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Nolo LLC Service Review

Written by:

Coralee is a business writer with experience in administrative services, education, and software testing.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Nolo LLC Service Review

Navigating the complexities of the legal world can be a daunting endeavor, especially without proper guidance. This is where Nolo steps in, an innovative player in the realm of legal tech.

For over 50 years, Nolo has been empowering individuals and small businesses with an array of do-it-yourself legal products and a comprehensive online library of legal resources.

This article provides an in-depth review of Nolo’s business formation service. We’ll delve into the strengths and limitations of Nolo, unpack its features, and provide insight into its usability, ultimately equipping you with all the necessary information to determine if this is the right legal resource for your specific business needs.

Services Overview

Business Formation Service
Plans and Pricing
3 plans, $49 – $299 + state filing fees
Registered Agent Service
Not included, $150 annually
Operating Agreement
Not included, $50 add-on
Annual Report Service
Not included
Processing Time
Standard state times, rush filing with top-tier plan
Customer Support
Phone and email; Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm PT
Business Documents Online Library
Other Services Offered
Yes, variety of legal products
Number of Purchases
1,7+ million products sold
Money Back Guarantee

Our Verdict on Nolo

Nolo provides valuable services for aspiring business owners and people seeking legal information they can easily understand. Unfortunately, we just aren’t that smitten with Nolo as a whole when we lined it up with its competitors.

Nolo’s business formation packages and a la carte services pale when compared to a competitor like Incfile. Moreover, Nolo’s website lacks clarity — it’s confusing and difficult to navigate.


Turnaround Time

Help and Support

Customer Satisfaction

Ease of Use

Overall Score: 3/5

Overall, Nolo’s LLC formation services are satisfactory. However, the cons outweigh the pros. One of the biggest drawbacks is too many negative client reviews and complaints.
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Pros and Cons


  • Multiple package selections
  • Competitively-priced Basic package
  • Use of plain language
  • DIY guides and support
  • Quick and easy online formation and purchase process


  • Information is difficult to find
  • Limited a la carte services for business formation
  • Limited methods of contact for support
  • Website is not intuitive and has poor usability
  • Many negative customer reviews, mainly re customer service
  • Cancellation can be a confusing process

Nolo Services

Business Formation Process

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. Nolo 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 Nolo, you have access to customer support during their business hours:

Hours: Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm PST 

Phone: 800.955.4775

Once your LLC is approved and official, you’ll be emailed your formation documents. Note that business documents will always be emailed to you, as they are unavailable on the website.

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 $150 a year, Nolo can provide you with an outsourced registered agent and ensure that all official correspondence is handled on time and properly filed. They also keep track of deadlines and send reminders of things you need to file, such as tax forms and 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. The agency will also provide support if any issues arise.

Nolo’s outsourced registered agent services enable you to have flexible hours. If you are your own registered agent, you must be personally available from 8am to 5pm at your registered agent address. If you use an agency, they are available during those hours so you can focus on growing your business.

If you use a national agency, as Nolo provides you through the company Vcorp, you can also form an LLC or corporation in another state or multiple states where you do not have residency. 

Using Nolo’s outsourced registered agent services 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. 

Benefits of the registered agent services

Operating Agreement

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. 

By using the Nolo template, you can just fill in the blanks rather than having an attorney draw up the agreement for you from scratch. At an add-on price of $50 for each package (Basic, Standard, Express), it’s a good value compared to the attorney fees you would otherwise pay. Moreover, the add-on fee is a much better deal than purchasing the form for $99 under Nolo’s Legal Products.

Only a handful of states require an operating agreement, but having one is highly recommended.


An employer identification number (EIN) is a tax-identifying number for your business. It’s required if your LLC has more than one member or has employees.  It’s obtained by applying through the IRS. Nolo will handle the application process for you and send you your EIN as soon as it’s approved.

Online Document Library

Nolo offers many guides to help you with documents and other business tasks. Free guides include:

  • Guides to business structures and structure selection
  • Guides to form an LLC
  • Guides to LLC asset protection
  • Guides for running an LLC
  • Guides to convert or dissolve an LLC
  • State guides to taxes and annual reports
  • Guides about business names 
  • Guides for required business licenses and permits
  • Guides for running your business from home
  • Guides to business agreements and contracts
  • Guides for hiring a lawyer

Nolo also offers a service that matches you with a lawyer that fits your needs. Getting paired with a lawyer is free, but you will still need to pay for services from the lawyer you select.

