Before we dive into our comprehensive comparison of Incfile vs. LegalZoom, let’s briefly outline if either LLC formation service is a good deal. LegalZoom has solid value and charges $0 (+ state fee) to form an LLC, with minimal included features. Incfile matches this price point while including a year of registered agent service. However, LegalZoom has much more experience and a higher customer volume, making it a solid Incfile alternative.
1) Affordable: Both of these providers can save you a significant amount of money over hiring a business attorney to draft and file your formation papers.
2) Customer Support: If you have any questions or concerns, Incfile and LegalZoom have extensive customer support systems with helpful, professional representatives. This is one of the biggest advantages compared to the do-it-yourself route.
3) Experience: LegalZoom and Incfile both have extensive track records. Both companies serve thousands of customers every year and are capable of handling your formation. Experience matters and these companies have plenty of it.
4) Additional Services: They each offer extensive business solutions beyond LLC formation. From registered agent service to business licensing, they can help you just as much down the line as they can today.
5) Efficiency: If you’re in a hurry to get through the formation process, these companies can help. Incfile has expedited service available, and LegalZoom will speed up your formation if you purchase a higher tier of LLC service. Both of these options have additional costs attached, but if you need your LLC formed quickly, it can be worth it.
6) Educational: LegalZoom’s Knowledge Center has information sorted by category for entrepreneurs who want to know more about the legalities of the business world. Similarly, Incfile has a learning center with articles about different business structures and ongoing compliance issues, plus they have a helpful blog as well.
Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.
LegalZoom: While LegalZoom does offer a $0 (+ state fee) package for LLCs, the number of upsells can get overwhelming — and expensive. They charge $199 per year for registered agent service.
Incfile: Incfile will help you form your business for free while also providing a year of registered agent service. Once the first year is over, the registered agent service will renew for $119 per year. In addition, their $199 Gold package and $299 Platinum package both include valuable features that make them options as well, even at their higher price points.
LegalZoom: LegalZoom has served more than 2 million business customers since it started offering business services online in 2001.
Incfile: Incfile’s experience level is high, as they’ve helped form more than 1 million businesses since they opened in 2004.
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.
Incfile: Incfile offers phone and email support, which we tested. Incfile’s phone support is typically responsive and helpful. However, its email support is much less responsive. Some of our emails have gone unanswered, and several of the responses we have received are just form emails that don’t directly address our questions.
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).
Incfile: With Incfile, turnaround times vary based on each individual state’s formation speeds. This can be as quick as a few days in some states or could take several weeks in others. You can also add expedited processing to speed it up, although the price will vary by state.
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 it is to use LegalZoom’s services.
Incfile: Incfile doesn’t just have hundreds of customer reviews available online, they have 75,000+ of them. Furthermore, their feedback is mostly positive, with critical reviews in short supply.
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.
Incfile: As you walk through the process of signing up for Incfile, your steps are personalized based on the state you live in and the type of business you wish to establish. There are hyperlinks throughout the application to learn more about a specific question or entry on the form. There are a few upsells and third-party offers to navigate through, but if you opt into any of them, your total price is immediately updated on the screen.
Incfile and LegalZoom both provide access to a variety of additional services that can help you start or maintain your compliant business entity. They offer many of the same services as well, including registered agent service, annual reports, doing business as (DBA) names, foreign qualifications, EIN acquisitions, and more.
However, LegalZoom also offers many other services that Incfile doesn’t offer, due in large part to the fact that Incfile only sells business services, while LegalZoom also provides its customers with quite a few personal services like last will and testament, power of attorney, living trust, divorce documents, and property deeds.
As you can see, there are plenty of similarities between Incfile and LegalZoom, but also a lot of differences. If you’re still undecided about which service to use, let’s review a couple of scenarios that can help you choose which company should help you form your LLC.
Do you want a year of registered agent service with your LLC formation? Also, if customer reviews are important to you, Incfile has a small yet noteworthy advantage in that area. It’s a solid LegalZoom alternative.
If experience and brand power are your top priorities, then LegalZoom may be the better fit for you. In addition, LegalZoom offers extended customer support availability, and they also tend to be more responsive in this area than Incfile.
If you’d like to form your LLC with ZenBusiness, we’re here to help. We offer LLC formations starting at $Array (+ state fee), and we have 12,000+ positive customer reviews available online. Form your LLC quickly and get more tools to start your dream business.
Starts at $0 + state fees and only takes 5-10 minutes
The most widely recommended LLC formation package offered by Incfile is their Silver plan, which is free if you pay your own state fee. With this option, you’ll receive a year of registered agent service in addition to your formation.
Incfile has very few upsells, as they do a good job of not annoying their customers by constantly asking them to upgrade their service package or add unnecessary features. LegalZoom has an extensive series of upsells throughout its order form, and it would add more than $1,000 to your order if you bought all of them.
LegalZoom has a satisfaction guarantee that states you can request a refund at any time within 60 days of your initial purchase. It’s nearly identical to the ZenBusiness refund policy and one of the most reasonable in the industry.
As for Incfile, they’re more strict when it comes to refunds, as they only offer refunds if you request one before they forward payment to the state (usually within 24 hours), with a $30 cancellation fee attached to it.
Incfile bases its processing times on the requirements of your formation state, which can vary from just a couple of days all the way up to several weeks. They also have expedited service available for an additional fee.
As for LegalZoom, their turnaround time estimates are tied to the service package you purchase from them. Their top-tier Express Gold package is the fastest (7-10 business days), the Standard package is in the middle (15), and the Economy package is the slowest (30).
You can, and many entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs every day. However, we appreciate the peace of mind we receive from using a reputable formation service. In addition, each state has its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, so there can often be more legwork than people might expect.
LegalZoom’s significant advantage is their experience. LegalZoom has served millions of customers over the years, which is a much larger quantity of clients than most competitors. Incfile’s biggest advantage over its competitors is usually customer feedback. This company has tens of thousands of positive customer reviews online, which is tough to top.
If you’re looking for assistance with maintaining your good standing with the state into the future, either of these companies can help. LegalZoom offers registered agent service for $199 per year, and they also have annual report service available for $99. As for Incfile, they have an annual price point of $119 for registered agent service, and their annual report service is available for $99.
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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