IncFile vs LegalZoom - How to Save Money

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LegalZoom vs Bizee

Are you deciding between Bizee (aka IncFile) and LegalZoom for forming your LLC? We know, it can be confusing. But don’t worry! Read our helpful comparison guide below, to learn which company is the best for you.

LLC service providers all seem to offer the same services, but is price the only thing you should consider? We think user experience, including friendliness of website language and customer support, are really important too. That’s why we tried out their websites to see what it’s like to start your LLC with Bizee or LegalZoom, and we called their customer support teams multiple times to help you select the best company to form your LLC.

Is it better to use a big company like LegalZoom, or a specialized LLC formation service like Bizee? We compared Bizee vs LegalZoom on 10 different features of their business formation services.

Winner: Bizee is the clear winner over LegalZoom. With their low prices and straight-forward options, Bizee works better for small business owners starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

But are they the best? Both companies are decent choices, however, there's a better option. We recommend hiring Northwest to form your LLC (special discount link for 60% off).

(See why Northwest is #1 in our Northwest Registered Agent review)

About Bizee

Bizee is an LLC formation company and Registered Agent service.

(They used to be called IncFile. It’s the same company – same staff, same services – with a new name.)

They offer compliance services like LLC Annual Report filing, as well as other business filing services like DBAs and trademark applications.

Founded in 2004, IncFile (now “Bizee”) has helped start over 500,000 businesses. Their business focuses on helping the small business owner, and primarily offers features for people starting new businesses.

About LegalZoom

Legal Zoom LLC Review Logo

LegalZoom is an online legal technology company that offers a wide variety of legal services, including business formation services. According to their website, LegalZoom was founded in 1999 and has launched over 4 million businesses.

LegalZoom offers LLC formation packages that include various documents as well as other legal services like templates of legal documents and consultations with attorneys. While LegalZoom is a large company, they don’t always get the best customer reviews.

LLC Formation Services: Bizee vs. LegalZoom

The Basic LLC Package: What do you get?

We compared the features offered in the basic LLC formation package at each company. What else do you get besides the actual Articles of Organization filing with the state?

Bizee

The basic package (called “Silver”) includes a free name search, and one free year of Registered Agent service. Nothing else.

LegalZoom

The Basic package doesn’t include the state filing fees.

It also doesn’t include a year of Registered Agent service; you will have to pay $249 per year for that.

And you get an Operating Agreement, but you can do that yourself, at home, for free, anyway.

Winner: Bizee

Why? The free year of Registered Agent service is a better value than what LegalZoom offers.

Pricing

Note: None of the LLC formation prices below include the state LLC filing fees.

Bizee

Bizee offers the Silver package for $0 + state fee, the Gold package for $149 (plus state filing fees), and the Platinum package for $299 (plus state filing fees).

The Silver package is a great deal, since you get your LLC formed and a free year of Registered Agent service and don’t have to pay any service fees. You only pay the state filing fees for your LLC formation.

The Gold package is also pretty good value, since it includes a variety of extra features with your business filing.

We don’t think the Platinum package is worth it. The only things you get with Platinum that you don’t get with Gold are the contract templates and business website domain name.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom’s business filing offers are the Basic service for $0 + state fee, the Pro package for $249, and the Premium package for $299.

The Basic package is an okay value for business formation, but we really can’t justify the high prices for the Pro and Premium packages. Both get your LLC approved a little bit faster, and offer some extras. However, the extras aren’t necessary to start your business, and you can get them cheaper with other companies – or you can do it yourself.

Winner: Bizee

Why? Bizee has cheaper prices, and offers better value for your money.

What's the catch? Free packages usually come with strings attached, like selling your personal info and aggressive marketing tactics. That's why we recommend hiring Northwest instead. They never sell customer data and they don't harass their customers. You can use this special discount link to get 60% off and 1 free year of Registered Agent service.

(See why Northwest is #1 in our Northwest Registered Agent review)

LLC Service Turnaround Time

Bizee

Bizee promises to file your documents with the state within one business day. That’s one of the fastest times in the industry.

