ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom - which offers better online legal services for entrepreneurs? If looking to set up a new business as quickly, affordably and effortlessly as possible, should you go with a LegalZoom LLC or a ZenBusiness LLC?
As always, it’s a case of determining which provider offers the best services for your LLC in accordance with your requirements and your objectives. And should also take a look at the best places to form your LLC. Both companies have been designed to streamline and simplify the process of registering and launching a new business, though excel in different areas.
In this detailed ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom comparison, we’ll be taking a look at what separates Zen Business and Legal Zoom in terms of key features, pricing, customer support, user friendliness and value for money. We wrote a separate ZenBusiness review here, and also included a read on IncFile and a Rocket Lawyer review.
LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness - Side by Side Comparisons
Three pricing plans available, starting at $0 for the Economy plan and increasing to $329 and $349 for the Standard and Express Gold plans
Three pricing plans available, starting at $49 for the Starter package and increasing to $179 and $299 for the Pro and Premium packages.
Variable turnaround times depending on the package chosen, ranging from 30 business days to just seven business days with the upper-level package
Variable in accordance with the package chosen, ranging from eight weeks with the Starter package to around two weeks with the Premium package
Provides users with a centralized dashboard where orders can be tracked and documents received
Utilises a similar dashboard for processing and tracking orders or receiving business documents
Established in 2001 with almost two decades of industry experience
Established much more recently in 2015, though has earned an exceptional reputation over the years
Excellent customer reviews in general
Impressive feedback considering the company’s recent establishment
Both services have a variety of packages available to suit the requirements of most new and existing entrepreneurs.
LegalZoom LLC Pricing
The three packages currently available at LegalZoom are the Economy, Standard and Express Gold packages, charged as follows:
Economy - $0 plus state fees
Standard - $329 plus state fees
Express Gold - $349 plus estate fees
Zen Business LLC Pricing
The three paid packages currently available at ZenBusiness are charged as follows:
Starter - $49 plus state fees
Pro - $179 plus state fees
Premium - $299 plus state fees
It’s worth noting at this juncture that LegalZoom is the only one of the two to offer a $0 package (plus state fees).
LegalZoom LLC was created primarily to assist new and existing entrepreneurs with the establishment of LLCs and other types of companies. Over the years, LegalZoom LLC has branched out into a variety of different areas and now offers an extensive range of features for business owners and entrepreneurs.
Examples of which include the following:
- Comprehensive business formation services including name check
- Registered agent services available at additional cost
- Intellectual property protection advice and support
- Applications for trademarks, copyrights and patents
- Scheduled one on one consultations with experienced solicitors
- Access to a wide variety of legal forms and documents
- Advice and support with other legal services like divorce and wills
Likewise, Zen Business specializes primarily in the establishment of new businesses, streamlining and simplifying all aspects of the process for new and existing entrepreneurs. ZenBusiness offers a more compact range of services for its customers, though can play an equally important role in the establishment and launch of a successful business.
Primary areas of expertise at Zen Business include the following among others:
- Streamlined, simplified and expedited business filing services
- The provision of a business website and domain name for the first year
- Registered agent services are available at an additional cost
- Personalized dashboard to access and receive important documents
- Banking resolution services
- Employer identification number (EIN),
One of the biggest differences to note at this juncture is how only LegalZoom provides its customers with the opportunity to consult directly with experienced solicitors. Appointments can be made in advance to discuss all types of legal matters with qualified legal professionals, which can be of enormous value for new and existing business owners alike.
LegalZoom takes the title as far as pedigree is concerned, having been established almost two decades ago in 2001. Since then, LegalZoom has helped approximately 2 million customers across the United States establish or run a wide variety of businesses, completing no less than 500,000 attorney consultations.
Despite having only been around since 2015, Zen Business has established an enviable reputation for its business support services. They may not have been around for quite as long as LegalZoom, but have nonetheless stacked up an archive of positive feedback that suggests a near-flawless track record.
Nevertheless, LegalZoom remains the more experienced of the two service providers by a significant margin.
LegalZoom is known for providing perhaps the best customer support of any online legal service available for a new business establishment. The company’s knowledgeable and professional representatives can be contacted by e-mail or telephone during normal business hours, using the following contact information:
- Phone: 1-888-203-7652
- Email: support@legalZoom.com
Zen Business is also renowned for offering exceptional customer support, though with the added bonus of providing a convenient live chat facility. Telephone and e-mail queries are handled Monday to Friday during normal office hours - customer support contact information being as follows:
- Phone number: 1 844 493 6249
- Email: email@example.com
Telephone response times and e-mail turnaround times in both instances are excellent, as is the general quality of customer support provided by both companies.
Speaking of turnaround times, LegalZoom once again has a slight edge over Zen Business. Turnaround times vary in accordance with the package chosen, though with LegalZoom can be as short as seven working days for Express Gold customers. If you choose the $0 package, turnaround times with LegalZoom average around 30 working days.
Over at Zen Business, the fastest turnaround time advertised is 2 to 4 weeks - slightly longer than the seven working days of LegalZoom’s Express Gold service. The cheapest paid package at Zen Business has an approximate turnaround time of eight weeks, which may be a little long to wait for your order to be processed if in a hurry.
Keeping track of your orders with both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness really couldn’t be easier. Both services provide subscribers with access to a personal dashboard, which provides detailed information on order status and any completed orders. The dashboard setup and general user interface is more or less identical with both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness, so it’s too close to call.
Neither has the edge, as they’re both fantastically streamlined, well presented and easy to use.
Registered Agent Service
Neither LegalZoom nor ZenBusiness provides a registered agent service as a standard part of any of the subscription packages on offer. Despite being a legal requirement for new business establishments in the United States, a registered agent service is an added extra with both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness.
LegalZoom offers registered agent services for a significantly higher price than Zen Business - $299 per year compared to $119 per year respectively. This makes Zen Business the more affordable of the two in this respect, though it is worth considering the additional services, features and privileges LegalZoom customers gain access to - direct solicitor consultations, intellectual property protection, trademark registration etc.
In terms of the quality of the services provided and the professionalism of the agents themselves, LegalZoom and ZenBusiness are equally matched.
There’s also very little between the two services where customer reviews and feedback are concerned. Having been around for almost 20 years, LegalZoom inevitably has a much larger and more diverse archive of feedback than Zen Business.
In both instances, it’s rare to come across a negative word about either company. Even where customers have encountered issues or difficulties in the past, the quality of the customer support provided by both LegalZoom and Zen Business has ensured an amicable outcome.
The only slight difference being that as LegalZoom provides a much broader range of online legal services, they’ve earned the approval and recommendation of a significantly more diverse audience of users. Zen Business is outstanding for ensuring the successful launch of a new business, but LegalZoom takes things a step further with a near-comprehensive suite of legal services for new and existing business owners.
Ease of Use
Last but not least, registering and launching a new business with either LegalZoom or ZenBusiness is just about as easy as it gets. From start to finish, the entire process is unlikely to take you more than 30 minutes - even if you have no prior knowledge or experience of such matters.
If analysed and assessed in the finest possible detail, you could probably argue that LegalZoom is (very) slightly more user-friendly than its counterpart. Not to such an extent as to make a big difference, but still - anything that streamlines and simplifies the experience can only be a good thing.
With both companies, it’s simply a case of entering the required information, submitting your application and having the rest taken care of on your behalf. As already mentioned, both services provide customers with access to a detailed dashboard, from where all past, pending and current orders can be tracked.