Even newcomers have probably heard of these two services. With LegalZoom, such popularity can be attributed to its longevity and strong online presence. Meanwhile, IncFile’s budget-friendly approach has been a contributing factor to the company’s ubiquity.
You won’t find an IncFile review that fails to mention its accommodating nature which was bound to contribute to its popularity, if not by virtue of direct research on the customer’s part then through osmosis alone.
And it’s their equally strong reputations that make choosing between the two so difficult. This comparative review aims to explore how the services truly fare against one another in each of the major categories with the main goal to help you make a more informed decision for your company.
The Fundamental Difference Between IncFile and LegalZoom
When it comes to brand exposure and positive customer experience, both companies are on somewhat level ground. And yet, despite their shared traits, the one major discrepancy between them—their pricing, specifically for the registered agent service—is so drastic it sets them apart even further.
For smaller businesses, planning a startup budget means factoring in even the smallest charges and the best ways to avoid them. In this regard, the difference between the two providers can be measured literally.
Depending on the package level, you could be paying between $0 and $299 in IncFile’s case and $79 and $349 in LegalZoom’s which puts their fee gap at $50-$180, and that’s discounting the fact that LegalZoom only provides registered agent as a separate on-demand feature.
Side by Side Comparisons
Both providers have adopted the popular three-tiered package system, offering three levels each with varying degrees of feature extensiveness. But let’s examine each option individually.
Perhaps their main point of attraction, IncFile’s starter plan is an excellent solution for entrepreneurs with a limited budget that wish to both have their articles filed and get at least a year of registered agent service for free. You will also get:
- Name availability checks;
- Certified copies;
- Statement of the organizer;
- Dashboard access and order tracking;
- Next-day processing.
In addition to covering all previous features, this mid-tier plan also guarantees EIN acquisition, gives you the option to elect S-corp tax system, and adds other essential services like:
- Opening a bank account + drafting resolution;
- Operating agreement;
- Business tax consultation;
- Unlimited compliance notifications;
- Free client support (phone and email).
Take every feature from the previous two packages, add expedites filing, domain registration with business email, and template library, and you’ll get InFile’s premium plan.
What makes it suitable for entrepreneurs that plan to partner with multiple companies and hire contractors is the contract library. This essentially means you will be able to get any contract template throughout your company’s run.
Their starter plan is pretty bare-bones considering what they charge for it and includes:
- Business name search;
- Filing of the Articles;
- An expert guide on how to proceed with your paperwork and the business itself;
- Unlimited client support;
- Bank account authorization letter.
For another $250 to the Economy’s fee, you will get a company seal, a binder with personalized embossing, and twenty membership certificates. Your order will also receive a priority review status.
Express Gold: $349
As the name suggests, this plan is aimed at customers who seek priority processing with both LegalZoom and their state. With this package, you’ll get your business created in 7-10 business days, plus, your paperwork will be express-delivered.
As one of the second-wave formation industry entries formed in 2000, LegalZoom is hard to rival in years or customer volume with their two decades of experience and 3.8 million business formations.
But IncFile’s launch in 2004 can easily relegate them to the same category. In their seventeen-year run, they have assisted over 500,000 businesses and built an unshakeable reputation with their peers.
Aside from all aforementioned services, both providers also offer a handful of extras like annual reports, foreign qualification, DBA, dissolutions/amendments, certificates of good standing, accounting, trademark registration, and more. IncFile LegalZoom focuses on personal services like wills, trusts, name changes, divorces, and real estate.
With either, you are guaranteed to receive some of the best support in the industry, albeit IncFile is known to keep their clients waiting only to later turn up with well-researched and detailed replies.
LegalZoom’s reps have extended hours and are available on Mon-Fri from 5 am to 7 pm PT and on weekends from 7 am to 4 pm PT. IncFile doesn’t respond on weekends but can be reached on Mon-Fri from 9 am to 6 pm CST. You can also submit your questions online on either website.
Registered Agent Service
In this category, IncFile is an indisputable winner. All of their price plans cover this feature by default without any extra charges, so you will be getting a registered agent entirely for free even if you choose their free starter plan.
As for LegalZoom, their policy could be a deal-breaker for many potential clients. The company only lists this service as a stand-alone feature, charging as high as $299 per year from the get-go.
How to Decide Between IncFile vs. LegalZoom
Minor feature distinctions aside, each service still succeeds to make a solid case for itself, making it that much harder to be definitive about them. So let’s address some of their highlights to underline the compatibility of each provider relating to individual customer demands.
Choose IncFile if:
- You are a small service provider / vendor / owner looking to create an entity without any filing service charges;
- You are in need of a registered agent and don’t have the funds for costly legal professionals;
- You prefer transparency in your transactions;
- You wish to receive extensive consultation on taxes and other business aspects.
Choose LegalZoom if:
- You value experience and positive client feedback;
- You need specialized legal features like real estate management;
- You seek assistance with every form of entity management;
- You want to get your registration processed in a few days instead of several weeks.