User experience & onboarding
Onboarding for LegalZoom aims to demystify legal services with respect to business formation. Optionality is built-in to the flow with micro-chat questionnaire to help business owners determine the right type of business formation along with options to pick from a set menu with transparent pricing. Add-ons populate throughout the onboarding, but given the transparent pricing up front, it isn't a surprise to any prospective business owner.
Onboarding for new Incfile customers can be completed within an hour, and they list their packages clearly on their website with no need to go through a complex vetting quiz. Incfile also offers chat support for onboarding. Using chat, a live agent walks new customers through the process and collects the required information directly in the chat.
LegalZoom uses an easy-to-follow chat-style interview, helping the business owner navigate which legal products they need and which they can opt out of. LegalZoom is transparent in the charging of these add-ons, similar to IncFile. IncFile's onboarding is even more straightforward than LegalZoom although it's worth mentioning that this is generated due to a particular rigidity of IncFile's service offering compared to LegalZoom's more expansive product line.
LegalZoom, in true legal fashion, isn't the speediest when it comes to processing times. They hold one of the highest in the industry with twenty business day formation speeds. IncFile is on the other end of the spectrum with next business day processing time (in other words, IncFile processes business formation paperwork in one day). Needless to say, IncFile has one of the fastest business formation speeds in the industry.
LegalZoom's twenty business day processing time is in the highest range for formation services. When compared to lawyers in general, this speed might seem swift, and indeed their services are indicative of the 'legaltech' market that reduces the cost of traditionally expensive legal advice. However, their formation speed is not up to scratch when compared to Business Formation-specific services that promise processing in a handful of days.
Incfile's one business day promise is among the fastest turnarounds on the market. They're able to accomplish this because they err on the side of rigid, clear-cut plans rather than customized packages. Note that time can lag in some states due to limitations on state processing systems.
Are they worth the cost?
LegalZoom is geared towards both the SMB and Solopreneur markets, with a strong emphasis on the individual business owner themselves. Their positioning is indicative of trying to be a one-stop-shop for businesses that have legal needs but are fearful of the costly retainers incurred by an in-house counsel or legal contractor. LegalZoom's products look to cover the breadth of what an SMB or Solopreneur business owner would need - not only professionally such as formation, trademarks, and ongoing contracts, but also personal with products for estate planning, family law, and real estate.
IncFile is aimed at Solopreneurs. Their site consists of a number of resources around individuals turning their side hustles into full-time businesses, powered by IncFile. They also brag as social proof about the number of Entrepreneurs specifically that their product has helped. If you fall out of the solopreneur category i.e. looking for tax advantages or future fundraising, then the angle of IncFile may not be appropriate for you.
NanoGlobals editor's rating for LegalZoom reflects its comprehensive nature of legal services for an aspiring business owner. LegalZoom earns points for being more cost-efficient than regular attorney services along with ease of onboarding via chat and helpful introductory flows to their products. Unfortunately, they miss the mark on pricing and processing times when compared to the industry average, outweighing any perceived advantage of being legal experts since, like with all services in this formation niche, their recommendations don't constitute legal advice.
The NanoGlobals editor's rating for Incfile reflects the fact that while their pricing is among the lowest in the industry, the add-on and recurring fees often come as a surprise to first-time solopreneurs using the service. Incfile is a reliable service for customers who understand the fees and the fact that registered agent fees are recurring. Incfile gets strong marks for offering a transparent and simple package pricing scheme.