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LegalZoom has quickly become one of the leading LLC formation service providers, and it has done so by making it easier and cheaper for small business owners to also get access to legal advice.
With LegalZoom being one of the leading companies in this industry, new or striving entrepreneurs often jump on the name recognition.
But is it worth the investment for your business entity?
That’s why we’ve put this LegalZoom review together to help you understand if this is the right service for you by showing you exactly what’s on offer.
What Is LegalZoom?
What has attracted so many businesses is that they can have most of their business filing requirements covered along with gaining access to legal services that would be unaffordable with a regular law firm.
The company can help you with all types of legal documents, including the power of attorney, contracts and agreements, as well as property leases and deeds.
This can be particularly interesting for businesses like realtors, construction, or any other small business that has to regularly exchange legal documents with clients and vendors.
The cost savings are especially welcome in the early stages of a new LLC when budgets are tight, but legal issues and contracts still require close attention.
The company has been operating since 1999, and over the last 20+ years, LegalZoom reviews from customers have been very much on the positive side.
How Does This Legal Services Company Work?
LegalZoom works similarly to other LLC services by offering different packages that you sign up for online.
More on those shortly.
Once you’ve picked your package and provided details about yourself and your business, the LLC service team kicks into action to register your company as a new legal entity with all the official documentation required.
Once you have everything in place to start operating under your new business, you can then opt for one of their membership plans for legal advice.
This will give you access to attorneys for different legal questions you might have around company formation, contracts, and employment.
It’s a great first step to avoid large upfront retainers with legal firms.
LegalZoom Pros And Cons
From an LLC perspective, LegalZoom offers a good starter package that covers the name availability, preparation, and filing of articles of organization, as well as a banking resolution, which you may need to open business accounts.
If you regularly need legal documents prepared, then the legal plans will be a great and cheap support. They might not work for complicated contracts, but there are many ways their lawyers can help.
The LegalZoom customer service team also seems to get a lot of positive reviews online.
What you need to keep in mind is that for LegalZoom to act as your registered agent it won’t be free in the first year like other services offer. And at $299 per year, it’s also more expensive.
We also think that LegalZoom LLC formation prices are not that competitive. We’ll get to the packages shortly, but you’ll find a lot more affordable options with competitors.
And while you do get the added service for legal advice, this may not be the best option if you expect to only require occasional advice.
- Includes a free operating agreement
- Excellent company name recognition for legal services
- One-stop-shop for LLC formation services and legal advice
- Business legal plan offers phone consultations and one copyright registration per month
- Registered agent service not included for the first year
- It’s not the cheapest option for just LLC formation
- Not suitable for once-off legal help
The LegalZoom LLC service is broken down into three packages, and we’ve also listed out a sample legal service for trademark filing.
Keep in mind that the state filing fees can range from $50 to $500, depending on the state you’re registering in.
1. Economy ($79 + filing fees)
• Business Name Search
To avoid having to refile, LegalZoom will first do a check whether your chosen business name is still available for the state you’re registering in. It’s an important step to avoid delays and refiling fees.
It also avoids running into trouble over trademarked names and should always be the first check performed by LLC services.
• Preparation And Filing Of Articles Of Organization
These are what define your business as a legal entity, including ownership and the rules under which you will be operating. This is an important document and essentially creates your LLC.
• Customer Support
We’ve heard some good things about the customer support responsiveness, with most people happy with the problem resolutions offered.
• Financial Account Authorization Letter
This defines who is allowed to set up a business bank account, and it’s a step that you need in order to get all your banking matters set up.
The one thing that’s missing here is the registered agent service, which many competitors include for free in the first year. You are able to get it for an additional cost of $299, but that’s also quite a bit more than other companies charge.
It’s what you call paying for a brand name and reputation.
2. Standard ($329 + filing fees)
This seems to be the more popular LLC service option from LegalZoom, and it includes everything from the Economy package plus these services.
• VIP Expedited Processing
The main thing that you’re paying for here is the expedited processing that means LegalZoom will put your order at the top of their internal queue.
It doesn’t ensure that your application is handled quicker by the state authorities, but it could mean a difference of a week or two, depending on how busy the LegalZoom teams are.
• Deluxe Organizer
This is a nice touch and gives you your first branded organizer with your business name on it. If you like keeping all this legal documentation safe and tidy, then this will definitely help.
• Membership Certificates
You’ll also receive 20 membership certificates, which include a seal. You could probably have these made up by a local print service, but it’s nice to have them ready to go.
3. Express Gold ($349 + filing fees)
To be honest, if you’re going to spend $329 for the Standard package, then you’ll get more value out of the Express Gold one.
It includes all the above LLC formation services plus these valuable extras.
• Rush Processing
LegalZoom commits to making your application their top priority and claims that they will complete the process in 7 to 10 business days.
I doubt you’ll get anything much faster than that, and if you’re under time pressure to get your LLC set up for pending work contracts or product orders, then this could be a good choice.
• Express Shipping
You’ll also get express delivery, which in many cases can happen overnight. It’s all designed to get your LLC certificates as quickly as possible.
Many business owners under time pressure have commented that the Express Gold package was a great option.
4. Trademark Registration ($199 + federal filing fees)
And as an example of the legal help you can take advantage of, LegalZoom offers a trademark registration service for $199 plus the federal fees. They take care of all the legal work, and you’re notified once the trademark is fully set up.
Choosing The Right Legal Services For Your Needs
With a few options to choose from, it might be a good idea to make your choice of LLC formation process based on these approaches.
1. Budget Constraint
If you’re trying to get your LLC set up on a shoestring budget, then the economy plan will do that. There are still some extras you’ll need to take care of or pay for, like your federal employer identification number and registered agent.
Keep in mind that there are other LLC formation services that are cheaper and that you’re paying for an established and recognized brand name.
2. Turn Around Time
If you want to get things done quickly and can’t afford delays in setting up your company structure, then I would recommend becoming a LegalZoom customer with the Express Gold package.
It’s only $20 more than the standard service packages, and you could have everything in place within ten days.
3. Legal Help
And if you expect to need regular support for business legal forms, legal tax advice, and even contracts, then a Business Legal Plan is a good add-on to choose from.
Is LegalZoom worth the money?
Yes, LegalZoom is worth the money if your company requires regular support with legal forms and contracts. The services also include support for trademark and copyright registrations, which would be much more expensive with a regular legal firm.
Is LegalZoom legit?
Yes, LegalZoom is legit. The business has been operating since 1999 and has become one of the most recognized brand names in the LLC formation process industry. With the added legal support from a business advisory plan, you can also keep your operating costs significantly down.
How much does it cost to start an LLC on LegalZoom?
It costs $79 plus filing fees to start an LLC on LegalZoom. This is for the most basic package, and you’ll need to add the cost of a registered agent, as well as take care of getting a TIN/EIN.
Should you use LegalZoom or do it yourself?
You should use LegalZoom rather than do it yourself if your business will require regular legal services from attorneys and tax professionals. It’s the easiest way to ensure there are no delays or refiling situations.
Have You Chosen Your LLC Formation Services?
Many new business owners choose LegalZoom for brand recognition and, more importantly, the access to affordable legal advice.
Partnering with any kind of law firm for business legal services will usually come with high retainers that are simply not affordable for the majority of startup businesses, which is why this is such an attractive service.
Pick the plan that best suits your requirements and see how the company has managed to get so many reviews with 5-stars.