What is LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is a legal technology company that helps you create legal documents without hiring a lawyer.
They help with all your legal documents such as copyright registrations, trademark applications, wills, living trusts, as well as business formation documents.
The company also offers an opt-in legal guidance service as an add-on to your pricing package. This is useful for those times that you need more personal legal guidance.
Experienced attorneys created LegalZoom to provide clients 100% satisfaction. They use plain language to help you understand what’s best for you.
LegalZoom has served over 4 million clients with their legal needs including helping thousands of business owners form LLCs.
LegalZoom LLC Review: A short overview of what LegalZoom provides
LegalZoom provides a wide range of legal document services for your business needs.
Here’s a rundown of what you can expect:
- LegalZoom offers a 100% money-back guarantee: If you aren’t fully satisfied with their service, LegalZoom will refund their service fee within 60 days from purchase. This does not apply to third-party processing fees, filing fees submitted to the government, and attorney fees paid directly to lawyers.
- Over 20 years experience: Your legal needs are in experienced hands. LegalZoom have been operating since 1999.
- Knowledgeable support: You can ask LegalZoom’s support team any tax/legal questions about your LLC formation seven (7) days a week.
- Cheaper than a law firm: LegalZoom forms your LLC at a fraction of the cost of hiring a law firm.
Related: For a side-by-side comparison of LegalZoom with other popular LLC formation services, have a look at our best llc services comparison guide.
How does LegalZoom Work?
So you’re probably wondering “How does LegalZoom work?”
Forming an LLC with LegalZoom takes just a few minutes.
- You first need to create a LegalZoom account.
- You then head over to the “Starting Your Business” section and select the “LLC (Limited Liability Company)” option.
- Next, enter your preferred LLC name. Note that your preferred name’s availability will depend on your chosen state.
- You then answer a few business-related questions. The questions depend on your business structure and state.
- Now to select the legally required essential services. These include a registered agent, an operation agreement, an EIN, as well as required permits and licenses.
- You then select optional add-on services.
- Next is to choose an LLC package. (We’ll discuss what each package offers in the next section)
- Once you’ve selected one, all that’s left is checkout and you’re all done.
LegalZoom LLC Formation Packages
How much does LegalZoom charge to create your LLC?
- LegalZoom offers three LLC packages:
- Economy ($79+state filing fees)
- Standard ($329+ state filing fees)
- Express Gold ($349+ state filing fees)
Here’s a concise break down of each pricing plan:
This package comes with just the bare essentials your LLC needs.
- Name Check and Business Filing: LegalZoom completes your LLC paperwork and files it with your state of formation.
- Articles of Organization: Also known as a “certificate of organization” in some states.
- LLC Next Steps Guide: These step-by-step instructions let you review your LLC documents and get your business started.
- Peace of Mind Review: The company personally reviews your order before forming your business.
- Lifetime Customer Support: LegalZoom’s support team is available 7 days a week to answer any questions about your new business documents, personalized packet, and related products and services.
- Financial Account Authorization Letter: This is simply a document indicating who’s authorized to open a bank account for your LLC.
Summary: With just the basics included, this package works best if you’re just looking to get your small business LLC up and running.
This package comes with everything you get in the Economy package plus three more features.
These are the following:
- Deluxe Organizer: You get a professional-looking organizer embossed with your business name.
- Official Certificates and Seal: LegalZoom includes 20 personalized company membership certificates and an official company seal to record ownership in your business.
- LegalZoom VIP Processing: LegalZoom internally prioritizes your order to ensure faster processing.
Summary: While this package may be good for more established businesses, the VIP processing feature is perfect for any business looking to form their LLC sooner.
Express Gold Package
This package includes everything you get from the first two but with special rush processing.
Here’s what that means:
- Rush Processing With Secretary of State: LegalZoom prioritizes your order and rushes the formation process to just 7-10 business days.
- Express shipping: They spare no expense to ensure your formation documents get to the Secretary of State (or other filing offices) as soon as possible.
Summary: This package is perfect for any business that wants to form an LLC as soon as possible.
Popular LegalZoom LLC Alternative
If you feel like LegalZoom hasn’t covered all your bases yet, there are better alternatives out there.
In our opinion, the best LegalZoom alternative is ZenBusiness.
ZenBusiness is cheaper with pricing plans ranging from $49 to $299 per year.
It also offers more features (like a registered agent and operating agreement) as part of its pricing plan by default.
Lastly, ZenBusiness is simply more user-friendly which means that it is not only easier, but can be faster to set up your LLCThe speed can sometimes vary depending on which state you are filing your LLC in and the number of other business owners who are submitting their LLC application too.
So, if you feel like LegalZoom isn’t the right LLC formation service for you, go ahead and give ZenBusiness a try. You can also check out our complete guide to the best LLC formation services online here.
Or check out our ZenBusiness review before you do.
LegalZoom customer reviews
LegalZoom is good but it can be better. If you don’t want to just take our word for it, here’s how real customers rank their experience with LegalZoom:
Customers at Trustpilot think LegalZoom is great and give it a 4.1 out of 5 from 469 reviews.
Folks over at Birdeye give LegalZoom a respectable rating of 3.8 out of 5 from 479 reviews.
Meanwhile, customers over at BBB.org gave LegalZoom a similar rating at 83.79 out of 5 from 1,228 reviews.
Summary: LegalZoom is great but it isn’t the best. Some competitors (like IncFile) are faster while some (like ZenBusiness) give more bang for your buck.
Should you form an LLC with LegalZoom
LegalZoom’s 31 years of experience gives it an edge when it comes to handling tax and legal questions regarding your LLC formation. Their support team is ready seven days a week so you can focus more on running and managing your business. All this at a fraction of the price you’d pay to a law firm plus a 100% money-back guarantee.
Choose Legalzoom if you want to entrust your LLC formation to more legally experienced hands.
If you’re in a rush to form your LLC, you may want to choose a faster service. While Legalzoom’s Express Gold package can form your LLC in 7-10 business days, it’s still not the fastest service.
Alternatively, if you feel like LegalZoom’s pricing plans could use more features, you may want a formation service with more bang for your buck.
Our top recommendation and alternative for businesses looking to form an LLC is ZenBusiness.
While LegalZoom offers easy LLC formation that you can trust, there are better alternatives when it comes to price and default features.
LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness: which is better?
ZenBusiness is better.
While LegalZoom may be faster, ZenBusiness is cheaper and comes with more useful features by default so it gives you the best bang for your buck.
What Are LegalZoom’s Biggest pros and cons?
LegalZoom’s biggest pros are its knowledgeable customer service and its cost when compared to going to a law firm.
However, it’s not the fastest nor the cheapest and excludes features that its competitors include by default.
If I Use LegalZoom, Which Features Should I Get?
If your business needs you to have legal aid ready any time, you may want to get their Legal Protect feature which offers tax and legal guidance and consultations.
If you want to keep your business compliant while you focus on running and managing it, you may want to get their Total Compliance feature which takes care of annual reports and other formalities.
Do They Offer Publication Service?
No. LegalZoom does not offer this service.
Does LegalZoom Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
Yes. LegalZoom offers this service but not by default. You have to pay extra by getting it through their Total Compliance feature once you’ve selected your essential services.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
Yes. LegalZoom offers to refund any fees you paid within 60 days from purchase. Note that this does not apply to third-party processing fees, filing fees submitted to the government, and attorney fees paid directly to lawyers.
Why should I Use a Business Formation Service?
Forming an LLC can be time-consuming, confusing, and costly — especially if you’re just starting a business. A business formation service saves you from all of these problems (for a price) so you can focus more on growing your business.