8 Best Online Legal Services (2024 Ranked & Compared)
Hiring a dependable online legal service is an excellent place to start with free or inexpensive guidance before investing money in long-term legal counsel.
To help you make the wisest choice, we teamed up with our great team of attorneys and evaluated the best online legal services available.
Here's a detailed review of the top eight legal services, including their pricing, service features, pros, and cons.
8 Best Legal Services (February 2024)
1 - Rocket Lawyer (Editor's Choice)Would you recommend Rocket Lawyer?
Around 25 million customers have received online legal services from Rocket Lawyer since its launch in 2008.
You can start your membership in Rocket Lawyer with a seven-day trial that you can cancel any time before the following billing cycle.
Having personally used Rocket Lawyer for various legal needs, I can attest to its diverse range of technical legal forms. It's truly one of the best in the industry. Depending on your specific needs, you can access multiple documents when you log in, just as I did.
In my experience, I accessed their Lawyer On Call service for real-life legal counsel. The way it works is that Rocket Lawyer will connect you with the appropriate local attorney for a 30-minute phone consultation if your legal question cannot be resolved online.
Individuals with complicated legal issues who need more assistance may decide to keep working with that lawyer at a 40% hourly discount.
- Premium Membership ($39.99/month + state fees) : As a Rocket Lawyer monthly subscriber, you'll get access to customizable legal documents, unlimited Rocket Sign electronic signature, contact with actual attorneys, Document Defense, and 30-minute phone call consultations.
- Legal Documents (39.99 per form) : With this service, non-members can access different legal documents offered by Rocket Lawyer.
- Ask A Lawyer Service ($49.99 per question) : This feature allows non-subscribers to call attorneys from Rocket Lawyer and ask different legal questions.
- Registered Agent Service ($125 + state fees) : Rocket Lawyer will act as your own resident agent and receive service of process and legal notices on your behalf.
- Top rating online reviews
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Diverse offerings
- Great team of licensed local attorneys
- Helpful customer care team
- Costly subscription
2 - LegalZoomWould you recommend LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is an online legal company that has served over 2 million businesses since its launch. This company mainly offers three services: business formation, wills and trusts, and intellectual property.
In our experience, accessing legal documents was easy with LegalZoom because of their straightforward online forms and affordable flat-rate costs that start at only $79.
These documents permit countless modifications, and if you're unhappy with the finished product, you can contact customer support within 60 days to receive a complete refund.
This online legal service provider stands out in terms of customer support. During weekdays, phone support agents are accessible for 14 hours per day, and on weekends, they are available for 9 hours per day.
It's a bummer that LegalZoom offers limited day-to-day accounting solutions to business owners.
- Economy Package (Beginning at $79/year) : Business name check and filing, preparation and filing of articles of incorporation, lifetime customer support, and financial account authorization letter.
- Basic Package ($329/year) : Deluxe corporate document organizer, formal certificates for 20 members, and company seal.
- Express Gold Package ($349/yr) : VIP processing and quick shipment of business papers.
- Registered Agent Service ($299/year) : Unrestricted cloud storage, compliance orders, and company data protection are all included.
- Estate Plan Bundle ($249) : Besides attorney consultations, you get a living and last will, financial power of attorney, and a living trust.
- Copyright Registration ($114+ state filing fees) : This service allows small business owners to bulletproof their intellectual property so that people don't benefit from it without permission.
- Long-standing industry expertise
- A comprehensive set of legal services
- 60-day refund policy
- Excellent customer service
- Rigorous upselling
3 - Northwest Registered AgentWould you recommend Northwest Registered Agent?
When I was researching online legal services for my startup, Northwest Registered Agent came highly recommended.
Launched in 1998, they've catered to over 3 million businesses across the U.S., and I can see why. Their expertise and range of services were exactly what I needed.
This legal company offers free legal documents, including membership and stock certificates, operating agreements, and articles of incorporation.
Northwest Registered Agent has prompt and professional customer service available during regular business hours and is reachable via phone.
