Back to LLC Service Reviews

LegalZoom LLC Service Review

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Updated on January 6, 2023

LegalZoom LLC Service Review

Disclaimer: Step by Step Business’ content is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional legal or tax advice. All of our articles are thoroughly reviewed and fact-checked by our editorial team. Read our editorial guidelines for more details.

Some of our articles include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

LegalZoom LLC Service Review

If you’re starting a business, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most significant hurdles. This step can be terribly complex and time-consuming, which is why many entrepreneurs turn to a professional formation service. 

One of the top options is LegalZoom. But is it the best service? And is it the right choice for you? This review takes a closer look — putting ourselves in the shoes of an entrepreneur — to help you choose the formation service that will put you on the road to success. 

Pricing

Turnaround Time

Help and Support

Customer Satisfaction

Ease of Use

Overall Score: 4.2/5

If you need a one-stop shop your business formation and for all your legal needs, LegalZoom is your best bet.
Visit LegalZoom

What to Expect from LegalZoom

LegalZoom handles the business formation process for you, making it nearly seamless while offering additional services that can make life easier for a new business owner. Whether you’re forming a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, LegalZoom takes care of all the red tape so you don’t have to. 

Features and Services

LegalZoom offers packages of services and a la carte options. We explored all of the options and have broken down the services and pricing here. 

Services overview

ServiceEconomyStandardExpress Gold
Price$79 $329 $349 
Business name search
LLC formation
Peace of mind review
Digital LLC welcome packet
Digital tracker
Lifetime customer support - 7 days a week
Business newsletter
Deluxe founder's kit
Personalized business embosser & membership certificates
Expedited processing
Express shipping

Note that state filing fees still apply with all these plans. Fees vary by state, which we have listed below. 

Economy Plan 

The $79 Economy Plan includes a business name availability search and the business formation service. It also includes full customer support, making it a great value.

Explore Plan

The Economy Plan includes a business name availability search through your state and the business formation service, with full customer support. It also offers a few extras, including a digital welcome packet and a business newsletter. You’ll also have access to your formation documents online at any time.

This plan is a good value and appropriate for entrepreneurs with a limited budget that just want to get their business up and running and plan to handle annual reporting and the operating agreement themselves. You can add additional services at the time of purchase or later. 

This plan also may be appropriate for established businesses that are forming a new business structure or changing their business structure. 

The fee is higher than the similar plan offered by ZenBusiness, but LegalZoom does offer seven days a week customer service and digital tracking of your LLC formation.

Standard Plan

The $329 Standard Plan has the additional benefits of a founder’s kit and a personalized business embosser, but the price seems high for the services provided.

Explore Plan

The Standard Plan includes all the services included in the Starter Plan, but with the addition of a founder’s kit and the personalized business embosser and membership certificates. 

This plan does not seem to be a good value, considering that you are not getting additional services – just some fancy documents and an embosser. This plan is appropriate if those items are important to you, but it seems overpriced. 

Express Gold Plan

The $349 Express Gold Plan has the additional benefits of expedited filing and express document shipping. These extras make it a better value than the Standard Plan.

Explore Plan

The Express Gold Plan includes everything in the Standard Plan with the advantage of expedited filing and express shipping, which for $20 more than Standard makes it a much better value. 

This plan is appropriate for someone who needs their LLC formed quickly, although you’re still at the mercy of state processing times. 

Note that none of these plans feature registered agent services, which can be added for $249 annually.

