Choosing an online legal service isn’t always easy. ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are two of the most popular you will find online today. They can both help you to form a business and with the ongoing operational tasks you need help with.
Before you make your decision, it’s important to take a deeper look at both. Let’s look at an overview of both and a few other things, too.
What ZenBusiness and LegalZoom Have in Common
Both of these online legal services have a few things in common including:
- Experience – LegalZoom may have more experience, but they are both very experienced companies.
- Offer additional services – Both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom offer many additional services outside of just business formation options.
- Affordable – While the pricing is a bit different, both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness are affordable compared to hiring a business attorney to form your business.
- Customer Support – These two companies are two of the best when it comes to customer support.
- Efficiency – LegalZoom and ZenBusiness offer faster delivery options and they both work very quickly for you.
An Overview of ZenBusiness
A venture-funded public benefit corporation, ZenBusiness is found in Austin, Texas. They were formed in 2015 and have been providing help for business ever since. ZenBusiness has helped over 200,000 people form businesses.
ZenBusiness is known for providing low prices for LLC filing and they offer all-inclusive business formation. You can get pretty quick turnarounds with this reputable option, too.
- Very user-friendly website
- Easy to cancel
- Offers both packages and individual services
- Pricing is clear on the homepage
- Easy to view, print, or download your documents at any time with a registered agent service
- Access to business formation experts
- Offers a chat function on the website for customer service
- Doesn’t offer any access to attorneys as their formation experts are not attorneys
- It can take a few hours to get a response on the website chat, at some times
- Doesn’t provide legal documents
An Overview of LegalZoom
LegalZoom started in 2001 and they are based in Glendale, California. They have helped more than 2 million people form businesses and with other types of legal help.
With LegalZoom, you get a 60-day money-back guarantee and access to an attorney. They also offer tax advice and have a stellar reputation in the business world.
- Get copies of your documents after they have been filed
- Offers options without a monthly membership unless you get a legal advice plan
- Offers a free newsletter with plenty of tips
- Provides flat-fee pricing with reasonable rates
- Offers an app on Android and iOS
- Cannot download or edit documents
- Only get legal advice with a paid plan
- Pricing can be a bit confusing on the website
- Website wording can be a bit confusing
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: Features
When you work with ZenBusiness, you will go through a pretty quick process. This process will include selecting your filing package, additional services, and letting Zen Business file the documents in your state. Then, the state will confirm your business and you will see the documents in your dashboard. You can get ongoing services to help ensure you remain compliant with state requirements, too.
Features from ZenBusiness include:
- Registered agent services
- Annual reports
- Business formation plans
- Operating agreement
- EIN service
- Business formation experts you can chat with
If you choose to work with LegalZoom, you will get many features you can use for your business. You can form the following business types through LegalZoom:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company
- Doing Business As (DBA)
They also offer business naming services, EIN services, tax, license, and permit services, along with registered agent services, and more.
The features of ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are similar. However, LegalZoom tends to offer more options, so they are the winner of this category.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: The Cost
Of course, it’s important to know the cost before you choose between ZenBusiness and LegalZoom. The cost will depend on what you need for your business.
You can choose from three packages, which are:
- Starter – For $119 per year + state fees, you get standard filing speed, registered agent services, operating agreement and bylaws, a CPA assessment, and a 100% accuracy guarantee.
- Pro – For $179 per year + state fees, you get everything in the Starter package, along with faster filing speeds, an EIN, banking resolution, business filing service, and worry-free compliance.
- Premium – For $299 per year + state fees, you get everything in the Pro package, along with rush filing speeds, a business domain name, a business webs page, domain name privacy, and a business email address.
Along with these packages, ZenBusiness offers many additional services or upgrades for the Starter package.
LegalZoom also offers three packages, which are:
- Economy – For $79 + state fees, you get a name check and business filing, articles of organization, LLC next steps guide, Peace of Mind review, lifetime customer support, and a financial account authorization letter.
- Standard – For $329 + state fees, you get everything in the Economy package, along with a deluxe organizer, official certificates and a seal, and the LegalZoom VIP processing.
- Express Gold – For $349 + state fees, you get everything in the Standard package with rust processing with the Secretary of State and express shipping.
There are many additional services you can also get from LegalZoom, as well.
Overall, ZenBusiness offers better pricing. However, LegalZoom has a cheaper package. ZenBusiness wins when it comes to price, for most people.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: Customer Support
The customer support options from both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are rather great. They both offer excellent support with a variety of contact methods. You can use the live chat support with ZenBusiness, while LegalZoom doesn’t offer this option, however.
Both offer extended business hours and a help section on their website. However, with ZenBusiness, can you call, use email, or use the online chat options. LegalZoom only offers the ability to call, leave a message on the website, or email them.
