Comparing the 2 Biggest Incorporation Services Online
Incorporating your business has plenty of benefits, particularly when it comes to protecting your personal assets and guarding your business against liability. There are many incorporation services you can avail of online, with two of the biggest names in the industry being LegalZoom and Incfile.
However, like with any service, it can be difficult to choose the best service for your company, especially since you need to consider several factors before deciding.
With that said, here’s an in-depth comparison review of these two big industry names which highlights all the important details such as their track record and experience, pricing, and ease of use. This review also answers some of the most common questions regarding their companies and what each has to offer.
Overall Pricing and Value
When it comes to hiring a service, the value received for the price paid is an important factor. After all, expensive doesn’t always mean high-quality and as such, you must evaluate your chosen service provider carefully.
With that said, in terms of overall pricing and value, which one offers the best bang for the buck?
With LegalZoom, their pricing options depend mostly on the services you want from them such as articles of incorporation, name check, and business filing, as well as expedited processing, among others.
They offer their services starting at $149 which constitutes their Economy plan. However, this Economy plan offers fewer features than their more expensive plans. Further features available in their Standard and Express Gold plans which cost $329 and $349, respectively.
Therefore, if you want to avail of more services like official certificates and seal, rush processing, and express shipping, you’ll have to avail of their higher-tier plans which cost more. Moreover, a service for a registered agent isn’t included in their plans as well, and should you need one, you’ll have to pay an additional fee of around $159 to $299 per year.
Incfile, on the other hand, offers its services at a minimum of $0, depending on the state in which you’re incorporating your business. For example, if you’re availing of their services in the state of California, you can get their basic Silver plan at only $75.
This entitles you to basic services such as unlimited name searches as well as preparing and filing the articles of organization. They even include the service of a Registered Agent for free in this plan – something that LegalZoom lacks in their packages. However, this is only good for a year, after which you’ll need to renew it at $119 annually.
For more features like having an EIN Business Tax Number and Operating Agreement, you can get either their Gold plan at $224 or Platinum plan at $374. The higher the plan you avail of, the more features you get, and you save more than if you avail of these services separately.
Overall, in terms of the best value for money, Incfile is the clear winner. They offer flexible price points for their clients as well as comprehensive features that allow them to maximize what they need for their business.
Company Track Record & Experience
A company’s track record and overall experience in the industry can be a deciding factor when choosing the best one suited for your business.
For the two biggest incorporation services in the industry, both LegalZoom and Incfile have solid reputations that make them the best in the business.
LegalZoom was established in 1999 and has been serving millions of clients since then. As a well-established name in the industry, they have garnered both positive and negative reviews for their services, with more positive than negative overall.
As a company, they’re more focused on providing legal services for their clients rather than just business formation. Regardless, the experience they have in the industry is something you shouldn’t overlook when considering them for your own.
Incfile, on the other hand, was first founded in 2004, a few years after LegalZoom, but has served hundreds of thousands of clients since then. In terms of customer satisfaction, they receive more positive than negative reviews, making it a strong point for the company.
For this aspect, both have their merits, and therefore, both win in this category, resulting in a tie. They’re both great at what they do and they’re both experienced in the industry with good track records of service. As such, it’ll ultimately be up to you on which company you go for.
A company’s ability to provide adequate customer service is another factor businesses should consider. Without it, it will be difficult to resolve any issues with the service should the need arise. With that said, which company has the edge when it comes to providing customer service to their clients?
LegalZoom provides a couple of avenues through which their clients can reach them. They have both email and phone support, allowing you to contact them whenever you have questions or have issues with their services.
They also have a convenient FAQs section where you can check out some of the most commonly asked questions about their services. This can help save you some time and effort in waiting for their response. Regardless, if your concern is immediate, they have two numbers you can call from 5 AM to 7 PM PT during regular business days or 7 AM to 4 PM PT on weekends.
In terms of quality and speed, their phone support is considered superb and their agents are friendly and thorough, especially when it comes to questions. However, contacting them through email takes a little longer, with some reporting waiting a full week before they responded.
Similar to LegalZoom, Incfile offers both email and phone support to their customers in case they need to ask questions or resolve any concerns with their services. Their phone support is available from Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 6 PM CST.
