7 Best LegalZoom Alternatives in 2023 (Compared)
LegalZoom disrupted the landscape of legal tech back in 2001, giving clients the opportunity to obtain legal services online without having to deal with lawyers and excessive red tape. Today, these services can only be described as lacking.
One of the major pain points that came to the fore over time is LegalZoom’s inability to handle the demand for incorporation by founders from abroad. Obtaining legal documents is just a small piece of the puzzle, and LegalZoom can do little to help you assemble the rest of the pieces needed to start a business in the US.
Issues with customer experience, a lack of transparency about costs and time-frames for the required deliverables, as well as neglect regarding the unique needs of each client, have given rise to a number of competing services.
In the remainder of this piece, we will explore the best LegalZoom alternatives in 2023 to see how they stack against the former market leader in legal tech.
Best LegalZoom alternatives
Alternative #1: Firstbase
Firstbase is a platform and service that helps startups and businesses simplify the process of setting up and managing a U.S.-based company. We are focused on streamlining the incorporation and ongoing compliance processes for new businesses, as well as providing long-term support to founders by adding new features and rewards based on evolving business needs. It is currently the most comprehensive and user-friendly business-in-a-box solution on the market.
Here are some key features and aspects of Firstbase:
1. Incorporation Services
Firstbase assists entrepreneurs and startups in incorporating their businesses in the United States. This includes helping with the selection of the appropriate legal structure, such as forming a corporation or an LLC (Limited Liability Company).
2. Registered Agent Services
Many states in the U.S. require businesses to have a registered agent with a physical address within the state. Firstbase provides registered agent services, ensuring that your business complies with these legal requirements.
3. Business Address
Firstbase offers virtual business addresses in 50 different states, allowing businesses to establish a presence in various locations without the need for a physical office.
4. Tax and Compliance
Firstbase helps businesses stay compliant with federal and state tax requirements and filing deadlines. This includes assistance with obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and filing annual reports.
5. Business Banking
Firstbase can assist with setting up a business bank account, even before obtaining your EIN, which is essential for managing finances and separating personal and business finances.
6. Document Management
The platform often includes a document management system to help businesses organize and store important legal documents, contracts, and other records.
7. Dashboard and Compliance Monitoring
The Firstbase Founder’s App provides users with a dashboard to track important compliance deadlines and requirements, ensuring that their business stays in good legal standing.
8. Accounting with Accrual Bookkeeping
Firstbase offers both accrual- and cash-based accounting functionality. Founders can easily integrate their bank, credit card, and payment processor into the bookkeeping platform.
Currently, we offer General Liability for E-Commerce, and General Liability for Startups.
With Firstbase you can unlock founder rewards, perks and benefits that can save you upwards of $350 000. This includes premium access to services such as Wix, Zendesk, Mercury, Stripe, Notion, Salesforce, Payoneer, Slack, and others.
Each component and service that Firstbase offers is charged separately.
- Firstbase Start (one-time fee of $399) – Incorporate your US-based business in the state of your choice.
- Firstbase Agent ($99/$299/$599 per year, depending on plan) – Registered compliance agent in your state of choice. Three plans are available, Light, Autopilot, and Payroll.
- Firstbase Mailroom ($35/$50 per month, depending on plan) – Premium physical address and virtual mailbox. Two plans available, Basic and Premium.
- Firstbase Insurance (start at $26 per month) – Comprehensive protection for your enterprise.
- Firstbase Payroll ($599 per year) – Payroll registration service for hiring employees from any state regardless of your place of incorporation.
- Firstbase Loop (free) – Free tools to grow your business.
Try our interactive product demo. It’s free!
Alternative #2: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is a company that specializes in providing registered agent services and a range of business formation and compliance solutions for businesses in the United States. A registered agent is a designated individual or entity responsible for receiving legal and official documents on behalf of a business, such as tax notices, legal summons, and state filings.
Northwest can assist with the formation of various types of business entities, including LLCs, corporations, nonprofits, and more. The company also helps businesses stay compliant by preparing and filing annual reports and other necessary documents with state authorities. However, these services are not on par with their main offering, so keep this in mind if you need more than a registered agent.
