Nolo Review – Is It A Good LLC Service? (All Pros & Cons)
Ranked #10 On Our Best LLC Service List
Do you want to set up a business but do not have time to handle the paperwork and put it on your to-do list? Well, the good news is that you visited our site and, most importantly, this comprehensive review of a well-known LLC formation (and online legal help) service – Nolo.
We will uncover all the information you need to know and provide answers to customers’ commonly asked questions in this review to offer you a complete picture of Nolo and assist you in making the best choice for you and your business’s future.
Sneak a Peek: Nolo Got A Rating of 6/10
Before we get into everything there is to know about Nolo, let us get a sense of what to expect from this thorough review first. Whenever we review companies like Nolo, we look at the following elements since they are the most valuable to customers. Through these, we get to dissect the entirety of a service, even the minute details.
Main Review Points:
- Cost Efficiency
- Customer Service
- Ease of Process
- Service Speed
These aspects will be highlighted in this review to surely assist you in making the best selection. These will also detail our reasons for rating Nolo 6 out of 10, which we believe it deserves.
Honestly, despite their extensive track record, their quality as an LLC formation and incorporation service continues to lag behind its newer competitors.
We find it difficult to recommend their service due to factors such as too delayed filing times, outsourcing of basic formation services, and frequent marketing of third-party offers.
These issues were also observed by most of their customers. In review platforms, these were the frequent complaints of most customers, which pulled Nolo’s online rating down the expected and placed it out of the top performing LLC formation services available today.
Again, we believe that Nolo is deserving of 6. Though there is yet to be launched that we can consider as a perfect LLC formation service, Nolo still has so much to improve in order to match the bests in the industry.
For you to find out what other reasons we have for such a rating, read the sections that follow.
Nolo’s In-Depth Feature Review
Cost Efficiency: 6/10
If you do not require any additional services and do not mind waiting two to three weeks for your LLC to be formed, Nolo’s Basic bundle can be a cost-effective option. Even so, this bundle does not include essential services which basic formation bundles of competitors do have, such as an Operating Agreement. You can, however, avail of additional services on the checkout page, which entails additional costs.
The Express bundle from Nolo is the most expensive as it includes several products that, in fact, do not value or are completely unnecessary, such as EIN filing and LLC kit and seal.
Furthermore, a registered agent service is not included in any of the three tiers. which more established providers, such as ZenBusiness and IncFile, bundle this service with all of their plans.
Nolo began as a platform for the publication of legal advice and publications. Since its establishment in 1971, the company worked on developing an online platform to become one of the most popular legal resources for incorporating an LLC online.
Until now, they continue to extend their services through the help of their third-party partners, which provide most of their LLC formation services. Though this might seem risky, working with Nolo and their partners worked out for some of their clients.
Customer Service: 6/10
No email address for customer service for LLC filings is shown on Nolo’s website. Customers are instead led to a website where they can leave a note. Furthermore, customer care for LLC files is only available during business hours on weekdays, which we consider a red flag because the majority of today’s leading LLC formation services offer more direct customer service lines and extended support hours.
Also, we could not find a phone number on the company’s website, which could be a major issue for clients who need to speak with a customer support representative right away. As a result, many online reviewers complain about having trouble getting in touch with them, and more clients appear to have terrible customer service once they do.
Ease of Process: 8/10
Hiring an incorporation service is solely for the goal of saving time and simplifying the formation process. Nolo’s mission has always been to deliver a service that is simple and speedy.
Using Nolo’s service to form an LLC is a rather simple process. You only need to submit some basic details about your company then Nolo and their partners will take care of the rest. If you want to form an LLC entirely online and with as little paperwork as possible, Nolo’s service might be a good deal.
You can work on your order for up to 90 days without paying anything, and any information you enter will be saved in the system, allowing you to take a break and resume on your most convenient time.
Service Speed: 7/10
As noted previously, Nolo’s filing times are slow when compared to many other filing solutions.
