When starting a large or small business, legal services from a law firm are a necessity. However, most of the regular legal aides you can get these days are often very expensive. Unlike the norm, LegalZoom is a one-stop-shop of sorts for all reasonable services fees for businesses.
In this LegalZoom review, our experts take a critical look at the company.
Experience and Track Record
LegalZoom has been around as a legal help provider since 2001. With about two decades of experience, this company is one of the oldest in the industry. It has worked with upwards of four million customers, helping large and small business owners easily navigate the intricaces of starting a new business. Judging by many positive reviews, it’s not hard for our experts to conclude that the company can satisfy LLC business owners.
It really shouldn’t be difficult for LegalZoom to meet your needs as a new business owner with this much LLC experience.
LegalZoom LLC Packages and Pricing
Like many other LLC service companies including the InCorp company, LegalZoom functions based on a tiered structure. The three main tiers of LegalZoom’s LLC formation services are Economy, Standard, and Express Gold. Additionally, LegalZoom offers (legal) add-ons for large and small businesses. To give you a better understanding of the formation packages, our experts did a breakdown of their features in this LegalZoom review.
The lowest LegalZoom LLC offer is $79 plus filing fees which is the Economy package. It costs $79 plus state filing fees to purchase LegalZoom Economy for small businesses. You wouldn’t get legal help rushed to meet your request. At least, not earlier than 30 business days after placing an LLC order. In some states, LLC formation services might even take longer. A well-known example is California that requires more time to process your state LLC registration.
Other features included in the LegalZoom LLC formation package are Financial Account Authorization Letter, Articles of organization, Business filing & name check, and lifetime customer service.
Meanwhile, the Standard Package costs $329 plus state filing fees. It includes everything in the LLC Economy package ($79 plus filing fees), like the articles of organization. However, it adds a corporate kit to the mix. Aside from LLC formation services, other features included in the LegalZoom Standard package are 20 member certificates which are customized to include your company’s legal information for your members. They also include a personalized binder and a company seal which adds a more official look to your legal plan, legal forms, legal documents, and agreements.
Lastly, the Express Gold Package for an LLC costs $349 plus state filing fees. The major advantage it offers is faster processing for LLC legal documents due to express shipping and rush processing options. For example, you can have LLC documents shipped within two days. You can also enjoy next-day shipping at a discounted rate for your LLC formation documents.
If you are looking for other LLC registered agent service provider with competitive formation packages, you can check our CorpNet review here.
Legal Services and Consultations
LegalZoom, like any other legal services, has a host of services it offers. It splits its services into three main parts: Business, LegalZoom Wills, Trust, & Family, and Attorney (lawyer) Advice.
Unlike Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom offers online legal services that range from LLC formation services to taxes and legal permits. It also helps to protect your trademark and assists in ensuring you’re in the best position of compliance with your state laws.
In Wills, Trust, & Family, as you can imagine, LegalZoom assists you with estate planning. It also helps you with a legal plan for marriage and divorce. Finally, it gives legal help to ensure smooth running with regards to your real estate dealings and financial well-being.
In Attorney Advice, LegalZoom provides an audience with a trained and qualified attorney/lawyer online for a legal plan or business advisory plan. You can also obtain different attorney/lawyer services like legal documents, legal forms, contract drafting, and web terms and conditions.
EIN/Tax Identification Number
Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a special 9-digit number. The Internal Revenue Service assigns this number to your LLC after you’ve applied for it. As an LLC owner, you need this number for different reasons. Among others, you need an EIN to apply for business licenses and other business-related matters. It is also a requirement for opening a company or business bank account and filing your tax returns.
Applying for an EIN yourself can be a long and tedious process. Many large and small businesses often want to save themselves the trouble of doing this so they usually outsource it. With LegalZoom, you can be assisted and have legal advice in filing for your EIN.
You should note that LegalZoom no longer offers it as a part of their LLC formation packages. Instead, you’ll have to pay for the service fees separately as an add-on.
Business Name Check
One of the most important tasks to do when forming an LLC is coming up with an LLC name. The name serves as one of the most concrete parts of your brand. However, besides the mental effort required to create a name, you also need to ensure that your LLC name is unique.
Different states in the US have different laws regarding business names and rights protection. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should copy anyone else’s business name and shouldn’t sound similar.
The only way to achieve this is to do an LLC business name check yourself. But, going through the websites of all fifty secretaries of states in the US is a lot of work. So, to save yourself the work, you can have LegalZoom do it for your LLC as they already know how a business name can be reserved. The best part is that it comes with no extra fees to you.
Trademark registration is remotely similar to a company name check. In setting up your brand, you’ll need logos, taglines, names, etc. All these are fairly hard to come up with and anyone can steal these branding materials and call it theirs.
LegalZoom’s trademark registration services help you to prevent this from happening. After doing a business name search and certifying your name is unique, they can help you register your trademark with a legal plan. That way, it becomes yours legally for your business.
With a legal help, no one would be able to steal it and say it’s theirs. If they do, they’ll likely have their business legal plan application rejected by their state.
A banking resolution is an important part of business legal plan in any company. It is beneficial for corporations, whether they’re profit-oriented or not. It is a document that’s drafted and adopted by a company’s Board of Directors or members. Its purpose is to define the responsibilities, relationships, and privileges of the company’s members concerning the business’s banking needs.
Like many other important LLC formation documents, it can be stressful to process and follow up this yourself. LegalZoom can take the responsibility off your hands, as they offer it as part of their services.
Turnaround Time of LegalZoom
The turnaround is how long it would take LegalZoom to complete your request or service. This depends on two major factors. The first being the state that you’ll be doing business in, and the second is the LLC package you subscribed to.
