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In this review, we’ll get straight to the point and explain what you really need to know about BetterLegal which includes:
- The real cost for BetterLegal’s LLC formation services
- Expected formation turnaround time
- BetterLegal’s reliability, customer reviews, support offerings, and much more
Plus, we’ll provide clear explanations of the many other services related to formation that BetterLegal offers.
Below is a brief overview of the findings. Further down, you’ll find our more comprehensive review, which details our findings as well as describing the essential information you need about BetterLegal.
Is BetterLegal the Right Choice for You?
BetterLegal is unusual among formation companies in that it only offers a single LLC creation and a single incorporation package. While this package has some great add-ons, such as Operating Agreement or Bylaws drafting has some unnecessary services, too.
In general, we were delighted with the ease of use on BetterLegal’s website and its easy-to-use electronic filing. The prices of the services provided were easy to find generally.
BetterLegal’s rates for regular services, such as registered agent services and annual compliance, were solid. They also provided additional filing add-ons than other smaller competitors.
You can go to BetterLegal.com yourself, or to find out more about the criteria we used to assess BetterLegal’s’ service take a look!
BetterLegal Quick Overview
Established in 2017, and with its headquarters in Austin, Texas, BetterLegal is a fairly small company in the business formation market.
Like many of its new peer companies, BetterLegal tries to emphasize its effectiveness. On their website you’ll see the following statement:
We’re a 21st-century company that makes the process fast, easy and inexpensive without the waste of time or paper.
The company has incredible turnaround times as well as a very easy-to-use website.
Similar to many other small formation companies, though, BetterLegal uses third parties to provide many of its services, including its registered agent service. Additionally, they offer a variety of services through partner companies which include banks as well as online accounting companies, and at least one insurance company.
While they are primarily focused on business formation, BetterLegal provides many other solutions for starting and running a business. Some of the other services BetterLegal offers include:
- Operating Agreement and Bylaws drafting
- A business license and permit search service
- Compliance services, including preparation of annual statements
- Amendment filings, for example, ones required to change your business’s name address, state in operation or even member details
The structure of pricing for formation at BetterLegal is simple. Unlike their competitors, who tend to have several packages for formation, BetterLegal offers its formation bundle for one flat fee.
BetterLegal’s formation bundle is applicable to both LLCs and traditional corporate entities (C-corps). In the following section, we’ll discuss the bundle of services offered. BetterLegal also provides a variety of additional services, whether with annually-billed subscriptions or set costs, related to business formations. We will discuss these further, within the “Services” portion of this review.
BetterLegal’s Formation and Incorporation Package: $299 + state fees
BetterLegal’s sole product for incorporations and formations is comparable to a lot of its rivals’ middle-tier offerings. It offers more than the typical basic formation.
For a fixed $299 cost, which includes applicable state fees, here’s the list of what’s included:
Articles of Organization or Incorporation: These documents are the official way to establish your corporation or LLC with the state in which you reside. BetterLegal promises same-day filing and prompt return of documents once your state has processed the documents.
EIN Filing: EINs (Employer Identification Numbers) are used by the IRS to keep track of companies. Most businesses need an EIN. The good news is that the process of filing one is simple. The whole process can be done online, in minutes through an online application on the IRS’s EIN filing web page.
Operating Agreement or Bylaws: They establish guidelines for how your company or LLC is run. While they aren’t legally required in many states, we think they are important to all business owners.
banking resolution: The document specifies who is authorized to establish a business bank account and conduct other banking operations for a company. This document is required if you plan to create a bank account on behalf of your company.
Websites: BetterLegal will provide you with a domain name and build a basic site as well as an “online store with inventory management services.” Business owners can decide to upgrade to a paid site plan later on.
Tax Analysis: Basic analysis of the business’ tax position performed by a third party partner of BetterLegal.
Assessment of Insurance: An evaluation of your business’s insurance needs, with service offerings then offered through a third-party partnership of BetterLegal, CHUBB Insurance.
We’ll go into greater detail about the overall value of this program in the next paragraph in the article.