LegalZoom does offer slightly longer support hours throughout the week, but ZenBusiness has longer hours on the weekend.
While both options offer very good support, ZenBusiness edges out LegalZoom in this category. The ability to get live chat help online gives this category to ZenBusiness.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: Customer Reviews
The reviews for both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are mainly positive. ZenBusiness has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot with more than 8,500 customer reviews. About 86% of the reviews rated ZenBusiness as Excellent with another 8% rating the company as great.
LegalZoom also has a high rating on Trustpilot with 4.4 out of 5 stars. They have more than 1,300 reviews with about 75% of the reviews rating the company as Excellent. However, about 19% rated the company as bad, too.
LegalZoom also has a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating on ConsumerAffiars.com. This rating comes from more than 730 customer ratings with a large percentage rating the company as a five-star company.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: Additional Services Offered
Both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom offer plenty of additional services. Some of the services offered by LegalZoom may be included in the packages ZenBusiness offers. However, you get access to a ton of service options with both these online legal services.
- New York LLC certificate
- Worry-free compliance
- Operating agreement
- Annual reports
- Expedited filing speed
- Business name reservation
- Business credit card (through a partnership with Divvy)
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Domain name privacy
- Doing business as (DBA) registrations
- DBA compliance
- Banking resolution
- Business website
- Business bank account
- Certificate of good standing
While some of these are included in their packages, you can choose specific services to get just what you need with ZenBusiness.
LegalZoom also has many additional services including:
- Registered agent services
- Trademark search
- DBA/business names
- Certificate of good standing
LegalZoom also offers attorney access through a subscription package.
While both offer additional services, ZenBusiness has a longer list and slightly better pricing. It’s the winner in this category.
What Type of Turnaround Time do These Legal Services Offer?
When it comes to getting your business formation done, speed does matter. A good provider will get it done quickly and accurately. If you could do the same thing faster, using ZenBusiness or LegalZoom wouldn’t make much sense.
Both can optimize your turnaround times and offer very fast service. you will get expediting options with each of these services.
While neither one has same-day filing, LegalZoom does offer a paid internal rush option. ZenBusiness does not. However, the overall turnaround time for ZenBusiness tends to be faster than LegalZoom. If you pay for rushed service, they might become equal.
How Easy are Online Legal Services to Use?
LegalZoom and ZenBusiness are both very easy to use. The order processing is simple and both offer clear pricing and instructions. They both offer easy to access and navigate websites, too. If you’re trying to form a business, either option will offer a very easy process for you.
ZenBusiness offers a simple and quick process. You can find what you’re looking for pretty quickly on their website. The business formation part will only take a few minutes, too. Just answer a few simple questions and you’ll be in good shape.
All pricing information with ZenBusiness is displayed in an easy-to-find place. They also don’t try to sell you unnecessary services throughout the process and nothing from third-party services, either.
LegalZoom provides an easy-to-navigate website with pricing and terms spelled out pretty clearly. You can choose to read many educational articles found on their website, too. If you need to form a business, the step-by-step process makes it pretty simple.
However, you can expect to run into several upsells throughout the process. It’s not excessive, but there are a few.
Who is ZenBusiness best for?
If you’re looking for the most affordable option with good features, ZenBusiness is the right option. They are also a socially conscious company that does give back to the communities it services. This might be important to you and could be a good reason to choose ZenBusiness.
Who is LegalZoom best for?
If you’re looking for a company with a stellar reputation and a ton of experience, LegalZoom is a good choice. They offer longer customer support hours and have been around for a very long time compared to ZenBusiness.
What About IncFile?
As you do your research, you will likely run into a company called IncFile, too. It’s a good option because they offer a free LLC formation service. just pay for the state fee and you’re all set. However, IncFile cannot compare to ZenBusiness or LegalZoom when it comes to value. It might be free, but the service just isn’t the same.
Why Choose ZenBusiness or LegalZoom Instead of Doing it Myself?
You can file your LLC formation on your own and some entrepreneurs will. However, when you’re trying to start a business, you will likely have very little free time. LLC formations can be tricky and complex. Some states are more complex than others. It can be time-consuming and hard to figure out how to do this properly on your own.
Choosing to start a business is exciting. However, it also comes with plenty of stress. Trying to handle your LLC formation on your own is one of the simple things you can outsource to experts. It’s not something you have to leave on your to-do list until you find the time.
When you’re ready to handle the legal services for your new business, ZenBusiness and LegalZoom offer great options. ZenBusiness is a bit more affordable, while LegalZoom has a longer history. Both have great reputations with excellent online reviews.
It might depend on your budget or the type of services you need. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll have an expert helping you with your business formation. ZenBusiness and LegalZoom offer everything you need to get started with your new business!