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If you are planning to start a new business then choosing the right business formation services provider is one of the most crucial decisions you need to make.

Anyone in such a situation goes through the Inc Authority vs LegalZoom dilemma at some point. While Inc Authority is a free business formation service provider, LegalZoom is the industry leader trusted by millions of businesses.

Both have their own pros and cons and offer different sets of services and packages.

In this post, we’ll try to help you get past your Inc Authority vs LegalZoom dilemma and make the right choice for your business.

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INC Authority vs LegalZoom: Quick Summary

Inc Authority is a free business formation company that also offers paid business startup bundles with additional services.LegalZoom is a premium business formation services provider that offers packages for different business needs.

Product Ratings

Inc AuthorityLegalZoom
Overall54
Support54
Services Offered45
User-Friendliness54
Value for Money53

Pros

Inc AuthorityLegalZoom
Free LLC or Corporation formationComprehensive suite of services
Free Registered Agent service for 1Y100% money-back guarantee
Excellent customer supportEasy-to-use online platform
Affordable paid servicesProfessional ongoing legal help

Inc Authority

  • Free LLC or Corporation formation
  • Free Registered Agent service for 1Y
  • Excellent customer support
  • Affordable paid services

LegalZoom

  • Comprehensive suite of services
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use online platform
  • Professional ongoing legal help

Cons

Inc AuthorityLegalZoom
Comparatively fewer services offeredPremium pricing
Prices not disclosed on the websiteLong order processing time

Inc Authority

  • Comparatively fewer services offered
  • Prices not disclosed on the website

LegalZoom

  • Premium pricing
  • Long order processing time

Pricing Details

Inc AuthorityLegalZoom
PlanCost (Per Month)PlanCost (Per Month)
Free LLC Formation$0 + State feesLLC$79 + State fees
StarterNot disclosedCorporation$149 + State fees
FasttrackNot disclosedNonprofit$99 + State fees
DBA$99 + State fees
1-year registered agent service is free with the free LLC formation planThe registered agent service costs $299/year
Choose Inc Authority
Choose LegalZoom

Quick Verdict

Inc Authority offers free LLC or Corporation formation packages with all the basic services you’d need to start a new business. They have excellent customer support and are the most affordable solution for small businesses and solopreneurs. However, if you want a trusted company and premium, hassle-free services, then LegalZoom is a great option for you. It also provides tons of other services and can offer you a more complete suite of business services.

Who is it For?

Inc AuthorityLegalZoom
SolopreneursLarge businesses
Startups & small businessesAnyone who wants a premium service and a hassle-free experience
Anyone who wants free LLC formation
Get Started with Inc Authority
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Inc Authority vs LegalZoom: Services Comparison

Inc AuthorityLegalZoom
Free LLC formationBusiness Name Check
Registered Agent ServiceeFree for 1 year$299 per year
S-Election Form
Tax Planning Consultation
Credit & Funding Analysis
Other Features24-Hour Order Processing
Express Shipping
100% Money-Back Guarantee
7-Day Phone-Based Support

Form an LLC with Inc Authority
Form an LLC with LegalZoom

Detailed Review: Inc Authority

It offers a free LLC or Corporation formation plan, for which you only need to pay the state filing fees, and paid plans with additional services.

To simplify things and make the comparison of Inc Authority vs LegalZoom fair, we’ll review the free plan in detail and mention the paid services briefly.

This will give you an idea about what you will get with Inc Authority for free and what extras you need to pay for. Let’s get started.

Business Name

When you opt for Inc Authority’s free business formation plan, you also get a free business name search.

As you know, a business name should be unique and should not be used by any other business within the state. To ensure that, you need to search the state’s database to check the availability of your chosen business name.

This process can be time-consuming, especially since navigating government websites is difficult. Inc Authority makes the process easier by providing you with a simple search bar to check the availability of your business name.

business name check 1Image via Inc Authority

The company’s search feature will search the government databases, while you get a hassle-free experience using a simple search interface. This is a great feature, especially considering that it’s completely free of cost.

