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Online Business Loans

Table of Contents:

  1. What is an online business loan?
  2. Online business loan rates and fees
  3. How to be approved for an online business loan
  4. Business loans by industry
  5. Frequently asked questions

What are online business loans? And how is it different from a traditional bank loan?

An online business loan is the same as any traditional business financing option, with one difference: you can apply, get approved, and be funded all online, without ever having to step into a bank or lending office. 

However, while that is the only true technical difference, the reality is that online lenders tend to provide unique offerings when compared to traditional bank loans.

For one, the application process is typically faster and more stress-free. After all your applying for business funding online from the comfort of your own home. 

With a bank loan, the application and approval process can often take a full month. With an alternative or online lender, you can often be approved and even funded in around 24-48 hours. 

At a time where banks have tightened restrictions and made it more difficult than ever to apply for a business loan from a traditional institution, many new alternative lenders are making it easier than ever. 

Excel Capital’s Business Line of Credit Program

For example, Excel Capital’s business line of credit program offers flexible financing options with monthly rates starting as low as 1.5% (up to 9.5%).

Our online business line of credit program gives you access to a recurring reserve of capital anytime you need it. Simply pay your balance down and you can continue to access more capital when you need it.  now that’s an easy online business loan. 

Plus, we offer funding even if you don’t have perfect credit. Where traditional bank financing often requires a 680-720+ credit score, our program requires just a 550 score or higher. 

Excel Capital Business Line of Credit Program:

 

Funding Amount

Get a credit line for your business up to $250,000

Repayment Term

6-12 Months revolving

Requirements

  • Credit score of 540+
  • Time in business 1+ year
  • $50,000+ annual revenue
  • Less than 3 negative occurrences on your bank account in the past 90 days
  • No hidden fees
  • Simple repayment terms
  • Lightning-fast approval within 30 minutes, funds instantly

We offer a variety of business financing solutions to meet your funding needs. Click here to submit an application and learn more about what options are available to you. 

Online business loan rates and fees

One of the primary differences between traditional business bank loans and alternative or private business loans are the rates and fees.

While alternative business loans offer many advantages over traditional bank loans, because bank loans are offered by huge financial institutions, they can typically offer lower and more competitive rates. 

In addition, online business loans from alternative lenders often have additional fees to cover certain costs. 

However, keep in mind that both rates and fees will depend primarily on the lending product more than the lender you obtain it from.

So, make sure to inspect your loan agreement before signing on the dotted line to make sure you’re getting a fair deal. 

How to be approved for an online business loan

Getting approved for an online business loan from an alternative lender is much easier than with a traditional bank.

However, there are still certain requirements you’ll need to fulfill to be approved. 

Each business financing product is different, but there are a few common qualifications that most require.

Excel Capital’s business financing solutions are designed to be accessible to young businesses just getting off the ground as well as seasoned operations.

Some basic requirements for many of our financing options include:

  • In business for 6+ months
  • Annual revenue of $10,000+
  • Business is in good standing (no bankruptcies, judgments, or liens)

Each of our lending solutions is different. So, to find out more, submit an application here or click below to discover what you can be approved for:

Complete our online application and see how much you can be approved for: Apply Now

Business loans by industry

Excel Capital provides small business financing options specifically suited to a variety of industries, including:

If your industry isn’t listed here, don’t worry!

We offer business loan options to business owners in every industry.

To find out how much you can be approved for and speak to one of our customer service representatives, submit an application here or click the button below:

Complete our online application and see how much you can be approved for: Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get a small business loan online?

Yes! Nowadays, there are many options for obtaining a small business loan or other type of business financing online, including:

– Alternative business financing
– Crowdfunding
– Peer-to-peer lending
– Microfinancing
– And more

How do I get a small business loan?

You can get a small business loan online through various means such as applying for a loan with your bank or with a private lender. In recent years, many have turned to alternative or private lending as acquiring a business loan through a traditional banking institution has become increasingly more difficult as qualification requirements tighten. 