BetterLegal vs Competitors Pricing
Below is a table which compares BetterLegal’s prices for formation with the prices of its primary competitors.
Prices quoted on this page are independent of BetterLegal’s package pricing. They are standardized for comparison with competitors.
We define the terms Basic Formation and Full Formation + Website below the table.
For information about BetterLegal’s cancellation and refund policies You must comb through a great deal of legalese on the Terms of Service Page.
Here’s what BetterLegal says with regards to the decision to end their registered agent program:
To cancel the automatic renewal of your RA Service, you must notify BetterLegal of your intent to cancel by calling our Customer Service Line at (512) 969-2339, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by canceling online through your account portal.
Though not explicitly mentioned however, we believe this policy is applicable to all recurring fees like BetterLegal’s annual compliance service. Business A Startup
For other fixed-fee options BetterLegal’s terms are concise: “All purchases through the Website are final and will not be refunded.”
Below are a few of the areas we believed BetterLegal was particularly effective.
Fast turnaround times
BetterLegal provides information about its turnaround time on its main website. They offer same-day filing for all their formations so the Articles of Organization or Incorporation will be submitted to state authorities on the same day you submit them through BetterLegal.
The company also states that you’ll receive your documents within two days. It’s likely that this doesn’t account for actual states’ time to process, which could be several weeks. However, it seems like BetterLegal is doing everything they can to make things happen as quickly as possible.
Many reviews back up BetterLegal’s claims. A number of reviews we read like the one below, referred to the firm’s speedy turnaround time for formations.
The same-day filing offered by BetterLegal is applicable to all orders. You don’t have to pay extra to get internal prioritization this is something that some of BetterLegal’s competitors charge extra for.
Since a quick turnaround time is often one of the two most important aspects for people who are creating new businesses (the other one being the cost of formation) this is an enormous benefit for BetterLegal.
BetterLegal is a tiny company, and we don’t have as many reviews to base our decisions on as we’d like. Still, what’s available is pretty solid.
BetterLegal sports the 4.8 rating out of 5. Trustpilot
They also have an average of 4.88 rating out of five on their BBB.
These are Better Business Bureau accredited as also, with the A grade.
Reviewers of BetterLegal seem to have good comments across all areas. They praise the firm’s transparency as well as its turnaround time and price (even though we ourselves don’t think their prices are especially remarkable).
Limited customer support
Smaller-sized formation companies are more likely to be smaller, more efficient, and less expensive than their larger counterparts. But, many small-sized formation companies also lack the support staff that the larger players have.
BetterLegal is no exception here.
While the BetterLegal website provides the option of online chat however, there’s no contact information that can be found on their main webpages. To find these pieces of information, you’ll need to go to the bottom of the company’s Privacy page. And, even there is no information on the availability of phone lines or the speed with which emails are responded to.
BetterLegal, it seems – like many of their peers heavily relies on technology for their customer service.
Ideally, your formation will go through without a hitch, and you’ll never have to reach out to an agent for service. There is the lack of service rep availability as an issue however.
Below, we’ll look at some of the primary services related to formation that BetterLegal provides. We’ll go over the reasons and when you’ll require each service, and we’ll include BetterLegal’s prices too.
LLC Formation and Incorporation
$299 plus State fees
BetterLegal can help you fill out and file all the necessary documents needed to form your LLC or for incorporating your company.
LLCs, also known as Limited Liability Companies, are one of the most popular kinds of business across the United States. More flexible and simpler to manage than conventional corporations (C-corps), LLCs have less requirements for compliance and recordkeeping. They can also confer some important tax benefits via pass-through taxation.
Corporate entities have more stringent requirements, however they can offer some tax or structural advantages, based on your business’s size and field of operation.
If you’re uncertain whether you should go with an LLC or an organization is the right kind of business for you, talk to an expert in small businesses or an experienced accountant.
Both corporations and LLCs are created by state law, typically by a specific state’s Secretary of State Office.