Phone calls are answered fairly quickly, but answers to any questions are often straight to the point and without elaboration. For more detailed answers, clients should contact them via email as they answer fairly quickly – usually by the next business day, and they provide more elaboration through this method.
Overall, both garner positive reviews when it comes to customer service, although Incfile has a slight edge over LegalZoom in terms of speed with their responses. With any customer support services, it’s vital that a company can quickly resolve a client’s concern. Incfile manages to do this by answering their lines and emails quickly.
Ease of Use
Convenience and seamless transactions are factors that can affect whether or not a customer chooses that specific service provider for their business needs.
As such, an incorporation service like LegalZoom and Incfile must make the process as seamless and smooth as possible for their clients.
When it comes to ease of use, LegalZoom offers a clean and easy to navigate interface that makes it easy for potential clients to order what they need with convenience. However, they don’t offer their packages to clients right away.
Instead, they need to begin by putting in their information first. After this, potential clients need to go through a series of upsells before they can select their preferred plan. Because of this, it can result in higher than expected prices for their services before they can reach the plan selection screen.
Incfile, on the other hand, uses a more personalized approach when dealing with potential clients. This approach allows you and another potential to view their price points, depending on what kind of business you want to establish as well as which state you’re from.
They make the process as comprehensive yet as user-friendly as possible so that their clients can select the best plan for their needs as business owners. You can avail of third-party offers and other upsells – once you do, the total price for your plan is updated in real-time on your screen. This leaves no room for surprises, making sure that you understand what kind of plan you’re getting.
Overall, while both have their merits, Incfilehas an edge as they offer a much simpler ordering process for their clients. It’s a streamlined process that leaves no room for surprise fees, ensuring that you know just what you’re availing of when you finalize the order.
Speed of Formation
Their ability to provide fast turnarounds for their services is something that many customers value, especially when it comes to incorporating their business. So, between the two biggest incorporation services online, which one has the better offer?
For LegalZoom, the speed at which they incorporate your business depends on which plan you subscribe to rather than your location or the state in which you’re forming it. For their Economy plan, for example, it takes as long as 30 business days to receive your finalized documents.
With their pricier packages, like the Express Gold plan, you can have your documents as early as 7 to 10 business days.
In contrast, Incfile ensures that your corporation formation or LLC documents are processed and submitted to your chosen state within a business day. This is regardless of what plan tier you availed of.
Nevertheless, if you need your processing expedited, they offer this service for an added fee, but this will still be determined by your state of formation. For Platinum plan subscribers, the expedited service is already included in their plan.
With their price points and immediate processing, regardless of the availed plan, Incfile wins in this category. Plus, their turnaround times are more realistic as they base it on the client’s state of formation, rather than just general requirements.
Which package should I avail of from Incfile?
Incfile has three separate plan tiers that offer different services. The one you should get depends on your needs as a business owner.
For example, the Silver plan is great for those who want their core features without breaking the bank. Their Gold Plan offers more features and is considered the most popular among the three. However, the Platinum plan offers the best value for money, especially for those who want to expedite their processing.
What are the advantages of each service provider?
While Incfile tends to have more advantages than LegalZoom, they each have their merits. For example, LegalZoom is a well-established name in the business and thereby has plenty of experience with incorporating businesses.
On the other hand, Incfile tends to be more user-friendly and offers more competitive pricing for their plans.
Which company offers continuous legal services?
With their focus on providing legal services to clients, LegalZoom is better in this aspect than Incfile. They provide these legal services even after incorporating their clients’ businesses.
Should I use a company formation service?
The answer to this wholly depends on your needs as a business owner. While it’s not legally required of you to avail of professional formation services, it can certainly speed up things for you and make the process more convenient and streamlined.
Verdict and Final Thoughts
Overall, both LegalZoom and Incfile have their advantages and disadvantages, with the latter having an edge on the former over certain aspects of the service. For example, in terms of pricing and customer service, Incfile tends to do better, but LegalZoom follows closely behind.
If you’re on a tight budget, Incfile offers more flexible price points for their clients and they are quick to answer any questions you might have. However, if you’re looking for someone more experienced and is more well-versed in the legalities of incorporating businesses, then LegalZoom is the better option.
Nevertheless, you can never go wrong with opting for either service provider. After all, they’re considered two of the biggest names in the industry for a reason.