LegalZoom Review 2022: Pros, Cons, and Pricing
LegalZoom is an online legal service provider that’s considered a one-stop shop for all of your legal needs. Not only is LegalZoom an excellent option for setting up a business entity, but the platform also provides legal assistance for personal, family, and intellectual property matters.
LegalZoom operates under the belief that every business and individual deserves proper legal protection at an affordable price. As a result, LegalZoom offers an independent network of qualified attorneys who offer online legal services to guide you through the process. The platform is intuitive and provides a user-friendly experience from start to finish.
Continue reading to find out if LegalZoom is the right choice for you and your business.
LegalZoom.com, Inc. is a legal services and online business formation company that enables its customers to get legal help without necessarily having to hire an attorney. The legal technology platform largely provides personalized online legal solutions and legal documents for individuals, families, and small businesses.
LegalZoom offers these online legal services at affordable prices. Packages are built to meet your specific needs and generally range from $79 to $349, with options to tack on additional services if needed. Some common add-ons include registered agent services, tax advice, and unlimited access to the legal forms and business documents library. Many businesses also opt to pay a low fixed rate for ongoing legal advice and attorney consultations.
Most customers use LegalZoom for its fast and simple LLC formation process. You are also able to apply for licenses, permits, and tax IDs with LegalZoom. But, it doesn’t end there. While Legal Zoom offers plenty of business formation help, its service offerings extend to nearly every part of your life.
Here is a quick list of additional legal forms that LegalZoom offers:
- Brand Protection Forms: Copyright registration, provisional patent application, trademark registration, search, and monitoring documents.
- Wills and Trusts: Estate planning documents, last will and testament, living trust, power of attorney, and living will.
- Family: Marriage and divorce, name change, etc.
- Real Estate Planning: Residential lease and property deed transfer
LegalZoom: The Good and The Not So Good
LegalZoom LLC is one of the industry’s top online legal services providers. But, even this company has some room for improvement. Let’s take a further look at the pros and cons of LegalZoom, so you can decide whether it’s the right provider for you and your business.
- Experience: LegalZoom was founded over 20 years ago. In that time, the online legal services company has helped over 2 million small business owners and entrepreneurs form their companies.
- Range of Service Offerings: LegalZoom is a one-stop shop for all things legal services related. Whether you have personal, professional, or business legal needs, LegalZoom can help. The platform offers a wide range of services – from business formation and intellectual property protection to registered agent services and tax contracts. This level of versatility is unmatched in the industry.
- Business Advisory: LegalZoom offers a Business Advisory Plan for business owners that want year-round attorney advice and guidance to help protect their companies. This plan is ideal for those who need ongoing help with legal forms, contracts, agreements, copyrights, etc. It’s also perfect if you want a personalized legal plan every year. This route is far more cost-effective than using LegalZoom’s one-off service every time you need assistance.
- Money-Back Guarantee: LegalZoom has a long-lasting satisfaction guarantee period where customers can get a 100% refund if unhappy with LegalZoom’s services (no questions asked).
- Extended Business Hours: LegalZoom offers generous customer support hours in comparison to many competitors. You can reach out to LegalZoom’s customer service team with questions or concerns seven days a week. Representatives are available from 9 am to 9 pm (EST) Monday through Friday and from 10 am to 7 pm on the weekends.
The Not So Good
- Expensive Service: LegalZoom is not the most affordable legal service provider available. The company offers one-off services, all priced on the higher side. For example, its basic business formation package starts at $79, plus state filing fees. The costs involved do not include advanced features or tools. There are definitely more affordable options on the market, offering the exact same service. That being said, you are paying an extremely experienced and reputable provider, which is a factor to consider.
- Multiple Upsells: In addition to its expensive one-off services, LegalZoom presents you with a series of upsells before, during, and after completing your purchase. Some of the upsells include an operating agreement and EIN, which are things that other providers include in their package selections. This makes the purchase process slow, complicated, and ultimately expensive.
- Pricey Registered Agents: LegalZoom’s Registered Agent Services are some of the most expensive in the industry. It costs around $299 every year. In comparison, many competitors offer this service free for your first year of business and charge around $100-$150 per year after that. For example, both ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent have basic packages that already include one free year of their registered agent solutions.