To learn more about what options are available to you and see how much you could be approved for, click here to submit a quick 2-minute application

What is the easiest business loan to get?

While banks have continued to tighten approval requirements for their business loan programs, new options have become available through alternative lenders that don’t require stellar credit. Excel Capital prides itself on offering a variety of powerful lending options to businesses that might otherwise not get approved by a traditional bank. 

Private Business Loans

Table of Contents:

  1. What are private business loans?
  2. What types of private business loans are there?
  3. Why get a private business loan?
  4. How to get a private business loan
  5. Frequently asked questions

What are private business loans?

Private business loans don’t refer to a specific type of business loan.

Rather, it refers to any alternative business loan (i.e. a business loan offered by a lending institution other than a traditional bank) offered by a private lender.

Hence, the private in private business loans. 

Private funding can include several different lending types, including:

  • Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer funding
  • Microfinancing
  • And most of all, alternative business loans

Private business loans specifically offer one unique advantage of traditional bank financing: an alternative source of business funding. 

And that funding is often easier to obtain or offers alternative qualification requirements, that combined allow you to potentially obtain funding for your business when otherwise you wouldn’t.

What types of private business loans are there?

As we said earlier, private business loans doesn’t refer to a single loan type.

In fact, there are many different kinds of alternative business loans you can take advantage of for a variety of purposes.

The one central quality of all alternative business loans is that they don’t have the same stringent credit requirements that traditional bank loans have, often requiring a 680-720+ credit score. 

By comparison, you can be approved for most kinds of private business loans with bad credit, provided your business is in good standing.

Another common factor between all or most alternative business lending methods is their speed.

Most bank loans take weeks to get funded and the application process is long and arduous.

With alternative lending, funding is often approved within a mere 24-48 hours. 

Here’s a quick sample of a few of the more common types of private business loans:

Term loans

Term loans are your traditional business loan with a repayment term on either a short term or medium-term basis.

Typically, repayment is set somewhere between 6 months to 2 years. 

For term loans, you receive a chunk of capital and, in exchange, you repay that amount over your repayment term (depending on what you were approved for). 

As with most alternative business loans and other funding methods like lines of credit, the amount you’re approved for is based on several factors centered around the complete health of your business, as opposed to simply your credit score. 

Business line of credit

Not technically a business loan but a business financing method, a business line of credit is essentially a form of recurring financing.

As opposed to getting access to a single amount of capital, you get access to a set amount that you can tap into repeatedly upon payment of your balance, very much like a typical credit card.

Merchant cash advance

A merchant cash advance, or MCA, is an advance of capital in exchange for a percentage of your future sales. 

So, as opposed to a term loan where you repay the loan over time on a set repayment schedule, with an MCA that repayment is done automatically through your daily credit card batches.

Each time you batch out, a set percentage of your business credit card sales is put aside to repay the MCA.

This makes MCAs particularly well-suited for businesses that depend on daily debit transactions.

Invoice financing

Somewhat similar to how a merchant cash advance uses your future sales to secure an advance, invoice factoring uses your outstanding invoices as a kind of collateral to obtain financing. 

With invoice financing, or invoice factoring as it’s often called, the factor or company which “purchases” the invoices from you then issues an advance for a percentage of the total invoice amount.

Once the factor receives the total amount (whether from a collection of multiple invoices or just one), the remaining amount is paid minus fees and interest.

Why get a private business loan?

So, why get a private business loan?

As touched on earlier, private or alternative lending solutions offer several unique advantages over traditional banking options.

Those include, most notably:

  • Easier approval: Private lenders take into consideration the complete picture of your business’ health, not just your credit score. Because of this, you can often be approved for a loan or advance with bad or fair credit. 
  • Faster funding: Private lenders typically pride themselves on their speed as they don’t have to move through the same hoops that clog the bank loan approval process. Most alternative lending options fund in 24-48 hours. 
  • More options: Private lenders have a variety of funding options even beyond that which traditional banking institutions typically offer. For example, if you need funds but don’t have the money now to start paying off a loan but do have outstanding invoices, invoice factoring could offer you the chance at getting the funding you need when a traditional bank funding application might leave you without anything to show. 

