Still, the benefits of an LLC far outweigh the disadvantages. So, what to do when you decide to start one — how to choose a provider of this service?
In this IncFile vs. LegalZoom review, we will compare the two companies known for providing the best LLC services.
IncFile vs. LegalZoom Side-by-Side Comparison
To begin, let’s take a look at the reference table below to know what to expect from these two companies in general.
|Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating||NR (No Rating)||NR (No Rating)|
|Support||Phone, email, direct online message, fax, FAQ section||Phone, email, direct online message, FAQ section|
|Free trial||No||7-day trial|
|Mobile app||None||iOS, Android|
|Satisfaction guarantee||Refund only possible before the company forwards your money to the state (you are charged a $30 cancellation fee)||60-day money-back guarantee|
|LLC formation package||Starting at $0 + state filing fees||Starting at $79 + state filing fees|
The most conspicuous thing in the table above is the massive difference in pricing — IncFile is cheaper than LegalZoom by a mile. Meanwhile, it doesn’t have a mobile app, and its satisfaction guarantee policy is rigid.
Apart from these, not much separates the two.
What more is there to learn about IncFile and LegalZoom LLC formation? Let’s find out!
Products and Services
Using a business formation service can be quite beneficial for aspiring business owners. Instead of wasting time creating legal documents or risking making business registration errors, why not let professionals deal with that? Sure, you’d spend money on this service, but you’d spend it on various legal and filing fees anyway.
On that note, this is how IncFile and LegalZoom products, services, and prices compare.
Business products & services
Both companies offer a similar range of business legal services. These include formation of LLCs, corporations, and nonprofits. They also provide registered agent services, among others.
However, there are some notable differences between the two companies.
For example, IncFile offers a free one-hour tax consultation with Gold and Platinum packages, while LegalZoom charges $49 for a 30-minute consultation. Alternatively, users can pay $169 a month (billed annually) for a full-service tax and an accounting plan. This package includes tax advice, quarterly estimates, and a QuickBooks Online account.
Moreover, while LegalZoom’s basic LLC formation service costs $79 (+ state filing fees), Incfile’s LLC starter plan is free — the company only charges state filing fees. The plan allows unlimited access to free registered agent services for one year, unlimited name searches & preparation, and filing of articles of organization.
Lastly, one of the biggest differences between the two companies is that IncFile’s second-tier and premium packages include more features. In particular, the Platinum package covers all business services except a registered agent service (free for a year, then renewed annually).
Meanwhile, many services LegalZoom offers aren’t included in the plans and are paid for separately. For instance, registered agent services are charged $299 per year, and you have to pay $99 for a LegalZoom operating agreement.
Should you require legal advice from a human practitioner, both IncFile and LegalZoom offer this service. IncFile complements its legal forms service with lawyer services, and LegalZoom is also big on the human aspect of the legal field.
LegalZoom’s network of attorneys is well versed in both federal and state laws on business formation, estate planning, and intellectual property. In addition to this, the company had clocked over 650,000 attorney consultations with small businesses and individuals by May 2022.
Of the two companies, LegalZoom has a wider catalog of legal forms . It boasts over 150 online legal documents, including NDAs, employee warnings, consulting services agreements, and final invoice templates.
On the other hand, IncFile has over 25 ready-to-use and customizable legal forms. These include business agreements, business contracts, general business legal documents, demand letters, etc.
IncFile and LegalZoom Pricing Compared
Very few business formation services can measure up to IncFile as far as pricing is concerned. The service’s affordabilitysets it apart from most of its peers.
This fact is underpinned by IncFile’s free registered agent services across all its plans, even though it’s only free for the first year.
Across the board, if there were a mantra to describe LegalZoom’s pricing, it would be ‘Premium Pricing — Premium Product.’
With this in mind, let’s consider each company’s pricing plans.
IncFile offers its services in a three-tiered package system:
- The Silver Package – this basic package is free (excluding state filing fees) and includes unlimited business name searches and preparation, filing of articles of organization, and free registered agent services for one year (but doesn’t include an LLC operating agreement).
- IncFile Gold Package – this second-tier plan costs $149+ state filing fees. It includes everything from the Silver plan plus: operating agreement drafting, business tax number (EIN) generation and tax consultation, and banking resolution drafting. Customers can also count on unlimited phone and email support, online access dashboard, and IRS Form 2553 filing.
- IncFile Platinum Package – the premium plan that costs $299 + state filing fees. With a premium membership, you get all Gold features plus business contract templates, domain name business email, and expedited filing.
Most of IncFile’s products and services can also be ordered individually. Their prices depend on the state and the level of exclusivity of the service.
Like IncFile, LegalZoom LLC packages come in three different tiers. Naturally, the cost of forming an LLC with LegalZoom depends on which plan you’ll opt for:
- Economy Package ($79 + state filing fees) – the basic plan that includes a complete LLC formation packet, business name search and entity filing, newsletter, etc. What it doesn’t include is expedited processing, express shipping, membership certificates, and a deluxe founder’s kit.
- Standard Package ($329+ state filing fees) – this second-tier plan includes everything from the Economy package except for fast shipping and expedited processing.
