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      January 22, 2019

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LegalZoom vs Nolo

Best LLC Formation Services

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

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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

2019

LLC Formation Reviews

3.5 stars
LegalZoom

LEGAL ZOOM Visit Site

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?"

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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2.5 stars
Nolo

NOLO Visit Site

Cost:

$99 for Basic Service

$299 for Express Premiere Service

Nolo used to be an LLC formation service limited to books and forms. You might say that "Nolo" now stands for "No Longer" limited, as they've vastly expanded their options to include two packages:

  • Basic: for $99, you'll get standard filing and a Customized LLC Operating Agreement based on your situation
  • Express Premiere: for $299, you'll get a filled-out IRS Form SS-4 (Application for EIN), a Personalized LLC Records Kit and Seal with 20 certificates, a Customized LLC Operating Agreement, as well as priority filing and shipping (submitted to the Department of State within 1 business day; your LLC package will arrive within 6-7 business days after that)

All packages include company name verification, articles of organization, automated error checking, and unlimited customer service support.

Nolo creates your LLC in three steps. First, you fill out a basic questionnaire that asks you to select which service you want, basic details about your business like desired LLC name and member names, and so forth. Then, they generate your LLC documents and make sure they are filed correctly with the Secretary of State. Finally, your completed LLC package arrives in the mail.

Reviews of Nolo are mixed. We found several positive remarks from small business owners who complimented the service for getting everything right during the process of creating their LLC's. We also found several complaints, but they seemed to be more focused on Nolo's offerings in other categories, not related to filing business documentation. An "A+" rating with the BBB shows that, despite any negative reviews, Nolo does an appropriate job of delivering what they promise and responding to any issues that arise.

Ultimately, Nolo has made strides by offering a much more useful LLC formation service than before - including the actual filling out and submitting of paperwork, not just giving customers blank forms to complete and books to walk them through the process. On the other hand, their basic package is more than double the cost you can find through our first-place provider, bringing Nolo down in the rankings. We hope that as Nolo continues to improve their LLC options, they'll be able to better compete through lower pricing and more robust package choices.

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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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