In December 2021, the Census Bureau’s Business Information Statistics announced that a total of 418 380 new business applications were submitted – that’s almost half a million new businesses formed in a month that is usually reserved for holidays and family time. Overall, 2021 has been an incredibly hopeful year for business in America; with just under 2 million new businesses, it definitely speaks to a renewed entrepreneurial drive that bodes well for the future.
But not everyone gets the process right the first time, sometimes not even the second time around, due to the magnitude of paperwork required; some business ventures wishing to register an LLC (Limited Liability Company) take months to complete the process. Hiring a startup lawyer would probably ensure that every process is followed correctly, however their costs range from $350 to $800 an hour, and not everyone can afford the costs involved.
To help with the task, there are many business help tools available online; business resource and service sites like LegalZoom offer a large array of tools that can help simplify the process and relieve some of the stress and confusion that goes with the territory.
LegalZoom: A Well-Established Business Formation Resource
LegalZoom has been around since 2001 and is one of the pioneering tech companies offering an easy to use online legal aid platform, making relevant information accessible to all Americans. The company launched with 10 key services which focused on intellectual property protection, estate planning, and business formation. LegalZoom’s Business Tools in particular have helped over 2 million ideas turn into legitimate business ventures.
While LegalZoom purports to be an easier and more cost-effective way to get legal or tax help, a quick comparison of costs actually shows that they are one of the most expensive business formation tools online; but there’s something to be said about their brand recognition and twenty years of experience in the industry. Also, and alarmingly, just as many self-help business formation sites have sprung up at the same rate as the number of new businesses!
LegalZoom’s Business Tools: An Overview
To ‘start your business with confidence,’ as LegalZoom’s business formation page says, one needs to start with a good name, and the site checks the availability of your choice of business name as a totally free service.
The products offered on the site include LLC formation, Corporation formation, a ‘Doing Business As’ service (when a different name is required), trademark registration, annual reports and dissolution. All of these services vary in price from $79 plus state filing fees for LLC structuring to $249 plus federal filing fees for registration of trademarks.
What Makes LegalZoom Stand Out?
What LegalZoom offers over and above their ever-growing competition is a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee, which you can request up to 60 days after your purchase. The confidence the company has in their abilities to provide the best services to their customers – or their money back – is as a result of their long standing as industry leaders.
LegalZoom also offers extended customer service hours: The service runs until 10pm ET on weekends and 7pm ET on the weekend. Also, suggested resources and online reviews list one particular pro to choosing LegalZoom over their competition: their Annual Report filing services are apparently great value for money at $55 plus filing fees, and nearly 150 000 clients use them annually to cover their tax obligations to the state.
Reviewers have cited few drawbacks to using LegalZoom, apart from the relatively larger service fees. Some cons include a rather lengthy rabbit-hole of an upsell that they try to punt at various steps in the buying process, offering a business license research package, business tax software, a subscription for legal services, registered agents, EIN acquisition and assistance with compliance. This may be off-putting to someone who may just want to register an LLC and nothing more!
A Final Thought
The ever-changing digital landscape has paved the way for innovations in helping people succeed in business, offering a ton of free resources, as well as paid-for service sites. Because of the vast number of real customer reviews and long-term longevity, LegalZoom sits at the forefront of them all with extensive knowledge and ample experience in all legal aspects of business formation.
You may be interested in: How Much Does It Cost To Incorporate in the UK?