LegalZoom Review 2021: Pros, Cons, and Best Alternatives

LegalZoom is an online legal service designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for all of a small business’s legal needs. Businesses can pay a low fixed rate for many types of legal work—including a Business Advisory Plan, which offers ongoing access to attorney consultations and legal reviews.

LegalZoom is a great option for small businesses that don’t have in-house legal departments or lawyers, but would like regular legal assistance.

Use our guide to learn more about LegalZoom’s offerings, cost, and customer reviews to decide if this legal service is right for your business.

Green checkmarkPros
  • One of the oldest and most well-known online legal services
  • 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee
  • Affordable business legal plan, offers regular access to an attorney
  • Business plan includes tax advice and annual business evaluation
Red X markCons
  • Business formation is more expensive than competitors
  • Certain services, like document review, are only available with subscription plan
  • Online reviews suggest customer service could be improved

LegalZoom Services

LegalZoom provides a wide range of services for small business owners—from LLC formation to trademark registration. You can choose from one-time services, such as forming a business; free services, such as creating certain legal documents; or, as we mentioned, opt for the subscription-based Business Advisory plan for regular legal assistance.

Here are some of the highlights of what LegalZoom offers:

Business Formation

  • Start a business and file formation paperwork in your state
  • Form an LLC, C-corporation, S-corporation, nonprofit, sole proprietorship, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership
  • Create a doing business as (DBA)
  • Reserve your entity name

Business Operations Offerings

  • Registered agent services
  • Create operating agreements, bylaws and resolutions, annual reports and other compliance documents
  • Draft and file business changes, such as corporate amendments or name changes
  • Apply for a federal tax ID, business license, or seller’s permit
  • Customize and download legal documents and forms

Intellectual Property Services

  • Search, register, or monitor a trademark
  • Apply for a patent or copyright protection

Business Advisory Plan

  • 30-minute attorney consultations on new legal matters
  • Contract and other legal document reviews (up to 10 pages)
  • Annual business evaluation (requires a one-year subscription)
  • Unlimited downloads from legal library
  • Exclusive discounts on other LegalZoom offerings
Get Started With LegalZoom

LegalZoom Pricing

The cost of LegalZoom will ultimately depend on the services you choose. Here’s a summary of some of the most popular options and their respective prices:

Service LegalZoom Cost
LLC formation:
Starts at $79 + state filing fees
Corporation formation:
Starts at $149 + state filing fees
Nonprofit formation:
Starts at $99 + state filing fees
Limited partnership/limited liability partnership formation:
Starts at $149 + state filing fees
Business Advisory Plan:
$31.25 per month for annual plan; $36 per month for six-month plan
Registered agent service:
$299 per year
Doing business as (DBA) registration:
Starts at $99 + state filing fees
Annual reports:
Starts at $55 + filing fees
Trademark registration:
$249 + federal filing fees for do it yourself option; $599 + federal fees for let an attorney take the lead option
Copyright application:
Starts at $114 + filing fees

It’s important to keep in mind that these are just starting prices and costs can vary depending on your business’s specific needs. It’s also worth noting that add-ons will likely incur extra costs.

For example, if you have the Business Advisory Plan and need an attorney to review documents that are over 10 pages long, you’ll face a charge of $39 for documents with 11 to 15 pages and $99 for documents with 16 to 25 pages. For longer documents, the business attorney will contact you with a price.

Similarly, if your legal issues require more work than a 30-minute phone consultation can resolve, then the attorney will charge their independent hourly rate at a 25% discount for LegalZoom customers.

Luckily, if you have any questions about costs, LegalZoom details their prices clearly on their website.

LegalZoom Pros

Longevity and Money Back Guarantee

LegalZoom is one of the oldest and most well-known online legal services, having helped over four million businesses and consumers. They offer a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee, the longest in the industry. You can also cancel your membership at any time and get a prorated refund.

Comprehensive and Affordable Business Legal Plan

This is the least expensive option for a business legal plan that offers regular access to an attorney.

Just like competitors, the business legal plan includes phone consultations with an attorney and document review. However, LegalZoom also includes tax advice and an annual business evaluation (checks to ensure you’re in compliance with relevant laws) in their legal plan, which competitors do not offer.

It also includes one copyright registration per month, an excellent deal for artists, musicians, and other creative freelancers and businesses.

LegalZoom Cons

Expensive for Business Formation

LegalZoom is costlier than competitors for business formation. Prices start at $79 plus state filing fees for business formation, whereas competitors like IncFile charge as little as $0 plus government filing fees.

Not the Best Platform for One-Time Legal Help

Certain services, like document review, are available only if you sign up for the monthly business legal plan. You can’t just access them on a one-time basis.

Similarly, you can only get advice directly from an attorney if you sign up for the Business Advisory plan.

Spotty Customer Service

LegalZoom customer phone support is available every day of the week. Email support is also available. Unfortunately, however, online reviews include several complaints about the quality of the customer service and business formation filings.

Summary of LegalZoom Reviews

Overall, LegalZoom is well-rated across online review sites.

