Everyone understands the challenges involved in running a business. You want to ensure that you are always on the right side of the law.
It can be especially challenging since laws can change any second. Businesses will now have to modify their operations to avoid penalties. However, your objective as a business owner should always be how best you can navigate changes in the laws to benefit you and your operation.
Nolo is a service that can potentially help you with this. Established in 1971, Nolo has been evolving since then to help provide legal services and assistance to business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.
Nolo started as a platform for publishing guides and articles related to legal matters. Since then, the company evolved with technology and software to build its online platform and become one of the leading legal sources available on the internet for forming an LLC.
Let’s take a look at the pro and cons of working with Nolo and how the service helps businessmen and entrepreneurs.
Nolo Pros and Cons
- Informational articles: Nolo contains arguably the richest collection of legal information available on the internet. There are thousands of articles covering legal issues, many of which are written by lawyers or legal practitioners.
- Offline legal support: Online and cloud-based access have made it pretty challenging to get offline legal help – except perhaps if you go to a law library or some other source. Thankfully, Nolo offers several of its legal resources in physical books.
- Quick legal help: If you have a court case pending and you need someone to help you with it, Nolo provides an online directory where you can find comprehensive legal help. The directory offers access to several lawyers and law firms, all organized by their area of expertise.
- Outsourced services: Most of Nolo’s competitors offer business formation services that allow you to quickly file to establish your corporation. Nolo has its LLC formation tool, but there’s no internal option for establishing a corporation. Instead, it outsources the services to other LLC formation companies.
- No responsibility for legal advice: Unlike hiring an attorney, Nolo doesn’t give legal advice on any particular case. If you need professional legal advice, you will be better off getting a lawyer to answer your questions.
Nolo LLC Formation Packages & Pricing
Nolo is a very affordable service. It offers most of its services to customers free of charge, although they do charge for some direct services, which we’ll look into later on.
Primarily, Nolo doesn’t have any pricing tiers. Instead, the service chargers for each use case. So, let’s take a look into Nolo’s services and how you can benefit a great deal from them:
While Nolo provides a directory of legal services, they also help you to form your LLC. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and would like to get your business off the ground, Nolo is a reliable partner.
Nolo offers three pricing tiers for its LLC formation services. These include:
- The Basic Package
- The Standard Package
- The Express Package
1. The Basic Package
The Basic LLC Formation Package is Nolo’s rudimentary service. It is excellent for companies looking to get their operations off the ground, and it comes at a simple cost of $49 plus state fees. With the Basic package, you get the following services:
Company Name Validation
The company name validation service is especially critical for beginning entrepreneurs as it helps them to avoid making mistakes when naming their companies.
As an upstart LLC, you might run into the error of naming your company in conflict with another. You should know that there are several other companies in your local area, and many of them might be unknown. If you give your company the same name as another, you could be liable to lawsuits and other issues later.
Nolo will take your desired company name and match it with records in your local area to see if any other organizations have the same name. This way, you can avoid any initial confusion and begin operating as quickly as possible.
Articles of Organization
Articles of organization are a significant part of your formal establishment. They are usually filed with the state government, although some cities and municipalities could also require that you file the documents with them before your company begins operating.
The articles of organization generally describe the powers, rights, liabilities, and duties of your company – both between members and to your customers. From zoning requirements to licensing and much more, the articles of organization show some of the legal standings on which your company operates.
Instead of filling out the articles of organization, Nolo helps to take that stress off your shoulders and will help you get things passed. The filing and submission process is much easier with Nolo helping you out.
This service costs a $50 one-time fee.
Automated Error Checking
When starting a company, you will find that there are a lot of requirements that you need to handle. With so much paperwork and tasks to get done, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and make errors. These errors will in turn jeopardize the success of your filing and make it much more difficult for your LLC to get established.
Thankfully, you don’t have to let simple errors weigh you down. Nolo is available to help you out and clear any errors that might be in your filing. All you have to do is submit your filing to them and they will help you go through it to check for any errors or other mistakes that could jeopardize it.
Customer Service Phone Support
Nolo will also provide phone support to you when you select this service. You can contact them if you have any questions or concerns, and rest assured that they will be there to answer you. Nolo claims to always be proactive when it comes to answering customer messages and Emails, and they seem to have that under control. So, you know you’re dealing with a company that has your best interests at heart.
Guide to Formalizing Your LLC
While Nolo can’t help you with everything you need, the service at least provides a guide for you to follow. The guide considers your industry and location, sharing all the details and filings you will need to make your company incorporation smoother and more efficient.
You can look into this guide to get what you need – especially if some of these services aren’t available with Nolo.
Summary: The Basic package provides just about everything you need to get your business up and running.
