There are a large number of LLC formation services available online today. With varying packages, prices, and levels of service it can be extremely confusing deciding which one to go for.
BetterLegal is a provider that has been making waves of late, due to the comprehensive nature of what they offer, plus a good reputation for getting all the paperwork done in a very short space of time.
However, are they worth the extra cost? BetterLegal is more expensive than some of the other LLC formation services currently available, (see our round-up of some of the most popular ones here), and with it being such a competitive sector these days, the customer definitely has a choice to form an LLC elsewhere.
What follows is an in-depth review of BetterLegal, a walk-through on how to form an LLC using their online portal, and whether they hold up against other services on the market.
For all those starting an LLC, good luck, and we hope this helps.
Who are BetterLegal?
It was established on February 21, 2016, as an LLC, and its business name is BetterLegal Solutions LLC. It was accredited on July 25, 2017. Its current head office is located in Austin city in Texas. The firm is managed by Joseph Leak and Chad Sakonchick.
It prides itself of providing reliable, fast, and safe business formation services, and their choice of service delivery is aptly considered to achieve high rates of customer satisfaction.
With its guiding principles being fast turn-around time and transparent pricing, it aims to achieve its mission of providing the business formation services that a client needs, devoid of delays and unnecessary paid services (which increase the price of the services).
It also aims to organize an LLC in the shortest time possible (as allowed) in a state.
It is legally authorized to provide business formation services in 50 states. This means that its client can set up a business in any of these states.
A Brief Overview of BetterLegal’s services
BetterLegal Solutions LLC is an online provider of business formation services, along with online LLC filing. Principally, it provides multi-member and single-member LLC formation services.
Its cloud-based business formation platform automates the LLC or corporation formation process and provides a Live Dashboard – to clients – that features real-time customer support and allows for changes to be made to the submitted information.
This platform minimizes errors during business formation, and the good UI and UX of the Live Dashboard enables the client to stay engaged with the process of business formation.
BetterLegal prides itself in offering fast, reliable, and safe business formation services to entrepreneurs, partnerships, and owners of small businesses who want to organize an LLC or corporation.
Its quality service delivery is guided by 2 principles – fast turnaround time and transparency in the pricing of the service.
About its turnaround time, it is usually 3 days if all the requested information and documents are provided. Usually, BetterLegal takes 2 days to complete the process, and on the third day, the relevant documentation (which is primarily certificates) is sent to the client.
Likewise, to enhance transparency in the process of service delivery, BetterLegal has eliminated upselling, simplified use of technical jargon, and defined clearly its pricing terms. The cost of LLC or corporation formation is currently priced at USD299, exclusive of state filing fees.
BetterLegal also features a resource center called the Info Center, which serves as the knowledge base that provides guides and articles related to services offered by the firm.
Moreover, it provides a free secure website that can be used as an online store. This website is bundled with a safe checkout and inventory management system.
Additionally, it sets up an online checking account for the client. This account has no setup nor overdraft fees, nor does it require a minimum deposit nor a monthly minimum balance.
Moreover, its partnership with third-parties allows the client to conveniently receive registered agent services and free virtual tax analysis.
BetterLegal provides a free business name search. This search can be done on a per-state basis. On its official website, this name search is done by clicking on the Resources tab and choosing the Name Search child tab. Then one follows the prompts.
Even so, it does not offer registered agent services, but it can link the business with a registered agent who has partnered with BetterLegal and offers its services at a discount to BetterLegal clients.
This provider of registered agent services is Registered Agents, Inc., and if one requests BetterLegal to provide both business formation and registered agent services, it can do so, and it will add the charges to be paid to the registered agent to the overall cost that the client needs to pay.
This ability to work with reputable third-parties allows BetterLegal to offer cost-effective business formation and registered agent services to entrepreneurs, partnerships, and owners of small businesses.
- Related Content: ZenBusiness Review – Best LLC Formation Service in 2021?
A key merit of BetterLegal is its turnaround time, which is usually 3 days if all the requested information and documents are provided.
Equally, this fast turnaround time mandates that all payments made by the client to be non-refundable because BetterLegal would have already started to pay fees, including filing fees, to relevant government and regulatory agencies, and these fees cannot be refunded.
