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Nolo is a service with a long market history, a lot of expertise, tons of helpful information, and a huge online presence: more than a million people visit their website every month to look up some legal info!
And of course, Nolo has its LLC formation service that you can use as a starting platform for your business?
But can it compare to its competitors? Is it convenient? And how much will you have to pay for the services?
These and other questions will be answered in detail in our Nolo LLC review! Read below!
History and Reputation on the Market
We start our Nolo review with a brief historical reference about the company. Nolo has been known as a do-it-yourself legal advice guide since its foundation date in 1971. The company published books on legal advice until 1980 when it launched Willmaker, an estate planning software that helped many families to organize their legal documents.
In 2011, Nolo merged with Divorcenet and AllLaw websites using the ExpertHub technology and turned into a service you know as the Nolo network.
Today, the Nolo Network is quite impressive. They have more than a thousand expert lawyers in the database and can match you with a perfect attorney, depending on your situation. Nolo also owns more than 50 web properties in different law fields, including estate, criminal, business, family, etc.
This means that you can easily find experts to answer your questions and help you file the legal documents.
Along with that, Nolo takes care of small businesses and offers a lot of do-it-yourself guides, written in plain English so that anyone can figure them out and file the documents correctly.
Nolo has its internal business formation service. Unfortunately, an LLC is the only legal entity you can form there; the company doesn’t have an internal option for incorporation or starting a non-profit. Those are outsourced to Legalzoom.
So, here’s our Nolo LLC review of features that you get if you choose them as your LLC service:
- Intuitive online formation. The formation process itself is pretty straightforward: Nolo guides you through the steps, and all you need to do is enter data and check the necessary services, such as a registered agent.
- Dedicated customer support. If you have any questions about your formation process, you can reach out to the company’s representative via the contact form on their website.
- Balanced formation packages. Nolo has many services as third-party upsells, but if you won’t add them to your package, the essentials are pretty balanced and cover all the paperwork you need for the state.
- Registered agent service. Nolo provides you with a registered agent service sponsored by VCorp. This company with great security and compliance management will keep your business in good standing with the state for only $150/year.
But this isn’t the best part!
Along with basic features, Nolo has a couple of unique advantages:
- Dozens of guides and free resources. Nolo has started as a company that helps people not get lost in legal documents. They offer a vast library of articles and guides that will help you figure out a way to register your business or get any legal advice.
- Expert lawyers are available at a click. Nolo has built a network of more than a thousand experienced attorneys in any legal field, and you can easily reach out to them if you need a consultation.
Plans & Pricing
The next part of this Nolo review will break down its three main packages to see any overprice and hidden fees.
So, you can choose one of the following plans:
- Basic ($49 + state fees). This plan includes the bare minimum for LLC formation: filing the Articles of Organization and business name validation, along with error check, customer support via the phone, and guide on what to do next and execute your LLC.
- Standard ($149 + state fees). This is the most balanced package. Along with the Basic features, you can expect help with obtaining your Employer Identification Number and more than 30 document templates, including LLC minutes meetings, non-disclosure agreements, sales contracts, and more.
- Express ($299 + state fees). The most expensive package adds a personalized LLC kit to the features of the Standard package. Also, Express is the only plan where the Priority Rush filing option is available, which is helpful if you don’t want to wait 2-3 business weeks.
Overall, Nolo’s pricing seems okay, but each package is pretty minimalistic and contains only things you need for an initial business formation.
Along with the basic plans, Nolo offers some additional services that you might need. These include:
- An Operating Agreement ($50). An Operating Agreement describes the responsibilities of each member, vote values, and the percentage of shares. This is a constitution of your LLC, and it can come in handy if you need to solve disputes or manage ownership of the company.
- Registered agent service ($150/year). Registered agent service is used for mailing legal and business correspondence and acts like your company’s physical address. Nolo partners with VCorp registered agent service to keep your business docs protected and help your business maintain good standing with the state.
- Business Licenses add-on ($135). This add-on helps you obtain all the needed business licenses, sellers permits, and tax registrations. It’s also a great search tool that will provide you with a list of essential documents based on your industry and location, along with their costs.
