LegalZoom Review 2021: Pros & Cons, Honest Opinion, Best LegalZoom Alternatives
LegalZoom is an online company offering business formation and legal services. They have LLC formation services starting at $79. We will discuss Legal Zoom’s features, prices, services, and customer reviews, so you can see if their service is right for you.
And if you want to be super-smart about your decisions — we encourage you to read our best LLC services online guide here.
LegalZoom Quick Review & Our Evaluation = 6.8/10
When choosing an LLC creation service it’s very important to take into account several factors of the service. In the case of LegalZoom, these are the four features we reviewed:
- Is LegalZoom a reliable company? 8/10
- How quick is LegalZoom’s service? 7/10
- Do they offer good customer support? 7/10
- Is it easy to use? 6/10
- How’s the overall pricing and value of LegalZoom? 6/10
We’ll be reviewing each of those 5 features in detail further in the article.
Overall, LegalZoom scored 6.8/10. Which isn’t a lot, but they have their own pros and cons. However, you might want to check out their alternatives as well and see if they’re better suited for your needs.
To put it in a few sentences — LegalZoom is truly the best-known incorporation service and they seem to exploit that (which is very logical).
The price of their basic packages is way higher than other competitors’ and you sadly don’t get a free Registered Agent service as an addon.
Moreover, they tend to upsell quite heavily. The support is quite helpful and prompt, but considering the price — they could do better.
All in all, LegalZoom is like McDonald’s — they don’t have the best food but everybody knows them, thus — uses them. So if you don’t mind paying extra for their name — you should go ahead. Otherwise – consider our given alternatives below in this review.
- Jump to Pros & Cons of LegalZoom
- LegalZoom Quick Review & Our Evaluation = 6.8/10
- In-Depth LegalZoom LLC Service Review
- 1. Is LegalZoom a Reliable Company? | 8/10
- 2. How Quick Is LegalZoom’s Service? | 7/10
- 3. Do They Offer Good Customer Support? 7/10
- 4. Is it easy to use? | 6/10
- 5. How’s the Overall Pricing and Value of LegalZoom? | 6/10
- How Much Does LegalZoom Charge For LLC Formation?
- Pros & Cons of LegalZoom
- Quick LegalZoom Features Overview
- Strong Legal Expertise from LegalZoom
- Name Availability Check
- Registered Agent Services
- Assistance Preparing & Filing Articles of Organization
- LegalZoom Legal Document Assistance
- Financial Account Authorization
- Conversion of Legal Entity
- Intellectual Property
- LegalZoom Customer Service
- LegalZoom Guarantee
- 3rd Party LegalZoom Reviews
- Best LegalZoom Alternatives
- FAQs About LegalZoom
- Form Your LLC Today With LegalZoom
- Want More LegalZoom Alternatives? Check Out Our Other LLC Service Reviews
In-Depth LegalZoom LLC Service Review
1. Is LegalZoom a Reliable Company? | 8/10
They’re a relatively old company with many served customers. They have thousands of reviews online in various places. Some of them are quite good, but some — not so much. So they definitely could do a better job in serving their customers.
Plus, they supposedly have 50,000+ “verified” reviews on their website. But from my experience — I would look at those reviews very skeptically as they’re controlled, posted, and monitored internally by LegalZoom, so they might not be real (at least some of them).
On the other hand, LegalZoom was founded in 1999, so they’re probably doing something right to stay in the business for so long. They’re to this day one of the most recognized business creation services. I would say — yes they’re reliable and will definitely get the job done; the only question is how well.
2. How Quick Is LegalZoom’s Service? | 7/10
When talking about turnaround times on practically any LLC creation service — the main variable is the state you’re planning to start your business. In some states, the filing process might take only a few days, in others — even a few weeks.
But LegalZoom itself states their turnaround times anywhere from 7-10 days on their most expensive (expedited) packages to even 30 days on cheaper ones. But once again, that will depend on the state you plan to incorporate in.
So considering the pricing — they could definitely do a slightly better job.
3. Do They Offer Good Customer Support? 7/10
When reading some 3rd party customer reviews — the idea that pops right away is that LegalZoom could definitely do a better job.
They do offer phone and email support. And of course when contacting them by phone — you get a better service and better response time. Writing them an email might not be the best choice if you need an answer delivered fairly quickly. Plus, if you’re not an existing customer of LegalZoom’s — they will definitely take extra time in answering your email.
Obviously, they’re not “starving” for new customers, so their pre-sales support is rather lacking (especially via email).
4. Is it easy to use? | 6/10
Let’s start with LegalZoom’s website — it definitely loads fast, so that’s already a good thing. But the main interface of the homepage is a bit cluttered and doesn’t seem very intuitive.
However, once you press on “LLC” or “Corporation” — everything starts to become a bit more clear — you just enter your desired LLC’s name and start the guided incorporation process.
The only drawback to this — is they try to guide you through and upsell as much as possible instead of giving a few options with full pricing and features visible at a glance.
