Are you trying to decide between using Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom for starting 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 formation companies all seem to offer the same services, but is price the only thing you should consider? We think user experience – including friendliness of their 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 Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom, and we called their customer support teams multiple times to help you select the best company to form your LLC.
Both Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom offer a lot of extra legal services beyond forming LLCs. And both use subscription models to give you access to the various legal services. To help you choose between them, we compared Rocket Lawyer vs LegalZoom on 10 different features of their business formation services.
Winner: Rocket Lawyer is the clear winner over LegalZoom. With their ease-of-use, better pricing, and higher quality service bundles, Rocket Lawyer works better for small business owners starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
About Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is an online legal service provider that offers a lot of business and legal services, including LLC services.
Founded in 2008, Rocket Lawyer gives you access to many different types of legal services tailored to your business. With a staff of licensed attorneys, Rocket Lawyer has a large library of legal documents and offers advice in many different areas.
Want to learn more about Rocket Lawyer?
Read more about these features in our Rocket Lawyer LLC Review.
LegalZoom is an online legal services company that offers legal document templates and 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 legal document templates and consultations with attorneys. While LegalZoom is a large company, they don’t always get the best customer reviews.
Want to learn more about LegalZoom?
Read more about their services in our LegalZoom LLC Review.
LLC Formation Services: Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom
The Basic LLC Package: What do you get?
We compared the features offered in each company’s basic LLC formation package. What else do you get besides the actual Articles of Organization filing with the state?
The LLC formation package includes only the filing of your Articles of Organization, and nothing else.
This is because Rocket Lawyer strongly encourages you to subscribe. For subscribers, your first LLC formation is free, you get access to their legal documents library (which includes an Operating Agreement and other helpful templates), and you get a discount on the Rocket Lawyer Registered Agent service.
The basic package (called “Economy”) includes a customized Operating Agreement, and a financial account authorization letter. It doesn’t include a year of Registered Agent service; you will have to pay $249 for that.
Winner: LegalZoom offers more in their basic package, but the Rocket Lawyer subscription model gets you a better deal.
Note: None of the prices below include the state LLC filing fees.
Rocket Lawyer charges a flat $99.99 for an LLC formation service. If you subscribe to Rocket Lawyer, your first LLC formation is free, and any others are discounted to $74.99.
A Rocket Lawyer subscription costs $39.99 per month. Subscribers get access to the Rocket Lawyer legal documents library, some free consultations with Rocket Lawyer’s attorneys, and some extra features like the ability to accept e-signatures from your clients or customers.
LegalZoom offers the Economy package for $79, the Standard package for $329, and the Express Gold package for $349.
The Economy package is an okay value for business formation, but we really can’t justify the high prices for the Standard and Express Gold packages. Both get your LLC approved a little bit faster, and offer some extras (read the full description of each package in our LegalZoom review). 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: The LegalZoom Economy package may have a lower price on paper, but a Rocket Lawyer subscription has better value. We think Rocket Lawyer wins.
LLC Service Turnaround Time
- Related article: How long does it take to get an LLC?
Rocket Lawyer processes LLC formations in 2 business days. That’s pretty quick, compared to other LLC formation services.
And, if your state offers it, you can purchase expedited filing for an extra fee. This will get your LLC processed more quickly at the state level.
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.
If you pay extra for the Express Gold package, LegalZoom will process your documents within 2-3 days. You can also pay extra for the state expedited processing, and get your LLC faster.
Winner: Rocket Lawyer has a faster turnaround time.
Upsells: Subscriptions, Subscriptions, Subscriptions
When you form your LLC on Rocket Lawyer, there are several screens of upsells to click through. These include an EIN for your LLC, a Corporate Kit, and Registered Agent service.
Most of Rocket Lawyer’s upsell language is focused on getting you to subscribe by offering discounts. Once you purchase the monthly subscription, you get access to a wide variety of options that would otherwise be individual upsells.
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. Overall, LegalZoom has a lot of upsells during their business formation process and most of them aren’t worth the cost.
Winner: Rocket Lawyer is less intrusive and annoying.
Language: Clarity vs Jargon
Rocket Lawyer leads the industry with clear language and simple explanations. Although their subscription model is different from the competitors’ pricing packages, they make everything easy to understand.
Our only issue with Rocket Lawyer’s language is their confusing description of the Free Trial for their subscription service.
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: Rocket Lawyer definitely has more user-friendly, clear language.
Customer Service: Sales or Substance?
Rocket Lawyer mostly offers phone-based customer support. Their chat feature is primarily tech support for existing customers, and chat representatives struggle to answer more substantive questions about business formation or legal services.
Rocket Lawyer’s phone support representatives were impressive: we found them friendly, knowledgeable and (importantly) honest about the realities of the Free Trial.
