Gone are the days when legal services would cost a business thousands of dollars a year to maintain. Today, these same services are available for a fraction of the price – with far more flexibility and the convenience of online processing. Online legal service providers offer even small businesses the ability to fulfill their legal requirements, maintain compliance, and file important documents in a timely fashion, all while staying within budget.
From membership-based services to one-on-one professional attorney networks, there is plenty of competition in this industry. Small businesses that want to save on legal fees often find solace in these online legal service providers. To do the same, make sure that the service you sign up with is reliable. Look for a company that offers the services you need, is competitively priced, has efficient processing times, and offers substantial legal educational resources.
If that’s too tall an order, then check out our recommendations for the best online legal service providers in 2022.
ZenBusiness makes starting a business simple and straightforward – by providing superior products, services, and support every step of the way. This service uses technology and automated processes to provide entrepreneurs with a fast, low-cost way to form and manage businesses. Over 50,000 new companies have already trusted ZenBusiness for formation in 2020.
Its all-in-one platform keeps legal documents, such as EINs and Operating Agreement templates, easily accessible and all in one place. As an added benefit, all ZenBusiness plans include their Registered Agent Service, which satisfies all legal requirements set by your state.
All of this, along with their 100% Accuracy Guarantee, is why ZenBusiness is a standout choice for business formation. We trust they’ll help you get your business up and running in no time.
Incfile was named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 360 Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America this year, and it lives up to expectations. The $0 + state fees starting point is a super bonus, but the pros far exceed this low price point. Whether you’re forming an LLC, an S-corporation, another kind of corporation or a nonprofit, Incfile has got you completely covered. All plans include name verification, articles filing, 1-year of free Registered Agent Service, online order tracking, and a free business tax consultation. What’s more, there’s next business day processing and a lifetime customer support promise – along with lifetime alerts, so you’ll never need to wonder how, when, or where you need to file something.
If you’re just starting your new business journey, Incfile has business checklists for every step along the way, including business license requirements and startup guides. The service is completely transparent and you’ll always know what’s going on, what’s due when, and what to expect next
Here’s something you probably didn’t expect from a legal services provider – Inc Authority will help you set up your limited liability company or corporation completely free. You read that right; Inc Authority offers this service free of charge. It comes complete with a 5-point name check, preparation and filing of all entity formation documents, Registered Agent Service for the entire first year of your business, digital storage that’s secure and accessible for all your startup documents, digital delivery, business checking accounts, S-corp election form (form 2553) preparation and filing with the IRS, INC CARE customer support via email or phone, tax planning consultation, and business funding analysis.
Too good to be true? It’s the real deal. Inc Authority provides you with these services as a good-faith gesture. Of course, there are other services available for pay. Things like complete operating agreements and bylaws, record book and company seal, initial meeting minutes and resolutions, ownership certificates, IRS tax ID number (EIN), tax consultation, business license report, website domains, business credit coach, and Dun & Bradstreet registration are some of the services you can avail yourself of a paid plan.
Swyft Filings is a major legal services firm that provides a wide range of legal services for considerably less than it would cost to hire a lawyer. Even their basic plan, which is available for $49, affords you several legal services, including preparation of articles of organization, document filing with the secretary of state, free statement of the organizer, online access to your incorporation documents, and lifetime customer support via phone or email.
You’ll also get 30 minutes of free business tax consultation with a lawyer and ComplianceGuard company alerts. This is an incredible array of services that would cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you went through traditional legal channels. More advanced plans come with even more services, including obtaining your federal tax ID number – along with custom LLC operating agreements, custom banking resolutions, electronic delivery of state documents, customized digital corporate kit, and free business website and web hosting plans.
Northwest Registered Agent bypasses the annoying, and boasts corporate guides, privacy and data security with zero jargon. The aim is to make business matters simple for everyone, including business founders abroad who want to file for US-based businesses. It’s here to help you fill in the gaps and get your business rolling without anything, especially paperwork, tripping you up. It’s a suitable partner for both new and existing businesses for things like annual reporting and company formation for LLCs, corporations and nonprofits. If you use Northwest to register your business, you’ll get free Registered Agent Service for the first year. Each service offered is priced separately, so there are no subscription plans, and you’ll never pay for services you don’t need.
You’ll also find great customer service for both American residents and business owners abroad who want to open US LLCs. Customer service agents are easy to reach by phone or email, and the response time is less than 24 hours.