They will file your application within four to five days if you just use their basic or standard formation plans. But, if you pay $299 for their Express bundle, you will get Priority Rush Filing and Shipping, which means your papers will be sent to the state the next business day and you will get your completed LLC paperwork for about a week.
Therefore, we consider Nolo to be at a disadvantage because other competitors offer same-day filing services at much lower pricing than they do.
Overall Rating: 6/10!
Nolo Service Plans, Their Features and Pricing
Nolo, like most other LLC formation services, provides three levels of service: Basic, Standard, and Express. They also offer optional services or add-ons, which are mostly provided by third-party services.
1. Basic Package ($49 + State Fees)
Overview: $49 Nolo Basic is their most budget-friendly offering. It includes a business name availability check and Articles of Organization filing. It is still less expensive than their competitors that charge $50 to $100 more to register an LLC.
Actual filing time varies, depending on your formation state. Thus, Nolo claims that your documents will be filed within 4-5 business days.
Perfect for you if… you want to get your operations off the ground for the least amount of money possible with Nolo. Also, this is for you if you do not mind putting in a little more time in creating an Operating Agreement and in getting your Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- Preparing and Filing of Articles of Organization: The articles of organization are the legal documents that must be filed in order to form your new business. Through this package, Nolo will generate this paperwork and file them with your state to initiate the formation of your business.
- Company Name Validation: Nolo will check official records to see if the name you want to use is available, ensuring that you are in the clear. In the long run, the name availability check will save you a lot of time and work.
2. Standard Package ($149 + State Fees)
Overview: The Standard package, which starts at $149, is Nolo’s mid-tier offering and includes some essential services a new entrepreneur would reasonably expect when they form a new LLC. This is, however, $100 more expensive than the Basic bundle.
Perfect for you if… you are concerned about making mistakes in your LLC filings, especially if you would rather have someone else handle your EIN registration.
- All the services in the Basic package, plus..:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN): When you start your business, you must also obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a 9-digit number that serves as the Social Security Number for your company. This can be used to open a business bank account, file business taxes, hire employees, and do other things.
Although you can obtain your own EIN from the IRS fairly easily and for free, Nolo can save you time by obtaining it on your behalf.
- NoloCloud: NoloCloud gives you access to legal forms from anywhere. The legal forms cover a wide range of matters, such as estate development and planning, as well as child custody and elder care.
You will find it much easier to create useful legal documents with the help of these forms to incorporate your business and start and run it as soon as possible.
3. Express Package ($249 + State Fees)
Overview: Nolo’s premium package begins at $249 which is $100 higher than the cost of the Standard package. This is Nolo’s most expensive option, which includes everything from the previous tiers, plus a corporate kit and expedited rush filing.
Perfect for you if… you are looking for the fastest incorporation time with Nolo and you see yourself needing customer assistance frequently in the future.
- All the services and features in the previous tiers, plus..:
- Priority Rush Filing: When you choose Express, Nolo will select expedited service if your state of formation allows it. This can cut your turnaround time in half, from weeks to days, which is ideal if you are in a hurry.
However, this service does not promise how long you will have to wait, but you are rest assured that the process will be a lot faster overall.
- LLC Records Kit and Seal: Nolo will send you a customized box to help you get your LLC up and running. The said box will bear your company’s name, will include a transfer ledger and a professional binder for organizing company paperwork.
Additional Services That Nolo Offers & Their Costs
- Registered Agent Service ($150 annually): During the checkout process, You will have the option to use a registered agent service offered by Nolo’s partner, Vcorp Services, which specializes in corporate and LLC services.
However, you should be aware that employing Vcorp through Nolo comes at an unreasonably high price, whereas choosing Vcorp as your registered agent through their own website would cost you only $115 each year.
- LLC Operating Agreement ($50): This is a private contract between the LLC’s members or owners that spells out each person’s ownership, rights, and responsibilities, as well as certain basic rules for how the LLC will operate. Simply provide Nolo with basic information about your LLC, and Nolo will curate this based on your needs and the nature of your company.
- Business Licenses ($100): This service, provided in collaboration with Business Licenses LLC, is designed to assist you in obtaining all federal and state licenses required to operate your business. This includes EIN and DBA registration, as well as seller’s permits, company licenses, and others.
- Accountant service ($170 annually): 1-800Accountant, an online accounting firm, provides this service. It provides a wide selection of tax and accounting services.
- Website and Hosting ($135 annually): Through Web.com, a web technology business, you will have the essential tools you will need to start building an online presence for your company, such as web hosting, registration of a.com domain, website development, and all others.
Pros and Cons of Nolo
- Affordable Basic LLC Formation Bundle: Forming an LLC with Nolo’s most basic package costs only $49, not including the state processing fee. If you are seeking for a budget-friendly, bare-bones bundle, Nolo’s basic LLC formation package might be right for you.
- Ease of Use: Using Nolo’s service to form an LLC is a rather simple process. You will only need to enter some basic information about your company.
Nolo and their partners will take care of the rest once you have placed your order. If you want to form an LLC entirely online and with as little paperwork as possible, Nolo’s service might be a good choice.
- Upsells and Service Outsourcing: Even though their basic LLC formation service is reasonably priced, paying attention to the upsells may result in higher overall costs. Therefore, keeping your attention to the ordering process is the key to saving your time and your budget.
Furthermore, it appears that most, if not all, of Nolo’s LLC formation services, are outsourced to third-party partners. Nolo also looks to mark up the price of various services in comparison to what you would pay if you went straight to one of Nolo’s partners.
- Customer Support: While Nolo customer support agents are competent and courteous, reaching them can be difficult. No email address for customer service for LLC filings is shown on Nolo’s website. Customers are instead forwarded to a page where they can write a message. Only during business hours on weekdays is customer service for LLC filings available.
Many online reviewers also complain about having trouble getting in touch with them, and many more consumers appear to have had terrible customer service once they did.
- Slow Turnaround Time: When compared to other filing services, Nolo’s filing speeds take a little longer. Nolo will file articles of organization with the secretary of state within four to five days if you choose the basic or standard LLC formation packages, whereas other competitors offer same-day filing services at much lower pricing than them.
- Few Customer Reviews: Unfortunately, both the number and quality of feedback for Nolo’s LLC formation service are insufficient. We cannot promote their company based on the existing feedback.
Most prominent review sites, such as Trustpilot and SiteJabber, rate Nolo as mediocre to poor and mostly are about Nolo’s pay-per-lead business, instead of their LLC formation service.
- Unclear Terms of Service: No mention of Nolo’s LLC formation service is made either in Nolo or in their terms of service. Customers should be able to make educated judgments before paying for any products, so we expect Nolo and other businesses alike to have simple and transparent terms of service.
Nolo’s Feedback and Customer Reviews
In all honesty, Nolo does not have the best reputation. We visited TrustPilot, and the service only received 1.4 stars. However, we observed that a number of reviews focused on their legal service rather than the formation service.
Overall, if you need their services, you could try their basic bundle. However, based on what most customers have said about Nolo’s legal package, it may not be the best choice.
Now, to give you a bigger picture and to help you further in finalizing your decision, we collected a few customer reviews, both positive and negative, from TrustPilot and Sitejabber and compiled them below for your reference.
TrustPilot Reviews (view Nolo’s Trustpilot profile here):
Sitejabber Reviews (view Nolo’s Sitejabber profile here):
Is Nolo The LLC Service You Should Choose?
Despite the fact that it may not be appropriate for every business’s needs, Nolo offers services that may be great for you if you consider the following situations in which you should or should not utilize Nolo for LLC formation:
When TO USE them..:
- if you are wanting to form an LLC but have a limited budget; and
- if you believe your business will need legal services in the future.