Get the funds you need without the headache– and fast– with Excel Capital

At Excel Capital, we know how much work it takes to run a business.

You have enough to deal with, you don’t want to stack the often painful process of applying for a loan that is often the bank application process on top of that.

Plus, what if you don’t have the credit?

You work hard each day to grow your business, and sometimes, just to keep it afloat.

Times change, sometimes there’s growth, other times you’re fighting to survive.

In both cases, a little extra capital may be exactly what you need to keep things moving forward. 

That’s why we’re here to help.

We believe that the traditional process of jumping through hoops to be approved for a bank loan and needing stellar credit just to get approved is unrealistic for modern businesses. 

That’s why we’ve designed a collection of flexible business financing options that offer everything you need, whether you’re looking for:

  • A quick infusion of cash to pay the bills
  • A seasonal boost to prepare for your busy time
  • Or a large sum of capital in times of growth

Our application process is quick, simple, and easy.

Complete our online application and see how much you can be approved for: Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a small business loan?

You can acquire a small business loan from several places, from a traditional bank to an alternative private lender or peer-to-peer lending institution. 

In recent years, alternative private lenders have become popular as they’re not typically bogged down with the high credit requirements and slow application processes that are synonymous with applying for a business loan at a major bank. 

What is the easiest business loan to get?

Easy is relative when it comes to business funding options, but getting a loan from a traditional bank is generally much harder than with an alternative lender as credit requirements are stringent, typically requiring 680-720 or higher just for initial approval. Alternative lenders, on the other hand, offer business financing solutions on fair and even bad credit, provided your business is in good standing.

Who can qualify for a small business loan?

Nowadays, anyone can qualify for a small business loan, provided your business is in good standing. Traditional banking institutions require 680-720+ credit while SBA loans require 620+. However, alternative lenders offer financing solutions in the fair to bad credit range.

How much money can you borrow for a small business loan?

With Excel Capital, you can be approved for a loan up to $2,000,000, depending on various factors. Apply today to find out how much you can be approved for

How to Find an ABA or Routing Number

EXCELCAPITAL - FEATURED - HOW TO FIND AN ABA OR ROUTING NUMBER

What is an ABA routing number?

An ABA number, more commonly known as simply your routing number, is the nine-digit code that identifies which bank you do business with (see bottom left):

What is a voided check? How to void a check example

So, what is it used for? 

Chances are you’ve already used your own bank account’s routing number to do an automatic bill pay transaction, transfer money to an acquaintance, or set up direct deposits at work.

Where did ABA routing numbers come from?

ABA numbers have now been around for more than a century, having been created in 1910 by the American Bankers Association (or ABA). 

ABA numbers were created as a system that would allow banks and other institutions a way of easily identifying a particular bank. 

For example, if your employer banks through Chase but you have a checking account through Bank of America, the routing number on your checking account will help Chase identify where to send the money, at least down to the particular bank (account number does the rest). 

In the past, this was only relevant to paper checks. However, over time, this expanded to include various electronic transfer types like the ones we mentioned earlier. 

How ABA / routing numbers work

Nowadays, the process of utilizing your ABA number (or routing) is as simple as providing your routing number along with your account number to a particular vendor or institution. 

From there, computer systems will automatically take care of all the heavy lifting. 

Even if your bank fails or is merged/sold to another, you’ll automatically receive a new ABA number without having to do anything. 

You can even often continue using your old number uninterrupted in some cases. 

So, exactly how does a routing number work?

Digits 1-4 of your routing number are designated for your bank’s physical address. Nowadays, due to merges and other factors, that’s not always the case though. 

Digits 5-6 tell the computer system which Federal Reserve location your money will route through when you set up a transfer of any kind.

Digit 7 designates which Federal Reserve check processing center was assigned to your bank.

Digit 8 tells which Federal Reserve district your bank is in.