Document and Forms Library

Below, you can see the full list of document templates you would have at your disposal if you purchase an Express package for $299— or if you buy Nolo’s Business Forms Bundle for $199.

  • Agreement to Modify Promissory Note
  • Business Negotiation Nondisclosure Agreement
  • Consent to Background Check
  • Consignment Contract
  • Contract for Manufacture of Goods
  • Contract With Independent Contractor
  • Employee Noncompete & Nonsolicitation Agreement
  • Equipment Rental Contract
  • General Mutual Release
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Accountants and Bookkeepers (for Firm)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Accountants and Bookkeepers (for ICs)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Consultant (for Firm)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Consultant (for IC)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Creative Contractor (for Firm)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Creative Contractor (for IC)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Direct Salesperson (for Firm)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Direct Salesperson (for IC)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Software Consultant (for Firm)
  • Independent Contractor Agreement for Software Consultant (for IC)
  • Letter of Intent
  • Minutes of Directors’ Meeting
  • Minutes of LLC Meeting
  • Mutual Release of Contract Claims
  • Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA)
  • Offer Letter
  • Partnership Agreement
  • Promissory Note
  • Sales Contract
  • Website Development Agreement
  • Written Warning

These document templates can be very valuable for a business and can save a lot of attorney fees. However, we think Nolo’s documents library is overpriced. Other sites offer document templates for free. 

Business Licensing

Nolo has an a la carte business license service that can help you get the appropriate licenses and permits based on your location and industry. It costs $100 through Nolo’s partner Avalara Solutions.

Plans and Pricing

Basic PackageStandard PackageExpress Package
Price$49 & state fees$149 & state fees$299 & state fees
Name Availability Search
Filing TimeStandardStandardPriority Rush
LLC Formation Filing
Customer Service Support
Automated Error Checking
Guide to Formalizing Your LLC
Tax ID Application Preparation
Business Forms
LLC Records Kit & Seal

Basic Package

The Basic package consists of a business name availability search through your state and business formation filing, with unlimited customer support. It also offers a few extras, including error checking and a guide to formalizing your LLC. 

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

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

Standard Package

The Standard package includes all the services included in the Basic package, but with the addition of a prepared EIN tax ID application and a supply of business forms. Nolo will email you a filled-in EIN application, so all you have to do is sign it and send it in. Their business form cache provides you with over 30 different documents. 

This package includes standard filing just like the Basic package, so you can expect the filing to form your LLC to take two to three weeks. 

This package is appropriate for businesses that want a little more help applying for an EIN tax ID and would like a handy personal library of forms and documents relevant to their LLC. However, the price jump from the Basic to the Standard package is a little high to gain access to more forms— only one of which is prepared.

Express Package

The Express package includes everything in the Standard package with the advantage of rush filing, as well as a Personalized LLC Records Kit & Seal. 

The advantages of this package can be mostly attributed to the priority rush filing. However, we don’t think adding these two services merits doubling the price from the Standard package, from $149 to $299. 

The Express package, however, would be beneficial for a business owner who’s impatient to form their LLC and doesn’t mind spending a bit more to do so. Otherwise, it does not seem worth the extra money you’ll pay compared to the Standard package. 

Turnaround Time and Cancellation

We asked customer service about LLC formation turnaround times and received an almost immediate response. 

  • Standard (Basic & Standard package): 2–3 weeks on average
    • Nolo files your formation documents within 4-5 business days; the processing time for each state varies.
  • Priority Rush (Express package): 7–10 business days on average
    • Nolo files your formation documents within one business day. The processing time for each state varies, but many are done within four business days.

When we explored Nolo’s website, we were disappointed at how difficult it was to find cancellation information. After some digging, we determined that you can cancel services at any time over the phone or by submitting a written request a minimum of two business days before the commencement of the next billing cycle. 

There are no fees or penalties to cancel, and we’ve provided Nolo’s contact information below.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 800.955.4775

Hours (PST): Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm 

We did note that a few customer reviews about Nolo involved difficulties with cancellations.

