You want to begin the process of starting an LLC. You have your vision, your business name, and the motivation to make your dream a reality. But you want some help getting started, so you’ve decided to hire a business formation service.
But that leads to a big decision: which service should you use? There are a lot of options available, but they’re not created equal. Two popular services are LegalZoom and MyCorporation.
In this guide, we’ll give you a side-by-side comparison of these two services. Then you can pick the right service for you.
Rocket Tip: Looking for the best and most affordable LLC formation services? Compare the top 3 options (ZenBusiness vs Incfile vs Northwest) to see how they stack up.
Our philosophy: What makes a formation service “good?”
Ultimately, the “best” formation service boils down to a matter of opinion. Which one is best for you depends on what you want from a service. But that said, there are certain qualities that make one formation service better than another.
Whenever we evaluate an LLC formation service, here are some questions we like to ask:
- Does this service give me a good value for what I’m paying?
- Does this company have a proven record of supplying high-quality service?
- What is the quality of this company’s customer service?
- How easy is it to use this service?
- How quickly will my business be formed?
A good LLC formation service will receive high marks in these categories. We’ll consider the answers to these questions in our in-depth comparison below.
LegalZoom vs. MyCorporation: What’s the difference?
On the surface, LegalZoom and MyCorporation seem to accomplish the same purpose: helping you form your LLC. And while that’s true, the difference between them goes much deeper than that. We’ll give you our full analysis in just a moment, but here are a few key differences:
- LegalZoom has an impressive customer volume of more than 3.6 million customers. Over a million of those customers are businesses, giving them one of the most impressive client lists in the industry.
- LegalZoom and MyCorporation are roughly the same age. And while LegalZoom has a much bigger client base, MyCorporation has better customer reviews across the board.
Pricing and packages
Whenever you make a purchase, you want to know that what you’re buying is truly worth the cost. The same goes for LegalZoom and MyCorporation. Each service has their own range of packages and price points; they’re pretty comparable in value.
We’ll take you through the packages in just a moment, but first we should clarify one thing: you’ll see different prices posted on MyCorporation’s website than what we’ve listed below. That’s because MyCorporation charges a $34 shipping charge. We’ve added that onto the prices we listed here to make them easier to compare.
- Economy: LegalZoom’s entry-level price points rings in at $99. For that fee, you’ll get a name availability check, letter of financial authorization, and filing of your Articles of Organization.
- Standard: Standard makes a large money jump to a $329 price tag. With Standard, you receive all of the Economy features, plus 20 official membership certificates to use in your LLC. You’ll also get a corporate kit, which is an official, embossed binder and seal that’s been customized for your business.
- Express Gold: LegalZoom charges $349 for their highest package, but it doesn’t have much more to offer over the Standard option. The extra $20 really only buys you an expedited filing.
- Basic: MyCorporation’s base package starts at $133. It doesn’t include a lot of bells and whistles, but they will run a business name availability check and file your Articles of Organization on your behalf.
- Standard: With Standard, MyCorporation makes a nice addition to their package by throwing in annual report service for a total price of $158. You’ll also get all the features of Basic, too.
- Deluxe: Deluxe costs $258, and it includes all the features of Standard, plus a year’s worth of registered agent service.
- Premium: The package prices at MyCorporation cap out at $358 for the Premium package. This bundle offers everything above, plus a year of their MaintainMyBiz compliance service. You can also select four different documents or services, such as an S Corporation election, bylaws, and more.
This category is pretty close, but LegalZoom has a touch better price for LLC formations. It would be an even split if MyCorporation didn’t have their shipping charge. That said, MyCorporation’s Standard package includes annual report service, which can be an appealing feature for maintaining your business every year.
How easy it is to use the service
Any business service is supposed to make your life easier, right? That’s why we always consider how easy it is to use a service when we evaluate them. After all, why would you bother paying someone to file your paperwork if it’s harder to hire them than it is to do it yourself?
We tested both services, and MyCorporation is much simpler to use. LegalZoom’s order process seems a bit backwards to us. Here’s the run-down of the two:
- Choosing a package: Unfortunately, with LegalZoom, picking the package you want is a touch difficult; you pick your package after you’ve input some of your information and chosen a few add-ons.
- Up-sells: If there were a competition for which company offers the most up-sells and third-party offers during their order process, LegalZoom would win hands-down. It’s very easy to spend extra money after getting distracted with all the add-ons they offer.
- Order time: Once you get past the up-sells, it doesn’t take too long to finish your order. For example, it took us about fifteen minutes to get to the package selection stage. Then the rest of the process took a bit longer.
- Choosing a package: With MyCorporation, you’ll have to enter your state of formation and the type of business you want to form. Then you can choose one of their 4 packages.
- Up-sells: Right before you pay, MyCorporation will present you with a brief series of up-sells and third-party offers. If you choose one, your price automatically updates.
- Order time: As long as you have your business name already picked, you can finish your order with MyCorporation within 10-15 minutes. If you select add-ons, it may take a bit longer.
In our opinion, a user-friendly service does two things: it employs a clean, straightforward order form, and it largely avoids up-sells and third-party offers.
