LegalZoom is an LLC formation service that has been operating since 1999. Based in Glendale, California, the company makes it much easier for you to establish your company and get your LLC up and running.
In general, LegalZoom is one of the best LLC formation services. They have built a recognizable brand, and they are known for delivering good results.
According to the company website, they have “helped over 2 million people get the help they need”.
This is why many business owners work with LegalZoom instead of running through the LLC formation process on their own.
In this review, we will look into LegalZoom, what the service has to offer you, and how you can get the best out of it
LegalZoom LLC Review: Pros and Cons
- Experience: As far as experience goes, there is hardly any service that ranks up to LegalZoom in the LLC creation industry. LegalZoom has been operating for decades, and it is one of the most reputable brands in LLC creation.
- LegalZoom offers a 100% money-back guarantee: Another significant benefit of LegalZoom is that it provides a worry-free, money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with their level of service, you can always request a refund. Note that this only applies within 60 days of your purchase. This is especially impressive since no other company we have come across in the offers up to a 2-month refund policy.
- Customer service: LegalZoom provides robust customer service, allowing you to contact them up to 10 PM on weekdays. On weekends, the customer service hotlines are available up until 7 PM.
- Wide range of legal services: Along with helping you to create your LLC, LegalZoom provides a wide array of value-added services. These include the preparation of legal forms and documents, provision of registered agents, and more. All of these will help you to start and maintain your company, especially if you have several other aspects of the company to focus on.
- Business name availability search: While most companies mandate that you pay for a business name availability search, LegalZoom offers you this service for free.
- Expensive pricing: LegalZoom is much more expensive than several of its competitors. The cheapest plan is $79 plus state fees, and this plan doesn’t come with any advanced features. If you’re looking for a cheap service to help with LLC creation, LegalZoom might not be your best bet.
- Lots of upsells: While LegalZoom offers some impressive services, its offering comes with several upsells. Even before you get to the package selection screen, you will have been offered several additional services, including the business tax software, EIN acquisition, registered agent service, and more. The upsells can be quite pricey. If you accept all the upsells, you can expect to pay $1,080; and that excludes the state registration fee.
LegalZoom LLC Formation Packages
LegalZoom offers three pricing packages. Each of these packages comes with a specific set of features. You are about to discover what each package has to offer so that you can make an informed decision when choosing the right package for your LLC formation:
The Economy package provides all the basic services you will need to form your LLC and will set you back $79 plus state fees.
With the Economy package, processing your LLC formation should take about 30 days. In general, the features available in the Economy package include:
Preparation and Filing Articles of Organization
The articles of incorporation form a critical aspect of your LLC formation. The documents play a big role in helping you to set up your company.
In the articles of organization, you have the liabilities, rights, and duties of any company member. The articles also outline your rights and responsibilities to your partners and customers.
When setting up your LLC, you will need to file these articles with your state government. LegalZoom will help you to file your articles of organization and take this step to forming your llc off your shoulders.
Name Availability Search
The name availability search is a very step to filing your LLC. LegalZoom will help you to check through the database of your specific city to make sure you find a unique name. This will help you to see if the company name you’re considering is still available or if it’s been used by another company.
When you set up your company with LegalZoom, one of the most important services you will get is help to set up a business bank account. With a bank account, you will be able to access loans, get financing, and transfer money.
You can use Banking Resolution to save time and authorize LegalZoom to open a bank account on your behalf.
Peace of Mind Review
The LegalZoom Peace of Mind Review is an interesting piece of technology that helps to go through your entire filing. You’ll be doing a lot of paperwork when filing your LLC, and it is easy to make mistakes along the way. To reduce the chances of errors, the peace of mind review allows you to check for discrepancies.
LegalZoom’s LegalZip review will work behind the scenes to check for issues and flag them immediately. With this addition, you can have more confidence in your filing LLC without any drawbacks
7 Days a Week, Lifetime Customer Support
A significant benefit of working with LegalZoom is that they offer a robust customer service system.
Customer service is open up until 10 PM on weekdays and until 7 PM weekends. The customer service team is always available during these times to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Note that while the LegalZoom customer service team is always available to help you out, there are some days where it might take a while to get through to them.
Summary: The Economy package is especially great for small businesses looking to establish themselves. It is the cheapest plan available and includes all the basic features you need to get your LLC off the ground.
