Legalzoom vs IncFile (2022): Read This Before and Make the Right Choice
Starting a business can be a relatively long and complex process. Or, at least, that was before sites like Incfile and LegalZoom were created. Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business or running your operation entirely online, you need to get all your documentation in order before you sell a single product.
But, which is better, LegalZoom or Incfile? Unfortunately, it is impossible to answer without reviewing a few variables and situational elements. However, by the end of this comparison guide, you should have 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?
LegalZoom is a website designed to help businesses and individuals access various legal documents and assistance. While many of these services are geared towards setting up companies such as LLCs, LegalZoom covers many other topics as well. The site was founded in 2001 and has helped millions of businesses and families get the legal help they need in a variety of situations.
In addition to business formation, LegalZoom helps with trusts, wills, copyrights and trademarks, and more. Users can also get legal advice from a real lawyer, if they need it. Overall, this site is like a one-stop-shop for all sorts of legal and support documents, allowing users to access these without having to pay a deposit.
What is Incfile?
Incfile is a site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start their business. Since 2004, the site has helped over 800,000 businesses file the correct documents for all types of businesses, including C corporations, LLCs, S corporations, and even nonprofits. Incfile offers access to various documents and tools, including employer tax IDs, virtual addresses, registered agents, and even tax consultations.
Another great thing about Incfile is that it offers a ton of useful information for new businesses. The site’s resource center can help entrepreneurs learn more about how to file for a DBA, different state requirements for starting a business, and even a business name generator.
Which is better LegalZoom or Incfile?
As you can see, although there is some overlap, the two sites cater to slightly different audiences. LegalZoom focuses on the legal side of running a business or starting a will, while Incfile is solely dedicated to helping entrepreneurs. It is therefore difficult to say whether one is “better” than the other. Realistically, 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 is best for your particular situation.
Costs and fees
How much you pay for each site depends on what you are trying to achieve. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different fees you have to pay for specific features, such as:
- Business creation – LegalZoom charges $79 to file your business documents. These fees are in addition to any state fees you may have to pay, which vary from state to state. Incfile does not charge anything in addition to state fees.
- Registered Agent Services – When setting up an LLC, you need something called a registered agent to act on behalf of your business. LegalZoom charges $299 per year for these services, while they are free for the first year through Incfile. After the first year, you only pay $119 per year.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) Registration Services – If you want to get your EIN for free, you can contact the IRS directly. However, if you want to avoid messing with this, you can pay LegalZoom $79 for their efforts or Incfile $70 for the same service.
- operating agreement – LLCs and corporations need operating agreements that outline the structure of the business. Incfile provides an operating agreement for free with your training materials. LegalZoom, however, charges $99 for this document.
As you can see, Incfile costs a lot less across the board. So if you are looking to save money when starting your business, choose Incfile.
Ease of use
Both sites are very user-friendly and easy to navigate. Additionally, each site offers full customer support, although you must submit your query within certain hours. Email is often the best way to get help, but both sites also have customer service agents available by phone.
If you’re strictly trying to start a business, Incfile’s layout is a bit simpler, as the entire website is dedicated to helping you succeed. In comparison, many pages on LegalZoom aren’t related to starting a new business, so it’s a bit easier to get lost.
Breakdown of features available on each site
Rather than scroll through each site to see what they have to offer, here is a breakdown of the different services you can find on LegalZoom and Incfile.
Features of LegalZoom
Inc File Features
- Business creation services – As we mentioned, you can create an LLC, a corporation or a non-profit organization with Incfile. It’s also cheaper to start these businesses if you choose the basic membership package.
- Registered Agent Services – Incfile acts as your registered agent, and since the first year is free, you might as well take advantage of it. You can also use this first year to determine if you want to use someone else as your registered agent, like yourself.
- Deposit mark – Although Incfile does not offer as many intellectual property protections as LegalZoom, you can register a trademark and obtain legal assistance by doing so. Incfile can also search for prior marks to see if yours will infringe on existing entities.
- EIN registration – If you don’t want to deal with the IRS, Incfile costs a little less to register and receive an Employer Identification Number.
- Document templates – Like LegalZoom, you can find templates for various business-related documents, such as operating agreements and banking resolutions. There are fewer options here than on LegalZoom.
- Business Resource Center – This resource center offers valuable information on everything from managing your business finances to getting help with taxes. You can also download e-books and white papers that explain how to start and run a business from scratch.
- Online Business Dashboard – With so many things to track, 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 create something more comprehensive, we recommend working with a dedicated web building platform like Wix or WordPress.
Who is Incfile for?
If you’re just trying to start a business from scratch and want to do it in the most affordable way possible, Incfile is one of the most valuable resources out there. Not only can you take care of filing and registration, but you can also access tons of useful information to help your new business thrive.
Who is LegalZoom for?
If you need additional legal services or want to take care of personal legal documents (eg, wills and trusts), it makes sense to create a LegalZoom account. Also, if you know you are going to need the help of a real lawyer, it is much cheaper and more accessible to use this site than to contact a law firm directly.
Conclusion: Is LegalZoom better than Incfile, or vice versa?
When it comes to building a business, both sites offer very similar features and benefits. However, Incfile has a slight edge as its sole focus is to help entrepreneurs build their business from the ground up. That said, LegalZoom is a great online resource for various legal documents and advice, which means you might find yourself using both sites simultaneously.
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