If you’re planning on incorporating your business, using an online incorporation service can be the easier and hassle-free way of doing so. However, with the numerous options available nowadays, it can be challenging to choose the best one.
Direct Incorporation and LegalZoom are two of the best online business formation services these days. Although they use different approaches when it comes to their services, it can still be difficult to identify which one’s more suited to your needs.
With that said, here’s an in-depth comparison of these two services. This article highlights all the critical aspects of each service, such as the features they offer. It also answers some of the more common questions asked about these services. Check them all out below.
Key Points for Comparison
In this review, you’ll learn more about the differences between these two online incorporation services. Particularly, you’ll learn about the following key points in this comparison article:
- Overall pricing and features offered
- Each company’s track record and experience in the industry
- Quality of provided customer service
- Ease of their ordering process
- Speed at which they can form your company
Features Offered and Overall Pricing
Both service providers have similar pricing structures, and the packages they offer are similar in terms of features as well. So, which one is best for your business?
LegalZoom is undoubtedly one of the more popular companies in the industry, serving millions of clients since its establishment. However, in terms of price points, they’re certainly not the most affordable ones around.
In fact, their prices can be quite steep, with their entry-level corporation formation package starting at $149, excluding state filing fees. Higher tiered plans cost even more. Moreover, they don’t include registered agent services in any of their packages as well although they do offer it as an add-on. However, this costs around $159 to $299 yearly.
Like LegalZoom, their prices aren’t as budget-friendly as some of the others available in the industry. Their basic plan begins at $147, excluding state fees. While some consider this still too steep, Direct Incorporation does include EINs and registered agent services in their packages.
What sets them apart from their competitors is their higher-priced plans’ unique features. Things like comprehensive web design, trademark protection, and others can be availed of in their higher-tiered plans.
Overall, their features and price points aren’t too impressive, especially when other providers offer much more lucrative features at more affordable price points.
Track Record and Overall Experience
Both have been around for quite some time, which has allowed them to establish a solid reputation. Learn more about each company’s track record and overall experience in the industry below.
LegalZoom has been serving millions of clients since its establishment back in 1999. While not all of them were business clients, it’s still pretty impressive for such a service. In terms of customer feedback, they tend to get mixed reviews, but this is expected for a service provider their size.
Direct Incorporation was established not too long after LegalZoom, and they have served more than 80,000 businesses since then. They also host thousands of websites and recently experienced growth in their business. They don’t receive much feedback, but the ones they do receive have mostly been positive.
In this aspect, nothing quite beats LegalZoom’s years of experience. While they do receive generally mixed feedbacks, as opposed to Direct Incorporation’s mostly positive reviews, their experience in the industry proves to be hard to beat.
Customer Support and Service
A company’s ability to provide excellent customer service is vital. Discover how both companies fare when it comes to this aspect.
LegalZoom offers two methods through which their clients can contact them – email and phone call. Their phone support provides much quicker response times over their email support.
So, if you have immediate concerns, you’re better off contacting them by phone. They are available from 5 AM to 7 PM PT on weekdays, while they open a bit later during the weekends, available from 7 AM to 4 PM PT.
Meanwhile, Direct Incorporation lists down every point of contact for each of their team members. This allows their clients to contact the person best suited to answer their questions or deal with their concerns.
Nevertheless, they also have a general phone number you can call as well as an email address if you’re unsure whom to contact. Overall, their customer service team tends to be friendly, responsive, and overall knowledgeable about their services. Their team is available during weekdays, from 9 AM to 6 PM ET.
In terms of their overall customer service quality, both do well in this regard. For LegalZoom, their phone customer service support performs better than their email option. On the other hand, Direct Incorporation makes it easy for clients to reach the appropriate person regarding their specific concerns.
Ease of Ordering Process
Since both are online incorporation services, it’s more convenient to avail of their packages. However, how easy is it to make an order? Find out below.
LegalZoom’s ordering process can be quite tricky as you need to select the add-ons first before seeing their package offers. This can be confusing as you’re not really sure what you’re adding onto. Aside from the confusion, this can also cause quite the shock once you see your total with the add-ons.
Direct Incorporation’s process, on the other hand, is much more straightforward than LegalZoom’s. Not only is everything out in the open, allowing you to decide more quickly, but their interface has also been revamped to make it more user-friendly.
In terms of the ordering process, Direct Incorporation has the edge as they make it a lot easier for clients to decide on what package to get, and there’s almost no room for confusion.
Speed of Your Company’s Formation
Time is valuable, so you wouldn’t want to wait long for your company’s formation. Check out how these two services fare when it comes to the speed of forming your company.
LegalZoom bases their speed of formation on the type of package you availed. For example, if you availed of their Economy plan, the process would take around 30 business days or approximately six weeks. Meanwhile, should you require immediate processing, their priciest plan allows for expedited processing, which means it’ll take around 7 to 10 business days to complete.
In contrast, Direct Incorporation manages their clients’ expectations by basing their turnaround times on the state of formation’s typical processing speed. This includes both your usual processing time and expedited processing. However, they promise that all your formation documents will be ready and filed within a business day after ordering.
In this case, Direct Incorporation’s method tends to be more realistic as different states have different turnaround times. This way, their clients don’t become disappointed as their expectations are based on their state of formation’s processing speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
To better understand these two service providers, check out some of the most commonly asked questions.
Which company is better suited for me?
The answer to this depends on what your needs are. For example, if you need custom operating agreements, then LegalZoom is your best bet. However, if you want EIN or registered agent services included in your plan, then you’re better off with Direct Incorporation.
Which one helps out with ongoing compliance requirements?
Both do, although slightly differently. For example, LegalZoom offers annual reports for only $55. However, their registered agent services tend to cost around $159 to $299 yearly. Meanwhile, Direct Incorporation includes registered agent services for six months, although you need to renew it after that. They also offer annual reports for only $75.
Which one is better for publication services?
Neither one of these assists with publication services.
Both companies have earned their solid reputation in the industry, serving many clients over the years. However, LegalZoom tends to have the advantage in terms of experience, while Direct Incorporation does better in terms of the ordering process and turnaround times.
Nevertheless, both are still close, so choosing the right incorporation service for you boils down to your needs as a business owner. Overall, you can never go wrong with availing of either of these two service providers.