LegalZoom Review: Services, Pricing, & Alternatives

Our Verdict

Discover the latest LegalZoom updates in this review, including a comprehensive overview of its features, real-world use cases, and pricing details.

This post contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.

Read our review guidelines.

LegalZoom LegalZoom
Service Type: business formation services
Best For: Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals seeking accessible and cost-effective legal and tax assistance.
Pricing: $149 - $349
Pros:
  • Wide range of legal services
  • Affordable Business Advisory plan
  • User-friendly and easy processes
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee with a 60-day money-back period
  • Incredible customer support
Cons:
  • Registered Agent service is expensive
  • Expensive add-ons
  • Turnaround time depends on the states

Are you among the many people looking to start or manage a business properly? Do you have ideas that need protection, loved ones depending on your success, or simply seek guidance in navigating the legal landscape?

LegalZoom might just be the solution you’ve been searching for.

LegalZoom’s mission is clear: to make legal help accessible to all, leveraging technology, legal expertise, and trusted partnerships to simplify the complex world of law.

In this review, we will explore LegalZoom’s features, real-world use cases, and pricing structure for 2023, helping you make informed decisions about your legal and business needs.

Let’s dive into the details and see how LegalZoom can be the partner you need on your journey to success.

SMB Guide’s Verdict for LegalZoom

SMB Guide’s overall rating for LegalZoom is 8.5 out of 10.

Here’s the detailed breakdown of the scoring for each factor:

FactorRating (out of 10)
Pricing & Plans9
Business Formation Services8.5
Processing Time7.5
Registered Agent Services and Costs8
Name Availability Search5
Online Document Access6
Money-Back Guarantees7
Customer Support8
SMB Guide Rating8.5

In this review of LegalZoom, I’ve followed SMB Guide’s detailed criteria for evaluating the business formation service.

What is LegalZoom?

LegalZoom homepage

Founded in 2001 as a tech-driven legal services provider, LegalZoom introduced a range of online services with a focus on estate planning, business formation, and intellectual property protection.

Over the years, they’ve garnered a reputation for offering a new, easier, and more cost-effective way to access legal assistance.

With a presence in key locations like Los Angeles, Austin, and the Bay Area, LegalZoom has built a united workforce of talented, diverse, and inclusive professionals—commonly known as “Zoomers.” 

This dedicated team is the driving force behind LegalZoom’s ability to empower millions of individuals to turn their dreams into official realities.

Pricing & Plans

The LegalZoom pricing plans vary depending on the business formation service you opt for. That is, the type of business/corporation you’re aiming to set up. 

We’ve broken down the pricing for all their formation plans which include LLCs, Corporations (both S-Corp and C-Corp), Non Profits, Sole Proprietorships, Limited Partnerships, LLPs, and filing of DBAs.

LLC

LegalZoom LLC pricing

If you’re interested in forming an LLC, you have three plans you can choose from depending on the level of legal support you require: 

  • Basic — bare minimum of assistance required 
  • Pro — requiring assistance to operate the business in a compliant way
  • Premium — if you want advice from experienced attorneys

Price

  • Basic: $0 + state filing fees
  • Pro: $249 + state filing fees
  • Premium: $299 + state filing fees

Features

  • Basic: Articles of organization, name check service, digital welcome packet, and a customizable website with Wix
  • Pro: Basic features + an operating agreement, an EIN, access to over 150 customizable legal documents, unlimited eSignatures for one year, initial phone consultations with specialists 
  • Premium: Pro features + experienced business attorney guidance, unlimited 30-minute attorney consultations, any changes to your LLC formation documents within the first 30 days

Who it’s for: Small business owners looking for personal liability protection.

Corporation

LegalZoom corporation pricing

A corporation, like an LLC, has a separate legal entity from its owners. Unlike LLCs, they offer other benefits as well like shareholders and the ability to seek outside investors.

There are three packages available: 

  • Economy — with a standard processing time 
  • Standard — with a 5-day priority processing period
  • Express Gold — with a 1-2 day express processing and expedited shipping

Price

  • Economy: $149 + state filing fees
  • Standard: $329 + state filing fees
  • Express Gold: $349 + state filing fees

Features

  • Economy: Free website, name search, Peace of Mind Review, small biz consultation, digital welcome packet, lifetime customer support, business newsletter 
  • Standard: Economy features deluxe founder’s kit, personalized notebook  
  • Express Gold: Standard features + expedited processing, express shipping 

Who it’s for: Business owners looking to attract investors and look more official/credible.

