LegalZoom vs. Swyft Filings – Which is the Better Online Incorporation Service?

By now, you’ve probably realized 2 things:

  1. It’s imperative that you incorporate your business, so you’re not risking your personal assets as well. 
  2. You’re better off having a professional outfit do the incorporation for you, to make sure it’s done quickly and correctly. 

But these facts lead to a rather obvious question: which online incorporation service should you use?

If you’ve done your proper research, then you may have already noticed that LegalZoom is perhaps the most popular option in the industry. But their prices can give you pause, as they’re quite exorbitant. 

Will Swyft Filings offer a more cost-effective option? Let’s find out. 

Incorporation Packages

Here are the packages you can pick from offered by these two online incorporation services. Just keep in mind that these fees still don’t include the associated filing fees charged by each state, as these fees vary depending on the state. 

LegalZoom Swyft Filings
Economy: $99

  • Check the availability of the corporation name 
  • Prepare articles of organization
  • Create financial account authorization letter
  • File the documents with the state
  • Provide a guide on what to do after incorporating
Basic: $49

  • Check company name availability
  • Prepare and file for corporation or LLC
  • Online access to incorporation documents
  • 30-minute business tax consultation
  • Compliance alerts
  • Free domain name
Standard: $329

This includes all the Economy services, plus:

  • Create 20 company membership certificates
  • Create binder and customized company seal with your business name 
Standard: $149

All the Starter features are included, plus these optional add-ons available for the Starter pack:

  • Obtain EIN (federal tax number)
  • Custom operating agreement
  • Custom banking resolution
  • Custom organizational minutes
Express Gold: $349

You get all the Standard services, plus:

  • Faster formation (7 to 10 business days, instead of 30 business days)
  • Express shipping for business documents
Premium: $299

  • Electronic delivery of state documents
  • Customized digital corporate kit
  • Free business website and web hosting

LegalZoom’s Official Website

 

These packages do not contain the required registered agent services, which are mandatory if you’re incorporating. These brands offer this as a separate service. 

LegalZoom will charge you an extra $299 per year, while the registered agent services from Swyft Filings will cost you $149 per year. 

Overall Pricing and Value

As you may have noticed quickly, LegalZoom offers little beyond the basic services for a quite a lot of money. These are definitely premium prices, as you’ll be hard-pressed to find more expensive options in the industry. This is basically the main reason why so many people are looking for alternatives to LegalZoom in the first place. 

In contrast, the prices for Swyft Filings are more affordable. They’re also more reasonable, since you get a few more features in even their most basic package. The extras they provide are rather useful. 

Both of these brands don’t include the registered agent services as part of any of their packages, which is a shame. Also, both offer rather expensive packages with additional features that don’t really offer great value. If you’re picking any of the 2 brands, the best deal is to go with their cheapest 

You can actually find quite a few other online incorporation services that offer these registered agent services as part of even their most basic packages. Considering that these other brands generally offer even lower rates for these packages, it’s easy to realize that both of these brands offer rather pricey incorporation services. 

Still, in the head-to-head comparison, it looks like Swyft Filings comes out ahead. They offer lower rates and offer more features. Their registered agent services are also much more affordable. 

Put it this way: with the Basic package and registered agent services from Swyft Filings, you’ll pay $198 for these combined services. With LegalZoom, the overall cost (not even counting the really expensive add-ons) goes up to $398. You’re basically paying double with LegalZoom, while hardly receiving twice the features and services. 

Company Track History and Experience

It’s important that you don’t go with just any random brand that hasn’t yet established any meaningful reputation for professionalism and trustworthiness. Some random brand that just came out may just turn out to be a scam. 

When it comes to company track history in the incorporation service industry, very few brands are older than LegalZoom. It’s one of the reasons why they’re so popular. They’ve been around since 1999, and they’ve managed to not just survive the 2 decades since. They’ve managed to actually climb the top of the industry. 

People trust LegalZoom because they’ve been around a long time, so they have had enough time to know what to do. Besides, the thinking is that the brand wouldn’t have lasted this long if it wasn’t doing something right. 

Also, LegalZoom is extremely popular. They have the greatest number of customers year after year. They’ve already gone past 4 million customers, and they’ve helped establish more than a million corporations already. 

That’s despite the fact that, while they have a great many online customer reviews, only about half of these reviews give the brand high scores. The other half of the reviews are rather less satisfied with the services they received considering how much they paid for them. 

What about Swyft Filings? It’s comparatively new, as it was established by a lawyer in 2012. Still, that’s a fair number of years since, so it’s not exactly a newcomer in the industry. 

In fact, in the 9 years or so in the industry, they’ve actually managed to get as many as 20,000 online customer reviews. The vast majority of these reviews (at least 90%) are very much satisfied with what they got for their money. 

So, who “wins” here? That depends on what you trust more. If you’re more reassured by a brand with a longer track record, then it’s LegalZoom. The fact that it’s also the most popular brand, with the greatest number of customers is also very convincing. It’s hard not to think that it’s popular for a reason, especially with the higher prices that LegalZoom commands. 

But you should also take into account the sheer number of positive reviews about Swyft Filings. It seems like a lot of their customers are so pleased with the services they received that they’re all motivated to praise the brand. With Swyft Filings, most people are extremely satisfied with the results. LegalZoom reviews are definitely more polarized, with the same number for both positive and negative reviews. 

 

Ease of Use

Since you want things to move swiftly and efficiently, the website has to be easy to use so that you can place your order right away. It’s always better to get things started quickly, rather than waste time bothering customer support asking for clarification. 

The good news here is that both websites in this comparison are easy enough to use. 

With LegalZoom, the website design is quite clean and clear, and you’re guided on what to do to place your order. The website offers clear explanations for the features, as well as for the various add-ons you may want to tack on. 

It’s just that you’re actually required to provide your business information first before you progress further. It’s annoying to spend so much time doing this when you realize later on that you really don’t like the offered packages. 

Curiously, the website seems designed not really to make things easier for you. Instead, it seems like it was meant to efficiently tempt you to get more of the optional add-on services so that you’ll pay more in the end. 

That’s why the whole ordering process is somehow reversed. You’re actually offered the various add-on features first before you get to choose with the package to go with. It’s like going through all the grocery isles with the expensive snacks before you get to the essentials located on the back rows of the grocery. 

With Swyft Filings, they justify their name because everything’s laid out nicely. You get to the various packages right away, with their sets of features. Each feature here comes with a rather thorough explanation so you get a clear idea of what you’re getting. 

Also, the basic package comes with extra optional add-ons, with explanations and prices for each. So, basically, it’s a quick process. You get to pick the package and add-ons you want first. Only then you furnish info regarding your business information. 

In this category, Swyft Filings is clearly the winner. The ordering process is laid out logically, and the offers for add-ons aren’t that blatant. The LegalZoom process is just more annoying. 

Customer Support

Sure, both websites offer clear instructions and explanations. But invariably, you’ll have questions. So, do the customer support groups of these 2 brands stack up against one another?

The LegalZoom customer support offers terrific service—if you call them up. You’ll get someone knowledgeable fairly quickly, and the agent will be someone who knows what they’re talking about. They will offer very detailed explanations. They may ask about your particular situation, and if you’re at a point where you don’t know what to do, they can lay out your options very neatly. 

You even get a follow-up email after your call, where you’re given the direct contact number of the agent you talked to. That way, when you have more questions, then you can talk to that same agent who’s already familiar with your situation. 

They don’t offer a chat service, however. And they may as well not offer any customer support via email. It takes a week before they even bother to reply, and their email response isn’t really worth anything. It’s like an automated message that doesn’t really answer any of your questions. 

The most important feature of the email response is the reminder that you call them up instead. You’re really better off to heed that suggestion. 

Now with Swift Filings, you can contact customer support through phone, email, and chat. They again justify their brand name by being quick to respond to your queries. You certainly won’t wait a week to get a reply if you try to email them. You’ll wait a day, at the most. 

It’s just that they also seem in a hurry to finish answering your questions. Their replies are straight to the point. They don’t offer extra explanations and details, and they won’t as for the details of your situation. 

It’s up to you to pick which approach you prefer. With customer support through phone, LegalZoom customer support is definitely better. But it’s bad via email, and there’s no chat service. 

Swyft Filings is better if you don’t really like engaging in long phone conversations. If you want succinct, to-the-point answers to your questions, then you’ll like the customer support from Swyft Filings more. 

 

Process Completion Speed

You will wait a long while with LegalZoom. That’s mainly because you’re just one of their many customers, and you’re placed at the end of a long line once you finish making your incorporation order. That means waiting for as long as 6 weeks, though LegalZoom doesn’t really give you a time estimate based on a particular state’s speed with processing. 

You can, however, hasten the process by paying for the expedited service. This is somewhat expensive too, and you still have about 7 to 10 business days of waiting. After all, many of their customers also paid for the expedited service. 

With Swyft Filing, again they take their brand name seriously. They will start working on your incorporation request that very same day, or the next day at the latest. They will even give you a fairly accurate estimate on how long the entire process will last, based on their experience with the particular state. 

Conclusion

All in all, Swyft Filings seems to come out looking better. They offer more affordable rates with more services per package. They have a decade-long track history, with twenty thousand reviews and with 90% of them extremely positive. They offer a better website with an easier process, their customer service isn’t bad, and they get the job done faster. 

Still, you may be tempted to go with LegalZoom, if you can afford their rates. It’s really not easy to ignore how they get the most customers all the time, despite the high prices. If you’re more liable to trust the majority, then you may end up on the LegalZoom bandwagon.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: