Registering a business is MUCH easier than it used to be, thanks in part to services like LegalZoom. That said, LegalZoom is starting to show it’s age…
As one of the early pioneers, LegalZoom long held the benefits of being the first mover in the space, simplifying the process of registering a business virtually.
BUT, in recent years a large variety of digital registered agent services and service providers have popped up. While I’m always careful about “new” services online, there are definitely a handful of services that are 1) easier to use, 2) more affordable, and 3) offering better features than LegalZoom.
This is honestly why I no longer use LegalZoom, despite using them for over 5 years in the 2010s.
So what ARE the best alternatives to LegalZoom? Well, here’s an overview of the internal ranking list I personally created before I switched:
Summary: Incfile is definitely the first place to consider. It’s the service that I currently use (and love). The core services are all around setting up and managing your business entity, specifically LLC service, S Corporations, C Corporations, and Non Profits.
Very easy to use with a modern dashboard and email alerts & reminders (much easier to navigate than LegalZoom)
Core focus on business formation (LegalZoom does much more, somewhat convoluted)
Summary: Northwest is another service similar to Incfile, focusing specifically on the role of Registered Agent and initial business filings. Northwest also offers some additional perks like mail forwarding and virtual office setup.
Northwest Agent Advantages
Offers Registered Agent as a stand-alone service if that’s all you need
Also offers mail forwarding and virtual office services
More available for phone support than LegalZoom or Incfile
Plenty of free legal forms
No high pressure sales tactics, limited pushy upsells
Simple flat registered agent fee
Multi-state registration plans
Northwest Agent Disadvantages
No formal legal advice beyond agent and incorporation services
Base registered agent price is more expensive than base Incfile ($49 vs $125)
Summary: Offering standard registration services for C Corps, S Corps, LLCs, Non Profits, and DBAs, Swyft (like the name suggests) is all about getting your business set up quickly, with a laser focus on registered agent services.
Swyft Filings Advantages
Emphasis on direct phone sales consults with an easy to find number (compared with Incfile, ZenBusiness)
Also offers DBA services (relatively unique, but more obscure)
Summary: CorpNet is another full-suite business registration service, covering LLCs, Corporations, Non Profits, and DBAs. It feels a bit more geared towards corporate setups, including trademark registration services and even corporate office supplies.
Federal Trademark Registration service
Special section dedicated to Law Offices and Accounting Firms (to offer as a value added offering)
Basic package only includes 60 days of registered agent services included
Summary: MyCompanyWorks narrows down on LLCs and Corporate registrations specifically and the site feels very much geared towards starting and managing a company (versus ancillary services and legal advice).
A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
In business since 2001 (long track record, trusted)
Also offers DBA services
Also offers Virtual Office services
Ability file Foreign Qualifications and Amendments
Ability to speak to an agent live via a 1-800 number
Limited additional services
No non-profit registration services
No formal legal advice service
MyCompanyWorks Prices: Starts at $79 + state fees for basic registration.
Summary: RocketLawyer not only handles your basic business setup and compliance items, but offers a robust legal retainer service “in case you need it” covering a wide variety of business law questions and documents. Great for businesses in need of semi-regular and variable legal consults (or just as an insurance policy).
Offers a monthly retainer fee of $39.99 for legal consults and document reviews
Closest substitute for hiring an attorney for hourly legal services
Also offers one-time fees for consults and document reviews that are reasonably priced per hour
Registered Agent services are discounted (25% off $149) if you are also on the legal retainer plan
Also offers personal legal services like estate planning, marriage and divorce (similar to LegalZoom)
Available via email, chat, and phone for advice (promises response within 1 business day)
Stand-alone basic Registered Agent setup fee is more expensive (particularly without the discount) when compared to Incfile and ZenBusiness
Recurring monthly retainer fee is only “worth it” if you use it enough
RocketLawyer Prices: $39 per month for legal advice retainer, otherwise $149 for Registered Agent services and variable one-off legal services ranging from $30-50 per hour or document reviewied).
Advanced packages offer business funding and credit accelerators
Easy 4-Step process to register
Inc Authority Disadvantages
Very new to the scene in 2019, will they stick around?
Only does LLCs and Corporations
Lots of upsells (make sure you uncheck boxes during checkout to take advantage of the “Free” service)
Inc Authority Prices: Inc Authority offers 100% FREE barebones entity formation (not including state fees). YES, we actually checked by registering an entity… They do offer premium packages if you need additional services like EIN registration, Operating Agreements, Tax Consultation, etc…
Over to you, please share any experiences you’ve had in the comments below!
About the Author
I blog about the tools I use every day because everyone hates hype-mongers. Don't be a hype-monger. I build web assets every day and I know the struggle with choosing the right tools. From SEO to website creation, to sales funnels tools, I've used them all and now I'm here to tell you about them.