LegalZoom Review (2022): Pros & Cons, Honest Opinion, Best LegalZoom Alternatives
LegalZoom is a well-known name in the field of LLC creation and incorporation. They are well-known for not just their incorporation services, but also for their extensive list of online legal services and legal form templates. LegalZoom provides experience, an almost two-decade track record of success, and 24/7 customer support.
The organization is not without flaws. LegalZoom’s fees are much higher than those of its competitors — more than twice as much. Their formation turnaround times are also significantly longer.
LegalZoom was one of the earliest firms in the online legal technology industry, having been founded in 2001. The corporation is based in Glendale, California, with offices throughout the United Kingdom.
LegalZoom is one of the major companies in the LLC creation sector, with over 1,000 workers. They’ve helped tens of thousands of small company entrepreneurs get started. However, the company’s reach extends well beyond forms. LegalZoom provides a wide range of legal and filing services.
Despite the fact that the organization is not a law practice, it can help with anything from living wills to property title transfers to estate planning to name changes.
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
- How Much Does LegalZoom Charge For LLC Formation?
- Which Legal Zoom Package Is The Most Cost-Effective?
- Pros & Cons of LegalZoom
- Quick LegalZoom Features & Services 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’s Customer Service
- LegalZoom Guarantee & Refunds
- Other Services That LegalZoom Can Offer
- LegalZoom Pros & Cons
- 3rd Party LegalZoom Reviews & Customer Feedback
- Best LegalZoom Alternatives
- Legal Zoom vs. Competitors (Quick Comparison & Prices)
- 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 offers three formation packages. The Economy, the Standard, and the Express Gold all offer formations, with higher-tier packages offering additional services.
We list the packages and their fees below.
|Service||Economy Pkg. ($79)||Standard Pkg. ($329)||Express Gold Pkg. ($349)|
|Basic LLC Filing||Included||Included||Included|
|Express Filing||Cost Varies by state||Cost Varies by state||Included|
It’s worth noting that none of LegalZoom’s packages offers registered agent and operating agreement services.
In most of the pricing tables we provide, you’ll notice that as the package price rises, so do the included services. The more costly LegalZoom packages, on the other hand, contain essentially no extra important services. Below, we’ll go through what they truly provide.
While LegalZoom’s package rates are quite regular, you must purchase crucial services individually – at exorbitant fees.
It’s crucial to remember that these are only estimates; actual expenses may vary depending on your company’s unique requirements. It’s also worth remembering that add-ons will almost certainly cost more.
If you have the Business Advisory Plan and require an attorney to evaluate papers that are more than 10 pages long, you’ll pay $39 for documents that are 11 to 15 pages long and $99 for documents that are 16 to 25 pages long. The company attorney will contact you with a quote for lengthier paperwork.
Similarly, if your legal difficulties require more work than a 30-minute phone consultation can handle, the attorney will charge a 25% reduction for LegalZoom clients on their hourly cost.
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:
We recommend LegalZoom’s Economy plan to anybody searching for a basic formation service at a reasonable price.
The Economy plan has a limited number of services. An Operating Agreement is not provided, unlike many rivals’ basic plans.
However, by choosing LegalZoom’s Economy plan, you will benefit from the customer service and experience of a firm with extensive resources that has been in operation for than two decades.
We would not advise someone in a hurry to form an LLC to use LegalZoom’s Economy Plan.
This plan’s advertised turnaround time is 30 business days. This is significantly slower than the majority of LegalZoom’s rivals, such as ZenBusiness.
Peace of Mind Review: Although LegalZoom’s evaluation has a trademarked name, it is essentially a conventional review. Before your paperwork are forwarded to the state, they’ll check over your application and point out any potential problems.
Next Steps for an LLC: This helpful resource provides guidance to new LLC founders. It’ll give you an idea of what extra steps or filings you’ll need to do once your LLC is formed (or while documents are being processed).
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.
LegalZoom’s Standard plan is much more expensive than their Economy plan. Unfortunately, it adds little value — certainly not enough to warrant the price.
This plan, which upsells certain useless products, is not recommended.
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.