Nonprofit Corporation

LegalZoom nonprofit pricing

Nonprofit corporations are perfect if you have a humanitarian initiative. 

  • Economy — slower filing speed
  • Standard — standard filing speed
  • Express Gold — fastest filing speed service

Price

  • Economy: $99 + state filing fees
  • Standard: $239 + state filing fees
  • Express Gold: $359 + state filing fees

Features

  • Economy: Preliminary name clearance, articles of incorporation, Peace of Mind Review
  • Standard: Economy features + deluxe founder’s kit, personalized binder and notebook, corporate minutes forms 
  • Express Gold: Standard features + faster filing of your articles of incorporation, expedited federal tax ID (EIN), quicker delivery of your package, 14-day trial of legal plan

Who it’s for:

  • Business owners with a non-profit incentive.
  • Looking for grants, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, and protect your assets.

Limited Partnership

LegalZoom limited partnership pricing

Limited partnerships are great if you’re looking for more investors but want to limit personal liability. The available pricing plans are: 

  • Economy — basic LP plan 
  • Standard — basic LP plan + popular options 
  • Express Gold — all-inclusive rush package 

Price

  • Economy: $149 + state filing fees
  • Standard: $259 + state filing fees
  • Express Gold: $379 + state filing fees

Features

  • Economy: Preliminary name clearance, filing Certificate of Limited Partnership, Peace of Mind Review
  • Standard: Economy features + deluxe limited partnership kit, personalized notebook
  • Express Gold: Express Gold features + Priority Rush service (7-10 days), expedited EIN, 2-day delivery of final package  

Who It’s For

  • Limited partners 
  • Owners who want to designate general partners that manage the business

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

LegalZoom LLP pricing

LLPs offer an additional layer of protection and come with the following plans:

  • Economy — basic LLP plan 
  • Standard — basic LLP plan + popular options 
  • Express Gold — all-inclusive rush package 

Price

  • Economy: $149 + state filing fees
  • Standard: $259 + state filing fees
  • Express Gold: $379 + state filing fees

Features

  • Economy: Preliminary name clearance, filing certificate of LLP, Peace of Mind Review
  • Standard: Economy features + deluxe LLP kit, personalized notebook
  • Express Gold: Express Gold features + Priority Rush service (7-10 days), expedited EIN, 2-day delivery of final package  

Who It’s For

  • Business owners seeking a company with one or more partners 
  • Partners seeking protection from the liabilities of other partners

Doing Business As (DBA)

LegalZoom DBA pricing

DBA, short for “doing business as” is a popular rebranding technique. With a DBA, you can give your business a name that’s different from the registered name of your business. 

  • Standard — basic DBA plan
  • Premium — provides more attorney support

Price

  • Standard: $99 + filing fees
  • Premium: $119 + filing fees

Features

  • Standard: Preliminary name search, DBA application filing, publication of your DBA name, proof of publication filing
  • Premium: Standard features + 14-day trial of the attorney advice 

Who It’s For

  • Sole proprietorships looking to expand
  • Business owners wanting to rebrand
LegalZoom

Kickstart your business in minutes with LegalZoom's business formation services.

Start for free
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Business Formation Services

LegalZoom offers a wide range of business formation services, complete with legal advisory and comprehensive plans to make sure you find one within your budget with the level of support you require.

Here are the main formation services and types LegalZoom offers.

LLC

LegalZoom offers a comprehensive suite of services for Limited Liability Company (LLC) formation, making the process of establishing your business entity smoother and more efficient. 

An LLC is a popular choice among entrepreneurs due to its ability to provide personal liability protection while maintaining a simplified tax structure.

Here’s how LegalZoom can assist you in forming your LLC:

  • Helps you choose and reserve a business name that aligns with your brand and meets state-specific naming requirements, ensuring your LLC has a distinct identity.
  • Assistance in selecting a registered agent, a crucial role responsible for receiving legal documents on your LLC’s behalf, helping to maintain compliance with state regulations.
  • Streamlines the process of filing the necessary Articles of Organization with the state, a critical step in officially registering your LLC.
  • Understanding the licenses and permits required for your specific industry and location can be complex. 
  • LegalZoom assists in drafting a customized operating agreement tailored to your business needs.
  • LegalZoom simplifies the process of obtaining an EIN, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, which is crucial for tax reporting and opening a business bank account.

Corporation

LegalZoom offers a seamless process for entrepreneurs looking to establish a corporation, a legal entity separate from its owners that provides crucial protection against business liabilities and debts. 

