BetterLegal Review (2022) – Best & Worst Features About Them
Ranked #13 on our Best LLC Services List
Setting up a new business can be stressful, complicated, and costly. You’re not alone if you wish you could just snap your fingers and receive a fully formed business with no stress on your part. LLC Formation services like BetterLegal serve as your fairy godmother, here to help you get your business off the ground. Before you invest your money and time, it’s important to make sure the LLC formation service you choose will be your best fit.
We’ve explored the ins and outs of BetterLegal to equip you with all the information you need to know before using it. Through this review, we’ll break down the services BetterLegal offers, plus the pros and cons based on our experience using it. We’ll also highlight customer reviews and compare BetterLegal to its competitors. We’ve served as your guinea pigs, testing out all features so you can feel confident in your decision about whether BetterLegal is the LLC formation service for you.
BetterLegal Quick Overview
Though BetterLegal is based in Austin, Texas, they serve all 50 states and offer same-day filing in each. “Set up your business in 10 minutes or less,” BetterLegal boasts, assuring customers that when you work with BetterLegal, you’ll officially have your corporation formed and filed within 2 business days. This might be the closest to a “magic wand” approach to LLC formation as we’ve seen!
BetterLegal was founded in 2017, so it’s still relatively new to the business formation service game. It strives to use its fresh outlook to your advantage, offering new insights and approaches to the traditions of the business formation industry.
One way BetterLegal stands out from its competitors is its emphasis on efficiency and simplicity. BetterLegal provides one standard package for either LLC formation or Corporation formation, and they offer a handful of add-ons you can choose from to best meet your unique needs.
In its only package, BetterLegal offers the following key services:
- LLC Formation and Incorporation
- Name Availability Search
- EIN Filing
- Operating Agreement or Bylaws
- Banking Resolution
- Website Services
- Third-party Offerings for Other Services (payroll, tax analysis, and more)
We’ve explored this package hands-on so we can properly review it for you, and we’ve also evaluated their additional service offerings, which we’ll expand on below.
Sneak a Peek: BetterLegal Scored a 6/10
We score every LLC formation service using the factors that will truly impact you. Our main review points comprise:
- Value and Pricing
- Service Speed
- Customer Service
- Services Provided
- User Ratings
Based on these criteria, BetterLegal earned a 6/10. It offers above-average service and might be a great fit for certain businesses based on your specific needs and expectations, but there are some disadvantages to choosing BetterLegal over some of its competitors. BetterLegal offers great benefits to businesses in need, and we appreciated their simplistic, efficient approach to LLC formation. Still, there were features we felt needed work, like their customer service, price point, and the limitations within their package offering.
We didn’t really evaluate and rank BetterLegal on our best LLC services list as we’ve seen a bit more relevant services which specialize in LLC and Corp. formations more for our TOP-10.
However, it’s still a very worthwhile service to review.
Ready to learn the nitty-gritty details of why we rated BetterLegal a 6/10? Read on.Go towww.betterlegal.com
Is BetterLegal the Best Choice for your Business? Our In-depth Review and Rating of Their Service
Value and Pricing: 5/10
At $299 for BetterLegal’s sole package offering, we found their overall value to fall squarely in the middle. Some great features are included at that price, and it is priced lower than some competitors, but we found that BetterLegal’s “one size fits all” approach lacking.
Once you add other crucial features that aren’t included, the cost adds up.
BetterLegal also outsources several included tasks to third-party services but doesn’t supply potential customers with details on who these third parties are or what they truly provide. This makes it difficult to know whether these services are truly an advantage to this package, or if it would be more worth our money and time to find our own specialists instead.
Service Speed: 10/10
BetterLegal’s clearest benefit is its speed. They promise a quick turnaround time and usually complete your business formation within 2-3 business days. This means your business could be officially registered within mere days of signing up, and we appreciate how quickly and professionally BetterLegal accomplishes this. This turnaround time even beats out our top LLC formation service ZenBusiness!
Customer Service: 5/10
BetterLegal primarily uses a virtual chat system as their customer service. Though some customers have had luck with email or phone communications instead, it’s clear that BetterLegal’s preference lies with their virtual chat box option. We don’t love this choice and agree with many users that online chat functions can be finicky and less reliable than email communications instead. This setup makes it much more difficult to have a longer, more complex conversation, and it takes the human feel out of BetterLegal interactions. We prefer customer service options that account for different preferences that way every customer feels empowered to connect with BetterLegal representatives in whichever way best suited to their unique needs.