When we signed up, we received a Northwest Corporate Guide who answered all our questions about starting and running a business.
We could reach our Guide via phone, email, and the online support form, and they responded within 2 hours.
This online legal website also offers an EIN registration service for tax filing and hiring employees .
They can apply for a standalone EIN or combine the application with your business formation if you plan to launch an LLC, C-Corp, or S-Corp.
Still, we were disappointed with the high price points that Northwest Registered Agent offers compared to other online legal services.
- Business Formation ($39 + state fees) : Northwest charges this flat rate to form any company, whether an LLC, a corporation, or a nonprofit.
- Registered Agent Service ($125) : This plan includes annual report filing alerts, business addresses, mail forwarding and scanning, and locally scanned legal files.
- Law on Call ($9) : This service allows Utah residents to access legal advice from attorneys via phone.
- EIN Filing ($50) : If you don't have the time to go through the application steps, you can pay Northwest to do the legwork.
- Solid client data privacy
- Professional customer service team
- No hidden charges
- Top A+ customer ratings on better business bureau
- Expensive add-ons
4 - Bizee
Bizee (formerly Incfile) is an online legal service that specializes in business formation.
Bizee provides top-tier services at prices that are unmatched in the sector. Their most basic bundle costs customers $0 (plus state fees).
Bizee provides registered agent and LLC creation services and accounting and compliance services, including drafting operating agreements, filing annual reports, and registering for EINs for your business entity.
Thanks to their user-friendly design, you can purchase Bizee's services online. Guided snippets display on the screen when filling out the form, and a live chat box allows you to communicate with a representative.
After our registration for Bizee legal services, a tax professional provided a free, one-hour consultation to address our legal issues.
The fact that Bizee only offers a few services is their sole drawback. For example, they don't provide legal documents or legal consulting plans.
Additionally, their customer service hours are limited and unavailable on weekends.
- Silver Package ($0 + state fees) : This bundle has filing certificates of formation, business name searches, business bank accounts, access to online legal documents, and free resident agent service for the first year.
- Gold Plan ($149 + state fees) : Has Silver plan features, plus banking resolution, tax consultations, ongoing legal support, EIN registration, Operating Agreement, and legal document express shipping.
- Platinum Plan ($299 + state fees) : Apart from gold plan features, the platinum package also offers Business contracts, business domain, hosting, personal documents, fast FedEx delivery, and a business formation kit.
- Registered Agent Service ($119) : Each package includes a free resident agent service in the first year. After that, it may be renewed for $119.
- Affordable legal coverage
- Company filings are stored in digital formats
- Automatic lifetime compliance notifications
- No option to retain a lawyer
- Restricted intellectual property legal services
5 - ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness shines in simplifying the LLC formation maze. Suppose you're an entrepreneur and seeking legal counsel.
In that case, ZenBusiness may help you plan by providing tools for analyzing your industry, estimating expenses, creating your brand, and determining the best business structure.
ZenBusiness' user-friendly platform makes it simple to launch a new business. It provides quick processing and Worry-Free Compliance to alleviate the burden of setting up a company and keep you on schedule.
Their platform is user-oriented, ensuring a hassle-free 10-12 minute filing. My LLC was approved in just four days, and I was equipped with a New Business Kit.
Like most online legal services, ZenBusiness also offers high-quality auditing services. We appreciate how they handled our bookkeeping, payroll duties, invoices, and day-to-day accounting solutions effectively.
- Starter Plan ($0 + state fees) : This basic plan includes regular processing speed, expense tracking, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You'll also get standard filing speed (2-3 weeks) and optional worry-free compliance for the first year. You can also benefit from a 1-month free trial for banking services, bank account, Money Pro Bookkeeping, and Website Builder, followed by competitive monthly rates.
- Pro Plan ($199+ state fees) : Has starter plan features plus operating agreement, rush processing, and worry-free compliance. Additional features include the fastest "rush" filing speed, ensuring an average swift processing time of 1-2 business days. Moreover, a meticulously crafted LLC operating agreement template is available for $99, aiding businesses in establishing clear operational guidelines. Completing the package, Zen Business assists in obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- Premium Plan ($349+ state fees) : Has pro plan features plus business domain registration and hosting, email address, business document templates, and customizable corporate website.
