LegalZoom vs. Incfile Comparison

LegalZoom and Incfile are well known in the business formation industry, and they both have their strengths and weakness. We went through the process of signing up for both companies to see how they compared in these areas: price/value, ease of use, customer support, and customer satisfaction.


What You Get with the Basic Package

Below, we compare LegalZoom and Incfile’s prices and services. Incfile is substantially less expensive overall and offers a free year of registered agent service. Also, Incfile aims to process all orders by the next business day, whereas LegalZoom processes the more expensive orders first–and even LegalZoom’s fastest processing speed is an estimated ten business days, which is slower than Incfile’s regular processing speed.

LLC Formation Price Filing Formation Documents Registered Agent Service Operating Agreement EIN Order Processing Speed
LegalZoom $79 plus state fees Included Not included $99 $60, must bundle w/ operating agreement Up to 30 days, filing more expensive orders first
Incfile $0 plus state fees Included Free for a year, then $119/yr $40 $70 Next business day

LegalZoom vs. Incfile: Price

LegalZooom

LegalZoom’s prices start out high and get significantly higher with expansive packages:

  • Economy package: $79 + state fees. Formation documents filing, 30-minute tax consultation.
  • Standard package: $329 + state fees. Includes features of Economy package, plus faster processing (estimated 15 business days) a Founder’s Kit, embossers, and certificates.
  • Express Gold package: $349 + state fees. Includes features of the Standard package plus their fastest processing (estimated 10 business days), and express shipping.

Unlike most of their competitors, LegalZoom doesn’t include many additional services with their high tier packages. The main benefit you get with the high tiers is a faster processing time, and even at the higher tiers, their processing time is slower than Incfile’s regular speed. The Founder’s Kit is an attractive, professional-looking binder where you can file your business documents. It’s a nice thing to have, but is it worth the extra $250? Probably not.

While many of their competitors include a free year of registered agent service with their formation package, LegalZoom does not. Their registered agent service is $249 per year, which is over twice as expensive as many of their competitors. Most of their other services can be purchased à la carte and are not included in any of their packages.

Incfile

All three of Incfile’s packages are substantially cheaper than LegalZoom’s:

  • Silver Package: $0 + state fees. Includes formation documents filing and free year of registered agent service ($119/yr after).
  • Gold Package: $149 + state fees. Includes all Silver package features, plus some additional services, including an EIN, operating agreement, and business tax consultation.
  • Platinum Package: $299 + state fees. Includes all Gold package features, plus expedited filing, a web domain name, business email address, and business contact templates.

Incfile’s packages also include more features. Incfile offers a free year of registered agent service with all three of their packages, and they include some nice features with their more expensive packages, such as an EIN and operating agreement, that LegalZoom only offers à la carte.

Analysis

LegalZoom is much more expensive than Incfile and does not add much value for the additional cost. We also appreciate that Incfile does their best to process all orders by the next business day, unlike LegalZoom, which slows down processing for less expensive orders.

LegalZoom vs. Incfile: Ease of Use

LegalZoom

When you go to sign up for LegalZoom, you have to give some personal information and click past a few upsells to get to the prices for the three packages. One thing we found a bit deceptive about their sign-up process was how if you’re not paying attention, you could easily opt in to LegalZoom’s registered agent service without realizing it.

Several customer reviews for LegalZoom are from customers who didn’t realize they’d agreed to have LegalZoom as their registered agent and were surprised when they were charged $249 for it. Here is an example from a customer:

LegalZoom Review

Going through the sign-up process, we can see how customers could easily make that mistake. The button to appoint LegalZoom as your registered agent just says “Continue with LegalZoom.” You have to click “I’ll appoint a different registered agent,” which is below it in smaller print, to opt out. Customers who aren’t paying close attention could easily choose the wrong option by accident.

There are several up-sells and third party offers during the sign-up process (about six). However, once you actually sign up for LegalZoom, their online dashboard is simple to navigate.