However… several customer reviews online say this claim isn’t accurate and that Bizee took a long time to process their filings. We’re not sure if there was perhaps something wrong with what the user submitted that required additional information.

LegalZoom

Despite being a big company, LegalZoom doesn’t offer very fast business formation turnaround time. Your documents will be filed within 1-2 weeks of purchasing LegalZoom’s LLC service.

You can pay extra for expedited processing with the state.

Winner: Bizee

Why? Bizee has a faster turnaround time.

Upsells: Valuable Add-ons or Cost Fluffers?

Bizee

Bizee offers a variety of upsells that you can select for your new business. Some of them are easy to do yourself, but some business filings are better left to the professionals.

If you need these items, we think Bizee offers good value:

  • $99 Business License Search
  • $99 DBA (Fictitious Name) filing
  • $199 Trademark application filing

It can be difficult to find a business formation company that offers these services for a decent price. So we were impressed by Bizee.

IncFile LLC premium services

LegalZoom

LegalZoom offers a ton of upsells, but bundles them into packages. This means you end up paying more for the LLC service you want, plus some extras you may not need. We don’t like that LegalZoom’s upsells are intrusive and sometimes need to be declined more than once to make them go away.

You’ll also be bombarded by offers for other subscriptions, like the Legal Protect Plan and Total Compliance package. There’s a business tax consultation, which is basically just a sales pitch from another company.

They also offer to connect you with banks for opening a business bank account – but really, you’ll just get a lot of junk mail & email. You can open a business bank account easily by going into a local bank branch.

Overall, LegalZoom has a lot of upsells during their business formation process and most of them aren’t worth the cost.

One of LegalZoom’s only worthwhile features are the business document templates. But accessing those requires an expensive subscription, so unless you’ll be using a lot of them, and often, we don’t think it’s a good idea.

People often hire LegalZoom because they think they’ll need ongoing legal guidance or other additional legal services. But the truth is, most small businesses don’t really need all that. If you need business licenses, the state boards and agencies can help you navigate the process. And if you do end up needing a business attorney, you would be better off building a relationship with someone local – rather than having a single conversation with a random person employed by LegalZoom.

Legal Zoom LLC Review Total Compliance

Winner: Bizee

Why? Bizee’s upsells are a better value and they aren’t pushy.

Language: Misleading Information

Bizee

Bizee has some misleading language about the IncFile refund policy, and isn’t clear which companies they work with to provide certain features. We like to know whether our information is being sold to other companies.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom’s website has a lot of fancy language to make their services sound like you can’t live without them. They hide a lot of important details about limitations of the services (in particular, the Legal Protect Plan has a lot of exclusions). And LegalZoom isn’t clear about how the pricing really works on their packages.

Winner: This was a tie.

Why? Neither website did well on clarity and user-friendly language.

Customer Service: Accurate and Adequate

Bizee

Bizee offers phone support or customer service by email. When we spoke to customer support representatives, they were all helpful and honest. None really went the extra mile to give us advice or suggestions, but they did accurately answer our questions.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom offers customer support by phone or online chat. But if you’re a new customer or just trying to get information, LegalZoom requires you to give them a lot of details about your business before they will even try to answer your questions.

We were disappointed to find that they were more interested in getting us to start the LLC formation process or to purchase online legal services, rather than helping us with our questions.

Winner: Bizee

Why? Bizee has better quality customer support than LegalZoom.

User Experience: A Streamlined Business Formation Process

Bizee

Bizee’s user experience offers a simple, streamlined formation process that lets you get through the order quickly. We like that they show a ‘live’ price based on what add-ons you select.

After formation, Bizee’s user dashboard is well-organized and easy to use when you need to order other filings or find documents.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom offers a sleek, modern website design. However, it sends you through a lot of different pages to get the information you need. Also, the LLC formation process uses confusing layouts that make it difficult to avoid the upsells.

Winner: Bizee

Why? Bizee wins for being simpler and more efficient.

