LegalZoom’s offering of a free (+ state fee) LLC formation is an advantage over Nationwide Incorporators’ pricing model. In addition, LegalZoom has a very high customer volume and plenty of brand power. However, if the attorney-powered aspect of Nationwide Incorporators appeals to you, we’d understand if you prefer them to LegalZoom.
1) Affordable: With either of these companies, you’ll probably save some money over hiring a traditional law firm (although LegalZoom has much lower prices than Nationwide Incorporators). Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom are both able to form an LLC for less than the cost of an attorney and given the nature of LLCs as relatively simple structures, you may not even need a lawyer to draft and file your formation documents.
2) Customer Support: Saving money is great, but the whole point of an LLC service is to make your life easier. With Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom, you get access to their customer support systems that can help with any questions or concerns you may have.
3) Guaranteed Service: They both offer strong guarantees that can back you up if any problems arise. LegalZoom has a 100% satisfaction guarantee that provides you with a refund if you’re unhappy for any reason, while Nationwide Incorporators will correct any issues until you’re satisfied.
4) Experience: If experience is a priority for you, these companies should put your mind at ease. They’ve each helped form thousands of businesses, and they both have years of experience in the LLC formation services industry.
5) Additional Services: Do you have other business services on your to-do list, like federal employer ID number (EIN) obtainment or registered agent service? No need to track down other providers for these or many other services, as Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom both offer plenty of other business solutions.
6) Educational: If you’d like to learn more about business solutions including formations, ongoing compliance, or taxation issues, these companies both have online learning centers where you can find free info on these and many other topics.
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.
Nationwide Incorporators: This company offers just one formation package option and focuses on forming LLCs in six states (California, Delaware, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas). The cost of this package varies from $825 to $1,175, depending on the state you choose. Along with the basics, Nationwide Incorporators will acquire your employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. In addition, Nationwide Incorporators will provide your first year of registered agent service.
LegalZoom has served more than 2 million business customers since it started offering business services online in 2001.
Nationwide Incorporators: Nationwide Incorporators opened in 1997, and company owner Robert E. Stenson has more than 25 years of experience as a business lawyer. They don’t handle the same volume of clients that some competitors do, but as they say on their website, “Don’t confuse volume with quality.”
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.
Nationwide Incorporators: You can reach them by phone or fax, or you can fill out the contact form on their website. When you contact Nationwide Incorporators, you’ll sometimes speak with company president Robert E. Stenson directly. The only minor negative with their customer support is that they’re only available from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET on weekdays, which are shorter operating hours than many competitors offer.
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).
Nationwide Incorporators: Turnaround times vary by state with Nationwide Incorporators. Unfortunately, there’s no convenient place on their website to list estimated processing speeds, so you’ll have to contact them to get this information.
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.
Nationwide Incorporators: There aren’t too many reviews for Nationwide Incorporators available online (we were only able to find a small handful), but the few they do have are all positive.
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.
Nationwide Incorporators: Ordering LLC service from Nationwide Incorporators is simple. Just fill out a couple of forms on their website to provide them with the information necessary to form your business and then pay your service fee. The issue with Nationwide Incorporators in this area is that some of their services operate on variable pricing models, and they’re also not available to purchase online, so you’ll need to contact them directly to inquire about ordering additional services.
Nationwide Incorporators and LegalZoom both have some additional business services available, and there’s quite a bit of overlap between their offerings. For instance, either one of these companies can help you with business licensing, registered agent service, foreign registrations, operating agreements, and more.
However, LegalZoom offers many services that Nationwide Incorporators doesn’t offer, like doing business as (DBA) names, 501(c)(3) applications, trademark services, and corporate supplies. In addition, LegalZoom offers quite a few personal services like last will and testament, divorce papers, and power of attorney.
With either Nationwide Incorporators or LegalZoom, you’re getting a company that’s capable of forming your compliant LLC. Still, some of you may remain undecided, so to close, we’ll walk through a couple of different scenarios that may sway your decision.
Looking for experience? LegalZoom is a more established company with big-name brand power. They also have much lower price points for LLC formations.
Does the idea of attorney-drafted and/or reviewed documents appeal to you? Nationwide Incorporators is unique in this field for their lawyer-powered filings, so if this is important to you, their services can be worth the high price tag. In general, they’re a decent LegalZoom alternative.
If you’d like to form your LLC with ZenBusiness, we’re here to help. We offer $0 (+ state fee) LLC formations, and we have 12,000+ positive customer reviews. Form your LLC quickly and get more tools to start your dream business.
Start your LLC with ZenBusiness
Pricing starts at just $0 + state fee
While Nationwide Incorporators does a great job of avoiding annoying upsells, LegalZoom has a ton of them. 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.
Nationwide Incorporators doesn’t have the most straightforward refund policy in the industry, as they state in their own words that they will “gladly correct any errors we have made at no cost to you by providing you with revised documents or forms or re-filing any documents.”
As for LegalZoom, they have one of the most reasonable refund policies of any LLC formation service, and it’s nearly identical to ours at ZenBusiness. Their satisfaction guarantee ensures that anyone who requests a refund for any reason within 60 days of their initial purchase date will receive a refund with no convenience fee.
Nationwide Incorporators has turnaround times that are based on the ability of each state to process LLC formations. As a result, their processing speeds are as quick as just a few days in some states but can take several weeks in others.
LegalZoom takes a different approach from most competitors. Instead of basing turnaround estimates on each state’s actual requirements, they adjust your LLC’s processing time based on which level of LLC service you buy from them.
Their cheapest Economy package takes 30 business days, while their Standard package can be completed in 15 business days, and their Express Gold option has a 7-10 business day turnaround time.
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.
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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