Every state has specific rules and regulations for the establishment of LLCs, and learning about all the procedures and laws that apply to you could be a major time drain.
Many new business owners hire the services of a formation company, such as BetterLegal, to fill out and fill out their paperwork. For LLCs, this means filling out Articles of Organization. For corporations, that is filing Articles of Incorporation.
As part of their standard training package, BetterLegal will file your documents and forward it to the relevant state authorities. The process is easy and can be completed completely online. It’s as simple as asking basic questions regarding your business, e.g., its name, the name of its owner(s) as well as member(s) as well as its field of business, and its address. Business A Startup
BetterLegal will also run an easy name check to ensure your LLC or corporation’s name isn’t already used (which could lead to an application being rejected).
As we mentioned at the beginning of this description the $299 price for the initial registration does not include fees for filing with the state that can range between $40-$500, according to the state in which you’re filing.
It is included in the formation package
An EIN, also known as an Employer Identification Number, is a form of tax ID that the majority of new companies will require to acquire. The EIN is assigned through the IRS, EINs are legally required for businesses with employees. They are also required when you are planning to open an account with a bank for business.
It’s possible to consider your EIN as sort of being similar to your company’s Social Security Number. Each one is unique and utilized by the IRS to keep track of business’s activities.
It’s good news that obtaining an EIN is a very easy process. It can be done on the internet, by using the IRS’s EIN application page and in a matter of minutes. Just type in a few pieces of information about your company, and you’ll be assigned an EIN on the spot.
Because making an application for EIN is easy and painless, we always recommend against any paid EIN filer. Unfortunately, while most companies give you the option to apply for your EIN at an additional cost (or as part of a more expensive formation program), BetterLegal automatically includes EIN filing as part of its one and only formation package.
You can eliminate EIN registration from your basket when you pay however it will not reduce your price at all. We’re not happy with the fact that BetterLegal “builds in” the cost of EIN filing but doesn’t give customers a discount for removing this unneeded service.
Operating Agreement or Bylaws
In the form package
A Operating Agreement is among the most important legal documents required by any LLC. Operating Agreements lay out the fundamentals of the way in which an LLC will be managed. They typically include information like:
- Who the LLC’s owner(s) or member(s) are, as well as how the ownership of an LLC is divided between them
- Who and how the LLC will be managed
- How are profits to be distributed
- What should you do if the owner or member of the group leaves or dies
- …plus other important details
There are only a handful of states that – California, Delaware, Maine, Missouri, and New York legally require the Operating Agreement. However, even with these, you don’t need to file your agreement with the state; you’re just required to keep it handy.
However, we suggest that all LLCs, in all states, create an Operating Agreement as well as keep the document on hand.
An Operating Agreement provides your LLC with security of liability. Since liability protection is an important benefit of LLCs It’s not a good idea to ignore these protections.
Operating Agreements also help to provide guidance in the event of unexpected events. You probably don’t go into business expecting your partner to leave or a dispute over profits to arise , but having a pre-written document available can help navigate these situations more smoothly.
If you’re considering incorporating, instead of making an LLC, then you’ll require Corporate Bylaws rather than an operating contract. Corporate Bylaws work much similar to, and provide similar benefits to, operating agreements.
A part of the overall formation package, BetterLegal will help you draft a legal Operating Agreement or Corporate Bylaws.
Included with formation package
A banking resolution is a simple yet important document. The resolution of a bank outlines which member(s) of an LLC are authorized to open a bank account for business account and participate in other banking-related activities.
Banks require a banking resolution when you open a business bank account.
As part of their formation package BetterLegal will create a banking resolution for your company. All you need to do is provide them with the information needed to determine who’s eligible to establish and open a bank account under the name of your LLC.
Services offered by the website
Included with formation package
BetterLegal is one of only a handful of formation companies that provide a website domain along with the formation service. Unfortunately, information on their offer are sparse.
The main page of their package says that you’ll be able to “Set up a free website or online store with inventory management.”
There is evidence of upselling here too The following sentence is: “As your business grows, transition to a paid plan to unlock more features and customization.”
