Preparing to Launch

5 LegalZoom Alternatives for Entrepreneurs

If you’ve considered forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, or nonprofit, you’ve probably heard of LegalZoom. This service has helped entrepreneurs with business formation since 2001.

If you’ve considered forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, or nonprofit, you’ve probably heard of LegalZoom. This service has helped entrepreneurs with business formation since 2001. 

There’s no doubt that LegalZoom is a legit, experienced service. Still, like any filing service, it has its advantages and drawbacks. With the variety of LegalZoom alternatives available for new business owners, another company may be better suited to your needs. 

Key Takeaways

  • There’s no one perfect LLC formation service. As an entrepreneur, you must balance factors such as cost, customer service, and turnaround time and choose the service that works best for you and your business.

  • Pay particular attention to LLC formation companies that provide registered agent services. A registered agent can help mitigate the dangers of litigation, which is critical when the Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates the cost of litigation for small businesses to be between $3,000 and $150,000

    1.

  • If it’s your first time forming an LLC, a good LegalZoom alternative is

     

    Swyft Filings, which has quick turnaround times and an efficient, accurate process.

The Best LegalZoom Alternatives

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, entrepreneurs filed over 400,000 business applications in October 20222. You can be sure that many of these business formations were facilitated by service providers in the space. When taking your first steps into business formation, comparison shopping helps you make an informed decision about how you want to incorporate your business.

Whether you seek superior customer service or easy-to-use online LLC formation tools, here are the top LegalZoom alternatives to consider.

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Swyft Filings

True to its name, Swyft Filings helps entrepreneurs quickly and efficiently form a business entity. Founded in 2015, Swyft Filings has made a name for itself as fast and affordable with business incorporation specialists on hand to answer any business formation question. 

Swyft Filings provides a wide variety of assistance, including LLC formation, registered agent, and DBA services. They provide continued support beyond business formation and maintain a 4.8-star rating on Trustpilot

Here’s how Swyft Filings stacks up as a LegalZoom alternative.

Personalized Customer Service and Support 

Swyft Filings gives you access to a Business Specialist whom you can contact directly over email or the phone. The company also has a live chat option.

Ease of Use

Customers report being able to navigate Swyft Filing’s straightforward website easily and intuitively move through the business formation process. The company also features a well-designed dashboard to access all your documents and check your filing status.

Quick Turnaround Time

Swyft Filing’s easy-to-use model goes hand-in-hand with its quick turnaround time. The company begins processing your business formation immediately. In some states, this can be completed in as little as one business day.

Registered Agent Services 

One of the benefits of business formation with Swyft Filings is that they offer registered agent services. Adding this necessary service to your business formation saves you time. This service is available for a recurring quarterly fee of $149.

Low-Cost Pricing Structure

Swyft Filings’ basic incorporation packages start at $49 plus state fees, with variable pricing depending on added services.

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness uses a primarily automated system and offers registered agent and LLC formation services. Users that invest in their premium service have access to faster turnaround times, and their annual renewal packages include continued compliance services. ZenBusiness offers phone and live chat support. 

Here’s how ZenBusiness compares as a LegalZoom alternative.

Customer Service

ZenBusiness's customer support includes live chat and phone support during regular business hours.

Ease of Use

ZenBusiness customers cite the system’s straightforward design and easy navigation.

Variable Turnaround Times

How quickly you can form your business with ZenBusiness depends on your chosen service package. The basic package has a 2-to-3-week turnaround time. They offer upsells, including a mid-tier plan with a 4-to-6-day turnaround and a premium package of 1 to 2 days.

Registered Agent Service

ZenBusiness provides registered agent services for an additional fee of $199 per year.

Variable Pricing Structure

ZenBusiness has a tiered pricing structure with annual billing options. Their starter package is $0, and expedited services run from $199 to $299 per year. Note that you will also need to pay relevant state fees no matter which package you choose. 

Incfile

Incfile has offered LLC formation services, registered agent services, and assistance getting a business license or permit since 2004. The company also features add-ons, including banking and bookkeeping.

