BizFilings vs LegalZoom (2024 Comparison – What’s better?)
If you are establishing a business entity and are looking for LLC formation services, it may be hard to decide between hundreds of options.
BizFilings and LegalZoom are among the top business formation companies in the industry and I will share my insights on how your LLC would benefit from either service platform.
As a business consultant with over a decade of practice, I worked with several LLC formation companies and determined which basic features and additional services are necessary to launch, manage and maintain an LLC efficiently.
At a Glance: LegalZoom vs. BizFilings
BizFilings is an LLC formation company that has helped launch, manage and maintain over half a million businesses since it was established in 1996. The company became part of CT Corporation, a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer, in 2002.
LegalZoom is one of the top-ranked business formation companies that provide legal services since it was founded in 2001. To date, the company has helped over 2 million individuals and businesses.
1. BizFilings LLC Highlights
- Business formation
- Registered agent service
- Ownership certificates
- Managed annual reports
- Certificates of good standing
2. LegalZoom LLC Highlights
- Business formation
- Articles Of Organization
- Digital welcome packet
- Legal forms
- Document storage
3. How BizFilings and LegalZoom Stack Together
BizFilings and LegalZoom are excellent LLC formation services and both companies offer a diverse range of legal services.
LegalZoom has a more comprehensive package that covers all aspects of forming, managing, and maintaining an LLC. In terms of professional legal service, BizFilings also covers health, tax and accounting, as well as finance.
Side-by-Side LLC Plan Comparisons
BizFilings and LegalZoom each offer three standardized plans that feature basic services, as well as documentation, legal counsel tailored to the specific needs of the company.
1. Basic Plan Comparison: BizFilings Basic vs LegalZoom Basic
- BizFilings' Basic ($99 + state fees): Includes business creation fundamentals, business entity name verification, and drafting of the necessary paperwork. You will also have access to the BizComply tool, which provides 24-hour business monitoring, and a free registered agent service for the first 3 months .
- LegalZoom's Basic Package ($0 + state fees): The package includes filing of formation documents, name verification, a digital welcome packet, and a website which may be customized. Most of my business associates attest that it is a comprehensive plan that covers the basic needs necessary to form an LLC.
2. Mid-Level Plan Comparison: BizFilings Standard vs LegalZoom Pro
- BizFilings' Standard ($229 + state fees): The package includes all the basic plan features plus expedited shipping, LLC kit seal, operating agreement template, and 3 months of free registered agent service.
- LegalZoom's Pro ($249 + state fees): The plan includes all the features of the basic package complemented by an operating agreement, document templates, and an EIN. When we purchased the plan, we were provided with insurance and tax consultation conducted by accounting professionals.
3. Top-Level Plan Comparison: BizFilings Complete vs LegalZoom Premium
- BizFiling's Complete Package ($359 + state fees): The package includes all the features of the Standard plan supplemented with a compliance DVD, EIN, state document copies, and expedited delivery.
- LegalZoom's Premium ($299 + state fees): The plan includes all the features of the Pro package, plus legal counsel and guidance, and free document amendments for the first month .
Registered Agent Service
You have the option to avail of BizFilings' registered agent service for an annual fee of $220. It includes a compliance management tool which alerts your company on annual report and franchise tax filing deadlines .
LegalZoom provides a registered agent service as an additional feature. For a fee of $249 a year, the package also includes mail alerts, annual report and tax filing deadline notifications.
Apart from the basic formation packages, BizFilings and LegalZoom offer additional services necessary to maintain your LLC once it has been registered.
1. DBA Registration
BizFilings offer a DBA name registration service for businesses who want to operate under a different name. We had to pay a fee of $139 to avail of the package, which includes a name availability check, preparation and filing, and shipping of completed documents.
With LegalZoom, the $99 DBA registration package includes a preliminary name search, filing of the application, publication of the business name (depending on the state), and legal forms library.
2. Business License Report
Both LegalZoom and BizFilings offer a comprehensive permit and licensing report package for $99.
LegalZoom provides a summary of federal, state, and local licenses and permits necessary to operate your business legally and direct access to all applications, which expedites the process .
BizFilings offers a Business License Wizard package that includes extensive research on all licensing requirements and a free preview of the required documentation.
3. Trademark Registration
A client of mine was able to register a trademark with LegalZoom for $599 plus state fees. Since the package includes counseling and legal guidelines, the application was quickly approved.
BizFilings does not offer a trademark registration feature.
4. Annual Report Filing
With LegalZoom, you can avail of an annual report plan and remain in good standing for $99 plus state fees. The company will create and file the document on your company's behalf.
BizFilings helps you maintain a status of good standing by monitoring, managing, and filing your annual report. You may contact the company through phone or get a quote by visiting the website.
BizFilings can be contacted through phone or email between 8 am to 7 pm, Monday to Friday. You can also write the company through regular mail for any concerns.
LegalZoom can be accessed by phone or live chat 5 am to 7 pm PST, Monday to Friday, and 7 am to 4 pm PST during the weekends.
Most of my clients were pleased to learn that LegalZoom provides customer service even during the weekends, since most companies don't.
Which is More Affordable, BizFilings or LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is more affordable than BizFilings since it offers a basic $0 plan. Even their mid-level and top-level plans are priced slightly lower.
Are BizFilings and LegalZoom Available in All States?
BizFilings and LegalZoom are both available in all states to form an LLC, provide legal service, and more.
BizFilings vs. LegalZoom: Our Recommendation
Both BizFilings and LegalZoom provide basic LLC formation services to help you establish your business.
In my years in the industry, I can attest that both companies are reputable but LegalZoom seems to be the preferred formation service by entrepreneurs and new business owners.
While both platforms offer great LLC formation services, you can always consider ZenBusiness as an alternative.
ZenBusiness offers additional features, such as a business website, longer customer service hours, name reservation, DBA name filing, worry-free compliance, and more.
If you need help with the business formation process, you should check out ZenBusiness services.