Ideal For: Startups and small businesses
2. The Standard Package
The Standard Package is an intermediaries service tier that offers some advanced services for Nolo customers. You can enjoy this package for just $149 plus state fees, and it covers everything available in the Basic Package plus the following;
IRS Application for EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a significant ID number for all companies. It is your identity before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and it is what you use to communicate with the agency concerning everything that has to do with your taxes.
The EIN essentially functions like your Social Security Number (SSN). The only difference is that while the SSN functions for individuals, the EIN is used by companies and corporations. You need it when making tax filings and when applying for refunds.
Nolo can help you get this number easily.
Nolo provides a service called NoloCloud, which helps you to access legal forms from wherever you are. The legal forms are quite extensive, covering areas like elder care, real estate, child custody, and estate planning.
With Nolo’s forms, you will find it much easier to create useful legal documents. You can use these forms to get your business incorporated and begin operating as soon as possible.
The NoloCloud is easy to work with, and it allows you to enjoy secure access from anywhere and at any time. With it, you can create documents such as an independent contractor agreement, an online LLC registration form, healthcare directives, and much more.
Summary: The Standard package allows you to establish a strong business footing after your LLC has been formed.
Ideal For: Small to medium-scale companies
3. The Express Package
Costing $299 plus state fees, the Express Package is the highest service tier available on Nolo. it comes with everything in the two previous packages, as well as the following:
Unlimited Customer Service
When you sign up for Nolo’s LLC creation service, you can get in touch with them whenever you would like. This is especially great since most LLC formation services usually give priority support to people who purchase service tiers with higher prices. With Nolo, you can get in touch with the service whenever, and rest assured that they will have your back.
You can contact Nolo via several channels. The service has a track record of answering calls and customer requests relatively quickly, so you can trust that they will be there to respond to you too. Just get in touch with them and let them help you.
Personalized LLC Records Kit & Seal
The LLC kit and seal is primarily a binder with your company’s name and details printed on it. You also get a decorating seal that contains your company’s name and logo on it.
While the LLC kit and seal can be used for different things, they primarily work as tools for sending official documents. Every company needs to maintain an official outlook from time to time, and the kit and seal can help you out. You can use them while closing deals or sending out official documentation as they help to bolster your image as a reputable brand.
This service is only available for the Express package.
Priority Rush Filing
Nolo offers members of the Express package priority in filing. This is common practice among LLC formation services, so it’s not exactly a novelty.
Considering that you will need to make your filings quickly and effectively, Nolo will make it even easier for you to get started. The service doesn’t make any guarantees concerning how long you might have to wait, but rest assured that the process will be much quicker altogether.
Summary: In a nutshell, everything in the Nolo arsenal is available to you with the Express package.
Ideal For: Companies looking to expand their services
Your company will also need a registered agent if you hope to incorporate seamlessly. A registered agent is a professional who helps with different business aspects, including but not limited to scanning and submitting all critical documents. The agent will also call the court to notify if your filings have been received. If there is any summons or letter from the court, the registered agent gets it and directs it to you.
In a nutshell, the registered agent acts as a liaison between you and the courts. Legal issues can crop up at any time, and you might not be opportune to handle them due to your busy schedule. The registered agent handles this.
Nolo’s registered agent is in collaboration with VCorp. The service is essential in protecting you from fines and penalties, and the agent is always available during business hours.
The registered agent costs $150, billed annually.
LLC Operating Agreement
Your LLC operating agreement is another significant filing that you need to make when you’re starting a business. The document shows several critical parts of your company’s operation, including but not limited to governing the duties and rights of your LLC and its members, dictating the percentage share for each owner, and highlighting the share of profits for each LLC member.
Like the articles of organization, you will need to be careful when filling and submitting the operating agreement. Thankfully, Nolo can help you out with the entire process and make it as seamless as possible.
The operating agreement costs a one-time fee of $50.
Your business license is very important to the future of your company. Every industry requires a license from one regulator or the other. Beyond federal licensing, some states also require licenses before you can operate. For instance, you will need a license to operate as a financial services firm in a state like New York.
With Nolo, you have a partner that can help you obtain the right licensing and get you in a stable position to begin operating as soon as possible. Beyond the business license, Nolo also helps you get important documents like the Employer Identification Number (EIN), seller’s permits, tax registration documents, and much more.
The business license program from Nolo costs $100.
Nolo also has a partnership with 1-800Accountant, one of the foremost online accounting and tax services, to provide you with effective tax preparation services. Taxes are one of the most complex parts of operating a business, and you will need to be careful when filing your returns and preparing all critical documentation.
