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Common questions

What type of business structure is right for me?
Choosing the right kind of business structure depends on many factors. Each type of business structure has advantages and disadvantages and choosing the wrong one can have financial, legal and tax implications down the road. You can learn more about the different types of business structures we offer on our business formation page. For more personalized advice from an attorney or tax professional, you can sign up for our Business Legal Plan. You get a 30-day trial with your purchase of an LLC or corporation Express Gold package.
What is the difference between an LLC and a corporation?
For a quick snapshot of the differences between an LLC and a C or S corporation, check out our Business Structure Comparison Chart. You can get more detail about the advantages and disadvantages of an LLC compared to a corporation in our Knowledge Center.
What is a registered agent? Does LegalZoom have to be my registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or company who is designated to accept official mail such as service of process documents (notice of lawsuits, etc.) on your company's behalf. Most states require you to designate a registered agent when you form your business. Generally, anyone over 18 who has an address in the state where the business is located can act as your registered agent—including you. But there are some disadvantages. Learn more about why you need a registered agent., or watch our short video, What Is a Registered Agent? While LegalZoom does not have to be your registered agent, LegalZoom's Registered Agent Services offer many advantages for a small business owner.
In which state should I form my business?
Most people choose to form their business in their home state because it's easier and often the most cost-effective option. If you decide to register your business in a state other than your home state, you will still need to register it in your home state if you do business there. This would result in additional filing fees, paperwork, and possibly state tax liability.
How much does it cost to form my business through LegalZoom?
How much it costs to form a business through LegalZoom depends on the type of business structure you choose and the package you select. Keep in mind that each state has a separate filing fee, which is in addition to the LegalZoom fees. Pricing for the more comprehensive packages, what they include, and the state fees for each package type can be found here:
How long does it take to form my business?
The time it takes to form a business depends on the state where the business is formed and the type of business. The total time includes LegalZoom processing time, state processing time and shipping time. See the table below for a quick overview. You can track the progress of your order and get an estimated delivery date by logging into your LegalZoom account.
 
 
LegalZoom Processing Time
(business days)
State Processing Time
(business days)
Shipping Time
(business days)
Total
(business days)
Express Gold Package7-107-251-2 15-37
Standard Package157-251-4*23-44
Economy Package307-251-4*38-59
* You have the option of expediting an economy or standard package for an additional fee. Costs and turnaround times vary.
If I am forming a business by myself, do I need an EIN? If I do, can I obtain one on my own?
Not all businesses need an EIN. It depends on your business structure and tax classification. The IRS requires corporations and partnerships to have an EIN. If an LLC is taxed as a corporation or a partnership, then it must have an EIN. You can read more about EINs here. If you need an EIN, you can get it on your own, or LegalZoom can obtain one for you at any time.
What type of intellectual property protection do I need for a business name, logo, etc.?
For a business name, logo or slogan, you may want to apply for trademark registration. Registration is not required, but it will significantly enhance your rights. Some ornate or artistic logos may also be eligible for copyright protection as pieces of artwork.

For an introduction to trademarks, click here.

To compare trademark, copyright and patent, click here. or watch our short video, Copyright, Trademark and Patent: What's the Difference?
Why do I need to protect my idea with a copyright or a patent?
First of all, ideas are not protectable. However, if your idea is in tangible form–either as a creative work or an invention–you can protect it.

For a copyrightable work, such as a literary, dramatic or musical work, you would register it with the U.S. Copyright Office. Simply fill out the LegalZoom questionnaire and send us either one or two copies of your original work (depending on if it has been published or not). We review your answers for spelling, consistency and completeness before completing your application and submitting it along with a copy(ies) of your work to the U.S. Copyright Office. Your copyright registration is effective once it's accepted by the Copyright Office.

Learn more about copyright protection here. or watch our short video, Copyright, Trademark and Patent: What's the Difference?

For an invention, you would want to apply for a patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). There are a couple different types of patent protection, although most people apply for a utility patent because they are looking to protect the functionality of their invention. Because of the America Invents Act, a law recently passed that changed the patent system from a "first-to-invent" to a "first-to-file" one, it has become more important than ever before to file your application as soon as possible. For utility patents, the best way to do that is with a provisional application for patent, which secures your priority filing date for up to one year and allows you to use the term “patent pending” in relation to your invention. However, a provisional application for patent is not available for design patents.

Learn more about what patents protect here. or watch our short video, Copyright, Trademark and Patent: What's the Difference?
Do I need a will or trust?
Both a will and a living trust are effective estate planning tools. Which one you choose depends on your particular situation.

To see a summary comparison of a will, living trust, power of attorney and living will, click here. or watch our short video Last Will vs. Living Trust: What's the Difference?