The Standard LegalZoom package is an intermediary package that costs $329 plus state fees. The estimated time it takes to form your LLC is 15 days on the Standard package, and it include the following additional services:
Deluxe Founder’s Kit
The Deluxe Founder’s Kit is an additional package that allows you to store some of your business achievements and milestones.
While this isn’t a requirement for you to start your business, it is definitely an attractive value-added service. It allows you to mark special occasions that can add a level of prestige to your company.
Personalized Business Embosser and Membership Certificates
The Personalized Business Embosser and Membership Certificates includes 20 member certificates that are emblazoned with your company’s details. If you are running a limited liability company or an extended partnership, this will solidify the ownership status of each partner.
It includes a company seal, which will add a professional appearance to your company documents and agreements.
Summary: This package works especially well for companies that are looking to achieve a more professional appearance.
Express Gold Package
The Express Gold package is jam-packed with all the features and benefits that LegalZoom has to offer. It costs $349 plus state fees and includes everything in the first two pricing tiers as well as the following:
LegalZoom VIP Processing
LegalZoom VIP Processing is similar to what many other LLC formation services might call “rush filing.” Essentially, it guarantees that your LLC formation process is done and dusted between 7 and 10 days. If you’re in a rush and would like to get things done much quicker, this package is for you.
If you pay for the Expres Gold package, LegalZoom will handle document transportation on your behalf and deliver all your important LLC formation documents to you, wherever you are. This is another service that will help you to set up your company fast.
Summary: Speed is where the Express Gold package shines. It is perfect for company owners who need to start an LLC as quickly as possible.
Additional LegalZoom Features
While LegalZoom is an impressive LLC formation company, they don’t include some services as part of their packages. Instead, these services are offered separately. Some of these additional services include:
A registered agent is one of the most important professionals that can help you during the establishment of your company. Registered agents essentially act as your representative, and they can help you if you have dealings with courts or legal agencies.
Primarily, your registered agent will accept notices from courts. They receive important correspondence on your behalf, and they can immediately forward the messages to you. When the LLC formation process starts, you will be mandated to have a designated registered agent working for you.
While it is easy to designate yourself or someone else as a registered agent, you need to keep in mind that your registered agent will have to always be around when a legal notice comes. So, being a registered agent means you can’t take any holidays or breaks.
Thankfully, LegalZoom is here to help you out. The service can act as your registered agent and receive all appropriate notices and filings for you. If you’re looking for convenience, LegalZoom is an ideal choice
The registered agent service on LegalZoom costs $249 annually.
LLC Operating Agreement
The LLC operating agreement is another important document that you will need for your LLC formation process to go smoothly. It lays out several important provisions, including your company’s operation strategy and decision-making processes. At the same time, the LLC operating agreement shares your succession plan if your company’s head is unable to perform their duties for some reason or other.
LegalZoom will help you to draft an operating agreement that is easy to understand and is up to date. They will be on hand to assist you in completing this important piece of your LLC with the right information.
The LLC operating agreement on LegalZoom costs $99.
Operating Agreement + EIN
LegalZoom provides the opportunity for you to combine the operating agreement with an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The EIN is an important number that you will need to have if you hope to fulfill your tax obligations to the government.
The EIN is your identity with the Inland Revenue Service. It is the number you use to file for your taxes, request your tax returns, and much, much more. Taxes are important for the future of any business, and you want to make sure that you are always in compliance with regulators so you want to get your EIN as soon as possible.
Combining the EIN and an operating agreement on LegalZoom will cost you $159.
Operating Agreement, EIN, and Licenses
LegalZoom goes even further again, allowing you to combine the operating agreement and EIN with other licenses.
As a prospective business owner, you should know that there are licenses you need to get based on your state. These licenses essentially allow you to operate in your chosen field. While you need to get licenses with federal regulators, several states will require you to get additional business licenses.
Based on your industry and state, LegalZoom will help you get the appropriate licenses. The company will research the required licenses for you and ensure to get them on your behalf.
This service costs $199 annually.
Legal Protection Plan
Legal disputes are one of the most significant problems for any company – especially for start-ups. You could be moving ahead with great promise, only for a legal dispute or a lawsuit to spoil things. You definitely don’t want this.
Thankfully, LegalZoom is here to help. The company provides help with some of your legal troubles – especially when it comes to employment. Interestingly, LegalZoom looks to stop any employee legal issue before they even start. They will help you with hiring and ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.
