LegalZoom is often considered a significant disruptor in the legal industry. Its goal is to make legal services available to everyone quickly and at a low cost.
Usually, if you want to get legal advice or draft a legal document, such as a will, you would have to pay hundreds of dollars to an attorney for help. However, LegalZoom changes all that.
LegalZoom allows you to connect with lawyers for a low monthly fee and get legal advice on important issues.
However, even more than that, LegalZoom allows you to draft legal documents, such as trusts and wills, without needing an attorney at all! LegalZoom’s services will help you draft documents that comply with your state’s laws for a small, flat fee per document.
These services might not be good enough for you if you need to draft complex documents, as a lawyer would have to help with the ins and outs of your specific legal issues. However, they do allow you to create simple forms without the help of an attorney at all, and it is infinitely better than trying to make such a document yourself.
And although you can draft those documents using LegalZoom without any legal help, you can pay a slightly higher fee to include consultations with attorneys.
Also, LegalZoom has packages you can use to start an LLC, nonprofit, corporation, and so on. There are also packages for registering trademarks, copyrights, patents, and the like.
However, LegalZoom is not the only company out there you can use to connect with attorneys, create wills, draft documents, register trademarks, start an LLC, and so on. Perhaps you find LegalZoom to be too expensive or don’t like their customer service.
Perhaps you don’t like their hidden fees and the various upsells they try to sell you, or maybe you feel like the turnaround time is too long.
Regardless of why you are interested in a LegalZoom alternative, this article is for you. Today, I will show you the 13 best LegalZoom alternatives.
Let us get into it.
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BetterLegal is my #1 alternative to LegalZoom for creating an LLC and registering a legal business. It is cheaper than LegalZoom, and it also has better reviews (as of this writing) on Trustpilot – 4.8 stars vs 4.1 stars.
The problem many people face with LegalZoom is that many people report being hit with upsells or hidden fees after buying a service. LegalZoom may say their services “start” from a specific price, but you can’t always be sure that will be the final price.
BetterLegal, on the other hand, promises an all-in-one price. For a flat fee of $299 (plus the state filing fee for filing an LLC, which varies by state), you will be able to set up an LLC – without needing to worry about any other fees.
It’s an all-inclusive fee. There are no upsells or hidden costs.
Also, another problem people often have when using LegalZoom is that the turnaround time can be a bit long. LegalZoom does promise results in seven days, but some users have reported it taking longer.
On the other hand, BetterLegal promises a two-day turnaround time (only including business days; if you start on a weekend, it will take longer than two days). That’s possible because they file with your state the same day you submit your documents.
Not only is that a super quick turnaround time, which is not often found in the industry, but BetterLegal says that for most people, the entire process of setting up an LLC takes just 5-10 minutes.
Not only is the $299 fee all-inclusive for setting up an LLC, but it includes all sorts of extra perks as well! For example, it includes a free website, a free tax analysis, and a free insurance evaluation performed through BetterLegal’s partners.
Creating a corporation involves the exact cost as forming an LLC: just $299 plus state filing fees.
Various other filing and other services are available, such as state compliance services and a registered agent, which both cost just $10/month or $90/year. I refer you to the BetterLegal services page for updated pricing information.
What if you’re looking for an alternative to the attorney services of LegalZoom? In other words, you want to be able to consult with a lawyer when you need serious help, but you don’t want to pay the exorbitant fees that usually come with that?
In that case, LegalShield might be a good alternative to LegalZoom. It’s been around for almost five decades, but it is now available to sign up online.
LegalShield is also a good alternative to LegalZoom for creating a will or registering a business (more on that later).
So, how does it work? It’s pretty simple, really.
A standard plan costs $24.95/month. That plan is supposed to cover all of your basic and certain emergency legal needs.
When you sign up, you will be assigned a law firm. You can download the app for easier access to your law firm’s contact information and phone number.
If you have any problem – any problem whatsoever that you need legal advice on – you can call your law firm and they will call you back within 4 business hours. The law firm will be licensed in your state so they can help you with any issue.
For example, let’s say you have a property dispute with your neighbor or you need advice on divorce law for the divorce you are going through. You can get legal advice through LegalShield.
You can also use the app to create a will or upload a speeding ticket so a lawyer can review it and help you out.