BetterLegal has a ribbon from GoDaddy on their homepage However, the company specify which third-party domain hosting service provider. The name isn’t mentioned in the company’s terms of services.
We’re all for openness, but we’re not happy with BetterLegal in this case. In any event, we always recommend directly going to a domain host or builder of business websites.
A lot of businesses are specialists in these areas There’s no reason to obtain these services through a business formation.
Registered Agent Service
$90 per year or $10 monthly
All LLCs and corporations must have an agent registered. Although it might sound like a fancy word however, the job of a registered agent is very straightforward – they are able to receive official correspondence and service of process (legal notices, like lawsuits) on behalf of the company.
Registered agents should be accessible during business hours, and they should be located in the same state in which your LLC or company is located.
Properly receiving official correspondence and being able respond promptly is vital.
If you fail to comply with an compliance notice issued by the state or federal government, your business could be in trouble and be subject to fines or penalties, or even be dissolved. If you fail to respond to a court summons and fail to show up for court and your case is not attended to, it could be automatically dismissed.
Having an on-the-ball registered agent Then, it is crucial.
Technically, you are the registered agent for your company. There are numerous reasons why business owners choose to utilize an agent registered with the company.
We suggest using the registered Agent service in the following situations:
- You travel frequently and are not always at a single address
- You aren’t a resident of the United States
- Your business operates in multiple states
- You don’t want your name and address to be made publicly accessible
Like most other formation companies, BetterLegal offers a registered agent service. And, like most smaller formation firms, BetterLegal contracts this service out to an outside party.
The complete terms of service for BetterLegal are available here.
If you are able to bypass the transparency issue BetterLegal’s registered agent program is actually a bargain price. You can pay either the monthly fee of $10 or you can pay $90 each year. That later price is very affordable – many other large companies cost $150 annually or more.
BetterLegal’s registered agent service is also an add-on – it is not part of their regular formation package. This makes them somewhat of an exception, since numerous competitors offer registered agent services with its formation plans, often offering the first year of registration for no cost.
Business License Search
Depending on what kind of business you operate and the industry you’re operating in, as well as where your business is located, you might require several or even a number of permits and licenses. These could be required at the local, state or federal level.
Licenses can be difficult to deal with however, they’re essential. If you’re out of compliance, you may be given an enormous fine, or even be forced to shut down your business temporarily or even dissolved completely.
Figuring out which licenses and permits apply to your particular business will require quite a bit of research. Instead of sifting through lots of red tape and legalese by yourself, you can employ an organization such as BetterLegal to conduct the search for a business license.
Many formation firms offer this service. You’ll enter info on your business, and BetterLegal will do a comprehensive search, compiling all the licenses and permits that are relevant to your needs and offering instructions on how to fill them in.
Note that BetterLegal will not file these for you – it provides the tools and information to file them on your own. However, this could be a significant time-saver particularly for businesses that are highly regulated.
$90 for the year or $10 for each month
The majority of state governments require LLCs and corporations to submit some form of annual report. They aren’t usually too cumbersome or in-depth. They’re merely an avenue for states to keep tabs on the companies operating within their area of responsibility.
The filing deadline may be set (e.g., all businesses must file a report by December) or dependent on your company’s founding date (e.g. in the event that you were founded in August of 2021, you’ll submit your first annual report in August 2022). Certain states have you submit a report every two years.
The annual report you file may seem like a burden but it is a necessity and shouldn’t be a snooze. If you do not submit your annual report in time you could be charged an amount of money or lose your good standing with the state.
Many of the formation companies, like BetterLegal, offer an annual service for compliance. For a monthly, or yearly cost, BetterLegal will send you reminders regarding your upcoming annual report due date. Once you’ve completed the required information, they’ll draft your annual report and mail it off to the state on your behalf.
The majority of states charge a minimal (under $100) fee for annual report filing – BetterLegal will accept the fee and send it on to the relevant agency.
Included with form package
BetterLegal also offers a limited selection of third-party services within their corporate formation service.