We don’t advocate utilizing LegalZoom’s Express Gold Plan since the “expedited” services are still quite sluggish.
Which Legal Zoom Package Is The Most Cost-Effective?
The Economy plan from LegalZoom is the best bargain, however, it isn’t very spectacular. The $79 formation fee is reasonable until you find that Operating Agreement preparation is not included.
Adding this service will raise the price to $178, making it far less competitive. A registered agent service adds another $299 to the amount, bringing the total to $477.
LegalZoom’s Economy plan is a viable alternative if you’re not in a hurry and want a really bare-bones formation (no Operating Agreement, no RA) with a reputable supplier.
Meanwhile, the Standard and Express Gold plans are substantially more costly but offer no more benefits.
Even with basic plans, the “expedited” filings connected with the Standard and Express Gold plans (15 and 10 business days, respectively) are still slower than many competitors. For most firms, the certificates, seals, and organizers are unnecessary.
Pros & Cons of LegalZoom
Quick LegalZoom Features & Services Overview
Legal Zoom offers many features that can help someone start an LLC. It is also cheaper than hiring a lawyer or even some other LLC formation services.
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’s 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 & Refunds
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.
We like refund and cancellation policies that are clearly written and easily accessible.
Unfortunately, LegalZoom’s cancellation policy is difficult to find and is hidden behind a wall of legalese language. Their registered agent service has its own set of terms of service and cancellation policy.
LegalZoom states on its website and blog that consumers can cancel services using their online dashboard or by phoning customer care. On its “Why Us?” page, the organization also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. ” page, stating that if your expectations are not satisfied, you will receive a full refund.
Cancellations are said to be simple in several favorable reviews, so this is a benefit if the information is correct.
Other Services That LegalZoom Can Offer
LegalZoom is a big corporation that provides a wide range of services, including LLC creation, will and deed preparation, and legal consulting. We’ll concentrate on services relating to business establishment and continuing operations here.
We’ll go over how and why each service could be useful to you, when you might need it, and how much LegalZoom charges.
When compared to its competitors, LegalZoom’s costs for one-time services tend to range from ordinary to pricey.
LegalZoom may be a suitable choice for people who are willing to pay a premium to work with a reputable organization and have access to a knowledgeable customer care team.
LegalZoom’s size and breadth of experience make it a fantastic option for anyone wishing to augment their legal services. LegalZoom handles licensing searches, IP protection filings, compliance filings, and a variety of other legal and administrative tasks for businesses.
However, those searching for a rapid and inexpensive LLC filing should certainly go elsewhere.
From LLC creation to trademark registration, LegalZoom offers a wide range of services for small company owners. You may select from one-time services like starting a firm, free services like generating specific legal papers, or the subscription-based Business Advisory plan, which provides ongoing legal aid.
Here are some of the features that LegalZoom has to offer:
- Starting a Business
- Start a company and complete the necessary papers in your state.
- Create a limited liability company, a C corporation, a S corporation, a nonprofit corporation, a sole proprietorship, a limited partnership, or a limited liability partnership.
- Create a business plan (DBA)
- Reserve the name of your company.
Offerings in Business Operations
- Services for registered agents
- Create operational agreements, bylaws and resolutions, annual reports, and other papers that are required by law.
- Draft and file company revisions and name changes, for example.
- Request a federal tax identification number, a business license, or a seller’s permission.
- Personalize and download legal forms and papers.
Services for Intellectual Property
- Find, register, and track a trademark.
- Make a patent or copyright application.
Plan for Business Advisory
- Attorney consultations of 30 minutes on new legal concerns
- Review of contracts and other legal documents (up to 10 pages)
- Annual business assessment (requires a one-year subscription)
- Downloads from the legal library are unlimited.
- Discounts on other LegalZoom services are also available.
LegalZoom Pros & Cons
3rd Party LegalZoom Reviews & Customer Feedback
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.
We didn’t consider this a full-fledged negative at first, but in light of LegalZoom’s exorbitant rates and extended wait periods, we can’t ignore it.
LegalZoom’s client reviews aren’t bad; they’re simply outstanding.
