LegalZoom Non Profit Review: Is It the Best Choice for Your Charity?

seriosity featured image

Starting a nonprofit can feel like navigating a labyrinth, with each turn presenting a new legal requirement or form to fill out. That’s where LegalZoom steps in, promising to simplify the process and guide you through each step. But does it live up to the hype?

In this article, we’ll dive into what LegalZoom offers for nonprofit organizations. We’ll explore the services, ease of use, and overall value to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your mission. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to streamline your existing nonprofit’s legal needs, this review’s got you covered.

Key Takeaways

  • LegalZoom simplifies the complex process of starting and managing a nonprofit by offering a range of services tailored specifically for nonprofit organizations, including filing for 501(c)(3) status and ensuring ongoing compliance with federal and state regulations.
  • The platform is user-friendly and designed with the entrepreneur in mind, offering ease of use through clear navigation, step-by-step guides, and access to a wealth of resources and legal advice without the high cost typically associated with attorneys.
  • While LegalZoom provides significant value in terms of time saved and access to legal expertise, the cost of its services may be a drawback for startups with limited budgets, and the solutions offered can sometimes feel generic rather than customized to specific needs.
  • LegalZoom’s service packages cater to various needs and budgets, but it’s important to consider the additional cost of state filing fees when budgeting for nonprofit formation services.
  • Alternatives to LegalZoom, such as Rocket Lawyer, Incfile, Nationwide Incorporators, and local legal aid organizations, offer different pricing structures, services, and levels of personalized attention, which may be more suitable for certain nonprofits.
  • Ultimately, selecting LegalZoom or another service for your nonprofit’s legal needs involves weighing the pros and cons in terms of cost, services offered, ease of use, and the level of personalized attention and expertise provided.

What is LegalZoom?

In your journey as an entrepreneur, tapping into resources that streamline your startup’s growth is key. LegalZoom plays a pivotal role here, especially if a nonprofit venture is what you’re eyeing. It’s a platform that’s taken the complexity out of legal paperwork for businesses and nonprofits alike since its inception in 2001. Over 4 million customers have benefitted from its services, making it a heavyweight in online legal assistance.

LegalZoom’s allure isn’t just in the numbers; it’s in the personalized services tailored to meet the specific needs of your nonprofit. From the initial stages of filing for nonprofit status to managing ongoing compliance, LegalZoom acts as your guide through the legal maze. They offer packages that deal with state-specific requirements, IRS filings for tax-exempt status, and much more. This means you’re never alone, even in the most daunting legal paperwork tasks.

What truly sets LegalZoom apart is its commitment to making legal services accessible. You don’t need to be a legal expert to navigate their platform. Everything is designed with you, the entrepreneur, in mind. Their step-by-step process ensures you’re fully informed at every turn. Plus, with access to attorneys in their network, you can get your burning legal questions answered without the steep hourly rates usually associated with such advice.

By opting for LegalZoom, you’re not just choosing simplicity; you’re leveraging a wealth of experience and resources to ensure your nonprofit starts on solid legal ground. Whether it’s your first venture into the nonprofit world or you’re looking to streamline your existing organization’s legal needs, understanding the spectrum of services LegalZoom offers could very well be your next smart move.

Services for Nonprofit Organizations

Embarking on the nonprofit journey is both exciting and daunting. With your passion for making a difference and experience in entrepreneurship, you understand the significance of laying a solid legal foundation. LegalZoom steps into this arena with a host of services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations.

Firstly, LegalZoom simplifies the initial filing process for 501(c)(3) status. This is crucial because securing this status is what defines your operation as a nonprofit in the eyes of the law and allows for tax-exempt benefits. They guide you through the complex paperwork, ensuring that your submission ticks all the necessary boxes.

Beyond the initial setup, managing a nonprofit requires ongoing compliance with both federal and state regulations. LegalZoom offers compliance services to keep your organization in good standing. This includes filing annual reports, renewing state-specific registrations, and managing tax-exempt filings. It’s like having a legal watchdog that ensures you’re always aligned with the ever-changing legal requirements.

Furthermore, LegalZoom stands out by offering access to a network of attorneys. If you’ve got legal questions or need tailored advice, you’re not alone. Their attorney access service connects you with experienced lawyers who understand the nuances of nonprofit law. This can be incredibly reassuring, especially when facing unique legal challenges or when you’re about to make significant decisions that could impact your organization’s future.