Signing Up Process

When we first visited Nolo’s webpage, we almost thought we had the wrong website. Whether you look up Nolo on Google or type in www.nolo.com, the home page doesn’t make it abundantly clear that you can hire Nolo to form your LLC. Rather, it only appears that you can purchase forms and other resources that will empower you to start your business yourself


After some trial and error, we finally figured out that clicking on “create an LLC yourself” takes us to the page where we can hire Nolo to form our LLC for us. 


Nolo’s ease of access to their LLC formation services is just the opposite— difficult! Someone unfamiliar with Nolo’s products and services could easily come to the conclusion that Nolo only offers do-it-yourself products and support. 

Even the main heading depicted in the screenshot above leaves the impression that Nolo isn’t actually forming your new business for you. We found the attached blurb beneath also to be vague, as it doesn’t explicitly state that Nolo takes on your LLC’s formation process. 

Clicking the “Start Now” button initiates a questionnaire about your new LLC. It’s worth noting that many of Nolo’s offered services can only be purchased by adding them to one of their formation packages, such as an operating agreement.

To write this review, we all but officially filed to form a new LLC using Nolo’s service. Below we detail our customer service experiences. 

We clicked the “Start Now” button and were then asked a series of business questions, starting with the state in which our LLC will be formed. The questions were simple and quick, but many people might find it preferable to review Nolo’s LLC formation packages before going through the process. We thought that wasn’t an option, but we finally found Nolo’s LLC packages page

We then went a step further and began to form an LLC. We chose the Basic Package and then had the opportunity to add supplementary, outsourced services to our package. We added an operating agreement, registered agent services, business licenses service, tax services, and website and hosting service. The entire process took less than ten minutes and was pleasantly simple. 

Nolo then presents you with a summary page where you can review and edit your order. 

When you proceed to the payment page, you’ll be asked to sign in or create an account with Nolo. At this stage, we are again unimpressed with Nolo’s usability and user language.


Looking at the screenshot above, we’d guess that your eyes went straight to the green button and the text within it. This could easily mislead users to believe that they don’t need an account to hire Nolo to form their LLC, but the text above it indicates that’s not the case. 

If you choose not to pay right away and come back to it later, your order details will be saved in your cart for 90 days.

Overall, we didn’t find Nolo’s website to be very intuitive or easy to use since LLC information can be difficult to find. You have the option to sign up for a free account on the site, though Nolo’s login page gives the impression that it’s only for lawyers or those seeking to tackle the business formation process themselves.


Signing up for an account doesn’t seem to provide access to anything you can’t access without an account. The documents listed in the screenshot above must still be paid for.

Customer Support

We tested all the customer service options by asking real questions through email and phone. 

Phone support

We called Nolo to ask a question about cancellations. Our call was answered immediately by a machine that connected to a representative. We waited less than five minutes for our call to be picked up, and a friendly customer service representative answered our question thoroughly. 

Our question asked Nolo for more information about their cancellation policies for services added to a business formation package. We were glad we called as we had trouble locating enough information on their website, and the representative was very accommodating. 

We found out that you can cancel Nolo’s outsourced registered agent service at any time. Additionally, Nolo will issue you a prorated refund. 

Both Nolo’s outsourced business license service and their tax accounting service entail a one-time fee and are thus non-refundable once purchased. So if you don’t want the services anymore, you can simply neglect to use them. You can request they officially be canceled, but you will not be issued a refund. 

The customer service representative we spoke to was very professional and made no sales pitches, though he did ask for our first name at the very end of the call for no obvious reason.

Phone Support Rating:

Response time:



Unfortunately, Nolo’s website doesn’t make it easy to find their email address. Instead, we found ourselves on a wild goose chase, clicking numerous links all over their website as we looked for the relevant contact information. 

In our email, we limited the scope of our question to the cancellation of registered agent services. Unfortunately, we received an impersonal response to our email 20 days later that didn’t acknowledge how long we had to wait for an answer. 

Email Support Rating:

Response time:

Fairly Slow


We found this disappointing as we sent our email first thing in the morning, and Nolo’s website led us to believe we would hear back on the same day. 

Online contact forms

While exploring Nolo’s website, we came across more than ten different contact forms available for users to fill in and submit to request customer service support. 

In the contact form we submitted to Nolo, we asked the same question we had asked in our email about canceling registered agent services. Just like we did with our email, we submitted this contact form first thing in the morning. 

Once again, we have yet to receive a reply, and once again, we were under the impression that Nolo would get back to us that same day.