For small- to large-size businesses, LegalZoom helps with anyone looking to form an LLC. From tax filings, federal tax ID registration, and business licensing, to legal advice and assistance provided by unaffiliated independent lawyers, LegalZoom offers a comprehensive range of services at very reasonable prices.
Rocket Lawyer adds a modern day spin to legal services. Rocket Lawyer gives those businesses that are dazed and confused by legal matters an easy to use, well-explained, and comprehensive system for meeting all of their legal requirements on their own. Whether you need to draft legal contracts, start a limited liability company, incorporate your business, or draft legally-binding business contracts like non-disclosure agreements or release of liability forms, Rocket Lawyer makes it just as easy as everything else you do online.
And best of all, since you’re doing things on your own, there are two primary benefits: first, you get your documents instantly. As soon as you fill out the information, your documents are prepared on the spot and are available for immediate download, sharing, and/or printing. That’s sensational turnaround timing. Second, you will pay hundreds of dollars less for your overall services because you’re doing away with traditional legal fees. It’s a new age for business legal filings, so get in touch with Rocket Lawyer today and see how easy legal services can be for modern-day business owners like you.
Need help with some legal document filing? Or maybe you’re still in the planning stages of your company formation and need to understand the different types of corporations and their benefits. Wherever you are in the process, one company can help you with all of it: MyCorporation. MyCorporation has legal services to fit every business need- from starting a corporation and all that goes with it, such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, sample minutes, and stock certificates to simpler tasks like checking the availability of a business name, MyCorporation is there for you.
MyCorporation also has some uniquely helpful business features. For example, you’ll appreciate the large vault document storage for storing sensitive documents securely online – in addition to the annual reporting for business locations, current contact information, and business activities. Auto-renewal makes these tedious but important tasks a headache of the past. Discover all that MyCorporation can do for your emerging business today, and finally start focusing on the things that really matter to your emerging business.
MyCompanyWorks provides legal services for small businesses and entrepreneurs based in the US. With MyCompanyWorks you can streamline filing processes if you’re starting a new business, and you’ll also get a free domain name and one year of web hosting for your new business.
For established businesses, MyCompanyWorks can ensure your company is still compliant when you purchase the Premium Service – this includes managing documents, taking care of resolutions, and more.”
Legal Nature is the go-to source for fast, reliable, and easy legal services of all kinds. From limited liability companies and corporation formation to individual services like last will and testaments, bills of sale, and even advance healthcare directives, Legal Nature completes the entire formation process, preparing documents, communicating with the state of your choice, and filing the order for you. The service is mobile-friendly, has a great user-centered dashboard, and works with multiple companies without boundaries.
Legal Nature has a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with the services you received, you’ll get a refund, no questions asked. What’s even more impressive is that Legal Nature offers a 7-day free trial. You can use their services completely free for an entire week. This is an incredibly generous offer you won’t find with other legal service providers.
ZenBusiness is a leading legal services provider and a popular choice amongst people with all types of needs. Other top services include IncFile and Swyft Filings.
Online legal service providers offer advice on business and personal matters. Today there are many online legal services that offer a wealth of solutions ranging from filing tax paperwork to helping you launch a business. Oftentimes these services are provided in tandem with helpful guides, tutorials, and legal consultations.
Some law firms and online legal services offer resources and advice to help you understand the divorce process. More in-depth divorce services, however, will likely cost money.
You can think of legal services as an alternative to traditional law firms. An online legal service site connects you to independent legal experts who offer bespoke legal services on an as-needed basis. If you don’t want to hire a personal attorney, a legal services site can help you find a qualified expert to help you apply for licenses, create contracts, and/or submit documents without the commitment or fees associated with traditional law firms. Legal services typically cater to small business owners, though some offer services for personal legal matters as well.
You’ve probably noticed that online legal services vary greatly when it comes to pricing. The biggest variance relates to what services are included in the plans. If a company offers Registered Agent Services within a plan, it’s going to be more expensive. This is a service that can be well worth the price tag, however, since most businesses are required to have a registered agent of some kind involved.
