For both first-time small company entrepreneurs and veteran business people, getting an LLC has never been easier or more affordable. For anyone unsure of how to start a company, LLC formation services are there to help – and today, there is more help available than ever, meaning it can be hard to know when getting an LLC which of the formation service providers to opt for. Here we will look at two of the well-established big hitters on the formation service market, LegalZoom and Incorporate.com, to help you decide if either of these veterans fit you and your limited liability company needs.
Both LegalZoom and Incorporate.com are popular and well-established online llc startup companies. LegalZoom – arguably one of the best-known names in the business – have been operating since 1999 and have had over three and a half million customers. There are currently over one million companies now doing business thanks to LegalZoom’s help with llc formation documents and services. LegalZoom don’t have the best overall customer reviews, but nor do they have the worst – far from it – but considering their success, a brief overview of online feedback doesn’t give a particularly clear indicator of how customers have found them.
Incorporate.com have been around even longer – a hundred years longer in fact, having been around since 1899. They have three quarters of a million llc businesses in operation thanks to their assistance, and this number – plus the 1899 founding – makes them one of the most knowledgeable and most experienced formation service providers out there. Perhaps oddly, considering the fact they have been around for well over a century, there are very few online reviews for Incorporate.com – and the ones that are there are not necessarily from the most reliable sources and are generally negative.
In a head-to-head with Incorporate.com vs LegalZoom, the first advantage here falls to LegalZoom with a base price tag of $79 – $20 less than Incorporate.com’s lowest offering. Incorporate.com’s bottom rung bundle is also as basic as it gets, meaning you get more for less as well by going with LegalZoom. With the cost to open llc businesses, saving twenty dollars off the bat with LegalZoom may be a small saving that is hard to resist, benefiting more than your wallet.
Having a registered agent service is a necessity in all 50 states, a legal requirement that there is no getting around. It serves a fundamental and important purpose by enabling the state to have a reliable means of contacting you. That being the case, many llc formation services include this service in their basic packages; if not, it is available as an add-on at an additional cost. It’s somewhat surprising to see that both of the companies we are looking at here don’t appear to even be attempting to be competitive with their treatment of this requirement. The annual cost for this service with Incorporate.com is $235 per year. With LegalZoom, it is even higher, a huge $299 per annum – or $249 for the first year if you add the service at the beginning of your LLC formation. Not only do a vast majority of competitors include this service with basic formation package costs, the ones that don’t and offer it as an add-on, do so with a price tag of over a hundred dollars less.
The approaches to turnaround times between LegalZoom and Incorporate.com are quite different.
Often, when launching a new LLC, the speed with which you can register a business is dependent upon which state the LLC is to be located in. However, with LegalZoom, the turnaround time is dependent on which of their formation packages you bought. For example, if you went with the economy option to start your limited liability company, then you can expect a turnaround time of around 30 days. Conversely, their Express Gold bundle which is at the top of their ladder has a speedier turnaround time of 7 to 10 business days.
Incorporate.com on the other hand will give you a detailed explanation of the turnaround time for your LLC, whether you opted for the lowest or highest tier, and say that they will get your business formation completed as soon as is possible – something they will only do once they have been provided with every detail needed from the client.
Both companies have proven track records of opening an LLC for a huge customer volume. Their LLC websites boast testimonials yet it is very strange that a company as long-running as Incorporate.com have such little feedback across the internet.
LegalZoom’s customer service is available via phone and email support – though their email support has been met with some criticism: long response times, generic replies, and questions unanswered. On the other side of the coin, the phone support has been noted as decent, with questions answered by knowledgeable representatives.
The LLC customer support from Incorporate.com runs a little deeper with the addition of a ‘chat’ option as well as phone and email support. Though delays of a day or so with email responses have been reported, their phone and chat services have been commended for being helpful and fast.
As for sheer simplicity with online llc creation, Incorporate.com and LegalZoom cross the finish line together. Both offer an online formation package that comes without any unnecessary complications.
As was mentioned in the summary, neither company does particularly well with customer feedback available online. LegalZoom’s online reviews are a mixed bag at best, ranging from top marks to bottom marks. Weirdly, despite being over a hundred years old, Incorporate.com reviews are scarce – there are literally hardly any – and the ones that can be found are not particularly favorable.
Incorporate.com and LegalZoom both offer a wealth of additional services for setting up an LLC, including such things as llc annual reports, the aforementioned registered agent, and business licensing packages. Both also provide a DBA service (doing-business-as) should you wish to start up another enterprise under the umbrella of your single LLC.
So, who offers the best service for creating an LLC: LegalZoom or Incorporate.com? LegalZoom is, without doubt, one of the top LLC services creators – and a lot of this comes from the power of their brand which has become a household name. That, however, does not make them one of the best on the market: there are cheaper and more inclusive bundles on offer from competitors but still, LegalZoom will get the job done and have thousands of LLC business owners to back that fact up. Incorporate have time and age on their side making them veterans of the small business formation world – the drawback however being that they get very expensive. LegalZoom is, without doubt, the better value for money here.