Most businesses will require at least one license or permit to operate in compliance with the law, but it can be difficult to discern which ones your company needs. Instead of doing the research yourself, similar to hiring an affordable LLC formation service, you can hand over the process to an experienced business services provider. They’ll figure out which licenses your business needs to operate in compliance with all levels of government and provide you with the applications. All you need to do is fill them out and turn them in.
LegalZoom is a popular business license service thanks to its strong track record of experience and reasonable pricing model. That said, they’re only one of many reputable companies offering this service. Let’s take a closer look at LegalZoom to see if it’s the right choice for you.
Some states require all businesses operating within their borders to acquire general business licenses. Even if your state doesn’t require a general license, it’s likely you’ll need to obtain at least one license. After all, many industries require some sort of licensing, and your county or municipality may have licensing requirements of their own.
As you might imagine, hunting down all of the business licenses you need from federal, state, county, and municipal government entities can be a significant hassle. Thankfully, there are plenty of reputable business services companies offering affordable business license services. But is LegalZoom the best option for your business licensing (or LLC service) needs? Or should you find a LegalZoom alternative?
LegalZoom is a popular choice for business license research service for a handful of reasons. Let’s start by talking about the pros and cons of its service, then move into the details.
With LegalZoom, you can get business license research on the federal, state, and local levels for just $99.99 total through its partner company, Avalara. They’ll seek out the license and permit applications for your entity type and industry, then provide you with a summarized report.
While many competitors stop there, LegalZoom also provides the option to have “professional help” with the applications. We’ll note that adding this service bumps your price point from $99.99 to $399.
LegalZoom has a roughly industry-standard pricing model for business license research, as it charges $99.99 for this service. However, we’ll note that LegalZoom sometimes has high price tags for some of its other services. Don’t just assume they have reasonable pricing until you check what other companies have to offer. For instance, LegalZoom charges $249 per year for registered agent service, while we charge just $199.
LegalZoom has more experience than the majority of its competitors. Since it formed in 2001, LegalZoom has served around 6 million customers, which includes the formation of more than 2 million businesses.
We were able to find around 6,000 reviews for LegalZoom’s services. The majority of these reviews are positive, as LegalZoom maintains an average rating score of roughly 4.3 out of 5 across the three sites.
In their positive reviews, LegalZoom clients often comment on the helpful support they received from LegalZoom representatives, frequently thanking them by name. However, in their negative reviews, clients often complain about the poor quality of customer support, so it seems this aspect of their business is a bit inconsistent.
In our experience, their phone support is good, as we’ve received thorough and accurate responses from their service reps whenever we’ve called them with questions or concerns. On the other hand, we’ve also tested their email support, which is a different story. We’ve actually waited over a full week to get a response to emails in the past, and when LegalZoom does respond to email inquiries, it’s often just a form email that doesn’t actually answer our questions.
In short, we can see why they have a mixed reputation in this regard because our own experiences with them have been hit-or-miss as well. That said, we always appreciate their long hours of availability, as LegalZoom’s support team is available on evenings and weekends when some competitors are out of the office.
Do you prioritize using a tech-savvy company with an intuitive user interface and a simple ordering process? LegalZoom could be an option. This company offers an easy-to-use website and plenty of advanced tech to help your business.
That said, LegalZoom’s user-friendly web design won’t help you as much with its business license service because this service is outsourced to a partner company called “Avalara.” While Avalara’s website is also relatively easy to use, it’s not nearly as advanced as LegalZoom’s site.
The process for purchasing business license service from LegalZoom isn’t quite as simple as it would be for most other LegalZoom services. That’s because LegalZoom sends you to a third-party website operated by a company called Avalara to sign up for a business license research package.
Let’s take a look at how the process works once you select your location and industry and click the “GET YOUR LICENSES” button on the Avalara business license service webpage.
As we mentioned earlier, we found about 6,500 mostly positive reviews for LegalZoom. We’ll note that this is a smaller volume of reviews than some competitors (like Incfile, ZenBusiness, Rocket Lawyer, etc.) have available, and the quality of LegalZoom’s reviews lags slightly behind these companies as well.
We found plenty of customers who seem pleased with the service they receive from LegalZoom. These people often discuss how helpful LegalZoom’s support network is and how easy it is to use its services.
On the other hand, we also found a decent chunk of reviews from people who were not as satisfied. These customers talk about things like high price points and inconsistent customer support. Overall, LegalZoom’s customer satisfaction reputation is definitely more good than bad, but it’s not all sunshine and roses either.
LegalZoom is a popular business license service thanks to its reasonable pricing and high level of experience. While LegalZoom outsources its business license research package, we still think there’s pretty good value included with this package. If you want to check out the competition for business license research services, our complete guide to the best options has the information you seek.
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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