Services Provided: 6/10
BetterLegal offers only one package, with a list of optional add-ons. We’ll break down what you can expect in that package, and what add-ons are must-haves, later on. Ultimately, we’ve evaluated BetterLegal’s services to be above average, but not by much. They cover the necessities, but miss out on some strong features their competitors include within a similar pricing structure.
Additionally, we found that BetterLegal offers some services within their package that many business owners choose to do on their own, for free, because of how simple and speedy these tasks are. BetterLegal also outsources several included tasks to third-party services but doesn’t supply potential customers with details on who these third parties are or what they truly provide. This makes it difficult to know whether these services are truly an advantage to this package, or if it would be more worth our money and time to find our own specialists instead.
User and Clients’ Ratings – 8/10
After trying out BetterLegal for ourselves, we were curious about how other users felt. From a myriad of review websites, including TrustPilot, reviews are generally very positive, with many websites tallying BetterLegal’s overall rating between 3.4 to 4.9 out of 5. Favorable reviews often highlight BetterLegal’s efficiency, upholding their central claim that in 10 minutes or less, you’re on your way to obtaining your LLC. Many reviewers also spoke of how easy and simple BetterLegal’s process is, relieved that BetterLegal took away their stress and satisfied their business needs with a “one-stop shop” method. These reviews mirrored our experience too: BetterLegal was simple and speedy to use, without a stressful learning curve or setup process.
BetterLegal’s critics echoed our concerns as well. Many negative reviews complained of the lacking customer service, with some customers struggling to hear back from BetterLegal promptly regarding their questions or concerns. Even 4-star reviews noted BetterLegal’s customer service standards, highlighting the difficulty they had in finding actual contact information and the frustration they felt with the live chat method. Though BetterLegal’s customer reviews are largely positive, they highlight important concerns that echoed our own.
Total Rating: 6/10!
We believe giving BetterLegal a total score of 6/10 is a pretty fair representation of their service when taking into account all the aspects we talked about above.
Getting Started: Breakdown of BetterLegal’s Services
Before you choose a BetterLegal service, you must choose whether your business will be an LLC or a corporation.
LLCs, or Limited Liability Companies, are a popular business type within the United States, favored for their personal liability protection. This prevents creditors from going after the business owner’s personal assets. LLCs also offer premium tax benefits, like pass-through taxation, and offer greater flexibility with account management. Corporations, on the other, offer greater flexibility when it comes to excess profits. Additionally, there are limits to the number of owners in a corporation.
Both LLCs and Corporations are popular, safe choices to consider for your own business. If you’re still deciding between the two, consult with an accountant or financial advisor to weigh your options based on your unique circumstances. In the United States, both choices are also formed at the state level.
Every state has different regulations for the formation of LLCs and corporations, which can be overwhelming for new business owners. It also takes much greater time and energy for business owners to educate themselves on these varying rules on their own.
LLC formation services like BetterLegal provide many benefits to new businesses in need. They fill out paperwork and file it to the relevant state authorities properly. They also offer a myriad of other services aimed at aiding businesses with critical tasks, like verifying a business’s name is still up for grabs and creating an Operating Agreement or Bylaws. Whether you choose to form your business as an LLC or a corporation, formation services like BetterLegal can streamline the process and eliminate your stress.
BetterLegal’s LLC or Corp. Formation Pricing
At $299, BetterLegal is a more affordable option than some competitors but doesn’t provide as much value as others. We were impressed with the prices of their additional offerings, like registered agents. Read on to see how BetterLegal compares to its competitors in cost and services.
LLC Formation or Corporation Formation – $299
Overview: That’s BetterLegal’s only bundle package is identical whether you choose to go the LLC route or you opt to become a corporation instead.
What’s Included in their package:
BetterLegal will file documentation to ensure your business is officially established as a separate legal entity within the United States.
An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is a type of tax ID required for many new businesses. BetterLegal will obtain your EIN from the United States Internal Revenue Service so you can set up your business’s bank account and provide the number to any W-2 employees.