- Express Gold Package ($349+ state filing fees) – the premium package that includes everything from the Standard package plus expedited processing and fast shipping.
While the estimated completion time for the first two plans is up to 20 business days (with the Economy package), a premium membership guarantees the LLC formation process will be completed in just two to five business days.
The company also offers other business formation services. For instance, using LegalZoom to establish an s corp or c corp will cost you $149 plus filing fees. Meanwhile, starting a nonprofit or DBA using LegalZoom costs $99 + state filing fees.
Moreover, a LegalZoom registered agent service costs $299 per year, while LegalZoom’s partnership business advisory plan starts at $31.25 per month.
Aside from providing business formation services, LegalZoom also offers personal legal help.
You can access online wills, leases, property deed transfers, and name change forms on the platform. If you require online lawyer services for advice on filling out and filing legal documents, this service is also available at an extra fee.
We should also note that all LegalZoom products and services are available as standalone items that you pay for individually.
IncFile vs. LegalZoom Customer Support
Failory estimates that 90% of American startups fail. While many factors contribute to small business owners failing in this respect, an important one is the lack of proper customer support and care.
As far as customer service is concerned, this is what we found out on IncFile and LegalZoom.
The company’s customer support is available via:
- Phone on business days between 9 am and 6 pm Central Standard Time (CST)
- Email or a direct online message on IncFile’s website
Unlike some of its competitors that keep phone lines open on weekends, IncFile can only be reached on weekdays. However, it has an informative FAQ section.
When it comes to LegalZoom’s customer support team, you can reach them via:
- Phone between 5 am and 7 pm Pacific Time (PT) on business days
- Phone between 7 am and 4 pm PT during the weekend
- Direct online message
As you can see, LegalZoom has a more flexible customer communications policy that allows phone calls on both weekdays and weekends. Customers can also find helpful information in LegalZoom’s FAQ section.
IncFile and LegalZoom are both famous for providing LLC services. Because of this, there are plenty of online reviews that can be helpful for future users. Let’s see how the two companies rate according to customer reviews.
The nature of IncFile’s reviews vastly depends on the platform:
The company’s LLC formation service doesn’t get reviews that often on Trustpilot. What we do know is that most users seem to appreciate IncFile’s ease of use and efficiency. The few IncFile complaints observed were mainly related to the LLC formation processing speed.
The company addresses customer reviews and complaints on the site quite often, which explains why most IncFile BBB reviews are positive.
Virtually every other IncFile review praised the company’s efficiency and haste in resolving issues.
Like with IncFile, LegalZoom’s reviews differ across different platforms.
LegalZoom’s reviews on the platform vary. Some praise the company for good customer service and efficiency, while others criticize its inability to resolve the problem of continued charges despite account closure requests. Meanwhile, other users had issues with LegalZoom’s costs compared to those of its competitors.
Since companies address customer complaints and reviews on this platform quite quickly, the comments we interacted with were warm. Each LegalZoom review appreciated the helpful staff and general efficiency.
IncFile vs. LegalZoom: Which One is Better For You?
The case for IncFile LLC formation is certainly strong because of its affordability. But how do you know what service suits you better?
- Pricing: from a cost-effectiveness perspective, IncFile is better than LegalZoom and offers more for less money. The latter has some of the highest prices in the market.
- Package structure: if you want all you need under one roof, IncFile is the better option. Its second-tier and premium packages include many options you’d have to pay for extra with LegalZoom (such as the registered agent service).
- Variety: IncFile is strictly a business formation service, so LegalZoom would be a no-brainer if you require personal legal services forms or have real estate legal needs.
- Customer reviews: before choosing LegalZoom or its competitors, find out what existing and past users have said about the quality of their services.
Which is Better, IncFile or LegalZoom? Our Verdict
Both IncFile and LegalZoom have 39 years of experience between them and have helped thousands of businesses open in the US.
They are also licensed and highly rated. Consequently, choosing between the two services can be tricky, especially because both have their own strengths.
IncFile is better for:
- LLC formation (more affordable)
- Registered agent services (free for one year)
- Business tax consultation (free with Gold and Platinum plans)
- Overall value
LegalZoom is better for:
- Attorney services
- Document review
- Faster processing
- Brand protection
Yes, it is. IncFile is one of the most recognizable LLC formation services in the United States. By May 2022, over 500,000 businesses had launched with IncFile since the company’s inception in 2004.
Both companies offer LLC and other business formation services. However, IncFile is strictly a business formation service, while LegalZoom also provides personal legal services.
Based on customer and expert reviews, it is. IncFile is one of the best LLC formation services in the industry. The company offers free basic LLC formation (but charges for state filing fees) and free registered agent services for one year.
Of the three plans IncFile offers, we recommend the IncFile Gold Package, which costs $149. Apart from offering numerous features, it also includes an operating agreement, which is essential to the functioning of any business.
No, you don’t. However, due to the many complexities of opening an LLC, hiring a lawyer is advisable (especially if you don’t understand legalese). We hope our IncFile vs. LegalZoom review puts you in a position to make the right decision.