One of the major downsides of Northwest is the fact that they keep the price under wraps. This lack of transparency should keep prospective business founders wary, especially if they’re budget-constrained.
- Registered Agent Services: Northwest serves as a registered agent for businesses in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
- Business Formation: Northwest can help you with the paperwork and filings required to establish a legal business entity in the US.
- Business Address: Northwest provides a physical business address that serves as the registered office address for receiving legal documents and official mail.
Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t provide pricing information up-front. There are sample fees for particular services, but no official pricing guide.
Alternative #3: Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is an online legal services platform that aims to make legal assistance more accessible and affordable for individuals and small businesses. The platform offers a wide range of legal resources and services, making it easier for users to handle various legal matters without the need for extensive legal expertise.
Rocket Lawyer’s main feature is a library of legal document templates that users can customize for their specific needs. This includes contracts, agreements, wills, powers of attorney, and more. Users can create, edit, and download these documents. The platform also offers access to a network of licensed attorneys who can provide legal advice and guidance on specific legal issues. Users can schedule consultations with attorneys to discuss their concerns and questions.
Rocket Lawyer is designed to empower individuals and small businesses to address their legal needs more affordably and conveniently. However, it's important to note that while the platform can be a valuable resource for many legal tasks, it may not be a suitable replacement for legal counsel in complex or highly specialized legal matters.
- Business Legal Plans: Rocket Lawyer offers subscription-based legal service plans that provide ongoing access to legal documents, consultations, and attorney support, making it cost-effective for businesses to address legal needs.
- Estate Planning Tools: Rocket Lawyer provides easy-to-use tools for creating essential estate planning documents such as wills, living wills, and power of attorney forms, helping individuals plan for the future.
- Real Estate Document Services: The platform assists users with real estate-related legal documents, including lease agreements, property deeds, and eviction notices, streamlining the process of managing property and rental transactions.
Rocket Lawyers is a subscription-based service with two payment tiers:
- Monthly ($39.99)
- Yearly ($239.99)
Signing up for the yearly service unlocks additional discounts for specialized services.
Alternative #4: Incfile
Incfile is an online platform that specializes in business formation services and related business compliance solutions. It is designed to assist entrepreneurs with the process of starting and maintaining their businesses.
Incfile provides assistance with paperwork, filing, and other legal requirements. They also help with preparing and filing necessary documents with state authorities, such as articles of incorporation or articles of organization. Finally, Incfile provides a range of supplementary services, such as obtaining certificates of good standing, amending business documents, and filing annual reports.
In certain scenarios, such as when a small business owner needs a streamlined and straightforward solution for legally establishing an LLC or corporation and managing ongoing compliance, Incfile can be a useful resource. However, it's crucial for users to weigh the cost of their desired services against the potential benefits and consider whether they may require more specialized legal advice for complex business matters.
- Business Kit and Seal: Incfile often includes a business kit with personalized documents and a business seal, enhancing the professional image of newly formed businesses.
- Name Availability Search: Incfile assists users in conducting business name availability searches to ensure their desired name complies with state regulations and is available for use.
- Additional Business Services: In addition to business formation, Incfile may offer a range of additional services such as obtaining certificates of good standing, amending business documents, and filing annual reports, helping businesses meet various compliance and administrative needs.
Incfile offers three pricing packages to get a price estimate you need to specify the type of business and choose a country.
Alternative #5: Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings helps entrepreneurs quickly and efficiently form a business in the US. The service has made a name for itself as fast and affordable with business incorporation specialists on hand to answer any business formation question.
Swyft Filings offers a range of features once comes to expect from an incorporation service. These include business formation, registered agent services, business name availability search, compliance monitoring, and more. The way the services are implemented is clear and straightforward, making it easy for entrepreneurs to navigate the legal labyrinth.
Swyft Filings are useful for entrepreneurs or small business owners looking for a convenient and accessible way to establish their business entities and navigate initial compliance requirements. It can expedite the administrative aspects of business formation.
- EIN Assistance: Swyft Filings can assist businesses in obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a crucial requirement for tax purposes and hiring employees.
- Business Compliance Monitoring: Swyft Filings offers tools and services to help businesses track important compliance deadlines and requirements, reducing the risk of penalties and legal issues.