So overall, it’s fairly easy to use, but definitely not the best choice if you want to save your time and money without accidentally ordering something that you don’t necessarily need.
5. How’s the Overall Pricing and Value of LegalZoom? | 6/10
To state it bluntly — it’s rather average or even below average. Considering the price and features they offer — you could definitely get a better deal elsewhere.
But as I mentioned earlier — LegalZoom is like McDonald’s — very popular and know, so that’s why a lot of people use it even though it might not be the best option. Especially considering all the upsells which could bleed your wallet quite a lot.
So taken into account all of these points — we give LegalZoom a 6.8/10 rating.
But now, let’s move on and review LegalZoom’s pricing and packages in more detail.
How Much Does LegalZoom Charge For LLC Formation?
LegalZoom has three different levels of packages. In all three packages, you need to pay the state filing fees. We list the packages and their fees below.
Economy Package ($79)
The Economy Package costs $79 plus the state filing fee. You will not get express shipping with the Economy Package. Legal Zoom tries to ship the order within 30 days, but it could take longer depending on the state. It is a very basic package and does not include everything you’ll need for your LLC. It does include:
Standard Package ($329)
This package costs $329 plus state filing fees. It includes priority processing and a corporate kit in addition to everything included in the economy package.
Express Gold ($349)
The Express Gold Package includes everything from the other packages plus faster shipping than the Economy or Standard packages. Your documents will get processed in 7-10 days and be shipped in 2 days. You can get 1-day shipping for an extra fee. This is great for getting your LLC started in a hurry.
Pros & Cons of LegalZoom
Quick LegalZoom Features Overview
Legal Zoom offers many features that can help someone starting an LLC. It is also cheaper than hiring a lawyer or even some other LLC formation services such as Rocket Lawyer.
Legal Zoom started providing legal services in 2001 and is one of the most popular online LLC formation services. In addition to registering your LLC in the state you’ve chosen, Legal Zoom offers a number of legal forms and advice from an attorney.
They also provide a number of free online guides that can help you understand the LLC formation process. This should make it easier to decide what kind of help you need to form your LLC.
Review count: 2850+
Form an LLC today with LegalZoom starting from $79 + state fees. They have above-average customer satisfaction rating and over 2850+ verified reviews.
Strong Legal Expertise from LegalZoom
LegalZoom can help with a wide variety of legal matters, both personal and professional. LegalZoom offers a Business Advisory Plan that can assist you in business formation and general legal services for most types of companies. They aren’t a substitute for a real law firm but, they can provide simple advice and services on demand. This can save small business owners a lot of time and money for basic legal help.
Forming an LLC takes a lot of time, especially when you’re just starting out. This is where the LegalZoom Business Advisory Plan shines. They can assist with any basic service such as reviewing legal documents or seeking advice on tax law. Their website provides a variety of guides, and their customer service team is more than happy to help you start your business.
Name Availability Check
Choosing the best name for your business is important, and you need to make this decision early in the process. You can’t choose a name that is already in use in your state of formation, so you need to find out if your chosen name is available.
LegalZoom allows you to check if the name you want is available, and they will check for the availability of similar names as well until you find one you like. Then they can help you fill out all the legal forms and register your new business name.
Registered Agent Services
LLC laws may vary, but one pretty steady requirement between states is requiring a registered agent in any state of registration. LegalZoom offers the option to set them as your registered agent for $299 per year.
This is clearly costly, but LegalZoom offers several services as a part of acting as your registered agent, such as alerts when mail is received, cloud service for business documents, reminders for tax and filing deadlines.
Even if the extra features of the service do not appeal to you, it is still cheaper than paying a lawyer to act as your registered agent.
Assistance Preparing & Filing Articles of Organization
One of the most crucial parts of registering your LLC is creating and filing your articles of organization. Every state varies in the legal forms you need to file as well as the fees you need to pay.
However, the biggest difficulty is probably figuring out what the articles themselves should contain. The most common elements these documents require is the name of your business, registered agent, and the address of both.
This is often a pain to devise, but LegalZoom can make this process easy. They can help you with the forms, and most states require the signature of the registered agent. Luckily LegalZoom can provide the signature.
LegalZoom Legal Document Assistance
LegalZoom can offer you help with LLC agreements, filing, as well as a variety of legal forms. One of LegalZoom’s most important LLC registration services is creating agreements.
One of the most important agreements is your business’s operating agreement. LegalZoom can help customize an operating agreement for your business without spending time and money consulting a lawyer.
Finally, LegalZoom’s attorneys can help you create agreements between your business employees and third parties. Their lawyers can work with you and help save you time and money. This is an edge your competition may not have.
Financial Account Authorization
After your business is registered, you’re going to want to open a business bank account. Doing this requires proof of authorization. Fortunately, LegalZoom includes this in their LLC formation package. The document they provide will state what people are allowed to open an account and take action on behalf of the LLC.
Conversion of Legal Entity
Sometimes, LLC owners choose to convert their corporation into an LLC to make running it easier. Doing this requires a legal plan, and LegalZoom can help you with this. They provide a series of questionnaires to make the process easier.
