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ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are both online legal services that can help your business with formation and ongoing operational tasks. To decide which might be right for your small business, you may need to dive into the features, pricing, pros, cons and reviews of each service.
ZenBusiness is all about business formation; therefore, its services are there to help you do just that. LegalZoom, while offering many documents for business formation, also offers other services to help you continue to run your business.
ZenBusiness explains its five-step formation process, so you know exactly what to expect from the service.
Some of the specific features it offers are:
LegalZoom has many features that make it a comprehensive legal service for those looking to form their business and continue to run it. Below are business formation services offered by LegalZoom, and the types of business you’ll be able to form:
Pricing for online legal services can be hard to determine, especially since LegalZoom offers a pricing structure where each service and document is priced differently. ZenBusiness, on the other hand, lists its pricing right on its homepage and has standard packages you can choose from, or individual services and document pricing similar to LegalZoom.
ZenBusiness offers three package options that cover a wide range of needs and services.
In addition to those packages, customers can pick and choose certain services to add to a package or create their own package.
If you’re in need of more than one of the services offered above, it makes sense to go with one of the package options, as the cost really adds up when adding them a la carte.
LegalZoom has a bit of a different pricing structure than ZenBusiness, as there are no set package options or memberships. Each formation service will come with its own set of packages with prices varying depending on service and state. For example, here is how LLC pricing breaks down:
The LLC Next Steps Guide is step-by-step instructions to review your LLC documents. Peace of Mind review is when LegalZoom personally reviews your order before anything is filed and your business is formed. LegalZoom offers 20 personalized company membership certificates and an official company seal with the Standard and Express Gold packages.
Just like ZenBusiness, LegalZoom offers extra services that you can add on to whichever package you choose, or purchase on their own. Here is a sampling of what is offered:
LegalZoom does offer attorney access for any questions or concerns, and that comes in two package options: Legal Advantage Plus and the Business Advisory plans. Plans start at $31.25 per month and $9.99 per month, respectively.
Both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom have plenty of pros and cons for you to consider when choosing between the two legal services. Keeping in mind what your business needs most from this type of service will help you determine which are deal-breakers.
Customer reviews are a mix of good and bad for both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom.
While the customer service chat option on its website is convenient and makes it seem like you’re talking to a real person, customers felt like they were just working off of scripted responses and didn’t deviate from exact wording when asking for clarification on a subject. However, others have said that the personalized customer service they received was outstanding, so your experience may vary.
Customers love the reasonable prices and the fact that they weren’t upsold or hit with hidden fees and charges. Overall, the reviews for ZenBusiness are overwhelmingly positive, which is a good sign if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to form your business.
LegalZoom has hundreds of reviews, and while there is a mix of positive and negative, a lot of them focus on the negative.
The most common complaints seem to be about hidden charges, LegalZoom not making it clear what is an add-on that can be opted out of and customer service. Many people noted that they were still being charged for services they hadn’t received or after canceling their various plans and memberships.
For instance, while a registered agent is required by law for anyone operating a business, LegalZoom doesn’t necessarily make it clear that it doesn't need to be your registered agent. If you don’t opt-out of that service, you will automatically be charged for it.
When it comes to customer service, many reviewers noted long wait times or it being impossible to get in touch with anyone at all, and when they did they were met with less than ideal assistance. Again, like with ZenBusiness, this experience can vary from person to person.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet