20 years ago, it was much more difficult to register a C Corp or an LLC. You had to work with a lawyer or an accountant and it took a considerable amount of time to get done.
Today, you can complete the process from the comfort of your home and have the paperwork in a few days.
LegalZoom is part of that revolution.
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Though LegalZoom is one of the most popular company formation services online, it’s not the only one. There are many LegalZoom alternatives that can do the same thing cheaper, faster, or even better.
Obviously, company formation isn’t something that you want to skimp on because it’ll affect you for years to come. If not done properly, it can put your business model in jeopardy. But, why pay more or waste time when it’s not 100% necessary? There’s no reason to.
That’s why I’ve put together these LegalZoom alternatives that do the heavy lifting for you and provided a great experience.
Best LegalZoom alternatives
1. ZenBusiness – #1 LegalZoom alternative
ZenBusiness is one of the cheaper company incorporation services available. For just $49/y (not including state fees), you can get your company set up within a few days.
For a little more, it will also file for your EIN (employee identification number) and give you templates to use to start running your business.
ZenBusiness also offers a few simple add-on services that may interest you if you’re strapped for time. For example, if offers filing amendments, a registered agent, banking resolution templates, and others.
- Rapid filing
- File for EIN on your behalf
- Simple wizard that can be completed in minutes
- Inexpensive to get started (though mandatory add-ons like state filing fees are not figured into the price)
- Multiple optional services you can take advantage of (but it doesn’t use high-pressure upsell tactics)
- Live chat support available
- The highest tier doesn’t offer much value (the prices for email, website, domain, etc. are too expensive)
Get Started with ZenBusiness
The United States is one of the most popular destinations to incorporate companies. That’s due in part to easy access to business capital, a friendly regulatory environment, and (now) lower taxes.
It used to be impossible to open a business & get a bank account when abroad. That changed with Firstbase.io.
It allows non-US citizens or those outside the country to form US LLCs and C corps. It also takes care of the auxiliary services like EIN and bank account opening. It has a single pricing tier of $399.
- Open to people outside of the United States
- Tens of thousands of dollars in discounts from partner companies
- Registered agent, expedited filing, bank account opening, and EIN included in the price
- Easy-to-use interface
- Free consultation with tax attorneys and CPAs
- Standardized post formation documents
- There aren’t any add-on services that can be purchased to enhance the service
Get started with Firstbase
Incfile is one of the LegalZoom alternatives that offers more than a simple LLC and C corporation formation service. It also has the option to create an S corporation and a nonprofit.
It stands out among all the LegalZoom alternatives because it doesn’t charge any direct fee for the lowest package. That’s right, it’s free to incorporate a company and get the basic legal docs prepared. You won’t have an EIN, bank resolution, etc., but you will have a company.
The higher packages add things like IRS forms, business templates, EIN, tax consultation, and more starting at just $149 (excluding state filing fees). In addition to the core incorporation, it offers multiple business entity support services.
- Free to get your company incorporated (not including state filing fees)
- Easy-to-use modern interface that lets you get in and out quickly
- Lots of general educational information
- Not locked in to a registered agent contract automatically
- One-off fee
- Many add-on services you can take advantage of
- It’s free but it tries to upsell you on additional services or to its affiliates to improve its margins
- Customer support can be difficult to contact because of volume
4. Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered agent is a LegalZoom alternative that’s focused on the registered agent and incorporation side of things. It doesn’t have many add-on services that you can take advantage of but it’s good at what it does.
You have two options – do everything online yourself for free or get Northwest Registered Agent to do it for you for a small fee. You can even get faster processing times. It has a base price of $100, then additional fees for faster processing. The registered agent is $125/year.
- Fast turnaround time for company filing
- Not many upsells
- Transparent pricing
- Easy to find customer support information
- More expensive registered agent service
- Doesn’t offer many add-on services that businesses would find useful
BetterLegal is a LegalZoom alternative that makes a bold claim. You can set up your corporation in 10 minutes and have it in 2 business days. It’s able to do this because it files with your state of choice on the same day and expedites the process.
In addition to the core service, it offers things like state compliance service, registered agent, and a license search. In the end, BetterLegal is laser-focused on the core formation services which can be a good thing if you don’t need the extras.
- Really good at company formation
- Can get your business incorporated in as little as 2 business days
- Offers tons of state specific services like changing addresses and removing directors
- It lacks basic information like an about us page or clear contact info on the website
6. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings has multiple formation options that are absent from many of the services on this list. It offers the standard LLC and C corporation but also includes S corporation, DBA, and nonprofit. It’s inexpensive with pricing plans starting at just $49 (not inclusive of state filing fees) for standard formation.
Swyft Filings offers a few fringe benefits like a free business name search and rapid company formation. You can easily contact them by phone or live chat to have your questions answered before, during, or after the process.
One thing I like about Swyft Filings is the wide range of auxiliary services. It’s almost a one-stop-shop for managing your business entity.
- It only costs $49 to get started
- It offers many additional services for company management
- Clear contact information right on the homepage
- Rapid filing and completion of the entire process
- There are a few upsells you need to watch out for
7. Inc Authority
Inc Authority may be the youngest LegalZoom alternative but that doesn’t take away from the things it is doing right. First, it’s free to get your LLC set up (not including the state fees) and it comes with a few added services like business name check, S-election form, tax consultation, etc.
It offers C corporation filing but you won’t know that looking at the website. There are few added services for you to take advantage of which I consider an advantage for customers. I dislike the way the pricing is structured. The higher tiers are opaque and you have to go deeper into the funnel to really understand how much you’re paying for all the services.
- Offers free consultations for entity formation
- Basic tax consultations with the packages
- Starts at $0 for basic formation
- Can get access to business funding and what’s known as credit accelerators
- The pricing is opaque and you have to actively uncheck boxes so you won’t be billed extra
8. Corp Net
Corp Net has a big co name that would probably make you think twice about working with them in this day and age. Fortunately, it’s able to hold its own. Corp Net offers the most options for entity formation including partnerships, sole proprietorships, a professional corporation, and the basics you expect.
It also does business name reservation, offers free consultations, business licenses, and registered agent services. Speed isn’t one of its strong suits but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to wait months. Just don’t expect your company in two days (unless you pay extra). Plans start at $79 and go up to $249.
- Straightforward process to register your company
- Transparent pricing and upsells
- Free consultations
- Prominent customer service channels (phone and live chat)
- Slow standard processing times
- Exorbitant fee for shipping and handling
LegalZoom has been around for a long time and made incorporation easier than ever for most businesses. Today, there are many alternatives that are cheaper and faster.
This guide has shared 8 LegalZoom alternatives that are worth taking a closer look at. ZenBusiness and Firstbase.io are solid choices depending on your situation – you can’t go wrong. Choose them and you’ll have peace of mind.
Let me know which services you’ve used in the comments and don’t forget to share.