Nolo Review: Legal Encyclopedia, Legal Forms Software

About Nolo

Everyone understands the challenges involved in running a business. You want to ensure that you are always on the right side of the law.


It can be especially challenging since laws can change any second. Businesses will now have to modify their operations to avoid penalties. However, your objective as a business owner should always be how best you can navigate changes in the laws to benefit you and your operation.

Nolo is a service that can potentially help you with this. Established in 1971, Nolo has been evolving since then to help provide legal services and assistance to business owners and entrepreneurs across the country. Nolo started as a platform for publishing guides and articles related to legal matters. Since then, the company evolved with technology and software to build its online platform and become one of the leading legal sources available on the internet for forming an LLC.

Nolo has been active in the online and offline legal aid business longer than the majority of their competitors. Unfortunately, in spite of their long track record, their quality as an LLC formation and incorporation service leaves a lot to be desired. Slower-than-average filing times compared to competitors, outsourcing of basic LLC formation products, poor customer service, and attempts to upsell you on third party services are all factors that make it difficult for us to recommend this service.

Each of these issues is also reflected through Nolo’s lack of positive customer feedback on the web. Read on to find out how we arrived at our conclusion, or check out our other LLC formation service reviews to learn more about possible alternatives.

Overview of Nolo


Nolo, formerly known as Nolo Press, is an online legal aid business headquartered in Berkeley, California. The business focuses primarily on providing DIY-style legal guides, legal documents and online legal articles. They also offer a range of law-related services to individuals, small businesses, and attorneys.

Nolo has been in business since 1971. Before they shifted into their current online-focused business model, the company used to be known primarily for their legal self-help books. Nolo is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Internet Brands and maintains a network of about 50 websites related to legal matters. According to their about us page, the company’s mission is to “help consumers and small businesses find answers to their everyday legal and business questions.”

Nolo provides an online LLC formation service and other related services, including:


  • Informational articles: Nolo contains arguably the richest collection of legal information available on the internet. There are thousands of articles covering legal issues, many of which are written by lawyers or legal practitioners.
  • Offline legal support: Online and cloud-based access have made it pretty challenging to get offline legal help – except perhaps if you go to a law library or some other source. Thankfully, Nolo offers several of its legal resources in physical books.
  • Quick legal help: If you have a court case pending and you need someone to help you with it, Nolo provides an online directory where you can find comprehensive legal help. The directory offers access to several lawyers and law firms, all organized by their area of expertise.


  • Outsourced services: Most of Nolo’s competitors offer business formation services that allow you to quickly file to establish your corporation. Nolo has its LLC formation tool, but there’s no internal option for establishing a corporation. Instead, it outsources the services to other LLC formation companies.
  • No responsibility for legal advice: Unlike hiring an attorney, Nolo doesn’t give legal advice on any particular case. If you need professional legal advice, you will be better off getting a lawyer to answer your questions.

You should be aware that, as they are a legal site, Nolo does not specialize in LLC formation or incorporation services. In fact, Nolo outsources many of its LLC formation-related products to other specialist companies, such as Vcorp services.

Nolo Pricing


Nolo’s pricing system consists of three tiers of service packages, with options to purchase additional services in the form of add-ons (most of these are provided by partner companies) Nolo is a very affordable service. It offers most of its services to customers free of charge, although they do charge for some direct services, which we’ll look into later on.

Primarily, Nolo doesn’t have any pricing tiers. Instead, the service chargers for each use case. So, let’s take a look into Nolo’s services and how you can benefit a great deal from them:

While Nolo provides a directory of legal services, they also help you to form your LLC. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and would like to get your business off the ground, Nolo is a reliable partner.

Nolo is a legal website that offers free and paid legal services, such as legal forms, software, articles, and more. With Nolo, users can access their legal forms anywhere, find a local lawyer, research legal books and articles, and produce custom legal documents.

Which bundle is the best value for money?


Nolo’s Basic bundle can be a cost-effective way to form your LLC – if you don’t need any additional services and don’t mind the two to three-week processing times. Unfortunately, this bundle does not include key services, such as Operating Agreement drafting, which we consider necessary for a basic formation. However, you have the option to add on services at checkout.

Nolo’s Express bundle is the least cost-effective tier, as it includes several products which add little value or are altogether unnecessary, such as an EIN filing and an LLC kit and seal. None of the three tiers include a registered agent service. Other service providers, such as ZenBusiness, offer greater value by bundling this necessary service with all of their packages.

Canceling Nolo services

Nolo’s terms of use, set by Nolo’s parent company, explicitly state that “all fees are nonrefundable and payments and purchases may not be canceled by the user”. Since purchases cannot be canceled after the fact, you should make sure that you fully understand their offerings and pricing before ordering any formation or legal services.

Nolo outsources all of its on-going services to third parties (e.g., its e registered agent service is outsourced to Vcorp). As such, you may have to cancel these services directly with Nolo’s partners. Vcorp’s terms of use allow you to cancel a registered agent service at any time provided that you give written notice that your LLC has a new registered agent.

Budget-friendly Basic LLC Pricing


The cost of forming an LLC using Nolo’s most affordable package is only $49, excluding the applicable state processing fee. Nolo’s basic LLC formation package may fit your needs if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, bare minimum package. If you think you may need additional services, such as a registered agent service, EIN registration, or others, there are better choices than Nolo.