A la carte 

ServicePrice
Business name reservation$49 plus state fees
Registered agent service$299 annually
Annual reports$55 plus state fees
Operating agreement$99 standard, $199 rush
Business licensesFrom $99.99
Total compliance service$280 annually
Articles of amendmentFrom $129 plus state fees
DissolutionFrom $129 plus state fees
EIN number$79 
Doing business as "DBA"$99 plus state fees
Compliance calendar$69 annually
Trademark registration$599 plus federal fees
Trademark search $199 
Trademark monitoring$175 annually
Copyright registration$114 
Provisional patent applicationFrom $199 plus filing fees
Tax prep essentials$99 monthly
Tax and accounting – full service$159 monthly
Legal protection plan$49 monthly
Utility patentVaries - step one starts at $500, step two starts at $2,700

Many of the a la carte services are very expensive when compared to competitors like ZenBusiness. For example, LegalZoom registered agent services are $299 when purchased alone or $249 when purchased with a plan, while ZenBusiness charges $99.

If you need any a la carte services, it’s advisable to shop around. And be careful if you do buy a la carte services through LegalZoom, as your costs can really add up.  

Business formation 

Your LLC must be formed with your state by filing articles of organization, sometimes called a certificate of organization or a certificate of formation. This can be done online or by mail. LegalZoom handles the filing for you online, and the LLC approval time varies by state. 

This can be a time-consuming and difficult process for an entrepreneur and getting customer support from your state government office is often a challenge. With LegalZoom, you have access to customer support seven days a week. 

Once your LLC is approved and official, you can access your formation documents on the LegalZoom website at any time. 

State fees for forming an LLC

When you form your LLC, depending on the state where you want to register your business there will be a state fee that you have to pay. Below we have listed the fees for each state so you can calculate the overall expenses for opening your LLC.

Please note that the state fees are costs that you will pay in addition to the LegalZoom formation service costs, or any other formation service you would choose to use.

State fees for forming an LLC

Calculate your LLC formation expenses

Use our dropdown calculator to check how much LLC formation will cost using LegalZoom. Simply, choose a plan and a la carte services and select the state where you want to form an LLC to calculate the exact amount based on your needs and preferences.

Expenses Calculator

Provisional patent application – Choose entity type:

Utility patent: Application Filing – Choose entity type:

The filing fee for LLCs in New Mexico is based on several factors. After placing your order, LegalZoom will contact and notify you of the amount and collect the state filing fee.
Depending on your business, the cost of Business licenses may increase.
Federal fees may apply for Trademark registration.

State Fee

$0

Federal Fee

$0

Annual Payment

$0

Monthly Payment

$0

One Time Payment

$0

Total

$0

Visit LegalZoom

Disclaimer: This calculator is meant to provide a helpful cost estimate for forming your LLC. Step by Step Business makes no guarantee regarding the actual price you’ll pay using LegalZoom services.

Registered Agent Service

Benefits of the registered agent services

In most states, when you form an LLC, you need a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business authorized to accept and respond to legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business. 

For $299 per year or $249 when purchased with a plan, LegalZoom can act as your registered agent and handle official correspondence. They will ensure all correspondence is handled on time and keep copies of documents for you. They will keep track of deadlines for you and send you reminders of things you may have to file, such as tax forms or annual reports.

A registered agent service will help keep you in compliance with the law and save you time by keeping track of key documents and filing deadlines. This also frees you up to focus on growing your business. LegalZoom will also offer support if any issues arise. 

LegalZoom’s registered agent services enable you to have flexible hours. If you’re your own registered agent, you must be available from 8 AM to 5 PM at your registered agent address. If you use an agency like LegalZoom, they are available during those hours so that you’re able to focus on growing your business. 

If you use a national agency like LegalZoom, you can also form an LLC or corporation in another state or multiple states where you do not have residency. 

Using LegalZoom also offers you a level of privacy, as you would never be served with a summons at your business in front of customers or employees. 

Operating Agreement Service

LegalZoom offers an operating agreement template customized for your state and specific information about your company. An operating agreement for an LLC is an important legal document that details who owns the business and also provides essential information pertaining to member duties. 

An LLC operating agreement establishes the financial relationship between business owners (“members”) and the basics of the working relationships between those owners and the managers who oversee daily operations. 

