Starting a business requires legal paperwork like registering your business name, getting proper tax IDs, creating workplace policies, and more—but most people who start businesses aren’t lawyers. So how do they do it? Luckily, there are resources out there to not only provide advice and information, but to complete and file the, often complex, legal documents for you. Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom are two of the online legal services that will do just that.
According to Thervo, in 2020 the national average hourly attorney fee is $225, and that doesn’t include the fee for the initial consultation, which averages $50 to $100 for the first hour. If you’re trying to start a business, these fees can really add up quickly during a time when you’re likely trying to stretch every dollar as far as possible.
As a result, more and more people are relying on online legal services, and the industry itself is up almost 10% from 2014 to 2019—and is projected to continue growing. Taking an in-depth look at Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom will help you decide which one (if either) is right for your business. Below, we’ll explore features, pricing, reviews, and more.
Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom: Features
LegalZoom, claiming over four million users, and Rocket Lawyer, claiming to have helped 20 million people, are two of the most popular online legal services. This comparison will detail key points that one choosing an online legal service would need to know, like pricing, available services and attorney access, as well as weighing the general pros and cons. Let’s take a look at the services offered by Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom.
Rocket Lawyer Features
The offerings at Rocket Lawyer will not only help you start your business, but also make sure you continue to operate your business with all the necessary legal requirements, as well as any additional documents you might want to have, but are not required. Here’s a look at some of the business services Rocket Lawyer offers:
LegalZoom has very similar offerings as Rocket Lawyer, so it might be hard to choose between the two solely based on the services and documents they offer. Here is a sampling of LegalZoom features:
- “Doing business as” name (DBA)
- Business name availability check
- Business name reservation
- Trademark search
- Trademarking business name
- Federal and state tax ID (EIN)
- Business licenses
- Intellectual property
- Workplace benefits
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Bill of sale
- Independent contractor agreement
- Consulting services agreement
The list of services at both Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom is pretty comprehensive, and while not one online resource can offer everything you could possibly need, judging by the list above, small business owners will get more than a great headstart on their legal filings with either Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom. Let’s look at pricing next.
Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom: Pricing
This is where some real differences between Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom come into focus. Neither is necessarily better than the other, it just depends on your needs as a business owner.
Rocket Lawyer Pricing
Rocket Lawyer offers a few different pricing options, all of which could work for your business depending on the amount, and type, of documents/services your business needs. Below, we take a more detailed look at Rocket Lawyer’s pricing structure.
|Package Type||Price||Features||Best for:|
All of the services offered through Rocket Lawyer can be purchased individually
Small businesses with only a few legal needs or one-time issues
$39.99 per month
-Free legal documents that can be signed, downloaded, shared, or printed at any time
-30-minute consultations for new legal matter
-Access to a lawyer
-Free incorporation filing for new members, then 25% off
-25% off registered agent service
Businesses that find themselves with continuing needs that also need more full-service and hands-on legal help
Free for seven days, then $39.99 per month
Everything included in the Premium membership but with the following limitations:
-3 legal documents
-1 legal question
Businesses who have never used Rocket Lawyer and want to try it out with all the bells and whistles before committing to a full membership
LegalZoom has a bit of a different setup. There are no memberships, and every document and service is done on a per-item basis. Each service comes with its own package options and varies depending on document/service, as well as state. You will need to click on your areas of need to figure out package pricing and then look up your state for filing fees. For example, the pricing for a DBA is as follows:
$99 + state filing fees
-Preliminary name search
-Completion of filing DBA application
-Publication of business name, if required
-Filing proof of publication if required
$119 + state filing fees
Everything included in Standard, plus a 14-day trial of Business Advisory Plan, which includes:
-30-minute attorney consultations on new legal matters
-Contract and document reviews
-Access to a tax professional
If you want access to legal advice from LegalZoom, that does come in two different packages:
- Legal Advantage Plus (starting at $9.99 per month)
- Business Advisory Plan (starting at $31.25 per month)
Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom: Pros and Cons
These two online legal services put together offer pretty comprehensive services and documents selections, but not everything about Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom is going to be seen as positive for every business, and vice versa.
Let’s see where these services stand out—and where they may fall short for your business needs.
Rocket Lawyer Pros
- All documents created are available immediately
- Uses SSL (Secure Socket Layers) for data transfer
- Legal documents are tailored to your state and situation
- Can cancel membership at any time
- Can chat with customer care directly on the website for easy help
- Mobile app available for iOS and Android
- Blog resources
- COVID-19 legal center
Rocket Lawyer Cons
- Only one membership option
- Non-member prices can be a bit steep for those on a tight budget
- You are connected with a lawyer based on the questions you ask, and it’s unclear if you can request a different lawyer if you should have an issue with the one assigned
- According to customer reviews, it can take a few business days for customer care to respond via email
- Quality of customer care seems to vary depending on who you are speaking with
- Cancelling your subscription after the seven day free trial is not easily explained. According to their website, you will first see an option to “downgrade,” which is $1 a month and gives you access to personal documents. To actually cancel, you must select a reason for cancelling in another drop down menu and click “end my benefits.”
- No monthly membership so you won’t have to worry about cancelling a free trial or unexpected charges on your credit card
- COVID-19 legal help available
- Free newsletter for tips and information
- The general consensus of online reviewers is that their customer care agents are thorough and extremely helpful
- Prices can be lower since you are not paying for things you don’t need
- Mobile app available for iOS and Android
- Offers a 60-day satisfaction guarantee
- If you have a lot of documents you need, paying à la carte could really add up
- Customers don’t have access to their raw documents to download or edit in any way
- There could be a lot of upfront work on the customer’s part to figure out state filing fees and seek out pricing for each individual document
- Have to pay a subscription in order to have access to an attorney for questions and consultations
- Some documents take longer than initially advertised
The Bottom Line
When choosing any online legal service, potential customers often seek out online reviews to try and get a sense for the overall likeability of a company. Like any company, positive or negative reviews only reflect each individual’s experience with a certain business. When it comes to Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom, they’re on pretty even playing fields when it comes to customer reviews—both companies had plenty of positive and negative reviews.
In the end, it really comes down to your own business needs when choosing between Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom. If you don’t want to commit to paying a monthly fee and only have one-off needs, LegalZoom might be right for you. On the other hand, if you know a lot of legal issues are going to come up and you want the ease and convenience of having access to your documents and lawyers at any time, Rocket Lawyer will likely work best.
Jennifer Post is a freelance writer who has covered business topics including marketing, franchising, cybersecurity, health insurance, and hiring and retaining employees. She has also written about various finance topics such as startup funding, business bank accounts, retirement plans, and health insurance. Jennifer has specialized experience in social media management and knows the ins and outs of marketing a business through most social media platforms.
After briefly studying law at Widener University’s Delaware Law School, she went on to continue her small business writing career using her new legal knowledge to create content helping small businesses understand legal matters such as taxes, hiring and firing practices, harassment, and other company culture matters. You can find her work on Business.com, Business News Daily, and How Stuff Works.