Whether you’re just starting or looking to navigate your nonprofit through complex legal landscapes, LegalZoom’s suite of services caters to every stage of your journey. With their help, you can focus more on your mission and less on the paperwork, knowing that your legal bases are covered.

Pros and Cons of Using LegalZoom for Nonprofits

Embarking on the journey of starting a nonprofit is both thrilling and daunting. You’ve got a vision and a passion to make a difference, but the legal hurdles can be overwhelming. LegalZoom steps in as a beacon of hope with its tailored services for nonprofits, but it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons to determine if it’s the right fit for your mission.


Streamlined Process: LegalZoom simplifies the complicated process of starting a nonprofit. You’ll navigate through the necessary paperwork with guidance at every step, making it less likely to hit snags due to common errors.

Access to Legal Experts: Having a team of attorneys at your disposal means you can get answers to specific legal questions. Instead of spending hours searching for answers online, get personalized advice tailored to your nonprofit’s needs.

Focus on Your Mission: With LegalZoom handling the bulk of paperwork and compliance issues, you can concentrate on what truly matters—your mission. This means more time and energy dedicated to making an impact.

Service Diversity: Beyond initial setup, LegalZoom offers services for managing ongoing compliance and understanding state-specific requirements. This ensures your nonprofit remains in good standing without you needing to become a legal expert.


Cost: While LegalZoom can save you time, it’s not always the most budget-friendly option. The fees for their services might be prohibitive for startups with limited initial funding.

Generic Solutions: Personalized advice is available, but the base solutions can be quite generic. Your unique needs might not always align perfectly with the one-size-fits-all approach.

Dependency: Relying on LegalZoom for legal tasks could create a dependency that prevents your team from developing in-house expertise in handling legal and compliance issues.

Navigating the decision to partner with LegalZoom for your nonprofit’s legal needs is akin to charting a course through unfamiliar territory. You’ve got the vision and the drive; it’s just about equipping yourself with the right tools for the journey. Keep these pros and cons in mind as you ponder how to best support your mission moving forward.

Ease of Use and User Experience

Diving into the world of nonprofits can be daunting, especially when you’re balancing the passion for your mission with the complexities of legal compliance. This is where LegalZoom steps in, aiming to simplify the process for you. From my experience, having a platform that’s easy to navigate while ensuring your legal bases are covered is crucial, and that’s what LegalZoom promises.

First off, the website is user-friendly. You’re greeted with a clear, straightforward layout that directs you to whatever service you need, be it forming your nonprofit, handling annual reports, or filing for tax exemptions. The step-by-step guide ensures you don’t miss any critical elements, making the setup process feel less like a legal chore and more like another step towards achieving your goals.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Clear Navigation: You can easily find what you need without getting lost in legal jargon.
  • Step-by-Step Guides: Great for first-timers who might not know where to begin.
  • Resources Galore: From articles to templates, there’s help at every turn.

One of the standout features is the access to legal advice. Whether you’re just starting or looking to resolve a specific issue, having professional advice a few clicks away is invaluable. For me, this peace of mind cannot be understated; knowing you can get expert consultations without the hefty price tag of a traditional law firm is a game-changer for any nonprofit.

However, no system is without its quirks. Some users have noted that while the initial setup is smooth, navigating the ongoing compliance services can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if your organization starts to grow or encounters unique legal challenges.

In short, for entrepreneurs diving into the nonprofit sector, LegalZoom offers a compelling blend of ease and expertise. Whether you’re a seasoned businessperson or just starting, this platform can help equip you with the legal tools needed to focus on what truly matters – making an impact.

Pricing and Value

When diving into the world of nonprofits, understanding the financial aspect is crucial, and LegalZoom’s offerings are no exception. As an entrepreneur, you’re already keen on maximizing every dollar, so let’s break down what you’re getting into with LegalZoom’s nonprofit services.

First off, it’s noteworthy that LegalZoom’s pricing structure is straightforward. You’re not going to find any hidden fees that’ll catch you off guard. That’s a relief, especially when budgeting is tight. Prices vary depending on the package you select, which range from basic to more comprehensive options. The goal here is to match your needs without overspending for services you might not require at the current stage of your nonprofit.

Here’s a quick look at the pricing tiers to give you a clearer picture:

Service Package Price
Economy $99
Standard $329
Express Gold $349

Remember, these are one-time fees for the nonprofit formation service itself. However, keep in mind that state filing fees are an additional cost and can vary widely depending on where you’re registering your nonprofit.