And digit 9 tells the checksum. 

Checksum is a number calculated using the first 8 digits of your routing number designed as a security check. If the checksum number doesn’t add up when trying to set up a transfer, the account is flagged.

How to find your ABA or routing number

If you ended up here because you need to get your routing number for the first time, whether that be to set up direct deposit with your employer, set up bill pay, or transfer money somewhere, we’ve got you covered. 

There are a few easy places to get your routing number from.

First, the most commonplace to get it by logging in to your online/mobile banking account.

For most banks, you should have a login where you can view your balance and all kinds of jazz. 

From there, you typically need to click on the specific account you’re looking to set up the transfer/deposits to or from (because each account has a different account number, and you probably need both your routing and account number at the same time).

For example, with Bank of America, once you click on the particular account, you can access your routing and account number by clicking on “Account Details” (keep in mind this information is subject to change as their website is updated and menu items are moved/changed).

Look for an “account information” or equivalent selection, where you’ll be able to view both your routing and accounting number. 

At this point, you might get a bit tripped up wondering whether you should use your print or electronic routing number.

Generally, you’ll be using your electronic routing number if you’re setting up something like direct deposit or bill pay. 

And if you’re not sure, defaulting to your electronic routing number is always a safe bet (though it doesn’t generally matter which you use, so don’t worry too much). 

A second and very easy place to grab your routing number is from your checks.

Checks are a bit dated now, however, if you happen to have ordered checks when opening your bank account or you need them for business, it’s incredibly fast to grab your routing number that way– if you know what you’re looking for. 

Here’s where to look:

What is a voided check? How to void a check example

Keep in mind, though, that this might not be the correct routing number for ACH or wire transfers.

So, if you’re unsure, call your bank with your online banking account open and ask them which of your listed routing numbers is the one you should use for your particular case. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find my ABA or routing number without a check?


While finding your ABA routing number with a check is quick and easy, nowadays, it’s just as easy to find it by logging into your online banking account. 

For most banks, after logging in you simply click on the particular account, then account details, then you can view both your routing and account number simultaneously. 

Are bank routing numbers public information?


Your bank account number is unique to you and private as it’s used to identify your specific bank account.

However, the routing number on your account is used to identify information such as your banking institution, its location, and the location of the nearest federal reserve bank, not your personal information. So, it’s public information and not exclusive to your particular bank account. 

Is an ABA or routing number the same as an account number?


Your bank account number and routing number are two different numbers that serve different purposes. 

An ABA or routing number identifies banking institution-related information, not information specific to you or your bank account. Your bank account number, however, identifies your specific bank account and should be kept private. 

Where can I find my ABA routing number online?


In most cases, your bank’s online banking should make accessing your ABA routing number quick and easy. 

Each bank is different, however, by clicking on the particular account (each of your bank accounts will have a different account number, though the routing will likely be the same), you should see a section which will provide “account details” or something similar. This is typically where your account and routing number is located. 

Top 7 Best Ecommerce Platforms for 2021

BEST ECOMMERCE PLATFORMS 2021

You’ve spent time coming up with your next big (or first) business idea…

… and now you’re ready to pull the trigger.

The only problem?

You have no idea what ecommerce platform to pick. 

It’s true that there are a ton of great options out there for anyone interested in starting an ecommerce platform in 2021. 

However, once you’ve found those options, it can be hard narrowing it down to find the one that’s a perfect fit for your needs and goals. 

That’s where this guide comes in.

Below, we’ll not only show you what the best ecommerce platforms are for 2021, we’ll breakdown the highlights of each so you can make an informed decision on which is right for you.

So, let’s get to it. 

The Top 8 Best Ecommerce Platforms for 2021

The best ecommerce platforms for 2021 are (in no particular order)…

  1. Squarespace
  2. Wix
  3. Shopify
  4. Magento
  5. WooCommerce
  6. Salesforce Commerce Cloud
  7. Square Online Store

Here’s a detailed breakdown of each of the best ecommerce platforms:

BEST ECOMMERCE PLATFORMS -

1. Squarespace

While not a dedicated ecommerce platform, Squarespace has risen as a major player in the space.