We will note that EIN filing is a relatively simple process to complete without the help of a formation service. You can file it yourself online using the IRS’s EIN application page in only a few minutes, and the information needed for the form is usually readily available. It’s nice that BetterLegal offers this service within their package, as it would be one extra step to complete if they didn’t, but many other formation services offer the service as an add-on.
Because BetterLegal offers only one package and EIN filing is automatically built in, it is an extra cost for something simple that you could otherwise do yourself for free. We would prefer an approach where if customers opted out of the EIN filing service, a discount would be offered from the package’s total cost to compensate. This didn’t strongly sway our overall opinion, but we did find it worth noting.
Operating Agreements are foundational documents that lay out expectations for critical questions, like who the LLCs owners and members are, how profits will be distributed, what happens in the event of an LLC owner’s death, and more. Essentially, it’s a document dealing with the governance of your new business, and outsourcing the creation of this agreement ensures it’s thorough and professional.
Operating Agreements are only mandatory in 3 states: California, Missouri, and New York. We still find these agreements to be incredibly valuable no matter what state you hail from, so we appreciate that BetterLegal includes it in their standard package.
Your banking resolution identifies who has access to the LLC’s bank account and participates in any banking-related activities. You must submit a banking resolution to set up a business bank account, which is an important first step for every business to take.
The usefulness of business bank accounts cannot be understated. Keeping your business’s finances separate from your personal bank account saves you from unnecessary stress during tax season, plus it saves you from annoying your accountants. In the event of a lawsuit or other unexpected circumstance, maintaining a separate bank account for your business helps protect your personal assets. BetterLegal simplifies this set-up within their standard package, which is appreciated, though also expected for most LLC formation services.
In the age of the internet, how could any business survive without maintaining an online presence? BetterLegal recognizes the value a website provides businesses, and offers it at no extra cost within their standard package. This includes setting up a free website or online store, which does include inventory management services. However, when we took a deeper look into BetterLegal’s web services, we quickly found some flaws.
BetterLegal lacks transparency about the details of its service, including who its web service provider is. They also imply that as your business grows, you should consider switching to their paid plan, which offers more features and increased customization. We understand upselling is a common practice for almost every business, but when BetterLegal values price transparency, their upselling for their web services did stand out to us. Still, websites are important to have, and BetterLegal’s choice to build it into their package at no extra fee, even if it is a more basic or limited website, does add value to the package.
Business Checking Account
Through this third-party service offering, BetterLegal provides online banking for modern businesses, with no setup fee required. There are some clear advantages to this offering, like the lack of overdraft fees, minimum deposits, and monthly minimum balances. You will also receive business debit cards linked to your checking account, and you can even send physical checks from your online account, which we found to be unique and useful.
BetterLegal offers tax analysis and advice through another third-party service, though it’s unclear who the specific provider is. They claim their tax analysts are leading tax experts, which we believe sounds promising, but we did note the lack of details listed. It’s not clear what this analysis will consist of, how often you can connect with your tax analyst, or what the limitations of your services or interactions can be within the package’s price.
BetterLegal is transparent about this third-party service. Insurance evaluations are provided by CHUBB, BetterLegal’s insurance partner. These evaluations are specific to your business’s unique insurance needs, and we appreciated this added service within the package.
That’s the extent of the services included in BetterLegal’s only package. Overall, we liked that they included critical components like the filing of necessary forms and the drafting of operating agreements. Still, many of the third-party services they offer bulk up the package without adding as much true value. Without full transparency on the expectations and limitations of tax and web services, it’s difficult to determine whether their offerings are a better choice than consulting providers you have prior connections to, or directly approaching specialists backed by reviews and transparency you can trust.
Overall, we found their services to be above average than many competitors, but there is one glaring service missing from their package that we simply couldn’t ignore: a registered agent. To secure that critical asset, you must pay extra.
Quick Pricing Comparison To BetterLegal’s Competitors
|Full Formation + Biz Website
|Northwest Registered Agent
Basic Package: this covers the basic needs to file for a company. That will essentially be Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement, and most often an EIN.
Full Package: this will include everything on Basic Package plus a Registered Agent service, EIN, bylaws and some other non-essentials but mostly ‘good-to-have’ stuff.
