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Launching a new business endeavor can feel like navigating an uncharted labyrinth; around every corner, even the most motivated entrepreneur can run into confusing legal requirements and complex decision-making. But don’t worry, because at LLCBase, we understand that forming a business can be an overwhelming experience, so we are here to help you every step of the way.
Enter LegalZoom – an online legal service provider that caters to startups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners across the United States. This article will provide all the details you’ll need to understand LegalZoom and its LLC service offerings better, so grab a coffee and dive into this LegalZoom comprehensive review.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- What is LegalZoom?
- LegalZoom Pricing and Plans
- Getting Started With LegalZoom
- LegalZoom Alternatives and How They Compare
- Who is LegalZoom Best For?
What is LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is a well-established online legal service provider that focuses on offering a wide range of essential legal services to individuals and businesses alike. The platform aims to simplify obtaining legal assistance by providing easy access to legal documents and services without the need to engage in the traditional, time-consuming, and often expensive process of working with a physical law firm.
Some of the key services provided by LegalZoom include business formation (such as LLCs, corporations, nonprofits, and DBAs), intellectual property protection (including copyrights, trademarks, and patents), estate planning (such as wills, living trusts, and power of attorney), and business compliance (including annual reports and registered agent services). LegalZoom also offers access to a network of attorneys who can provide legal advice through their legal plan membership, which covers different areas of law, such as business, family, employment, and real estate.
One of the greatest advantages of using LegalZoom is its convenience and ease of use. The platform provides a step-by-step process for creating legal documents and completing various legal tasks. It allows users to handle their legal needs independently without relying on in-person consultations with an attorney. Furthermore, LegalZoom’s transparent pricing structure lets clients know the cost of the services they require, which often falls below the fees charged by traditional law firms.
LegalZoom is a comprehensive online legal service provider that strives to make affordable and reliable legal solutions accessible to many individuals and businesses. By offering a user-friendly platform and various valuable services at competitive prices, LegalZoom has become a popular alternative to traditional law firms, helping countless clients navigate their legal needs easily and confidently.
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How LegalZoom Works
LegalZoom, a renowned online legal service provider, has developed a systematic method to simplify the formation of an LLC (Limited Liability Company) for users. Their comprehensive approach covers every aspect of the LLC creation process, from helping clients choose the right package and gathering pertinent information to filing necessary documentation with state authorities. The following sections offer a closer and more detailed understanding of LegalZoom’s functioning in starting an LLC.
1. Choose a Service Package
LegalZoom’s LLC service offerings are divided into three packages – Basic, Pro, and Premium – catering to various budget requirements and specific client needs. Each option has distinct features, such as personalized operating agreements, expedited document processing, priority support, and more. Users can easily compare packages to decide on the best fit for their business requirements.
2. Provide Business Information
Once the user selects a package, LegalZoom prompts them to fill out an online questionnaire, which collects essential data about their prospective business. This information typically includes the company name, contact details, registered agent, member/manager details, the business purpose, and ownership structure, among other necessary data.
It is worth noting that selecting a registered agent is a mandatory requirement for every LLC. The agent must have a physical address within the state of formation and be available during regular business hours to receive legal and state correspondence on the company’s behalf.
3. LegalZoom’s Document Preparation and Filing
Upon receiving all the necessary information, LegalZoom’s legal experts review the collected data and prepare the required documentation. This primarily includes drafting the Articles of Organization, which outlines the core structure and essential elements of the LLC.
LegalZoom also helps users ensure their chosen business name is available and complies with state-specific naming requirements. If needed, they can assist in obtaining any required licenses and permits for the LLC.
After preparing the documents, LegalZoom files them with the appropriate state agency (usually the Secretary of State’s office), which then reviews and approves the application to create the LLC officially.