- Slower Turnarounds: The LegalZoom LLC formation turnaround times are slow compared to other providers. It can take LegalZoom a full 30 business days to complete the process, while some providers have your documents ready within 7 days. You can pay more for LegalZoom’s expedited service, but even that is quite slow. The fastest option takes 10 business days from start to finish.
LegalZoom strongly believes that every business deserves comprehensive legal protection. That’s why the company provides a wide range of services – all at affordable price points.
To form an LLC, there are three filing speed packages available, Economy (20 business days), Standard (10 business days), or Express Gold (2 to 5 business days). Turnaround times will largely depend on the package you purchase, along with any state-specific backlogs. If you’re in a rush the Express Gold package offers the fastest service.
If you’re unhappy with the process of service in any way, LegalZoom offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, and refunds are processed within five business days.
LegalZoom LLC Formation Prices
Economy Package: $79 plus state filing fee and an estimated 20-day completion time
- Name check and business filing
- Articles of Organization
- LLC guide
- Peace-of-Mind Review
- Lifetime customer support
- Financial account authorization letter
Standard Package: $329 plus state filing fee and an estimated 10-day completion time
- LegalZoom VIP processing
- Deluxe organizer
- Official certificates and seal
Express Gold Package: $349 plus state filing fee and an estimated 2- to 5-day completion time
- Expedited processing times (within 24 hours)
- Express shipping
LegalZoom Prepaid Legal Plan
If you want access to legal advisers from LegalZoom for more personalized legal work, there are two different options: the Legal Advantage Plus Plan and the Business Advisory Plan. You will get regular attorney consultations that last up to 30 minutes and annual legal checkups that last 1 hour.
- Legal Advantage Plus (starting at $9.99 per month)
- Business Advisory Plan (starting at $31.25 per month)
The Legal Advantage Plus Plan is best for personal legal matters. This includes estate planning (will, living trust, and financial power of attorney), family situations (marriage, divorce, and child support), finance matters (bankruptcy, contracts, legal agreements, and lawsuits), and finally employment issues (termination, compensation disputes, and employment contracts).
The Business Advisory Plan Plan will provide you with personalized legal help and a unique business legal plan for a low monthly fee. This plan also includes reviews for contracts, agreements, business formation forms, copyrights, and more. If you want year-round attorney advice for legal matters to help prevent future issues for your business, this is a great monthly plan to consider.
LegalZoom Key Features and Services
- Business registration and incorporation service: Limited liability company (LLC), Corporation (C Corp, S Corp), Sole proprietorship, Nonprofit, and general partnership
- Registered Agent Services: Dedicated registered agent (RA) to ensure your business completes required legal forms, avoids penalties, and keeps your operations in good standing.
- Annual report: You probably need to file a report every year or every two years, depending on the state and business type. If you don’t you could face fines, penalties, and possibly the loss of your liability protection. This feature creates and files the annual report for you.
- Contracts and agreements: Library of customizable and downloadable legal forms, such as independent contractor agreements, secured and unsecured lump-sum promissory notes, mutual NDAs, consulting services agreements, independent contractor NDAs, and final invoices.
- Business license: Access to all of the licenses and permits needed to legally run a business.
- Foreign qualification: Simple online questionnaire to obtain a foreign qualification in every state you will conduct business.
- Corporate amendment: Official updates to your business’s name, address, and more by filing articles of amendment with this feature.
- LZ Tax™: Business tax prep, expert tax advice, accounting solutions, bookkeeping plan, online payroll plan, and more.
- Earth Class Mail: Virtual mailbox that easily and securely turns paper documents and legal forms into high-resolution PDFs.
How to Set Up an Account With LegalZoom
LegalZoom is an excellent resource that can help you in a variety of ways, both professionally and personally. If you are considering getting legal assistance from LegalZoom, these are the steps to set up an account.
- Go to LegalZoom.com and click the ‘Sign in’ button in the upper-right corner of the screen.
- Click ‘Create your account and enter your email address and password.
- Click ‘Get legal help’ in the top-left corner of the screen and select the state you plan to establish your business in.