Full Package + Biz Website: includes everything from 2 above and a fully functional and secure business website done by professionals.
BetterLegal’s Additional Services Overview With Prices
BetterLegal offers a range of additional services to take onto your standard package, including altering your company’s records to add new members or shareholders ($99), reinstating or terminating your corporation ($199), changing your principal office address ($99), and many more. We’re going to break down the top three add-ons, from whether we suggest them to whether we think they provide a good enough value for the price.
Spoiler: one of these add-ons definitely should’ve been added to the package deal. Double spoiler: the add-on BetterLegal recommends made our don’t need list.
State Compliance Service – $10/month or $90/year
Many state governments require corporations to submit an annual report to keep their business’s registration and details up to date. BetterLegal takes this filing off your hands for an added monthly or annual fee, which will rescue you from costly fees or penalties should you forget to file on your own. This is a worthwhile add-on to consider and we think the price is fair in comparison to BetterLegal’s competitors.
Registered Agent – $10/month or $90/year
Every LLC and corporation is legally required to have a registered agent, so it felt like a disappointing oversight that it wasn’t included in BetterLegal’s standard package. Registered agents receive all official correspondence and legal notices for your business. They must be available during business hours and must also reside in the same state your business is registered in.
It’s clear to see why registered agents are so essential to your business. Imagine a world where you miss out on receiving important legal correspondence! In fact, if you don’t respond promptly to government correspondence, you can even face penalties, fines, and unfortunate legal circumstances. Outsourcing registered agents ensures your communication is prompt and professional, and it saves you the time, effort, and stress of serving as your own registered agent.
The majority of formation companies offer this service, and some smaller companies, like BetterLegal, use a third-party service to fulfill it. Again, BetterLegal struggles with transparency, offering limited details on their resident agent service provider.
More frustratingly, their resident agent service is an add-on, not included in their standard package. Many of their competitors do include it within their packaged bundles, which streamlines the process of obtaining one on your end, and adds great value to these bundles. Still, we did feel that BetterLegal’s pricing is competitive and impressive, particularly with the annual cost of only $90. We just wished they’d built the service and price into their main package instead.
Payroll, Benefits, and HR Platform – Price Unlisted
We’ve mentioned our frustration when BetterLegal lacks transparency in certain spots on their services page, and this example is no different. BetterLegal lists this additional service as recommended and claims it offers affordable payroll, benefits, and more to customers who add it to their package. It doesn’t list who provides the services but does note that they’ll be fulfilled through a third party.
We don’t recommend using this additional service for two reasons: the lack of transparency in the providers, and the lack of forward transparency in the costs. Instead, seek out your own specialists for payroll, benefits, and HR. You can find providers who specialize in your industry or offer another advantage, like living near you or offering specific services you’d find beneficial. Going your own route ensures you have full clarity every step of the way, and allows you to personalize your services to exactly what you need and who you’d like to work with.
Best and Worst Things About BetterLegal That We Liked and Didn’t Like
- Fast Turnaround Time: BetterLegal fulfils your formation request within 2-3 business days.
- Good Customer Reviews: Many customers who chose BetterLegal over another competitor were left feeling satisfied with their choice.
- Simple Package: With BetterLegal, you won’t have to weigh multiple packages to decide which best suits your needs. BetterLegal keeps it simple with just 1 choice and a list of possible add-ons.
- Value: BetterLegal’s price is higher than some competitors despite its value being equivalent or reduced based on the services offered.
- Below-average Customer Service: Customer service can be frustrating when you’re mostly restricted to the virtual chat box on BetterLegal’s website.
- Registered Agent as an Add-On: We found BetterLegal’s pricing to be very fair and competitive for its additional registered agent offering. Still, some of BetterLegal’s competitors factor this into their central packages, which we wished BetterLegal would’ve done.
Do They Have Good Customer Reviews?
BetterLegal can certainly boast a great 4.9 (!) rating on TrustPilot.
They also have a great rating of 4.88 on BBB (Better Business Bureau).
