LegalZoom Review 2023
- LLC starts at $0 + state fees
- Extensive independent attorney network
- 60-day refund/replacement policy
- Mid and top-tier incorporation packages are relatively pricey
Established in 2001, LegalZoom is a tech company that provides accessible legal help to businesses and individuals. Their services focus on business formation, estate planning, and intellectual property protection.
LegalZoom’s key offering is its extensive network of experienced attorneys, from whom customers can seek individualized legal advice and support. As part of the incorporation service LegalZoom can also help you apply for business licenses or seller’s permits.
LegalZoom offer compliance services such as acting as a registered agent, filing annual reports, keeping you on track with a compliance calendar, and recording minutes on behalf of a corporation. Finally, you can grow your business with a trademark search, trademark registration, a business advisory plan, and a multitude of legal forms and agreements.
I found their incorporation services to be quite pricey. For comparison, ZenBusiness offers its Pro Package (everything you need to launch your business) for $199, while LegalZoom offers a similar Pro Package for $249.
For individuals, LegalZoom can assist with setting up legal documents for an estate, including last wills and testaments, living trusts, a living will, and drawing up power of attorney documents. You can find resources for pre-nuptial agreements, divorce, and name changes. Real Estate services include residential leases and property deed transfers.
LegalZoom also supports small businesses through its Fast Break for Small Businesses program. This includes $6 million worth of grants and services to small business owners across the country. It is run in partnership with NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League.
While we’ll be focusing on LegalZoom’s LLC formation services in this review, we’ll also take a close look at some of their complementary business services.
LegalZoom review: Ease of Use
LegalZoom gets started right away with your filing by asking you a series of questions about the business name, state, and industry type. Their sign-up process is fuss-free and easy to navigate for anyone in a hurry or with no experience in business filing.
Similar to other services in the formation of an LLC, you fill out the information about yourself and your company and then choose options. Some of the choices along the way include having LegalZoom draw up your operating agreement, ensuring you have the proper licenses required by your profession and state.
LegalZoom will try to sell you some add-ons along the way, such as a registered agent service, legal protection trial, etc. Some of those services will be beneficial for some users but not all. You can also expedite your filing while signing up for a plan.
Overall, subscribing to the incorporation service is easy and simple. And if you come across any difficulties, support is accessible via email, phone call, and chat.
LegalZoom mentions on its website a standard turnaround time of 5 to 14 days for business formation filing and this also depends on the state in which you are registering your business. Expedited filing is a lot faster with 1-day processing.
LegalZoom review: Pricing
LegalZoom provides top-tier LLC formation services with very useful features. Its plans are structured well, so the basic services are part of every package.
While their mid and top-tier plans are quite expensive in comparison to some competitors, the most basic plan only charges state filing fees. Here are some of LegalZoom’s offerings that are included in all its plans:
- State and federal name availability search
- LegalZoom Peace of Mind Review
- Articles or Certificate of Organization
- Filing and communications with the Secretary of State
- 30-minute consultation with a tax professional
- Digital welcome packet, which includes your filed paperwork, financial account authorization letter used to open a bank account, and business checklist
- Online LegalZoom account page where you can track your order
- LLC Next Steps Guide
- Customer support (email and chat)
LegalZoom pricing – Basic package
The basic package is a free service from LegalZoom for those looking for the essentials to make their business official. LegalZoom reduce the price for this package to $0 in early 2023 and aligned with the standard of other LLC filing services. The filing process takes anywhere between 5 and 14 days, which is the standard LegalZoom processing period. The basic package also include a fully functional, professional, and customizable website builder powered by WIX.
LegalZoom pricing – Pro package
The Pro package is for those who can do most of the filing work themselves but need guidance for compliance and insurance tasks. It costs $249 plus state filing fees and includes all the (old and new) features of the Basic package, along with the following additions:
- Operating Agreement
- Personalized guide to business licenses and permits
- Financial account authorization letter
- Tax consultation with a small business specialist
- Personalized consultation with a licensed NEXT insurance agent
- Customer support (email, chat, and phone)
LegalZoom pricing – Premium package
LegalZoom’s Premium package is priced at $279 plus state filing fees. It includes every feature from the Basic and Pro packages, along with the following (new and old) additions:
- Hands-on guidance from an experienced business attorney of your choice
- Unlimited 30-minute attorney consultations (30-day subscription)
- Attorney review of your legal contracts & documents (30-day subscription)
- Changes to your LLC formation documents (within the first 30 days)
- One copyright registration per month (30-day subscription)
- Complete library of customizable legal forms (30-day subscription)
- Customers are on the priority list for processing
- Express shipping of documents (within 2 to 3 days of receiving them)
- LegalZoom discounts for other services
- LegalZoom has an agreement with Bank of America and Chase Bank to set up a business bank account. This is advertised with all plans.
- Payment can be made in installments, and the cost of business formation can be itemized on your tax return.
LegalZoom review: additional services
Registered Agent Services
LegalZoom also provides businesses with a registered agent (RA) for an additional fee of $249 per year. They’re also known as an agent for service of process or a statutory agent. We find the LegalZoom registered agent to be quite pricy as you can get a similar service from ZenBusiness for just $99.
The RA receives all the legal notices and critical mail on behalf of your LLC during regular business hours. An RA also protects your personal information.
In most states, it is mandatory for businesses to assign an RA for their business. And while most companies can appoint themselves as their own RA, it can be a time-consuming process. LegalZoom offers to do it for you.