In general, you can expect to pay in the range of from $80-$150 for standard limited liability company services. Incorporation formation is slightly higher. Here is a list of typical pricing, though these prices will vary from company to company:
|Price Range (Monthly)||$39-$349||Typically includes LLC formation and filing|
|Doing Business as (DBA) Filing||$99||You usually get name search, DBA filing, and publication|
|Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)||$70-$79||Includes filing of your employer tax ID|
|Trademark Registration||$199-$400||Search for conflicts with your trademark, registration of your trademark, and more|
|Ask a Lawyer||$31.25-$59.99||Consult with a lawyer on a legal matter|
|Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA)||$7.50-$39.99||Pay per legal document or get a subscription for access to all legal forms, but filing is handled by you in most situations|
|Patent||$39.99-$299||Some services search for patent conflicts, offer patent documents, and file for you|
The process is simple, which, of course, is the point. After submitting a form explaining the service you need, you’ll be assigned a professional who will discuss the particulars involved in this specific task. A lawyer can research, complete, and submit documents for you – or can simply provide you with template forms and the guidance necessary to do it yourself. The process varies depending on the task at hand, but the goal is to reduce your legwork, whether this is by hiring an expert to get you started or by obtaining as-you-go guidance to help expedite the process.
The majority of legal service sites are directed at the needs of small or emerging businesses. Services range from filing LLCs to drawing up contracts, researching bylaws, registering trademarks, and applying for permits.
That said, there are online legal services that also help with personal matters and that, as such, pair you with legal experts who specialize in mortgage agreements, matters of immigration, power of attorney, living wills, and more.
One of the first choices a business owner faces is deciding which kind of business entity to open—a C corporation, or an LLC, or even S corporation (just for fun), which isn’t the the name of a business type. Here’s what you need to know about each entity.
Limited Liability Company is an attractive concept for business owners, as it provides some personal financial protections from business downturns as well as flexibility in taxation and management. It can be taxed as a sole-proprietorship or multi-proprietorship, but either way, business owners avoid corporate taxes and keep their personal bank accounts separate. Owners of LLCs are generally considered self-employed and subject to self-employment taxes. However, these owners may not issue stocks, and their businesses are not recognized outside of the United States. Additionally, these business owners are not subject to double tax, so CEOs pay personal taxes only, which, incidentally, also saves them a lot of time filling out paperwork.
A corporation is a company that is its own legal entity in the eyes of the government and is owned by shareholders. The stocks belong either to the founders of the company or to individual investors (or both). Like an LLC, it’s an official business that is separate from personal liability and personal assets. Because it’s taxed as an entity, shareholders are “doubly taxed” – once on personal income and once on business income. This structure allows businesses to earn money or build partnerships abroad using investor funds to get business off the ground. Further, corporations must select a Board of Directors, and there are significantly more bookkeeping and reporting requirements than with an LLC.
A small business corporation is not actually a business type but, instead is an IRS tax classification. Your business will be registered as either an LLC or C corp, but it can then qualify for S Corp status. Your business can become an S Corporation as long as it’s based in the U.S., has fewer than 100 members, and, if it’s a corporation, has only one class of shares. In an S corp, the corporation doesn’t pay tax on its profits, so the business is only taxed in terms of individual shareholders. This saves owners from the double taxation that C corps usually face. S corps are also subject to slightly less frequent reporting, which is a benefit over the traditional C corp tax classification. An S corp is subject to some additional scrutiny by the IRS, and it isn’t great for companies looking for venture capital funds.
The first step in choosing a legal service site is deciding how much involvement you’d like to take on. Some sites offer legal forms and templates for you to fill out yourself, along with step-by-step instructions, guidance, and real-time edits to help you along. Other services take care of the documentation themselves. For more extensive projects and those that require field research, such as patent and copyright filing, it’s best to find providers that understand the field and specialize in the intricacies of the matter at hand. Further, if you’re launching a new business, you’ll want to find an expert who understands taxation, licensing, and state and local laws.
Most importantly, though, you need to find a trustworthy company. Regardless of what you’re using the service for, chances are that you’ll be sharing sensitive information and dealing with important matters. Pay attention to the company’s reviews and reputation and make sure the website is professionally designed with working contact information. While you’re at it, take a look at how active they are on Facebook. These can all be important factors when it comes to choosing the right legal services provider.
First and foremost, legal services help you—the business owner—which, in turn, helps your business get off on the right foot and continue to develop and grow. By taking on difficult legal procedures, such as forming an LLC, parsing licenses and permits, and researching bylaws, a legal service site can eliminate hiccups that could otherwise stall the process, distract you from your business plan, and lead to fines and other violations of red-tape. They can save you the expenses of a personal attorney while leaving you free to shift your attention to your unique vision and the implementation of your business plan.