Is Incfile Better Than LegalZoom? A Comparison

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Is Incfile Better Than LegalZoom? A Comparison

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What's standing in the way of your achieving your entrepreneurial dreams? Maybe it's the time and effort you'll need to invest. Maybe it's the cost. For many prospective business owners, the real sticking point is the overwhelming number of choices and complexities in business formation products and services.

We get it. There's so much to consider, and you want to make sure you get the right service for your budget and needs and not end up paying for services you don't want. Both Incfile and LegalZoom offer a variety of formation packages designed to help you create a legal business structure, as well as meet many more of the needs associated with your growing business.

So, is Incfile better than LegalZoom? Here, we review the most important elements of business formation and growth so you can make the best choice for your business.

Full Incfile vs. LegalZoom Comparison

When You're Starting Your Business

If you're just getting started, we've got all the resources and services you need.

Every business owner is required to pay a state fee, and the amount will vary depending on where you plan to start your business. But beyond that, there are many other costs you may find associated with business formation. Here, we break down the most fundamental costs, services, and products associated with starting your own business and compare what Incfile and LegalZoom offer.

Business Formation Packages

You are not required to form a legal business entity in any state, but it is a strong recommendation for new business owners. Operating as a sole proprietor is an easy way to start, but it doesn't offer the liability protection of a legal business structure like an LLC or corporation. This liability protection will keep your personal assets safe in the case of legal action against your business, and it's an invaluable investment in your future.

At Incfile, we offer three formation packages for all entity types, and our Silver Package includes free formation — all you pay is the state fee.

Business formation packages from Incfile include:

Silver: $0 + state fee

  • Fast, expert business formation
  • Free Registered Agent service for the first year
  • Free tax consultation
  • Lifetime compliance reminders and customer support

Gold: $199 + state fee

  • Everything in the Gold Package, plus...
  • Free Operating Agreement
  • Free EIN
  • Business bank account and banking resolution

Platinum: $299 + state fee

  • Everything in the Platinum Package, plus...
  • Free expedited filing
  • Free web domain and business email address
  • Business contract library premium access

Similarly, LegalZoom offers three package tiers for new business owners. These packages cost between $79 and $649, plus state fee, and each offers its own set of features and services.

State and Federal Compliance and Regulation

Starting a business is about much more than just starting the business. You've got to maintain it if you want it to succeed, and that means staying compliant with state and federal regulations. For most businesses, required compliance actions include:

  • Filing taxes annually with the IRS
  • Submitting an annual report or period report based on your state

There are other types of compliance as well, such as maintaining a Registered Agent, staying current on business licenses and permits, and filing standard legal documents and contracts.

Take a look at compliance costs associated with both Incfile and LegalZoom services.

Incfile Compliance

  • Lifetime compliance reminders: Free
  • Tax consultation: Free
  • Business License Research Package: $99 flat rate
  • Business Contract Library: free for some commonly used templates; premium access included in $299 Platinum Package
  • Registered Agent service: Free for 1st year, then $119/year
  • Annual Report filing: $99

LegalZoom Compliance

  • Lifetime compliance reminders: Not available
  • Tax consultation: Not available
  • Business License Package: starting at $99
  • Business Advisory Plan (consult with attorney on common business concerns): starting at $49/month; 90 days free with Premium Package
  • Registered Agent service: $249/year
  • Annual Report filing: $99

Staying compliant and meeting important deadlines helps you avoid late fees and other consequences, like the potential dissolution of your business.

Registered Agent Help

A Registered Agent is required for every legal business entity. This is a person who can receive important legal documents on your behalf and is available to do so during regular business hours year-round.

It's possible to serve as your own Registered Agent, but we don't advise it. Having a dedicated Registered Agent frees you up for more important tasks and also protects your time and your privacy. With Incfile, every new business formation comes with the first year of Registered Agent service for free (a $119 value).

After the first year, you pay $119 annually for continued Registered Agent service but can cancel at any time. With LegalZoom, you pay the standard Registered Agent fee of $249 per year from the first year.

Turnaround Time for Business Filings

One of the most pressing questions you might have is how long it will take to get your business approved and running. It varies based on your Secretary of State. Take a look at filing times for both Incfile and LegalZoom to help you decide what's right for you.

Incfile Filing Times

  • Silver: Free next-day business filing
  • Gold: Free next-day business filing
  • Platinum: Expedited filing included

LegalZoom Filing Times

  • Next-day business filing for only Premium Package

Tax Consultation and Advice

Tax time doesn't have to be a headache. At Incfile, we offer a free tax consultation to anyone, whether you purchase a formation package or not. This can help you get a handle on what to expect with business taxes and put your mind at ease.

LegalZoom does not offer a free tax consultation, though they do have add-on tax services. You'll need to call their customer support to find out more about what the services entail and what costs are associated with them.

Your Business's Online Presence

Every business, from e-commerce to brick and mortar, needs a website. While it can be a complicated process, it certainly doesn't have to be. There are many free web design platforms that can guide you in creating a professional-looking website, but you'll also need to host and manage that site.

With Incfile's Platinum Package, we offer an included web domain and a business email address to get you online quickly and efficiently.

LegalZoom provides a free website, via Wix, with all formation packages but does not offer a domain or email.