Not to be confused with Square, the payment processor and checkout solution, Squarespace is known for its beautiful site designs and ease of use. 

Similar to Wix, what many consider to be one of the top 3 ecommerce platforms, Squarespace offers a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it simple and easy to build your ecommerce site from scratch. 

It also offers:

  • 14-day free trial
  • Unlimited products
  • Physical and digital product compatibility
  • Mobile-optimized checkout
  • Multiple payment methods
  • Ecommerce analytics
  • Subscriptions
  • Cart recovery
  • And more features

Squarespace is particularly well-suited for artists and any creative type selling a custom product or artwork as many of their themes are designed to help you show off your creative work. 

It also has nice blogging features and podcast integration to take care of the content marketing side of things. 

Pricing

Square space offers several tiered plans at:

  • Personal: $12 / month
  • Business: $18 / month
  • Basic Commerce: $26 / month
  • Advanced Commerce: $40 / month

However, keep in mind that Squarespace is not a dedicated ecommerce platform.

Their personal plan doesn’t offer ecommerce functionality and their business plan has 3% transaction fees while also not having access to 100% of Squarespace’s ecommerce features.

To take advantage of the abovementioned ecommerce features, you’ll need to go with their Basic Commerce plan for $26 a month.

Try Squarespace

BEST ECOMMERCE PLATFORMS -  wix

2. Wix

Wix is well-known for its online influencer and celebrity commercials that show just how easy it is to create your website. 

It’s not all show, either. 

Wix is probably the easiest of the drag-and-drop platforms, and that’s saying something since they already make creating a website from scratch far easier than it’s ever been before. 

However, Wix has more going for it than just its ease of use. It’s also a fantastic ecommerce platform. 

You can set up your entire ecommerce website– adding products, details, images, you name it– using that same drag-and-drop functionality. 

Plus, Wix has literally hundreds of ecommerce templates to choose from, so you can easily find one that fits your style. 

Wix also offers:

  • A 14-day free trial
  • Unlimited products
  • Multiple carrier functionality
  • Cart recovery
  • Dropshipping (new)
  • Zero transaction fees (only payment processor fees from your processor)
  • And more

Pricing

Wix offers 4 ecommerce plans:

  • Business Basic: $23 / month
  • Business Unlimited: $27 / month
  • Business VIP: $49 / month
  • Enterprise: $500 / month

Each of Wix’s payment plans offers unlimited bandwidth, with only a small difference in terms of features, the main difference being in available storage space. 

Try Wix

BEST ECOMMERCE PLATFORMS -  shopify

3. Shopify

Shopify is one of the most well-known ecommerce platforms there is.

The unique part about Shopify, and its strong point, is that it can accommodate the new solopreneur as well as the large-scale startup.

The platform is super easy to use right out of the box with its drag-and-drop functionality, but it also has powerful features that large-scale ecommerce operations need to make the most of things. 

Features such as:

  • 14-day free trial
  • Built-in payment processor
  • Mobile-optimized themes
  • Point-of-sale systems available
  • Gift cards
  • And more

Where Shopify also stands out is in its award-winning, 24/7 support, which is a rarity in an industry that has notoriously bad (or, at best, shoddy) customer service. 

Pricing

Shopify has three different basic plans:

  • Basic Shopify: $29 / month
  • Shopify: $79 / month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 / month

You’ll notice right away that Shopify is much more expensive compared to some of the simpler drag-and-drop platforms such as Squarespace and Wix. 

While they’re not quite as simple or inexpensive, Shopify contrasts that by offering room to grow with your business, where something like a Wix or Squarespace can feel limiting if your business starts to take off. 

However, like the first two platforms we mentioned, Shopify also has a 14-day free trial you can use to check it out first to see how you like it. 