Incfile

There are a few up-sells and third-party offers in the sign-up process, but we appreciated that Incfile is transparent in their pricing. If you opt in to any of the up-sells, the price is immediately updated on the screen, so you know what you’re paying for. Their online dashboard is easy to navigate.

Analysis

The sign-up process for LegalZoom is not as straightforward as Incfile’s and includes more up-sells, and LegalZoom’s sign-up process can be a little confusing, making it easy to accidentally sign up for services you don’t want and not realize it until you’ve already been charged.

LegalZoom vs. Incfile: Customer Support

LegalZoom

LegalZoom has very long customer support hours: Monday through Friday 5am-7pm PDT, Saturday & Sunday 7am-4pm PDT. They also have a large customer support staff. Positive customer reviews often talk about the helpfulness of the customer support team. When we called them, we got through with no hold time and the customer support representative was professional and able to answer our questions. We appreciated that he gave us his email address at the end of the call in case we had more questions.

Incfile

Incfile’s customer support hours are Monday through Friday 9am-6pm CST. We wish they had some weekend support as well, to accommodate clients who run their business outside of standard business hours. They also have a smaller support team than LegalZoom, and some customer reviews complain about poor customer service and no one answering the phone.

When we called them, we were put on hold for five minutes and then sent to voicemail, but we called back an hour later and got through with no hold time. The customer service representative answered our questions and was polite but did not go into a lot of detail with her answers.

Analysis

LegalZoom has much long customer support hours, and judging from the reviews, LegalZoom’s customers seem to be happier with the customer service than Incfile’s customers are. We found both company’s customer support reps helpful and professional on the phone, but it was easier to get through to LegalZoom customer support, and LegalZoom’s customer support rep exceeded our expectations by offering us his email address so we could reach him personally with more questions.

LegalZoom vs. Incfile: Customer Satisfaction

LegalZoom

LegalZoom has mostly positive reviews across the web. LegalZoom has over 3,800 customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau website, which is more than most of their competitors have on that site, and they have a 4.43/5 star customer rating. They also have over 1,000 reviews on Trustpilot.com and a 4.3/5 overall rating. Many of the positive reviews say that LegalZoom made starting their business easier and use words like “professional” and “knowledgeable” to describe the customer support team.

LegalZoom Review

A lot of the negative reviews referred to “hidden fees” and having to pay much more than they expected to. Some customers were confused by the upsells that are marketed as “included trials” but are only free for the first ten days. Several customer have also complained about having to wait a long time to get refunds from LegalZoom.

LegalZoom Review

Incfile

Incfile has over 30,000 reviews on the internet, most of them positive. The majority of their reviews are on ShoppersApproved.com, where they have over 25,000 five-star reviews. They have a 4.54/5 star customer rating on the Better Business Bureau website. Many of their customer reviews use words like “fast” and “easy” to describe the sign-up process, and many customers appreciate the great value of the Silver package, which is free except for the state fees.

Incfile Review

Many of the negative reviews talk about having trouble reaching customer support via phone or email, or saying that the customer support representative they talked to was not helpful. Negative reviews also talk about having delays or mistakes with their orders.

Incfile Review

Analysis

Both companies have mostly positive customer reviews, although Incfile has a larger quantity of total reviews. LegalZoom’s reviews show that their customer support is knowledgeable, helpful, and readily available, but that some of their customers felt like they were overcharged or that the pricing for services is not transparent. Incfile’s reviews show more dissatisfaction with customer service, and more customers who were not able to get their questions quickly answered by customer support. However, most of Incfile’s customers seem happy with the pricing and were not confused about what they were paying for.

Conclusion

If your main priority is affordability, Incfile is definitely the better option. They offer most of the same services as LegalZoom at a much lower price, and they throw in a free year of registered agent service, which LegalZoom does not.

You might prefer LegalZoom if it is important for you to go with a well-known brand, or if you anticipate having a lot of questions and want a service with long customer support hours and more knowledgeable customer support reps.

To learn more about these two companies, check out our reviews of LegalZoom and Incfile.