4. Ongoing Compliance and Support
LegalZoom does not view its responsibility as ending after the formation of the LLC. They offer ongoing support, monitoring, and compliance assistance to ensure their clients’ businesses remain in good standing through their business attorney service with state requirements, such as annual report filings and updating registered agent information. Additionally, they provide their customers with a digital dashboard to easily access and manage their LLC formation documents.
LegalZoom’s comprehensive and user-friendly services streamline the LLC formation process by taking care of essential administrative tasks, allowing clients to focus on building and growing their businesses. LegalZoom’s commitment to offering a smooth and efficient experience has helped thousands of entrepreneurs bring their business ideas to reality.
LegalZoom, a widely recognized and trusted online platform for legal services, offers a broad spectrum of solutions tailored to meet the needs of numerous businesses, regardless of their size or complexity. From business formation and registered agent services to intellectual property registration and personalized legal advice, LegalZoom provides comprehensive assistance, ensuring entrepreneurs can focus on growing their businesses. The following sections take an in-depth look at LegalZoom’s range of services, sourced from reliable sources:
1. Business Formation
LegalZoom specializes in creating various business entities, including LLCs (Limited Liability Companies), corporations (C and S corporations), and nonprofit organizations. They guide users through the formation process, preparing and filing necessary documentation and providing resources such as operating agreements, bylaws, and meeting minutes. LegalZoom’s user-friendly platform allows clients to keep track of their progress and access essential documents online.
2. Registered Agent Services
Every LLC, corporation, or nonprofit organization is legally required to designate a registered agent responsible for receiving government correspondence and legal notices on behalf of the business. LegalZoom’s registered agent service ensures reliable and efficient representation for your company, handling vital documents and maintaining compliance with state requirements.
3. Compliance Assistance
To keep a business in good standing with state guidelines, LegalZoom offers ongoing compliance assistance, helping clients obtain necessary licenses, permits, and regulatory approvals. They also provide resources for managing annual reports and maintaining corporate records.
4. DBA (Doing Business As) Registration
If a company chooses to operate under a name different from its legal name, it must file a DBA (Doing Business As) or a trade name with the appropriate state or county agency. LegalZoom assists with filing DBA applications, conducting a name availability check, and, in certain states, publishing the new trade name in newspapers as required by law.
5. Trademark and Copyright Registration
Protecting a business’s intellectual property is crucial to its success. LegalZoom helps companies register trademarks (such as logos, product/service names, or slogans) and copyrights (for creative works like books, songs, and software) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the U.S. Copyright Office. This process includes conducting thorough searches, preparing applications, and providing ongoing protection and enforcement guidance.
6. Personalized Legal Advice
For clients needing tailored legal advice, LegalZoom offers pre-paid business attorney plans that connect them to a network of attorneys specializing in specific legal areas. Subscribers can access various services, such as consultations, contract reviews, legal document preparation, and support with landlord-tenant issues, at a fraction of the cost of hiring a traditional law firm.
7. Ongoing Support and Monitoring
LegalZoom’s commitment to its clients extends beyond its initial service offerings. They provide ongoing support and monitoring to ensure clients comply with state requirements and maintain good standing with regulatory authorities.
LegalZoom’s extensive range of legal services caters to various business needs, providing clients with an accessible, reliable, and affordable alternative to traditional law firms. Entrepreneurs can rely on LegalZoom for solid support, allowing them to concentrate their time and effort on their business’s growth and success.
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LegalZoom Pricing and Plans
LegalZoom is a leading online legal service provider specializing in aiding businesses and individuals with various legal needs. The platform offers a host of services, including business formation (LLCs, corporations, nonprofits, and DBAs), intellectual property protection (copyrights, trademarks, and patents), estate planning (wills, living trusts, and power of attorney), and business compliance (annual reports and registered agent services). LegalZoom aims to make legal assistance accessible and affordable by providing a user-friendly platform and transparent pricing structures.
LegalZoom provides a selection of three LLC formation packages – Basic, Pro, and Premium – each tailored to cater to various budget constraints and requirements. A closer look at the features and services offered in each package is provided below:
1. Basic Package ($0 + state filing fees)
This foundational package covers the essentials for LLC formation and includes the following services:
- Preparation and filing of Articles of Organization
- Name availability search
- Lifetime customer support
- Standard LLC formation process
2. Pro Package ($249 + state filing fees)
Building on the Basic Package, the Pro Package incorporates additional services to support your business better:
- Access to operating agreement templates
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Business licenses and permits guide
- Tax and insurance guidance
- Financial account authorization letter
3. Premium Package ($279 + state filing fees)
For a more comprehensive solution, the Premium Package offers everything included in the Pro Package plus:
- Attorney services for 30 days subscription
- Additional business services such as websites, email, and more
Selecting the right LegalZoom package ensures your LLC formation process is cost-effective and aligned to your business needs. The Basic Plan includes a personalized operating agreement, financial account authorization, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The more advanced plans, such as the Standard Plan and Express Gold Plan, also include additional benefits such as expedited processing, a deluxe organizer, a personalized company seal, and a binder.
It’s essential to understand that these plans do not include government fees; they are calculated based on specific state requirements. By offering a range of plans, LegalZoom caters to different clients’ needs, making it a popular choice for those seeking affordable and accessible legal services for their business and personal requirements.
Getting Started With LegalZoom
Getting Started with LegalZoom is a convenient and straightforward process that ensures you receive the legal assistance you need with just a few clicks. The first step is to visit their website and choose the LLC service package that best suits your needs and budget. LegalZoom offers different plan options, such as Economy, Standard, and Express Gold, catering to varying requirements.
Once you have selected your desired package, LegalZoom guides you through an online questionnaire to gather essential information about your business, including its name, purpose, address, registered agent, and membership structure. Filling out this questionnaire is crucial, as it helps LegalZoom tailor the formation documents and filing processes according to your unique business needs.
After submitting your order, LegalZoom reviews the provided information, prepares the necessary formation documents, and files them with the appropriate state agency on your behalf. Throughout this process, you can track the status of your order online and receive timely updates from LegalZoom.
LegalZoom is committed to delivering outstanding customer service and support to address any questions, concerns, or clarifications. Their responsive customer service team can be reached via phone and email, ensuring your issues are promptly resolved. LegalZoom’s customer support hours vary depending on the day but are typically available from 5 am to 7 pm PT on weekdays and 7 am to 4 pm PT on weekends. This dedicated support ensures you receive timely assistance and guidance throughout your business formation journey with LegalZoom and beyond.
LegalZoom Alternatives and How They Compare
Numerous online legal service providers compete with LegalZoom, offering similar services with varying price points and additional features. Some prominent alternatives include Incfile, ZenBusiness, and Rocket Lawyer. By comparing these options, prospective customers can decide which provider best suits their unique needs and budget.
RocketLawyer offers a unique approach to LLC formation, focusing on providing its clients with ongoing legal support and resources. Customers can choose between a one-time LLC formation fee or a monthly membership plan with various essential legal services and support.
RocketLawyer offers a flexible pricing structure that caters to diverse legal requirements through its subscription-based plans, pay-as-you-go options, and a complimentary trial for new customers. The following breakdown offers a comprehensive overview of the platform’s pricing and plans, backed by information from credible sources:
New users can take advantage of RocketLawyer’s 7-day complimentary trial, which provides access to a plethora of features and services, enabling them to get a feel for the platform. During the trial period, users can access the following benefits:
- Consult a lawyer for legal inquiries
- Document Defense® on RocketLawyer documents
- Create, edit, and sign legal documents
- Complimentary incorporation filing for new members (state fees apply)
- 30-minute consultation for new legal matters
- Discounts on legal services
To activate the free trial, visit RocketLawyer’s website and register for an account. It is essential to note that after the trial period expires, users will be automatically signed up for the Premium plan at a cost of $39.99 per month unless they cancel the subscription beforehand.