Usually, BetterLegal takes 2 days to complete the process, and in the third day, the relevant documentation (which is primarily certificates) is sent to the client.
Transparent Pricing and Single Plan
In the niche market of business formation services, BetterLegal has managed to stand out as a firm that offers transparent upfront pricing of its services, a streamlined user experience, and fast turnaround time.
Unlike other business formation services that package their services into tiered service plans so as to maximize the price value of their services, BetterLegal only charges a flat service fee that is currently priced at USD299 for LLC formation.
The client is required to pay for the state filing fees, which are usually added to the package price after (s)he chooses the state where the business is to be formed.
The cost of corporation formation using BetterLegal services is currently USD299, exclusive of the state filing fee.
To enhance transparency in the process of service delivery, BetterLegal has eliminated upselling, simplified use of technical jargon, and defined clearly its pricing terms.
In business formation services, upselling is the process of selling add-on services to the client or creating multiple service plans – one with the basic formation services, and others with add-on services.
By deciding not to offer these add-on services, BetterLegal is able to only offer a single service plan that is priced at a flat fee.
By analogy to menus, service providers who upsell their service plans can be compared to selling a-la-carte formation services, while BetterLegal offers its services as a table d’hote plan.
Nonetheless, if the client needs additional services, BetterLegal has partnered with third-parties who offer some of the services, but the client will have to pay for them separately.
This way, BetterLegal has avoided package stuffing of its service, and for the client, (s)he is saved from hidden charges.
Likewise, for BetterLegal, this allows it to consolidate its single service plan to offer a one-stop-shop for meeting the business formation needs of its clients.
BetterLegal Vs The Competition
BEST PRO PLAN
BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
1 Business Day
1-3 Business Days
2-3 Business Days
1st Year Free,
1st Year Free,
1st Year Free
$35 Extra (Free on Mid Plan)
Included on Mid (Pro) Plan
Included on Mid Plan
Free 1hr Tax Consultation
Tax Planning Consultation
30mins Tax Consultation
Tax Analysis & Insurance Evaluation
HOSTING & DOMAIN
Included on Top Plan
Included on Top Plan
Free Lifetime Annual Alerts
Free Lifetime Annual Alerts
Included with Registered Agents
Free Lifetime Annual Alerts
Included with Registered Agents
$100 + State Fee
$299 + State Fee
You can read our review roundup of the leading online LLC formation services available today, here. In this in-depth comparison, we rated IncFile our top budget choice because of the value for money being offered on their zero filing fee plan. (Inc Authority also do well here).
We rated Zen Business highly because of the excellent user interface and the fact their pro plan is one of the most comprehensive available. If you are looking to spend the money, we recommend them as a good alternative to BetterLegal.
In fact, Zen Business is one of the closest services in terms of price and what you get on the premium plan, (see more on this below)
For someone where customer service and an easily contactable agent is important, Northwest Registered Agent certainly delivers.
Comparison to BizFilings and LegalZoom
To compare it to its competitors, BetterLegal currently charges USD299 for organizing an LLC in a state, while the tiered service plans and upselling of two of its competitors, BizFilings and LegalZoom, increases the costs of organizing the same LLC in the same state to $488 and $408 respectively (and this is without considering the state filing fees).
In the Complete (package) service plan of BizFilings that comes with the Rush Filing option, BizFilings upsells additional services whose cumulative costs exceed $320, and its turnaround time is usually 7 days (which is considerably long considering that it is the fastest turnaround time that it offers). Moreover, the client is forced to watch advertisements.
In the Express Gold service plan of LegalZoom that comes with the EIN option, LegalZoom upsells additional services whose cumulative costs exceed $1000, and its turnaround time is usually 7 days (which is the fastest turnaround time that it offers).
The BetterLegal Info Center
BetterLegal features a resource center on its website that is called the Info Center. This Info Center is hosted at the subdomain info.betterlegal.com, and it features articles grouped into 4 collections – LLC Overview, LLC FAQs (frequently asked questions), Forming an LLC, and BetterLegal vs Competitors.
These articles are written by experts, including legal experts. As is evident, this Info Center serves as the knowledge base that provides guides and articles related to services offered by the firm.
This Center also features a search function that allows one to input questions and get answers if that question has already been answered in any of the articles.
