LegalZoom Review Summary
LegalZoom offers the online legal assistance you need to start a business, file a trademark application, write a will, set up a living trust, or file for bankruptcy.
The company has assisted over five million customers with business formation and legal advice. Their formation services are slightly more expensive than that of their competitors. But their business legal plan is a good value for small business owners who require occasional legal consultation and legal forms but do not have an in-house lawyer or legal department.
20 Years of Service:
Since its inception in 2001, LegalZoom has assisted clients with the creation of over 3.5 million documents and over 2 million entrepreneurs. It has a good reputation in the market and competes fiercely with other online legal service providers.
60-Day Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee:
LegalZoom offers its customers the industry's longest 60-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. You must request a refund within 60 days and they will either issue one or grant credit for future LegalZoom orders.
Extensive Services at One Place:
LegalZoom is a one-stop shop for small businesses and start-up owners looking for legal assistance, help with business incorporation, and consultation with independent attorneys. You can form an LLC and acquire basic legal assistance for your business or family matters without having to pay a hefty sum to other law firms or local attorneys.
Although the application interface is simple to use, LegalZoom will bombard you with upsells, add-ons, and pop-ups as soon as you enter your personal information. It is preferable to have the package information beforehand so that you have a base cost in mind if you decide to add an upsell.
Negative Customer Service Reputation:
LegalZoom offers customer service via email and phone every day of the week. I tried to reach LegalZoom’s customer service via email but received a generic response a week later asking us to call. Numerous review sites display negative reviews of LegalZoom’s customer service.
LegalZoom’s more expensive, basic incorporation package, Economy, starts at $79 plus the state fee. This price point is considerably higher than ZenBusiness ($49 plus state fee) and Incfile ($0 plus state fee). LegalZoom’s other packages, Standard and Express Gold, are priced at $329 and $349 respectively. These charges are exclusive of state filing fees and other costs, such as shipping fees, and these are just starting prices. Costs vary depending on your business’s specific needs.
Who Should Use LegalZoom?
If you own a small business and don't have the funds to hire an attorney or establish a legal department, you should consider using LegalZoom for online, professional legal advice. They also provide online attorney services, which can save you money and time.
Who Should NOT Use LegalZoom?
If you just want to form an LLC and don't need any legal help, look into Incfile or ZenBusiness. LegalZoom is primarily a provider of online legal solutions and legal documents. Even though they also provide business incorporation services, the packages they offer for LLC or other corporate formations are not competitively priced when measured against other LLC formation providers.
Table of Contents
All Things Considered
Since 2001, LegalZoom has primarily served as an online legal assistant for small business owners and families seeking cost-effective legal solutions and independent attorneys. Along with online legal services, LegalZoom provides business incorporation, dissolution, dispute resolution, and DIY legal forms.
Though its LLC formation service is more expensive than competitors, LegalZoom supplements it with a 60-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. Despite its customer service, which carries a bad reputation, all other services have received positive feedback from customers. Overall, it is a good option for people who need low-cost but dependable legal counsel for routine and minor professional and personal matters.
The following explains LegalZoom’s various services and prices.
NOTE: If you have experience with LegalZoom already and want to skip to my LegalZoom review, click here.
What Is LegalZoom?
LegalZoom provides business advisory services to both business start-ups and personal ventures, enabling you to focus on the finer details of the business. These services include LLC formation, business naming, taxes, licenses, permits, and other legal services with the help of attorneys located in all 50 states. Since its establishment in 2001, LegalZoom has helped over two million people start or run their businesses, along with over four million others relying on them to fulfill their personal and legal needs.
What Does LegalZoom Do?
We have categorized LegalZoom services into four major sections:
LegalZoom includes the following services under the Business category:
Business Formation Services:
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
LegalZoom provides a wide range of business services including LLC incorporation. It costs $79 plus state filing fees to form an LLC with a Basic LLC package. Even though it is not the cheapest and fastest service available, you can take advantage of the 60-day money-back satisfaction guarantee, which is the longest refund guarantee duration in this market.
