This article is part of a larger series on Starting a Business.
An online legal service assists with legal tasks in both business and personal matters. The services typically cost a fraction of what a local attorney would charge. An online legal service helps with tasks such as business registration, legal documents, attorney advice, and intellectual property. Choose a company to work with based on your specific legal needs.
The seven best online legal services for 2020 are:
- Rocket Lawyer: Best for comprehensive ongoing legal service that doesn’t break the bank
- LegalZoom: Best for a wide selection of online legal services—both business and personal
- IncFile: Best for a no-cost business registration
- ZenBusiness: Best for a business registration that needs ongoing yearly services
- MyCorporation: Best for business owners who need assistance registering and setting up their business
- BizCounsel: Best for those who need ongoing legal advice
- LawDepot: Best for low-cost customizable business and personal legal documents
Comparison of Legal Services Offered
How We Evaluated Online Legal Services
We evaluated the quality of the following best online legal services by features important to readers. We mainly reviewed pricing, website ease of use, and diversity of services. We also took into account the quality of educational materials, customer support availability, and online user reviews.
Rocket Lawyer: Best Overall Online Legal Service for Small Businesses
Rocket Lawyer is a full-service online legal service that provides business registration, legal advice, and legal documents. What separates Rocket Lawyer from other companies is its monthly membership pricing. For a low monthly fee, biz owners gain access to business attorneys and unlimited legal docs.
Rocket Lawyer Pros
Rocket Lawyer Cons
Monthly membership pricing
Software is slightly visually outdated
Affordable legal advice services
Document Defense on legal docs
Seven-day free trial
Rocket Lawyer Pricing
For the $39.99 per month membership:
- Business registration: First is free
- Legal documents: Unlimited
- Legal questions: Unlimited
- Attorney consultation: No-cost for 30-minute sessions (on new legal matters)
- Ongoing attorney: Up to 40% discount
- Registered agent: $112.50 per year
- Business registration: $99 plus state fees
- Legal documents: $39.99 per doc
- Legal questions: $49.99 each
- Attorney consultation: $59.99 per 30-minute session (on new legal matters)
- Registered agent: $149.99 per year
Rocket Lawyer Features
- Business registration: Step-by-step process to register your limited liability company (LLC), C corporation, or elect tax status as an S corporation
- Legal documents: Customize both business and personal legal documents with intuitive software
- Legal advice: Ask an attorney a business question or have a 30 minute consultation for a flat fee
- Intellectual property: Rocket Lawyer can assist with trademark and copyright submissions
- Customer service: Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time
Why We Like Rocket Lawyer
If you need ongoing legal services for your business, such as legal docs and attorney advice, Rocket Lawyer is the most affordable option. Its software is easy to use when creating legal documents and managing requested services. We also like the stellar online reviews Rocket Lawyer has earned on Fit Small Business— 4.9 out of 5 stars on over 30 reviews.
LegalZoom: Best for a Diverse Selection of Legal Services
Similar to Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom is a full-service online legal service. It provides services for several legal steps needed to get your biz open, such as business registration, attorney advice, and legal documents. LegalZoom has the best user experience out of all the online legal service companies. It also has the most available customer service, which includes weekends from 7 a.m. Pacific time to 4 p.m. Pacific time.
Large selection of legal services
No comprehensive services plan
Well-designed and easy-to-use website
Poor online reviews
Extended customer service hours
100% satisfaction guarantee
- Business registration: $79 to $349
- Legal documents: $59 per doc or $7.95 per month for unlimited docs
- Legal document review: $39 per doc
- Attorney consultations: $375 per year for unlimited 30-minute sessions (on new matters)
- Registered agent: $299 per year
- Intellectual property: $179 to $2,400 per application submission
- Business registration: Register your LLC, C-corp, or elect your business as S-corp for tax purposes
- Legal documents: The software to create and customize your legal docs is fast and easy to use
- Legal advice: For a monthly fee, they will connect you with vetted small business attorneys
- Intellectual property (IP): LegalZoom provides several IP services including copyright, trademark, and patent submissions
- Customer service: Monday thru Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time and Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific time
Why We Like LegalZoom
LegalZoom has a top-notch user experience. It leads in the ease-of-use of their business registration and legal doc creation. As you build your legal documents, the questions are simple and process seamless.
It also helps you learn about legal services with excellent and well written educational resources. For example, throughout the business incorporation process, there are thorough explanations of confusing words and concepts.
IncFile: Best for a Low-Cost Business Registration
IncFile primarily focuses on providing business legal entity registrations. It is the only company that has a no-cost incorporation fee (plus state fees). How does IncFile make money? It offers other legal services such as EIN registration, registered agent, and annual report submission.
Free business registration (plus state fees)
No attorney services
Quick and easy business registration
Excellent educational materials
- Business registration: $0 plus state fees
- Registered agent: $119 per year (first year free)
- LLC or C-corp annual report: $99
- Employment identification number (EIN): $70 one time
- Doing Business As (DBA) registration: $99 one time
- Trademark registration: $199 plus federal fee
- Business registration: Register an LLC, C-corp, or elect S-corp tax status for no cost (plus state fees)
- Registered agent: This is the public-facing address of your business and the person responsible for receiving re-registration documents
- Educational materials: IncFile provides well-written and easy to read educational materials, including its S-corp tax calculator
- Customer service: Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time.
Why We Like IncFile
IncFile provides an easy to use and efficient business registration software. What separates IncFile from other legal services is the no-cost (plus state fees) business registration, which is an important legal step to start your business. We also like the well-designed website with excellent educational resources.
ZenBusiness: Best for Ongoing Services After Business Registration
Similar to IncFile, ZenBusiness specializes in business registration services. What separates ZenBusiness from competitors is the legal entity management packages. It also has an overall high online review rating.
