Do the legal requirements for LLC formation intimidate you? Maybe it's your first time creating a company. Maybe you've done it before, but you lack the accounting or legal experience to be a hundred percent confident. That's when it's time to outsource to another company.
Legalzoom and Swyft Filings are two companies that will help you create an LLC. You can use their online processing forms to amass all the information you need. From there, the systems will complete the necessary tax forms and register you with the government.
Each business comes with certain benefits and drawbacks, though they both serve the same basic purpose. I've taken a look at the different offerings and setups so you can decide which choice is best for you.
Overview of Legalzoom and Swyft Filings
Unique Legalzoom Features
Unique Swyft Filings Features
When you order with the Legalzoom basic plan, the order processing time can take up to 30 days. You also have the option to involve a registered agent, though this adds an extra fee of $159 each year. To add an operating agreement and EIN registration, you have to pay an additional $159.
To help you stay compliant with changing regulations, the system gives you one free month of compliance support. After that, you have to pay $320 per year to get compliance assistance. This is treated like a retainer fee.
There are no advisory services, and there are also no services related to business website hosting.
With a basic plan from Swyft Filings, the processing time is just seven days. That's four times faster than with the competition. You can also pay an additional $50 to have your processing expedited. If you choose this option, the company will process your documents within one business day of receiving them.
That said, it'll still take about four to five days for the company to receive and organize all of your documents. There isn't a basic plan option to go from ordering to up and running within 24 hours.
A registered agent costs $149 yearly, which is nearly the same as with the competition. However, bundling an operating agreement and EIN registration only costs $105 extra, which is significantly less.
As for compliance, the company gives you free compliance alerts when rules and regulations change. These let you know if you need to update your documents. To have the company update your documentation for you, there may be an extra fee.
The basic plan comes with a free thirty-minute tax consultation for your tax setup and filing. You also get a free domain name for your corporate website.
Winner: Swyft Filings
Every aspect of the Swyft Filings basic plan is cheaper and more convenient than Legalzoom's. The processing time is just one week instead of four. You get free compliance alerts, a free tax consultation, and a free web domain name. None of those things are available with the competition.
With the middle plan for Legalzoom, the processing time is cut to 15 days rather than 30. This is a fairly significant improvement. The registered agent, operating agreement, and EIN registration fees remain the same.
The compliance measures are also the same - the first month is free, followed by a $320 annual charge. No advisory services or web hosting services are provided.
Most of the features remain the same for the middle plan. The seven-day processing is still in place, as is the expedited fee. A registered agent has the same cost. You still get a thirty-minute tax consultation, free domain name, and free compliance alerts.
The biggest difference is that this plan comes with an operating agreement and EIN registration built in. You don't have to pay for them as separate extras.
Winner: Swyft Filings
The only core difference between the basic and intermediate Legalzoom plans is that the processing time is cut in half. But Swyft Filings still has a processing time of half that. In addition, the Swyft plan gives you an operating agreement and EIN registration bundled into the price, so you don't need to purchase separate add-ons.
The processing with Legalzoom's top plan is still 15 days. However, it does come with rush processing with the secretary of state. It also includes express shipping, which allows the company to receive and process your documents faster.
Other than that, the top plan reflects the middle plan in every way.
The biggest difference between the middle and top Swyft plans is the order processing time. There's expedited shipping for all documents, which means that the company receives them one to two business days after you send them. Once the documents are received, the processing happens within a single business day.
This means that you can have your business up and running within three days after placing your order.
In addition, you also get three months of free website hosting alongside the free website domain name.
Winner: Swyft Filings
Swyft has superior processing speed, combining expedited shipping with one-day processing. Legalzoom can still take up to a week. In addition, Swyft gives you access to three months of free web hosting for your new business.
Pricing for packages with this company is very straightforward. When forming an LLC, there are three tiers. Each base price doesn't include the state filing fee, which is different for every state.
The pricing here can be a little harder to find. Base prices also don't include state fees.
Winner: Swyft Filings
Every aspect of Swyft's setup is more affordable than the competition, especially when you consider the reduced price of add-ons. The Standard and Premium packages both include features that cost $150 through Legalzoom. In addition, you get access to a tax consultation and free compliance guidance with every package. It's undeniably the best value for your dollar.
Pros and Cons of Legalzoom
Pros and Cons of Swyft Filings
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
Both of these services offer many of the same options. Each provides a basic plan that covers the formation of all necessary legal documents for an LLC. You can also add a registered agent to the formation process for an additional fee.
Legalzoom is best if you want a company that has brand recognition and a long track record with clients. The service has been in operation for eighteen years, and it has a good history of customer satisfaction.
Swyft Filings offers the same services that you get with Legalzoom. However, their pricing packages are significantly more affordable in nearly every regard. In addition, they have more options for expediting your process so your business is up and running within a week.