difficulty getting refunds.

Should You Use LegalZoom To Form Your LLC?

Our LegalZoom LLC reviews found that the service shines when it comes to ease of use. The website walks you through the process step by step and doesn’t bog things down with cutesy graphics or cumbersome forms to fill out. However, the process is marred by the laundry list of add-ons you have to click through. The company is one of the best established in the business and has a good reputation for quality customer service.

However, when it comes to value, LegalZoom doesn’t hold up to the competition. Many of the services that are expensive add-ons with LegalZoom are included in the price with top competitors. Additionally, the processing time on the economy service is a substantial downside unless you are forming your LLC months ahead of your intended start date.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can set your LLC up yourself. You can even find some free resources on the LegalZoom website to help you do it. However, it will take time and effort to navigate through all of the steps, gather the correct forms, figure out how to complete the forms and then file them with your state.

The answer depends on how much time you are willing to invest in researching and filing paperwork and how much confidence you have in your ability to complete the task correctly. If you prefer to save yourself the work and avoid the risk of making a mistake, then it may be worth the cost to pay a formation service to set up your LLC for you.

If you set your LLC up yourself or use a free service, your only cost is the state filing fee. In 2021 these fees ranged from $50 to $500.