Are you looking to form an LLC but feeling overwhelmed by the legal jargon and paperwork? You’re not alone.
Both of these companies offer LLC formation services, but which one is the best fit for your business needs? In this comparison article, we take a closer look at Incfile vs LegalZoom for LLC formation. That way, we can hopefully help you make a more informed decision and get your business up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Incfile vs LegalZoom for LLC Comparison Chart
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Starting Price||$0 + state filing fees||$0 + state filing fees|
|Registered Agent Services||$119 per year (first year free)||$249 per year|
|Operating Agreement||Included in Gold and Platinum plans||Included in the Pro plan or $99|
|EIN Registration||$70 (included in Gold and Platinum plans)||$79 (included in Pro and Premium plans)|
|Expedited Filing||Included in Platinum plan||$50|
|Customer Support||Phone and email||Phone and email|
Incfile Company Overview
Incfile is a leading online legal service provider that offers a variety of services to help entrepreneurs start and manage their businesses. Founded in 2004, it has since helped over 250,000 businesses get off the ground.
One of its key features is its focus on providing affordable legal services. It offers one of the most competitive pricing structures on the market, with its basic LLC formation package starting at just $0 + state fees. This includes the preparation and filing of your articles of organization, lifetime company alerts and a registered agent service for one year.
Aside from LLC formation, the company also offers a range of other services to help businesses succeed, such as registered agent services, EIN filing, annual reports and business dissolution services. Notably, its registered agent service is excellent, as it provides businesses with a reliable point of contact for legal and tax notices.
Incfile’s platform is designed to be user-friendly and streamlined, allowing entrepreneurs to quickly and easily form their LLCs online. Also, it provides a wealth of resources and guides to help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting and running a business, including a business name search tool, a business formation guide and a blog with tips and advice for small business owners.
LegalZoom Company Overview
In operation since 1999, LegalZoom is one of the most popular online legal service providers available. It’s dedicated to providing affordable and accessible legal services to individuals and small businesses, helping more than 2 million clients to date.
Among its most notable features is its comprehensive suite of services. In addition to forming LLCs, it offers a wide range of legal services, including trademark registration, wills and trusts and business compliance services. Also, it provides a variety of business resources and tools to help entrepreneurs succeed, such as a business name verification tool and detailed guides for starting a business.
The company’s LLC formation service is made to be straightforward, so much so that even first-time entrepreneurs can start their business online with ease. What makes it stand out is its years of experience, building a solid reputation in the industry. As a testament to that, it has been recognized for its services by numerous major publications and organizations, including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Moreover, it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Lastly, it has a network of licensed attorneys, allowing customers to receive consultation on a variety of legal issues as needed. This service is particularly valuable for small business owners who may not have their own legal counsel.
Compared to the competition, Incfile has relatively faster processing times, and it even offers next-day business filing. Also, it offers expedited processing for an additional fee. What’s more, it sets itself apart by providing a year of free registered agent services, which LLCs in the United States must have. On top of that, customers get free EIN registration and have the company acquire other IRS paperwork, but it should be noted that this is available only in the paid packages (i.e., Gold and Platinum, not Silver).
It almost goes without saying that Incfile provides an operating agreement and other important documents. After all, any LLC formation service worth its salt does this too. However, the company’s business dashboard makes it a breeze to manage your business, as it conveniently keeps your documents here and reminds you of compliance deadlines.
On the other hand, LegalZoom distinguishes itself from the rest by providing a wide range of formation services. On top of LLC creation, it offers nonprofit, “doing business as” or DBA and corporation formation services. It takes the headache out of the entire process too, as it’ll handle the necessary paperwork to establish your business and file them for you. For instance, it’ll take care of your articles of organization if you’re forming an LLC or articles of incorporation if you’re starting a corporation.
Also, LegalZoom provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide to set you on the right path in managing your business and handling related documents. What’s more, it offers 30-minute consultations with professional attorneys, though it’s reserved only for Premium subscribers.