- Registered Agent Services ($199) : This is the cost of hiring a registered agent without the other services.
- Worry-free compliance
- Streamlined user platform
- Faster processing
- Plans lack resident agent services
- Doesn't offer company seals
6 - Harbor Compliance
Harbor Compliance is an online legal service founded in 2012 and has provided compliance solutions to over 20,000 businesses, organizations, and NGOs.
This online legal service offers a demo account we signed up for to test their services before subscribing to the paid options.
Its same-day processing is a good option if you need legal counsel as quickly as possible.
Harbor Compliance has an individual formation package with all the basics of forming a business, including name searches and verifications.
However, this service is relatively expensive, costing $399. Unlike its competitors, Harbor Compliance does not provide more affordable packages or the option of customizing services.
- Full Formation Service ($399) : This comprehensive LLC business formation service includes filing articles of organization, name search, operating agreement, and free 1-year registered agent service.
- Registered Agent Service ($99) : It's free for the first year and then renews for this amount annually.
- Personalized customer service
- Same-day legal processing
- Free registered agent service for a year
- Outdated website service
- It is expensive
7 - FileNow
Since 2018, FileNow has provided legal services to assist in creating many businesses with its professional team of attorneys, tax specialists, and entrepreneurs.
It features a company formation wizard that allows you to decide the type of entity to form after answering a few basic questions on the platform.
This service offers same-day processing, so all your documents will be handled in less than 24 hours.
In our experience, all our legal documents were processed electronically; hence, tracking, downloading, and editing them as needed was easier.
FileNow also offers a 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days if you're dissatisfied with their legal services.
The only downside to this legal service is its few add-on services; it doesn't offer tax services or annual reporting.
- Starter ($49 +state fees) : Includes filing articles of organization, unlimited phone & email assistance, e-delivery of state papers, online order status tracking, and unlimited name search.
- Premium ($ 199+ state fees) : Includes starter plan features plus company alerts, business tax consultation, business banking account, and a free year of registered agent.
- EIN ($75) : With this plan, they'll apply for a tax ID on behalf of your company.
- Operating agreement ($50) : Filenow will draft an operating agreement for your company to govern its internal and external transactions .
- Transparent pricing
- Live 24/7 customer care
- Authentic refund policy
- No tax services
- No annual reporting services
8 - LegalShield
LegalShield, founded in 1972, is an online legal service offering its clients a low-cost monthly legal representation.
The individual monthly legal plan from LegalShield offers free legal document evaluations and consultations with licensed attorneys.
We also had access to services for estate planning and creating mortgage documents.
LegalShield will offer you, counsel, in cases involving traffic infractions, family law, and tax audits, among other things.
You will also receive a 25% discount on a firm's usual hourly costs if you require legal counsel for additional reasons. And You are also automatically covered for the expense of your spouse and dependent children.
Although using a monthly subscription model, LegalShield does not need a long-term commitment. You can cancel anytime and receive a proportionate refund for unused days.
Nevertheless, it would help if you understood that some benefits don't apply to pre-existing conditions.
For instance, if you enroll in LegalShield the day after receiving a ticket, you won't be able to take advantage of the plan's benefits for traffic violations.
- Individuals and Families Legal Plan ($24.95/ month) : This individual plan includes phone consultations, 24/7 emergency access, document review, tax audit services, traffic assistance, estate planning, driver's license assistance, and more.
- Small Business Legal Plan (starts at $49/ month) : This plan offers designated consultations, tax audit services, collection letters, and business research advice.
- Start A Business ($149 + state fees) : This service plan offers everything you need to start a business entity, for example, name search and registration, LLC formation, EIN registration, and more.
- Trial Defense ($9.95 / month) : If summoned to a court trial, you get pre-trial counsel and advice.