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: Rocket Lawyer has superior customer support.
User Experience: Simplicity Wins
The Rocket Lawyer website emphasizes simplicity and is visually pleasing. They don’t have a lot of advertisement and upsell language hounding you as you research things. The actual LLC formation process is logically structured and designed to be easy-to-use.
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 avoiding the upsells tricky.
Winner: This was a close one, but Rocket Lawyer wins for a more pleasant experience.
Additional Features: Legal Services when you need them
Rocket Lawyer offers a wide variety of legal services, including consultations with licensed attorneys and a library of legal documents and forms. Because Rocket Lawyer keeps their offers focused on these core elements, they don’t have a long list of extra add-ons like website design or compliance calendars.
LegalZoom offers additional services, but most have a monthly fee (instead of a one-time purchase). For example, the Legal Forms library, the Legal Protect Plan, and the Total Compliance subscriptions. These are expensive add-ons that LegalZoom describes as life-savers, but which actually have a lot of limitations. We don’t recommend spending your money on them.
Winner: Rocket Lawyer offers better value for essentially identical legal services.
If your business needs legal forms, like contracts and agreements, both Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom offer a library of legal documents.
Rocket Lawyer offers a Business Document Templates Library. Access to the library is included for Rocket Lawyer subscribers (which costs $39.99 per month).
LegalZoom offers a Legal Forms Library. The cost is $40 per month, and it’s not included in any other packages or subscriptions.
Winner: Rocket Lawyer’s library is much better. The price is cheaper and you get the actual document template, which can be used many times. Rocket Lawyer’s library is better designed as well, making it easy to find the document you need. On the other hand, LegalZoom requires you to complete a survey every time you want a form. And you can’t modify or re-use the LegalZoom document later.
Rocket Lawyer vs LegalZoom: Registered Agent Services
- Related article: What’s a Registered Agent for an LLC?
Price Per Year
Rocket Lawyer charges $149.99 per year for Registered Agent services. This is discounted to $111.99 per year if you are a subscriber. Both prices are about average for the industry.
Rocket Lawyer uses a single dashboard for their Registered Agent and LLC formation services. This means you will receive your notifications in the same account dashboard as your other subscription services.
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.
Winner: Rocket Lawyer has better prices on Registered Agent services, whether or not you’re a subscriber.
Mail Forwarding and Service of Process
Rocket Lawyer scans and emails legal mail sent to your LLC. If the email doesn’t go through, Rocket Lawyer will send your documents by regular mail to the business address.
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: Rocket Lawyer has a more robust system to ensure you receive important documents.
Rocket Lawyer vs LegalZoom: Who’s the winner?
When you compare Rocket Lawyer vs LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer is the clear winner.
Using LegalZoom to form your LLC can save a lot of time on paperwork. And LegalZoom has 20 years of experience successfully forming LLCs for small business owners. Their website is user friendly, and customer reviews are generally very positive.
However, LegalZoom isn’t a substitute for legal representation and can’t offer the same legal protections or services offered by an authorized business attorney. So if you were hoping for ongoing legal aid from your formation company, LegalZoom isn’t your best fit.
Similarly, if you’re only interested in hiring a company to start an LLC or to be your Registered Agent, many great competitors charge less.
Rocket Lawyer provides you more value for the money you spend. We liked their customer service and convenient user dashboard that houses all of your documents and Registered Agent services in one place. Rocket Lawyer’s LLC formation process is straightforward and easy to use for seasoned and new small business owners alike.
While Rocket Lawyer also isn’t a substitute for legal representation, they do offer consultations with their licensed attorneys. You can’t retain them to represent you, but they can be helpful in more limited capacities. If all you need from an attorney is answers to a few questions, Rocket Lawyer’s subscription with legal services may be a valuable fit for your LLC.
Overall, we had a better experience with Rocket Lawyer’s website and customer support. Other services are cheaper and don’t require subscription models to form an LLC. But if you’re looking for associated legal services along with starting your business, Rocket Lawyer can’t be beaten. And when it comes down to Rocket Lawyer vs. LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer definitely comes out on top.
File yourself with our free LLC guides
If neither Rocket Lawyer nor 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
The Hybrid Approach: Hire Rocket Lawyer and DIY the little things
And even if you do hire a company to file your LLC, you can still save money in other ways. There are several upsells that you can skip and DIY instead:
If you purchase a subscription to Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom, make sure you read the list of everything that’s included. Take full advantage of any extra services they offer!
Instead of paying for an LLC Operating Agreement, you can download our free LLC Operating Agreement template.
If you see an upsell for LLC Membership Certificates, you can skip it. We provide free LLC Membership Certificates here.
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.
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.