Another service LegalZoom provides is filing patents and trademarks. This service is a part of their legal plan. It is a good way to protect your intellectual property. Although, it does require an additional fee. Still, it costs less than a lawyer.
LegalZoom Customer Service
Unlike many businesses, LegalZoom has weekend customer service hours. This is a benefit for people who do not have time to call during the week. They have knowledgeable customer service agents and lawyers you can speak to as well.
This will allow you to get help with any problems that come up while you are forming your LLC or working on document filings. Lifetime customer support is a definite benefit as well. You can contact them by email or phone, but their phone support is better.
One of the best things about LegalZoom is their guarantee. You can be sure you will be happy with their service or you’ll be refunded your payment. If you find you are unhappy with their service any time within the first 60 days, you will get your money back. You can also choose to get your refund in services if you prefer. This offer does not include a refund for filing fees or third-party fees. To get your refund, call or request your refund online.
3rd Party LegalZoom Reviews
LegalZoom has many positive reviews about how much cheaper their service is than hiring a lawyer. The reviews also point out how easy it is to form an LLC with their service. Unlike some other LLC formation companies, they have attorneys available to speak to if you need help.
- On Trustpilot they have a rating of 4.2/5 from 900+ reviews (see their profile here).
- On ConsumerAffairs.com LegalZoom has a rating of 4.5/5 from 700+ votes (see their profile here).
- On SiteJabber.com they have a rating of 3.6/5 from 1000+ reviews (see their profile here).
- On BestCompany.com LegalZoom scores only 2.9/5 based on 60+ reviews (see their profile here).
- They also have a BBB rating (see it here).
So What Do Their Customers Think?
We’ve told you what we think but what do customers have to say? Let’s take a look at a few customer reviews from consumer review service TrustPilot:
“Legal zoom was super fast with my documents for my LLC in addition customer service hands down answered my questions and I would recommend them for sure”
“LegalZoom makes setting up an LLC easy and inexpensive. They do all the hard work so you don’t have to. My Agent representative was a rock star and set me up in a short 20 min phone call. Thanks Byron and Thank you LegalZoom.”
“Customer support is late on the replies. Professional company but 3 days for an email is unacceptable.”
“They never answer the phone! Customer service is terrible – they take your money as quickly as they can, but are never available to address your questions or issues. We will be moving to another provider very soon. Please avoid”
Best LegalZoom Alternatives
LegalZoom has some stiff competition, and two of their top competitors are ZenBusiness and Incfile. Below, we will discuss some pros and cons of these two alternatives and how they compare to LegalZoom.
#1 Alternative: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness is another LLC formation service that provides clearly priced packages and an excellent reputation.
Take a look at our full ZenBusiness review here.
#2 Alternative: IncFile
IncFile has a free LLC formation service, which is hard to beat, they also have a number of other advantages and a couple of disadvantages.
You can also check out our full IncFile review here.
LegalZoom is a respected provider of LLC formation services. They can provide all the services and forms you need to start a new business. They are not as affordable as their competitors for LLC formation. However, they do provide solid service.
Additionally, LegalZoom can provide a wide variety of services to make running your business a bit easier. They can help you with intellectual property filings, receiving your Tax ID, and making employee agreements, as well as a variety of other basic legal services.
Though its customer service is not as good as some of its competitors, it provides straightforward, quality help. Plus, the legal help it provides saves small business owners considerably over lawyer fees. For providing complete legal help in all facets of forming a small business, LegalZoom is hard to beat.
FAQs About LegalZoom
Is LegalZoom free?
No, LegalZoom is not free. Their cheapest package is $79 and does not include everything you need to start an LLC. They do have the other services you need for extra fees.
Is LegalZoom a reputable company?
LegalZoom is reputable; they have been in business since 2001 and have had over 1 million customers. Also, they have numerous favorable customer reviews.
How does LegalZoom compare to its competitors?
Although LegalZoom is well known and reputable, they are probably not the best choice. There are other LLC formation services that offer comparable services at a better price. ZenBusiness offers good service for less, and IncFile offers LLC formation for free.
Does LegalZoom help with ongoing compliance requirements?
LegalZoom does offer help with compliance services, but this service is not part of any of their packages. They provide registered agent service for $299/year. If you want them to file your annual report, it will cost $55 plus filing fees.
What are LegalZoom’s biggest advantages and disadvantages?
LegalZoom’s biggest advantage is its experience. They have been in business for about two decades and helped well over a million people form their LLC.
Their biggest disadvantage is their pricing. Their cheapest package costs $79 dollars and is more expensive than their competitor’s similar services. You could even get LLC formation elsewhere for free.
What is their refund policy?
LegalZoom has an excellent guarantee. If you are not satisfied, you can get a full refund any time within the first 60 days.
Form Your LLC Today With LegalZoom
Rating: 3.8 out of 5 Stars
They are one of the best-known LLC formation service providers with very affordable costs. They will do everything for you starting from $79 + state fees.