Every year, millions of people in the U.S. decide to take care of their legal dilemma on their own. From filing for bankruptcy, giving a power of attorney to another person, and creating various legal documents, these processes are absolutely possible to DIY with today's digital world and availability of online application forms from almost all branches of the government.
However, it is still recommended you get some semblance of legal assistance, especially if your record or finances are at stake. The good news is there are numerous websites like Nolo.com that provide much-needed help for a fee. Or if you want to explore more options, like Legalzoom or Incfile, click here.
If you're planning to form an LLC and have no idea how to go about it, Nolo proves a good resource for legal terminology, forms, and even a done-for-you package. My Nolo review tackles everything you should know about the company's LLC service.
Nolo Review - Can It Handle Your LLC Needs?
What is Nolo? Can it handle your LLC needs?
Nolo was founded by lawyers Charles Sherman and Ralph Warner in 1971 as a way of giving low-cost (or free) legal information to people. The company's website has been around since 1994, and remains one of the oldest legal websites around with affiliated lawyers from all over the country, and over 1 million visitors a month.
Nolo has been providing trusted LLC formation services for years LLC formation service and only provided legal forms and books. Now, Nolo LLC services make up two different packages that includes unlimited customer service support supposedly from the moment you pay for your package until you've successfully created your own LLC.
Whether you choose the cheaper Basic package or more comprehensive 'Express Premiere' package, you still receive validation of your LLC name, and automated error checking. Nolo will also handle articles of organization from preparation to filing of your certificate of formation. You can compare it to Zen Business to see how they stack up agains each other.
And because Nolo has a massive library of legal forms, you can customize other relevant documents needed in writing a Sales Contract, firing your current attorney, or lease paperwork. All of these business forms are written by Nolo-verified lawyers from all over the US.
Simply put, Nolo can handle LLC needs, but the level of support the company provides would depend on a case-to-case basis.
Nolo's LLC creation service can be customized based on your requirements.
- Library of articles - Need advice about creating your own LLC, non-profit or corporation? Nolo has free-to-browse documents and articles.
- Low-priced legal forms - If you only need to get a hold of legal forms and do not require hiring a lawyer, hundreds of Nolo legal forms and templates readily-available.
- Access to real lawyers - Nolo lawyers come from all over the country, so you can browse by expertise like criminal law, personal finance or business formation (to help you with forming an LLC) or by location (so you can find a lawyer near you).
The people behind Nolo understand that every beginning of an organization is different. And while all organizations, whether forming an LLC, Corp or non-profit, begins with filing a certification of formation, the succeeding steps would vary significantly. The two packages Nolo offers for LLC filing are flexible enough to accommodate any kind of business.
It would take around one to three weeks for Nolo to process your LLC formation. In both Nolo LLC packages, your LLC paperwork will be filed with the Secretary of State within 1-5 business days. The time you get it back will depend on which package you choose.
- Basic package - This involves standard filing, which takes about one to two weeks.
- Express premium package - With priority filing and expedited shipping, Nolo files your paperwork within one business day and delivers the completed LLC records within 5 business days.
Of course, Nolo cannot control delays from the particular state where the LLC documents were filed. But if there are no issues from the Secretary of State, these estimated times are likely to be met.
Registered Agent Services
Business owners are required to have a registered agent, which means a person or third-party company based in the same state as the business and authorized to receive notice of lawsuits, documents, tax forms and other correspondence from the Secretary of State.
Almost all states require this, except for New York entities wherein the Secretary of State is designated as the registered agent.
Assigning a registered agent is important for several reasons:
- PO boxes are not allowed to "receive" Secretary of State documents
- You can travel and not be physically present when important documents arrive
- Someone will accept documents on your behalf (on behalf of your business) if you do not reside in the same state as your business
- Never incur penalties or falling out of good standing with the state
Nolo offers registered agent services to those who purchase its LLC formation package. However, note that Nolo uses Vcorp Services as its third-party agent, so you'll be coordinating with Vcorp once everything is set up.
One advantage of Nolo's Registered Agent services is that you have control over which individual to appoint as your Registered Agent. The downside is that there is a fee ( $150/year) for this service, which will be collected directly by Vcorp instead of Nolo.
