LegalZoom

Introduction

In some ways, it’s never been easier to start a business. Anyone with a decent internet connection, a little knowledge and a good idea could theoretically create an Amazon-killing enterprise without ever leaving their bed. Of course, creating a business is far more than just knocking up a website on Wix on calling it a day – there are an awful lot of finicky legal requirements to negotiate. Thankfully, with services like LegalZoom, even that can now be handled from under the duvet. Here’s how it works:

Services

LegalZoom specializes in creating fully recognized documents for just about all your basic legal needs. This includes a whole rafter of services for those starting new businesses including help starting a corporation, trading and copyright registration and filing a DBA (Doing Business As).

In addition to these, LegalZoom also offer services including:

  • will writing
  • real estate leases
  • filing for bankruptcy
  • legal name changes
  • corporate name change
  • business compliance
  • patent services

Plans and Pricing

For those wanting to start up a basic LLC (Limited Liability Company), LegalZoom offers three pricing packages – Economy, Standard and Express Gold. Each of the following packages does not include additional state filing fees (for American customers) which vary from state-to-state. You can find out how much extra you’ll have to pay here.

The packages break down as follows:

– Economy

  • $79 (plus state filing fees)
  • 50 Attendee Room.
  • Name Check and Business Filing
  • Next Steps Guide (step-by-step instructions to review your LLC documents)
  • Peace of Mind Review
  • Lifetime Customer Support
  • Financial Account Authorisation Letter

– Standard

  • $329 (plus state filing fees)
  • Everything from the Economy Package, plus:
  • Deluxe Organiser (organiser embossed with your company name)
  • Official Certificates & Seal
  • LegalZoom Priority VIP Processing

– Economy

  • $349 (plus state filing fees)
  • Everything from the Standard Package, plus:
  • Rush Processing with the Secretary of State (process completed within 7 – 10 working days)
  • Express Shipping

Some of LegalZoom’s other services cost as follows:

ServicePrices Start at:
S-Corp/C-Corp Formation$149 (plus filing fees)
Nonprofit Formation$99 (plus filing fees)
Copyright Registration$114 (plus filing fees)
Trademark Registration$199 (plus filing fees)

Pros:

– Decades of Experience and Expertise

With almost twenty years of experience in the field and millions of customers, you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands with LegalZoom. They’re far and away the industry leader in their field, and well established at what they do.

– 60-Day Money Back Guarantee

If you’re not happy with LegalZoom’s service, they offer a generous 60-day money back guarantee – the longest of its kind in their field. As a result, there’s little risk in signing up for their service, even if you’re not 100% convinced.

– Wide Range of Services

It’s safe to say that LegalZoom has you covered for just about every legal eventuality your business might face. From forming a company to dissolving it, LegalZoom has you covered.

Cons:

– Less-than-Stellar Customer Service

Although LegalZoom’s customer service operators put in respectable hours (call centes are open until 7 p.m Pacific Time on weekdays and 4 p.m PT at weekends), the service itself frequently comes in for criticism in many online reviews. Several customers have complained about being left on hold for a long time, or having to navigate seemingly-eternal upsells to get what they need. Perhaps it’s an inevitable by-product of their massive customer base, but it can be a little jarring when:

– It’s Not That Cheap

Okay, there’s no doubt that LegalZoom is much cheaper and more convenient than most brick-and-mortar legal firms. However, as far as online legal services go it doesn’t compare favourably with the competition – companies like ZenBusiness, for example, are significantly cheaper.

Wrap-up:

With a wide range of services and decades of experience under their belt, LegalZoom are unquestionably the industry leader when it comes to online legal services. However, such experience comes at a comparatively high price – bargain hunters might be tempted to risk one of their cheaper yet less experienced competitors.