RocketLawyer’s Premium plan is a subscription-based service providing ongoing legal support access. For a monthly fee of $39.99, subscribers can enjoy the following features and benefits:
- Unlimited access to legal documents: Users can create, edit, and sign any legal document available in the RocketLawyer repository without incurring extra charges.
- Unlimited legal consultations: Users can ask for advice from a network of attorneys for unlimited legal inquiries.
- Document Defense® on RocketLawyer documents: If the validity of a document drafted on RocketLawyer is challenged, an attorney will assist in enforcing it.
- 30-minute complimentary consultation for new legal matters: Members receive a free 30-minute consultation with a participating network attorney for each legal issue.
- Discounted legal services: Members can access local attorneys at 25% off their standard hourly rates for additional legal services, representation, or counsel.
- Complimentary incorporation services for new businesses: RocketLawyer waives service fees for incorporation filing for new enterprises (state fees still apply).
To subscribe to RocketLawyer’s Premium plan, visit their website, and create an account. After subscribing, users can instantly access the plan’s benefits. RocketLawyer manages its platform using a subscription-based model consisting of two main membership tiers: Free Trial and Premium Membership.
While LegalZoom and its alternatives provide a wide range of business formation and legal services, choosing the right provider for your needs depends on factors like pricing, included services, and customer support. By comparing the unique offerings of each provider, prospective clients can identify the best legal service provider to fit their unique needs and budgets.
Incfile offers a competitive pricing structure designed to meet the varying needs of entrepreneurs, with three-tiered pricing plans: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each plan offers distinct features and benefits, allowing users to choose the package that best suits their business requirements and budget.
Silver Plan ($0 plus state fees):
The Silver Plan is Incfile’s entry-level offering, which is free, apart from the applicable state filing fees. It is an ideal option for budget-conscious entrepreneurs who want to launch their businesses without spending excessively on formation costs. The Silver Plan includes:
- Preparation and filing of Articles of Organization
- Business name availability verification
- One year of free registered agent service
- Online access to incorporation documents
- Lifetime company alerts and notifications
- Online order status tracking
- Free business tax consultation
Gold Plan ($149 plus state fees):
The Gold Plan is Incfile’s middle-tier package, featuring additional services and support for a complete business setup. It costs $149, in addition to the state filing fees. The Gold Plan includes all the features of the Silver Plan, plus:
- Customized internal operating agreement
- Customized banking resolution
- EIN (Employer Identification Number) registration
- IRS Form 2553 filing for S-Corporation tax election (if applicable)
- Customized organizational minutes
- Customized corporate bylaws (for corporations)
- Access to document templates
Platinum Plan ($299 plus state fees):
The Platinum Plan is Incfile’s premium offering, providing a complete range of business services and support for the most comprehensive and convenient experience. It costs $299, in addition to the state filing fees. The Platinum Plan includes everything offered in the Gold Plan, plus:
- Business license research package
- Business website and domain name
- Expedited filing (speed varies by state)
- Free access to a library of over 25 legal and compliance forms
One major advantage that sets Incfile apart from many competitors is including a free registered agent service for one year with all its plans. Registered agents are crucial for legal correspondence, as they receive and manage essential documents on behalf of the business. By offering this service for free for an entire year, Incfile provides additional cost savings for small businesses and startups, making it a highly attractive and cost-effective formation solution.
ZenBusiness offers affordable and comprehensive packages that cater to the diverse needs of entrepreneurs, including Starter, Pro, and Premium plans. Each plan provides different features and services, allowing users to select the package that best aligns with their specific requirements and budget.
