LegalZoom Review - 2020

Navigating legal, regulatory and licensing requirements can be complex for businesses. Registering a new business entity, drafting comprehensive business contracts, and protecting intellectual property are just a few examples of how the legal world overlaps with the world of business. Fortunately, there are several useful legal services available for business owners. LegalZoom is among the best - keep reading to learn more about this service, in our full LegalZoom review.

LegalZoom review: At a glance

LegalZoom is an online provider of legal services. They work directly with both business owners and individuals, helping them navigate complex legal topics. They can even connect you directly to an attorney, if needed, and also provide a surprisingly affordable legal consultation service. 

One core offering of LegalZoom is helping business founders to register new business entities. They can help you register a new limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. Essentially, they serve as a middleman between you and your state, helping you navigate the registration process. 

LegalZoom’s business formation services are compatible with rules in all US states. Pricing starts at just $79 + state fees for a new LLC, or $149 + state fees for a new corporation or partnership. LegalZoom LLC pricing is very competitive. 

Various other legal services for business are also offered. They can help you with copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property protections. They can provide legal consultations and document review, such as business contract review. And, they can help with ongoing compliance and filing requirements for your business.

Plus, keep in mind that LegalZoom is also quite helpful for individuals - and many business owners also use the service for personal legal matters. LegalZoom can help you draft a will, plan for your estate, and more. 

Check out our roundup of Best LLC Services

Who LegalZoom is best for

LegalZoom is best for entrepreneurs who want help forming a new business, and who could also benefit from LegalZoom’s wide array of other legal services. While many competitors offer business formation services, few compare to the wide variety of complete legal services that LegalZoom offers. In other words, LegalZoom can easily be a “one stop shop” for all legal needs, both business and personal. 

It’s also a great option for those wishing to form more specialized business entities, including nonprofits and partnerships. LegalZoom makes it easy to form a nonprofit corporation, limited liability partnership (LLP), or limited partnership (LP) - something that many competitors don’t offer. 

Another huge selling point for LegalZoom is one-on-one consultations with attorneys. The platform offers a subscription service - priced at less than $35 a month for businesses - that provides unlimited 30-minute phone consultations with legal professionals. 

LegalZoom features & services

LegalZoom offers a wide variety of services. We’ll focus on the primary business services, but also briefly mention some of the personal legal services they offer. 

LegalZoom helps you start your business by…

  • Making it simple to form any new business entity, all online
  • Working with officials in all US states to form business entities in your area
  • Providing a choice between LLC, partnership, corporation, and even nonprofit corporation
  • Providing options for S-corporation, C-corporation, and even B-corporations
  • Helping you select the right company name 
  • Helping you select and register Doing Business As (DBA) business names
  • Serving as your Registered Agent
  • Helping you fill all necessary paperwork with state and federal agencies
  • Helping you obtain tax IDs (EIN), permits and business licenses 
  • Assisting with changes in business structure (conversions, sales, etc.)
  • Providing personalized business advisory services to answer questions

LegalZoom helps you grow your business by…

  • Providing ongoing compliance support for small business
  • Helping you draft Independent Contractor agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and other legal documents
  • Helping you register copyrights, trademarks and patents
  • Managing business conversions, dissolutions, etc. 
  • Providing ongoing access to articles of organization, operating agreement, templates, and other key business documents online
  • Offering one-on-one business advisory services for legal advice
  • Reviewing terms & conditions, legal documents, contracts, etc. 

In addition to these business-specific services, LegalZoom offers personal legal services. For instance, they can help you with drafting a Last Will and Testament, establishing power of attorney, and various other estate planning tasks - and much more. 

LegalZoom pricing & value

How much does LegalZoom cost, and is it worth it? Overall, LegalZoom’s prices are competitive. Some services, like LLC formation and business advisory services, are an incredibly good value. On other offerings, like Registered Agent services, LegalZoom charges a bit more than average. 

LegalZoom business formation pricing

LegalZoom offers legal assistance for the formation of new business entities. Fees vary by the business structure, the state of incorporation, and various other factors. 

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) - plans start at $79 + state fees
  • Corporations (C-corp, S-corp) - plans start at $149 + state fees
  • Nonprofit entities - plans start at $149 + state fees
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or Limited Partnership (LP) - plans start at $149 + state fees

The specific features and services you need will affect the price, but overall, LegalZoom pricing is quite competitive - particularly for LLCs. While many companies charge the same for LLCs and Corporations, LegalZoom tends to be cheaper for LLC formation services. 

State fees

With business formation packages, you’ll notice that the price lists a separate state filing fee. This is a mandatory fee for anyone opening a new business. The funds go directly to your state’s business registration department, which is often the Secretary of State’s office.

Fees vary. In general, you can expect to be charged around $70 to $300+, depending on the state - and the business structure you’re forming. LegalZoom shows a preview of expected state filing charges during the checkout process, so you can know the whole cost upfront. 

Keep in mind that the state that you incorporate in will also affect processing or turnaround time. Some states can complete the process in just a few business days, while others take weeks. 

LegalZoom pricing for other services

As mentioned, LegalZoom offers a wide variety of other legal services - both business and personal. Here’s some pricing info for some of their most popular offerings. 

  • Registered Agent services - starting at $299/year
  • Business advisory plan from licensed attorneys - starting at $31.25/month
  • Personal legal advisory services - starting at $9.99/month
  • Trademark registration - starting at $199 + federal fees
  • Copyright registration - starting at $114 + federal fees
  • Patents - starting at $699 + fees
  • Will and Testament - starting at $89
  • Power of Attorney - starting from $35

This is just a preview; there are dozens of different add-ons and services available from LegalZoom, each priced individually. 

Value

In general, LegalZoom offers excellent value to its customers. On the business formation front, LegalZoom’s pricing is most competitive on LLC packages - on corporation and partnership packages, pricing is about in-line with competitors like Incfile, RocketLawyer, My LLC, etc.

One of the biggest values of LegalZoom is their Business and Personal Advisory Services. These plans ($31.25 and $9.99 per month, respectively) give you one-on-one access to a licensed attorney, for personalized advice, contract review, etc. This service is an incredible value, particularly when compared to traditional law firms. 

LegalZoom is also very transparent in its pricing structure. It’s easy to see at a glance how much a service will cost. This contrasts sharply with traditional legal service providers, who bill hourly at extremely high rates, and offer limited guidance to how much a full service may actually cost. Many small business owners use LegalZoom because of the convenience it offers by having so many services available. 

LegalZoom customer support

LegalZoom customer support agents are available for contact via phone, online chat, or email. Their representatives are knowledgeable and professional. If you opt for one of the Advisory plans, you’ll actually be able to consult directly with an attorney, as well. 

You can read more about experiences with LegalZoom customer service representatives in many positive customer reviews, which are posted directly to their website (which is rare in this industry). LegalZoom also has solid ratings with Consumer Affairs, TrustPilot, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

Final thoughts 

LegalZoom.com is a great option for online legal services. Its wide variety of services makes it very convenient, as you can use a single company for help with business formation, ongoing business services, personal estate planning, and even one-on-one legal advisory services.

LegalZoom’s Advisory services are particularly attractive, thanks to their ultra-low monthly cost. This is absolutely one of the cheapest ways to gain access to qualified legal help. Plus, if you wind up needing an attorney to represent you in court, LegalZoom can connect you with local attorneys. 

If you’re looking for a single service to connect you to all the legal services you might need, LegalZoom is a great choice.

About the Author Nell

Leave a Comment: