Inc Authority vs LegalZoom Comparison & Breakdown!

Denise E
Denise E
Senior Financial Editor & Contributor
Last Updated: April 15, 2021
Date Published: March 1, 2021

Today we are going to dive into an Inc Authority vs Legalzoom Comparison and Breakdown, but first lets talk about why entrepreneurs use formation services to get their company started.

When starting a business, many entrepreneurs look to business formation services to launch their business entity.

Most small business owners prefer to focus on running their business rather than also trying to tackle the legal aspect.

But with hourly rates for business lawyers through a law firm starting at $100 (that is on the low end!) and going up from there, having a business lawyer handle all of these needs can get really expensive.

Luckily, there are online services that handle the formation of your business, ongoing filings that need to be completed, and even handle the legal aspect of running a successful business as well as any legal advice you should need for your business.

Best of all, these providers are much cheaper and have a lot to offer.

Inc Authority and LegalZoom are two of the top contenders in this space.

In today’s article we are going to learn about Inc Authority and LegalZoom and compare the two so that you can find the right fit for you and your organization.

*Keep in mind, that these companies are great for handling small legal matters, but if you have a more complicated legal need or are in a lawsuit, you will want to hire a specialized attorney for law firm that.

If you are looking to form your business and want someone to call for general legal questions and general legal advice regarding starting a business, llc formation, registered agent service partnerships, legal document, etc – Inc Authority and LegalZoom provide a fast and affordable solution.

Lets compare Inc Authority vs Legal Zoom so that you can decide which is the right one for you.

Here is our Inc Authority vs LegalZoom Comparison and Breakdown:

Inc Authority vs LegalZoom

Let’s get started by first learning more about each provider:

Inc Authority

Most of these services offer basic business formation service like LLC formation service, Articles of Organization filing, incorporation service, tax consultations, and phone/email support for a flat rate, with options to pay more for premium packages with premium services like Employer Identification Numbers, Operating Agreement, expedited filing, and even legal advice or consultations as well as additional services.

Inc Authority is one of those companies and today we are going to dive into what they have to offer, their pricing, pros and cons, and more!

Key Features and Services:

  • Business entity, company formation and filing: LLC (limited liability company), Corporation, S-Corporation, Nonprofit, Sole Proprietorship, etc.
  • S-Election form
  • INC CARE Support
  • Registered agent service
  • Business name availability check
  • Tax consultation
  • Document preparation
  • Business funding analysis
  • LLC Operating agreement
  • Free Business checking account – Bank of America Exclusive partner

Pricing

Inc Authority Pricing

Free Package – what is included:

  • $0 + State Filing Fee
  • They offer the entity setup service for free in the hopes you’ll gain trust in them and use them for other services down the road.
  • Name availability search to make sure the name you want for your businesses isn’t already taken by another entity.
  • One Year Free Registered Agent Services – a registered agent is required to form an LLC. A registered agent accepts important documents on the behalf of your business and forwards them to you. Inc Authority provides this service for free for one full year.
  • Preparation and filing of Articles of Organization to create your new business entity
  • For S-Corporations, they will prepare and file the necessary formation document on your behalf.
  • Business checking account through their partnership with Bank of America

Additional Add-ons to the Free package:

  • An EIN (employer identification number) ($49)
  • An operating agreement ($89)
  • A record book ($99)
  • Minutes and resolutions forms ($79)
  • Expedited filing ($49)
  • A domain name ($19)
  • Inc protection advisor ($197/year)

Starter Package – what is included:

  • $399 + State fee
  • Includes everything in Free package
  • Custom Operating Agreement – Inc Authority will prepare your custom operating agreement which outlines the ownership structure of your business and ground rules for the way your company will operate.
  • Record book and company seal
  • Ownership certificates for each member of your LLC.
  • Most LLC’s need a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) and Inc Authority will acquire this for you.
  • One year Customer support for advanced issues such as audits business licensing issues, lawsuits, payroll and more – compliance package.

Executive Package – what is included:

  • $400 + State Fee
  • Includes everything in the Starter package
  • You will receive access to Inc Authority’s business licensing software, which will help you determine which licenses and permits your business requires, based on your location and the nature of your business.
  • Website Domain

Tycoon Package – what is included:

  • $799 + State fee
  • Express processing for faster turnaround times
  • BizCredit Express which is their suite of software tools to help you develop your business credit.

To be honest, the free LLC formation services in the Basic Plan are all you really need to start a business. You can form any type of business with the basic plan.

The premium plans include a lot of valuable services that are recommended, but are offered at a more affordable price with other formation companies.

Customer Service and Support

Their customer support is limited to 8 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday, but once you get a hold of someone they are very helpful and competent.

During the signup process, they remind you they have a customer support team to help if you need it.

Although their operating hours are from 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday, a representative calls to follow up with you once your finish the process.

Ease of Use

Overall, Inc Authority’s registration process is very easy.

All you have to do is answer a few questions and provide your contact information to get things moving.

However, they offer countless upsells for things you don’t actually need to file or for things you can get somewhere else for free.

Refund Policy

Inc Authority does not offer refunds to anyone under any circumstances.

The vast majority of their competitors have some sort of refund policy, but Inc Authority will reject every refund request they receive.

Customer Reviews

Inc Authority has over 500 Google Reviews and an overall rating of 4.7 stars which is really great.