Starter Plan ($0 plus state fees):
The Starter Plan is ZenBusiness’ basic package, catering to cost-conscious entrepreneurs. Priced at just $0, besides the state filing fees, this plan offers essential services for starting a business. The Starter Plan includes:
- Preparation and filing of Articles of Organization
- Name availability search
- One full year of registered agent service
- Operating Agreement template
- Online dashboard to manage filings and deadlines
- Phone and email support
Pro Plan ($199 plus state fees):
The Pro Plan is ZenBusiness’ mid-tier offering, delivering additional services and features for a more comprehensive and convenient business set-up experience. With a price of $199 alongside state filing fees, the Pro Plan encompasses all the features of the Starter Plan, as well as:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) registration
- Worry-Free Guarantee, which includes annual report filing and two amendment filings per year
- Banking resolution template to open a business bank account
Premium Plan ($299 plus state fees):
The Premium Plan is ZenBusiness’ top-tier package, providing a complete range of services and support for the ultimate convenience and accessibility. Priced at $299 in addition to state fees, the Premium Plan includes everything from the Pro Plan, plus:
- Expedited processing time for faster formation
- Domain name registration
- Domain name privacy
- Business email account with 5GB storage
- Business website built with Weebly
ZenBusiness differentiates itself in the market by emphasizing social responsibility and its commitment to giving back to the community. As a certified Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), ZenBusiness is driven to impact society and entrepreneurs positively. ZenBusiness aims to empower business owners and support them in achieving their goals by offering affordable services. In addition, ZenBusiness has partnered with Kiva, a global microloan organization, to help fund and support budding entrepreneurs, especially women and minority-owned businesses. This emphasis on social responsibility makes ZenBusiness an attractive choice for businesses that prioritize ethical practices and want to contribute positively to the community.
Who is LegalZoom Best For?
LegalZoom caters to a diverse clientele seeking legal assistance, providing an accessible and comprehensive platform designed to address various legal needs, from business formation to intellectual property protection. The following groups can significantly benefit from LegalZoom’s services:
1. Freelancers and Solopreneurs
LegalZoom is an ideal option for independent professionals interested in structuring their businesses as LLCs to enjoy legal protection and tax benefits. The platform offers a user-friendly solution for LLC formation, ensuring that freelancers easily navigate the complex process.
Emerging businesses seeking ongoing legal support and resources can rely on LegalZoom to draft contracts, register trademarks, and file patents. The platform also provides tailored solutions to address industry-specific requirements, making it highly suitable for startups operating in various sectors.
3. Small Business Owners
LegalZoom is an excellent resource for small business owners who require assistance with legal documentation, compliance, or consultation but do not wish to incur the expenses associated with hiring full-time legal support. The platform offers a cost-effective approach to legal services without compromising on quality.
Overall, LegalZoom provides an extensive suite of services and resources suitable for individuals and companies requiring legal assistance. LegalZoom’s user-friendly and comprehensive platform makes it a popular choice for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners searching for professional and reliable legal support for their ventures.
LegalZoom is an online legal service provider that offers a variety of legal solutions for individuals and businesses, such as forming LLCs, creating wills, trademarks, and providing attorney consultations.
LegalZoom simplifies the process of forming an LLC by guiding users through a step-by-step questionnaire. Once completed, LegalZoom handles the necessary filings and paperwork, and provides customers with their LLC documents.
LegalZoom offers three LLC formation packages – Economy ($79), Standard ($329), and Express Gold ($349). Each package has a different level of service and additional features, with separate state filing fees.
LegalZoom charges an annual fee for its registered agent service, which is $159 per year. However, this service is optional, and you can choose to find a registered agent elsewhere.
Yes, LegalZoom offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with their services, you can request a refund within 60 days of purchase.
Yes, LegalZoom is knowledgeable about each state’s specific LLC requirements and includes these in their formation process.
Yes, LegalZoom offers customer support via phone and email, available Monday through Friday, 5 am to 7 pm PT.
Yes, LegalZoom offers EIN obtaining services for an additional fee of $79.
Yes, LegalZoom’s LLC packages include customizable Operating Agreement templates tailored to your specific business needs.
Yes, LegalZoom offers trademark registration services for an additional fee, starting at $199 plus federal filing fees.
