The work of an entrepreneur is never done. Along with taking care of the day-to-day aspects of the business, locating new clients, and crafting creative marketing strategies, they need to maintain the business’s corporate status.
Ask any small business owner the most challenging part of doing business, and 70% of them will unequivocally answer getting the business off the ground. The entire process can easily overwhelm any aspiring business owner.
Maintaining your corporate status is crucial to your business’s success. As a responsible entrepreneur, you should always consult with your lawyer and accountant. This will ensure that you remain in good standing with your State of incorporation.
However, this can get expensive really fast, as legal service tends to be expensive- irrespective of which part of the world you come from. Fortunately, for a couple of decades now, a new breed of entrepreneurs have come up with ingenious ways of accomplishing this.
Internet-based business formation and document filing firms specialize in simplifying the entire process of opening a new business. Not only that, they offer business-related legal advice, business filing, and access to legal forms at a fraction of the price of an attorney.
As a result, more and more business owners are opting to use online business formation service firms like LegalZoom, Swyft Filing, Corpnet, etc. Start-ups and small businesses can leverage these firms in setting up a business entity, including a Limited Liability Company, S-Corporation, C-Corporation, Non-Profits, Doing Business As (DBA), and so on.
Whether you require assistance with document review, business legal service/advice, state filing, accounting consultation, etc., you are sure to find all you need in-house. This saves you both time and money.
In this Corpnet vs LegalZoom review, we are going to have a look at two of the most prolific online business filing/incorporation firms- LegalZoom and Corpnet. The purpose of this Corpnet Vs. Legal Zoom review piece is to make it easier for you as an entrepreneur to pick the best firm to form a corporation with.
Before we get started, if you wish to learn more about these firms, please have a look at my detailed Corpnet and LegalZoom review articles. I delve deeper into how to use their formation services, formation packages, registered agent services, legal document, and much more.
Despite the current pandemic and economic woes of 2020-2021, according to the United States Census Bureau, there has been an increase in the number of new business applications. The ease of incorporating and starting a business has fed the entrepreneurial fire within the states.
There are immense benefits to forming a corporation that make it a worthy endeavor. For starters, it offers some degree of legal protection. By separating your personal assets from the business’s debts and liabilities, you can easily secure your assets by forming an LLC.
Additionally, by operating as a Limited Liability Company, or Corporation, you stand to gain from the tax advantages linked to such business entities. Apart from the legal and financial aspects, you stand to gain from the trust and confidence of the society toward your business.
Thus, it’s crucial that you pick the right incorporation service provider. To make this easier for you, take the time to learn what goes into forming a corporation. This way, you’ll be able to pick out the winner from the entire lot clearly.
For the purpose of ultimately picking the most competent company formation service provider, we are going to make use of eight key points. These are the essential points any business owner requires to successfully run their business- starting with experience.
The couple-owned online business was founded in 2009 by Philip and Nellie Akalp. The couple had been experimenting with setting-up and selling businesses since 1997. Despite picking one of the worst years to open a new business- 2009, the duo has never regrated the decision.
The incorporation service provider can help you incorporate your business by forming a Limited Liability Company, file a DBA (Fictitious Business Name) and dissolve a business across all 50 States.
The company’s success can be attributed to several factors, including a 200% satisfaction guarantee backing, transparent dealing, customizable business experience, decades of experience, and much more. To date, they’ve played a crucial role in opening 100,000+ businesses.
With such an impressive track record, it’s no wonder why so many small and large business owners entrust them with the task of LLC formation.
This Glendale, California-based online legal technology company first opened its doors to customers on 12th March 2001. LegalZoom specializes in assisting business owners with creating legal documents required to open a corporation without having to approach a law firm/attorney.
The firm sets itself apart from its competitors by prioritizing customer satisfaction above everything else. To accomplish this, they are continually building on their business knowledge base, offer stellar business legal advice, reasonably priced business formation services, prompt and reliable service, and reliable customer support.
