If you have never appreciated the birth of technology, it’s high time you do. It is not perfect, but it has saved us from the misery of a tiresome business registration process. Before technology came into being, the business formation process wasn’t that easy. You had to hire a local attorney and wait forever for the process to go through. Thanks to tech, that is now a thing in the past.
Even with the automation of the formation process, one challenge is rather a confusion than a challenge. There are many business service providers, and small business owners can’t seem to make a choice.
This article has the necessary knowledge to help you decide the best service between LegalZoom and LegalNature. I have also written on other business formation services like, Corpnet, MyCorporation, Swyft Filing, IncFile, etc. Before going into much depth, let’s check how similar LegalNature and LegalZoom are; well, apart from having the same name, “Legal”!
Below is an overview to give you an in-depth understanding of the two incorporation service providers and the services they offer. There is a head-to-head comparison towards the end on the common features.
LegalZoom launched its first services in 2001 after the founders realized the opportunities the internet offers. At the start, they offered ten products online that involved the incorporation of businesses, estate planning, and intellectual property protection.
Now, the companies offer a series of services in the business and legal world. In business, they have helped you form and run your business. On the other hand, LegalZoom offers a network of attorneys who will help you through your personal and business legal issues. To sum it up, LegalZoom has distinguished itself as one of the best online incorporation service providers and has served over 4 million services.
Below is a summary of their business registration process and the services they offer.
Business Registration Process
Business formation service providers have been vital to the success of small businesses. Small business owners no longer have to take the long tiresome process when registering a business. You can form a business at the comfort of your home.
LegalZoom forms businesses in all 50 states. To form a business, you will first need to select your desired structure. They offer four business structures at different costs. Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) costs $79 + filing fees, Corporation (S-Corp and C-Corp) costs $149 + state filing fee, Nonprofit corporation costs $99 + filing fees and Doing Business As costs $99 + the state fee. Additionally, before beginning the formation process, you will have to select the state where you want your business to be located.
The registration process is easy to follow. What’s more is that you can monitor the process’s progress using the green bar at the top. One notable difference between LegalZoom and other business formation service providers is that they provide the incorporation packages at last.
Enough of the process below is an overview of the services in the registration process and more.
Business Formation Services
Registered agent service. The state requires every business to have a registered agent. The states serve the agent with legal documents concerning your business. LegalZoom offers to be your registered agent for a $249 annual fee.
Discounted Essential Formation Documents
- Operating Agreement – This document stipulates the rights and responsibilities of the members of a business. It is like the constitution in a business. LegalZoom will create a customized operating agreement for your business for $99.
- Operating Agreement plus EIN – Employer Identification Number is your businesses’ identification number. It is a unique number that businesses obtain from the Internal Revenue Services(IRS). This number is particularly important because you need it when opening a business bank account and filing tax returns. LegalZoom will do both obtaining the EIN and creating the operating for your business for $159.
- The Operating Agreement, EIN, and Licenses – Every business requires permits and licenses from both the local and federal governments. LegalZoom prepares permits and license research reports for your business, obtains the EIN, and creates the operating agreement for $199.
This service assures affordable legal help when you have employment issues in your business. Additionally, you will get unlimited 30-minutes of attorney consultations and access to customizable legal and HR documents. LegalZoom gives you access to all this at the cost of $39.99 monthly.
- Total Compliance
After forming your business, you must ensure it stays compliant with the law. Compliance saves you from risking penalties and ensures you focus on the business. LegalZoom will ensure that your business stays compliant at an annual fee of $280 years.
Other Business Services
- Annual Report – The government requires reports from the already formed businesses once or twice a year. Filing annual reports keeps you in good standing with the law. LegalZoom will make your annual reports starting at $55 + state filing fees.
- Corporate Dissolution – Close your business peacefully and avoid tax accumulation. LegalZoom helps you close your business officially at $129 + filing fees.
- Corporate Amendments – Helps in making official business changes and updates. LegalZoom will help you out, starting at $129 + state fees.