Corporations also offer unique advantages, such as the ability to have shareholders and seek external investments. Here’s how LegalZoom can assist you in setting up your corporation:

  • Streamlines the corporation formation process, allowing you to initiate the setup swiftly and efficiently.
  • Guides you through every step to make sure your business is compliant with state and federal regulations.
  • Choose the right name for your corporation and reserve it, ensuring your business has a distinctive and memorable identity.
  • Appointing a registered agent and filing the necessary Articles of Incorporation with the state.

Nonprofit Corporation

LegalZoom provides essential support for those looking to establish a nonprofit corporation, enabling them to pursue charitable missions, apply for grants, and gain 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status when eligible. 

Here are some ways LegalZoom can assist you in setting up your nonprofit corporation:

  • Helps you obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), ensuring your nonprofit is properly recognized.
  • If your nonprofit is eligible, LegalZoom can guide you through the process of applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. This status allows your organization to receive tax-deductible donations and grants, making fundraising more accessible.
  • Provides a comprehensive list of the licenses and permits your nonprofit may need to operate legally, ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations.

Limited Partnership

LegalZoom offers valuable assistance for those considering the formation of a limited partnership (LP), an ideal structure for businesses seeking investment from limited partners while designating general partners to manage the business. 

Here’s how LegalZoom can assist you in establishing your limited partnership:

  • LegalZoom helps you clear your LP’s name, ensuring it complies with state requirements and stands out in the market.
  • They streamline the process of filing the necessary Certificate of Limited Partnership with the state, officially registering your LP and defining the roles and responsibilities of general and limited partners.
  • LegalZoom assists in obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

LegalZoom offers essential services for those interested in forming a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), an ideal structure for businesses managed by one or more partners seeking to shield themselves from each other’s liabilities. 

Here’s how LegalZoom can assist you in establishing your LLP:

  • LegalZoom assists you in clearing your LLP’s name, just as it does with LP. 
  • Enable the process of filing the required Certificate of Limited Liability Partnership with the state, defining the liability protections among partners.
  • LegalZoom helps you obtain a Federal Tax Identification Number (EIN).

Doing Business As (DBA)

A DBA can be a useful tool in certain situations, providing flexibility without the administrative requirements of an LLC or other formal business structure. 

Here’s how LegalZoom can assist you with your DBA:

  • LegalZoom helps you conduct a preliminary name search to ensure that the desired DBA name is available and compliant with state regulations.
  • They simplify the process of filing the necessary DBA application with the appropriate authorities, allowing you to operate your business under your chosen name officially.
  • In some jurisdictions, it’s required to publish your DBA name in local newspapers. LegalZoom can assist with this crucial step.
  • LegalZoom guides you through the filing of proof of publication, ensuring that you meet all legal requirements for your DBA.

Processing Time

LegalZoom typically processes incorporation and business formation services within a window of 5 to 14 days. This timeframe includes the preparation and filing of necessary documents, ensuring that your business gets officially registered.

Recognizing that some customers may have more urgent requirements, LegalZoom also provides expedited processing options for most of its packages.

However, expedited processing usually comes at an additional fee. The exact processing time for expedited services may vary depending on your specific needs and the package you choose.

Keep in mind that while LegalZoom strives to provide efficient service, some aspects of processing times can be influenced by factors beyond their control.

For instance, state filings may occasionally depend on federal authorities, making them subject to unpredictable delays. 

Therefore, when choosing LegalZoom’s services, it’s advisable to consider your timeline and any potential expedited options to ensure your business formation process aligns with your specific requirements.

Registered Agent Services and Costs

LegalZoom offers a registered agent service that includes various features and comes with a clear pricing structure, priced at $249 per year, providing you with essential support for your business’s legal correspondence needs.

LegalZoom registered agent pricing

Its key features include: 

  • Mail Handling: This includes legal notices, official documents, and critical communications, ensuring you stay informed about important matters affecting your business.
  • Compliance Calendar: LegalZoom goes the extra mile by offering a Compliance Calendar as part of their service. This feature sends you email alerts about critical tax deadlines and annual report due dates. This proactive approach helps you stay on top of your compliance requirements, potentially saving you both time and money.
  • Unlimited Cloud Storage: This allows you to securely store and access important records, contracts, and other documents related to your business operations.
  • RA Switching Assistance: If you decide to switch your registered agent to LegalZoom, they will handle the paperwork required with your state authorities and cover any associated fees. This transition process is made smoother for your convenience.

