I recently published an article that reviews the pros and cons of online incorporation services and other non-attorney corporation and llc formation options:
I don't expect this to be too popular with either the online incorporation services, or with the general public, because the article doesn't say what people want to hear ('quick', 'easy', 'do it yourself', 'save money', 'no lawyers', etc.), but I see the results of not using an attorney to protect one's self and do things properly the first time on an almost daily basis.
Just today, for example, a potential client called me to discuss representation and after a short initial consultation, agreed that a legal mess she was currently in that was likely to cost her $100,000 in losses could have been greatly reduced or, more likely, avoided entirely, with $2,000 - 5,000 worth of legal planning.
Many of my comments and opinions on online incorporation services also apply to storefront legal assistance clinics, paralegal and document preparation services, and accountants. Clients who have used these services to incorporate a corporation or form an LLC before they began working with me often show me corporate books with missing or inappropriate documentation, odd organization, wrong entity used, and the like. An accountant using a form is not giving you state of the art, custom documents; an accountant attempting to modify or draft legal documents is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law (UAL), a misdemeanor in California.
Is Legal Zoom a Good Idea? Do the Documents Work? by fellow WealthCounsel estate planning attorney Alexis Martin Neely;
LegalZoom.com reviews; and
Online incorporation service review.
[This post updated August 2008.]