- Foreign Qualifications – Your business can operate in a foreign state if you obtain this qualification. LegalZoom will help you do this starting at $229 + state fees.
- 501 (c)(3) Application – This form exempts Nonprofit corporations from filing returns on income tax. LegalZoom will help you apply for costs starting at $595.
- Trademark Registration – LegalZoom will help you register and secure your trademark starting at $249 + filing fees.
- Trademark Search – LegalZoom will help you avoid conflicts by searching for you. The prices start at $199 + filing fees.
- Copyright – You can protect your creative work through copyright applications. The costs of LegalZoom help start at $114.
Wills and Trust
- Estate Plan Bundle – This LegalZoom service helps you secure legal advice when your family is in legal personal issues. The Estate plan bundle costs start at $179 + filing.
- Last Will and Testament – This service enables you to protect your family; the LegalZoom attorney will see you through. The prices of these services start at $89
- Living Will – This package helps you control your health care but offers guidance. Making a living will take $39.
- Power of Attorney – Power attorneys act on your behalf where need be. LegalZoom allows you to schedule a call with their lawyers, or you can subscribe to the service starting at $35.
- Living Trust – This service helps keep your family property under clarity and out of courts. LegalZoom schedules a call with an experienced attorney for top-level legal advice. Living trust costs start at $279.
- Divorce – This service saves you from the troubles that come from contested divorce. LegalZoom assures you that you will get a silent and effective divorce if you subscribe to their service.
- Name Change – This service helps you change your name easily. LegalZoom will apply and ensure the court approves your name change. The pricing of this service starts at $139.
- Residential Lease – It is an agreement that shows your rental property is protected. If you need help getting this lease, LegalZoom can do it for you, and the pricing starts from $29.
- Property Deed Transfer – You don’t need to have headaches transferring the property needed. Let LegalZoom do it for you within 15 minutes at the pricing of $249 + fees.
Four million customers who LegalZoom has helped in business formation and online legal services have been interacting with the above services.
On the other hand, LegalNature has a similar offer. But what makes it different?
Inspired by the need to automate legal documents and processes, LegalNature co-founders came with a system where small business owners can form businesses without the paperwork; a system where people with legal needs will get legal help.
LegalNature is unique because the founding team has expertise in law, business, and systems. The three are what any business formation and online legal service provider needs. The blending of the two has factored to the over 5000 rates rating 5 stars.
Just like its competitors, LegalNature offers online services to help you form and run a business. Additionally, they offer online legal services to different clients with legal needs such as divorce.
Business Registration Process
Just like other business formation service providers, LegalNature services are in all 50 states. To start the business formation process, you will first select the business entity. The business entity is the structure of business formation. LegalNature offers four structures: Limited Liability Company (LLC), S Corporation (S-Corp), C Corporation(C- Corp), and Nonprofit corporation.
The formation package cost is $40. After choosing the business formation structure, the next step is to choose the state you want to form your LLC.
One notable difference between LegalNature and other business formation services providers like ZenBusiness is that it does not have different formation packages. The overall usability during the registration process is excellent. The top bar shows the four registration stages: providing contact information, company information, choosing compliance services, and placing an order. You will choose some of the services below in your registration process.
Business Formation Services
- Registered Agent Service – By law, every business must provide a registered agent. The state uses this agent to reach out to your business by serving them with the Legal documents. LegalNature offers to be your registered agent at the cost of $125 annually.
- Tax ID(EIN) – Tax ID is a unique number the federal government has mandated the Internal Revenue Service to provide. This number uniquely identifies your business to file tax returns and open a business bank account. LegalNature will obtain this number for your business at the cost of $70.
- Licenses and permits search – Every running business must be licensed and permitted to operate in a certain business. Researching the necessary licenses and permits can be tiresome. However, LegalNature will prepare a customized report on the necessary permits and licenses for $129.
