Starting an LLC with LegalZoom
Start an LLC Online from Just $99 plus State Fees
LegalZoom is one of the best-known web destinations for the creation of legal documents, including services for starting a limited liability company online, with over 1 million satisfied customers. LegalZoom was co-founded by internationally recognized attorney Robert L. Shapiro, and is endorsed by many national radio and television personalities.
LegalZoom's website allows you to start a limited liability company (LLC) for your business, with their guidance, for up to 85% less than what it would cost you to use the services of a traditional lawyer. In fact, LegalZoom is the web-based business incorporation service we chose when it was time for us to start a LLC.
Starting an LLC in 3 Simple Steps
With LegalZoom, it is a simple 3-step process for starting an LLC:
- Complete the online questionnaire.
- LegalZoom reviews your questionnaire for consistency and completeness, prepares your documents, and files the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
- When LegalZoom receives the Articles of Organization back from the state, they send them to you, along with all of your other formation documents. You then follow easy instructions to finish the process. It is that simple!
Packages and Fees Explained
LegalZoom offers three LLC formation packages – the Economy, Standard, and Express Gold. The packages range in price from $99 for their cheap LLC package, to $359 for their most comprehensive offering. See the comparison table below to learn what comes with each bundle.
On top of the LegalZoom legal documentation fee, you must also pay the state filing fee. Depending on what state you choose to start an LLC in, the fees range from $40 to $600, with most states in the $50-$200 range.
You will pay this state mandated fee to LegalZoom when you place your online order. Before you begin the questionnaire process, LegalZoom allows you to choose which state you are forming your limited liability company in, showing you what the state filing fees will be.
Options When You Start an LLC Online with LegalZoom
For additional fees, LegalZoom offers optional services to go along with their three start LLC packages. These services include preparation of the Federal Tax ID (EIN) Application (this is included in the Express Gold package), preparing the application, and obtaining your Federal Tax ID.
Granted, these optional services are items that you can accomplish on your own, and possibly for less cost. However, when you are first starting up your operation, it is nice to have some of the detail work taken care of for you, freeing up your time to spend on other aspects of starting your new company.
Why Choosing LegalZoom is the Best Option
What really makes the LegalZoom online business formation service company stand out from the competition is the fully customized forms and documents that come standard with all of their starting LLC online packages. This includes the ultra-important operating agreement, which is something that all limited liability companies are required to have.
BizFilings only supplies a sample operating agreement, and other required documents that you will need to customize yourself. The Company Corporation charges an additional $99 for a customized operating agreement. LegalZoom really is the most comprehensive option when it comes to providing the necessary forms to start an LLC.
How Long Does Starting an LLC Take?
Regular limited liability company formation orders normally take 20-35 business days. However, you can opt for LegalZoom's more expensive, inclusive Express Gold package, which shortens the completion time to 7-20 business days. This is a great service if you need to start a LLC quickly. (Per LegalZoom, due to government delays, Express Gold turn-around time in Arizona is 10 business days, in Maryland it is 14 business days, in New Hampshire it is 25 business days, in New Mexico it is 14 business days, and in California it is 20 business days.)
When you choose the Express Gold package, the following takes place: Your order is marked for immediate, special handling. Your Articles of Organization are hand-delivered by courier to the Secretary of State to ensure high-priority attention. A LegalZoom specialist is assigned to monitor the progress of your filings with the Secretary of State, which ensures a smooth journey with the government. And finally, once your order is complete, it is shipped to you via FedEx 2-day Air.
Please see the start LLC package comparison table below to see what all you get with the Gold Express Package versus the other two available options.
If you opt for either the Economy or Standard LLC packages, you do not receive the expedited handling process that you do with the Gold bundle. This is fine if you do not need your order to be expedited, and you do not need the extra services that come with the Gold package.
Once you decide to start an LLC with LegalZoom, you first create an account. This not only allows you to keep track of your order history, but also allows you to save your limited liability company questionnaire progress if you are not able to complete it all in one sitting. Simply return to LegalZoom's website, sign back into your account, and complete your questionnaire.
As a matter of fact, if you need to change your questionnaire answers after you have made your purchase, you can do so via the account you created. This is useful if you found out that you entered erroneous information, for example.
If you have a question part way through the questionnaire, as we did, you simply call LegalZoom via their toll-free customer support number, and a representative will assist you as much as you need. We found this to be incredibly useful when we chose to start an LLC online with LegalZoom. We wanted to make sure we were putting the right information in the correct spots, and the representative did a fantastic job guiding us through the process.
Educational Material Available
LegalZoom offers a decent education center to help you with what is required to start a LLC, as well as an article center that has articles on many legal topics. They also have some videos that answer questions relating to limited liability companies (Wikipedia definition).
In the education center, they do offer a free, 13-page LLC Guide in PDF format. This offers much of the same information found on their website, but in an easy to read format.
To get a copy of this guide, visit LegalZoom's LLC page and click on "LLC Education" in the left-hand navigation column. You will then find a link to download the free guide in the left-hand column. Note: You will need to supply them with a valid email address.
Starting a LLC with LegalZoom - Final Thoughts
LegalZoom gives you several options, ranging from a cheap LLC package to an all-inclusive package, and they are there to help you should you have any questions along the way. We were incredibly satisfied with the service we received from LegalZoom, and feel that you cannot go wrong choosing them to form a limited liability company, or for any other online business formation service needs you might have.
LegalZoom's Start LLC Package Comparison
|Price (+State Fee)||$99
|Preliminary LLC Name Clearance|
|Articles of Organization Preparation & Filing|
|Customized Operating Agreement|
|Restrictions on Transfer|
|Company Resolution for Banking|
|LegalZoom Peace of Mind Review|
|Unlimited Customer Support While Forming an LLC|
|LegalZoom's Business Newsletter|
|Deluxe LLC Kit|
|Official Company Seal|
|20 Customized Membership Certificates|
|Membership Transfer Ledger|
|FREE MyPRGenie Online PR and Social Media Suite for 1 Year ($179 value)|
|FREE QuickBooks Online Accounting Software - 3 months ($119 value)|
|FREE 30-Day Trial of Business Advantage Pro (See LegalZoom Website for Details)|
|Priority Rush Service|
|2-day FedEx Delivery of Final Package|
|Federal Tax ID (EIN) Application Preparation||$30||$30|
|Prepare Application & Obtain Federal Tax ID (EIN)||$79||$79||$49|