After hours, you can get legal help for covered emergency situations. There is a special number you can call at any time, 24/7, in emergency situations such as:
- You are involved in a vehicle accident and need legal advice
- The police come knocking on your door with an arrest warrant
- You are detained by the police for whatever reason or are being searched
- Child custody emergencies, such as being questioned by police regarding a child you have custody over
The idea is pretty admirable, really. Having a dedicated law firm on hand to help with any issue can really come in handy, whether you are stopped by the police at a traffic stop and want help or just want to ask a legal question about a situation you are experiencing.
Not only that, but as part of your legal plan you are even entitled to representation by a licensed attorney during your trial! If you are named in a civil suit after signing up for the plan and have to appear in court, you will be granted a certain number of pre-trial research and trial representation hours.
During your first year, that’s only 2.5 hours of pre-trial research and 57.5 hours of actual trial representation, for a total of 60 hours. However, every year you remain as a member, the number of hours increases, to an eventual 300 total attorney hours during your fifth year.
You can also start a business using LegalShield. It costs a flat fee of just $145 + state filing fees, which is a pretty good price.
Not only that, but when you sign up for a business launch plan, you will get three months of essential legal services for free! That has a value of $147 (it is more expensive than the personal plan because it includes legal business advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs).
BizFilings is a business filing solution provided by Wolters Kluwer. Wolters Kluwer actually has a lot of services related to finance, healthcare, taxes, and the like, but for now, I will focus on their BizFilings solution.
BizFilings makes it easy to form an LLC, C Corporation, S Corporation, Nonprofit, and more. You can also file a DBA (Doing Business As) or use BizFilings as your registered agent (when you do that, they will pay the state fee for changing your registered agent).
If you are not sure which type of business structure is best for you or what the pros and cons of each type are, head over to this page to view a helpful chart or use the Incorporation Wizard.
Costs start at $99 for forming an LLC, but the actual cost can be many times that amount. However, the good thing about BizFilings is that when you use them to start an LLC, they will throw in six months of free registered agent services, which will help you save some money – that is something LegalZoom does not do.
What if you are a foreign national who wants to start a business in the USA but don’t know the ins and outs of the process? BizFilings will help you with everything, including international shipping and apostille services.
Both LegalZoom and BizFilings are accredited by the BBB and rated as A+, but BizFilings has far fewer BBB complaints (though perhaps they’re simply less popular). BizFilings has also been accredited by the BBB for longer (since 1997 vs 2001).
ZenBusiness promises to help you set up your LLC for cheaper than LegalZoom. Fees start at just $49 + state filing fees, which is incredibly cheap, although that is only for the first year – for each year after that that you remain a member, it will be $119/year.
Nevertheless, the starter plan includes a registered agent and an operating agreement. Those items are not included by default with a standard LegalZoom plan and must be purchased as upsells; using ZenBusiness can help you save some money on that front.
Nolo is a well-known online resource for legal books, law articles, and legal documents, but did you know they also have services to help you set up an LLC, create a will, or start a nonprofit?
In addition to all of the helpful legal guides and their massive directory of lawyers for each state, they also have an LLC/corporation/nonprofit starting tool, with several packages available depending on your needs (starting at $49 + state filing fees, which is cheaper than LegalZoom).
In addition, you can use their proprietary software, Quicken WillMaker & Trust, to create healthcare directives, wills, trusts, and the like. The software costs $99.99.
Check the products page for more information.
Swyft Filings offers packages for starting an LLC that start at just $49 + state filing fees (cheaper than LegalZoom), with a money-back guarantee. According to Swyft Filings, you can complete the online form in around 10 minutes or less, and they will then prepare all the documents and send it to your state.
You can also file for a C Corporation, S Corporation, DBA, or nonprofit.
They also offer various other business services and general services, such as business licenses, registered agent services, annual reports, and a lot more.
MyLLC apparently wrote the Limited Liability Companies for Dummies book, which is quite interesting. Their LLC formation packages start at $99 + state filing fees, which is not the cheapest price out there but still very good.
The advantage over LegalZoom is that your documents can be ready in as little as 24 hours.
They have an intuitive website where you can get a free name check and start forming your business. In addition, they have other services at excellent prices, such as registered agent services starting at $99/year and a certificate of good standing service for $35.
If you would like to close your business legally, you can even use their dissolution service. Various licensing services are offered as well, including license research, license verification, license compliance, and more.