LegalZoom has an average of more than four stars on Trustpilot, ConsumerAffairs, and the Better Business Bureau. LegalZoom is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating—however, they do have more than 500 complaints closed in the last three years.

That said, it’s important to note that LegalZoom offers personal legal services in addition to business legal services, so you may find reviews from business owners and general consumers.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at both positive and negative LegalZoom reviews:

Positive Reviews

Positive LegalZoom reviews highlight the professional level of service that is offered, mentioning that LegalZoom attorneys and customer service representatives are able to help with questions and get things done quickly and easily.

Reviewers like that LegalZoom is straightforward and their service is easy to use and understand. In addition, it’s important to note that reviewers have positive experiences across LegalZoom’s different offerings, including LLC formation, trademark registration, DBA registration, and more.

Finally, a number of reviewers mention that using LegalZoom is more affordable and simpler than hiring and paying for an attorney every time you need legal assistance.

Negative Reviews

Although there are many reviews talking about LegalZoom’s professional service, most negative reviews actually center around poor customer service. These reviewers tend to mention that they were put on hold for a long time (30 minutes or more) before being able to reach a customer service representative.

Another area of LegalZoom complaints focuses around business filings, with reviewers claiming there were delays in their business formation paperwork being filed.

Finally, you’ll find some LegalZoom reviewers writing that services are expensive—especially in regards to some of the higher-level plan options that are available with business formation.

LegalZoom Competitors and Alternatives

If you don’t find what you need with LegalZoom or are wondering if there are lower-cost alternatives, view our recommendations below.

Rocket Lawyer

Best LegalZoom alternative for regular legal help.

If you think your small business will need legal help on multiple issues or on multiple occasions over several months, then you should consider Rocket Lawyer. Rocket Lawyer is the closest competitor to LegalZoom. They offer many of the same services, such as business formation and a legal form library.

Rocket Lawyer charges $99.99, plus state filing fees for business formation—making them slightly costlier (by $20) than LegalZoom to form an LLC, the same cost to form a nonprofit, and less expensive (by $50) to form a corporation.

Like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer also has a business legal plan that is charged monthly. At $39.99 per month, it is more expensive than LegalZoom. However, as part of the legal plan, you get your first business incorporation for free.

With the Rocket Lawyer plan, you also get unlimited phone consultations with an attorney, unlimited access to legal forms, and a unique feature called Document Defense. This feature can help you enforce legal contracts.

For example, if you create a supplier agreement on Rocket Lawyer and the supplier doesn’t send you the agreed-upon merchandise, a Rocket Lawyer attorney will draft and send the supplier a demand letter on your behalf.

Comparing the Rocket Lawyer plan vs. the LegalZoom plan, the Rocket Lawyer legal plan does not include tax advice, document review, or copyright registration. If you are looking for those things, it’s best to opt for LegalZoom.

Get Started With Rocket Lawyer

IncFile

Best LegalZoom alternative for business formation.

If you’re just looking to incorporate a new business, then LegalZoom isn’t the most cost-effective option. Instead, you’ll want to opt for IncFile, a service that’s focused solely on business formation.

LegalZoom’s prices for business formation start at $79 plus government filing fees for LLCs and only increase for other business types. In contrast, IncFile’s entry-level business formation plan costs $0 plus government filing fees for all business entity types.

IncFile even includes registered agent service for free during your business’s first year, while LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer charge $299 and $149.99, respectively, for a registered agent.

Compared to LegalZoom, IncFile also gets better online reviews for customer service and for filing things correctly and on time.

Get Started With IncFile

UpCounsel

Best LegalZoom alternative for complex legal issues.

UpCounsel is a legal website that’s designed to match you up with an experienced business lawyer. Unlike LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer, UpCounsel’s business model does not involve low-cost business formation services or monthly memberships.

Instead, they focus on more complicated situations, such as patents, securities, immigration, and general counsel services. UpCounsel has a network of 5,000 business attorneys hailing from top law firms, Google, Apple, and other leading companies.

Given their background and level of experience, UpCounsel attorneys charge more for their services. The price range is approximately $125 to $350 per hour, though there are some fixed fee arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Bottom Line

LegalZoom is one of the oldest and most well-known online legal services. You can find a range of options to help you through legal situations, whether forming a business, creating a custom legal document, or consulting with a lawyer.

Overall, although some of the other services are expensive, the business legal plan is a great value for small businesses that may need occasional legal help and don’t have an in-house lawyer or legal department.

Get Started With LegalZoom
Priyanka Prakash, JD
Senior Contributing Writer at Fundera

Priyanka Prakash, JD

Priyanka Prakash is a senior contributing writer at Fundera.

Priyanka specializes in small business finance, credit, law, and insurance, helping businesses owners navigate complicated concepts and decisions. Since earning her law degree from the University of Washington, Priyanka has spent half a decade writing on small business financial and legal concerns. Prior to joining Fundera, Priyanka was managing editor at a small business resource site and in-house counsel at a Y Combinator tech startup.

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