Preparation & Filing

Registering a business with your state requires detailed documentation and complex forms. A single mistake can cause your application to be rejected and even if it is approved, it may take weeks to process.

The main benefit that Inc Authority offers is simplifying this process and also expediting it, all free of cost.

Inc Authority free LLCImage via Inc Authority

Experts at Inc Authority will give you a detailed list of documents that you need to submit. Once done, they will review them thoroughly, ensuring that there are no mistakes and that your application is processed smoothly.

They will file the documents with the state and expedite the process to get your application processed faster.

Digital Document Storage

Continuing with the previous point, Inc Authority makes document storage and access a breeze by providing a centralized, digital document management system.

This means that you can access all important business documents within seconds, from a single dashboard. Whether it is your company’s articles of organization or tax filing documents, you can find it all online.

This simplifies the document management process and keeps things more organized for your business. This also reduces the scope of manual error or physical copies of documents being lost.

Registered Agent

Every business should have a dedicated registered agent who receives legal documents and notices from the government on behalf of the business.

As a small business owner, you probably already have a lot on your plate and adding the task of receiving and organizing legal documents is just an added hassle.

Inc Authority offers an easy solution by providing one year of registered agent service free with free business formation plans. They will receive documents on your behalf and notify you promptly if any action is required from your side.

Inc Authority RA serviceImage via Inc Authority

They also store all your business documents online in an integrated dashboard from where you can easily access them. For any time-sensitive documents, you get special reminders.

This not only helps you easily keep track of your legal documents but also avoids penalties due to late action.

Tax Planning Consultation

Planning and filing taxes on time is an important task for any business and failure to do so might result in huge penalties, not to mention a fall from the good graces of the government.

That’s why Inc Authority offers a free tax planning consultation to help your business plan its taxes efficiently and get the best tax benefits. This helps you save time, effort, and money.

How does it work?

A professional tax consultant will discuss your business taxes with you and devise a plan that maximizes profits and minimizes taxes for your business. Yes, it’s that simple.

Credit & Funding Analysis

Every new business needs funding and having a strong credit score can make it easier.

Inc Authority will provide you access to experts who will discuss your current financial situation and help you devise a strategy to get more funding for your business.

Not just that, but they will also connect you with reliable sources that can give you the required funding. Being in the industry for a long time, Inc Authority has tie-ups with several organizations that can help you with your business funding needs.

S-Election Form

If you decide to form a free Corporation using Inc Authority, you will also get a chance to choose to be treated as an S-Corporation. Of course, you need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Your business must have less than 100 shareholders
  • The corporation must offer only one class of stock
  • Businesses and non-residents may not be shareholders

As long as you meet these requirements, you can apply to be treated as an S-Corporation by filling out the S-Election form.

Inc Authority will help you with the preparation and filing of documents required to form an S-Corporation. This service comes for free with the free LLC formation service.

Inc Care Support

Whether you opt for the free plan or a paid service, you will get excellent customer support from Inc Authority’s customer service team.

They provide 7-day live US-based support and support via phone during business hours.

Paid Startup Bundles

Inc Authority offers two paid business startup bundles–Starter and Fast Track–that combine several services a new business would need.

Here are some services that both the plans offer:

  • Custom state filings
  • LLC operating agreement or corporate bylaws
  • Ownership or stock certificates
  • Initial meeting minutes & resolutions
  • EIN or Tax ID Number
  • Corporate forms package
  • Annual compliance notifications
  • Web domain + 5 email addresses
  • Tax consultation

Here are some services that are available as an add-on with the Starter package and included in the Fast Track plan:

  • A business success advisor & banking specialist
  • Expedited filing and order processing
  • Personalized business advisory

Basically, with paid plans you get a dedicated team of professionals catering to your new business needs. If you want Inc Authority to take on most of the tasks required to set up a new business, then you can opt for these.