When NOT TO USE them..:
- If you anticipate requiring a lot of customer service;
- If you prefer more trusted and positively reviewed service provider;
- If you prefer a well-curated LLC formation bundle that offers all your business needs; and
Nolo Alternatives and Best Substitutes
With so many companies offering formation services, we understand that you are reading this review to learn not only about Nolo but also about alternatives that may offer similar services for a lower price or a better value. To assist you, we sought out two alternative providers with whom you would be interested in working and who might best meet your business needs.
Alternative #1: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is another alternative, with LLC formation services starting at $39. Any formation package from Northwest includes a year of registered agent service. Inc Authority delivers excellent customer service, but it falls short of Northwest’s guide system, which provides highly personalized and convenient client service.
$39 + State FeesGo toNorthwestregisteredagent.com
Northwest Registered Agent is one of the top-rated LLC services with one the best customer support in the market. It ranks #2 in our best LLC services list.
Alternative #2: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness, one of the best online LLC services, is the best Nolo substitute. ZenBusiness is a great option if you want to maximize your return on investment, as their $39 package includes a number of essential services that Nolo’s basic and standard bundles lack. Similarly, ZenBusiness packages include a year of registered agent service which you can renew annually at a much lower price.
Here is a full ZenBusiness Review here.
Final Judgement and Evaluation
Is Nolo highly recommended?
Unfortunately, they are not. Despite a low-cost basic package and years of experience in online legal services, Nolo’s LLC formation service fails in several aspects.
Indeed, Nolo’s success comes from the fact that it works well with other reputable organizations to provide LLC formation services. Plus, if you require legal assistance in the future, you will be able to contact legit lawyers and law firms.
However, the issue with Nolo is that they do not appear to have as many services as other LLC formation providers, such as Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness. Nolo does not provide essential services such as banking resolutions, accounting consultations, and more.
Furthermore, the service has drawbacks ranging from service speed to poor customer support and more, resulting in a total lack of favorable customer feedback on major review sites.
Still, you can consider alternatives such as Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness. If you are interested in learning more about these services, you can visit our dedicated reviews for these two providers and see for yourself how well they performed.
Is Nolo Legit?
Founded in 1971, it began as a platform for the publication of legal manuals and publications. Since then, Nolo has grown to support business owners and entrepreneurs across the country with legal advice and support. They have also grown with technology and software to build an online platform and become one of the most popular legal resources for incorporating an LLC online.
How Much is Nolos’s Registered Agent Service?
If you use Nolo’s LLC formation service, you will have the option of using Vcorp Services, a Nolo partner, as your registered agent. This service costs $150 per year.
However, the $150/year pricing mentioned in Nolo’s order process is more than Vcorp’s usual price for the identical service, which is $115/year. So, if you end up forming your LLC with Nolo, we strongly advise you to opt-out of this offer.
Which Package Should I Buy?
For some bare-bones formations, Nolo’s Basic plan might suffice. But, if you do decide to go with Nolo, we recommend that you consider their Standard or Express bundles for a more jam-packed LLC formation package.
Will Nolo Help With Compliance Requirements?
Yes, definitely! But, you will have to avail their third-party-provided registered agent service first to receive such assistance.
What Is Their Refund Policy?
Except when required by law, Nolo’s terms of service specify that all orders are non-refundable and cannot be cancelled. If you still want a refund, you should reach them and state your case. Please keep in mind that the reimbursement will not be handled until you receive a response from them with an acknowledgement.
How Quick Is The Overall Incorporation Process?
You should expect a wide range of turnaround times and outcomes depending on the package you choose to construct your LLC formation company. All options below Nolo’s Express Package should expect results in two to three weeks.
As already mentioned, the turnaround time is significantly longer than Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness. Users of the Express Package, on the other hand, have their business paperwork filed and delivered within two to three days.
So should you consider Nolo as your LLC formation service?
Nolo is a truly widely recognized brand name in the field of LLC formations and legal-help.
But honestly, if you’re looking to start an LLC – there are better options for it. However, if you want to order some general legal help for an affordable price – Nolo might be a decent option for that.
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.