As a leading legal tech service provider for over 20 years, LegalZoom has been disrupting the traditional legal market and helping their customers with LLC formation, registered agent services, copyright protection and much more, through a simple online format.
They are a one-stop solution for businesses in need of legal protection and coverage, accounting, full compliance and assistance in business documentation handling. LegalZoom also handles personal services such as will testaments, divorce, trusts and more.
- Over 20 years in the business
- LLC formation, RA services, intellectual property (IP) protection and more
- One-stop solution for all business-related legal needs
- Legal protection and compliance for your business
- Peace of mind with no need for prior experience or knowledge of business legalities
- Personal/family legal services
In our LegalZoom review below we’ve covered their entire service offerings along with an overview of their pricing structure to help you decide if they are the right choice for your business or personal legal needs.
PROCESSING TIME: 5-14 days + state processing time
- Great reputation
- Long time in the industry
- Well-tiered pricing structure
- Total compliance feature
- Peace of mind reminders
- A complete offering
- Dedicated attorney support
- Pricier than their competitors
- Well-segmented though complicated pricing structure
- Possible hidden fees, review plans carefully
LegalZoom Company Profile and Background - Is LegalZoom a Legit Company?
LegalZoom was founded by Brian S. Lee, Brain Liu, Edward Hartman and Robert Shapiro in 2001 as a disruptive online service that will challenge traditional legal consultation by offering online solutions for people who don’t want to pay high premiums for legal services. They are a legit company with a score of A+ from the Better Business Bureau and plenty of online reviews that go into detail about customer experiences. We even have them featured among the best LLC services and the best registered agent service.
All in all, LegalZoom mainly caters to businesses with relatively straightforward legal needs. Complex legal situations may still require a dedicated lawyer in order to be set up correctly, however, for an online legal services provider, LegalZoom does a great job. They work with a pool of accredited attorneys and can help you get many legal documents and filings in order for a fraction of the cost of traditional legal counsel.
We advise that you familiarize yourself with their complete service offerings in order to understand their pricing structure and avoid hidden fees. Our overview is a great place to find out what you may need so that you can get started with LegalZoom on the right foot.
Who is LegalZoom for?
Designed for people running mainly SMEs, LegalZoom provides a plethora of legal services for people who are either forming an LLC, looking for a registered agent, copyright protection along with many related legal services revolving around business formation and legal administration. They also offer services to people who wish to start a nonprofit, small business owners, aid for businesses starting a corporation and personal legal requirements such as wills, trusts and divorce.
Most people who are forming an LLC, naturally, do not understand all the legalities of running a business and require legal counseling in order to avoid penalties, fines or prosecution. LegalZoom can provide this assistance for a fraction of the cost of traditional legal counseling, helping you stay compliant and on top of all the required legal documentation without the headache.
How Exactly Can LegalZoom Help You - What Services do they Offer?
LegalZoom categorizes their legal services into three categories: 1. Business, 2. Wills, Trusts & Family and 3. Attorney Advice. Here’s a full list of their current offering:
LegalZoom Business Services
Forming Your Business
Corporate Changes and Filings
Trademark, Patent, and Copyright
Taxes, Licenses, and Permits
Legal Forms and Agreements
Additional Business Services
LegalZoom Will, Trusts and Family Law Services
Estate Planning Products
Marriage and Divorce
LegalZoom Attorney Advice Service
Speak with an Attorney
LegalZoom’s Flagship Services Overview
As a company known primarily for business registration and legal business administration services, LegalZoom’s primary offering, and what they excel at, is legal tech services catering to business owners or soon-to-be business owners.
Their core offer is well-structured and broken into tiers which we have laid out below. Given that they offer so many varying services with similar costs, we have noticed that it can be somewhat confusing and complicated to understand LegalZoom’s pricing structure. We advise everyone to carefully review the plan of their choosing to ensure that you’re only paying for the services you need.
LegalZoom’s LLC formation packages:
Forming an LLC through LegalZoom starts at $0 with state filing fees. Their first “Basic” tier includes everything you need to form an LLC if you’re willing to do the paperwork yourself. This introductory tier offers the required Articles of Organization document, needed to officially register your LLC in your state, it also includes a name check service, a digital welcome pack with a step-by-step checklist to follow after your LLC is officially registered and it even gets you going with Wix so that you can set up your business website right away.
Their “Basic” plan includes:
- Articles of organization
- Name check service
- Business filing service
- Digital welcome packet
- Customizable website powered by Wix
- Email & chat support
If you need more assistance, their first paid “Pro” tier comes in at $249 + state filing fees and it offers everything that’s included in the Basic tier plus an operating agreement that’s needed so that you can set entity guidelines and settle disputes, an employer identification number (EIN) required for tax filing, business bank accounts and hiring. Also included is an in-depth guide to business licenses for your location and industry, and phone consultations with specialists about business insurance and taxes during the initial period.