Otherwise, as a member of our personal legal plan, an attorney can help you decide which is right for you. A 30 day trial of this service is included the purchase of a Last Will, Living Trust, Power of Attorney or Pet Protection Agreement Comprehensive Package. Or, you can get significant savings on the purchase of these individual documents with our Estate Plan Bundles. The bundles come with three estate planning documents plus one year of the personal legal plan.
How do I receive my free estate planning document revisions as a legal plan member?
As a member, you only need to log in to your account to access your benefits. In addition to updating your estate planning documents at no additional cost, you can schedule a consultation with an attorney or tax professional, have an attorney review your legal documents, download attorney-drafted legal forms and more.
Why doesn't the estimated delivery date listed in My Account match the date on my LLC Express Gold package?
The estimated delivery date shown in My Account is a more accurate estimate of actual delivery date of your particular order. The estimated delivery time in the description of the Express Gold package is a general estimate, and not specific to your order. The estimated delivery date in My Account considers filing delays common in your state and any other delays resulting from issues regarding your order information on your order.
How do I add or change my security question in My Account?
You can add or change your security question by logging into your account. Simply click on the Account tab, then click Personal Information. If you've already chosen a security question, click the change link to the right. If you have not chosen a security question, click the add link, select a question from the dropdown menu, and type your answer. This answer will help us verify your identity when you call our Customer Care team You will need to enter your current password to save your new security question.
How many authorized contacts can I add to my LegalZoom account?
You can add as many authorized contacts to your account as you wish. Keep in mind, an authorized contact can call in and receive customer support or make changes to your account or a particular order. You can remove an authorized contact at any time under the Account tab > Authorized Contacts section.
Can I change the email address I use to log in to My Account online?
Yes. Login to My account and under the Account overview tab, find the module with your personal information. Edit the email address as desired. Before the change can go into effect, you will be required to verify the new email address via link in an email for security purposes.
There is a charge on my credit card and I don't know what it's for.
If you have any questions about charges on your credit card statement, simply sign in to your LegalZoom account and click on the Account tab. Under Payment History, you can view all the charges that have posted to your credit card. You can also view and print a receipt by clicking the printer icon on the right side of your screen
Where can I find and print a copy of my receipt?
You can find a copy of your receipt by logging in to your LegalZoom account. If your order has been paid for but has not yet been shipped, select the Open Orders tab. You can view and/or print a copy of the receipt by selecting the printer icon to the right of the order number. If your order has been paid for and shipped, select the Completed Orders tab. Click on the order number then click the print icon to the right of the order number.
Can I view or download my documents from the LegalZoom website?
Currently, only a few documents are available to view and/or download from your LegalZoom account. If they are available, you will find them under the Completed Orders tab in your LegalZoom account. Click on the document name or order number, and if the document is available, it will appear on the right side under Download Center. We are working to make more documents available for download in the near future, so check back again soon.
Where can I find copies of the documents LegalZoom filed for me with the state?
We send hard copies of all the documents that we file with state and/or federal agencies by mail directly to customers. If you would like to receive additional copies of any of these documents, simply email us at support@legalzoom.com and we will send them to you.
How do I know if my business name is approved by the state?
You can track the progress of your order by logging in to your LegalZoom account. When your business name is approved by the state, you will see a note in the message box at the top right of the main screen.
Can I place my order on hold? If so, for how long?
Yes, you can place your order on hold for up to one year. To do so, simply email us at support@legalzoom.com with your order number and a request to place your order on hold. When you are ready for us to process your order, email us with the same information.
Why are my bylaws/operating agreement document not signed?
We ship your corporate bylaws or LLC operating agreement to you unsigned. These documents must be signed by people actively participating in your company, as described in the instructions included with your order. These documents need not be filed with the state. Once signed, keep them in a safe place along with your filed business formation documents.
How do I gain access to my Full-Service Compliance Package?
The easiest way to access your full-service compliance package is to log in to your account and select the Orders Completed tab. From there, you can link to all the services in the package. Once logged in, you can also complete your annual report and corporate minutes, and download legal forms directly from the website. The price shown on the page will be adjusted when you check out.
How do I revise my estate planning document?
If you just purchased an estate planning document, you have 30 days to make revisions at no additional charge. You pay only for shipping. After 30 days, if you are not a legal plan member, you can make revisions for a low fee. Legal plan members can make unlimited revisions at no cost (you only pay for shipping).

To revise your document, log in to your account. If your order has not shipped, select the Open Orders tab. If it has shipped, select the Completed Orders tab. In either place, locate the document and click on the Revise button. From there, you can make any changes to your last saved document. To submit your revised document for processing, you must go all the way to the end of the questionnaire and click the Submit Order button.