If you've recently started a new business, you might've had a rushed introduction into the world of paperwork and legal jargon; for entrepreneurs looking to make their lives a little easier, business formation services are a popular choice. But it can be hard to know which you should choose; IncNow and LegalZoom will be compared side by side to give you a better idea of which is best for your business.

IncNow vs. LegalZoom: The Verdict

LegalZoom beats IncNow on price. IncNow is ideal if you're looking to form a business in Delaware, and LegalZoom is a solid choice if you're looking to incorporate a business entity in any other state. However, there are some transparency issues, and it's easy to run up a hefty bill with LegalZoom accidentally; while IncNow may seem more expensive, they're more transparent, too.

Choose LegalZoom if:

  • You need additional services such as financial/tax assistance
  • You want to set up your business entity outside of Delaware
  • You don't need a lot of customer support
  • You're trying to save money

Choose IncNow If:

  • You want to have better turnaround times
  • You're setting up your business entity in Delaware
  • You want excellent customer support

Services Offered & Pricing

The most significant difference between these providers is that IncNow only forms LLCs in Delaware, whereas LegalZoom forms businesses in all 50 states. Aside from that, IncNow's $99 price point includes a full year of registered agent service, whereas LegalZoom doesn't have this feature in any of their packages.

The customer service offered by LegalZoom is decent; however, it's much slower than IncNow. However, LegalZoom does provide a level of financial services with a banking resolution that can help you arrange a bank account and handle your taxes. Both can assist you with multiple business structures and additional assistance such as federal tax ID and business name availability searches.

Key Similarities

  • Business owners can start an LLC, corporation, or partnership
  • Both are well rated for compliance issues
  • Knowledgeable, professional customer support teams

Key Differences

  • IncNow offers a registered agent service, LegalZoom doesn't
  • LegalZoom offers more banking-focused services

LegalZoom Packages & Pricing

Economy Package - $79

The Economy package costs $79. You get state business registration at this level, but the filing fees are not included in the package price. You also get guides to assist you with document reviews and knowing what steps to take, along with a personal assessment of your documents.

You have access to create your Articles of Organization and a financial account authorization letter, which will provide permission from the business to a person to open bank accounts. Finally, you receive access to customer support.

Standard package - $329

The Standard package costs $329. You get everything from the Economy package, along with an organizer embossed with your company name, company membership certificates with your company seal for ownership recording, and VIP processing.

Express Gold Package - $349

The Express Gold package is $349. At this level, you receive everything from the other two packages and rush processing with the state and express shipping.

The advanced processing options with the Standard and Express Gold packages mean it takes less time to process any filings you make with the state.

In addition, the express shipping from the Express Gold package enables you to get anything you order from LegalZoom through the mail in less time. These shipping options can be critical and mean the difference between getting what you need in time to open your business doors, so it is well worth considering when choosing a package.

IncNow Packages & Pricing

Basic LLC & Basic Corp - $189

IncNow charges $9 for their Basic LLC package. It is a bare minimum service with a Registered Agent and helps you complete the Delaware Certificate of Formation. As with the higher-level packages, you'll need to cover the $90 cost for the first year of Registered Agent service and $90 to file the Delaware Certificate of Formation (for an LLC) or $89 to file the Delaware Certificate of Incorporation (for corporations).

A significant difference between IncNow's basic package and its other packages is that the Basic doesn't include an Operating Agreement for LLCs, a 20-page document required under the Delaware LLC Act. It doesn't have stock certificates, appoint officers/issue stock, bylaws, and minute books for corporations.

Delivery of documents by email and one business day turnaround are other notable perks that the Basic package doesn't include.

Given IncNow's $9 processing fee and the $180 fees for a Registered Agent and your Certificate of Formation, the Basic LLC package's total cost is $189. The Basic Corp package will run you one dollar under at $188.

Complete LLC & Complete Corp - $248

If you're happy to spend a little more, IncNow's Complete package costs $118 for an LLC and $119 for a corporation. It provides stock certificates, appoints officers/issues stock, bylaws, and minute books for corporations. This package's advantage over the Basic package includes the 20-page LLC Operating Agreement for LLCs.

Assuming that you need a Registered Agent, the total cost of this, IncNow's services, and the Delaware Certificate of Formation or Incorporation come to a total of $248.

