Forming a business can be a relatively lengthy and complex process. Or, at least, it used to be before sites like Incfile and LegalZoom were born. Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business or running your operation entirely online, you need all of your documents to place an order before selling a product.
But, which is better, LegalZoom or Incfile? Unfortunately, it is not possible to answer without first considering a few variables and situational factors. However, by the end of this comparison guide, you should be armed with enough information to make the right choice for you and your business. Here’s everything you need to know about LegalZoom vs Incfile.
What is LegalZoom?
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LegalZoom is a website designed to help businesses and individuals access various legal and support documents. While many of these services are geared toward forming companies like LLCs, LegalZoom also covers many other topics. The site was founded in 2001 and has helped millions of businesses and families get the legal help they need for different situations.
In addition to business formation, LegalZoom also helps with trusts, wills, copyrights and trademarks, etc. Users can also get legal advice from a real lawyer, if they need it. Overall, the site is like a one-stop shop for all sorts of legal and support documents, allowing users to access these items without paying the keeper.
What is Incfile?
Incfile is a website dedicated to supporting start-ups. Since 2004, the site has helped over 800,000 companies file the correct paperwork for all types of companies, including C corporations, LLCs, S corporations, and even nonprofits. profit. Incfile provides access to various documents and tools, including employer tax IDs, virtual addresses, registered agents, and even tax advice.
Another valuable component of Incfile is that it provides a lot of useful information for new businesses. The site’s resource center can help entrepreneurs learn more about how to file a DBA, the various state requirements for incorporation, and even a business name generator.
LegalZoom or Incfile which is better?
As you can see, despite some overlap, both sites cater to slightly different audiences. LegalZoom focuses on the legal side of running a business or starting a will, while Incfile is dedicated solely to helping entrepreneurs. So it’s hard to say whether one is “better” than the other. In fact, you can use both sites to achieve different goals. That said, let’s break down the areas where these sites overlap so you can determine which might work best for your particular situation.
Costs and fees
How much you pay per site depends on what you’re trying to get. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different fees you pay for specific features, like:
- Forming a business – LegalZoom charges $79 to file your business paperwork. This fee is on top of any state fees you may have to pay, which vary from state to state. Incfile does not charge anything but state fees.
- Registered agent service When forming an LLC, you need something called a registered agent to represent your business. LegalZoom charges $299 per year for these services, while they’re free for the first year through Incfile. After the first year, you only pay $119 annually.
- Employer ID number (EIN) registration service – If you want to get a free EIN, you can contact the IRS directly. However, if you want to avoid the hassle with that, you can pay LegalZoom $79 for their efforts or Incfile $70 for the same service.
- Operation Agreement LLCs and corporations need operating agreements that outline the structure of the business. Incfile offers a free operating agreement with your incorporation paperwork. LegalZoom, however, charges $99 for this document.
As you can see, Incfile costs a lot less on a large scale. So if you’re looking to save some cash when starting a business, choose Incfile.
Easy to use
Both sites are very user-friendly and easy to navigate. Additionally, each site offers comprehensive customer support, although you have to submit your queries within certain hours. Email is often the best way to get help, but both sites have customer service agents over the phone.
If you’re trying to start a business, Incfile’s layout makes a little more sense as the entire site is dedicated to helping you succeed. By comparison, many of the pages on LegalZoom aren’t related to starting a new company, so it’s a little easier to get lost.
Analysis of features available on each site
Instead of scrolling through each website to see what they have to offer, here’s a breakdown of the different services you can find on both LegalZoom and Incfile.
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- Business formation services – As we mentioned, you can start an LLC, corporation or non-profit organization with Incfile. It is also cheaper to form these businesses if you choose the basic membership plan.
- Registered agent service – Incfile acts as your registered agent and since the first year is free you can avail as well. You can also use that first year to determine if you want to use someone else as a registered agent, such as yourself.
- Trademark filing – Although Incfile does not offer as many intellectual property protections as LegalZoom, you can register a trademark and get legal help in doing so. Incfile can also look up past trademarks to see if your trademark infringes any existing entities.
- Register for EIN – If you don’t want to deal with the IRS, Incfile costs a little less to sign up and get an employer ID number.
- Document template – Like LegalZoom, you can find templates for various business-related documents, such as operating agreements and bank resolutions. There are fewer options here than on LegalZoom.
- Enterprise Resource Center – This resource center provides valuable information on everything from managing your business finances to getting tax help. You can also download ebooks and white papers that show how to start and run a business from scratch.
- Online Business Dashboard – With so many items to keep track of, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and disorganized. Incfile keeps everything in one place with an easy-to-use dashboard system.
- Website and email setup All modern businesses need a website to reach new customers. Incfile also acts as a domain host and website builder so you can get started right away. However, if you want to build something more comprehensive, we recommend working with a dedicated web building platform like Wix or WordPress.
Who is the best Incfile for?
If you’re just trying to start a business from scratch and want to do it as cost-effectively as possible, the Incfile is one of the most valuable resources available. Not only can you take care of the application and registration, but you will also have access to a wealth of useful information to help your new company thrive.
Who is LegalZoom best suited for?
If you need additional legal services or want to take care of personal legal documents (e.g. wills and trusts), you should start a LegalZoom account. Also, if you know that you will need assistance from an actual attorney, it is much cheaper and more accessible to use this website than contacting a law office directly.
Bottom line: Is LegalZoom better than Incfile or Vice Versa?
When it comes to forming a business, both websites offer very similar features and benefits. However, Incfile has a slight edge as its sole purpose is to help entrepreneurs build their companies from scratch. That said, LegalZoom is a great online resource for various legal documents and advice, which means you could end up using both sites simultaneously.
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