Business Checking: You’ll be set up with a free minimum business account online. You’ll receive debit cards associated with your account. You’ll also be able to send physical checks through your online account.
Tax Analyse: Analyses and guidance from the “leading virtual tax service”. It’s unclear how deep the analysis is, as well as what kind of questions you’ll have the ability to ask.
Insurance Evaluation: An evaluation of your company’s specific requirements in terms of insurance. Insurance services are then offered through a BetterLegal partner, CHUBB Insurance, which is located in New Jersey.
Payroll Benefits, Payroll, and HR Platform A more extensive offering that, unlike the other options, isn’t included in your formation packages. Many different services are offered, all of which are provided by third parties.
Although it’s possible that business owners get value out of these additional services, we’re more likely to be wary of “offers” like these. Most of the time, these services are just opportunities for companies to drive business to their partners.
We suggest contacting specialists for your payroll, tax, insurance and HR requirements.
For bank accounts, it’s usually beneficial to use a bank that you already have an established relationship with. In the event that you do not have a financial institution that meets the criteria for you, the BetterLegal partner offer might be a good one.
Additional Filing Services
BetterLegal offers a variety of one-off filing services which aren’t included in its main creation package. Below, we’ve listed the ones which we believe to be most relevant to business owners starting out, along with BetterLegal’s fixed cost for each.
Domesticate foreign LLC Moves your LLC’s state of residence from one state to another, $299
reinstates an LLC a corporation: Reinstates an LLC or a corporation that has previously been dissolved and is worth $199.
Terminate LLC or Corporation: Legally dissolves an LLC or corporation for $199.
Obtain the Certificate of Good Standing You will receive a document from your company’s home state that proves you are up to date on all your fees and in compliance with the state permit and license laws, $25
Create a foreign LLC in a different state: allows an LLC that was established in one state to legally operate in a different state. Also called a “Foreign Qualification,” this process usually involves applying for a “Certificate of Authority” – basically, a permit to operate in a certain state. The cost is $199.
Change the principal workplace address It changes your address for business from that mentioned on the Articles of Organization or Incorporation to a different address. costing $99
Add or remove members, directors as well as shareholders. Officially alters your company’s records to reflect changes in the company’s members, directors, or shareholders, $99
Since BetterLegal does have solid reviews, an easily navigable site and a solid track performance in terms of turnaround times, we’re comfortable recommending these services.
Many new business owners prefer to file their initial filing and add-on paperwork in one place, though we realize that this suggestion won’t be applicable to everyone.
If you’re looking to find out more about the competition’s offers look over some of the many reviews available right here!
What can BetterLegal do?
BetterLegal’s primary goal is LLC formations and incorporations. They also, though, provide a variety of solutions related to formation and operation of companies which include searches for business licenses as well as registered agent service. compliance services, and amendment filing services.
How much will it cost to establish an LLC using BetterLegal?
BetterLegal’s LLC formation package costs the fixed amount of $299 plus state fees. The package comes with Articles of Organization and an Operating Agreement however it does not include a registered agent service.
Is BetterLegal legit?
Yes. The company has been in operation since 2017 as well as being Better Business Bureau accredited. BetterLegal also boasts an A+ BBB rating as well as an outstanding review rating on Trustpilot.
Who do you think BetterLegal best for?
BetterLegal is best for those willing to pay a little more for a fast solid LLC registration and incorporation.
What are the benefits of using BetterLegal?
BetterLegal offers easy online forms and has fast time-to-turnaround. However, the firm’s form package is quite expensive. BetterLegal is also outsourcing a number of its services to third party partner companies.
What states does BetterLegal serve?
BetterLegal is available to all 50 states.
We recommend BetterLegal to amyone looking for a solid and quick buisness formation service. BetterLegal has a proven lightning fast turnaround, mostly a day or two, and very up front pricing on all services. They are also very well rated on the better business bureau. Business A Startup
While some larger competitors may have some services included in packages, such as registered agent etc, all things considered this is a great deal for anyone looking to do a business formation fast and easy.