One of the obvious downsides with Nolo is that forming your LLC may take up to three weeks, depending on the state where your LLC will be based. If turnaround time is not important to you, though, Nolo might be an okay option.

Ease-of-Use online formation

Forming an LLC using Nolo’s service is a fairly straightforward process. You only need to provide some basic information regarding your business, such as the number of members and whether you will have employees or not. Once you finalize your order, Nolo and their partners will handle the rest. If you are looking for a way to form your LLC fully online and with an absolute minimum of paperwork, then Nolo’s service may be a fine fit.

You can work on your LLC formation for up to 90 days without purchasing the service, and any answers you provide are saved into the system, so you can take a break and then pick up where you left off later, if need be.

It should be noted that some states may have additional requirements when forming an LLC, such as having to publish a notice in a newspaper. In such cases, you can opt to let Nolo and their partner Vcorp handle all the necessary work for an additional fee. We did dislike that some supporting documentation regarding the service, such as the state filing costs table, was hidden beneath several layers of links.

Customer Support


Nolo doesn’t list an email address for customer support regarding LLC filings. Instead customers are directed to an online form where you can leave a message. Customer support for LLC filings is only available on weekdays during business hours. We prefer to see a more direct customer service line and extended support hours.

Quite a few online reviewers complain about difficulties getting in touch with Nolo, and many more customers seemed to experience poor customer support when they did finally get through.

Some competitors, such as Northwest Registered Agent, pride themselves on providing every aspect of LLC formation directly through in-house staff. Nolo, however, appears to outsource most, if not all, of their LLC formation services to third-party partner companies.

In fact, should you opt to use every service advertised in Nolo’s online toolkit, you would end up working with four separate companies. Furthermore, Nolo appears to mark up the cost of some services compared to what you would pay if you just went to Nolo’s partner companies directly. For example, hiring Vcorp as a registered agent through Nolo will cost you $150/yr, yet the cost is only $115/yr if you opt for the same service through Vcorp’s own website.

Nolo Alternatives

While there is no denying the fact that Nolo offers immense value to its customers, the service is also not perfect. If you’re looking to take advantage of better LLC formation or legal services, you could want to try something different.

So, you might consider ZenBusienss. Located in Austin, Texas, ZenBusiness has been providing LLC formation services for years. Despite being much newer than many of its competitors, ZenBusiness has been able to build its name by offering cheap and effective services to entrepreneurs. Its intricate combination of affordability and service efficiency is well noted, and you should be able to benefit a great deal from ZenBusiness.

As a business owner, you want to ensure that you’ve got everything right when selecting a company to provide LLC formation services. We understand that you might be skeptical, so we browsed the web to find what people have been saying about Nolo.

What Is NOLO Legal?


Nolo has been around for five decades and joined the Martindale Legal Marketing Network in 2011. It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has a 4.7 star ranking on Google. Its adaptive strategy has contributed to its success and longevity. Established in 1971, Nolo initially started as a publishing service for do-it-yourself legal help manuals but quickly adapted to the times.

After the unprecedented growth of internet and computer use in the 1990s, Nolo added DIY legal software resources to its list of services. Today, Nolo is a legal network of sites and online resources that offer services ranging from LLC creation to online legal directories.

The Nolo com website has a high Domain Authority score of 79 and ranks for 1,600,000 legal keywords. Nolo and its various practice area websites receive millions of monthly visitors. Over 100,000 of them want to speak to a lawyer or law firm.

Nowadays, many people search for their legal answers on the internet. Nolo articles and resources appear in search engine results because of Nolo’s targeted SEO strategy. This strategy leads clients to a website where they can request to speak with a lawyer.

Is NOLO Free?


Legal directory listings with Nolo are not free. Nolo markets itself as an upgrade from a traditional online directory service with unique features. Nolo offers two paid subscription options to ensure that listings get quality leads more often. Although it isn’t free, a paid subscription is well worth the cost, especially with leads.

NOLO Subscription Options

Nolo offers a basic Online Profile option and a Premium Advertising option. Depending on your business needs, each has its advantages. Both subscriptions come with a law firm profile as part of its legal directory.

The basic profile has an annual fixed fee. It includes a professional profile, legal information, direct leads based on local searches, and the option to post an unlimited number of legal articles. The premium option comes with all of these features but also includes network leads, premium positioning, and better exposure. Its pricing model varies based on ROI.

Frequently Asked Questions NOLO


Is Nolo any good?

We cannot generally recommend Nolo. Nolo can be used to form your LLC and file all the necessary documents with the government. They also offer some additional services, such as the creation of legal documents. However, Nolo’s prices, customer service, and turnaround times all leave a lot to be desired.

What does Nolo do?

Nolo provides legal assistance and formation services. They can connect you with attorneys or help you file an LLC with your state government, among other services. Nolo also publishes legal articles and legal DIY-style guides.

Do Nolo have a refund policy?

Generally, no. Nolo’s terms of use state that except as required by law, all purchases are non-refundable and cannot be canceled. If you would still like to request a refund, you should contact them and explain your issue.

Are Nolo forms legal?

Yes, Nolo forms are legal. Nolo forms can be customized on their website and immediately used after printing them. If you need more personalized legal help, consider contacting a legal professional.

How do I cancel a purchase with Nolo?

Nolo provides ongoing LLC services through partner companies. This includes companies like Vcorp Services or Business Licenses. You may have to contact them directly to cancel a service.

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