While the service does come at an annual cost, the features provided can help you maintain the integrity and efficiency of your business operations, making it a worthwhile investment for many entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Name Availability Search

When it comes to choosing the right business name, conducting a name availability search is a critical step in ensuring your chosen name is unique and compliant with state regulations.

LegalZoom doesn’t currently provide a standalone name availability search tool on its website.

LegalZoom name availability search

Instead, LegalZoom incorporates name availability searches as part of the services you choose when opting for their packages.

While this approach can streamline the overall process of business formation or incorporation, it may be seen as a drawback when compared to some competitors that offer free and comprehensive online name search tools.

The absence of a standalone name search tool on LegalZoom’s website may be less user-friendly for individuals who wish to perform initial name checks independently before committing to services. 

If conducting an independent name availability search is a top priority for you, you may need to consider using external resources or exploring other service providers that offer this specific feature as a standalone free service online.

Online Document Access

In today’s digital age, easy and efficient access to important business documents can greatly enhance a company’s operations and compliance efforts.

However, LegalZoom does not currently provide extensive online document access or digitized records for certain critical documents.

LegalZoom annual reports

When you use LegalZoom’s services, you will typically receive your original documents and filings, including your annual report, via postal mail.

This means that accessing and managing these specific documents may not be as immediate or convenient as some other service providers that offer digitized records accessible online.

However, LegalZoom does offer access to an online database of templates for various legal forms and documents in PDF formats.

These templates cover a wide range of needs, including affidavits, business plans, contracts, and more.

LegalZoom legal forms

While this resource is valuable for generating and customizing legal documents, it may not directly address the need for online access to specific formation certificates, annual reports, or compliance records.

Therefore, when choosing LegalZoom as your service provider, it’s important to consider your specific document access and management requirements.

If real-time access to these types of records is a priority for your business, you may want to explore alternative options or supplementary document management solutions to meet your needs effectively.

Money-Back Guarantees

LegalZoom, while not providing a traditional money-back guarantee, does offer a unique assurance called the “LZ Guarantee.”

The LZ Guarantee reflects LegalZoom’s commitment to delivering high-quality and accurate products and services to its customers.

If LegalZoom makes a mistake on your order, they pledge to correct it at no cost to you. This commitment can provide peace of mind to customers, knowing that LegalZoom takes responsibility for errors made on their end.

In addition to the LZ Guarantee, LegalZoom does offer refunds on select services, but this is typically done on a case-by-case basis.

The availability and terms of refunds may vary depending on the specific service you’ve purchased.

It’s important to note that, as with many legal and business service providers, LegalZoom’s refunds do not cover:

  • third-party processing fees
  • government filing fees incurred after submission
  • or fees paid directly to attorneys, if applicable

Therefore, when using LegalZoom’s services, it’s advisable to carefully review the terms and conditions to fully understand the refund policy for the particular service you are engaging in.

Customer Support

LegalZoom offers a range of customer support options to assist customers throughout their journey.

For phone support: 

  • You can contact their customer care team at (888) 379-0854 for general inquiries or (855) 787-1922 for sales-related questions. 
  • Their support hours are Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT and weekends from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you prefer to submit questions or inquiries online: 

  • You can do so by entering your contact information under the “Ask a question” tab on the Contact us page. 
  • You can chat with their agents by entering your name and email, with the option to provide your phone number. Keep in mind this means giving your consent for LegalZoom to contact you regarding your order or special offers.

While support availability is not round-the-clock, their extensive hours of operation and various contact methods make it relatively convenient for customers to access the guidance they need during the business incorporation and formation process.

LegalZoom — Additional Services

In addition to its core services, LegalZoom offers a range of supplementary services designed to further support businesses in various aspects of their legal and operational needs. 

These additional services are tailored to enhance convenience, compliance, and protection. Let’s explore some of these valuable offerings.

Compliance Calendar

LegalZoom compliance calendar

LegalZoom understands the importance of staying on top of important deadlines and filings to maintain your business’s good standing and avoid penalties. 

Their Compliance Calendar service provides proactive assistance by alerting you in advance of crucial dates, such as annual reports and state income tax deadlines.

With an 18-month calendar flexibility, you can plan ahead and look back on essential dates, ensuring that you don’t miss critical filings. 

This service comes at a cost of $69 per year.

Trademark Search

LegalZoom trademark search

Before investing time and resources into applying for a federal trademark, it’s essential to determine its availability. 

