Our LegalZoom LLC Services Review
LegalZoom is an online legal service that makes it simple to start your business. The setup is easy to use and typically more affordable than conventional lawyer services. In this LegalZoom review, we are going to cover the company’s LLC service.
Here are some services LegalZoom offers the new business owner:
- Business formation services
- Custom legal documents
- Trademark registration, applying for a patent, and copyright protection
- Tax advice
- Legal guidance and review of legal documents
LegalZoom has been operating for two decades and has helped millions of clients with legal solutions for their businesses. The company also provides legal services for individuals, such as wills and trusts.
Read on for an in-depth LegalZoom review.
How to Use the LegalZoom LLC Service
Whether you are just starting or expanding an existing business, forming an LLC with LegalZoom is simple with this three-step plan:
- Complete the LegalZoom LLC questionnaire. It has multiple options, such as forming a new LLC or converting an existing business, such as a sole proprietorship or partnership, into an LLC.
- LegalZoom files your LLC documents. LegalZoom creates LLC documents such as Articles of Organization, which they file with your Secretary of State or other required state agency.
- LegalZoom receives your approved Articles of Organization and sends them back to you, along with other documents and instructions on the launch and management of your LLC.
Services and Packages
Here are some options a LegalZoom customer can choose from:
LegalZoom LLC Formation Economy Package
An LLC protects you from business liabilities while having simpler record-keeping rules than a corporation.
This service starts at $79 plus state fees. With state fees, the sum can easily reach $130 or more. Often, these expenses are tax-deductible.
Note that the bare-bones LLC formation service doesn’t include features such as EIN (Employer Identification Number) and Operating Agreement.
Economy orders are the slowest LLC formation option. LegalZoom will usually ship all orders within 30 business days, but there is no guaranteed time frame. Additionally, state processing times may cause a significant delay.
Best for: The customer who only needs the LLC essentials and doesn’t have a set deadline for their business registration.
LegalZoom LLC Standard Package
A Standard LLC package with LegalZoom will cost you $329 plus state fees. Besides the essential services of the Economy package, this option includes a corporate kit featuring:
- A personalized binder with your business name
- A company seal for official business documents
- 20 customized member certificates
The major benefit of this package, however, is that your documents will be filed much more quickly than with the Economy package.
Best for: A customer who wants a quick LLC service and doesn’t mind the extra price.
LegalZoom LLC Express Gold Package
At a starting price of $349, the Express Gold package is one of the costliest options LegalZoom offers. The primary advantage of this premium package is a super-quick order process: usually, Express Gold orders process within 7 to 10 business days.
The standard shipping time for business documents is two business days with Express Gold. If you want the order to proceed faster, you can purchase next-day shipping for an additional fee.
State and federal agencies will also process Express Gold orders more quickly, but it will cost you $50 to $100 more than the standard state filing fees. In total, an Express Gold package can easily exceed $400 plus state fees.
Best for: For most business owners, the LegalZoom Express Gold package is an unnecessary expense. It is best for customers who need to form their LLC extra fast and are prepared to pay for it.
Unlike competing LLC formation services, LegalZoom has basic service packages without many additional features. Customers have to pay extra if they need:
- Federal Tax ID (EIN): $79
- Operating Agreement: $99
- Operating Agreement and EIN: $159
- Operating Agreement + EIN + a license search: $199
- Registered agent service: $299/year
Business Advisory Plan
The LegalZoom business advisory plan includes:
- Contract and agreement review up to 10 pages. This is important for legal documents, such as service agreements, statements of work, NDAs, and more.
- Legal advice. Launch and run your business with maximum protection and minimum taxes according to your state’s laws.
- Forms, Copyrights, and More. This gives you access to all the legal forms from the LegalZoom library and one copyright registration per month. It is an excellent perk for businesses that need to protect original works such as books, music, and photography.
The Business Advisory plan provides a safety net of legal advice for your business. You can select one of the attorneys that specialize in the relevant practice area (Business Formation, Intellectual Property, etc.), schedule a consultation time, and receive a phone call from a lawyer who will counsel you on the legal matter in question.
