Are you deciding between Swyft Filings and LegalZoom for LLC formation? 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 Swyft Filings 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 Swyft Filings? We compared Swyft Filings vs LegalZoom on 10 different features of their business formation services.
Winner: Swyft Filings is the clear winner over LegalZoom. With their ease-of-use, better customer support, and higher quality service bundles, Swyft Filings works better for small business owners starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
About Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is a business services company that focuses on efficient document filings for business owners. They’ve been in business since 2015, but have built a good reputation in a short time.
They have helped start thousands of businesses, and pride themselves on excellent customer service.
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 legal forms templates and consultations with attorneys. While LegalZoom is a large company, they don’t always get the best customer reviews.
LLC Formation Services: Swyft Filings 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?
Some LLC formation service companies give you one free year of registered agent service, prepare an Operating Agreement for your new LLC, and other free documents like LLC Membership Certificates or Meeting Minutes templates.
The Basic package includes:
- a business name check
- Statement of Organizer
- a tax consultation
- ComplianceGuard alerts
- and a free business domain name.
It doesn’t include a year of Registered Agent service; you will have to pay $149 for that.
The basic service (called “Basic”) includes only the LLC formation filing.
It doesn’t include a year of Registered Agent service; you will have to pay $249 for that.
Winner: Swyft Filings
Why? Swyft Filings offers more useful extras in their basic package.
Note: None of the prices below include the state LLC filing fees.
Swyft Filings offers the Basic package for $49, the Standard package for $149, and the Premium package for $299.
With the Standard package, you get an EIN, Operating Agreement, Banking Resolution and Meeting Minutes template. But you can do all four of those things yourself at home, all for free. And the Premium package just adds a website and web hosting, which you can get cheaper elsewhere.
LegalZoom offers the Basic service for $0, the Pro package for $249, and the Premium package for $299.
The Basic service is an okay value for business formation, but we really can’t justify the high prices for the Pro and Premium packages. Both 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: Swyft Filings
Why? Swyft Filings offers better value for money in their packages.
Want a better deal? We recommend hiring Northwest instead. 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.
(See why Northwest is #1 in our Northwest Registered Agent review)
LLC Service Turnaround Time
- Related article: How long does it take to get an LLC?
Swyft Filings’ turnaround times aren’t particularly fast: they process your order in 5 to 10 business days. You can pay for expedited processing and they will process your LLC formation documents in 3 to 5 business days.
Of course, Swyft Filings will help you pay for expedited processing with the state as well.
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 also pay extra for the state expedited processing, and get your LLC faster.
Winner: This is a tie.
Why? Both companies are very slow at sending your documents to the state.
Upsells: Lots of LLC Services and Extras
Swyft Filings has a long list of upsells.
Thankfully, they mostly offer these in the initial package comparison screen and don’t pester users with them during the LLC formation process. Many of Swyft Filings’ upsells are common in the industry, and can be DIYed for free, like the EIN filing, Operating Agreement and Banking Resolution.
LegalZoom offers a ton of upsells, but bundles them into packages. This means you end up paying more for the LLC services 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: Swyft Filings
Why? Swyft Filings is less pushy with their upsells.
Look out for confusing language
Swyft Filings has some misleading language on their website. They seem reluctant to admit how many services are actually provided by other companies. The terms for their refund guarantee are tricky, too. Other than these flaws, Swyft Filings has an informative website that takes time to explain everything about business formations thoroughly.
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: Swyft Filings
Why? While both companies hide some details about their services, overall Swyft Filings has a more helpful site.
Customer Support Team
Swyft Filings offers phone support, and email support (they call it an online chat, but we have never been able to contact anyone in the customer service department that way, only leave an email). When we called, Swyft Filings customer support team was friendly and knowledgeable. However, they did seem a bit rushed and focused on upselling us to premium packages. They did explain the answers to our questions, and the email responses we got were also helpful.
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: Swyft Filings
Why? Swyft Filings has the better customer support experience.
Swyft Filings has a clean, well-made website that has modern graphics and clear organization. The site is a bit text-heavy, but it’s easy to navigate and find what you need. The order process is streamlined and simple.
Although we dislike Swyft Filings selling customer information to other companies, they do a good job of integrating the other companies’ offers (like web hosting) in a way that doesn’t interrupt your LLC formation experience.
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: Swyft Filings
Why? Both companies are similar so this was a close call, but Swyft Filings’ website is easier to use.
Additional Features: Subscriptions and Extra Services
Swyft Filings offers services not directly related to the LLC formation filings, such as a tax consultation, free website domain, web hosting and website design, and compliance alerts. The compliance alerts are part of Swyft’s service, but everything else is outsourced to third-party companies.
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.
Why? LegalZoom offers more useful additional features.
Swyft Filings vs LegalZoom: Registered Agent Services
- Related Article: What’s a Registered Agent for an LLC?
Price Per Year
Swyft Filings charges $149 per year for Registered Agent services, which is a bit higher than average. Note that Swyft Filings isn’t a Registered Agent, and instead uses LegalCorp as their Registered Agent services provider. We don’t like that the LegalCorp contract lets them increase the price of Registered Agent services after the first year.
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: Swyft Filings
Why? Swyft Filings has a better price for Registered Agent services.
Mail Forwarding and Service of Process
Swyft Filings (actually LegalCorp) scans and uploads legal mail sent to your LLC, which you can access via an online portal. They send an email notification to let you know something has arrived.
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 is a tie
Why? Both companies offer the same service type.
Swyft Filings vs LegalZoom: Who’s the winner?
When you compare Swyft Filings vs LegalZoom, Swyft Filings is the clear winner.
Swyft Filings offers more useful services in their basic package, and all of their packages provide more value for the price point than LegalZoom’s bundles. While LegalZoom has more useful upsells in general, a lot of them can be easily DIYed and Swyft Filings is less pushy about the upsells they offer.
When it comes to customer service, we had a better experience with Swyft Filings’ customer support representatives and their website. And although neither company is entirely transparent about their service details, Swyft Filings had an overall more helpful site that was easier to use.
Swyft Filings also offers Registered Agent services for a lower price than LegalZoom. All things considered, Swyft Filings is clearly the better choice when compared with LegalZoom.
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 Swyft Filings 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
The Hybrid Approach: Hire Swyft Filings and DIY the little things
And even if you do hire Swyft Filings 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.
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.
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.