Now LLC & Now Corp - $349

You can get the best of IncNow's services for $169 for both an LLC and a corporation. In addition to the services included with the complete package, you'll also receive your documents via email and enjoy a one-business-day turnaround.

Given the Registered Agent service fee, Delaware Certificate of Formation, along with a $50 state fee, you're looking at a total cost of $349 to set up your business.

Document Management & Online Experience

IncNow has an easy-to-use online system to gather the data they need to form your LLC or corporation. All information is exchanged online through a streamlined form, and documents are readily available to view, edit and download. While LegalZoom is equally easy to use, it can be hard to dodge all upselling attempts. You can accidentally run up a substantial bill.

Key Similarities

  • Signing up is an easy process
  • The online interface is easy to use
  • Both websites have an array of educational tools and information such as FAQs that can help you navigate not only the website but your new business

Key Differences

  • LegalZoom seems more focused on upselling than customer service

Processing Time

IncNow would usually be considered quicker than LegalZoom in processing times, though both offer expedited filing services. LegalZoom's standard service takes up to 30 business days; however, As a Delaware Commercial Registered Agent, IncNow has a higher priority for filings than DIY. Once you complete your incorporation form, you can expect to receive your business documents with Priority Mail Delivery in four to six days.

If you expedite your package, you can have everything prepared in one business day, and you'll also receive it by email.

Key Similarities

  • You can expedite your process for a fee

Key Differences

  • IncNow is faster than LegalZoom
  • IncNow offers a registered agent service that speeds things up

Compliance & Track Record

LegalZoom has a decent track record for compliance. It creates legal documents that work for the intended purposes. Legal compliance with various states is a top priority to ensure that you get the documents you need.

IncNow's Trustpilot rating is consistently 4+ stars. The overwhelming number of reviews indicate similar experiences with IncNow - they're efficient, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Many people commented that an attorney would hop on the phone to clarify any questions or doubts.

Key Similarities

  • There are no known significant compliance issues

Key Differences

  • Customer reviews report that IncNow is more responsive to customers than LegalZoom is

Customer Service

IncNow and LegalZoom offer well-rated customer service and have no known compliance issues, but only LegalZoom is accredited with the BBB. Email and phone support are available at your convenience. With LegalZoom, a negative is that it's easier to get in touch with sales reps than customer support for existing customers, which infers that they care more about making sales than supporting existing customers. IncNow's Trustpilot page is full of glowing reviews revealing top-tier service, and they seem to care about their customers genuinely.

Key Similarities

  • Customer support is offered via email and phone lines

Key Differences

  • LegalZoom is BBB accredited
  • IncNow seems to offer more personalized, faster service

Structure Breakdown

LLCs: Toss Up

An LLC or limited liability company provides you the mixed benefits of a partnership and corporation. It protects you from personal liability for business dealings while allowing for pass-through profit and loss to your taxes. When it comes to LLC formation services, LegalZoom and IncNow both represent excellent choices for starting an LLC. LegalZoom can offer you additional assistance with your taxes. However, IncNow offers much better customer support.

Corporations: Choose IncNow

IncNow is one of the best all-around service providers if you're looking to start a corporation, as they only offer their incorporation services in the state of Delaware. Incorporating in Delaware has unique benefits; it is much faster than other states and has uniquely corporate-friendly government departments. Many mega-corporations such as Apple and Google choose to incorporate in Delaware for this reason.

Partnerships: Choose LegalZoom

While IncNow can help you set up a partnership, they shine in terms of LLC formation and corporation formation processes. A partnership is a much more straightforward legal entity, and therefore, you can save yourself some money by using LegalZoom for this. Their tax assistance offerings are beneficial for small businesses and partnerships.

Non-Profits: Choose IncNow

Once you have a certificate of incorporation and bylaws, you can fill out form 1023 to ensure tax exemption as a non-profit entity; IncNow can help you through every part of this formation process; however, it could be considered more complex than the other formation types, so their excellent customer support and fast response times will come in handy.

The Last Word

Irrespective of what your startup is, whether you're starting as a partnership, corporation or you're launching your LLC, these two are some of the best on the market. LegalZoom offers affordable, fast, and straightforward services with handy additions like tax filing. IncNow is a bit pricier but offers even speedier service with excellent customer support and free registered agent service (for the first year). On the whole, both can be trusted to look after you and your business docs, and they can cater to all of your business licensing needs.

Filed under: Head-to-Head

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