Try Shopify

BEST ECOMMERCE PLATFORMS -  magento

4. Magento

Another long-time major player, Magento stands apart as an enterprise-level ecommerce solution compared to the other platforms on this list.

In other words, it’s really powerful, but also really expensive. 

For example, it’s used by companies like:

  • Nike
  • Hewlett-Packard (HP)
  • And Canon

It requires a huge upfront investment but offers features and bandwidth unmatched by most other competitors. 

If you’re in need of something much more robust, this might be the right choice for you. Features include:

  • 1000+ themes
  • Customer segmentation
  • Industry-leading mobile optimization and features
  • Instant purchases
  • Content staging
  • And more

Pricing

Being an enterprise-level solution, Magento is designed for large businesses. 

Its main pricing plan starts at $20,000. 

It does have other small business plans, but you don’t get the majority of the features that make Magento a stand-out option, so they’re not really worth considering. 

Try Magento

5. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is one of the longest-standing ecommerce solutions for businesses online, having been around since 2008. 

What sets WooCommerce apart is that it’s a plugin designed specifically for the WordPress platform.

So, the main reason you’ll likely decide to use WooCommerce is if you decide WordPress is your website platform of choice.

However, that’s not the only pro of WooCommerce.

WooCommerce places the majority of its special features in hundreds of free extensions, including subscriptions and additional payment options such as Google Wallet. 

Not all of these are free, though. Some of the more premium extensions can cost upwards of $300. 

Pricing

WooCommerce itself is a free plugin, so it’s the only truly free option on this list and a worthy mention for that reason alone.

Starting a website on WordPress is also free. 

However, to make the most of your site you might find yourself wanting to pay for one or more plugins to get features you might otherwise get included in a platform like Wix or Squarespace (though there are typically free alternatives, some of these plugins are less than optimal). 

Also, while the price might be attractive it is worth mentioning that it will likely take you a good bit longer to get your website up and running.

It’s easy to get your website up with WordPress, at least compared to starting a site a few years back.

However, it still can’t be compared to the Wixs and Squarespaces of the world, which make the process quick and virtually painless.

Try WooCommerce

6. Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce is considered by many to be one of the best and most powerful CRMs on the market.

Now, it’s expanded into the ecommerce arena with its own offering.

Similar to the WooCommerce + WordPress combo, going with Salesforce Commerce Cloud means you get the power of the Salesforce CRM and their ecommerce platform in one, which can be an attractive offer when you see everything Salesforce can do. 

It’s not particularly well-suited for new businesses and even less suited for solopreneurs without employees.

However, if you have a team, it could be the right fit. 

It’s an especially good fit for B2B businesses as well as Salesforce CC has many B2B specific features. 

One of those unique features is Salesforce’s powerful AI tools, which allow for certain automation and data extraction capabilities from things like purchase history and visitor behavior that other platforms just can’t do. 

Pricing

Being a higher-end (typically enterprise-level) company, Salesforce Commerce Cloud doesn’t list their pricing on the website.

In other words, that means it isn’t cheap.

Having said that, they do offer a free trial to get a feel for the platform and see if it might offer what you’re looking for before jumping in. 

Try Salesforce

7. Square Online Store

Our final option on the list, Square Online Store is a unique one.

Chances are, you’ve seen one of Square’s physical POS terminals in a business you’ve bought something from without even knowing it. 

That’s because, well… they’re everywhere

What isn’t as widespread is the knowledge that they also offer an ecommerce platform to go along with those POS terminals. 

Square’s ecommerce platform offers a few unique features, such as scheduling pickups and Instagram selling.

However, where it really shines is in the integration of its POS terminals with its ecommerce platform, which opens up a collection of features that are hard to get otherwise.

Pricing

Square is 100% free to get started with.

However, they do have processing fees which are fair and typical at 2.9% + .30 cents per transaction. 

Monetarily, where Square really shines is if you decide to integrate Square’s POS systems with their ecommerce platform, where you can maximize their combined power for unique features if you have a physical location that requires POST terminals. 