- Corporation (Inc.)
C corporations may have foreign shareholders, an unlimited number of shareholders, and multiple classes of stock. C corps came out on top. S corporations are ideal for smaller, domestic businesses that want to treat all owners equally. C corporations provide businesses with unrestricted growth potential as well as a variety of ownership and profit distribution options. LegalZoom helps you create an S corp and C corp company at the starting price of $149 plus state filing fees.
As a nonprofit, you can apply for grants, get 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status if eligible, and protect your assets. LegalZoom helps you create your nonprofit without any hassle.
- Sole Proprietorship
Even though a sole proprietorship does not require the filing of any documents, LegalZoom helps you get the most out of your business.
Their services include determining the appropriate business licenses to legally operate your company, limiting your liability, and providing much-needed legal advice. There are some risks too, but you can compare pros and cons for selecting a Sole Proprietorship business model for your company.
- Doing Business As (DBA)
A DBA is most commonly used when a sole proprietor wishes to operate a business under a different name, either to protect their privacy or to obtain a better business name. However, there are several ways in which a DBA can help a business.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
A federal tax ID, also known as an Employer Identification Number, is a one-of-a-kind number assigned to your company by the Internal Revenue Service.
- Naming Your Business
LegalZoom hosts an Entity Name Registration service for registering names for your company or corporation. If you want to use a specific entity name, make sure it is available in the state where you intend to incorporate your business. When you're ready to file your business formation documents with the state, you can reserve an available entity name via LegalZoom and use it later.
- Tax, Licenses, and permits
LegalZoom is best known for its online legal advisers. These advisers create legal documents, legal permits, licenses, and contracts for you and your company. Here are a few documents that are frequently required by businesses, which LegalZoom can help you with: permits for home occupation, zoning permits, building permits, health department permits, sales tax licenses, 501 (c) (3) applications, seller's permits, fire and police department permits, and withholding tax registration.
Additional Business Services:
- Additional business services provided by LegalZoom include corporate dissolution, corporate amendment, bankruptcy, and foreign qualification services.
2. Wills and Trusts
For will or testament services, LegalZoom has three packages, Basic Last Will (DIY) for $89, Comprehensive Last Will for $99, and Estate Bundle Plan for $179.
A living trust, on the other hand, controls all assets and property placed into the trust but does not allow for the allocation of assets or property to individuals who were not originally named in the trust. LegalZoom can help you prepare your will or testament and living trust for you and your family. For Trust services, LegalZoom offers three payment packages based on services included: Basic Living Trust ($279), Comprehensive Living Trust ($299), and Estate Plan Bundle ($329).
3. Intellectual Property
LegalZoom handles your intellectual property rights, which are legal rights that protect creators' original works, inventions, or the appearance of products, artistic works, scientific developments, and so on.
- Trademark registration
- Trademark search
- Trademark monitoring
- Trademark Statement of Use
- Office action response PRO
- Request for extension to File Statement of Use
- Section 9 Trademark renewal
- Trademark assignment recording
- Section 8 declaration of continued use
- Copyright registration
- A provisional application for patent
- Patent search
- Utility patent
- Design patent
- Professional patent drawing
4. Attorney Services
Speaking with an attorney is a three-step process. First, choose a 6- or 12-month membership plan. Next, choose an attorney who meets your needs. Then you’ll receive a call from an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about your state's laws.
How Much Is LegalZoom?
LLC Formation Service: $79 plus state fee
Business Advisory Plan: $36/month for six months and $31.25/month for 12 months
Business Advisory Plan offers free reviews on documents of up to 10 pages and unlimited, free, 30-minute consultations on new legal matters, legal questions, free tax advice, unlimited downloads from the legal form library, annual business evaluation on the 12-month plan, and one free Copyright registration per month
Legal Advantage Plus: $11.90/month for six months and $9.99/month for 12 months.