It’s important to note that the service includes a lawyer consultation on new legal matters, meaning a specific legal issue or document you haven’t discussed with a LegalZoom attorney before.
The Business Advisory plan has two subscription options: 6 months and 12 months. The 12-month option has a lower monthly cost ($31.25 per month vs. $36 per month with a 6-month plan) and includes an annual business evaluation service.
Registered Agent Services
A registered agent is an entity you appoint to accept official mail and service of process on your company’s behalf. Most states require a business to have an RA. You can be your own registered agent, but many business owners choose to outsource this job.
The Registered Agent service from LegalZoom gives you:
- Important business mail alerts and reviews
- Email reminders about tax and annual report deadlines according to a Compliance Calendar
- Credit monitoring for your business and $1M in identity theft protection
- Unlimited secure cloud storage for all your important business documents and reviews
- Hassle-free switch from another RA service, including state paperwork and transition fees
Almost all LegalZoom registered agent reviews state that other companies offer this service at a more reasonable price or even include it for free in a new business first-year package. Still, you may decide to sign up if you like working with LegalZoom and appreciate this company’s long-standing reputation.
Intellectual Property Protection
LegalZoom offers services for protecting intellectual property: trademarks (names, slogans, and logos), copyright (original creative work), and patents. The latter include a design patent (the way a product looks) or a utility patent (how an invention works).
Trademark registration allows you to protect your business name, slogan, or logo. Once you register a trademark, you have exclusive rights to your brand names and can sue entities for unauthorized use.
Registering a trademark with LegalZoom is a simple three-step process:
- Fill out a form on the LegalZoom website
- LegalZoom will look into it and report back
- Once you approve, LegalZoom will file your trademark documents with the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office). Typically, trademark decisions take three to six months.
This basic trademark service costs $249 + federal filing fees. To date, LegalZoom has handled 320,000+ trademark applications.
LegalZoom also offers its customers an upgraded trademark registration option with an attorney’s help. This service costs $599 and comes with a LegalZoom guarantee, meaning that if your first mark is rejected, you can register a different mark without an additional fee.
Statistically, working with an attorney gives you a 94% chance of success in registering your trademark.
Copyright registration has a similar purpose to a trademark: protecting your work so that competitors can’t profit from it. However, copyright focuses on creative work such as books, songs, photographs, films, and other forms of tangible art.
Copyright registration with LegalZoom is straightforward. After you answer a few questions and upload a copy of the work you want to copyright, LegalZoom puts your application together and files it with the U.S. Copyright office. You will also receive a delivery confirmation once the Library of Congress receives a copy of your work.
Copyrighting your work with LegalZoom will cost you $114 + federal filing fees. To date, LegalZoom has handled over 650,000 intellectual property filings and 90,000 copyright applications.
Customer LegalZoom Reviews
LegalZoom has varying customer reviews. Many people like LegalZoom and state that the company has provided the necessary legal information and helped them form their businesses in a quick, affordable way.
Satisfied LegalZoom clients enjoy the easy-to-navigate website that enables them to get several things done in one visit.
Most of LegalZoom’s negative reviews focus on poor customer service. People have complained of a long time it takes to reach a company representative in the LegalZoom customer service center. Many customers have also reported glitches in the LegalZoom mobile app. Other LegalZoom clients have complained in reviews about delays in business filing.
On average, most LegalZoom reviews rate the service at 3.5-4 stars.
Pros and Cons of Using LegalZoom
An established service with a customer satisfaction guarantee
In operation since 2001, LegalZoom is an established, reputable, web-based legal service. Over a million customers have used LegalZoom for LLC services and other legal business matters. Starting a business with LegalZoom is easy.
LegalZoom has a satisfaction guarantee policy. If you aren’t satisfied with the service, you can ask for a refund within 60 days. You’ll also be eligible for a prorated refund if you cancel your membership at any point.
All-inclusive legal business plan
If you need regular access to attorneys, LegalZoom is one of the least expensive options on the market. The business plan includes:
- Attorney consultations via phone
- Document reviews
- Tax advice
- Annual business evaluation (to ensure legal compliance)
- One copyright registration per month
While LegalZoom offers U.S.-based phone customer support Monday through Saturday and email support 24/7, some customer service feedback includes complaints about unsatisfactory customer support, long hold times, and delays in the business formation process.