Otherwise, Square has a hard time performing on the same level as other ecommerce platforms. 

Try Square

Which of the best ecommerce platforms should you choose?

There really is no one “best” ecommerce solution online.

Which you should choose comes down to a few basic questions:

  • Do you need POS terminals (i.e. do you sell something in a brick-and-mortar store)? Square is likely best.
  • Are you a solopreneur or do you have a large team? Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, or WooCommerce is generally best for solopreneurs while Magento or Salesforce CC for enterprises. 
  • Would you prefer a little more customizability (WordPress) or ease-of-use (Squarespace, Wix)?
  • Is visual style more important (Squarespace) or functionality (Shopify)?
  • Do you prefer to have more features (Shopify, WooCommerce) or want a simple out-of-the-box solution (Wix, Squarespace)?

Whichever you choose, most platforms offer a free trial period. So, jump in and try a few out to get a feel for which ecommerce platform feels right for you. 

Legalshield Review: Is Legalshield Worth It?

EXCELCAPITAL - FEATURED - LEGALSHIELD

What is LegalShield?

Founded all the way back in 1972, LegalShield is a pioneer in affordable legal services.

Instead of paying exorbitant hourly rates for legal advice with the typical law firm, you can pay a low fixed monthly fee to get advice and legal representation from one of LegalShield’s many participating law firms. 

LegalShield is available in all 50 states and offers a variety of legal services through their monthly subscription including:

  • Legal consultations (for both general and more specialized legal issues) 
  • Legal document reviews
  • Phone
  • Debt collection assistance
  • Trial defense services
  • And more

So, is LegalShield worth it? And why should you choose the service over working with a traditional attorney? 

Let’s dig into their plans and pricing so you know exactly what you get from LegalShield’s service. 

LegalShield review: Plans and pricing

LegalShield offers a variety of monthly plans, each mainly offering slightly more volume in terms of:

  • Consultations, and
  • Document reviews

Here they are, broken down by price as well as features:

LegalShield also offers a trial defense add-on for $9.95 per month which offers pre-trial support and advice in case you’re called to trial. 

Keep in mind that for each phone consultation, your attorney will allocate 1 hour of legal work to handle your request. After that, if the attorney needs more time to handle any work you need done, they may charge you at their standard hourly rate, though you do get a 25% discount through LegalShield. 

LegalShield pros and cons

Now, let’s dig into the pros and cons of LegalShield’s service. 

LegalShield offers an invaluable service for business owners and individuals who need affordable legal help. 

However, like all services, it has its pros and cons which are important to know when deciding whether to pay for their service. 

So, let’s jump into the next section of our Legalshield review.

Here are the pros and cons of LegalShield: 

Pro: Affordable legal assistance

Mentioned earlier, LegalShield is unique in that it offers comparable legal services in several areas for a fraction of the price.

You won’t get everything a good lawyer can get you, but if hiring a full-time lawyer for your business needs is outside your price range, this is an invaluable alternative.

Pro: Work with the same law firm for all your needs

When you start working with LegalShield, you’re assigned a law firm. You may be assigned a different lawyer for different services you request, but once thing you won’t have to deal with is being passed to multiple law firms.

You’ll always deal with the same law firm for every service throughout your LegalShield membership, which is nice in particular because that law firm can get to know you and your situation (and you them). 

Pro: Unique debt and defense services other attorney services don’t offer

In the next section, we’ll talk about some comparable legal services similar to LegalShield. 

However, even when compared to these services, LegalShield offers several unique services that the others don’t.

For one, LegalShield is the only affordable legal service that offers trial defense services. This is invaluable as it can save you literally thousands upon thousands of dollars in the case of a lawsuit.

Another service only LegalShield offers is debt collection. With LegalShield, you can request an attorney serve as a debt collector on your behalf, helping collect unpaid invoices and improving cash flow in the process. 

Con: No free trial

One of the main cons of LegalShield is more an inconvenience than anything. 