LegalZoom’s Trademark Search service helps you make informed decisions by conducting searches of state, federal, and international records.

This ensures that your chosen trademark is unique and not already registered by someone else. 

LegalZoom offers different pricing options for their Trademark Search service, including:

  • Federal Search: $199
  • Federal, State, and Common Law Search: $299
  • WorldScan International Search: $499

Trademark Registration

LegalZoom trademark registration

LegalZoom goes a step further by offering attorney-led support for trademark registration. Their trademark registration package is led by experienced trademark attorneys who provide guidance at every stage of the process, from filing to overcoming potential obstacles.

This attorney assistance significantly increases your chances of successfully registering your trademark. LegalZoom operates its own law firm with over 30 trademark attorneys, positioning them as the #1 filer in the U.S.

If your first trademark application is rejected by the government, they will help you register a new one at no additional cost. 

This comprehensive service is available for a fee of $599.

What the Experts Say About LegalZoom

LegalZoom has a rating of 3.7 out of 5 on G2.com and 4.6 out of 5 on TrustPilot.

The most recent review on G2.com is from Brian S., a small business owner, who says, “It takes a bunch of the guesswork out of starting a business. They offer everything that you might need to start your company and get it filed. There are step-by-step instructions to get you started if you are a novice.” 

However, he does caution you to do your research and know what you want before diving into the service. 

“Some of the options can be a little confusing. There are also many different things that Legal Zoom is going to try and upsell you on. You may think that you have to use what they are offering if you are not careful.”

LegalZoom Alternatives

If you’re exploring alternatives to LegalZoom for your business needs, several reputable service providers offer distinct advantages and cater to different preferences.

Each of these alternatives has unique features, pricing structures, and target audiences. Let’s take a closer look.

Depending on your requirements and priorities, one of these options may better suit your goals compared to LegalZoom.

 
 
 
4.5
4.0
4.0
$199/yr - $349/yr
$399
$99 - $419
4.5
$199/yr - $349/yr
4.0
$99 - $419

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness homepage

ZenBusiness stands out for its user-friendly platform and commitment to helping small businesses start, run, and grow. With a starting price lower than LegalZoom, ZenBusiness offers excellent value for entrepreneurs on a budget.

It’s ideal for first-time business owners and startups looking for simplicity and affordability.

Give ZenBusiness a try today!

FirstBase

Firstbase homepage

FirstBase specializes in assisting entrepreneurs with setting up U.S. companies, especially for non-residents and international clients.

They offer personalized service and guidance throughout the entire incorporation process. While pricing may vary based on individual needs, FirstBase is best suited for foreign entrepreneurs seeking expert assistance in entering the U.S. market.

Check out Firstbase.

CorpNet

CorpNet homepage

CorpNet distinguishes itself through its extensive experience in business formation services. They provide a wide range of services, often at competitive prices.

CorpNet is a solid choice for businesses looking for comprehensive support and guidance, making it a great option for various industries and business sizes.

Explore CorpNet now!

Getting Started with LegalZoom

LegalZoom offers a wide range of services to support your legal and business needs, from business formation to trademark registration and compliance management. 

With their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, they can be a valuable partner on your entrepreneurial journey.

Ready to take the next step? Click the button below to get started with LegalZoom and explore their services!

FAQs

Where is LegalZoom headquartered?

LegalZoom is headquartered in Glendale, California but also has locations in LA and Austin.

Does LegalZoom have an app?

LegalZoom is available for download on the App Store if you want to manage your filings on the go.

Will LegalZoom refund my money?

LegalZoom has various refund periods available, depending on the nature of the service you’ve opted for. For filed and non-filed products, there’s a 60-day refund period available.

Subscription services have a 30-day refund period. Attorney-led trademark registrations are refundable in 7-days.

It’s worth noting that the refund period doesn’t cover any third-party processing fees.

Related reading:

LegalZoom

Kickstart your business in minutes with LegalZoom's business formation services.

Start for free
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
LegalZoom

LegalZoom provides access to independent attorneys and self-service tools. We are not a law firm and do not provide legal advice.

Product Brand: LegalZoom.com, Inc.

Editor's Rating:
4.2

Beatrice is a seasoned productivity writer with a knack for uncovering game-changing productivity hacks that simplify life routines. Armed with a triple major in Commerce, Accounting, and Insurance, she also runs her own digital consulting firm. You'll usually find her immersed in crafting captivating literary novels and traveling the world.