- LLC Operating Agreement – This document is vital because it stipulates the business structure of management and ownership. LegalNature offers to create a customized operating agreement for your business at the cost of $35
- LLC Operating Agreement and Employment Agreement – An employment agreement establishes the formal business relationship between the employer and the employee. LegalNature will create and customize this document for you for $60.
- LegalNature Professional Document Plan – LegalNature will create an LLC operating agreement, employment agreement and gives you access to their document’s library for $84 annually. Some of the documents include;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Certificate of Organization
- Banking Resolution
- Business Plan
- Corporate Bylaws
- Corporate Resolution
- Employment Agreement
- Meeting Minutes
- Stock Certificate
- Stock Transfer Ledger
- Notice of Meeting
- Corporate Kit – This kit provides a clean and organized way to keep your documents. LegalNature will provide you with a highly customized binder, slipcase, and membership certificates for $105.
- Shipping – LegalNature will provide every business owner with electronic documents in their dashboard or email. However, if you want the physical business documents, they can be shipped to you via FedEx Express or the standard mail at the cost of $40 and $20, respectively.
- Processing Speed – Filing time in some states takes days while others take even weeks; this can be discouraging, especially if you’re in a hurry. LegalNature will expedite your processing at a fee that varies from state to state. In Alabama, expedite filing time will cost you $75.
Other Formation Services.
- Certificate of Good Standing – This document shows that your business has met all the state and federal government requirements and has the necessary licenses and permits to do business. LegalNature offers to do all the paperwork and obtain this document for $89.
- Articles of Amendment – If you want to do any amendments to the initial formation details, you should do it the right way by filing amendment articles. LegalNature offers to help you file this article at the cost of $75.
- Articles of Dissolution – When closing down your business, there are many benefits of closing it officially. It saves you from the troubles of accumulated tax and fines. Articles of dissolution help you close a business officially with the state. LegalNature helps you file the articles at the cost of $99.
- Foreign entity registration – If you wish to take your business across state borders, you need to do a foreign entity registration in the state. LegalNature will help you file a foreign entity registration at the cost of $129.
Other Legal Services
You can access all of the documents offered in this online legal service wholesomely by subscribing to the LegalNature Professional Documents plan for $84 per year. The plan gives you unlimited access to the document’s library. Below are the categories of the services.
- Family and Personal Matter Services
LegalNature in-house attorneys have created documents to help you settle family issues silently and efficiently. Family and personal matter documents have two classes; healthcare and marriage matters.
- HealthCare Matters – LegalNature has many documents to suit your needs and effectively protect those important to you. Some of the documents in this market segment include;
- Advance healthcare directive
- Healthcare power of attorney
- Living will
- A medical power of attorney
- Health Care proxy
- Marriage – Whether you are considering divorce or other marriage-based legal protection, LegalNature has your back. Below are marriage-related customers that you can access to help you through.
- Affidavit of divorce
- Divorce settlement agreement
- Marriage separation agreement
- Postnuptial agreement
- Prenuptial agreement
2. Real Estate Services
These documents help you in managing and transferring real estate that is either commercial or residential. LegalNature has an editable document that will help you manage all landlord-tenant affairs and protection during property sales and transfers. What’s more, the documents have state-specific laws for compliance. The documents are into the following categories;
- Property Transfers and Sales – This category ensures that you have control of your real estate. They ensure that you’re protected when buying, selling, or transferring commercial or residential real estate. The documents include;
- General warranty deed
- Deed of trust
- Property deed
- Property purchase agreement
- Special warranty deed
- Quitclaim deed
- Mortgage agreement
- Real estate purchase agreement.
- Real Estate Management – This category contains documents that will help you manage your commercial and residential rentals. Additionally, the documents help you manage landlord-tenants affairs. The documents can be divided into two classes as follows;
- Residential real estate documents
- Residential rental application.
- Residential rental agreement
- Residential lease amendment
- Residential lease agreement
- Residential sublease agreement
- Month to month residential rental agreement
- Notice to quit
- Commercial real estate documents
- Commercial lease amendment
- Commercial lease agreement
- Commercial sublease agreement
- Notice to quit.