Nolo and 1-800Accountant will help you with this. They provide effective preparation services, taking all your finances into account and preparing a quality tax submission form. If there are any returns or possible obstacles, they will help you navigate them.
This service costs $170 on its own.
Website and Hosting
Operating a business is much more than just having a physical location. You need to build an online presence as well if you hope to succeed. Thankfully, Nolo can help with this as well. Thanks to a partnership with Web.com, Nolo allows you to access everything you need to open and launch your website.
With the web hosting service, getting into the online space is much easier than you would expect. You can build and launch a website as quickly as possible and begin reaping the benefits. Grow your network and start selling to customers far and wide.
The web hosting service costs $135 billed individually.
While there is no denying the fact that Nolo offers immense value to its customers, the service is also not perfect. If you’re looking to take advantage of better LLC formation or legal services, you could want to try something different.
So, you might consider ZenBusienss. Located in Austin, Texas, ZenBusiness has been providing LLC formation services for years. Despite being much newer than many of its competitors, ZenBusiness has been able to build its name by offering cheap and effective services to entrepreneurs. Its intricate combination of affordability and service efficiency is well noted, and you should be able to benefit a great deal from ZenBusiness.
Nolo Customer Reviews
As a business owner, you want to ensure that you’ve got everything right when selecting a company to provide LLC formation services. We understand that you might be skeptical, so we browsed the web to find what people have been saying about Nolo.
Nolo doesn’t have the best reviews. We checked on TrustPilot, and the service only managed a 1.4 rating out of 5. However, we noticed that most of the reviews were about the attorney service, and not the LLC formation package.
All in all, you could try the service if you want to get LLC formation services. However, based on what many customers have said about its legal package, Nolo might not be the ideal company for you.
Should You Start an LLC With Nolo?
Like every LLC formation service, Nolo has the good and the bad parts. So, it’s easy to question whether to go with the company. This breakdown will help you out:
Pros of starting an LLC with Nolo
- Legal aid to cover different scenarios
- Equitable customer support to all service tiers
- Quick and reliable support team
- Competitive pricing structure
Cons of starting an LLC with Nolo
- Fewer services than most of its competitors. Most other LLC formation companies provide more extensive services.
Final Verdict – Is Nolo Good for LLC Formation?
In general, Nolo seems like a solid company. The reviews online aren’t so nice, but we could still recommend them for LLC formation. Nolo’s strength lies in the fact that the service effectively collaborates with other reliable companies to provide LLC formation features.
You will also be able to access lawyers and law firms if you need any legal assistance going forward. This gives Nolo an edge over many others.
The only challenge with Nolo is that it doesn’t seem to have features that are as extensive as other LLC formation services. Critical services like banking resolutions, worry-free CPA assessments, and more aren’t available on Nolo. so, in terms of service offerings, it leaves a little more to be desired.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are Nolo’s biggest pros and cons?
Nolo is relatively more affordable than many of its competitors. The service also provides access to legal services, making it easier for you to settle legal disputes if your company runs into any.
That said, the service does have some bad reviews online, which could dampen your confidence. It also provides less encompassing services than many other LLC formations services.
Does Nolo have a refund policy?
Nolo has a refund policy. You can send them an Email to request your refund if you’re not satisfied with the service. However, they will need to reply with an acknowledgment before the refund can be processed.
What are Nolo’s customer support hours?
Nolo is available via the following channels:
- Customer Service: Monday to Friday (8 AM to 5 PM). Closed on weekends and major holidays
- Technical Support: Monday to Friday (8 AM to 5PM). Closed on weekends and major holidays
Is Nolo the LLC website you recommend to family and friends?
The answer to this question is quite delicate. Nolo has its strong points, but there are also some considerable demerits to the service.
So, you will need to weigh these pros and cons to know whether Nolo will be right for you. ZenBusiness currently ranks number 1 and is listed as our Editors Choice. Check out the ZenBusiness Review here
Can I form an LLC without physically being in the United States?
Yes, you can. There are no restrictions to your ability to form an LLC in the United States. As long as you don’t have a criminal record or aren’t wanted by any law enforcement agencies, you can even start an LLC in the country without being physically there.
Does Nolo sell or share my Information with third parties?
LLC formation services are known to share user data with third parties to improve their revenues. They can capitalize on details like Emails and more that they get to grow their revenues by selling them.
Given that Nolo works with several third parties, it won’t be surprising to find that the service shares your details with them. However, we didn’t find any proof to show that they do.
Is Nolo legitimate, trustworthy, and reliable?
While it’s understandable that you might not want to trust a service like Nolo, you can rest assured that this service is legitimate.
With an extensive history and enough offerings to help you get your business up and running, Nolo is trustworthy and reliable too.