By using the LegalZoom template, you can just fill in the blanks by answering a few questions online, rather than having an attorney draw up the agreement for you from scratch. At an a la carte price of $99 or $199 for rush service, it’s not a bad value, although ZenBusiness offers the same service for $49. 

It’s not included in any of LegalZoom’s plans, so you have to purchase it a la carte. Only a handful of states require an operating agreement, but having one is highly recommended.

Trademark and Copyright Services

LegalZoom offers trademark and copyright services that other services, such as ZenBusiness, do not. 

Forming your LLC will protect the name in your state, but the only way to protect it across the US is to trademark your business name. Applying for a trademark can be a complicated process and using a service like LegalZoom ensures that the application process is handled smoothly and professionally.

At $599 plus federal filing fees, the service is somewhat expensive, but if you plan to expand your business to other states or online, a trademark ensures that your name is protected across the country.

If you’ve created a logo or other creative images or written copy for your business, a copyright can protect those from being copied by others. The LegalZoom copyright service handles this process for you. At $114 plus filing fees, this is a solid value buy. 

Customer Service

We tested the LegalZoom customer service experience from all angles. Below we detail our findings.

User Experience – What to Expect 

When you first go to the LegalZoom site, you’ll be able to explore products and pricing from the menu at the top, or you can just click “start my business” and select the business entity type you want to form.

However, it’s difficult to find the service package prices and information. They do not appear on the site menu. In fact, we had to do a Google search, “LegalZoom business formation plans” in order to get to that part of their website. 

How Is the formation process?

When you start the formation process by selecting LLC as your entity type, you’re asked a series of questions about your business. Then the site automatically offers you products, such as registered agent services and the operating agreement. You can accept or decline any of the services.

One of the products offered is a total compliance service, which does not appear in their products menu. This service helps you meet all your LLC’s requirements, such as annual report filings. 

The service is free for 10 days, which is a rather short period, and then costs $280 per year. This seems expensive since you can purchase their annual report a la carte for $55 per year. 

You’re also offered tax services, including “tax prep essentials” for $99 a month and a “full-service tax and accounting plan” for $159 per month. Then you’re offered a legal protection plan, which includes legal guidance and documents, for $49 per month.

Then you’re finally presented with their packages, so you can choose the Economy, Standard, or Express Gold. Once you make your selection, you get offers for special deals from Bank of America and Earth Class Mail. 

Lastly, you get to your total cost. Note that anything that has an annual fee, such as registered agent services, is not included in this initial total, so you’ll need to be prepared to incur those charges later. 

You can pay your initial total all at once, or you can choose to make three monthly payments. Note that if you do choose to make payments, you’ll pay a bit more due to the $2 monthly installment fee. 

Turnaround Time

We asked email customer service about filing turnaround times and received a response in about 48 hours.

  • 20 days for Economy
  • 10 days for Standard
  • 2-5 days for Express Gold

All times depend on the state’s turnaround time.

In Summary

Overall, the process was very smooth. Yet it was also very much a sales process, as they understandably want you to spend as much money as possible. 

It would be nice if all their service offerings and packages were easily accessible on the site before you start the process. Still, everything was made clear during the formation process and it only took a few minutes. 

Quick and Easy Cancellation?

The LegalZoom plans are one-time charges and services, so there is no need to cancel. If you want to cancel a recurring service, such as the registered agent service you can call the Customer Care Center at (800) 773-0888 or cancel online through the “My Account” portal. 

We did note that a few of the reviews of LegalZoom were about difficulties with cancellation, such as:

“I was on auto pay since 2019 and cancelled with them in 2020. They charged me again in 2021… I called and they refunded me and were supposed to cancel auto pay. I just got charged again in 2022 and they said there is no record of a refund in 2021 when I clearly have it on my bank statement. They aren’t refunding me or cancelling this year. They said there is ‘nothing’ they can do. I haven’t used them since 2019 and still have an ongoing issue with them.”

Customer Support

We tested all three forms of LegalZoom’s customer support, as detailed below. 