LegalShield doesn’t offer a free trial, which means if you want to try out LegalShield’s service, you’ll need to pay at least for the $39 per month plan.

On that note, LegalShield also doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. 

So, keep in mind that any money you spend trying it out (in the case that the service doesn’t work out for you) you won’t be able to get back. 

Having said all that, LegalShield offers affordable pricing, especially at their lowest membership tier Small Biz 50. Plus, you can always cancel your membership so you’re not charged for the following months.

Con: Plan limitations

One of the main cons of LegalShield’s service is the limitations that come with it. 

They’re to be expected considering what price you’re paying, but they should be mentioned:

  • You only get so much time with your assigned lawyer
  • There are also limits on the number of pages you can get reviewed per month
  • Some law firms don’t participate in a specified feature/benefit, meaning you could be locked out of one of LegalShield’s features based on the firm that is assigned to you. 

Con: Hit-or-miss customer service

This is probably the most commonly listed complaint about LegalShield and should be considered if you’re choosing between multiple similar services. 

Many customers report emailing support and never getting a response. And, of that that do, others report support not being able to answer their question.

While this isn’t the case across the board, it is worth strongly considering if you’re choosing between going with an affordable LegalShield-esque service vs. working directly with an attorney. 

LegalShield alternatives

While LegalShield is a great comprehensive service, there are other good alternatives out there that might be slightly better suited to what you need.

Here are two great alternatives to LegalShield:

Best for business owners who need tax assistance: LegalZoom

LegalZoom is probably the most well-known legal service online, with offerings comparable service to LegalShield with some differences.

Like LegalShield, LegalZoom offers:

  • Legal phone consultations
  • Document review
  • And help with legal forms

From here, LegalZoom splits with LegalShield.

LegalShield offers unique debt collection, trial defense, and home business benefits within its monthly membership that LegalZoom doesn’t.

LegalZoom also limits its phone consultations (which LegalShield only does on consultations for special legal issues) and document reviews, both of which LegalShield offers more flexibility on. 

However, LegalZoom goes all-in on the business side by offering business formation, living will, DBA, and other services though at an extra fee. 

Another area they specialize in is tax advice, and this is the one feature that is unique to LegalZoom’s monthly legal service. 

As part of their comparable legal service membership, you get access to a tax professional who can answer your pressing tax accounting questions. 

Best for more complex legal needs: UpCounsel

Similar to LegalZoom, UpCounsel is a similar service to LegalShield with one main benefit that makes it stand apart from LegalShield: legal assistance for special or more complex legal issues.

One of the only limitations on LegalShield’s monthly plan is that it limits consultations and document review for specialty level issues. 

Where UpCounsel is uniquely positioned is in dealing with these more complex legal issues. 

Examples include:

  • Intellectual property
  • Import and export
  • And employee issues

However, keep in mind that UpCounsel, though not expensive as a traditional attorney, is significantly more expensive than LegalShield or another comparable service, often charging several hundred dollars per hour on phone consultations. 

Is LegalShield a scam?

LegalShield has been around for nearly 50 years. 

However, the nature of its service and its iffy customer service has led to some unwanted rumors about the service’s integrity. 

While we can’t speak first-hand, countless customers report being fully satisfied with LegalShield’s services as well as support, far more than there are complaints.

That said, digital business services akin to LegalShield (and LegalZoom) are notorious for having badly exported customer service, which definitely doesn’t help their reputation and likely hasn’t helped stem off such rumors. 

Is LegalShield worth it?

Was this Legalshield review helpful in deciding which legal assistance tool to go with (and whether it would be worth it in the first place)?

Only you can decide whether LegalShield is worth it for you. 

However, ask yourself these questions to help you come to your own decision:

  • Do you have a regular need for legal services?
  • Can you afford a full-time lawyer?
  • Can you make use of LegalShield’s debt collection or trial defense benefits?

One thing is for sure: if you run a business in a high-risk industry, you need to plan accordingly to make sure you have the right pieces in place to protect yourself.

LegalShield may be useful in helping you do exactly that.