As a result, the firm has managed to attain both their client’s and competitors’ support and admiration. To date, LegalZoom has managed to attract over 4 million customers. Having opened over 2 million businesses and 550, 000+ consultations, you can see why they are among the best in the industry.
Unlike other LegalZoom competitors, the firm offers a 100% money-back guarantee. The firm will refund their fees within the first 60 days if you are not satisfied with their services.
When it comes to experience, LegalZoom takes an early lead over Corpnet. They’ve been in business much longer than they have and have managed to help form over a million new businesses.
This is where it counts. If you are looking to register your business, you need the most prolific formation package. Not only does it need to be reasonably priced, but it also needs to offer most if not all of the necessary LLC formation requirements.
This includes Registered Agent Services, LLC Operating Agreement, Employer Identification Number (EIN), Banking Resolution, Tax Filing, Articles of Organization, and Annual Reports. Let’s see what the two titans offer.
Corpnet’s clients have access to three business formation packages. These are Basic, Deluxe, and Complete packages. They are priced at $79, $199, and $249, respectively. Please note that these prices are minus the State filing fee. This fee varies from State to State.
As earlier stated, each of these packages is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. But this is minus the State filing fee. For the purpose of comparison, we are going to look at their entry-level packages.
IncFile’s entry-level package is the “Basic” package. It comes with Name Availability Check, Official Filed Articles of Organization, FREE Corporate Compliance Tool (B.I.Z), and Free Registered Agent Service for 60 days.
Like its competitor, LegalZoom offers three business formation packages. These are the Economy package at $79 + State filing fee, Standard package at $329 + State filing fee, Express Gold package at $349 + State filing fee.
Like before, we are going to focus majorly on their Economy package, being its entry-level package. It has an estimated processing time of 30 business days.
Additionally, it also features Name Check and Business Filing, Articles of Organization, LLC Next Step Guide, Peace of Mind Review, Lifetime Customer Support, and Financial Account Authorization Letter. Unfortunately, LegalZoom offers Registered Agent Services for $249 a year.
Additionally, LegalZoom charges a fee of $99 for an Operating Agreement and, whereas Corpnet charges $69 for the same. Moreover, the firm charges $79 for a Federal Tax ID Number, whereas Corpnet charges $69. Please note that you can apply for EIN for FREE via the IRS website.
Due to the difference in pricing and offering more bang for the buck, Corpnet scores a point over LegalZoom.
Products and Features
Running a successful business requires lots of hard work and tons of paperwork. Nailing down processes that streamline the experience and increases efficiency is paramount. Ultimately, this all starts with partnering with the right business formation service provider.
Start a business
- Business Name Search
Start your business on the right foot with a corporate name search. Your business name distinguishes you from other competitors, sets an impression on your potential customers. It may either welcome or drive them away.
- Free Business Consultation
You can make a reservation for a free consultation with our business executives. You are not obligated in any way. Get to ask any business-related question.
- Reserve a Business Name
This consists of filing with the Secretary of State’s office to ensure that your desired business name remains ready until you are ready to form a corporation.
- Form an LLC
LLCs are formed under specific state statutes. A Limited Liability Company is a separate legal entity from its owners. They offer legal protection in case you are facing litigation.
- Incorporate a Business
The most popular corporate structures include C-Corporation, S-Corporation, Professional Corporation, Non-Profit Corporation, and LLC.
- Conduct a Trademark Search
Trademarks include any names, words, devices, symbols, or any combination of these entities. They are typically used commercially to identify goods, sellers, and manufacturers from others.
- Register for Payroll Taxes
If you are a business operating within the US and are planning on hiring employees, you will need to register for Payroll Taxes. They are a legal requirement for hiring and paying your employees.
- Register for Sales and Use tax
If you are looking to open a non-profit or a for-profit business, you will need to register for sales and use tax. If you fail to do this, you stand to face stiff penalties.