Reputation - Is Nolo Legit?
Nolo has been around for almost 3 decades and renowned for their free legal guides since the 70s. The company has been featured by USA Today, Yahoo! and The New York Times in the past.
When it comes to Nolo trust rating online, here are several things you should know:
- BBB - Nolo is not accredited by the BBB. However, it does have A+ rating. Accreditation and rating are two different things, but as you already know, BBB explains that customers consider ratings more than having the BBB seal.
- Trustpilot - Nolo has a 1-star rating based on 70 reviews, and like their BBB reviews, many complaints come from lawyers whose lead generation packages left them unsatisfied.
- Facebook - The company is known as "Nolo Law" on Facebook, but did not activate the Reviews feature. They are pretty active with posts almost daily.
You won't find any reviews specific to their LLC formation service. Majority of customer reviews available on these sites are for other Nolo legal services.
Nolo's customer service is available through phone, email, via their official website and social media accounts.
- Phone - You will not find any phone number listed on the site, but Nolo states that their customer support calls potential customers and existing clients only on Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. This means you'd have to leave your phone number through another method so Nolo's support could call you. It can be a red flag for customers who prefer getting in touch with companies via phone, but it isn't necessarily a sign of Nolo scamming clients.
- Website - When you visit the Nolo website, you'll find a FAQ page dedicated to LLC filing. While pretty extensive and helpful with dozens of Q&A readily-available, you'd still end up with a form when you're in need of more clarifications.
- Facebook - The Nolo Law Facebook isn't really a customer service platform, but you'll see updates and promotions for Nolo's books, software and other products promoted here.
Nolo can help create your LLC in four steps:
- Decide what package to get - Nolo offers two LLC formation packages - Basic and Express Premiere.
- Basic: Aside from a standard filing, you'll also receive a customized LLC Operating Agreement based on your entity requirements.
- Express Premiere: This package is a bit more comprehensive. On top of the customized LLC Operating Agreement, you'll also get an application for EIN, filled-out IRS Form SS-4, and custom LLC Records along with 20 certificates. It also comes with expedited shipping to make the entire process go faster.
- Fill up a form - Nolo asks for all required details about your business. Fill it out with everything from the desired LLC names (or alternatives), member names, address, and so on.
- Nolo generates LLC Documents - This step doesn't require any participation from you. Nolo will ensure all LLC documents are filed correctly without typo errors. Once verified, Nolo files it with the Secretary of State and receives the fulfilled documents as well.
- Receive your LLC kit - Nolo ships the LLC package directly to your door.
Looks very straightforward. If your case is simple and does not require customer service, expect a smooth experience from start to finish. However, if there are additional requirements, or your state has extra restrictions, you might have to coordinate with Nolo more extensively than most customers.
Nolo doesn't mention anything about guarantees, but it lists "unlimited customer service support" throughout your LLC formation process.
Nolo's LLC packages start at $99.
- The Basic Service (standard filing with shipping fee) is priced at $99, plus state fees which will vary depending on a state-to-state basis.
- The Express Premiere Service (comprehensive filing with expedited shipping) is priced at $299, plus corresponding state fees.
If you decide to add Registered Agent services, you wouldn't be paying Nolo for the $150/year fee. Instead, this will be billed to you by Vcorp Services.
There are no hidden fees with LLC filing.
Even if it seems like the reviews of Nolo are mostly negative, Nolo does have a lot of redeeming qualities. For example:
The Nolo website has a TON of products, services and information - it can be quite a lot to digest if you're only looking for 1 service like LLC formation. Good thing they have an advanced “search” feature and easy-to-access sections to make things easier to find.
If you do decide to file your LLC through Nolo, here are things you must consider:
Nolo Review Conclusion
Nolo is a renowned company with over a dozen affiliate companies under its wing, such as AllLaw.com or Divorcenet.com. The company remains an active force in the industry and continues to serve people with legal assistance and legal document requirements from all over the country.
If you're looking for a personal service through phone, Nolo might not be the company to depend on for your LLC creation requirements.
However, despite the occasional negative reviews that may be off-putting to some, Nolo does provide a straightforward process of LLC formation. The company delivers LLC packages straight to your doors and at a fair price too!