Expensive business formation
While some competitors offer business formation services for free (plus filing fees), LegalZoom business formation prices start from $79 plus filing fees.
Best as an ongoing service, not one-time help
Some LegalZoom services are only available to customers who opt for the monthly business legal plan. If you need one-time help, other platforms might be a better choice.
Is LegalZoom Right for You?
LegalZoom is one of the first, most experienced, and best-known online legal services. Most LegalZoom reviews agree that it will answer your legal business needs such as LLC formation, creating custom legal documents, and law advisory services.
If your business doesn’t have an in-house legal department and you only need occasional legal help, LegalZoom offers excellent value compared to a conventional law firm.
While some LegalZoom reviews complain of inadequate customer support, many customers highly recommend LegalZoom for all legal business services. Some LegalZoom competitors offer more affordable packages, but LegalZoom will still cost you a lot less than hiring a lawyer.
LLC Formation Alternatives to LegalZoom
If you believe that the legal business service packages of LegalZoom don’t quite meet your business needs or don’t offer enough value, there are several alternative LLC formation options you can look into.
Rocket Lawyer offers a quicker order processing time (15-20 days with Rocket Lawyer vs. 30 with LegalZoom), free law advisory service via email, unlimited access to its legal templates library, and more comprehensive customer support that includes live chat.
If you need funding for your business, you might want to check out Inc Authority. Unlike LegalZoom, which offers a business credit package. However, Inc Authority doesn’t provide personal services or the extent of coverage for intellectual property matters that LegalZoom does.
If you want to save some money on registered agent services, look into BizFilings. While LegalZoom charges an annual fee of $299 for registered agent service, BizFilings offers the same service for $164 per year. BizFilings also includes six months of registered agent service in all their LLC formation packages.
CorpNet makes its registered agent service even more affordable. They charge only $149 per year for this service and include a year of coverage in their advanced LLC formation packages. However, some of their other legal services are pricier than LegalZoom’s.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is LegalZoom legit?
Yes. LegalZoom has provided LLC services and other legal help to over 4 million customers to date. It’s one of the oldest and most reputable companies of its kind.
Does LegalZoom provide any guarantees?
According to the company’s terms of service, LegalZoom does not guarantee the suitability, accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of its legal forms. While LegalZoom provides legal help, it is not a lawyer. Rather, LegalZoom helps you get the power of attorney to register and protect your business.
Can I register my business without an LLC service like LegalZoom?
Yes, you can take care of your LLC formation by yourself. However, using LegalZoom will save you considerable time and energy. In addition, some states have advanced LLC formation requirements which, results in more work for you if you decide to tackle it yourself.
Do I have to be a United States resident or citizen to form a limited liability company?
Practically anyone can form a limited liability company. You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen or resident, or even physically be in the U.S., to create an LLC.
How much does it cost to form and operate an LLC?
The filing and annual fees vary among states. Filing fees range from $40 to $500, with a national average of $132. Some states, like Arizona and Idaho, have no annual LLC fees, while California LLCs have to pay an annual fee of $800.
Is my personal information safe with LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is highly sensitive to personal privacy and data security. They have detailed internal policies to keep your personal data safe from unauthorized access and use. Legal Zoom has a privacy team dedicated to protecting its clients’ personal information.
How long does LLC formation take with LegalZoom?
Apart from the package you choose, this would depend on your state and how quickly it processes business filings. LLC formation may take longer if you file at the beginning or end of the year when the filing volume is typically heavier.
Other than LLC formation services, what else does Legal Zoom offer?
Apart from LLC, LegalZoom supplies a wide range of business and personal legal services, including S-corp and C-corp formation services, trademark and copyright, taxes and permits, business compliance, real estate, wills, living trust, business reviews, and more.
Does LegalZoom offer refunds?
LegalZoom gives refunds in some instances. To request a refund, get in touch with the LegalZoom customer support center.
We hope you found this LegalZoom LLC review helpful. You can find more LegalZoom reviews on customer feedback websites such as BBB. Visit the LegalZoom website for more information on services, pricing, and packages.