What stands out with LegalZoom is the value you’re getting beyond just the paperwork. Access to legal advice from experts and ongoing compliance services are what set them apart. These features can save you countless hours and potential headaches down the road. Whether it’s navigating the complexities of state-specific requirements or ensuring your organization remains in good standing, LegalZoom offers tools and support that go beyond the initial setup.

As you’re evaluating the cost, think about the long-term benefits of having expert advice within reach and streamlined processes to keep your nonprofit compliant. For many entrepreneurs, this is where LegalZoom shines. It’s not just about what you’re paying now, but what that investment saves you in time, money, and legal issues in the future.

Alternatives to LegalZoom

Exploring options is all part of the journey when you’re setting up a nonprofit. While LegalZoom offers a comprehensive package, it’s wise to consider the field and see what other avenues are available to you. Let’s dive into some alternatives that might fit your unique needs.

Rocket Lawyer is a contender with its On Call attorney services, providing a more personal touch if you prioritize direct legal advice. Their subscription model allows for unlimited document reviews and legal consultations, which can be particularly beneficial if you foresee a need for regular legal support.

Another noteworthy option is Incfile, especially appealing for those with a tight budget. Incfile boasts free nonprofit formation services, asking only that you cover the state fees. This can be a game-changer for newly established nonprofits looking to maximize every dollar. Their ongoing compliance and alert systems ensure you won’t miss important filing deadlines, which is crucial for maintaining your nonprofit status.

For those who want a more hands-on approach, Nationwide Incorporators stands out. Led by attorneys, they offer a personalized service where legal professionals prepare and review your documents. While not as speedy as some online-only platforms, the detail and personal attention they provide can be worth the extra time for some entrepreneurs.

Lastly, don’t overlook local legal aid organizations. Many states have legal aid specifically designed to help nonprofits get off the ground. They can offer specialized, location-specific advice that national services might not cover. Plus, the cost of their services can be significantly lower, or even free, depending on eligibility.

Before making your choice, it’s essential to weigh the cost, services offered, and expertise level of each option against your nonprofit’s needs. Whether you’re looking for a hands-off approach or detailed, personalized assistance, there’s a solution out there that’ll help you navigate the complexities of nonprofit formation and compliance.


Choosing LegalZoom for your nonprofit’s legal needs means embracing a blend of convenience, expertise, and support. With its easy-to-navigate platform and access to legal professionals, it’s clear why many find it a reliable choice. Yet, the journey doesn’t end here. Exploring alternatives like Rocket Lawyer, Incfile, and local resources could unveil options that align even more closely with your specific needs. Remember, the right partner for your nonprofit isn’t just about the immediate ease of setting up. It’s about finding a service that grows with you, offering value that extends well beyond the paperwork. So take your time, weigh your options, and choose the path that best supports your mission to make a difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main benefits of using LegalZoom for nonprofit organizations?

The main benefits of using LegalZoom for nonprofit organizations include a streamlined process for setup and compliance, access to legal experts, user-friendly website navigation, and the availability of state-specific services. This enables nonprofits to concentrate on their mission while ensuring legal requirements are met.

Does LegalZoom provide ongoing compliance services for nonprofits?

Yes, LegalZoom offers services for ongoing compliance for nonprofits. This ensures that organizations remain in good standing with state laws and regulations, helping them avoid future legal issues.

How user-friendly is LegalZoom’s website for nonprofit organizations?

LegalZoom’s website is highly user-friendly for nonprofit organizations. It features clear navigation and step-by-step guides designed to simplify the process of setting up and managing a nonprofit.

Can nonprofits get legal advice through LegalZoom?

Yes, LegalZoom provides access to legal advice for nonprofits. This service is a standout feature, offering valuable insight and guidance from legal experts familiar with the nuances of nonprofit operations.

What is the pricing structure for LegalZoom’s nonprofit services?

LegalZoom’s pricing structure for nonprofit services is straightforward and transparent. While specific costs are outlined on their website, the value extends beyond mere paperwork, including access to legal advice and compliance assistance.

What are some alternatives to LegalZoom for nonprofit formation and compliance?

Alternatives to LegalZoom include Rocket Lawyer, Incfile, Nationwide Incorporators, and local legal aid organizations. These options offer different features, such as personalized advice, free services, and location-specific guidance. It’s important to compare cost, services, and expertise when selecting an alternative.

Why is it important to consider alternatives to LegalZoom for nonprofit services?

Considering alternatives to LegalZoom is crucial for nonprofits to ensure they are getting the best possible service to meet their specific needs. Differences in cost, the scope of services provided, and level of expertise can significantly impact an organization’s success and compliance.