LegalZoom’s processing time varies depending on the chosen package: Economy (30 business days), Standard (15 business days), and Express Gold (7-10 business days).
Yes, LegalZoom offers nonprofit formation services, with pricing starting at $99 plus state filing fees.
LegalZoom’s reputation and unbeatable customer support set it apart from its competitors, but it is generally more expensive than other online service providers.
Yes, LegalZoom offers a Business License Compliance package for an additional fee, which helps businesses identify and obtain required licenses and permits.
LegalZoom primarily serves customers in the United States, but they can assist with certain international legal services, such as trademark registration.
Some common complaints include slow processing times, high fees, and upselling of additional services.
LegalZoom has a 4.1 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, with many customers praising their customer support and ease of use.
Yes, many customers find the attorney consultations provided by LegalZoom to be helpful in addressing their legal questions and concerns.
LegalZoom does not explicitly mention military discounts on their website, but it’s worth contacting their customer support to inquire about available discounts.
How to Use Legalzoom LLC Service
One of the key advantages of utilizing LegalZoom is the convenience it offers. Setting up an LLC traditionally involves multiple steps, including drafting legal documents, filing with the appropriate state agency, paying fees, and adhering to specific requirements. LegalZoom streamlines this entire process by providing easy-to-use online tools that guide users through the necessary steps, ensuring that all the required documents are accurately prepared and promptly filed. This convenience can save entrepreneurs valuable time and allow them to focus on other critical aspects of their business venture.
Another notable benefit of LegalZoom is its affordability. One of the biggest concerns for individuals starting a business is the high cost of attorney fees and legal expenses. LegalZoom circumvents this barrier by offering cost-effective solutions for forming an LLC. Users can select from a range of customizable packages that suit their specific needs and budget. Additionally, LegalZoom’s pricing structure is transparent and straightforward, making it easier for users to anticipate costs and make informed decisions regarding the services they require.
Moreover, the inherent simplicity of LegalZoom’s platform contributes to its appeal. Entrepreneurs are not expected to possess legal expertise or knowledge of complex regulatory matters, as LegalZoom conveniently handles those complexities. The user-friendly interface and step-by-step guidance ensure that users understand each stage of the process and enable them to make informed decisions about their LLC structure, governance, and operational aspects. Additionally, the platform offers a dedicated team of professionals available for consultation should users require any clarification or assistance, adding another layer of support to their journey.
Furthermore, LegalZoom’s credibility and trustworthiness are worth noting. With over two decades of industry experience, it has become a renowned and widely recognized service provider in the legal documentation field. The platform maintains a solid track record of successfully assisting countless individuals in starting their LLCs, earning the trust and satisfaction of numerous clients. Such an established reputation is an invaluable asset when considering alternative options for establishing an LLC.
While it is essential to acknowledge that LegalZoom may not cover the unique legal intricacies of every business scenario, it reliably caters to the needs of most entrepreneurs aiming to start a limited liability company. Its convenience, affordability, simplicity, and established credibility make it a sound choice for those seeking to establish an LLC without excessive burdens. By leveraging LegalZoom, aspiring business owners can ensure that their focus remains on building and growing their ventures rather than getting bogged down in the incorporation and legal aspects.
As a busy entrepreneur, your time and resources are valuable commodities. LegalZoom, with its wide array of legal services and customizable service packages, offers a convenient, affordable solution for navigating the often-daunting process of business formation and compliance with peace of mind. As an industry leader and trusted platform, LegalZoom delivers on its promise to make legal processes more accessible, helping new businesses take flight and grow.
Before deciding on any online legal service, it’s essential to research different options and carefully weigh the pros and cons of each to find the one that suits your specific needs best. Through our in-depth review of LegalZoom, we hope you have gained valuable insights into what this popular online platform offers and how it stands in the competition. Ultimately, the choice is yours – armed with the necessary information; you hold the key to confidently launching your entrepreneurial journey with the support of a reliable legal partner.