Legal Advantage Plus provides free reviews of documents of up to 10 pages, as well as unlimited, free, 30-minute consultations on new legal matters, a 25% discount on additional consultations with an attorney, legal work and legal representation, access to a wide selection of forms, annual legal checkup to assess estate plans, and updates on the 12-month plan.
If you have the Business Advisory Plan and need an attorney to review documents that are over 10 pages, you will be charged $39 for documents that are 11 to 15 pages and $99 for documents that are 16 to 25 pages. The business attorney will contact you with a quote for longer documents.
Similarly, if your legal issues require more work than a 30-minute phone consultation, the attorney will charge their independent, hourly rate at a 25% discount for LegalZoom customers.
Unlike other LLC formation services, LegalZoom does not include many features as part of its service packages. For an additional fee, you can add the following features to the package price:
- Operating Agreement: $99
- Operating Agreement plus EIN: $159
- Operating Agreement, EIN, and a license search: $199
- Registered agent service: $159/year, and unlike other services, this is not included for a free year
If you want to start a nonprofit, LegalZoom presents three packages that you might be interested in. The Economy package costs $99, Standard costs $239, and Express Gold costs $359.
For you, the Express Gold package offers the best value for money out of the three options. It includes a 14-day trial of advice from one of their attorneys, an expedited federal tax ID, and a guaranteed two-day delivery of your final package.
LegalZoom offers three packages for will and testament services:
- Basic Last Will (DIY): $89
- Comprehensive Last Will: $99
- Estate Bundle Plan: $179
LegalZoom hosts three payment packages for Trust services based on the services included:
- Basic Living Trust: $279
- Comprehensive Living Trust: $299
- Estate Plan Bundle: $329
LegalZoom charges $139 for adults and $165 for minors for Name Changing services. On its official website, LegalZoom does not specify a starting or fixed price for divorce services.
Online DIY legal forms is a widely used feature on the LegalZoom website. You can create online legal forms for various business and personal legal needs. Prices vary.
LegalZoom also offers a free, 7-day trial to get unlimited access to these legal form templates. Thereafter, it deducts $39.95/month from your account.
LegalZoom has been a reliable and effective online legal service provider for two decades, bringing business and legal services to millions of individuals and professionals who require affordable and convenient legal assistance and business incorporation services.
They offer legal advice for $39 to people who cannot afford high-priced attorney services.
Product/Service Offerings: 8/10
LegalZoom provides legal services and business formation services. Their LLC formation is not the cheapest in the market. If you want to save money, check out Incfile for their $0 plus state fee package.
We do recommend LegalZoom’s fairly priced Business Advisory Plan because of all the paperwork it includes.
Customer Support: 6/10
We found numerous complaints about LegalZoom's customer service on various sites after reading thousands of LegalZoom reviews. After contacting them independently to evaluate their service rather than relying on online LegalZoom reviews, I did not receive a satisfactory response via email, but my experience on the phone was adequate. The agent briefed us on the subject clearly and efficiently.
Ease of Use: 7/10
LegalZoom has an easy-to-use online interface for its website visitors. All the services and packages have been categorized under sections named Business and Personal. A FAQ section is also featured on the website for customer convenience.
My Overall Rating: 7.5/10
LegalZoom provides affordable legal forms, legal consultancy, and business incorporation services at a much lower price than career attorneys with the convenience of online access.
We recommend picking up a Business Advisory Plan as it offers high value for the services offered. However, LegalZoom’s incorporation services are inferior to other LLC formation providers, such as Incfile, ZenBusiness, or Northwest Registered Agent.
What Others Are Saying
Trust Pilot: 8/10
On TrustPilot, LegalZoom has numerous positive reviews that mention the convenience and efficiency of the service. I came across a few complaints that were resolved by the LegalZoom customer service representatives.
