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Sometimes it’s good to choose a third-party provider when starting your own business, but in this case, NAH. DIY! LegalZoom is one of many companies that offer third-party assistance to initiate your business, but here’s why you should think carefully before consulting a business formation service.
If you are interested in saving money, you can save a boatload of cash by going to your state’s business website and download the forms, or apply online to initiate your LLC or DBA. Why pay for additional fees when you can do it yourself for considerably less?
Most states have reasonable fees for initiating a business. For example, to start a LLC in the state of Florida, it cost around $160.00 and that includes your Registered Agent Fee that is required in Florida.
LegalZoom charges somewhere close to $393.00 for a similar package, and to file a Registered Agent Fee in the state of Florida is an additional $250.00 that is billed annually to your credit card to utilize LegalZoom as your Registered Agent.
The online application process with LegalZoom, in my opinion, is somewhat misleading because in the process of business formation, LegalZoom explains that most states require a Registered Agent, then shortly after — applicants see bold letters directing them to continue the application process.
In lowercase the words “choose your own Registered Agent” are strategically placed under CONTINUE WITH LEGAL ZOOM.
I would assume many new business owners who don’t plan on using LegalZoom as their Registered Agent are mislead by opting to continue with LegalZoom.
By default, the customer ultimately end up assigning LegalZoom as their Registered Agent and are immediately billed $249 — and thereafter annually.
Since you can’t view your application after you’ve submitted it, you have no proof what you signed up for. You can easily get stuck with many products and services you didn’t intend to purchase.
In addition, LegalZoom is not a law firm and can only provide self-help services. They can’t offer you legal advice and are not permitted to engage in the practice of law.