Starting a company can be a relatively long and complicated process. Or at least it was before sites like Incfile and LegalZoom came along. Whether you’re building a brick-and-mortar business or operating entirely online, you need to get all your paperwork in order before selling any product.
But which is better, LegalZoom or Incfile? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to answer without first reviewing some of the variables and elements of the situation. However, by the end of this comparison guide, you should have enough information to make the right choice for you and your business. Here’s everything you need to know about LegalZoom vs Incfile.
What is LegalZoom?
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LegalZoom is a website designed to help businesses and individuals access a variety of legal documents and assistance. Although many of these services are designed for the formation of companies such as LLCs, LegalZoom also covers many other topics. Founded in 2001, the site has helped millions of businesses and families get the legal help they need in a variety of situations.
In addition to building a business, LegalZoom helps with trusts, wills, copyrights and trademarks, and more. Users can also get legal advice from a real lawyer if they need it. Overall, this site is like a one-stop shop for all kinds of legal documents and help, allowing users to access these items without paying a retainer.
What is Infile?
Incfile is a website designed to help entrepreneurs start their businesses. Since 2004, the site has helped more than 800,000 businesses file the right documents for all types of businesses, including C corporations, LLCs, S corporations, and even nonprofits. Incfile offers access to a variety of documents and tools, including employer tax IDs, virtual addresses, registered agents and even tax advice.
Another valuable part of Incfile is that it offers a lot of useful information for new businesses. The site’s resource center can help entrepreneurs learn more about how to file for a DBA, the various state requirements for business incorporation, and even a business name generator.
Which is better LegalZoom or Incfile?
As you can see, although there is some overlap, the two sites are aimed at slightly different audiences. LegalZoom focuses on the legal side of running a business or creating a will, while Incfile is dedicated solely to helping entrepreneurs. So it’s hard to say if one is “better” than the other. Realistically, you can use both sites to achieve different goals. However, let’s break down the areas where these sites overlap so you can determine which one might be best for your particular situation.
Costs and fees
The amount you pay for each site depends on what you’re trying to get. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different fees you’ll pay for specific features, such as:
- Building a business – LegalZoom charges $79 for filing your business documents. This fee is in addition to any government fees you may have to pay, which vary from country to country. Incfile does not charge anything in addition to state fees.
- Services of registered agents – When you form an LLC, you need something called a registered agent to act on behalf of your business. LegalZoom charges $299 per year for these services, while the first year is free with Incfile. After the first year, you pay just $119 per year.
- Employer ID Number (EIN) registration services – If you want to get your EIN for free, you can contact the IRS directly. However, if you don’t want to mess with it, you can pay LegalZoom $79 for their effort or Incfile $70 for the same service.
- Operating Agreement – LLCs and corporations need operating agreements that outline the business structure. Incfile provides an operating agreement with your formation documents for free. However, LegalZoom charges $99 for this document.
As you can see, Incfile costs much less. So if you want to save money when starting a business, choose Incfile.
Ease of use
Both sites are very user-friendly and easy to navigate. In addition, each site offers comprehensive customer support, although you have to submit your query within certain hours. Email is often the best way to get help, but both sites also have customer service agents available by phone.
If you’re seriously trying to start a business, Incfile’s layout is a little more streamlined, with the entire site dedicated to helping you succeed. In comparison, many of LegalZoom’s pages aren’t about starting a new business, so it’s a little easier to get lost.
Breakdown of features available on each site
Rather than scroll through each site to see what they offer, here’s a breakdown of the different services you can find on both LegalZoom and Incfile.
- Business formation services – As we mentioned, you can create an LLC, corporation, or non-profit with Incfile. These businesses are also cheaper to build if you opt for a basic membership package.
- Services of registered agents – Incfile acts as your registered agent and since the first year is free, you can also take advantage. You can also use the first year to determine if you want to use someone other than yourself as a registered agent.
- Filing trademarks – Although Incfile doesn’t offer as much intellectual property protection as LegalZoom, you can file a trademark and get legal help by doing so. Incfile can also search for prior trademarks to see if your trademarks will infringe on any existing trademarks.
- EIN registration – If you don’t want to contact the IRS, Incfile costs a little less to register and get an employer ID number.
- Document templates – Like LegalZoom, you can find templates for various business-related documents, such as operating agreements and bank resolutions. There are fewer options here than LegalZoom.
- Business Resource Center – This resource center offers valuable information on everything from managing your business finances to getting help with your taxes. You can also download eBooks and white papers that outline how to start and run a business from scratch.
- Online Business Dashboard – With so many items to keep track of, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and disorganized. Incfile keeps everything in one place with an easy-to-use dashboard system.
- Website and email setup – All modern businesses need a website to reach new customers. Incfile also doubles as a domain host and website builder so you can get started right away. However, if you want to create something more comprehensive, we recommend working with a dedicated web builder platform such as Wix or WordPress.
Who is Infile best for?
If you’re just trying to start a business from scratch and want to do it as cheaply as possible, Incfile is one of the most valuable resources. Not only can you take care of the application and registration, but you can also access a lot of useful information to help your new business grow.
Who is LegalZoom best for?
If you need additional legal services or want to handle personal legal documents (ie, wills and trusts), it makes sense to create a LegalZoom account. Also, if you know you’re going to need real legal help, it’s much cheaper and more accessible to use this site than to contact a law firm directly.
Conclusion: Is LegalZoom better than Incfile or vice versa?
When it comes to building a business, both sites offer very similar features and benefits. However, Incfile has a slight edge because its sole purpose is to help entrepreneurs build businesses from the ground up. However, LegalZoom is a great online resource for a variety of legal documents and advice, which means you can end up using both sites at the same time.
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