Google Business: NA
LegalZoom has no Google or My Business web pages.
LegalZoom has no reviews tab on Facebook.
Better Business Bureau: 7/10
LegalZoom is a BBB-accredited legal services company with an A+ rating. They have resolved over 500 complaints in the last three years. Most of the LegalZoom reviews laud the convenience of LegalZoom’s online legal advice and fast service.
We suggest using LegalZoom for small new business owners who need regular, low-level legal advice, and assistance with their business’s legal forms. LegalZoom features a wide range of business legal services and a 60-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best LegalZoom package?
LegalZoom’s Business Advisory Plan is an excellent value for small businesses that require occasional legal assistance but do not have an in-house lawyer or legal department.
Is there a promo code or discount for LegalZoom?
LegalZoom has no promo code or discounts on its official website. However, other coupon provider sites claim to offer coupons for LegalZoom.
Is LegalZoom legitimate?
Yes, LegalZoom is 100% legitimate. LegalZoom was founded in 2001 and has served more than 5 million customers with incorporation and legal services. Check out the official LegalZoom website.
How does LegalZoom compare with other LLC services?
LegalZoom's prices are higher than other LLC services that charge far less to form an LLC. Their customer support reviews are spotty, but they have served over 2.5 million businesses with their LLC incorporation service, which gives them credibility. They also have a good reputation for providing basic legal assistance to millions of entrepreneurs. If you are looking for a LegalZoom alternative in terms of price value, then Incfile ($0 plus state filing fees) is a good alternative for you.
Does LegalZoom handle New York publication requirements?
Unfortunately, LegalZoom does not handle New York Publication Requirements.
Does LegalZoom have good customer support?
There have been numerous complaints about quality and long wait times. We appreciate LegalZoom's extended customer support hours, which are longer than those of most competitors.
Can I form an LLC on my own?
You certainly have this option and many entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs. The DIY option is viable if you are willing to conduct extensive research into your options and don’t mind filing everything yourself. You'll need to research your state's compliance requirements and it will take longer than using a service like LegalZoom to form an LLC.
Do they have a refund policy?
Yes, LegalZoom provides a 60-day, money-back, satisfaction guarantee, but this comes with some conditions.
Should I reserve my LLC name before forming an LLC with LegalZoom?
It depends. Every state (except Florida) allows you to reserve a business name before forming your entity. This is only required if you are not ready to begin the LLC formation process. There's no need to reserve your name before incorporating an LLC with LegalZoom if you're ready to get started, except for the state of Alabama, which requires pre-booking of the LLC name.
Can I form an LLC without physically being in the United States?
Anyone in the United States can form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). You do not need to be a US citizen or a US company. Foreign citizens and foreign corporations can form an LLC in the United States.
What is the LegalZoom customer support phone number and email address?
You can reach LegalZoom by phone at 1-800-773-0888. They have a “Contact Us” page on their website to initiate their email support function.
Does LegalZoom sell or share my information with third parties?
According to LegalZoom's official website, they do not sell or share your information with any third parties.
How quickly does LegalZoom process LLC formations?
The formation package you select determines LegalZoom's processing times rather than your state's actual requirements. Their entry-level Economy package has the slowest processing time (30 business days), while the mid-tier Standard package is slightly faster (15 days), and their fastest and top-tier Express Gold package takes between 7–10 days to complete processing.
Other than LLC formation, what else can LegalZoom do?
LegalZoom provides other S-Corp, C-Corp, nonprofit, DBA, etc., business services. It also offers legal assistance, document preparation, and attorney services to individuals and families. You can also use their DIY legal documents feature on the website.
My LLC needs an EIN. Is it worth the money?
Even if you are not required to obtain an EIN, you should consider doing so. In general, having an EIN allows you to separate your personal finances and life from your business. This is critical for simplifying accounting and bookkeeping, as well as limiting liability in the event of a lawsuit.