IncFile vs LegalZoom vs Nolo: Legal Services Compared
If you’re not an expert on legal matters but you own a business, then you have a few options for how to make sure you’re covered in terms of the legal services you need. Fortunately, there are a number of software and service options out there that can help you with this issue. It’s a fact that no business should try to go it alone without any legal services. You’re almost always going to need legal help one way or another down the road.
IncFile is primarily for businesses that want to file for LLC status. There aren’t as many resources focused on non-business individuals.
- A+ BBB Rating- IncFile has a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau, specifically for the office located in Houston Texas. There have only been 9 complaints lodged against the company in the past while. Customer reviews on the site were also positive.
- Unlimited Support Options- Once you’re signed up with IncFile, you’ll be able to get help from them through phone or email as much as you want. Review sites state that there aren’t any real limits on this. There’s a form for getting email help right through the main page.
- 4.8 Shopper Approved Rating- This includes over a thousand individual ratings. There aren’t even any ratings below 3 stars at all according to the site. This also includes verified customers, which you can check yourself by clicking on the link at the top of the site.
LegalZoom has been around a good while, and they have a number of options to help customers as a result. This ranges from various form guidance as well as long-term legal advice in the form of their Business Advisory Plan.
- SSL Internet Form Security- The service is secured by Norton SSL, which is important when it comes to services that let you store legal forms online. You can check the security is up to date by clicking on the seal on the bottom of the site.
- Consultation Subscriptions- You can sign up for a 6 month or year long subscription to get legal consultations on whatever matters are important for your business.
- Wide Number of Guidance Options- You can do everything from start an LLC, to develop a business legal plan, search for a trademark, reserve an Entity name, deal with business federal taxes, from a nonprofit and many other actions. Full guidance options for personal reasons are available here too, such as changing your name, applying for disability, and so on. The service is definitely wide in terms of variety and deep in terms of the sheer number of legal possibilities.
- Legal Articles- There are a lot of articles you can access on the site for free, such as the pros and cons of do it yourself wills versus trying to get an attorney directly. This involves it costing less versus how thorough it is, for example, and the article goes into some detail on the matter.
One of the main products through Nolo is called the Quicken WillMaker Plus. There are new versions of it available just about every year. You can also make living trusts, handle power of attorney, promissory notes, and other personal forms with the right software or books. There’s an entire business section as well, involving trademarks, patents, NDAs, and others.
- Google Trusted- Nolo has Google Trusted status, which includes both arbitration through Google, and $1000 of free protection. Reviews through Google are favorable at 4.7 out of 5 with over 2000 individual reviews in the last year.
- Do It Yourself Personal Forms- You can purchase options on the site that will allow you to create personal forms yourself, such as a Living Trust, Will, Bankruptcy filing, name change, and others.
- Variety of Specific Items- If you want help filling out a Florida Quitclaim deed, for example, the site will allow you to fill out and print the form right from the browser. Each item or form you fill out this way has system requirements so you can see whether it’s going to work, as well as a full description of what it does.
- Real-time Order Tracking- When you order your Articles of Organization, you can track the order in real-time so you know exactly what’s going on with the business at all times. It comes within 1 business day most of the time as well.
- Incorporation Documents Access- The service lets you maintain access to Incorporation Documents online for easy retrieval whenever you might happen to need them.
Head to Head
Nolo charges a variety of prices for different services. An example is a Florida Quitclaim deed for transferring property that goes for just under $35 for a year’s subscription of support for the item. This seems to be par for the course at Nolo. Most online form support options come out to $35. You can fill out the form for free, make the account for free, but printing, copying or sending it requires a subscription purchase. Book purchases include the How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy book that goes for $35 for a physical copy, or $28 for an eBook.
IncFile prices start off at $49 for many services, and this often includes a free year of Registered Agent services. In particular, this includes services related to starting up an LLC. They are one of the cheapest options for starting up a business that you can get in terms of legal costs online.
The Business Advisory Plan starts at $31.25 per month for consultations to help you with trademarks, agreements, and trusts. Doing a full LLC will cost more like $150. LegalZoom gives you flexibility regarding what you want to buy in terms of forms and legal consultations, but they definitely aren’t the cheapest around by any stretch.
Overal, IncFIle is far cheaper than LegalZoom when it comes to basic services for businesses such as LLC creation. It’s $49 compared to $149. This means that it’s a good idea to go with IncFile for this kind of thing if you just want basic service since you’ll save a lot of money. If you mostly want guidance filling out a single form such as for a will, then you’ll often find cheaper prices with Nolo. This same service costs at least $100 or so in many states, such as Massachusetts. Plus, you don’t get the same free Agent offer.