Customer Reviews

The best way to learn about Nolo is to see what real customers thought of their experience. We visited Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot reviews. 

Nolo has been an accredited BBB business since 2020. Nolo has an A+ rating from the BBB but with only 1.5/5 stars in customer reviews. However, this extremely low rating is a result of only eight customer reviews. Conversely, Nolo has had 30 complaints filed through the BBB in the last three years, all of which have been resolved.

When we looked up Nolo on Trustpilot, we were surprised to find that there were two different verified profiles for Nolo. One profile is specifically for Nolo’s books and forms, and the other is for attorney services.

Calculate Your LLC Formation Expenses

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

Expenses Calculator

State Fee


Annual Payment


One Time Payment




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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 Nolo services .

Alternatives to Nolo

Nolo’s Basic Package is a great price, but the included services are lacking in comparison to many of its competitors. Nolo’s other LLC formation packages tend to offer less than their competitors’ packages do. 

NoloZenBusinessSwyft FilingsIncfile
Plans and Pricing3 plans, $49 – $2993 plans, $0 – $3493 plans, $0 – $2993 plans, $0 – $299
Registered Agent ServiceNot included, $150 annuallyNot included, $199 annuallyNot included, $199 annuallyIncluded for one year, $119 annually
Processing TimeStandard state times, rush with top tier planStandard, rushSame day, Standard, and ExpressStandard state times, expedited with top tier plan
Money-Back GuaranteeNo60 days100% satisfaction guarantee; refunds minus state feesNo
Our Rating34.74.44.2
Our ReviewFull ReviewFull ReviewFull Review
WebsiteLearn MoreLearn MoreLearn MoreLearn More


ZenBusiness has three packages of services as well:

  • Starter- $0
  • Pro – $199
  • Premium – $349

ZenBusiness offerings are very similar to those of Nolo, but Nolo’s plans include fewer services. However, ZenBusiness is a subscription service, while Nolo’s packages are one-time fees.

Swyft Filings

Like Nolo, Swyft Filings is not a subscription service. They charge a one-time fee of $0 for basic 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.


Incfile has very competitive pricing. Their basic plan, called the Silver package, is free and includes registered agent services for a year. Their Gold package is only $199 and includes the operating agreement as well as a banking resolution. Their Premium package is $299.

Company Background

Nolo was founded in 1971 by two lawyers with a mission to help those unable to afford legal assistance. The founders, Warner and Sherman, shared a vision of providing accessible and reliable legal information that everyone could understand and use. 

Warner and Sherman started publishing guides with this vision in mind, producing resources for a large span of topics — like forming a new business. Over the years, Nolo evolved into the sizable company we see today, offering business formation packages, attorney services, and a bounty of free information. 

In addition to providing legal information and services to entrepreneurs and lawyers, Nolo advocates for legal information accessibility. Today, Nolo supports legal change that empowers the everyday person — such as instituting legal forms written in plain language. According to their LinkedIn page, Nolo currently has fewer than 200 employees.

Our Approach

As an 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 Nolo 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
  • Used Nolo to all but pay and submit documents to officially form an LLC 
  • 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 Nolo’s LLC formation services.


Why should I use Nolo to form my LLC?

Nolo 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 business license services.

What’s good about Nolo?

Nolo offers extensive business services, including business formation services. Their plans are reasonably priced.

Is Nolo expensive?

Nolo is not expensive, but their business formation plans offer fewer services than the plans of competitors.

What will I get with the Nolo Basic Package?

The Basic Package from Nolo offers a name availability search and validation, LLC formation filing with your state, automated error checking, unlimited customer service phone support, standard filing times, and a free guide to formalizing your LLC.

How much are Nolo’s registered agent services?

Nolo’s registered agent services are $150 annually. 

What do real customers think of Nolo?

Nolo’s customer reviews are somewhat concerning, even though they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Their score on Trustpilot is also low. 

How can I cancel my account with Nolo?

When we explored Nolo’s website, we were disappointed at how difficult it was to find cancellation information. After some digging, we determined that you can cancel services at any time over the phone or by submitting a written request a minimum of two business days before the commencement of the next billing cycle. 

There are no fees or penalties to cancel, and we’ve provided Nolo’s contact information below.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 800.955.4775

Hours (PST): Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm 

We did note that a few customer reviews about Nolo involved difficulties with cancellations.


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Nolo LLC Service Review