“Cher deserves a huge thank you as she made the whole process of starting my LLC so easy and pleasant. She took the time to explain what we were doing every step of the way. This took a lot of stress away. I deeply appreciate her professional manner and will always recommend Inc Authority to any in need of the services they provide.”

“Inc Authority LLC helped me get my business LLC. They were professional and helpful through the whole process.”

Inc Authority PROS

  • Forming your LLC is free + state filing fee
  • Free business name availability search
  • Free registered agent service for one full year
  • They have more than 3,000 reviews available online, and nearly all of them are positive in nature.
  • Easy and simple to use and understand without any confusing terminology.
  • Free business checking with their partner, Bank of America

Inc Authority CONS

  • They charge $49 to provide an EIN which is free through the IRS
  • Limited customer support (8AM – 5PM Monday – Friday)
  • They are pretty aggressive with their up-sells.
  • Their bundle packages are much more expensive than many of their competitors

Inc Authority Summary

Inc Authorities big claim to fame is that they will set up your limited liability company (LLC) absolutely free of charge, making them one of only two companies we’re aware of that offer truly free business formation services.

They even include a full year of registered agent service at no extra charge.

However their bundle packages are expensive compared to many of their competitors who offer a better overall value for less.

Their “always free” pricing model means you pay for what you need and save on what you don’t (aside from the state fee).

While this may not be the best route if you’re interested in various consultations and additional add-ons, it’s a great option for anyone who’s never done it and is looking for a quick and easy process.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom is definitely a brand that you’ve probably heard of because they have a lot of brand power.

They’ve done a really good job marketing themselves and getting their name out there.

But there is more behind their name, they really are a great organization.

Key Features:

  • They do huge volumes of LLC formations with over a million businesses formed since 1999.
  • Extended customer service hours
  • Compliance Package – Once your company is set up, LegalZoom will help you keep the business in good standing. They can file your annual report, change your business name, obtain a certificate of good standing and more.
  • Intellectual property filings – LegalZoom will connect you with a lawyer to help you prepare and file a trademark, copyright, or patent application.
  • LegalZoom has over 100 custom legal forms in their legal form library at your disposal. These forms are customizable to your business needs and are enforceable in court.
  • For a monthy fee, LegalZoom attorneys will review your legal documents, provide phone consultations, and do annual legal checkup of your business which provides some liability protection.
  • Wills, trusts, power of attorney services
  • Online legal service

If you want a company that is well-known, has extensive legal experience, and processes high-volumes of business formations on a daily basis, LegalZoom is a good one to consider.

Pricing:

Is LegalZoom Legit

Economy Package – what is included:

  • $79 + State Fee
  • Name check to make sure the company name you want to use is available.
  • LegaZoom will file your LLC state documents, Articles of Organization for LLCs, and corporation documents.
  • Lifetime customer support
  • Banking authorization letter for opening up bank accounts

Standard Package – what is included:

  • $329 + State Fee
  • Includes everything in the Economy package
  • Deluxe organizer binder to help keep all documents organized
  • 20 personalized certificates and a company seal
  • LegalZoom VIP Processing which expedites the process time by 15 business days

Express Gold Package – what is included:

  • $349 + State Fee
  • Includes everything in the Standard package
  • The only additional value this package brings is expedited shipping.

LegalZoom Legal Services Pricing:

  • Business Advisory Plan (31.25 per month)
  • Incorporating a nonprofit (starting at $99 + state fees)
  • S and C-corporation formation (starting at $149 + state fees)
  • Corporate amendments (starting at $149 + state fees)
  • Dissolution services (starting at $129 + state fees)
  • Annual reports (starting at $55 + state fees)
  • Registered agent services ($299/year)
  • Trademark registration (starting at $199 + state fees)
  • Utility patents (starting at $699 + state fees)
  • Design patents (starting at $899 + state fees)

LegalZoom Summary

Legal Zoom isn’t the most affordable option however, if you need legal and compliance services in addition to your LLC formation, they are experts in this area.

Hiring a lawyer to help with legal services, questions, forms and compliance docs is expensive because they charge by the house and usually charge much higher rates.

LegalZoom aims to make their legal and compliance services more affordable, especially if you do package pricing.

If LLC formation is all you need, there are cheaper options like Inc Authority which also includes a free registered agent for a year.

However, as mentioned above, LegalZoom is still an excellent choice and beneficial for those that need additional services.

The closest LegalZoom alternatives are hiring a laywer or RocketLawyer which is another online legal service like LegalZoom.

You can read our Rocket Lawyer review here.

Conclusion:

Both Inc Authority and LegalZoom aim to make forming your business and getting basic legal help affordable for small business owners.

Instead of paying an attorney a steep hourly rate, you can access common legal services on these websites for a reasonable, flat fee.

We do want to mention that Inc Authority focuses mainly on business entity formation and compliance, whereas LegalZoom provides a full spectrum of business legal services.

If you think you will need to rely more heavily on the legal side of the services, then LegalZoom is going to offer a lot more.

However, if you just need to form your business and maintain good standing with the occasional legal question, Inc Authority is cheaper and will be a great alternative!

Hopefully our Inc Authority vs LegalZoom Comparison and Breakdown helped you learn more about each formation service and helped you make a decision for starting your LLC or business!

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  1. IRS.gov "Limited Liability Company (LLC)" Page 1 . April 7, 2021

  2. SBA.gov "Business Structures - Limited Liability" Page 1. April 7, 2021