Pro Tip: If your goal is just to register your business with the state, then the free plan offers all the basic services you’ll need.


Get the Free Plan by Inc Authority

Detailed Review: LegalZoom

LegalZoom provides a plethora of business services, other than business formation. For the sake of fair comparison with Inc Authority, we’ll review the LLC formation packages in detail. Then, we will briefly mention the other services offered by LegalZoom.

Here we go.

LLC Formation Packages

LegalZoom offers three LLC formation packages with each higher tier offering some extra features compared to the previous tier.

LegalZoom LLC Formation PackagesImage via LegalZoom

Let’s check out these packages and what each offers for this LegalZoom review.

Economy
The Economy package is the most basic package offered by LegalZoom and it offers the following services:

  • Business name search and business registration
  • Thorough review of all filing paperwork
  • Tax savings consultation to maximize tax benefits
  • A digital LLC welcome packet including articles of organization and a post-formation business checklist
  • Online order tracking for business registration status
  • 7-day customer support for lifetime
  • A custom website powered by Wix

This plan costs $79 plus the state filing fees. This option does not include expedited orde processing and may take weeks to complete.

Standard
This is the mid-tier plan that costs $329 plus state filing fees and offers everything in the Economy plan plus these additional features:

  • A deluxe founder’s kit to store and organize your business documents safely
  • A personalized notebook with your business name embossed on the cover
  • Faster order filing time of 5 days

Please note that the faster filing time does not mean that the state will process your order faster, but that LegalZoom team will prioritize your order filing.

Express Gold
This is the most expensive package offered by LegalZoom that costs $349 plus state filing fees.

It offers everything in the Standard plan but with the added advantage of 1-day order processing and express shipping. This means that the LegalZoom team will prioritize your order and file it within one day and will try to get your order prioritized within their queue as well.

Your documents will be delivered to you via their fastest shipping option.


Choose the Right Plan

Other Services

Apart from business formation, here are the other services offered by LegalZoom.

Doing Business As
If you want to run your business under a different name than your registered business name, you can file for a DBA. LegalZoom will help prepare and file the paperwork for $99 plus the state filing fees.

Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights
If you want to ensure that no one can copy your logo, business name, or slogan, then you can trademark these. This service by LegalZoom costs $599 plus federal filing fees.

They can also help you with patents and copyright registration, as needed.

Annual Reports
After business formation, a business needs many other services to stay compliant with government regulations. One such compliance requirement is filing annual business reports.

LegalZoom can help with that by preparing and filing your annual reports for $99 plus filing fees.

Dissolution
If you ever want to close your business and dissolve it the right way, then LegalZoom can help you with that as well. The cost of this service is $129 plus filing fees.

Taxes, Licenses & Permits
After you form your business, you need several business licenses and permits to stay compliant with government regulations. LegalZoom can help you obtain the necessary permits, including the employer identification number (EIN).

They will also help you prepare and file your taxes on time to stay compliant with the government rules, while also maximizing your tax benefits.

All of these services are available as add-ons, with different prices.

Legal Documents

LegalZoom Legal Documents

Image via LegalZoom

LegalZoom can provide you with templates for a variety of legal forms and agreements that you can create yourself within minutes. All their templates are designed by legal professionals and follow the proper format.

The best part is that you can customize these templates to create legal documents as per your needs.

They can also connect you with legal professionals for business legal services and also provide personal estate management services.


Start with LegalZoom Today

What Do Their Customers Say About Them?

Inc Authority

LegalZoom

“I’ve had a seamless, amazing experience with Inc Authority. Everyone that has helped to get my business LLC up and running has been really upbeat and knowledgeable in their services. Definitely refreshing to have such great customer service. I highly recommend. Top Notch!
Thank you Inc Authority.”
 – Allurity Media
“LegalZoom has always been so incredibly helpful!! It seems that everyone on their staff is kind, respectful, patient and helpful! I have been using their services for the past 5 years, and I plan to continue using them for all my filing needs! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!”