Here’s a new one – a free LLC filing tool! While some of the LLC filing tools in this list so far are pretty cheap (starting at $49 + state filing fees), this is the first LLC filing tool on our list that costs $0 + state filing fees.
If you’re looking for a free LegalZoom alternative, this might be the right one for you.
Not all of Incfile’s services are free, which is how they make money. For example, registering a trademark will cost you $199 + federal trademark filing fees.
To get a certificate of good standing, it will usually be around $49 + filing fees.
However, if you only need to file an LLC, you can use the tool for free. Although your state might have a free LLC filing service, it can be complicated to use, which is why so many people turn to third-party tools in the first place – Incfile just provides their tool at no cost.
Inc Authority is another service that will help you file an LLC for free. Not only can you form an LLC at no cost (you will still have to pay the state filing fees, of course), but you will get extra perks, such as a free tax consultation and a registered agent service.
Why does Inc Authority do this? Their goal is to give you such a good service that you decide to become a lifelong customer.
They have excellent reviews, making it an awesome free LegalZoom alternative for forming an LLC.
Filenow is another LLC filing service that offers a free plan. Using the Filenow free plan, you will only have to pay state filing fees.
The free plan includes all of the essentials, including 24-hour processing! The fact that it is free and provides 24-hour processing makes it a great alternative to LegalZoom.
However, the free plan does not include registered agent services. In addition, services like filing for a tax ID, getting a banking resolution, and other services come with their own fees.
The premium plan costs $199 + state filing fees and includes all of those things for free. With the free plan, you will get one year of registered agent services for free as well.
On either the free or the paid plan, if you want expedited same-day filing, you will have to pay an extra $75-150. You can check updated pricing information here.
NW Registered Agent is a bit different. Instead of charging you a one-time fee for starting an LLC and then slapping you with additional fees for registered agent services, annual reports, and other services, they offer an all-inclusive monthly VIP service plan.
The VIP plan includes not only the formation of your business but continued registered agent services, annual reports, renewals, a business address, mail forwarding, and more. And – get this – they will even cover the state filing fees for you when you sign up!
If you want a monthly, full-service plan with no hidden fees, NW Registered Agent can be a great alternative to LegalZoom.
12. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer, like LegalZoom, provides a vast range of different legal services. You can start an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit.
In addition, you can create and sign documents, just like you can on LegalZoom. Not only that, but you can ask a lawyer a question or you can get a 30-minute consultation with an attorney about a legal matter you are experiencing.
Rocket Lawyer also has a service called Document Defense. If you have a contract with a tenant or some other legal contract or document that is not being honored, you can have an attorney review the document and your situation and respond on your behalf.
So, what is pricing like? There are two options.
One option is to pay for each service. Another option is to pay a monthly subscription to be a premium member, which will give you access to all of the above-mentioned services at no additional cost.
You can see updated pricing plans here, but here is a brief rundown of what it will cost you if you do not have a premium membership:
- $99.99 + state filing fees to start an LLC
- $59.99 for a 30-minute consultation with an attorney (still very cheap)
- $9.99 per document for the Document Defense service
- $39.99 for each legal document you create
The premium plan costs just $39.99/month and gives you all that, as well as registered agent services and various other perks, at no additional cost. Not only that but there is a seven-day free trial as well.
The fact that you can get everything you need for a single monthly price makes Rocket Lawyer an excellent alternative to LegalZoom.
Explore the best Rocket Lawyer alternatives in this post.
TRUiC is a bit different in that it doesn’t actually file the LLC for you but instead gives you a complete guide, with step-by-step instructions, on how to file an LLC in your own state.
The reality is that you don’t need an LLC formation service to start an LLC. Sure, it will help, and it will make the entire process less complicated, but states allow you to form an LLC by yourself, online, or via mail.
It can seem a bit complicated at first, which is why LLC formation services like LegalZoom have been created to simplify the process. However, if you would like to save money and do it by yourself, I would suggest using TRUiC to guide yourself in the process.
In addition, while you will be filing the documents yourself, you can use TRUiC’s tools, like their Business Name Generator, to help you as you form your LLC. This tool is free to use.
The website URL TRUiC uses is appropriately named HowToStartAnLLC.com.
I recommend using BetterLegal if you are not satisfied with LegalZoom, think it is too expensive, or takes too long.
With BetterLegal, you won’t have to worry about hidden fees or upsells, as everything will be included in the price you pay, and you will also get a super quick turnaround time of just two business days.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.