- Document Preparation and Filing: Swyft Filings offers support in preparing and filing essential business documents, such as articles of incorporation or organization, simplifying the process of legally forming various business entities.
Swyft Filing offers three payment packages:
- Basic ($0 + state filing fees) – comprehensive name check, preparation of articles of incorporation, document filing with the Secretary of State, lifetime customer support (phone & email).
- Standard ($199 + state filing fees) – everything in Basic plus EIN, custom corporate bylaws, custom banking resolution, custom organizational minutes, instant electronic delivery of state documents upon formation.
- Premium ($299 + state filing fees) – everything in Basic plus fast processing speed, document templates, free business website & domain from Squarespace, ComplianceGuard free trial (Annual Report, Amendment, & Meeting Minutes), and more.
Alternative #6: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness is an online platform specializing in business formation and compliance services, targeting entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking a streamlined approach to establishing and maintaining their legal entities. It has gained popularity as a cost-effective alternative for those navigating the complexities of business startups.
One of ZenBusiness's distinctive features is its affordability, offering competitive pricing for its business formation packages. The platform also provides ongoing compliance support, helping businesses stay in good standing by handling annual report filings and acting as a registered agent. However, while ZenBusiness covers the basics, its service offerings may lack some of the additional legal services and document customization options found in competitors. Some customers have also mentioned that there are hidden costs to using the service.
ZenBusiness can be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs looking to establish and manage their businesses while keeping costs in check. It's particularly useful for straightforward business formations with limited customization needs. However, users requiring more comprehensive legal services or highly tailored business solutions should consider consulting with an attorney or exploring alternative platforms with broader service offerings.
- Business Formation Kits: ZenBusiness offers comprehensive kits for business formation, including necessary filings and registered agent services.
- Easy Compliance: The platform helps businesses stay compliant by managing annual report filings and other ongoing requirements.
- Personalized Support: ZenBusiness provides customer support and personalized guidance to help entrepreneurs choose the right business structure and navigate the startup process.
ZenBusiness offers three pricing packages:
- Starter ($0 + state fees) – standard filing services
- Pro ($199 annually) – fast filing services, EIN, operating agreement.
- Premium ($349 annually) – fast filing services, business documents, domain name and email address, business website builder.
Alternative #7: LegalShield
LegalShield is a subscription-based legal services provider that offers access to a network of attorneys for a wide range of legal needs. The company aims to make legal assistance more affordable and accessible to individuals, families, and small businesses.
One distinctive feature of LegalShield is its subscription-based model, providing subscribers with unlimited access to legal consultations and document review services. This can be particularly useful for individuals and businesses seeking routine legal guidance without incurring significant hourly legal fees. Some plans also include identity theft protection services, adding an extra layer of security for subscribers.
LegalShield offers an accessible means of obtaining legal advice and document review services through its subscription-based model. It can be useful for individuals and small businesses requiring ongoing legal support for routine matters, such as contract review or general legal advice. However, it's important to be aware that the service may not cover complex or specialized legal issues, and subscribers should carefully review plan details to determine its suitability for their specific needs.
- Legal Service Plans: LegalShield offers various subscription-based legal service plans that provide ongoing access to legal advice, consultations, and document review services. Subscribers pay a monthly fee for access to these legal services.
- Attorney Network: LegalShield has a network of pre-screened and qualified attorneys across different areas of law, allowing subscribers to consult with attorneys who specialize in specific legal matters.
- Business Plans: LegalShield also offers legal service plans tailored to the needs of small businesses, providing legal support for issues such as contract review, debt collection, and employee disputes.
LegalShield offers three subscription plans for different types of clients:
- Individuals & Families ($24.95/month)
- Start a Business ($49 & Up)
- Start a Business ($149)
What is the best LegalZoom alternative?
In the ever-evolving landscape of legal services, exploring alternatives that suit your unique needs is essential. While there are several viable options out there, Firstbase emerges as a standout choice in 2023, offering a comprehensive suite of solutions to simplify business formation and compliance. As you navigate the path to legal and operational success, consider these alternatives to LegalZoom and choose the one that aligns perfectly with your goals and aspirations.
Start your US company in minutes with Firstbase.