LegalZoom Review – 2019

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If you want to start a small business or already have one but need help with your legal work, online legal services like LegalZoom can help you. Online legal services can get you quick and easy access to legal forms, access to great lawyers at good prices, and even legal advice or LLC/corporate filings. 

LegalZoom overview

LegalZoom is well-known for offering online legal services to small businesses and individuals who want to start businesses. LegalZoom’s services cover business formation, wills and trusts, intellectual property, and legal plans. They can also help you find and contact an attorney.

LegalZoom offers a range of different online legal services at different levels, so summarizing their quality and affordability is a challenge. However, overall LegalZoom is considerably more affordable than hiring a legal professional and much more convenient than going through often complex legal processes unassisted.

While rival services may compete on the price point for individual services, in our view LegalZoom offers excellent value for money. This is particularly the case when you factor in:

  • the small differences in price between LegalZoom and rival online services
  • LegalZoom’s excellent track record
  • the hours you might otherwise spend on legal issues you’re unprepared for that could be better spent elsewhere
  • the potential cost of hiring legal representation the traditional way

LegalZoom features

LegalZoom is an online legal service, not a law firm. This means that although they can provide guidance, support similar to a paralegal team, and help navigating legal procedures, LegalZoom cannot represent you in court. However, they can put you in touch with an attorney if you require one.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of online legal services like LegalZoom – besides saving you thousands of dollars on a lawyer – is that they make your choices clearer and your situation easier to understand.

For example, one of the key areas that businesses find LegalZoom useful is business formation. Deciding which business structure to choose is often confusing for entrepreneurs. LegalZoom provides an easy-to-follow guide that lays out the pros and cons of different business structures, and guidance on which will work for you.

Once you’ve decided, LegalZoom offers valuable free tools to support you in the process – such as an easy way to see if your preferred name is taken.

The formation process is clear, with a simple series of steps you can easily follow.

Their fee structure is also clear, and you’ll be in no doubt about what you’re getting for your money.

LegalZoom offers a broad a range of services to summarize every individual feature here. However, regardless of whether you want to form a company, apply for a patent, conduct a trademark search, or establish a DBA, LegalZoom:

  • Easy-to-follow guidance
  • Preparation and filing of legal documents on your behalf
  • Assistance with research

While there are no guarantees in law, LegalZoom’s record is impressive. LegalZoom has helped launch over one million LLC’s, completed over 175,000 DBA’s, and have had filings accepted in all fifty states. Since it’s important that you only use legal services that you trust, this record is reassuring.

A major advantage of LegalZoom is access to an impressive network of attorneys at a relatively low-cost. With a prepaid monthly plan, you’re entitled to unlimited thirty-minute legal consultations on either business or personal matters.

LegalZoom pricing 

As an online legal company offering a range of types of service, LegalZoom’s prices and packages vary depending upon specific needs.

For each type of service, there’s normally a range. For example, with their Trademark Registration service, LegalZoom offers a ‘basic’ plan at $199 and a ‘complete’ plan for $219.

Other services are considerably cheaper. For example, LLC filing starts at $79 plus filing fees (which you would have to pay anyway). LegalZoom also correctly observe that as these are business expenses, you can write them off on your tax return.

Overall, it’s true that these services can seem relatively costly. However, it’s worth considering how much accurate and effective legal assistance is worth, and the hassle and confusion eliminated by online tax services like LegalZoom.

Alternatives to LegalZoom

Besides hiring an attorney or lawyer – or doing everything yourself – there are other options available to you in the form of rival online legal services.

  • For business formation, you might also consider using incfile.com, who also offer a filing service for LLCs, S-Corps, C-Corps, and other structures. While they may not be as well known as LegalZoom, their packages start a little cheaper at $49 plus state fees.
  • For other online legal services offering access to lawyers and attorneys, you could RocketLawyer, LegalShield, or UpCounsel. Each of these options offers small businesses either discounted access to or simplified vetting for legal representation.

LegalZoom: The verdict

LegalZoom offers a range of different online legal services at different levels, so summarizing their quality and affordability is a challenge. However, overall LegalZoom is considerably more affordable than hiring a legal professional and much more convenient than going through often complex legal processes unassisted.

While rival services may compete on price point for individual services, in our view LegalZoom offers excellent value for money. This is particularly the case when you factor in the small differences in price between LegalZoom and rival online services, LegalZoom’s excellent track record, the hours you might otherwise spend on legal issues you’re unprepared for that could be better spent elsewhere, and the potential cost of hiring legal representation the traditional way.

As a result of these factors combined with the excellent user experience and support provided by LegalZoom, we’re rating them as our third best online legal service for small businesses in 2019.

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