Both LegalZoom and MyCorporation both include some up-sells in their order process, so we can’t compare them on that criterium. But we do find MyCorporation’s order form a little easier. For one thing, they put all their add-ons at the end; you know what you’re “adding on” to, so it’s more straightforward. MyCorporation takes this category’s victory.
Buying a product is one thing. But getting support for that product is just as important. After all, if a company doesn’t stand behind its product, why should you? But when a company helps you throughout the entire process—choosing a product, purchasing it, and keeping that product up-to-date—you’ll be happier with your purchase.
The same goes for business formation services. If they help you pick the package that’s right for you, assist you with the paperwork, answer your questions, and make it clear that they want to help you more than make money off you, you’ll keep using them. You might even recommend them to your friends.
MyCorporation and LegalZoom have similar customer support models, and both get the job done. Here’s a summary of our thoughts on the customer service of both services:
- Types of support: LegalZoom offers support via phone and email.
- Availability: LegalZoom has very prompt service and great hours. On weekdays, you can reach them from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PT) and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
- Quality of support: When we tested LegalZoom’s customer support, we found their representatives to be quite helpful, especially via phone. (Email replies were more generic). The only thing we found annoying was that their customer service representatives also tried to make a sale during the process.
- Types of support: MyCorporation offers support via phone and email.
- Availability: MyCorporation has a pretty wide range of support hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday through Friday.
- Quality of support: When we tested MyCorporation’s customer support, we got a quick response. The answer was helpful, but we got a little more detail over the phone than by email.
This category is pretty close, too. On one hand, MyCorporation has better email support than LegalZoom (especially in terms of response speeds). But LegalZoom’s phone support beats MyCorporation’s, so it’s a pretty even playing field. You can decide for yourself if you prefer good phone support or good email support.
Company track record
Technically, there’s nothing wrong with using a new company to form your business. But working with an established, trusted brand gives you confidence. You can trust a company that has already served thousands of happy customers.
The difference between these two companies boils down to experience against reputation. LegalZoom has served more clients, but MyCorporation has better customer reviews. Here’s how the two stack up:
- Years in business: Founded in 2001, LegalZoom has been in business for close to twenty years.
- Businesses formed: LegalZoom has helped form over a million businesses (and they’ve served nearly 4 million customers in other legal avenues).
- Customer reviews: LegalZoom’s online reputation is mixed; you’ll find a wide variety of one-star and five-star reviews alike.
- Years in business: MyCorporation is a little older than LegalZoom; they started in 1998.
- Businesses formed: MyCorporation has helped create more than 1 million different businesses.
- Customer reviews: MyCorporation has not formed as many businesses as LegalZoom, but they do have more reviews. Of the few hundred reviews for MyCorporation, the majority are positive.
This category is yet another close call. The two are about the same age. LegalZoom has served more clients, and MyCorporation has better feedback from their customers. It’s an even tie, so you can decide for yourself if numbers or reviews are more important.
If you ever change your mind about a product you’ve purchased, you want to be able to return it, right? Unfortunately, with any business formation service, a full refund is impossible. That’s because part of the money goes to the state as their incorporation fee, and states do not refund those fees.
But occasionally, a customer changes their mind about a package they purchased. Perhaps they no longer want to subscribe to the registered agent service, or the company completes the process incorrectly. Each company has their own policy for refunds, and LegalZoom and MyCorporation are no exception. We’ll summarize those policies here.
You can cancel your service with LegalZoom at any time (although some customers have noted that canceling can be a bit tricky). Refunds are also allowed if they fall under LegalZoom’s Satisfaction Guarantee and you make the request within 60 days. You can also exchange for a comparable service, too.
MyCorporation has a nearly identical refund policy: you can request one within 60 days of your purchase. They also charge a $25 convenience fee. The only difference is that the fee only applies to physical products. If you cancel an electronic service, there is no fee.
Assistance with ongoing compliance
Starting your business takes a lot of time and effort, but so does maintaining it! Each state is a little different; some require annual reports, some require you to renew your license each year, and more. Keeping track of these requirements can be confusing.
That’s why a lot of services help you with ongoing compliance. But just how much help you’ll get depends on what service you choose.
For $69 per year, you can subscribe to LegalZoom’s Compliance Calendar program. This service helps you stay up-to-date with your due dates by alerting you so you can get them filed on time. You can also subscribe to additional services that will complete this report for you, if you’d like. They also offer registered agent service for $159-299 per year.
MyCorporation offers the same registered agent services and annual report services to help keep your business compliant. Their prices are pretty similar, too: $99 for annual report service and $120 for registered agent service.
So, which LLC service do we recommend?
For us, the most important categories to consider are price and value, customer service experience, and track record of each company. For this review, LegalZoom and MyCorporation come up tied in those categories. And if they aren’t tied, then they come very close.
If we had to pick a deciding factor, it would boil down to customer reviews. MyCorporation has much better feedback from their customers. They’re also a touch easier to use, so we’re a little quicker to recommend them.
Alternatively, you can check out your other options through our comparison guide of the 3 most affordable and top LLC services.