One of the main uses for Nolo involves online forms for Wills, Trusts, and others. Many online have said that filling these out after making a purchase is relatively easy. There’s a wide variety of such forms available, so chances are good that you can find what you’re looking for this way. Trying to use Nolo to find a lawyer via reference is something that reviews are definitely a bit more negative about.
IncFile has a low cost for creating an LLC, which is one of their primary features. Their site states that they’ve helped thousands of business owners since they were created in 2004. The reviews definitely emphasize that IncFile is much cheaper than the competitors. There are also plenty of other noteworthy features as well, for example, you get unlimited access to incorporation documents while subscribed to the site. This makes it easy to keep your business legal papers organized. It’s also supposed to be a simple matter to quickly setup an LLC, which is important for those starting out, according to reviews such as the Startup Savant review. The free Registered Agent comes with the LLC package and it allows you to stay on top of notifications for an entire year. Review sites put this value at $150 at least.
LegalZoom doesn’t have features that commend itself specifically to a type of law or form the way many other options do, such as IncFile with LLC formation, for example. They are a large corporation, however, and this means that there are plenty of services that they offer in a more general sense. This is why some people have classically preferred them, the fact that you can handle many things all under one roof, so to speak.
Overall, IncFile has an advantage over many other options in that it allows for LLC creation quickly and simply due to its features that facilitate that, such as order tracking and long-term support. Nolo offers form guidance, but it doesn’t tend to involve the kind of long-term focus on support that Incfile offers for the same price. All of this illuminates some of the differences between the various services. For example, LegalZoom is more of a general site, with a focus on business. Nolo does both legal and personal matters, but there is much more of a balance between them, unlike with LegalZoom where they focus on business formation, wills and trusts, intellectual property on the business side, and then more personal options not related directly to money, business or property on the other.
Nolo has the advantage of having a high rating of 4.7 out of 5 through the Google Trusted Stores reviews. The comments talk about the delivery options being high quality and that the online browsing is easy and fun to use. TrustPilot is a little cooler on the site with a 6.5 out of 10 among more than 40 reviews. Outside of Google, the site doesn’t seem to be especially well known online. SiteJabber only has 25 reviews, and the result is largely negative at just over 2.5 stars, though there’s only 20 some reviews total. There are definitely complaints about the site regarding the referrals they make giving harsh advice about not being able to make cases unless a medical provider nearly kills you. The positive reviews focus on the fact that the site’s books and other resources are largely good for general information. There are also some negative reviews regarding the forms produced by the site. People have had issues with wills created, Living Trusts created, and especially attorney referrals.
IncFile reviews are actually rather good all things being considered. How to Start an LLC gives them 4.8 out of 5, for example. Fit Small Business gives them 3 out of 5 with a few reviews, Compare Legal Forms gives them a full 5 out of 5, and even the BBB gives them an A+ rating and a 5 rating from the one review there. The LLC review company especially likes them for ease of getting started and ease of using the service generally.
LegalZoom reviews include the BBB reviews that give it a 3.9 out of 5.The site also gets an A+ rating from the BBB and their office in Glendale, California. The company has been active since 2001. Fit Small Business gives them 3 out of 5 with a few reviews, and Compare Legal Forms has them at 4 out of 5.Reviews from their site have them at 4.5 out of 5 with hundreds participating.
Overall, reviews are largely positive for the options available, with complaints present in particular areas for each. For example, there are undeniably complaints about Nolo’s referrals, which appear to sometimes give negative experiences to those that hire them as lawyers. It also seems that the reviews point to the fact that the support for the legal form guidance Nolo provides is often somewhat lacking. This is in contrast to IncFIle, which gets glowing reviews in terms of their support, especially in contrast to their low cost.
Additionally, IncFile also offers consultation services for free with the purchase of the LLC creation forms that go for a third of what LegalZoom often charges. One review went so far as to say that the main difference between LegalZoom and IncFile is the cost disparity. There are also free business tax consultations available through IncFile, which is another positive perk. Compare Legal Forms also raves about the lifetime company alerts you get through the site. These make it easier to make sure you’re in compliance with any laws no matter how they might change over time. The consesnus definitely seemed to be that those interested in business legal advice would often do wells to stick with IncFile over the other options.