A common question I get asked is, “Why should I hire you instead of Legal Zoom?”
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There are several reasons why you should hire me and not Legal Zoom.
Legal Zoom is Not an Attorney
First, and not to state the obvious but they are not attorneys. They cannot give legal advice. All they can do is file the forms on your behalf. They cannot recommend the right business entity for your unique business goals. They fill in the blanks on the form based on what you type into the questions that they ask you. If you pick the wrong business entity or type the wrong information, it will be your responsibility to fix it. You will have to deal with the consequences. You will have little to no recourse against Legal Zoom. If I do something incorrectly, then I will be responsible for fixing it.
Up Charges Galore
Second, they charge you extra for every little thing. My prices are clear and outline exactly what you will get. They charge you for things that you do not need all in the guise of providing additional value. They will charge you extra to get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Depending on the package you choose, obtaining the EIN is included. I will not try to “upsell” you unless it makes sense and is in your best interest. The truth is that the majority of the things they charge you for are not applicable to your business. However, they cannot tell you because they are not attorneys.
Legal Zoom Does Not Provide Personalized Service
Third, they cannot give you personalized service. If you have a substantive question about your LLC or just need someone to talk to about your business I am almost always available to help my clients. I generally do not charge for phone calls especially when it could save clients trouble now or in the future. Your legal wellbeing is more important than my bottom line.
Legal Zoom May Have A Conflict of Interest
Fourth, Legal Zoom will try to get you to sign up for non-legal services such as a bank account & merchant account through Bank of America. It might be in your best interest to sign up for those things, however, it is more likely that Legal Zoom makes a profit from you signing up through Bank of America. If you hire me, I am your fiduciary. I am required by law to put your legal interests ahead of my profits.
Legal Zoom came about during a time when attorneys were married to the billable hour and pricey retainer agreements. They filled a need when many attorneys were unwilling to help clients for less than a $5,000 retainer agreement and billed at $300 an hour. As the legal profession has evolved and clients have demanded lower and more flexible fees, many attorneys (myself included) found that clients want services like Legal Zoom but with personalized service.
Many attorneys still are attached to the billable hour despite the majority of them and clients hating it. It’s all they have ever known. The problem with the billable hour is that it creates inefficiencies and it is not in the clients’ best interest. An attorney is encouraged to take as long as possible to make as much money as possible. Then when a client complains about the absurdly high bill the attorney discounts their rate (not dissimilar to a bait and switch scheme).
Legal Zoom cannot ever replace the professional judgment of an attorney. They will forever be relegated to filling out forms at an extremely high price. Nevermind that they do not actually give clients value. Only an attorney who is your fiduciary can represent you and give you the value that you deserve.
If you would like to start a business or have other legal matters to discuss, schedule a consultation today!
NOTICE: The information on this website does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely on any information without seeking the advice of a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. This web site is both a communication and/or solicitation as defined by California Rules of Professional Conduct, rule 1-400. For further information, please click here.