Starting a Business – 6 Important Resources for Start Ups lists some online tools entrepreneurs can use to meet the legal requirements for their start-ups.  LegalZoom can help you file for trademarks, form a corporation or LLC, and link you up to online sites where you can find more information.  LegalZoom charges on a per document basis.  The Rocket Lawyer is similar to LegalZoom except that it charges monthly rates. can help you in your business name search.  It can tell if there is another company with the same name in the state where you are doing business. can tell you what licenses you need in your particular industry and state.  DocStoc has all the business forms you may need.  LivePlan is an online business plan service.

One word of warning: Even with these sites, you should consult an attorney.

1. LegalZoom

This extensive site can help you file for trademarks and patents, or form an S corporation or C corporation (or an LLC); it can even help with annual reports and copyrights.  Each section explains most of the nitty-gritty details (such as why you need to name a registered agent) and includes links to find more information.

2. Rocket Lawyer

Similar to LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer offers forms you fill out online and submit. One major difference is that Rocket Lawyer charges by the month to use the site, not per document. There are a few extra offerings, such as an NDA form for a product announcement and hiring contracts. The site also provides attorney referrals so you can fill out a form and then have your doc reviewed.


This site is focused on company filings and trademark searches. You can search for a business name and see if anyone else is using it in your state. There’s a section for “business maintenance” tasks such as creating an annual report and filing for tax-exempt status.

4. License123

You select your industry and state, and then can download the proper forms.

5. DocStoc

The parent site of License123, DocStoc contains business forms for just about any purpose: forming a company, filing trademarks, and even creating an advertising plan. You can use the site to store your own forms and documents, which is handy because you can access them all in one place.

6. LivePlan

For about $20 per month, is laser-focused on helping you start and manage a business plan. This document, which you might use to find investors or secure a bank loan, usually follows a specific format in which you calculate some of the start-up costs, create a plan for advertising and sales, and name those who will be involved. …

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