- Business Licenses
Opening a business requires various licenses and permit. Corpnet’s business executives carry out extensive research on the permits and licenses you will require to operate in your state of incorporation.
- Federal Tax ID Number
An Employer Identification Number helps separate business owners from their business. Think of it as your business’s Social Security Number. You can apply for it via the IRS official website or have Corpnet process it on your behalf.
- Federal Trademark Application
A Federal Trademark Application ensures that no other business can use your business name, symbols, colors, signs, and logo. Additionally, it makes you eligible for numerous benefits in case a company infringes on your trademark rights.
Run a business
- Business compliance
The fact that a State has offered you a corporation or LLC status doesn’t mean you are ready for business. You still have to comply with several requirements before you can welcome your first customer.
- Business filings
Any business operating within the US territory needs to ensure that they maintain their corporate compliance. This ensures that they are in good books with the local government.
- Annual Meeting Minutes
All corporations (S, C, and Professional) are legally required to hold annual meetings. More often than not, this occurs soon after the company’s fiscal year. The meetings are part of business compliance.
- File a DBA
A DBA is a fictitious name that differs from the legal name of a company. It’s usually used when marketing a company to the public and dealing with customers.
- File an Annual Report
Each state requires regular business entity annual filing. The only things that vary are the names and timing of the filing. An annual report, also known as a Statement of Information, is typically filed with the Secretary of State’s office each year. It ensures that the office is up to date with a company’s vital information.
- Articles of Amendment
An article of amendment is required in the event an existing Corporation or LLC has made changes to the organization. Corpnet can help you save both time and money with this service, ensuring that you remain compliant.
- Change a Registered Agent
Changing your Registered Agent is simple with Corpnet. By opting for this service, you can avoid all the hustle and save on time as they take care of all the relevant paperwork.
- Bulk Registered Agent Services
Take advantage of Corpnet’s national network of Registered Agent services and bulk registrations. If you need multiple agents across any of the 50 States, this solution will be more than ideal for you.
Reinstatements are legal filings that officially bring your LLC or Corporation back to good standing with the States requirements.
- Close a Company
Corporations or LLCs may be closed for one reason or another. If you fail to close your company properly, you may be liable to pay taxes or fines long after closing down your business.
- Foreign Qualification
If your Corporation or LLC seeks to operate outside of its State of formation, you may need to apply for Foreign Qualification in the State of doing business.
- Annual Compliance Checklist
Operating a business involves managing lots of parts of the business. Hence, it’s easy to forget about business compliance. You are legally obligated to inform the State of any changes that occur in your business. With an annual checklist, you can rest assured that you will remain compliant throughout.
- Meeting Minutes Templates
Corporate or LLC minutes are meant to document and memorialize any discussions and agreements made during company meetings. These meetings need to be carefully planned and structured.
- Limited Liability Company
An LLC ensures that you are not on the hook for any of the business’s liabilities and debts. They make record-keeping more manageable compared to Corporations. Get started from as little as $79 + State filing fees.
- Corporation (C and S Corp)
Corporations are increasingly popular in the US, and for good reasons. Like an LLC, they offer legal protection by separating your personal assets from the business’s liabilities and debts.
Millions of people benefit from the work done by Non-profits. If you are looking to doing some good and making a positive change in the society, consider opening a non-profit for as low as $99 + State filing fees.
- Seller’s Permit
As a business, if you are looking to sell or lease anything at a retail or wholesale level for which you will need to collect sales tax, most states will require you to have a seller’s permit.
- Doing Business As
If you want to run a business while remaining anonymous, then consider operating under a DBA. This is a fictitious name that’s separate from the business’s legal name.
- Sole Proprietorship
According to the IRS, the most popular business entities in the US are Sole Proprietorships and Limited Liability Companies. Sole proprietorships are easier to form, have a simple tax setup, simplified ownership, and have fewer business fees.
- Entity Name Reservation
Easily reserve your business entity name to get your company off the right foot. Make an impact by reserving that killer name that resonates well with clients.