Their “Pro” plan includes:
- Everything in the Basic plan listed above
- An operating agreement
- An EIN (employee identification number)
- A Guide to business licenses
- Phone consultations with specialists during the initial period
- Phone support
For a little extra LegalZoom offers guided assistance from an experienced attorney so that all of the required paperwork gets filed correctly. This service is included in the final “Premium” tier that costs $299 + state filing fees. The Premium plan comes with everything included in the Pro tier and it offers experienced attorney support with hands-on guidance which you can choose based on state, years of experience and rating. It also includes unlimited 30-minute attorney consultations during the first 30 days and you can make any required changes to your LLC formation documents within the first 30 days free of charge. Premium is a peace-of-mind choice that helps you get everything in order without having to pay for legal advice separately.
Their “Premium” plan includes:
- Everything in the Pro plan listed above
- Directed guidance from an experienced attorney
- Unlimited 30-minute consultations during the first 30 days
- Any required changes to documents within the first 30 days
- One entity amendment with rush service included for 30 days
- One copyright registration
- Library of customizable legal forms - 30 day subscription
LegalZoom LLC Formation Processing Times
It can take anywhere from 5 to 14 business days + state processing time for an LLC to get registered. This of course varies by state and it’s important to take into consideration possible holidays and heavier volumes at the beginning and end of the year which can prolong this process.
Peace-of-Mind With the Help of Experts
Ensuring complete compliance in regards to tax laws, state and federal laws and other compliance guidelines, LegalZoom’s team of experienced attorneys can provide much needed support during complex periods such as LLC formation without the costs associated with a traditional legal firm. They can handle and prepare the required documentation, agreements, contracts, and they even offer RA services.
Registered Agent Services
For $249/year, LegalZoom can take the role of and get you a Registered Agent (RA) and handle your legal correspondence and mail, so that you have more time to focus on your business. Having an RA is required in most states and LegalZoom provides a solid service with an abundance of useful features on top. Keep in mind that this isn’t included in their LLC formation services and has to be paid for separately if you wish for LegalZoom to be your RA.
LegalZoom’s Registered Agent Services include:
- Alerts whenever they receive important mail on your behalf
- Access to LegalZoom’s Compliance Calendar (priced at $69 standalone) which has integrated email reminders about critical tax and annual report deadlines
- Unlimited cloud storage for all of your important business documentation
- If you’re switching your RA, LegalZoom will take care of all the paperwork with your state free of charge.
Copyright Protection, Trademark Registration and More
LegalZoom also offers plenty of services related to IP security, copyright protection, patent protection, etc. Here’s a list of their offerings along with the current price for each service:
- Attorney-led trademark protection - $599 + federal fees
- Comprehensive trademark search - $199
- Trademark monitoring - $175/year
- Copyright registration - starts at $ $114 + filing fees
- Provisional patent application - $199 + filing fees
- Utility patent - step one starts at $699, step two starts at $2700 + filing fees
Online Lawyer Services
On top of their business-related offerings, LegalZoom provides plenty of legal-support services related to family law and general attorney advice. LegalZoom offers help and administrative legal support in the formation of living and last wills, estate planning, financial and healthcare power of attorney as well as the formation of a living trust. These services have varying costs, but they are still many times cheaper than traditional legal counsel.
Customer Support Channels and Client Satisfaction
LegalZoom offers many contact and customer service channels such as email, chat and phone, and depending on the service you sign up for, you could even expect dedicated attorney phone support. They are very confident in their service offering that they even provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
How LegalZoom Compares to the Competition - LegalZoom Alternatives
LegalZoom vs Rocket Lawyer
Both Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom offer similar services in regards to the LLC formation process and general family legal matters. They are however structured differently when it comes to pricing. Given that Rocket Lawyer offers its services through a monthly membership model it could be hard to justify if all you’re in need of is a one time set-up.
On the other hand, if you believe that you’ll require numerous adjustments and changes to your documentation and filings in a period longer than the first 30 days, LegalZoom may cost you more.
LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness doesn’t offer the level of service available from LegalZoom. They can get your LLC up and running by helping you with legal documentation but they don’t offer the level of legal counsel and support that you get from LegalZoom. If you’re confident in your understanding and only need help with basic filing, ZenBusiness may be a cheaper option. They offer RA services and EIN registration like LegalZoom, but are simply a less holistic solution overall.
LegalZoom vs IncFile
Compared to LegalZoom, IncFile is a solid choice with very similar services. Their mid-tier offer is slightly cheaper and they even offer free RA services for the first year. LegalZoom on the other hand still has a broader spectrum of services and in-depth legal support making it a better choice for peace-of-mind. Overall, pricing for both is quite similar with LegalZoom being slightly more expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is LegalZoom Free?
LegalZoom offers a $0 option that can get your LLC up and running. You’ll have to do the paperwork yourself and their support is very limited, however you do get access to the documents and steps you need to take to get your LLC formed. You will have to pay state filing fees however.
Is LegalZoom a Monthly Subscription?
Regarding LLC formation, no. They offer 3 tiers with varying levels of support which they provide for a fixed sum starting at $0, then $249 and $299 + state filing fees.
How Do I Get My Money Back from LegalZoom?
For refunds, you’ll have to contact LegalZoom’s customer care team at (888) 379-0854. They’re available from Monday to Friday at 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT and on Weekends from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.
How Secure is LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is legit and they’ve been in the business for over 20 years offering legal support for millions of clients.