Bizee vs LegalZoom: Registered Agent Services

Price Per Year

Bizee

Bizee charges $119 per year for Registered Agent services, which is about average for the industry. We like that Bizee includes a free year of Registered Agent service with any LLC formation package.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom charges $299 per year for Registered Agent service, which is one of the most expensive prices in the industry. In some states, LegalZoom discounts this price to $249 per year if you form your LLC with them. That’s still very expensive compared to the competitors.

LegalZoom Registered Agent service is $299/year

Winner: Bizee

Why? Bizee has a better Registered Agent price.

Mail Forwarding and Service of Process

Bizee

Bizee scans and uploads any legal mail they receive for your LLC. They send an email notification about any new document, which you can then access on your account dashboard.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom also scans and uploads legal mail sent to your LLC (including Service of Process). They also have an online dashboard where you can access your documents.

Winner: This was a tie.

Why? Both companies offer the same service.

Bizee vs LegalZoom: Who’s the winner?

When you compare these two business formation services (Bizee vs LegalZoom), Bizee (aka IncFile) is the clear winner.

Here’s why:

Bizee has cheaper prices, much faster turnaround times, and they include a free year of Registered Agent service with their basic package. Unlike LegalZoom, Bizee doesn’t have any tricky subscriptions for upsells and they aren’t pushy.

While neither company’s website has great language and they both have some misleading information, Bizee’s site is simpler and more efficient. Bizee also has better customer support. Although it isn’t amazing, they are still easier to reach than LegalZoom.

When it comes to Registered Agent services, Bizee matches LegalZoom’s mail forwarding style but is much cheaper. You get more for your money with Bizee Registered Agent service.

Overall, Bizee is a decent choice for Registered Agent and business formation services if all you need is your LLC filed and someone to receive your mail.

Is there a better option? Yes, we recommend hiring Northwest. You'll get a lot more for your money. They also protect your privacy by keeping your address off public records. Use our special discount link to get 60% off and 1 free year of Registered Agent service.

(Learn why Northwest is #1 in our Northwest Registered Agent review)

File yourself with our free LLC guides

If neither Bizee or LegalZoom seems like the right fit, and you want to save money, you can form your LLC yourself. And we can help!

At LLC University®, we offer step-by-step guides that teach you how to form your LLC yourself. You just pay the state filing fee.

Get started here: How to start an LLC in all 50 states

You don’t have to hire business formation services, or registered agent services. You can do everything yourself: file your own business documents, and be your own registered agent.

But sometimes small business owners find that they want to hire a company (like LegalZoom) for legal services. You can still do the business formation yourself – you don’t have to pay a legal services company to do your LLC formation, even if you hire them for something else.

The Hybrid Approach: Hire Bizee and DIY the little things

And even if you do hire Bizee or LegalZoom to file your LLC, you can still save money in other ways. There are several upsells that you can skip and DIY instead:

Instead of paying for an LLC Operating Agreement, you can download our free LLC Operating Agreement template. Lots of legal documents can be easily drafted from templates like this.

If you see an upsell for LLC Membership Certificates, you can skip it. We provide free LLC Membership Certificates here. This isn’t an essential part of LLC formation, anyway.

If you see an upsell for a Banking Resolution (aka financial account authorization letter), you can ignore it. This document isn’t actually needed to open an LLC business bank account. Banks will provide their own form.

If you’d rather not pay for someone to file your LLC Annual Report, you can do that yourself. Go to our LLC Annual Report page and select your state. However, an annual report service is one of the additional services that many business owners do pay for, if they choose to hire a filing service.

And you don’t have to hire someone to be your LLC’s Registered Agent. Instead, you can be the Registered Agent for your LLC. Check out our Registered Agent page for more details. All you need is a physical address in the state where you form your LLC. Being your own Registered Agent can save you more than $100 per year.

Note: There’s no such thing as a free registered agent service, but if you (or someone you know) is your registered agent, you won’t have to pay any fees. Free registered agent services usually means a free trial, and you pay for the subscription every year after that.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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