Under this service, LegalZoom provides legal protection, guidance, and help to draft HR documents for hiring.
The service costs $39.99 monthly with a 10-day free trial if you use LegalZoom for your LLC formation.
Businesses in the United States have a lot of compliance requirements. Keeping up with all of this can be exhausting, and the problem is that you will need to maintain your compliance nonetheless. To avoid fines and other penalties, you need to find a way to stay in compliance with the laws around you.
If you don’t have the time to keep up with changing laws, LegalZoom can help you out instead. The service essentially provides a compliance guarantee, ensuring that you are aware of your obligations at all times.
LegalZoom will keep up with deadlines and other requirements, ensuring that you never break any laws. The company will help you to keep records of transactions and filings where the need arises.
The total compliance service costs $280 annually. Note that there is a 10-day free trial if you use LegalZoom in your LLC formation process.
Filing an annual report is a significant requirement for any business. Doing this will ensure that you remain in financial compliance, and it protects you from penalties down the line.
The annual report shows the state of your company – from its finances and your activities to social work and more. You don’t want to suffer a penalty for failing to file your annual report, so LegalZoom will help with drafting and compiling it.
LegalZoom can also send reminders for you to get your annual report filing done. This service comes in two pricing tiers – a $55 option and a $75 option.
Under the $55 option, LegalZoom files your annual report with all appropriate authorities. The $75 option comes with express shipping and quicker processing.
Articles of Amendment
During the running of your LLC, you may need to change a thing or two about your business operations. It could be your business name, your address, its managers, or other details. When these changes occur, you will need to let the appropriate authorities know.
This is where the articles of amendment come in. You will need to file an Articles of Amendments when you need to make changes to your company and inform the appropriate authorities as well as members of the general public.
Like the annual report, the articles of amendment will come with two pricing tiers – a $129 option and a $239 option. Under the $129 pricing tier, LegalZoom helps you to create the articles of amendment and will file with the state. The $239 option makes the filing faster and will deliver the approval documents to you between two and three days.
If your business runs into some problems and finally has to dissolve, it is important that you inform the appropriate authorities and everyone involved. All states require that you file within a reasonable timeframe.
The dissolution filing will also put your creditors on notice if your company is dissolving due to financial reasons.
The dissolution filing service costs $129 and $239. While the former provides a standard filing, the latter makes things much quicker.
Today’s market has many services offering to help. So, if you’re looking to establish your business, you should be able to find a company willing to help you. While LegalZoom gives you almost everything you need, several other LLC formation companies could offer their services at much cheaper prices.
One of the most prominent is ZenBusiness. While it’s much newer than LegalZoom, ZenBusiness has grown to become one of the most reliable LLC formation services available.
ZenBusiness especially thrives because it provides several useful services for affordable prices. At the end of the day, it’s hard to fight what these guys bring to the table. You get access to registered agent service on ZenBusiness, regardless of the service tier you choose.
LegalZoom Additional Services
In addition to LLC formation, LegalZoom offers several other services. For instance, you can form a:
- Sole proprietorship business
- Liability company
If you develop a product, LegalZoom can help you to get several intellectual property services that will help you file a patent and get copyright protection.
In addition, Legal Zoom provides a “Business Advisory Plan” should you need it. This comes with 30-minute consultations with attorneys on all legal issues. There is also an Annual Business Evaluation (you’ll need a 1-year subscription for this) and unlimited downloads from their legal library.
You can also get wills and testaments, as well as legal advice. These can help you deal with issues like estate planning, divorce, residential leases, etc.
LegalZoom Customer Reviews
As one of the oldest LLC formation services in the USA, LegalZoom has several reviews that you can find online. If you don’t know whether to work with them or not, we’ve helped to get some reviews from the internet to make the decision much clearer.
The reviews show that most customers are especially pleased with LegalZoom’s quick customer service responses. So, if you need a service that is always there to answer your questions, LegalZoom could be a perfect choice.
Of course, you should know that there are negative reviews about LegalZoom as well. However, in general, the service has decent reviews.
Should You Start an LLC With LegalZoom?
Now that we’ve discussed everything you need to know about forming an LLC with LegalZoom, you’re probably wondering; Should you form an LLC with LegalZoom?