Chat support

When we tested the customer service response time through the online chat option, we received a response almost immediately.

We asked about the price of operating agreements, and what determines the final price since it’s listed as “from $99”. The answer was that it’s $99 for standard processing and $199 for rush processing. 

The customer service agent was quick and polite, and after the chat, we received a follow-up email almost immediately. 

Chat Support Rating:

Response time:

Immediate

Phone support

We called LegalZoom to ask a question about registered agent services. Our call was answered in two minutes and the question was answered promptly. The question was whether registered agent services are included in any of the plans, and the answer was no. 

The customer service representative was very professional and polite and made no sales pitches.

Phone Support Rating:

Response time:

Immediate

 Email support

We asked email support what the standard filing time is vs. expedited filing. Our email was sent on a Saturday, and we received a response on Monday at about 11 a.m. The answer was polite and clear.

Email Support Rating:

Response time:

Very quick

Customer Reviews

We wanted to know what customers of LegalZoom are saying, so we thoroughly explored customer reviews from both the Better Business Bureau and Trust Pilot. 

Better Business Bureau

LegalZoom has no rating from the BBB.

  • Great customer service
  • Accredited
  • Good response to complaints

LegalZoom has no rating from the BBB, but they are an accredited business, with 4.55/5 stars in customer reviews. They have been an accredited BBB business since 2011. They have received 903 complaints in three years, all of which have a closed status.

Many of the positive reviews for LegalZoom revolved around their exceptional customer service, such as this one: I had an issue and was able to call the company and have it resolved within a matter of minutes.”

“LegalZoom has been our trusted agent for several years now,” said another review. “The care and coordination we’ve received allows us to run a challenging business successfully and ensure compliance remains consistent each quarter.”

Some of the negative reviews were about not receiving services as expected:

“I ordered an expedited filing mid-May. It sat, and sat, and sat while nothing was filed with the state. I had to call every day to try to move the needle on this filing and this ‘expedited filing’ is still not completed. I still do not have an EIN number and it is almost July.”

Others complained about not being able to get through to customer service by phone. Many of the negative reviews were about difficulties with cancellation.

You can read reviews on the BBB website

Trustpilot 

LegalZoom has a high trust score rating on Trustpilot.

  • Good handling of customer issues
  • Highly professional service
  • Site easy to use

The Trustpilot score for LegalZoom is 4.5/5 stars.

The LegalZoom reviews from Trustpilot have the following range:

  • Excellent 77%
  • Great 3%
  • Average 2%
  • Poor 1%
  • Bad 17%

Many positive reviews were again about the great customer service and the ease of use. 

Easy and affordable. Things got a bit chaotic on my end (auto-correct made changes I didn’t authorize & then there were licensing questions on my part) but all was handled with ease, patience and in a timely manner. I highly recommend, as this is the second time I’ve used LegalZoom and both times went very smoothly for usually stressful events (divorce, new business owner).”

“LegalZoom has helped me with several legal processes and they have always been highly professional and helpful.”

Some negative reviews were about not getting the services paid for and not being able to get a refund. One person said LegalZoom failed to form her business and she ended up going to the state herself to make the filing. 

Another complained: “I paid for the most expensive package (Express Gold) for my LLC. I am beyond disappointed with LegalZoom. Not only did they register the wrong name for my LLC – causing me more time and money – for months they have refused to send me the physical items that were included in that package. I literally have sent over 20 emails and have been on hold and called several times explaining my situation. They just send me a link to my digital documents. That is not what I’m missing and requesting. I have sent pictures and explained ad nauseam with no avail.”

You can read reviews on the TrustPilot website

Forming an LLC Using LegalZoom Service

We took our review a step further and actually went through the entire process to form a real LLC.

Using Legal Zoom LLC Service - Signing up Process
Legal Zoom LLC Service - Primary Contact Info

We had to answer a series of questions about the business, and quickly into the process we were offered services that we could purchase in addition to the LLC formation.