With regards to the first condition, different states finish the job at different times. For some states in the US, you can expect your LLC formation service request fulfilled in fifteen days or less. For others, you might be looking at thirty business days to get your LLC formation service. However, in places like California and New York, you can expect it to take even longer than that. Outside their expedited filing service, there isn’t much that LegalZoom can do to control the government.
For the second condition, LegalZoom can help you increase speed in areas they have control. For example, if you subscribe to their Express Gold package, you can expect to have legal forms or documents shipped in two days, equally with Rocket Lawyer premium plan. You can even get next business day shipping for less than $10 fees.
Overall, in this review, our experts noticed that LegalZoom doesn’t waste time providing any service. LegalZoom LLC formation service gets things done as swiftly as possible when and where necessary.
LegalZoom Additional Services
Besides the legal service and business advisory plan for LLC, LegalZoom offers other services.
One of the most important is their registered agent service. As you might know already, LLCs in the US need to have a registered agent service provider in their state. This registered agent service provider can be an individual or organization. Regardless, the registered agent will receive state correspondence for your LLC formation. LegalZoom offers this service separate from their legal plan and business advisory plan for annual fees of $159.
You can also purchase an operating agreement for your business formation. The document offers a form of clarity that will help guide your members’ functions, responsibilities, and roles.
As our expert team reviews LegalZoom, they noticed that unlike Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom doesn’t give one year of free registered services. However, considering the quality of the registered agent service, this could still be acceptable.
Ease of Use
Using LegalZoom is as easy as it gets. The company’s website will likely be your first interaction with the business. LegalZoom is designed properly with the users in mind. It allows you to move through the next steps of your state registration without confusion. The same applies when you want to pay your state LLC form filing fees.
Just like with Rocket Lawyer, placing an order in LegalZoom takes an equally easy form. However, do note that people have expressed discomfort with the company’s upsells while filling the form. However, it’s still fairly helpful and easy to get through the entire application form in only a few minutes.
This is one of the LegalZoom’s best features backed with positive reviews. Others within the industry do not offer any satisfaction guarantee like LegalZoom. They can simply take your filing fees, and you can only hope for the best afterward.
However, this is far from the truth with LegalZoom. For this review, our experts found that LegalZoom offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on your filing fees. If you’re not satisfied with any form of their services within the first sixty days, you can get a refund of your filing fees. This is useful when you want to start a business on a budget.
There’s the possibility that you’d have started using the LegalZoom LLC formation package and service before asking to refund your fees. As soon as you make that request, you can have your filing fees’ refund prorated. This LegalZoom’s 60-day money-back guarantee is just about the longest in the industry and many other brands cannot compete with it like Rocket Lawyer with only 30-day money-back guarantee.
One more thing our experts found interesting is the LegalZoom customer service team. The LLC formation company easily boasts of customer service professionals. Similar to Active Filings LLC formation service, the LegalZoom customer service professionals can help your business attend to questions or concerns regarding LegalZoom LLC formation. What’s more is that the customer service/customer support team is available longer than other LLC formation companies. Some LLC formation service companies close LLC every Friday. However, LegalZoom LLC formation goes a step further and makes itself available on weekends too.
Apart from all these, LegalZoom offers a well-known lifetime customer service feature. It doesn’t matter if you made your business formation order two weeks ago or two decades ago. LegalZoom will always be available to help you.
It’s helpful to note that some LegalZoom reviews have shown dissatisfaction with time delay. In particular, people looking to form an LLC don’t like the process of waiting for customer support to answer the phone. But, with a large LLC formation company like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer, this slight time delay to form an LLC is only natural.
LegalZoom Customer Reviews
Checking online for LegalZoom customer reviews will show you mixed reactions from people looking to form an LLC. In summary, LegalZoom got a review of 3.9/5 stars online on Consumer Affairs. The LegalZoom LLC formation also bagged a review of 4.1/5 stars online on TrustPilot.
Many customers who have used LegalZoom legal plan services would highly recommend it as they left reviews highlighting their satisfaction with the form. Customers have showed their satisfaction with the online business legal advice and services of LegalZoom. Those who have used LegalZoom also didn’t have any issues in the process of working with a lawyer in their state. However, some reviews also outlined a few problems with the company’s lawyer acquisition fees, among others.
LegalZoom isn’t the only player in the online lawyer provision business. If you’re looking for a law firm you can work with instead, you can go for ZenBusiness or Rocket Lawyer. These companies also have a reputation for providing great LLC formation services. They complete the process of getting a lawyer and state LLC registration at reasonable filing fees. However, you should note that ZenBusiness and Rocket Lawyer do not have as many additional services as LegalZoom as it offers the regular bare minimum of working with a lawyer.
Is LegalZoom worth the money?
Yes, LegalZoom is worth the money. While other businesses touted as the best cost significantly less, LegalZoom gives you the best value for your money and filing fees and is less expensive than Rocket Lawyer.
Is LegalZoom legitimate?
Yes, LegalZoom is legitimate. LegalZoom has existed for nearly two decades and it has a lot of credibility in the form of customer reviews.
LegalZoom Review Conclusion
LegalZoom is one of the best and longest existing online legal services you’ll find. In this Legal Zoom review, our experts found a range of options that will be useful to businesses in their first year or over time. These cover the best of everything from business formation to legal services. What’s even more impressive is their satisfaction guarantee, which lasts sixty days and happens to be the best in the industry. The final part of their repertoire is lifetime customer support. If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced company, you might as well go for LegalZoom.