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      August 11, 2020

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Harbor Compliance vs LegalZoom

Best LLC Formation Services

To help you find the Best LLC Formation Services, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Harbor Compliance and LegalZoom.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best LLC Formation Services, please Click Here

Who is the best LLC Creation Company? If you're self-employed, the next step in growing your business while covering your assets is probably forming an LLC. Creating an LLC is often seen as a good move for people who want to limit their liability without the cumbersome paperwork and regulations of a corporation.

No matter where your business is located, you'll typically need to register your company name and file documentation with the state, along with having accurate, complete Articles of Organization. Other requirements depend on the specific legal statutes governing businesses in your state. An online LLC Creation company can greatly help faciliate this process.

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Best Reviews

2020

LLC Formation Reviews

3.5 stars
Harbor Compliance

HARBOR COMPLIANCE

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Cost:

$399 for Formation Package

$799 for Formation + Compliance Package

Forming an LLC can be simple, but making sure that everything is done accurately and legally is essential to protecting your business. Harbor Compliance takes that process seriously, having helped over 10,000 businesses since 2012 to create their LLC's and corporations and to stay in compliance in the years that follow.

Costs more

You will probably notice right away that Harbor Compliance costs much more than other LLC formation services on the market, with packages priced at $399 and $799 - not including any required state filing fees. Those prices might be too high for the average small business owner, especially if they're looking for LLC creation services that are more economical than hiring a local attorney.

1-on-1 service

But, if you want the kind of one-on-one service that Harbor Compliance offers, both during the LLC formation process and afterwards, and you've got the resources to pay for it, they may be an excellent fit. Take a look at what you'll get for your investment and decide for yourself.

Best LLC Formation Company

Formation package

If you choose the Formation package, you can expect these services:

  • Name Availability Check
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Operating Agreement Template
  • Federal EIN
  • Registered Agent Service (subsequent years billed at $99)
  • Compliance Specialist: this is the biggest advantage to working with Harbor Compliance, according to their past and present customers. Within one business day of beginning your LLC formation, you'll be connected with a personal representative who will be your only point of contact - no need to speak with a different person each time you call or email. The compliance specialist will personally prepare your filings and work with you directly throughout the entire process and after your LLC is created.

Formation + Compliance package

Choosing the Formation + Compliance package gives you everything in the Formation package, plus these additional services:

  • Company Kit: 20 stock certificates/share roll/transfer ledger, corporate seal, blue binder with embossed company name and tab dividers for company records, and software for producing corporate documents like meeting minutes and corporate resolutions
  • S-Corp or C-Corp Tax Election, if needed
  • Initial Report
  • Publishing
  • Managed Annual Report Service
  • Ongoing Support

Is it worth it?

Are these services worth the fees? That depends on you and your business needs. But, you can trust that Harbor Compliance has a proven track record for accuracy in document preparation and for having pleasant, knowledgeable compliance specialists. This is demonstrated by their A+ rating at the BBB and numerous compliments from clients that say how much they appreciated the one-on-one guidance they received from their dedicated Harbor Compliance representatives.

Delivers on their promise

In other words, Harbor Compliance delivers everything they promise, much to the satisfaction of their customers. But, given that their high fees and relatively limited package options may not fit a large percentage of small business owners, we give their LLC formation services a 3-star rating.

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3.5 stars
LegalZoom

LEGAL ZOOM

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Cost:

Packages range from $49 to $349

Since 1999, LegalZoom has helped over 4 million customers to affordably access legal documents through their self-guided services. You can find documents across a wide variety of topics, ranging from business needs like LLC formation and incorporation to personal issues such as wills and trusts.

Satisfaction guarantee

A strong positive of using LegalZoom to create your LLC is their Satisfaction Guarantee. Within the first 60 days after your purchase, you can request a 100% refund of all fees paid directly to LegalZoom if you're unhappy with any part of your experience. Of course, that refund policy doesn't apply to any fees you paid for government filing or to a third-party service.

3 levels of service

However, as you select a service to form your LLC, you're likely going to find that you'll spend more by choosing LegalZoom. Here's what you can expect with their three levels of service:

  • Economy: In this package, you'll get an Operating Agreement, comprehensive state/federal business name availability search, the preparing and filing of your Articles of Association and other required paperwork, an LLC Next Steps Guide and LegalZoom's $50,000 Peace of Mind Guarantee.
  • Standard: In addition to the Economy package features, you'll also get a business newsletter, a deluxe organizer, and official printed certificates/seal. You may not think those features are worth the extra money - possibly as much as $280 more for the Standard vs. the Economy tier.
  • Express Gold: You'll get all of the features of the first two levels, along with help in getting all required federal/state/local permits and licenses, VIP processing/priority filing/express shipping, lifetime customer support, and a financial account authorization letter

Optional services

For all three packages, you can choose among a number of optional services. One of the most common - and important - is the Registered Agent Service. Many of the company incorporation services we reviewed include it for free during the first year, while others may charge $99 per year. LegalZoom's fees are $159 per year, and they are not included even with the highest package level.

Best LLC Formation Company

Free trials

As you set up your LLC, you'll also be offered free trials of other services, such as a 30-day trial of Affordable Tax, Legal Protect, and Total Compliance. These services are billed at $320/year thereafter.

Frustrating pricing

We found the process of selecting an LLC formation package through LegalZoom to be very frustrating, mostly when it came to pricing. On one screen, we were given package prices ranging from $99 to $159. But, as we went through the actual process of creating our LLC, the package prices changed to $49-$349.

Included or not?

Also, on one screen it said that an EIN would be included with the two higher levels of service. But, again, once we went through the steps to form the LLC, we were quoted an additional $199 to get the Operating Agreement, EIN, and Licenses.

Fast turnaround

In the past, we've seen good things from LegalZoom, with customers saying that their turnaround times were much faster than expected and that their LLC's were formed very quickly. But, with so many issues with pricing, it left us wondering what we were actually paying for and frequently asking "Is this included or isn't it?"

Room to improve

You can expect quality deliverables with LegalZoom. However, we hope LegalZoom will make their pricing clearer and more consistent in the future.

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Continued from above

In the past, navigating those state-specific obligations to form an LLC was both expensive and time-consuming: finding a local lawyer with expertise in the field and paying hefty fees to get everything done correctly. Fortunately, today's small business owners have access to much more affordable options online. These services offer all of the same benefits, accuracy, and legal standing that you'd expect from working in person with an attorney. You can get as much or as little direction as you need to complete each step required for LLC formation, depending on which service you choose.

Which provider should you choose to help in forming your LLC? Not all services are the same, so when comparing what each one has to offer, keep in mind these important factors:

  • Reputation. How many small businesses have been served by the provider? What do former clients say about their experience in forming an LLC with them? Is the company rated and/or accredited by the Better Business Bureau?
  • Cost. What will you be charged to form your LLC? Are their different packages available? Are there a lot of add-on services that will increase your cost? Do you get a good value for what you pay?
  • Services. Does the company offer a wide range of services, or do they take a one-size-fits-all approach? Will the service give you one-on-one help if you need it? How much are you expected to do on your own?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best LLC Formation Companies available today. We hope this information helps you create your LLC quickly and affordably!

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