You can get an RA as an add-on service with your LLC formation plan or get one separately. LegalZoom does most of the paperwork required to change your RA, so you have more free time. LegalZoom registered agent services also include:
- Coverage of $1M in identity theft protection
- Credit monitoring through Experian
- Unlimited cloud storage for business documents
- Alerts when LegalZoom receives mail
- Email updates on critical tax and annual report deadlines
- Paperwork and fee coverage for RA switching
This service renews automatically at the same purchase rate every year. If you want to cancel it, you’ll have to call their customer support or do it online.
Doing Business As (Business Names)
Registering your business name is an add-on service from LegalZoom that costs $99 plus filing fees. A DBA is legally required for businesses that are run under a different name than the entity’s registered name or the owner’s personal name.
Customizable website builder
LegalZoom’s addition of this feature is a great help to new businesses and entrepreneurs who are yet to build their online presence. With this feature, businesses can create a professional-looking website within minutes. The website is entirely personalized and equipped with all the functionalities needed for your business.
Entrepreneurs don’t have to wait to start customizing their online presence either, as they gain immediate access to the website at the time of business formation.
Trademark and Copyright Protection
One of the more attractive offerings from LegalZoom is its range of services that cover intellectual property protection.
Here are some of the most useful ones for LLCs:
- Trademark Search ($199 to $499 depending on the scale of search)
- Trademark Registration ($599 plus federal fees)
- Trademark Monitoring ($175 per year)
- Copyright Registration ($114 plus $65 filing fees)
At a starting fee of $129 plus filing fees, this is a very helpful service for anyone looking to amend their business name and address, among other things.
LegalZoom does all the filing work for your business and creates the articles of amendment. You can also access the same service with expedited processing and express shipping at the cost of $239 plus the filing fee.
Dissolving your business formally is just as crucial as its formation. With LegalZoom, you can access this service for two pricing plans. A standard plan for $129 plus state filing fees and an expedited one for $239 plus state filing fees.
With this add-on service, LegalZoom provides you with a comprehensive list of all the licenses and permits your business will require for a starting fee of $99.99.
For starters, you get a dedicated partner that looks up all the local, county, state, and federal licenses you will need to run your business. These licenses ensure your business will not be charged with any penalties or sanctions that can result in business closure. You can apply for these licenses on your own or get professional help from LegalZoom’s attorney network.
Most states make it mandatory for businesses to file reports each year, depending on the business type. If you don’t want to lose your liability protection over an annual report, opting for LegalZoom’s services may be the best solution for you.
LegalZoom can also help you meet all of your legal obligations for a base fee of $99 plus the state filing fee. A quicker filing for a rush service costs $119 plus state filing fees.
An operating agreement can help both new and established businesses. It will help you maintain your business’ Limited Liability Status while preventing misunderstandings among members.
It is available as an add-on for $99 or $199 (expedited processing). But if you choose the Pro or Premium Package from LegalZoom, you don’t need to add this operating agreement service separately.
Business Advisory Plan
If you need specific legal help, you can enroll in a Business Advisory Plan, where you have access to a local attorney. These services include attorney consultations, legal document reviews, unlimited legal forms, and an annual business evaluation. This add-on service is available in two pricing plans—a 6-month plan for $43.16 per month and a 12-month plan for $39.08 per month.
$99 (1-day processing and expedited filing with the Secretary of State, if applicable).
Business email by Google Workspace
starts at $7.20 per user per month (30GB cloud storage, shared calendars, and secure team messaging).
LegalZoom review: Customer Service
LegalZoom provides excellent customer service that’s users can access via chat, phone call, and email. Their representatives are knowledgeable and helpful and offer quick resolutions.
LegalZoom does a good job of answering immediate questions. There is a frequently asked questions section with more answers. There is also a comprehensive Knowledge Center with a section for each area of legal services offered. If you click on a section, you will see an introduction, related topics, frequently asked questions, and a glossary that will give you a good understanding of the subject.
A comprehensive list of legal articles is available on topics ranging from U.S. law to money matters to corporate entities, and more. There are articles in Spanish as well.
Additional Resources also has more information on non-profits, inheritance property, and other matters. Downloadable legal forms are also available on their website. All you need to do is answer a few questions and the form will be created with your information filled in. Many times there are sample forms so you can see exactly how it will look and make sure it’s what you need. As you fill in the form, you will see how it looks on the contract. Once you are done, you are asked for payment.
If you have any questions these resources can’t answer, there is a toll-free number that’s accessible seven days a week. Subject matter experts can educate you on LegalZoom services and explain entities.
Is LegalZoom Legit?
LegalZoom is a public company with its headquarters in Glendale, CA. It is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker NASDAQ:LZ with a market capitalization of $1.765 billion. The company opened its IPO for $28.00 on June 30, 2021 and raised a total of $811 Million over five rounds of funding between 2007 and 2018.
LegalZoom has been in the legal advisory and support business for over two decades. In 2020, they launched LegalZoom Tax, a company with a focus on providing expert tax advice and accounting solutions. Since its inception, LegalZoom has helped form more than 3.7 million businesses through its operation across all 50 states of the US.
LegalZoom review: Verdict
LegalZoom is a great option to consider for LLC formation support and additional services. It has a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot and you can file an LLC for free (plus state filing fees).
Compared with our list of best LLC filing services, the filing fee for the Pro plan LegalZoom offers is in the middle price range, although the timeframe for completion is relatively long. The Registered Agent service price is also higher than most of the services we’ve reviewed.
LegalZoom’s advantage is their Business Advisory Plan with legal access. Most LLC filing services cannot offer legal advice, so you’ll have to go find an attorney on your own. There are some perks that are listed under the higher plans, but the big difference is in the amount of time it will take to process your forms and get your paperwork approved by the Secretary of State.
Overall, with it’s updated pricing LegalZoom is a great option for those who are looking for an all-in-one business filing and running service that excels in individualized assistance.