- Registered Agent Services
A Registered Agent is an individual or entity that receives any crucial legal documents from the State on your behalf and notifies you. To remain compliant, they need to be available throughout business hours.
- Annual Report
To remain in good books with the government, most states require that you file ongoing business reports without failure. For $55, you can meet your legal obligations, keep your information current and above all, avoid any penalties.
- Compliance Calendar
With a Compliance Report, you can remain ahead of any critical business deadlines. The report makes it easier for you to manage important filing, hence avoid any penalties. All for $69/year.
- Operating Agreement
An operating agreement sets the rules for the Corporation of LLC. It indicates the duties and responsibilities of each member of the Corporation as well as their rights.
- Trademark Registration
Registering your Trademark ensures that your competitors can’t benefit from your sweat. Stop any copycats by owning exclusive rights to your names, logos, and slogans. Bulletproof your brand and defend your rights.
Protect your work by copyrighting any of your creations and design against infringement. Copywriting offers you official proof that you have exclusive rights to your work.
- Provision Patent
Have confidence and peace of mind while creating new products. Remain ahead of your competition and hold your place in line with the USPTO. Get the liability to label and market your upcoming products as “patent pending” with immediate effect.
- Trademark Search
A Trademark search is essential. Before you get down to designing a product, ensure to conduct this critical search. It will save you time, money and the headache. For $199, LegalZoom will conduct a search of the State, Federal and international records to ensure that no trademark infringement.
- Trademark Statement of Use
Applying for a Trademark Statement of Use is as easy as 1,2,3. The statement proves to the USPTO that the business actively uses your trademark to sell the goods and services listed in your trademark application.
- Utility Patent
A Utility Patent allows the inventor exclusive rights to prevent others from making, importing, using, or selling their protected inventions. It’s vital that you file your application as soon as possible, once the invention is complete.
Business Changes and Filings
- Corporate Dissolution
Corporations and LLCs can be closed for one reason or another. It’s vital that they are closed in the right way. This way, you can avoid any fees and taxes, as well as put creditors on notice after settling all final bills.
- Foreign Qualification
If you are going to operate in a State that’s different from your State of incorporation, you will need to file for Foreign Qualification in your desired State of doing business.
- Corporate Amendment
You must inform the State of any changes you make in your business, including changing your business name, manages, address, and other basic information.
Easily convert your business from one type of entity into another. LegalZoom can help you with this by filing your Certificate of Conversion. All you need to do is to fill up a simple online questionnaire.
Taxes, Contracts and Licenses
- Business Licenses
Getting your certificate of incorporation marks the beginning of running a business. However, in most States, you are required to own the right permits and licenses. Failure to do this could open you to stiff penalties, including the closure of the business.
- 501(c)(3) application
Keep larger portions of your grants and donations by not having to pay Federal income taxes. Applying for a 501(c)(3) makes it possible for people to deduct any donations from their taxes.
- Contracts and Agreements
Get unlimited access to over 150 professionally created legal forms for both business and personal needs. Easily print, store and share the PFD files with any other parties.
In terms of additional products are services, both firms offer tons of useful products meant to start, run and grow your business. Thus, both score a point.
According to Finagle’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will- at the worst possible moment.” As such, you need to ensure you partner with a company that offers the best customer support and business formation services.
This ensures that not only do you get the help you need and on time. Being able to resolve any issues your business may face forms the cornerstone of its success.
As a business owner, you have multiple means of getting in-touch with Corpnet. You can reach out to the support team by:
Calling them on 1.888.449.2638, Mon – Friday, from 7 am – 5 pm PST.
Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Snail mail to: Corpnet, Incorporated
31416 Agoura Rd. Suite 118
Westlake Village, CA 91361
Lastly, you can reach out to the support team by filling up a contact form on the company’s official website.
You can get in touch with LegalZoom’s support team via phone: (800) 773-0888 Mon – Fri: 5 am – 7 pm PT. Weekends: 7 am – 4 pm PT. Additionally, you can submit a question through their website.