However, customers rate ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent higher than LegalZoom, which has a customer rating average of 4.6.
- 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 its 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.
Legal Zoom vs. Competitors (Quick Comparison & Prices)
Below is a table that compares LegalZoom’s formation costs to those of its primary rivals.
The prices in this table are not included in LegalZoom’s package pricing. For comparison with rivals, they are standardized.
Below the table, we define Basic Formation, Full Formation, and Full Formation + Website.
|Service||Basic Formation||Full Formation||Full Formation + Website|
|Northwest Registered Agent||$225||$225||–|
Basic Formation: Covers the essential business entity creation. Includes – at a minimum – filing of Articles of Organization and the drafting of an Operating Agreement for an LLC or corporate bylaws for a corporation.
Full Formation: Additionally includes – at a minimum – a registered agent service, which most owners will find essential.
Full Formation + Website: In addition to full formation services, includes a website, domain, security certificate, and other services necessary to securing your company’s online presence.
Do you want a more detailed comparison of LegalZoom and some of its competitors?
Check out these highlights, or read the full articles for in-depth comparisons.
ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom
ZenBusiness comes highly recommended over LegalZoom. LegalZoom fared low in numerous categories when compared to ZenBusiness. LegalZoom’s formation expenses, in particular, are simply too excessive — the service is among the most costly we’ve encountered.
Despite this, LegalZoom does not provide any significant advantages over ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness can offer faster and more inexpensive forms, as well as much improved client satisfaction.
Here’s a full comparison of Legalzoom vs. Zenbusiness.
Northwest Registered Agent vs. LegalZoom
When it comes to cost and turnaround time, Northwest Registered Agent outperforms LegalZoom. Northwest Registered Agent charges less than half of what LegalZoom charges for LLC creations, including an Operating Agreement and registered agent service. Customer satisfaction is also greater with Northwest Registered Agent.
Here’s a full comparison of Legalzoom vs. Northwest.
Nolo vs. LegalZoom
LegalZoom and Nolo both provide identical LLC creation packages, however LegalZoom is far more costly.
The genuine performance of LegalZoom, which is comparable to Nolo’s in most categories, does not justify the hefty fees. Overall, we believe that neither Nolo nor LegalZoom are good choices and suggest that you use another service.
Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom
Rocket Lawyer’s LLC formation service is quicker and more versatile than LegalZoom’s.
Rocket Lawyer’s service is best for entrepreneurs who are also looking for additional online legal services, such as online attorney consultations. By default, these services are included with Rocket Lawyers membership.
Rocket Lawyer also has a lot more positive internet client ratings and far better prices.
Here’s a full Legalzoom vs. RocketLawyer comparison.
Incfile vs. LegalZoom
Both Incfile and LegalZoom have serious flaws in several areas, which is why we do not recommend either. Incfile’s biggest flaw is its low client satisfaction — regular complaints of poor customer service and unexpected filing delays plague the service.
Because of LegalZoom’s astronomically expensive fees, Incfile remains slightly higher on our list of recommendations.
Here’s a full comparison of LegalZoom vs. Incfile.
Inc Authority vs. LegalZoom
Because of Inc Authority’s free basic LLC creation package, we rank it higher than LegalZoom. However, both services have flaws. Neither of them come highly recommended.
Inc Authority, for example, might make a better job of telling customers about its prices and services. Third-party services are also aggressively upsold. Inc Authority, on the other hand, outperforms the competition in terms of pricing and turnaround time.
Swyft Filings vs. LegalZoom
Swyft Filings’ LLC creation service is both quicker and less expensive than LegalZoom’s. Utilizing LegalZoom to form an LLC might wind up costing twice as much as using Swyft Filings.
Other providers, however, can complete the task faster than any of these organizations. Swyft Filings also has a habit of upselling or outsourcing superfluous services to third parties.
Incorporate.com vs. LegalZoom
In terms of client happiness, convenience of use, and customer service, LegalZoom outperforms Incorporate.com. However, in the two most significant categories — cost and return time – both services do badly. As a result, neither of them can be recommended.
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
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.