3. Estate Planning
LegalNature helps you protect your estate; everything around you that you own. They have personalized estate planning documents to match your legal needs. This market segment has the following classes;
- Wills – This document spells out your wishes on all your estate, everything you own. Below are the documents under this category;
- Last will and testament
- Last will and testament- with trusts
- Finance – Documents under this category show your wishes on financial estates. Here are the documents;
- Joint Revocable living trust
- Power of attorney
- Revocation of power of attorney
- Revocable living trust
- Estate Management – This category contains documents to declare on who should manage your properties in case of death.
- Affidavit of heirship
- Affidavit of domicile
With a clear picture of both LegalZoom and LegalNature offers, it would be wise to compare both based on the common features. Let’s do it!
LegalZoom vs. LegalNature
- Both reduce the paperwork involved when forming a business.
- Both offer customizable legal form templates, which saves you from the hassles of creating one from scratch.
- Features registered agent service, which is necessary to every business.
- The two have guides to help you when you get a stack.
- LegalZoom and LegalNature offer online legal services on personal and business issues.
Below is a comparison of some features worth your attention. You will need them whether you are using their business formation services or online legal services. Let’s expound on each of the features.
You never spend what you don’t have is a famous financial fact. Checking the pricing of the packages that an incorporation company offers is vital. Similarly, checking the value for money on the packages is equally important. Most businesses work with a budget and, therefore, looking for cheaper packages, but with more services that suit their business needs. Below are the packages and the prices at which LegalZoom and LegalNature offer their formation packages.
LegalZoom offers three packages; Economy, Standard, and Express Gold. The three are classified based on estimated filing time.
One distinguishing factor of LegalZoom is their packages come at the end of the registration process. Below is an overview of the three packages and what you get from each.
This package costs you $79 + filing fee and has an estimated filing time of 30 business days. It is the cheapest package that LegalZoom offers, and below are the services you get.
- Comprehensive name search and business entity filing
- Peace of mind review
- Tax savings consultation
- Complete digital LLC welcome packet
- Digital tracker
- Seven days a week, lifetime customer support
- Entrepreneurs’ business newsletter
The standard package costs $329 + filing fee and the estimated processing time is 15 business days. Should you purchase this service, you will get economy package services plus the following.
- Deluxe founder’s kit
- Personalized business embosser and membership certificates
The premium package costs $349 + state filing fees and an estimated filing time of 10 business days. Purchasing this package assures you of the economy and standard package services plus the following;
- LegalZoom VIP processing
- Express shipping
LegalNature chooses a different path instead of business formation packages. It lets you customize the order with the services that suit you best. All business entities cost $40.
LegalZoom and LegalNature use different approaches to the registration process. LegalZoom offers three packages that you cannot customize but are crazily expensive. Their cheapest service goes for $79, which is twice as much as what LegalNature charges for the same service.
LegalNature has a cheap and pocket-friendly price despite not having packages.
Legal forms are tiresome and expensive to create from scratch. Despite all the hassle, they are vital in your business, and therefore you cannot ignore them.
However, you can create a legal form hassle-free using business formation service providers’ customizable templates. Below is a comparison of how each performs on providing legal forms.
LegalZoom offers you Legal forms to help you in business formation and your issues. Some of the business formation legal forms include an LLC operating agreement at the cost of $99. In personal services, there are many templates that you buy and customize when you need them.
Similarly, LegalNature has tens of customizable legal forms that you can choose from. You can access the forms through the LegalNature library wholesomely or singularly. To access them wholesomely, you will need to subscribe to the LegalNature Professional Document Plan at $84 per year. This subscription gives you access to the library, where all the forms are. What’s more, all Legal form templates are compliant with state-specific laws.
Both incorporation services help you easily create legal forms through their customizable templates. However, the two companies offer legal forms differently. LegalZoom offers Legal forms singularly; this makes it expensive, while LegalNature offers both singularly and wholesomely using a subscription plan. The latter is cheaper.