Low-cost registered agent
Limited legal services
Customized business formation package
Worry-free compliance guarantee
Customer service available on Sunday
- Business registration: $49 or free with a yearly plan
- Registered agent: $119 per year
- EIN: $70 one-time
- Worry free guarantee: $119 per year
- Operating agreement: $35
- Business registration: ZenBusiness assists with LLC and C-corp registration, plus setting up the S-corp tax designation
- Custom business formation package: A step-by-step automated process walks you through your business registration needs and presents a customized package
- Yearly legal services plans: Choose between pre-selected service packages that include services such as rush business filing, an EIN, and a website domain name
- Worry-free guarantee: With this add-on, ZenBusiness will take care of yearly business registration and file any needed annual report amendments
- Customer service: Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central time and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Why We Like ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness takes care of its small business customers. Its focus on quality software provides a unique experience when registering your business. ZenBusiness’s Sunday hours make it appealing to customers starting part-time side-businesses. Hundreds of positive online reviews show it goes above and beyond with customer service.
MyCorporation: Best for New Business Owners That Need Registration Assistance
Similar to IncFile and ZenBusiness, MyCorporation specializes in business formation services. What separates it from the competition is the no-cost business consultation it provides, which is helpful to uninformed, new business owners. MyCorporation also provides a “MaintainMyBiz” plan, which—for a fee—takes care of up to four legal document filings every year.
No-cost business consultation
Several negative online reviews
No-cost EIN and Tax ID filing
Yearly business maintenance plan
Intellectual property services
- Business registration: $99 to $324 plus state fees
- DBA: $129 plus state fees
- EIN: $0 (during COVID-19)
- Annual report: $99 plus state fees per year
- Business name search: $5 (free if registering business)
- Trademark application: $199 one-time
- Copyright application: $99 one-time
- Business maintenance package: $250 per year
- Business registration: Register an LLC, C-corp, or make an S-corp tax designation in the United States or Canada
- Intellectual property: File a trademark or copyright for your business
- MaintainMyBiz: This unique service allows up to four business filings per year for documents such as an annual report, corporate minutes, or a fictitious name (DBA)
- Customer service: Monday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. thru 4:30 p.m. Pacific time
Why We Like MyCorporation
MyCorporation provides several legal service packages that combine business registration with ongoing business maintenance activities. We particularly liked the Premium plan for small business owners. This plan is for those who are filing several documents every year and are not legally savvy. Additionally, we appreciated the open and honest pricing right from the beginning of the registration process.
BizCounsel: Best for Business Owners That Need Ongoing Legal Help
Created by the founders of LegalZoom, BizCounsel aims to make legal costs more affordable for small businesses. It provides advice from business attorneys on a wide range of legal and starting a business topics such as business structuring, intellectual property, and employee issues. BizCounsel charges a monthly fee for attorney consultations and a flat fee for legal document creation.
Custom drafted documents
No online scheduling feature
Pay a flat monthly fee
Relationship-based legal services
Registered agent service included
- Legal advice: $89 to $189 per month
- Drafting a legal document: custom quote
- Registered agent: complimentary with any plan
- Legal advice and guidance: With any BizCounsel plan you have unlimited phone calls with a business attorney
- Contract reviews: The pro plan offers two free contract reviews under 10 pages per month, and the premium plan offers two free reviews under 15 pages
- Custom contract drafting: All membership plans offer a flat upfront rate for drafting docs, and the pro plan offers a $50 per month credit that rolls over for six months
- Tax services: The premium and pro membership levels offer unlimited phone calls with a tax professional and discounted tax services
- Registered agent: BizCounsel will act as your registered agent for free when you sign up for a plan
- Customer support: Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time
Why We Like BizCounsel
BizCounsel is the best option if you’re looking primarily for legal advice. If you are working on complicated legal contracts every month that need to be reviewed by an attorney, this is your most affordable option. Additionally, online reviews for BizCounsel are primarily positive, stating that customers receive quality customer service from their attorneys.
LawDepot: Best for Low-Cost Online Legal Documents
LawDepot is a do-it-yourself legal form builder. You choose the form (or contract), answer the required questions, and the software builds your document.
What separates LawDepot from other online legal document creators is the $10,000 “insurance” policy that covers any costs incurred from an out-of-date or incorrect legal doc. You can test drive LawDepot and create legal documents for free during its seven-day trial.
Intuitive form builder
Automatically charged after trial ends
Free seven-day trial
Only provides legal documents
100% satisfaction guarantee
- Single document: $7.50 to $86
- Unlimited documents: $33 per month or $95.88 per year
- Free seven-day trial: Use the online software to create unlimited legal docs for seven days
- 100% satisfaction guarantee: LawDepot will pay you $100 for a mistake in the software output of the legal doc you create
- Hundreds of legal documents: In addition to business docs, you can create vehicle-related, real estate-reslate, or marriage-related documents
- $10,000 legal guarantee: If there is a legal issue related to Law Depot not keeping their documents up to date or incorrect, they will cover damages you incur up to $10,000
- Customer service: There is no phone service, only live chat and email support
Why We Like LawDepot
Because LawDepot specializes in legal document creation, it has a very easy-to-use doc creation software and interface. Its seven-day trial allows you to test drive the software and if you don’t like it, simply cancel your account. In addition to your business docs, you can create unlimited personal legal documents—all for less than $100 per year.
Online legal services can save your business thousands of dollars every year in legal fees. You may encounter a situation where you need to hire a local business attorney, such as in mediation. However, for the vast majority of legal needs to a small business, they can be done for a fraction of the cost through an online legal service.