– David Krenz

“My experience was extremely positive! Kevin explained all of the details in a way that was easy to understand. The entire process was so quick and painless and we’re ready to start our new venture!”

– Patricia Thompson

“The customer service was excellent. They were efficient and effective with my time. I felt like I got exactly what I needed without the endless running up of billable hours.”

 

– Dan Maltby

Choose Inc Authority
Choose LegalZoom

FAQs

1. Is Inc Authority Legitimate?

Yes, Inc Authority is a legitimate company formation service provider that has helped tens of thousands of businesses get started.

It does not charge for its basic LLC or Corporation formation packages, which makes it seem too good to be true. The truth is that it really is a legitimate company that provides free business formation services.

We have done our research and chosen Inc Authority as one of our trusted partners for business formation services. You can rest assured that you will get top-notch services if you choose Inc Authority to start your new business.

2. Is LegalZoom worth it for LLC formation?

LegalZoom is the most trusted business formation service provider that has helped millions of businesses. Clearly, it is doing something right that it’s trusted by so many businesses.

When you compare Inc Authority vs LegalZoom, it may seem like the latter is offering more value for money, but that does not mean that LegalZoom is not worth it.

It charges competitive prices for its services and offers the most comprehensive suite of services a new business would need. Its list of services goes beyond business formation, and it also helps you stay compliant and run your business effectively.

If you’re looking for a premium, all-in-one business startup and compliance services, then LegalZoom is definitely worth it. However, if you just need basic LLC formation services, then you can go with a free service like the one provided by Inc Authority.

3. How does Inc Authority offer free LLC formation?

Inc Authority offers basic LLC formation services for free and charges for additional services you’ll need as you start and run your business.

Their business idea is to win customers’ trust through excellent service and then turn them into paid customers for life for their ongoing business services.

4. LegalZoom vs Inc Authority: Which is Better?

Both of these are trusted businesses that have their own pros and cons. While Inc Authority offers basic free services, LegalZoom offers all-in-one paid services.

The choice ultimately boils down to whether you want a one-time LLC or Corporation formation or ongoing business compliance services as well. LegalZoom can offer everything from legal documents to annual report filings, so if you’re looking for everything under one roof, then LegalZoom might be a better choice.

Inc Authority also offers additional paid services and has tie-ups with other businesses to provide some of these services. It is the more affordable option of the two and is great for first-time entrepreneurs or small business owners with a tight budget.

5. Why do I need business formation services?

Forming a business requires complex forms and paperwork and a single mistake can cause your application to be rejected. Add to that the hassle of dealing with the government and a tedious process and it becomes overwhelming for a beginner.

Using the top LLC formation services by professional firms like Inc Authority or LegalZoom can make the process easier and faster for you. You simply fill out an online form and submit the necessary documents and they’ll do the rest.

Start your business in a quick and hassle-free manner with Inc Authority and LegalZoom.

Start with Inc Authority
Start with LegalZoom

Inc Authority vs LegalZoom: Final Verdict

The business formation process is not easy, but Inc Authority and LegalZoom make it seem like a breeze.

If you want a completely free formation service and affordable paid services, then Inc Authority is the right choice for you.

If you want to go with an industry-leading, trusted company offering all-in-one business services, then LegalZoom is also a great option.

Take a call based on your requirements, we assure you that both are trusted service providers for business formation services.

Choose Inc Authority
Choose LegalZoom

Disclaimer: This content contains affiliate links, which means we’ll earn a commission when you click on them (at no additional cost to you).

Brett Shapiro

Brett Shapiro

Brett is an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in establishing and running successful businesses. Over the course of good career he has established over 10 successful businesses and SBHQ is his latest project. With SBHQ he aims to provide all the useful resources a small business owner may need to create a successful business.