LLC Formation and Registered Agent Services
Every business should have a registered agent according to the requirements set by the state. The state serves the agent with all legal documents on behalf of your business. Therefore, checking whether a business formation company offers registered agent service is a requirement you shouldn’t ignore.
The pricing of the service is also important because this is an annually renewing service. Below is what LegalZoom and LegalNature have to offer.
LegalZoom promises peace of mind should you choose to subscribe to their service. They will ensure that you get prompt notifications when a new document arrives. Their service costs $249 per year.
On the other hand, LegalNature promises to help you stay compliant and away from fines and legal problems. Additionally, they will provide you with both digital and physical copies of the documents. The digital copy will be sent to you first via email, while the hard copy follows via mail. They will charge you $125 per year for the service.
Comparing both incorporation services, LegalZoom charges you higher, almost twice as much as LegalNature, to be your agent. If you are tight on budget, LegalNature would be the best option. However, if you have no problem digging a little deeper in your pocket for the same service, consider LegalNature.
Customer Support Services and Reviews
Customer reviews allow you to test the waters before you can start the formation process with a service. Using them, you get an idea of the type of customer experience to expect.
On the other hand, customer support services increase the trust you have in a company. They provide a way to reach for help should you get stuck. Below is a comparison of the two with regards to customer support services and reviews.
You can contact LegalZoom by calling the customer service or sales from Monday to Friday any time from 5 am to 7 pm. They are available on weekends too from 7 am to 4 pm. Additionally, you can ask them a question through their email.
On the other hand, LegalZoom has served 4 million customers, and therefore, they have numerous reviews online. However, they have a low customer rating on most customer review sites. For example, on TrustPilot, only 65% of the reviews scored four stars and above, while 30% were 1 star.
LegalZoom has 1002 reviews from Site Jabber and an average rating of 3.6.
However, they later settle most issues to the customers’ satisfaction.
You can contact LegalNature customer support service through calls and email. You can call from Monday through Friday anytime between 9 am and 5 pm. Additionally, they are also available on weekends between 9 am and 1 pm.
They have over 4500 reviews on trust pilot, and out of that, 84% of customers rate them four stars and above while 7% of customers rate them 1 star.
LegalZoom customer support is readily available and easy to reach even on weekends than LegalNature, which offers a small-time window. On the other hand, LegalZoom has a lot of work to do on customer service delivery to beat the low customer rating.
LegalNature customer service is better, although it would do better than harm if they improve on the low rating.
Customer support winner: LegalZoom
Customer reviews winner: LegalNature
Pros and Cons
- It is long-established and has served over 4 million customers
- Offer a 100% satisfaction and money-back guarantee
- They offer legal advice
- Has expensive services
- Has poor customer ratings
- They have relatively cheap pricing
- Offers a lot of legal forms
- Has a money refund policy
- Their customer service is reliable
- The Registration process has upsells.
- Has no packages
1. Are there better alternatives?
Yes. Other incorporation services that may interest you include Swyft Filings, ZenBusiness, and IncFile, which offer purely business formation services. Nolo and Rocket Lawyer are other perfect examples of incorporation services that offer both business formation and online legal services.
2. LegalNature and LegalZoom; which one is better?
Both LegalZoom and LegalNature have their strengths and weaknesses. LegalZoom has been in the business formation and legal industry for two decades and has served millions of customers. On the other hand, LegalNature has an excellent customer rating and offers very affordable services.
Therefore, either of the two has its strength and weakness. The best service for you depends on personal preferences.
3. Should I hire a local lawyer during business formation?
No. Incorporation services have made the LLC formation easy and therefore eliminating the need for a lawyer. You can form your LLC at the comfort of your home or office while connected to the internet.
Incorporation service providers’ main aim was to simplify the business formation process from the tiresome paperwork. LegalZoom and LegalNature have perfectly done this. Choosing between either of the two should be easy, depending on your business preferences and the budget.
After reading this review, choosing between the two should be simpler because you have probably understood their strengths and weaknesses. Success as you look forward to forming your business!