Here’s how Incfile performs when compared to other LegalZoom competitors.

Customer Service

Support consists of email or phone calls during regular business hours.

Fair Ease of Use

Customers find Incfile reasonably easy to use. The site features a client dashboard where you can access your documents and manage your business entity. 

Variable Turnaround Times

Turnaround time varies according to the state and package you choose, from one or two days to several weeks.

Registered Agent Service

This service is free the first year you use the company to file your LLC and then $119 annually.

Tiered Pricing Structure

Incfile has a tiered pricing structure. Their starter package is $0 plus state filing fees. Their second and most popular package tier comes to $199 plus state fees, and their most expensive plan is $299 per year plus relevant state fees.

Northwest Registered Agent

As the company name suggests, Northwest Registered Agent provides registered agent services and LLC formation services. The company has been in the business formation arena for two decades as a LegalZoom alternative. 

Here’s how Northwest Registered Agent fares among LegalZoom competitors.

Customer Service

Support consists of email or phone support during regular business hours. When you sign up for services, you are assigned a guide who oversees your account.

Ease of Use

Customers say Northwest Registered Agent is simple to navigate and use.

Registered Agent Service

This service is the core of their business and costs $125 annually.

LLC Pricing

Pricing to form an LLC starts at $39, plus state fees.

Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer provides small business owners with online legal services, including LLC formation. Founded in 2008, the company has lawyers on hand to answer legal questions for those who purchase their services. Rocket Lawyer also provides registered agent services for customers. 

Rocket Lawyer is one of LegalZoom’s top competitors, but how does it stack up as an alternative? 

Customer Service

Users can leverage customer service and support options consisting of online chat, email, and phone services during regular business hours. The organization also has lawyers on call for legal questions after business formation.

Ease of Use

Customer reviews cite Rocket Lawyer's process as straightforward.

Turnaround Times

Turnaround times with Rocket Lawyer are one to two days or longer, depending on the state.

Registered Agent Services

Rocket Lawyer provides this service for $149.99 per year.

Pricing

The company has member and nonmember pricing. Following a free 7-day trial, member pricing comes in at $39.99 per month plus state fees. Business formation is $99 plus state fees.

Identifying the Right LegalZoom Alternative for You

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If you’re in the market for an online business formation service, but aren’t sold on LegalZoom, there are cheaper and faster alternatives to consider. Every entrepreneur’s business is different, so no one LLC service can serve all of them. 

An alternative to LegalZoom is likely the right call for you. Possible factors include cost, ease of use, customer service and support, access to documents, turnaround time, and whether the company offershas registered agent services.

Customer Service and Support

Access to high-quality, responsive customer support is vital to new business owners. Affordable service doesn’t mean a thing if you have trouble with the business formation process and there’s no one there to help. Before signing up with a business formation service, check their support options and read customer reviews. 

Can you speak to a live person via the phone or chat, or do they only have bots answering questions? Will you have to email your questions and wait for an answer? What hours are customer service agents available? Do they offer any additional services?

Ease of Use

When you run your own company, time is money. Any business formation company you sign up with must be easy to use. Check out the company website. Does it seem simple to navigate? Are you able to quickly find what you’re looking for?

Additionally, the company must provide ready access to all your incorporation documents and legal forms. You should have an account dashboard to access all your documents and see your filing status.

Turnaround Time

When you’re ready to incorporate, you probably want to do so as quickly as possible. Find out what the company’s turnaround time is like. 

Do they begin processing your request immediately and get things completed promptly? Some companies charge an expedited filing fee to begin the process of forming your business right away. LegalZoom, for example, charges $349 for the Express Gold Package in order to file within 2-5 business days, while Swyft Filings offers prompt filing for no extra cost.

Registered Agent Service

Service providers that have registered agent services are often your best option. By law, every incorporated company must have a registered agent. A registered agent accepts tax and legal documents for your business. While it is possible to serve as your own registered agent, doing so comes with specific stipulations that may not work with your business.

Cost

As a new business, you must keep a close eye on cash flow. That makes cost a top consideration for entrepreneurs. There are a variety of business formation companies offering affordable services to help you save money.