In truth, working with LegalZoom is relatively easy. However, it still might not be what you’re looking for. A quick overview of some of the pros and cons of Legal Zoom LLC formation will help you come to a decision:
Pros of forming an LLC with LegalZoom:
✔️ If you’re looking to work with a company with a massive online legal catalog, LegalZoom is the ideal partner for you.
✔️LegalZoom provides a robust customer support service that is available every day of the week
✔️You can get a free name availability search on LegalZoom for free
Cons of forming an LLC with LegalZoom:
✖️ If you’re looking to save money and maximize value, several other LLC formation companies might work better than LegalZoom.
Like every other LLC formation service, LegalZoom comes with pros and cons. On the one hand, this is perhaps the most famous LLC formation service available. They also have some impressive features, all of which will ensure that you can get your company set up and ready to roll in a short time.
However, LegalZoom doesn’t quite do well when it comes to its price. It is more expensive than several other LLC formation services, so you might not find them ideal if you’re trying to save money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is LegalZoom legit, reliable and reputable?
There is no doubt about LegalZoom’s legitimacy. The service has been around since 1999, and it has served millions of businesses, helping them to establish themselves as one of the go-to LLC formation service providers.
Some might complain about LegamZoom’s customer service, but the company has been improving in this area over the past few years. Many of LegalZoom’s reviews have been positive, and the good definitely seems to outweigh the bad. You might have to deal with inconsistent customer support, but LegalZoom is a great company to work with nonetheless.
Is LegalZoom a good service for small businesses?
LegalZoom has several advantages, but the most prominent will have to be brand power. LegalZoom has been around for decades, and it has managed to establish a name for itself across the board.
Still, the fact that LegalZoom charges so much means that it might not be too good for small businesses with minimal revenues and budgets. So, if you’re worried about your expenses, LegalZoom might not be the best service for you to work with.
This is why there are services like ZenBusiness and others.
Does LegalZoom have more upsells than other services?
In all honesty, the presence of upsells is one area where LegalZoom appears to be really lagging. The service has more upsells than most other LLC formation services.
Even before you begin selecting your LLC formation package, LegalZoom asks you to purchase no less than six upsells. In total, these upsells can cost you about $1,080 in your first year.
While LegalZoom scores positive in general, this is a significant drawback nonetheless.
Does LegalZoom have good customer support?
LegalZoom’s customer service efficiency is one of the reasons why it is highly rated. With LegalZoom, you get extended customer service hours and can even call on weekends.
Note that they get some complaints about support consistency and quality sometimes and you might need to wait a bit longer than usual during peak business hours. We’ve found that LegalZoom does much better than many of its competitors.
Does LegalZoom have a refund policy?
LegalZoom promises a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can get your money back as long as you request a refund within 60 days of your purchase.
Can I form an LLC on my own?
Absolutely. Anyone looking to form an LLC can do so on their own if they’d like. In fact, quite a lot of businessmen choose this option and will prefer to build their companies on their own. However, the challenge with doing things on your own is that you could get overwhelmed.
LLC formation is no easy step, and you need to be ready to give it your all if you’re going through with it. At the same time, different states have requirements for LLC formation. You need to look through and check to see that you are following the correct rules and requirements for your state.
This is why most people tend to go with LLC formation companies. With these companies, you will find that things will be much easier. For a small fee, you can set your business up and immediately get started.
Do LegalZoom documents hold up in court?
Yes, they do. Every contract or document you create with LegalZoom is acceptable in any court. With LegalZoom, you can make documents like business contracts, articles of organization, and much more.
As explained, LegalZoom provides several other services that go beyond just LLC formation.
Should I reserve an LLC company name first before forming an LLC with LegalZoom?
Primarily, this will depend on your state. In most states – apart from Florida – you will have to reserve a business name before forming your LLC. Note that you only need this if you’re not ready to begin the LLC formation princess.
Since LegalZoom provides a company name checker to see if your desired company name is still available, you won’t have any problems.
How quickly does LegalZoom process LLC formations?
The processing times on LegalZoom will vary based on your formation package. On the Economy package, waiting times are 30 business days. Waiting times are 15 days on the Standard package, and you only need to wait between 7 to 10 days on the Express Gold package.
Can I form an LLC without physically being in the United States?
Yes, you can. No law requires that you be born in the United States to form an LLC there. You don’t even need to be an American citizen to operate an LLC. As long as there is no criminal record against you, you’re good to go.