1) Affordable: With either BizFilings or LegalZoom forming your LLC, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over hiring a lawyer. Many LLC formations are relatively simple, so an attorney may not be a necessity for you.
2) Customer Support: As opposed to the full DIY route, hiring a provider like LegalZoom or BizFilings gives you access to their customer support networks. If you have a question or concern, simply call or email their service reps to get help rather than trying to figure out the answers on your own.
3) Strong Guarantees: Both of these companies guarantee their services. With LegalZoom, there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee which ensures that if you’re unhappy for any reason, they’ll refund the fees you paid them. As for BizFilings, they warranty their services against filing defects for the life of your company.
4) Experience: LegalZoom and BizFilings are experienced companies with thousands upon thousands of clients. These are legitimate operations that are capable of handling most LLC formations.
5) Additional Services: LLC service is just the tip of the iceberg for these providers. Need a registered agent? Require assistance with federal tax ID (EIN) obtainment? No problem. BizFilings and LegalZoom offer these and many other business services.
6) Efficiency: If you need your LLC formed in a hurry, both BizFilings and LegalZoom have ways to speed up your turnaround time. While expediting an order obviously costs an additional fee, it can be worth it if you’re short on time.
Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.
LegalZoom: While LegalZoom does offer a $0 LLC package, the number of upsells can get overwhelming — and expensive. It costs $199 per year to add registered agent service.
BizFilings: Starting with their $99 Basic package, which includes six months of registered agent service (which costs $220/year after that), their packages are all a bit on the expensive side compared to some competing formation services. The Standard and Complete packages vary in price by state but generally don’t have enough valuable features to justify their price points.
LegalZoom: LegalZoom has formed more than 2 million businesses since it was launched in 2001.
BizFilings: BizFilings is an experienced company with more than 500,000 business formations since it opened in 1996.
LegalZoom: LegalZoom offers phone and email support. We reached out twice via the email form on their site, but it took them a full week to respond. The response we received was generic, thanking us for reaching out but not answering our question.
When we contacted them via phone, our question was answered thoroughly. The representative went into detail about our different options and then sent us an email with their direct extension so that we could reach out directly with questions. Overall, while their customer service via phone is good, their online support could be improved.
BizFilings: BizFilings provides phone and email support, and there is also a “leave a message” feature on the left side of each page on their website. We called the listed phone number, and we were quickly able to navigate through their phone tree. When we emailed, we received a response the same day after sending it early in the morning. Both their phone and email responses were professional, and they answered our questions thoroughly, providing additional details that were applicable based on what we asked.
LegalZoom: Their turnarounds are based on which package you order rather than which state you’re forming in. With their most expensive package, you could receive your finalized business formation documents in 7-10 business days, but their cheaper packages take as long as 30 business days (six weeks).
BizFilings: BizFilings structures their processing speeds the same way LegalZoom does, as they vary depending on how much money you spend on their services. Their cheapest package has a 4-6 week turnaround, which you can cut to 7-10 days with their more expensive plans. They do also offer expedited processing, which is a $60 upcharge for them to “prioritize your order above non-expedited orders,” plus the state’s expediting fee.
LegalZoom: We found 6,000+ reviews for LegalZoom, and while they do have some negative reviews mixed in, a majority of this feedback is positive. Their satisfied customers often talk about how convenient and easy to use LegalZoom’s services are.
BizFilings: BizFilings has very few reviews available online ― in fact, we were only able to find a couple dozen reviews on any third-party review websites. LegalZoom has a much larger volume of customer feedback, as you might expect, considering the fact that they’re a bigger operation.
LegalZoom: First, you’ll pick your business entity type (LLC, corporation, nonprofit) and which of LegalZoom’s three packages you’d like to purchase. From there, you fill out your business information and payment details over a series of screens that also include upsells for registered agent service, an operating agreement, an EIN, a license research package, ongoing compliance assistance, a tax consultation, ongoing legal guidance, standard or complex tax returns, a legal protection plan, two options for business bank accounts, expedited processing, and an LLC kit and seal.
BizFilings: Their incorporation wizard is a convenient tool that can help you figure out whether you should form an LLC or a corporation. Once you start filling out your order form, there are opportunities for upsells along the way, but they’re unobtrusive, and don’t feel too pushy. From the moment you start the application process, they automatically assign an order number to your application, so you can reference it with customer service if you need assistance.
BizFilings and LegalZoom offer many of the same services, like registered agent service, foreign qualifications, operating agreements, and EIN acquisition. However, LegalZoom also has quite a few services that BizFilings doesn’t offer, which mostly revolve around personal services rather than those marketed to businesses. For example, LegalZoom will help you with your last will and testament, power of attorney, and divorce proceedings.
Whether you choose BizFilings or LegalZoom (or us at ZenBusiness), you’ll receive compliant and efficient LLC service. Still, we would understand if you remain undecided, so let’s wrap up this comparison by discussing some situations that might swing your opinion one way or the other.
Do you prioritize companies with large volumes of positive customer feedback? This is one of the best reasons to choose LegalZoom. Their experience, in general, is an advantage as well.
If you’d like registered agent service bundled in with your LLC formation, choose BizFilings. In addition, BizFilings offers state-specific compliance assistance, such as New York publication service, while LegalZoom doesn’t.
If you’d like to form your LLC for free (+ state fee) with ZenBusiness, we’re an excellent choice. We also have a higher volume of positive customer reviews than either LegalZoom or BizFilings. Form your LLC quickly and get more tools to start your dream business.
Starts at $0 + state fees and only takes 5-10 minutes
Frequently Asked Questions About BizFilings and LegalZoom
BizFilings handles all state-specific compliance requirements, including New York’s publication requirement. Furthermore, their prices for publication service are pretty good, as they charge $150 (not including newspaper costs or county fees).
For what it’s worth, LegalZoom offers no assistance with these requirements. Looking for another option? Check out our New York publication service offer.
BizFilings has hardly any upsells at all. We never feel pressured to upgrade our service package or add more features unless we want to. However, LegalZoom has quite a few upsells, potentially amounting to well over $1,000 if you opt into all of them.
BizFilings’ refund policy has some pretty costly processing fees attached to it. For refunds requested before they start any work on your LLC formation process, they charge a $50 cancellation fee. Any refund requested after the initial name check is performed will be subject to a $75 fee.
On the other hand, LegalZoom has one of the industry’s best refund policies. They provide their customers with a satisfaction guarantee that says they will grant a refund to anyone requesting one for any reason within 60 days of their purchase. They don’t even have a convenience fee, which is the icing on the cake. It’s nearly identical to the refund policy we have at ZenBusiness.
BizFilings and LegalZoom don’t base their turnaround times on the actual state processing speeds. Instead, these two providers base their processing time estimates on how much money you spend on their service. With BizFilings, they structure their turnaround times as follows:
LegalZoom has a similar method, as you can see:
The DIY route is always available to you, and many entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs without any form of assistance. However, services like us at ZenBusiness can form your LLC for free, as long as you cover the state fee.
LegalZoom’s experience is an advantage. LegalZoom has a client volume in the millions, and they’ve been around for decades. As for BizFilings, their most significant advantage is their offering of state-specific compliance assistance. While many competitors will leave you to complete these steps on your own, BizFilings offers a complete business formation service package, much like we do at ZenBusiness.
Both of these companies provide plenty of solutions for ongoing compliance issues. With LegalZoom, you can get registered agent service for $199 per year, and their annual report service is available for $99.
BizFilings provides six months of registered agent service with every formation package, after which their price is $220 per year. If you want annual report service from BizFilings, you’ll need to contact them, because this feature operates on a variable pricing model.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
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