Best Alternatives for BetterLegal
However, as wonderful as the reviews from their clients might be – we’ve tried a lot of business formation services and we can say without a doubt that there are certainly better quality/price ratio companies that will fulfil all of your needs. Here are some of our favorites:
#1: Northwest Registered Agent – 9.5/10
Similar to BetterLegal, Northwest offers only 1 package: their premium package at $225. This parallels the straightforward, hassle-free approach of BetterLegal, and includes these services:
- Name Availability Search
- Articles of Organization
- Registered Agent
- Operating Agreement
- Compliance Reminders
- Individual Online Account
Northwest offers the same critical components that BetterLegal provides but adds the registered agent and compliance reminder services while dropping the price tag by $50. They also bypass potentially unnecessary third-party service offerings and still fulfil the same speedy turnaround. Check out more of our thoughts on Northwest here.
$39 + State FeesGo toNorthwestregisteredagent.com
#2: ZenBusiness – 9/10
ZenBusiness offers multiple packages and options to best suit your needs, and their starter package, our personal favorite, starts at only $49 annually, plus state fees. They offer these services:
- Name Availability Search
- Articles of Organization
- Registered Agent
- Operating Agreement
- Accounting and Tax Assessment
That’s everything BetterLegal offers, minus a few third-party services, like website hosting and a business checking account. There’s a big plus too: registered agents are included at this price. This is packed with valuable at a price tag $250 lower than BetterLegal, and ZenBusiness operates nearly just as quickly too, with our wait time being merely 5 days. Read our entire review of their services here.
BetterLegal isn’t a bad choice if you’re looking into formation services. As most customer reviews assert, if you choose BetterLegal, you’ll likely be happy with your results. They work reliably and efficiently to get your business officially registered as fast as possible. They also offer a suite of third-party services that you may find very beneficial.
However, many competitors will provide you with identical benefits for a lower price. These competitors will also alleviate the features of BetterLegal we didn’t like as much, like their underdeveloped customer service options and their lack of transparency with service providers. We recommend you continue your research to evaluate competitors and see who can reliably provide what your business is seeking the fastest, the cheapest, and the best suited to your unique needs.
Still, we believe BetterLegal is a fine choice that will provide above-average benefits, and it’s unlikely you’ll regret your choice in terms of quality or speed.
Overall — despite lacking customer service, higher price tag, and lesser value compared to some competitors, we were impressed with BetterLegal’s commitment to a speedy turnaround, the straightforward nature of their package, and their consistently positive customer reviews, so we’ve rated BetterLegal a decent 6/10.
Frequently Asked Questions about BetterLegal
Can I trust BetterLegal?
BetterLegal has been reliably serving business owners like you since 2017 and has earned thousands of positive reviews and testimonials. You can count on BetterLegal to provide you with every service you purchase promptly and professionally.
We did try them and got everything we were promised.
How much does BetterLegal cost?
BetterLegal offers only one package for either LLC formation or incorporation, which is priced at $299. Additional services can be added to your package based on your unique needs, and each service is priced differently.
How much is BetterLegal’s Registered Agent service?
When we tried them – Registered agents are not included in BetterLegal’s central package, but are offered as an add-on. This service costs $10 a month or $90 a year, which we found to be a very competitive and fair price.
How fast is BetterLegal’s turnaround time?
BetterLegal is highly praised for its efficiency. You can expect to have your formation completed within 2-3 business days, a turnaround time that beats many of its competitors in speed.
When we ordered their LLC service – we had it delivered in 3 days, which is really great.
How should I reach out to BetterLegal?
BetterLegal’s preferred form of communication is its virtual chat box, which can be found on its website. During the listed business hours, you can connect with an agent to ask questions and explore your options.
Also, you can give them a call via:
(855) 612-0480 (512)
Mon to Fri from 9 a.m – 7 p.m EST
Is BetterLegal a Good LLC Service for Your New Business?
Frankly, when we tried BetterLegal we didn’t expect much, but they truly surprised us with their turnaround time.
However, they have a hefty price tag for their service. Which we believe is a bit too big for a new, small business. In our opinion, there are quite a few more worthwhile alternatives.
Not Sure About This One? Read Our Other LLC Service Reviews
#1: ZenBusiness review.
#3: IncFile review.
#4: IncAuthority Review.
#5: Nolo review.
#6: MyCorporation review.
#7: CorpNet review.
#8: Rocket Lawyer review.