Are you looking to form a new limited liability company (LLC), but you’re not sure which of the many formation services can best assist you? Companies like Filenow and LegalZoom can do the heavy lifting for you, but how do you know which one you should use? In this Filenow vs. LegalZoom LLC service comparison, we’ll walk through their main commonalities and differences.
LegalZoom and Filenow are both good LLC formation services, and either one of them can form a compliant entity. However, LegalZoom has a few advantages, starting with its pricing for LLC formation service. LegalZoom offers an LLC service package for $0 (+ state fee), whereas Filenow charges at least $49.
Another important point to note is that LegalZoom has thousands of positive customer reviews available online, while Filenow has around 600. If you would like to learn more about these two service providers, read on to discover all the relevant details.
LegalZoom: While LegalZoom does offer a $0 (+ state fee) LLC package, the number of upsells can get overwhelming — and expensive. Its $249 Pro package adds an operating agreement template, EIN acquisition, and a business licensing guide, while its Premium package for $299 adds attorney guidance with your LLC formation. It costs $199 per year to add a registered agent service.
Filenow: At $49, Filenow’s baseline price point for LLC formation service isn’t bad. Filenow’s Premium package costs $199 but it might be a better deal than its Starter package, as it adds several valuable features like registered agent service and EIN acquisition.
LegalZoom: LegalZoom has formed more than 2 million businesses and served 4+ million customers since it was launched in 2001.
Filenow: We were unable to glean much information about Filenow’s background or experience level. However, the company does have 600+ mostly positive reviews available on Trustpilot.
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.
Filenow: Filenow offers customer support via phone or email. You can also use its web-based chat application or fill out the contact form on its website. Their representatives are knowledgeable and courteous, and they’re available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET on weekdays.
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).
Filenow: With Filenow, turnaround times depend on two things. First, each state has its own timelines for processing LLC formation paperwork. Secondly, Filenow processes LLC formations a bit quicker if you order the Premium package instead of the Starter.
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 it is to use LegalZoom’s services.
Filenow: We found 600+ reviews of Filenow’s services on reputable third-party review websites, and the majority of them are positive. Overall, most customers seem pleased with the service they receive from this company.
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.
Filenow: The first step with Filenow is to choose your entity type (LLC, corporation, S corp) and state. Then, you’ll choose which of Filenow’s two business formation packages you’d like to purchase. From there, you’ll walk through a couple of screens that ask for your personal details and basic business info, followed by a very long series of 11 upsell attempts. Once you finally make your way through Filenow’s exhaustive upsells, you can pay for your order.
With either Filenow or LegalZoom, you have access to a selection of additional services that can help you grow and maintain your business. As you might expect, these companies offer many of the same services, as either can help you with ongoing compliance assistance, operating agreement templates, registered agent service, and more.
However, there are also some services that are only available from LegalZoom. For instance, LegalZoom offers many personal services (including wills and estate plans), which Filenow lacks.
Filenow and LegalZoom have many similarities in the way they provide LLC service, but they also differ in a few key ways. Furthermore, depending on your specific needs and priorities, your preference may vary.
If you’re not yet decided between Filenow and LegalZoom, let’s review a couple of scenarios that may sway you in one direction or the other.
Filenow’s $199 (+ state fee) Premium package is a pretty good deal, as it includes a year of registered agent service, EIN acquisition, an operating agreement template, and more. If this appeals to you, Filenow could be worth a look. In general, Filenow is a good LegalZoom alternative.
If you’re looking for low prices from a company with lots of positive reviews, LegalZoom might be a good choice for LLC service.
If you’d like to form your LLC for free (plus state fees), we’re here to help. ZenBusiness also has a much higher volume of positive customer feedback than either Filenow or LegalZoom. Form your LLC quickly and get more tools to start your dream business.
Get Started with ZenBusiness
Starts at $0 + state fees and only takes 5-10 minutes
Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.
We think LegalZoom’s best LLC formation service package is its Basic plan for $0 (+ state fee). While it doesn’t include any advanced features other than a website package through a third-party partnership with Wix, it’s still hard to complain about getting your LLC formed for free.
LegalZoom doesn’t provide assistance with publication requirements, and Filenow doesn’t offer to help with this requirement, either. For more information on your options, check out our New York publication service.
Both of these companies overload the order form with expensive upsells. Filenow has an exhaustive series of upsells, with 11 upsell attempts scattered throughout its order form. Meanwhile, LegalZoom has so many upsells that it would cost you well over $1,000 extra if you opted into all of them.
Filenow’s refund policy is very strict. They don’t actually offer refunds at all — they only allow exchanges for certain products and services (not including LLC formations), and even then, you have to request one within 30 days.
On the other hand, LegalZoom’s refund policy is nearly identical to ours at ZenBusiness. They give you a 60-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you aren’t pleased with their services, they’ll refund your money.
Filenow’s turnaround times are primarily based on each state’s formation speeds. In addition, Filenow offers faster internal processing for customers who purchase its premium packages rather than the cheapest option. Meanwhile, LegalZoom bases its turnaround times on which package you purchase:
You can. In fact, plenty of people do form their own LLCs without assistance every day. However, we simply like to caution our readers that because every state has its own requirements to form an LLC, it can be a hassle to familiarize yourself with the details of your state’s specific rules and regulations.
In addition, we appreciate the peace of mind we get from hiring a professional service because we trust their expertise. Services like ours at ZenBusiness can form your LLC for free as long as you cover the state fee.
In our opinion, Filenow’s 600+ positive customer reviews are an advantage over many competitors, although LegalZoom has them beat in this area. As for LegalZoom, its $0 (+ state fee) package is $49 cheaper than Filenow’s most affordable LLC formation service plan.
Filenow offers registered agent service for $119 per year, and it provides annual report service for $99 per year. With LegalZoom, you can get registered agent service for $199 per year, 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.