LegalZoom Review 2021: Pros & Cons, Honest Opinion, Best LegalZoom Alternatives

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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:

  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

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.

LegalZoom $79 + State Fees

Get an LLC today with LegalZoom – an old and well-known company.

ZenBusiness $49 + State Fees (recommended alternative)

Get your LLC started today with ZenBusiness! Hassle-free, cheap, and quick.
They are one of the top-rated quality-to-price ratio services.

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:

  • Articles of Organization: LegalZoom will file your Articles of Organization with your state of formation
  • Lifetime customer support: They offer customer support Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. P.T. and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. P.T. on weekends. You can contact them by email, phone, or chat.
  • Name check: LegalZoom will check to see if the name you’ve chosen for your business is available in your state.
  • Financial Account Authorization Letter:  These documents indicate who is allowed to open and use your business’s bank account.

See LegalZoom’s Economy package on their website.

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.

  • Company seal: You can use this seal on your official company documents.
  • Personalized binder: This binder is useful for organizing your company documents.
  • Member Certificates: This package includes 20 member certificates with your company information on them.

See LegalZoom’s Standard package on their website

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.

  • Rush Processing: Your order will be processed with the Secretary of State withing 7-10 days.
  • Express Shipping: The fastest delivery LegalZoom offers.

See LegalZoom’s Express Gold package on their website


Pros & Cons of LegalZoom

Pros

  • Customer Support: Legal Zoom provides lifetime customer support with good availability. Unlike many similar companies, they have customer support hours on weekends. Legal Zoom’s customer service hours are Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. P.T. and on weekends from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. P.T.
  • Name availability check: They allow you to check on their website to see if your chosen business name is available.
  • Guarantee: Legal Zoom guarantees that you will be satisfied with their service, or you can get a refund within the first 60 days.
  • Legal Advice: They have lawyers you can speak to if you need additional help.

Cons

  • Price: Legal Zoom charges $79 for their economy package, which is more than some competitors.
  • Registered Agent Service: Registered Agent service is not included in Legal Zoom’s packages.
  • Upsells: They include a lot of upsells in their registration service.

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.   

$79

star rating image

Rating: 3.8/5
Review count: 2850+

legalzoom logo new

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.


Intellectual Property

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.


LegalZoom Guarantee

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.

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:

Positive Reviews

latoi stor legalzoom review
timothy lee legalzoom review

“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.”

Negative Reviews

abby wong legalzoom review
rebecca reynolds legalzoom review

“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

Use our special promo and get your LLC started today with ZenBusiness! Hassle-free, cheap, and quick.
They are one of the top-rated quality-to-price ratio services.

ZenBusiness is another LLC formation service that provides clearly priced packages and an excellent reputation.

Take a look at our full ZenBusiness review here.

Pros

  • Chat Support: You can chat with a ZenBusiness customer service representative any time during business hours. This is much like LegalZoom.
  • Registered Agent: ZenBusiness offers free registered agent service for a year with their packages. They will provide a legal address for your business where your business can be served legal notice should they be sued. It can also be used for other confidential correspondence. LegalZoom does offer Registered Agent Service, but for an extra fee of $299/year.
  • Personalized Dashboard: This dashboard allows you to easily access your account to store important documents, manage your account, and receive alerts and compliance information. LegalZoom offers cloud storage for documents with registered agent service, but no comparable dashboard.
  • Pricing: ZenBusiness is clear about what their services cost. You don’t have to worry about hidden costs. LegalZoom’s prices are not as clear as ZenBusiness’s prices and also include hidden recurring fees.

Cons

  • Upsells: ZenBusiness has numerous upsells throughout the registration process. However, LegalZoom also has a lot of upsells.
  • Customer Service Hours: Although their customer service is good, they don’t have any weekend hours. LegalZoom’s customer service can be difficult to access, but they do have very good hours.


#2 Alternative: IncFile

Use our special promo and get your LLC started today with IncFile! Hassle-free, cheap and quick.

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.

Pros

  • Free Registered Agent: Like ZenBusiness, IncFile provides your business with a free registered agent service for the first year. Whereas LegalZoom does not provide free registered agent service at all.
  • Price: IncFile’s silver package is free. This is a great deal, and it includes some nice features. LegalZoom’s economy package is $79 and does not provide as much.
  • Alerts: Incfile will remind you of any upcoming deadlines so that your business stays in compliance. LegalZoom charges separately for their alert service.

Cons

  • Customer Service: Incfile gets a lot of complaints about busy customer support. This is unfortunate, but LegalZoom also gets a lot of complaints about the difficulty in getting in touch with their customer service.
  • Upsells: Like ZenBusiness, IncFile has an annoying number of upsells. However, LegalZoom does a considerable amount of this as well.

Conclusion

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.

Form Your LLC Today With LegalZoom

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Legal Zoom

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.

Want More LegalZoom Alternatives? Check Out Our Other LLC Service Reviews

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About the Author
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Founder & author

Ian Broderick is an avid author and owner of LLCGuys.com. He's been involved with the LLC formation field for over 4 years. On top of that, he has worked in several well-known LLC formation service providers. Now he decided to share his knowledge and advice with everybody. Since there are a lot of questions and concerns surrounding this field - his aim is to make LLCGuys a top-notch information provider in regards to LLC creation, service reviews and etc..

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