A Note on the DIY Approach to Incorporation

Of course, you could incorporate your new business yourself without help from a service provider. Performing all incorporation tasks yourself means your only significant costs will be state fees. This DIY approach to incorporation also lets you have complete control over how quickly you begin and complete the business formation process. 

The downside is that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with and complete all the necessary incorporation paperwork correctly. Any errors or omissions in the paperwork can lead to costly delays. Over 38% of small businesses fail due to lack of capital3, and this is not the way you want to start your business journey. With the DIY approach, you must also become your own registered agent or find a registered agent service. 

Considering these requirements, many entrepreneurs find it easier to use LLC formation services. When cost is an issue, they also often find that choosing an alternative to LegalZoom can help them stay within budget.

Choosing the Best LegalZoom Alternative

When it comes to business formation as an entrepreneur, you have options regarding service providers. Knowing the alternatives to LegalZoom will help guide you to the best choice. Investigating companies that provide incorporation services, including customer service, turnaround times, pricing, ease of navigation, and whether the company offers registered agent service, can help you make the ideal choice for your business.

If you require legal advice from a lawyer, you will want to choose a service that offers consultations with attorneys. On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry to get your business up and running quickly yet efficiently, a company like Swyft Filings may be your answer.

FAQs

Is LegalZoom a trusted site?

Yes, LegalZoom is a trusted site that has provided business formation services to many entrepreneurs since 2001. It is one of many available incorporation services.

No. LegalZoom is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice. However, for a monthly fee, it offers access to attorneys through its Prepaid Legal Plans service.

Can I start an LLC without using LLC formation service providers?

Yes. You can start an LLC without using an LLC formation service. However, if you choose the DIY route, it is your own responsibility to ensure you abide by your state’s business formation laws.

Can I be my own registered agent?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent, provided you follow specific rules. These include having a physical address for your business with office hours of 9 am to 5 pm. The address must also be in the same state as your business. 

However, being your own registered agent comes with some severe downsides. Read our article 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent, for more information.

Is LegalZoom legit?

Yes, LegalZoom is a legitimate company with more than two decades of experience. However, plenty of other companies offer LLC formation packages that may be more cost-effective or include better services for your situation. 

What is the best business formation service provider?

There’s no one perfect LLC formation service — each has upsides and downsides. The best business formation service provider is the one that provides timely incorporation services in the manner that suits your needs. As an entrepreneur, you must balance factors such as cost, customer service, and turnaround time and choose the service that works best for you and your business.

Related Articles: LLC, S Corp, C Corp, or DBA: Understanding your options

The Four Best States to Form an LLC

Do You Need a Lawyer to Start an LLC?

Bibliography

  1. Small Business Administration. “

    Impact of Litigation on Small Business.” Accessed on November 30, 2022.

  2. U.S. Census Bureau. “

    Business Formation Statistics, October 2022.” Accessed on November 30, 2022.

  3. CB Insights. “

    The Top 12 Reasons Startups Fail.” Accessed on November 30, 2022.

Originally published on January 23, 2023, and last edited on January 23, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for answers? You came to the right place. To learn more about our company mission and culture, click the link below.

How much does it cost to form a Corporation or LLC?

Swyft Filings charges only $49 + state filing fees to incorporate your business. Filing fees vary from state to state. If you have a question about a specific state, feel free to email or contact us at 877-777-0450.

After completing my order, will I have to pay additional fees to your company?

No. For business filings, you paid the total price for your order at the time you placed it. 

However, if you signed up for the Swyft Filings Registered Agent Service, you will be charged for this service when the state grants your company a Certificate of Formation. This recurring fee will be automatically charged to your account for each period the service is active unless you change your Registered Agent with the State or dissolve your company.

When will my order be processed?

Orders are processed as they are received. However, clients that select Express Processing or Same Day Processing will have their orders processed before Standard Processing orders.

How long does the incorporation process take?

Incorporation times vary from state to state. Feel free to contact us by email or at 877-777-0450 for information on specific state processing times.

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