- 1-800-Accountant tax help ($170/year). Nolo also partners with 1-800-Accountant, a firm that helps small businesses to figure out all the nuances of the taxation process. You can even delegate business tax preparation and filing to them altogether.
- Website and Hosting service (135/year). Nolo can cover your internet presence by presenting you with a website and hosting services by Web.com. The package includes a website builder, .com domain name, hosting, and online security certification and is a great place to start if you want to grow your online presence and have a more reputable portfolio than a profile in social media.
Some of these services, such as registered agent service, are essential. However, most of the add-ons look like unnecessary upsells: after all, you can file an Operating Agreement yourself and find cheaper hostings.
The majority of Nolo LLC reviews we found online are pretty satisfied with the business formation part and customer service, so let’s take a closer look.
When you choose to start a business via Nolo’s formation service, they appoint you a personal customer service representative, whom you can contact via the phone.
The website also has an extensive FAQ section, so you might find most of the answers online. Nolo has a contact form for more specific questions, which is pretty hard to find because there are different support departments.
The customer support is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT.
Pros and Cons: Overview
|A company with great history and reputation on the market||Internal formation service works only for LLC; corporations and non-profits are outsourced|
|A lot of available guides on legal advice and business formation||A lot of upsells|
|Dozens of experienced attorneys in 5 legal practices||Slower than usual processing times|
|All packages contain the essentials needed to start your busines||The website is a bit confusing|
|Error checking during the filing process|
|Priority Rush filing can help you obtain all the documents in 2-5 business days|
|Partners with a lot of proven services for making your business formation as easy as possible|
Who Should Choose Nolo?
Having browsed Nolo LLC reviews online and gathered our user experience, we are now ready to conclude who will benefit from using this formation service the most:
- Those who want to learn the formation business by themselves. Nolo’s formation guide is pretty straightforward, but along with that, the company has a ton of articles and instructions on how to file in literally every essential document. So if you plan to file the paperwork with the state yourself, this is an excellent resource to help you with that.
- Those who want all the essential services gathered in one place. Although Nolo outsources many services, including a registered agent and hosting services, you can still access them from your account on Nolo’s website. So if you want all the necessities conveniently gathered in one place, Nolo is great for that.
- Those who value the brand’s reputation and expertise. More than 50 years of work and seven-figure website traffic per month speak for themselves. If you need an experienced attorney or a comprehensive guide to legal questions, there’s no better resource than Nolo.
Brief Comparison with Other Services
Finally, let’s briefly compare Nolo with other business formation services and see if they will stand a chance.
- Nolo vs. Legalzoom: It’s hard to compare these services, as Nolo outsources incorporation and non-profit formation from Legalzoom. Plus, the companies are very similar: both have a long history on the market and offer many legal services along with business formation. Also, both Nolo and Legalzoom seem a bit overpriced, especially considering that a significant price is for shipping and processing time, and many essential services are marked as upsells.
- Nolo vs. Zenbusiness: Zenbusiness was founded in 2015; however, the company compensated a relatively short market presence with excellent service, transparency, and one of the lowest prices in the industry. Plus, they include one free year of the registered agent in all their packages.
- Nolo vs. Incfile: Incfile is one of the fastest business formation services, plus its silver formation package is completely free: you only need to pay state fees. Another great thing about Incfile is that it’s more than reasonably priced and includes its registered agent in the packages and as a standalone service.
The verdict is: Nolo might be an excellent legal advice service, but it’s pretty average as a business formation tool and is mainly helpful for those who want to file the paperwork themselves.
Is Nolo the best LLC formation service?
Things like slow procession times and a lot of third-party services make Nolo lose some credibility points. But the company has a great track record and can help you file all the documents yourself or with the help of an attorney.
What features make Nolo unique?
Nolo has an extensive library of legal resources and guides and a vast network of experienced lawyers. Plus, it’s pretty reasonably priced if you decide not to take in third-party services.
Nolo is a reliable company with an impressive history and extensive network of professionals. However, it loses competition to modern companies that focus more on the formation process than giving legal advice.
You can still use Nolo if you want a formation service with a reputation and try to figure out all the steps of formation yourself. But prepare to pay a few hundred dollars for services as a registered agent and business license, and don’t expect anything extraordinary from the user experience.
Does Nolo look like your ideal business formation service? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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