Using LegalZoom LLC Service - Registered Agent
LegalZoom LLC Service - Legal Advice and Support

We finally got to the three service package options.

LegalZoom LLC Service Packages

We selected the Economy plan with no additional services and received our total price.

LegalZoom LLC Service Economy Plan

We completed the checkout process – and the system continued to upsell us other products! We declined. This is one of the things that we didn’t like about the signing up process. There were to many upsells – specifically other legal services in your area.

Then we were prompted to set up our online account.

LegalZoom LLC Service - Online Account Setting Up

Then we went through another series of questions about our business, including how it would be managed and the name and address of the LLC’s registered agent.

LegalZoom LLC Service - Question about who will manage the business

The entire process only took about 20 minutes. It was quite simple, but the upselling of other products was a bit intrusive.

We received an automated welcome email within minutes.

LegalZoom LLC Service - Confirmation Order

A short time later, we received a more personal welcome email.

Email from LegalZoom Representative

All that was left to do was to wait for our filed documents. To our surprise and pleasure, we received them in 24 hours! We also received some other helpful documents, including instructions and a guide to our next steps, such as drafting an operating agreement.

Instructions and Next Steps from Legal Zoom - Part 1
Instructions and Next Steps from Legal Zoom - Part 2
Instructions and Next Steps from Legal Zoom - Part 3
Instructions and Next Steps from Legal Zoom - Part 4
Instructions and Next Steps from Legal Zoom - Part 5

We found this document to be quite helpful.

With our Legal Zoom account, we are able to access our documents online at any time.

After the process was completed, however, we did continue to receive emails upselling other products. This is to be expected, but is a bit intrusive.

Overall, our experience with Legal Zoom was quite positive. We had no issues, everything was simple, and what we received is a good value for the money.

Pros and Cons

We’ve put together some benefits and drawbacks of LegalZoom.

Pros

  • The Economy Plan is a good value
  • Reliable customer service
  • Quick and easy purchase process
  • Mostly positive reviews

Cons

  • Some information is difficult to find
  • Some a la carte services and packages are not good value
  • Some customers claim delivery issues
  • Cancellation can be a lengthy and difficult process

Alternatives to LegalZoom

We explored similar services to LegalZoom to see how they stack up to the competition. 

LegalZoom compared to competitors

LegalZoom is more expensive than some competitors. However, they do offer a wider variety of legal services and have been in business for more than 20 years.

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness has three packages of services as well.

  • Starter- $0 
  • Pro – $199
  • Premium – $299

ZenBusiness offers plans that are less expensive than LegalZoom, and the Pro and Premium plans come with extras like an operating agreement and expedited and rush filing. However, ZenBusiness is a subscription service, while LegalZoom packages are one-time fees. Visit ZenBusiness site.

Swyft Filings

Like LegalZoom, Swyft Filings is not a subscription service. They charge a one-time fee of $49 for business formation services, and other ongoing services can be added. The differentiating factor for Swyft Filings is their speed. Their signup process is quick and they have faster business formation turnaround times. Visit Swyft Filings site.

Incfile

Incfile has very competitive pricing. Their basic package, called the Silver Package, is free and includes registered agent services for a year. Their Gold Package is only $149 and includes the operating agreement as well as a banking resolution. Their Premium Package is $299 and includes additional services that LegalZoom does not. Visit Incfile site.

Company Background

LegalZoom was founded in 2001 by a group of entrepreneurs and attorneys. LegalZoom has helped more than 2 million businesses get started, and, according to the BBB, has 351 employees and is managed by:

  • Ms. Kat Campbell, Communications Manager

According to LegalZoom, they are “a tech company that’s in the business of providing clarity, making things simple, and creating innovative services so that legal and tax help are accessible to every business owner, creator, and every family.” The company says its mission is to make legal help accessible to everyone. 