- Finally, you can start the Business Advisory Plan Membership for immediate and ongoing legal support for less than $50 a month.
- Solid industry experience
- Versatile range of legal service offerings
- Robust business advisory plan
- Extended customer support hours
- Lengthy money-back guarantee included in all packages
- Easy-to-use online legal services platform
- Unlimited cloud storage
- High-cost business formation pricing plans and expensive add-on services
- Multiple upsells throughout the checkout process
- The LLC formation process can take up to 30 days or longer
- Pricey registered agent services (not included in any package)
LegalZoom vs. Rocket Lawyer: Which Is Right for You
Whether you need business legal services or personal legal services, you might not want to go through the complex process of hiring a law firm (especially if it’s a simple matter).
Luckily, there are online legal services like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer that provide the legal forms required to register a business or handle a personal issue. However, small business owners and individuals just starting a business are their most popular customers.
Both LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer can help you register your business name, get proper tax IDs, and create workplace policies. Plus, the filing fees are minor compared to what you would pay using an attorney.
So, what’s the difference between the two? This LegalZoom vs. Rocket Lawyer comparison will help you determine which option is best for you.
Both LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer extensive features that mimic the services provided by an in-person law firm. While not every online resource can possibly provide every service needed, these platforms are considered on-stop shop options to get a head start on the legal form process.
Rocket Lawyer Services and Features
While Rocket Lawyer helps with the business formation process, they also provide services to help you continue to operate with all the necessary legal requirements, including additional legal documents that are want-to-haves versus must-haves.
Here are some of the key services and features Rocket Lawyer offers:
- Business incorporation
- File bankruptcy
- Manage employees
- Buy/sell a service
- Manage employees
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Independent contractor agreements
- LLC operating agreements
- Swear statements
- Update/manage a contract
LegalZoom Services and Features
LegalZoom has similar offerings to Rocket Lawyer, making it difficult to decide between the two solely based on the feature list.
Here are some of the key services and features LegalZoom offers:
- “Doing Business As” name (DBA)
- Operating agreement form
- Business name availability check
- Business name availability check and name reservation
- Federal and state tax ID (EIN)
- Trademarking search and name
- Various business licenses and legal forms
- Own registered agent service
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Independent contractor agreements
- Consulting services agreements
- Bill of sale
- Intellectual property
- Workplace benefits
LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer both offer comprehensive features, but there are some real differences in their pricing models.
Rocket Lawyer Pricing
Rocket Lawyer has limited pricing options and only offers two packages, which vary based on the amount and types of legal documents you need.
For example, all Rocket Lawyer services can be purchased individually. This is called the non-member package. You will pay per legal form or service, which is if your own business only has a few legal needs.
The premium membership costs $39.99 per month and includes:
- Various legal form options that can be signed, downloaded, shared, and printed any time and anywhere.
- 30-minute attorney consultations for new legal matters
- 25% off their registered agent service
- Free incorporation filing for new members (plus any state filing fees)
- Document Defense® with on-call lawyers
Rocket Lawyer also offers a free trial for seven days. It includes everything offered in the Premium membership package, but limits you to 3 legal documents and 1 question. This is ideal for those who have never used the platform and want to test it out before committing to a monthly membership.
LegalZoom has an entirely different pricing model. There are no memberships offered. Instead, every legal form and service is purchased on an as-needed basis.
As a reminder, the Standard package costs $99, the Premium package costs $119, and the Express Gold Package costs $349. For package details and features, re-visit the in-depth LegalZoom pricing review above.
Customer Support Comparison
Having to deal with important legal issues and documentation can be extremely stressful. Responsive and knowledgeable customer service representatives can make all the difference for any online business.
While both LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer informative support centers, there are a few key differences between the two services.
Rocket Lawyer Customer Support
Rocket Lawyer offers various resources on its site and provides excellent customer support. The company has a dedicated customer support page that discusses multiple topics like starting a business, contracts and legal forms, membership options, and technical solutions.
Further, Rocket Lawyer’s customer service options allow users to get instant help via live chat. You can also reach a representative by sending an email or calling directly (business hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 9 pm EST).