Both LegalZoom and Corpnet run various social media accounts. Most clients tend to reach out to their favorite brands and companies through these platforms. A quick look at both companies’ online reputations indicates several clients that are unhappy with the firm’s customer support.
Despite both firms having similar means of reaching out to the support team, Corpnet scores high, thus earning a point.
According to a recent survey by BrightLocal, 94% of shoppers feel that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business. This is indicative of the importance of online reviews. A business that scores high is more likely to attract business and vice-versa naturally.
Corpnet has managed to attract a total of 452 reviews. From these, 98% of the reviews are high, with most clients willing to recommend the firm to others. Here’s a sample of what some of them had to say.
Unlike on TrustPilot, the firm doesn’t have any reviews on the Better Business Bureau.
G2 is a peer-to-peer review platform where users can sign in with a LinkedIn account and review products that they have used. The business formation service provider has managed to attract a single review at the time of writing this.
LegalZoom has a total of 516 customer reviews on Trustpilot. Of which, 65% of these are great and excellent. Unlike its competitor, 30% of the reviewers rated the firm poorly. A quick look at some of the feedback includes clients unhappy with the support team, calls of scam, and so on.
The firm has attracted a total of 1,350 customer reviews. They’ve had a total of 278 complaints within the last 12 months. Fortunately, a good majority of them have been responded to and settled amicably.
LegalZoom has a total of 8 reviews on the software review website- G2. Here’s a sample of what some of them have to say regarding the business.
Like with customer reviews, a business rating weighs heavily on a client’s decision to do business with a particular company. Here’s how both firms performed:
Looking at both firms’ customer reviews and business ratings, it’s clear that despite having fewer reviews than LegalZoom, clients are much HAPPY with Corpnet’s document review and business formation services.
- The firm offers a 100% money-back guarantee on any purchases.
- Their products are competitively priced, thus making them accessible to nearly any entrepreneur.
- The Basic package includes free registered agent services for the first 60 days.
- Business name search ensures that you can secure the desired business name. It reduces the chances of your filing being rejected.
- Their website is well designed, and navigation across the various pages is easy and straightforward.
- The firm has a long history of offering incorporation services.
- Tons of positive customer reviews.
- The firm offers a 60-day 100% money-back guarantee, minus the State fee, of course.
- They are one of the longest-serving firms, having started operations in 2001.
- LegalZoom has managed to play a role in setting-up over two million businesses.
- Using their platform is simple and straightforward.
- They offer comprehensive business formation packages.
- Access complimentary tax consultation without any obligations.
- The FREE business name search is a nice touch.
- The fact that they charge for shipping is wanting, considering some firms offer free shipping.
- They only offer free Registered Agent Services for 60 days.
- Corpnet doesn’t offer legal services as an attorney can.
- Their business formation packages are relatively expensive compared to some of its competitors.
- The firm is somehow struggling in terms of customer support.
- Tons of upsells.
- Don’t offer free registered agent services.
- The lack of live chat is disappointing.
- They don’t offer extensive legal services. They can’t be used to substitute an attorney.
- All your information isn’t protected by an attorney-client privilege.
The last and final point goes to Corpnet.
As we wrap things up, we need to finally pick a winner from the two LLC formation service providers. Both LegalZoom and Corpnet offer stellar incorporation services. LegalZoom has been in business for the longest time and has managed to help millions of clients set-up LLCs, DBAs, Corporations, and Nonprofits.
Since 2009, Corpnet has facilitated the formation of 100,000+ businesses. Their formation packages are some of the most competitively priced packages in the market. They offer a multitude of additional support features geared toward growing and expanding your business.
The firm scores high ratings across TrustPilot and G2, thanks to the hundreds of positive reviews. As a result, I believe that Corpnet is a clear winner, despite being formed much later after LegalZoom. So, if you are looking for a LegalZoom alternative, I would highly recommend the firm.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.