Inc Authority vs. LegalZoom: Which LLC service should I use?

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Trying to decide the right business formation service for your needs? Dive into our Inc Authority vs. LegalZoom review to see key differences, pros and cons.

State filing fees only - other pricing not publicly available
$149 - $349
Best For:
Aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs.
Best For:
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals seeking accessible and cost-effective legal and tax assistance.
State filing fees only - other pricing not publicly available
Best For:
Aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs.
$149 - $349
Best For:
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals seeking accessible and cost-effective legal and tax assistance.

When it comes to starting a business, the decision between using Inc Authority vs. LegalZoom can be daunting.

Both are popular online legal services, with Inc Authority specializing in providing free LLC formation services and LegalZoom offering a wide range of services for both businesses and individuals.

As an entrepreneur, you may juggle questions like:

  • Which service offers more value for the money?
  • Which has the best customer support?
  • And most importantly, which one is better suited for your specific needs?

This article aims to answer all these questions and more, offering a comprehensive comparison of Inc Authority and LegalZoom.

So, buckle up as we delve deeper into the pros and cons of each company, helping you to make an informed decision that could shape the future of your business.

Inc Authority vs. LegalZoom at a Glance

FeatureInc AuthorityLegalZoomWinner
SMB Guide’s Rating8.7/108.6/10Inc Authority
Business Formation ServicesLLC onlyMultiple entity typesLegalZoom
Processing Time1 business day + state processing5 to 14 daysInc Authority
Registered Agent Services and CostsFree for 1st year, $200/year after$249/yearInc Authority
Name Availability SearchTie
Online Document AccessInc Authority
Money-Back Guarantees14 days for non-LLC services60 daysLegalZoom
Platform User-FriendlinessTie
Customization OptionsTie
Compliance AssistanceLegalZoom
Industry-Specific ExpertiseTie
Customer Education and ResourcesBlogBlog, legal forms and document templatesLegalZoom
Customer SupportPhone, live chat, emailPhone, live chat, emailTie
PricingUnknown + State Fees$149 – $349Inc Authority
ScalabilityLLC OnlyConvert as you growLegalZoom

How we evaluate and test softwares

When testing softwares/apps, SMB Guide employs a dual approach based on free trial availability and demos. For platforms offering free trials, we test their functionalities, usability, navigation, and ease of use. In the case of tools lacking a free version or trial, we rely on in-depth research and user testimonials through software review platforms like G2, Capterra, TrustRadius, Software Advice, and GetApp to gauge their performance and capabilities. Learn more about our ratings criteria for business formation services here.

Inc Authority: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

Inc Authority homepage

Inc Authority is a business formation service provider based in Reno, Nevada.

They’ve helped create LLCs since 1989 and, over the years, have formed more than 250,000 businesses.

LLCs are the only business entity they can help you create, but that’s not the only service they offer.

Inc Authority can also help with:

  • Federal trademark
  • Website and marketing services
  • Business plans
  • Business credit
  • Business funding
  • Revocable living trust

Pros & Cons


Free plan available

Free registered agent the first year

Strong customer service

A la carte customization options


Pricing is not available

Must call during business hours


The only pricing information available on the official website is that you will pay the necessary state filing fees.

This varies from one state to another, so you must call and speak to an associate to determine how much you’ll pay.

Inc Authority

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LegalZoom: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

LegalZoom homepage

LegalZoom is an online legal services platform that offers a variety of services – not just business formation options.

It is a well-known name in the industry, and chances are you’ve seen a commercial or two.

Pros & Cons


100% satisfaction guarantee

User-friendly and easy processes

Incredible customer support

Wide range of legal services


Expensive add-ons

Registered Agent service is expensive


LegalZoom’s pricing varies depending on the services you choose. Whether you’re forming an LLC, corporation, non-profit, Doing Business As (DBA), sole proprietorship, Limited Partnership, or a Limited liability partnership (LLP), you’ll have your choice of packages to choose from.

The type of entity you’re forming determines what you’ll pay. If you can do most of the work yourself, opt for the basic or pro packages, which could be as little as the state filing fee.

For the premium packages, you could pay nearly $400 in addition to the state filing fee.


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Business Formation Services

Both Inc Authority and LegalZoom offer business formation services. The difference between the two is that Inc Authority only allows you to form an LLC.

With Legal Zoom, you can form your choice of business entities, including:

Winner: LegalZoom

Processing Time

With Inc Authority, your order is processed within one business day. With Legal Zoom, orders may or may not be processed that quickly.

Regardless of which service you use, you’re still at the mercy of your state.

Each state has different processing timelines and requirements, which may influence the business formation timeline.

You can pay an additional fee for expedited services. LegalZoom processes your request within 5 to 14 business days.