LegalZoom Customer Service
LegalZoom also has a dedicated resources page that covers things like starting an LLC, registering a trademark, managing your business, navigating business formation, and much more.
On a separate support page, you can read through FAQs, which mainly address technical issues and order/subscription-based questions. You can also contact LegalZoom customer support over the phone Monday – Friday between 9 am – 9 pm EST and Saturday-Sunday between 10 am – 7 pm EST. The only other option is to submit a question via an online form. There is no live chat feature or email address offered.
Best LegalZoom Alternatives
While LegalZoom is a well-established online legal services and business formation company, there are several other LLC formation services to choose from.
These are the best LegalZoom alternatives that can help you start a business efficiently and effectively:
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is an industry-leading company for forming an LLC. As you can tell by its name, Northwest Registered Agent is best known for its premium registered agent services, which are offered at an affordable price. The basic business formation package only costs $39 and includes a free year of the registered agent service.
Northwest Registered Agent also offers high-quality customer support and a simple business formation checkout process. Customers have unlimited access to their Corporate Guides and professionally trained U.S.-based support agents.
ZenBusiness is another excellent alternative to LegalZoom. The company offers straightforward, affordable business formation packages that start at $39 plus state fees (compared to LegalZoom which starts at $79 plus state filing fees). That includes a full year of registered agent services.
One thing to keep in mind: ZenBusiness specializes in corporation and LLC formation, while LegalZoom offers legal services beyond business formation. If you only need a basic LLC service for operating agreement and articles of organization filings, opt for ZenBusiness. But, if you need attorney advice, tax help, or access to an extensive library of legal forms, it’s best to pay the extra money and use LegalZoom.
Rocket Lawyer is another great LegalZoom alternative (read the full comparison above). The company provides high-quality legal services past business formation – all at affordable prices. This includes free incorporation services, customizable legal templates, excellent legal advice and support, and exclusive discounts on various legal services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need an LLC for My Business?
While this will depend on your business and its needs, an LLC offers several advantages, like individual protection from any legal or financial problems that your business could face. LLCs also have more options when it comes to taxes.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
You can form an LLC on your own. Every state has different regulations, which can make the process complicated. You must choose a business name that meets state requirements, designate a registered agent, prepare and file articles of organization, and create an operating agreement. You will also need to file an annual report with updated information and pay an annual filing fee to keep your LLC active.
This can all be done yourself, but an LLC formation service provider will help you set everything up and get your important documents in order.
Is LegalZoom Legit?
Yes, LegalZoom is a legit online technology company that specializes in legal services. Most of the LegalZoom reviews are well-rated across the top review sites. Additionally, LegalZoom has an average rating of 4 stars on Trustpilot, ConsumerAffairs, and the Better Business Bureau.
Is LegalZoom Worth It?
LegalZoom is considered by many as the best LLC service. This is a well-known and established legal services company used by many small business owners. LegalZoom is a good option for both professional legal guidance and LLC formation services.
Is LegalZoom Free?
No, LegalZoom is not free. Like many other LLC services, LegalZoom offers multiple pricing plans and tiers of service. The Economy package ($79 + state filing fees), Standard Package ($329 + state filing fees), and Express Gold Package ($349 + state filing fees) are all available options for LegalZoom’s LLC service. There is also a broad range of add-on services and features that can be purchased at an additional price.
Is LegalZoom Good For Small Businesses?
Yes, LegalZoom is good for small businesses. With affordable prices and easy-to-use online incorporation services, LegalZoom is a one-stop shop for a small business’s legal needs. LegalZoom’s services extend beyond the LLC formation process. Small business owners can get a business advisory plan, business bank account, registered agent, legal forms, and all the legal help they need.
For almost 20 years, LegalZoom has provided people with the legal assistance they need when starting a business. So, if you’re a business owner looking for an LLC formation service and online legal service, LegalZoom is an excellent option to consider.
From online filings to a business advisory plan, LegalZoom makes the process efficient and straightforward for their customers. The service provides you with plenty of resources to streamline the process including legal forms, a registered agent service, customer support, federal tax ID options, and more.
Overall, LegalZoom is a great choice for anyone wishing to form a small business LLC. This is a premium service that’s much more affordable than using an actual lawyer.