- Monthly plans are affordable
- Access to 24/7 support live chat features
- User-friendly scheduling app
- Costly additional services
- No free trial
How We Tested The Best Online Legal Services
To identify the top online legal services, we conducted a thorough review process. Our methodology involved examining a significant number of companies to ensure a comprehensive analysis.
We meticulously evaluated 15 different legal service providers, engaging with their business formation and services anonymously. This approach allowed us to gain a genuine understanding of their offerings and customer experience.
Our team, which included legal experts, also contributed their insights, particularly regarding state-specific nuances in LLC formation and management.
Cost-effectiveness is crucial in choosing an LLC service, as it impacts the overall affordability and value for money.
Bizee stood out with its free package, including a registered agent service.
ZenBusiness also offers competitively priced basic packages, while Northwest provides an excellent deal at $39, including a free registered agent for those opening an account through our link.
LegalZoom fell short with its expensive pricing; the basic package costs $329.
2. Service Offered
The range and quality of services, including essentials like operating agreements, attorney consultations, or EIN registration and additional paid services, are crucial for comprehensive legal support.
Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom received a solid 5/5 with their wide array of services, including phone consultations with lawyers and access to various legal documents.
In contrast, a service like Bizee got a 3/5 because while it's affordable, it offered fewer options, particularly in legal consulting plans.
3. Reliability and Reputation
A service's reputation, as reflected in user reviews and ratings on platforms like TrustPilot, indicates reliability and client satisfaction.
Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom had high 5-star ratings and positive reviews, indicating strong reliability.
In contrast, a newer service like FileNow had a less established reputation.
4. Customer Support
Legal processes and terminologies can be complex and confusing for many people. Effective customer support helps in breaking down these complexities, making legal services more accessible and understandable to clients.
We evaluated the variety of communication channels, such as phone, email, and online chat, and noted whether interactions were with humans or bots. The speed of response and overall availability were also key factors.
Based on our evaluation, LegalZoom demonstrated exceptional customer support with extended availability.
In contrast, a service like Bizee, while offering good support, had more limited hours and no weekend availability.
5. Turnaround Time
Many legal processes have strict deadlines (e.g., for filing documents, responding to legal notices, or completing transactions). A swift turnaround ensures that these deadlines are met, avoiding potential legal penalties or unfavorable outcomes.
Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness were noted for their swift processing times; they processed our legal notices on the same day.
A service like Harbor Compliance, despite its quality, had a slower turnaround in comparison.
6. Ease of Use
Legal topics can be complex and overwhelming. A user-friendly website can help simplify this information, making it more digestible and understandable for clients.
Based on user experience, we rated ZenBusiness 5/5 for its user-friendly platform which includes clear navigation, straightforward language, and helpful resources.
7. Local Expertise
For businesses and individuals that operate across multiple states, an online legal service with expertise in various state laws can provide comprehensive support that addresses the legal complexities of multi-state operations.
Drawing from our review and experience, services like Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom demonstrated strong local expertise in diverse areas like business regulations, real estate laws, and even family laws.
Do Online Legal Services Provide Actual Legal Advice?
Yes, online legal services provide actual legal advice, typically provided by licensed attorneys. However, the scope and depth of advice may vary depending on the service.
How Do Online Legal Services Differ From Traditional Legal Services?
Online legal services provide legal assistance through digital platforms, allowing clients to access legal advice, document preparation, and other legal services via the Internet. This differs from traditional legal services where clients typically interact with attorneys in person.
Our Verdict on the Best Online Legal Service
By working with an online legal service, you may reap the benefits of attorney representation and sound counsel while limiting your overall cost structures.
After reviewing different best legal services, Rocket Lawyer is our number one recommendation.
This affordable online legal service offers the highest caliber legal expertise and respectable counsel.
Rocket Lawyer provides comprehensive legal services whether you need to start a business, get a lease agreement template, or a prenuptial agreement.
Additionally, combining Rocket Lawyer's offshore workforce with your in-house legal team will allow you to complete projects on schedule and avoid costly legal mistakes in your business.