When you're starting a business, you have enough to worry about without throwing yourself into a world of legal jargon and business regulations, and it can be a particularly sharp shock for small business owners. One of the ways for new business owners to make their lives easier is to rely on a business formation service, but there are hundreds of service providers on the market, and it can be hard to know which is best. InCorp and LegalZoom are two popular names that will be compared side-by-side to know which is best for you.
LegalZoom vs. InCorp: The Verdict
InCorp offers many services that LegalZoom doesn't, but LegalZoom's services are available in lower-priced packages. LegalZoom can also provide a cheaper alternative to an attorney, though they don't offer comprehensive legal services. InCorp offers a price match guarantee and is BBB accredited but doesn't offer any real support for non-profits. Overall, both have considerable benefits, but some negatives and valid reasons to choose both.
Choose InCorp if:
- You prefer an a la carte service
- You want a registered agent service
- You're starting a corporation or partnership
- You'd like the security of price matching
Choose LegalZoom if:
- You want increased legal compliance services
- You want to have tax assistance
- You would like a lower price
- You need LLC formation services
- You're starting a non-profit
Services Offered & Pricing
InCorp offers a popular, well-rated incorporation service for a low price on an a la carte basis. LegalZoom offers low-priced services primarily designed for those who want a level of legal help but don't require (or can't afford) complete attorney services. LegalZoom offers low-priced packages starting from just $79. InCorp's services start at $35; however, this is on an a la carte basis, not a full-service basis, so you could quickly run up a larger bill. InCorp offers several services that LegalZoom doesn't provide in any of its packages, such as a registered agent service (which can also be purchased at a 33% discount).
- LegalZoom and InCorp both represent the lower price point
- Their respective customer service teams are professional and responsive
- InCorp offers a more accessible registered agent service
- LegalZoom is cheaper
- InCorp is BBB accredited
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 for the company. 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.
InCorp Packages & Pricing
InCorp claims they will not only match - but beat - any competitor's price on a comparable service. Their price matching means that if you can find a price from one of their competitors that is lower than theirs for the same service, they will lower their bill below their competitor's.
An important thing to note when assessing the cost of InCorp's services is the additional fees beyond the listed price. For instance, InCorp lists LLC preparation and filing at $99 but not including a mandatory $18 shipping fee add-on. It is also essential to consider that the prices they list are only for their services and do not include any state filing fees.
Their a la carte prices are:
- Registered Agent (1 year) $99
- Registered Agent (2 years) $89.10/year
- Registered Agent (3 years) $80.52/year
- Registered Agent (5+ years) $66.56/year
- Corporation or LLC Formation $99
- Foreign Qualification Registration $149
- EIN (Employer Identification Number) $69
- Certificate of Good Standing $35
- Corporate Dissolution $99
- Amendment $99
- DBA (Doing Business As) $99
- Annual Report Service $49
Therefore, as far as prices go, InCorp is a good deal for individual services, but LegalZoom offers better service packages.
Document Management & Online Experience
Both InCorp and LegalZoom offer a trustworthy, compliant online experience that lets you easily download and manage your business formation documents. Only InCorp provides an app, though, an advanced addition compared to competitors. LegalZoom's website rates well for ease of use. InCorp's website is plagued by popups that make navigation difficult; however, you need to use LegalZoom's website carefully as the constant upselling attempts mean that you can sleepwalk into a larger bill.
- You can manage all of your documents online
- LegalZoom upsells persistently
- InCorp offers a mobile app
InCorp's processing times are difficult to judge; though they advise they always attempt to keep things working as quickly as possible, no specific expedited filing times are offered. Customer reviews report that most customers are happy with their turnarounds.
LegalZoom is much easier to understand - Processing time varies from 10 to 30 business days, and you can purchase expedited filing or purchase a higher tier package to get this service. Many customer feedback mentions this fast, transparent filing service in their reviews.
- Customers report being happy with turnaround times
- LegalZoom is more transparent
- LegalZoom offers expedited processing
Compliance & Track Record
InCorp is rated A+ with the BBB and generally receives positive reviews from its customers. Most clients give them five-star reviews, and those who give them one-star reviews on the BBB site receive a prompt resolution from InCorp.
Legal compliance with various states is a top priority to ensure that you get the documents you need and that the state will accept. LegalZoom has a decent track record for compliance. While it can't substitute professional legal advice, It creates legal documents that work for the intended purposes. LegalZoom is also BBB accredited, having first earned accreditation in 2001.
- InCorp and LegalZoom offer services that can help you remain legally compliant
- Both have unblemished compliance records with BBB accreditation
- InCorp appears to be more responsive to complaints
- LegalZoom seems more committed to legal compliance, though you're ultimately liable for your own compliance irrespective of which provider you choose
InCorp's customer support team is available from 6 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. LegalZoom's team is open from 8 am to 10 pm; however, they're also available on the weekends.
However, both InCorp and LegalZoom are BBB accredited and have overall positive reviews. At the same time, LegalZoom is considered to have good customer service, the wait times are reported to be quite long, and there are a few negative customer reviews to this effect. Unfortunately, LegalZoom does seem a bit too focused on sales above existing customers, which isn't a great sign. It's much easier to get in touch with a sales rep than a customer support agent.
- Both companies are BBB accredited
- LegalZoom's team is available at the weekend
- Wait times for a response seem to be longer with LegalZoom
There are solid reasons for choosing InCorp and LegalZoom, and which you choose will depend on the kind of business you're forming, too. Let's look at the different business structures they could assist you with.
If you're forming an LLC, you should consider LegalZoom. The LLC is one of the most popular business structures, and with prices starting from $79 + State fees, you don't have much to lose in giving LegalZoom a chance. Most of their customers form LLCs, so it's a safe bet that you'll be looked after. LegalZoom is a recognizable brand in the LLC formation industry and is sure to be a helpful addition to your new LLC. However, one negative is that they don't offer a registered agent service in any of their packages, so you'll need to purchase this as an add-on.
Corporations seem to be one of the most popular business entities that InCorp supports with responsive customer services. You'll have everything you need at your disposal and as much help as is necessary to set up your corporation. When registering a corporation, one of the most beneficial services is a registered agent service, which InCorp can quickly provide for you. InCorp is also very well rated by customers for its incorporation service.
InCorp can help you set up a DBA "Doing business as" for your partnership; InCorp will assist you in drafting the partnership agreement and show you the best organization to ensure maximum protection, in addition to providing an excellent registered agent service.
A non-profit organization focuses on helping others and not turning a profit. It requires special tax filings to secure the non-profit benefits of not paying taxes.
InCorp doesn't seem to provide any support for non-profits. However, LegalZoom can help your organization apply for non-profit status. There are many rules and regulations to consider, which LegalZoom can assist you in navigating.
The Last Word
InCorp and LegalZoom have substantial benefits, overlaps, and strong differences. If you're looking for LLC formation packages, you'd be wise to choose LegalZoom. If you're looking for a business with the best compliance and customer service, or you're looking to start a corporation, you should consider giving InCorp a chance.