Not a Law Firm
BetterLegal, despite its name, does not offer attorney services nor legal advice because it is not a law firm. Its services are legally limited to the formation of LLCs and select corporations, and it is not even required to offer legal advice pertaining to these formation services, nor help the client solve legal issues related to business formation.
This also means that it cannot allow a foreign entity to bypass or circumvent US laws when trying to establish a business presence in any of the 50 states.
The client can apply to request business formation services. This application is done online by filling in the order webforms and submitting them. The order webforms can be completed within 10 minutes.
The website of BetterLegal is lean and well-designed with a good layout to provide a satisfactory user experience (UX), as well as allow potential clients to find the sign-up page and sign up easily and quickly.
Thereafter, they can choose which service to use, either the LLC formation service or corporation formation service. Even so, this premium placed on user experience and simple user interface (UI) has led BetterLegal webmasters to remove the About Us webpage and Contact section.
Once a client has signed up, (s)he is taken to the Live Dashboard whose good UI and UX enable the client to stay engaged with the process of LLC organization or formation of a corporation.
Moreover, it allows the client to receive real-time assistance, hence its designation as a Live dashboard.
The client can also make amendments to the submitted details in real-time, for example (e.g), change the business name or add new details, and this data will be immediately uploaded to the client documentation folder being maintained by BetterLegal, and then the updated paperwork is displayed on the dashboard.
This way, the client can know that his/her changes, or alteration to previously submitted information, have been accepted and integrated into the existing paperwork.
This update of documentation is displayed alongside an update in cost of formation. Equally, an update on the duration needed to form the business is also provided.
BetterLegal provides a secure website that can be used as an online store. This website is bundled with a safe checkout and inventory management system.
Opportunely, this website and its integrated checkout and inventory management suite is provided free of charge to the client.
Additionally, BetterLegal sets a checking account for the client. This is an online account that has no setup nor overdraft fees, nor does it require a minimum deposit nor a monthly minimum balance.
By inference, this account is set up for free because it is included in the package that one pays for when (s)he pays the flat service fee.
As mentioned, BetterLegal has partnered with third-parties to provide seamless services to its clients. One of these partners is a virtual tax service that allows BetterLegal to provide free business tax analysis to its clients.
Another third party, Registered Agents, Inc., currently charges a discount rate of USD10 per month, or the super-discounted annual rate of USD90 per year.
If a company wants to partner with BetterLegal so as to offer services related to business formation, but not offered by BetterLegal or its existing third-party partners, then the potential partner can sign up for a partner account and provide the necessary details, including services that it is legally allowed to offer, and how much it charges for these services.
If the partner account is approved, the potential partner is privileged to become an actual partner, and is provided with a customizable website by BetterLegal. The partner can create a customized web address for this website and use it.
How BetterLegal Forms an LLC
Before contacting BetterLegal, the client needs to choose a business structure that fits his/her business need and positioning in the marketing channels. Usually, an LLC is preferred for a small-scale or medium-scale business because it provides limited liability (similar to one afforded to corporations) and supports pass-through taxation.
If the business owners have drafted the article of organization and a corresponding operating agreement, then BetterLegal can organize an LLC for them, and this LLC will be recognized as a flow-through (business) entity subject to filing its taxes to the Internal Revenue Service using the Schedule K-1 tax form.
BetterLegal primarily focuses on forming LLC entities. Also, it can help an LLC to be converted into a B corporation.
Currently, its lean website has no contact page nor contact form, and support is provided through the chatbot that is located at the bottom right corner of the website.
The chatbot icon opens the chat window when one clicks on it. One can use this chatbot to reach a customer representative and request for contact information of the support team, that is, their email address and phone contacts.
For phone contacts, it is listed in the Copyright Agent sub-section of the Copyright Infringement section in the ToS.
Online Customer Satisfaction
In TrustPilot – a customer review platform – BetterLegal has received great customer feedback with the rating at the time of this writing being 4.8 out of 5 from 165 reviews.
Relatedly, Better Business Bureau gives BetterLegal a rating of A+.
- Related Content: IncFile Review: Are they the LLC Service to use in 2020?
Pros & Cons of Using BetterLegal LLC Services