Step By Step’s Verdict

Overall, LegalZoom provides extremely valuable services for aspiring business owners. They can ensure that your new business gets off on the right foot. Their service is easy to use and offers a great customer experience, which we learned from testing their support services and reading countless customer reviews. 

LegalZoom can take the time and hassle out of starting your business and the ongoing process of staying in compliance with your state’s laws. Their prices are high compared to the competition. But if you need a one-stop shop for all your legal needs, LegalZoom is your best bet.

Our Approach

As a leading entrepreneurial advisory site, we take our responsibilities seriously. We understand that countless entrepreneurs, and potential entrepreneurs, rely on our judgments and insights, particularly when it comes to creating their business.

As a result, our writers do their utmost to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services offered and the actual customer experience. In this case, we:

  • Examined every single page of the LegalZoom website
  • Reviewed all of their offerings, from a la carte products to packages
  • Put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, creating an account
  • Communicated with customer service via chat, email and phone
  • Gained a full understanding of the customer experience and service value

Thanks to this full immersion in the actual customer experience, our reviewer and team are able to provide the most complete and insightful review of LegalZoom’s LLC formation services.

FAQs

Why should I use a business formation service like LegalZoom?

A service like LegalZoom can make the business formation process easy for you and ensure that it’s done correctly. They provide customer support and additional services to support your business.

What can LegalZoom do for me?

LegalZoom offers business formation services to handle the paperwork and cut through the red tape with your state, so you don’t have to. They also offer additional services, including registered agent services and an operating agreement.

What do I get with the LegalZoom Economy Plan?

The Economy Plan from LegalZoom offers a name availability search, LLC formation filing with your state, and unlimited phone and email support. You’ll also be able to access your LLC documents online at any time.

What do I get with the LegalZoom Standard Plan?

The Standard Plan from LegalZoom offers the same business formation services as their Economy Plan, with the added benefits of a Deluxe Founder’s kit and a personalized business embosser

What do I get with the LegalZoom Express Gold Plan?

With the Express Gold Plan from LegalZoom, you get everything offered in the Standard Plan plus expedited filing and express document shipping.

How much is the LegalZoom Economy Plan?

The Economy Plan is $79 and offers a name availability search, filing your LLC formation paperwork with your state, and unlimited phone and email support. You’ll also be able to access your LLC documents online at any time.

Can I just pay a one-time fee to form my LLC with LegalZoom?

Yes, all of their plan prices are one-time fees.

What are registered agent services from LegalZoom?

The LegalZoom registered agent service is a professional service that will handle official correspondence and documents for your business. They will ensure that all correspondence is handled on time and keep copies of documents for you. They will keep track of deadlines for you and send you reminders of things you may have to file, such as tax forms or annual reports.

How much do registered agent services cost from LegalZoom?

Registered agent services from LegalZoom cost $299 annually or $249 when purchased with a plan.

What’s the Better Business Bureau rating for LegalZoom?

LegalZoom has no rating from the BBB, but they are an accredited business with 4.55/5 stars in customer reviews. They have been an accredited BBB business since 2001.

How do I cancel my LegalZoom plan?

The LegalZoom plans are one-time charges and services, so there is no need to cancel. If you want to cancel a recurring service, such as the registered agent service you can call the Customer Care Center at (800) 773-0888 or cancel online through the “My Account” portal. Note that several LegalZoom customers have complained of facing difficulties when attempting to cancel.

What does it cost to cancel my LegalZoom plan?

There are no fees or penalties to cancel your annual services with LegalZoom. If you want to cancel an annual service, such as the registered agent service you can call the Customer Care Center at (800) 773-0888 or cancel online through the “My Account” portal.

What is the turnaround time to form my business with the LegalZoom Economy Plan?

The turnaround time for business formation with the Economy Plan is about 20 days, according to LegalZoom.

Is LegalZoom a good value?

The LegalZoom Economy Plan is a good value, as are some of their a la carte services. However, some services are priced significantly higher than the competition.