Winner: Inc Authority

Registered Agent Services and Costs

Both services offer registered agent services to accept legal documents on your behalf.

With Inc Authority, that service is included free for the first year. After that, you’ll be charged $200/year for the service unless you cancel the auto-renewal.

LegalZoom charges $249/year for the same service.

Winner: Inc Authority

Name Availability Search

Neither Inc Authority nor LegalZoom offers a name availability search tool for the public.

However, both of them will run their own checks when you pay for their services. If for any reason your chosen name is already in use by another company in your state, they will let you know.

Winner: Tie

Online Document Access

Inc Authority is the only provider that provides online document access to your business formation documents.

inc authority document access

LegalZoom provides copies in the mail, but not digital copies you can access at any time.

Winner: Inc Authority

Money-Back Guarantees

Both companies offer a money-back guarantee. Inc Authority offers a 14-day money-back guarantee, while LegalZoom offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Both platforms will not refund the filing fees you paid, as those go to the state when you form your business.

Winner: LegalZoom

Platform User-Friendliness

Both platforms are easy to use and navigate. You can place your order online with LegalZoom, but won’t be able to access digital versions of your business formation documents on the platform.

Inc Authority is the opposite. You must place your order via phone with a sales representative.

Once processed, you’ll be given access to an online portal where you can access documents and order additional products/services.

Because all of that balances out, it’s a tie.

Winner: Tie

Customization Options

Both platforms make it possible to customize your packages based on what your business needs are.

You can pick and choose the services that you need, instead of being locked into options that you don’t.

Winner: Tie

Compliance Assistance

Though both offer registered agent services, Inc Authority doesn’t necessarily do anything to help you maintain compliance with your state’s regulations.

LegalZoom, on the other hand, has a compliance service package that you can purchase.

It will help you with reminders on what is due and when, as well as things like filing your annual report.

Winner: LegalZoom

Industry-Specific Expertise

Neither Inc Authority nor LegalZoom have any industry-specific expertise to speak of.

They’ve both been in business for years and have helped hundreds of thousands of businesses.

That means they’ve handled business formation for countless industries across the board.

Winner: Tie

Customer Education and Resources

While both platforms have extensive blogs with information about how to start and run a business, LegalZoom wins this one.

Why? In addition to its blog, LegalZoom also offers a library of legal documents and templates you can use to address a variety of issues over the course of business ownership.

Winner: LegalZoom

Customer Support

I’m calling this one a tie because both Inc Authority and LegalZoom offer outstanding customer support.

They are both available via phone, email, and live chat. While they do have specific customer service hours by phone, the teams are highly responsive and helpful when you need them.

Winner: Tie


This is an area where things get a little dicey since it’s impossible to do a direct pricing comparison.

Because Inc Authority doesn’t publicly post its package pricing (claiming it depends on the state’s filing fees), it’s hard to say whether it can meet or beat LegalZoom’s pricing, which is also affected by state filing fees. 

I’m calling it a tie here because they both offer a free filing service with bare-bones paperwork, where all you’re required to pay is the state filing fee.

And they both offer a range of more detailed packages that allow you to purchase additional services.

Winner: Tie


While I like that you can pick and choose services a la carte with Inc Authority, it is difficult to scale your business with them because you can only form an LLC.

With LegalZoom, you can start with something as simple as a Doing Business As, then convert your business to an LLC.

And if you grow to a certain point, you can convert it to a corporation.

Winner: LegalZoom

Standout Features of Inc Authority

In addition to their business formation services, Inc Authority can also help you with other areas of your business.

Not only do you get a free tax consultation to help you get started on the right foot, but you’ll also have access to business funding and credit analysis and options through partnerships.

Standout Features of LegalZoom

LegalZoom does so much more than business formation. You can take care of a lot of your legal document needs in one place.

Plus, the library of templates and forms can make managing your business easier.

Inc Authority vs. LegalZoom: SMB Guide’s Verdict

Both services are great in their own right – but one may suit your needs better than the other.

For instance, if having access to all your documents online is important, then Inc Authority is the clear winner.

But, if you need a business structure other than an LLC, then LegalZoom is the best option between these two providers.

As far as our ratings go, Inc Authority barely edges out Legal Zoom, and that’s because of factors like online document access, and faster overall processing time.

Want to get started on your brand-new business today? Check out Inc Authority and LegalZoom.

Inc Authority

At Inc Authority your future is at your fingertips, with the ease of online convenience, free entity setup and our dedicated business startup specialist on standby.

Get Started
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Lucinda has spent the last 15 years working from home as a freelance writer and WordPress designer, and throughout her career, she has worked directly with several digital marketing agencies with clients in the SaaS space, ranging from e-commerce platforms to procurement software.