Plans and Pricing
Basic: Both of Incfile’s and LegalZoom’s entry-level plans start at $0 + state filing fees. In other words, their pricing is competitive enough as it is. However, Incfile features next-day business filing. The best part is, it includes free registered agent services for an entire year, which renews for only $119 annually. In comparison, registered agent services with LegalZoom will set you back by $249 per year.
Mid-tier: Incfile’s middle option ($199 per year + state filing fees) comes with everything its basic plan does, but it throws in an operating agreement template and EIN registration, among other things. It’s pretty much the same story with LegalZoom’s mid-tier offering in that it includes an operating agreement and EIN registration. However, it’s a bit more expensive at $249 annually + state filing fees, but in its defense, it comes with a comprehensive guide regarding business licenses.
Advanced: Incfile’s and LegalZoom’s most premium plans are similar in that they include everything their respective lower-tier options do and that their main appeal is a faster order processing time. Notably, Incfile’s offering comes with expedited filing, which is a $50 add-on in LegalZoom’s case. For the record, Incfile’s Platinum plan costs $299 + state filing fees, whereas LegalZoom’s Premium offering is priced at $649 + state filing fees.
Note: LegalZoom has a tendency to update its pricing, but the included features in its packages more or less stay the same.
First off, Incfile’s sign-up process depends on which state you’re in, as well as the kind of business you’re looking to start. Put differently, it can vary a lot. At any rate, there are plenty of helpful explanations as you go through it, which is a nice touch since you’ll know what you’re signing up for. Sure, there are some upsells here and there, but at the very least, it’ll tell you the total price of your current order each time you select or deselect an add-on. In short, there’s no hidden costs here.
On the other hand, LegalZoom doesn’t exactly make it easy to sign up. First off, you have to provide some personal info before you get to see which packages are available. Thing is, you’ll have to be careful, as there are several upsells to look out for throughout the entire process before you can even select a package.
Incfile’s phone support is available from Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST. Its customer service is efficient in that it doesn’t take long for a representative to pick up a call and respond to an inquiry. Also, there’s email support available. According to the company, it’ll respond as quickly as it can, but it tends to take a while before it can get back to a customer’s question.
In the same vein, LegalZoom offers phone and email support as well. From Monday to Friday, customers can get in touch between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. PT, and on Saturdays and Sundays, they can reach out between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT. The takeaway here is it’s customer service is available earlier and closes later in comparison on weekdays, and on top of that, it’s available during the weekend too.
Benefits of an LLC
Limited liability protection: One of the biggest benefits of forming an LLC is the limited liability protection it offers. This means that your personal assets, such as your home or car, are generally protected from lawsuits or debts incurred by your business. This can be particularly important if you operate a business with a high degree of risk or liability.
Pass-through taxation: Another advantage of an LLC is the ability to avoid double taxation. Unlike a corporation, an LLC’s profits and losses are passed through to its owners and are reported on their personal tax returns. This means that the business itself is not taxed on its income, only the owners are.
Flexibility: LLCs offer a great deal of flexibility when it comes to management and ownership. There are no restrictions on the number of owners an LLC can have, and the management structure can be tailored to fit the needs of the business.
Credibility: Forming an LLC can also add credibility to your business. It shows that you have taken the time and effort to establish a legitimate business entity, which can help build trust with potential customers, investors and lenders.
Easier to maintain: LLCs are generally easier to maintain than corporations. There are fewer formalities and record-keeping requirements, which can save time and money in the long run.
Incfile offers an affordable and transparent pricing structure. Its free basic LLC formation package (plus state filing fees) is a great starting point for new business owners who want to keep costs low. Even its higher-tier packages are competitively priced and offer additional features, such as expedited processing and registered agent services.
Meanwhile, LegalZoom is a great choice for entrepreneurs who are looking for a more comprehensive legal services provider. While its pricing is slightly higher than some of its competitors, it offers a wider range of legal services beyond LLC formation. Its online platform is also user-friendly, and its additional features like attorney consultations and ongoing legal support can provide peace of mind for business owners. Additionally, it has a strong reputation in the industry and is trusted by many businesses.
In summary, LegalZoom is our recommendation, especially if you’re after comprehensive legal services on top of forming an LLC. However, if you’re on a budget, then Incfile is still a viable option to get started without breaking the bank.