Legal Business Contracts

It's likely that at some point early in the life of your business, you'll need a legal document. It might be a privacy policy for your website or an employee agreement for a new hire. You don't need to seek out an attorney every time you need a simple form. Instead, you can use a Business Contract Library like Incfile's, which includes numerous free, attorney-approved templates, such as:

  • Independent Contractor Agreement
  • Terms of Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Organization Meeting Minutes
  • Bill of Sale

…and many more.

You can also choose to add on the entire library or upgrade to Platinum, in which it is included.

LegalZoom offers a number of legal services to business owners at different price points. Their top-tier package provides a free 90-day trial of their Business Advisory Plan, which gives business owners access to 30-minute consultations with select attorneys. After the trial, the cost of the plan costs $49/month.

When You're Growing Your Business

If you already own a business, you might be wondering how you can help it grow. Perhaps you've found that the business entity you started with no longer suits your needs. Or perhaps you began as a sole proprietor, and you're now ready to take the leap and form a legal structure. Here's what you can get when using Incfile or LegalZoom.

Your costs and your needs will depend on where you are now and where you want to go. We know that, as a business owner, you don't have much time, so any way to save is a benefit. Here are the services you may choose to help your business thrive:

Business Formation Packages

We often present our Silver and Gold Packages as "beginner-friendly" because they're generally a good fit for any new business owner. However, if you've been around the block a time or two, you probably have a better idea of what you want and need.

In that case, we typically recommend our Platinum Package. With this package, you'll receive expert business formation and all the services that come with our Silver and Gold Packages, but you'll also get a lot more — and more advanced — services, like:

  • Web domain and business email address
  • Business bank account and banking resolution
  • Premium access to our Business Contract Library
  • IRS Form 2553
  • Free EIN

... and so much more. Our Platinum Package is $299 + state fee and offers an incredible value for experienced business owners.

LegalZoom's most comparable package is $649 + state fee and offers some, but not all, of the same services.

State and Federal Compliance and Regulation

Compliance rules don't change the longer you've owned a business, but you'll want to stay on top of requirements and not get lax. The same consequences — fines and possible dissolution — still apply, no matter how long you've owned your business or how many other businesses you own.

Incfile offers lifetime compliance reminders with all packages, so you'll never be taken by surprise. LegalZoom does not offer this service.

You may also want to add on our Business License Research Package to ensure you're always up-to-date on all the local, state, and federal licenses and permits you may need.

Registered Agent Help

By now, you understand the importance of having a reliable and trustworthy Registered Agent. Having a Registered Agent is required for any business entity and is an important way to protect your privacy and ensure critical documents are always received. There might come a time when you need to change your Registered Agent.

Incfile Registered Agent Change

  • $49 processing fee + state fee

LegalZoom Registered Agent Change

  • Not available as a standalone service
  • Fees waived when signing up with LegalZoom's RA service

As always, when you form your business with Incfile, you'll receive the first year of Registered Agent service for free. But even after that, you'll still only pay our low annual price of $119.

This value can't be found anywhere else. LegalZoom also offers Registered Agent service, which costs $249 per year from the first year of operation.

Turnaround Time for Business Filings

Time is money, and when you're ready to grow your business, waiting is the hardest part. That's why we offer next-business-day filing on all packages. However, when you choose our Platinum Package, you'll receive even faster service with free expedited processing. You can check state filing times and expedited fees to plan ahead.

With LegalZoom, the processing time is based on the package you choose. The top-tier plan offers 1-2 day processing and filing, plus state time.

Tax Consultation and Advice

If you already own a business, you know how stressful taxes can be. That's why we offer a free tax consultation for anyone, regardless if they form a business with us or not. This consultation is also available for seasoned business owners. We recommend coming to your 30-minute call with questions prepped and ready, so you can get the answers you need.

LegalZoom offers tax services as add-ons to their packages, though these are all considered separate services and require a call to their support team for guidance and pricing.

Your Business's Online Presence

As an experienced business owner, you already know how critical a business website can be. That's why we've included two major perks in our Platinum Package:

  • A free web domain
  • A free business email address

These two benefits will have you on your way to managing your website and growing your business in no time.

LegalZoom does not have a package that includes domain or email addresses at this time.

Legal Business Contracts

Once you've been in the business world, you know how often you need legally-binding contracts and documents. You also know the incredible price tag that often comes attached, especially when you consult with an attorney or purchase a custom template.

With the Platinum Package, you'll receive premium access to our Business Contract Library, which includes dozens of attorney-approved templates, including:

  • Sales Agreement
  • Founder Agreement
  • Employment Agreement
  • Employee Termination Letter
  • General Corporate Resolution
  • 83(b) Election
  • Non-Disclosure Agreement

... and more.

LegalZoom offers many options for business owners seeking legal support, from one-off documents to a legal advice subscription package. Prices vary from $50 per month for contract template access to $469 per year for access to their attorneys.

Incfile or LegalZoom? You Decide

We can't tell you which business formation service you should choose. But we can tell you that Incfile has taken the entrepreneurship journey that you're taking now, and we understand the effort, time, and passion it takes to start or grow a small business.

Only you know your specific needs, your budget, and your plan for the future. But if you trust Incfile, we can ensure you've made a decision — like 1 million other business owners — that will influence and shape your business's success as it launches, grows, and thrives.

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