We have seen a lot of legal tech partnerships in recent months, but this is a new kind of deal – listed legal services provider LegalZoom and website builder Wix have linked together to let founders create a new business with all the right legal docs, plus build their online presence, all in one go.
The move comes as an increasing number of law firms and legal tech companies are also creating online systems to help founders get up and running.
The Wix/LegalZoom partnership makes a lot of sense. Thousands of company owners look to LegalZoom to get the basic legal documents in place that they need to operate, from company formation docs, to employee contracts, to leases and more.
Many company founders also naturally don’t feel like they are really up and running until they have a website. So, this fusion of needs is totally logical.
Or, as the companies put it, this will provide ‘LegalZoom’s substantial legal and compliance solutions combined with Wix’s comprehensive online platform …. with all the necessary tools needed to start, manage and grow [a] business’.
All well and good, how will it work?
‘Once available, business owners will have an option to gain access to LegalZoom’s legal, tax and compliance solutions and services and immediate access to a website built specifically for their business type at the time of formation,’ they explained.
The process will begin with a ‘business categorisation mechanism within the platform identifying the registered business users’ intent, which allows them to ultimately have a ready-made site created by Wix to serve their business needs’.
In turn Wix users will be offered ‘relevant LegalZoom services including new business formation, registered agent services, and trademark registration services, based on their specific needs’. This will initially be available in the US from the second half of this year.
Kathy Tsitovich, Chief Partnerships Officer, LegalZoom, said: ‘Having a simple way to build a beautiful website is almost universal for small business owners. As a champion for small businesses, we are thrilled to see how our integration with Wix empowers entrepreneurs and supports their ongoing growth.’
Yaniv Vakrat, Chief Business Officer at Wix, concluded: ‘Wix shares LegalZoom’s goal of supporting SMBs and bringing entrepreneurs’ visions to life. We are excited that LegalZoom, the leader of online small business formation, chose us to help equip business owners in the US with everything they need for their business, from inception to managing it on a day-to-day basis. We are excited to continue to enter strategic partnerships, such as this one, to help SMBs grow through every touchpoint of their business.’
Is this a big deal? It’s interesting on two levels, first this is a giant, consumer online brand doing a deal with a legal tech / legal services business – and we don’t see too many of those.
Second, it’s part of a wider trend to make it easier for companies to launch – and that clearly has an impact on those law firms that hope to make revenue from providing these kinds of early stage services.
Tying web design to legal services is also a smart move, as nearly all businesses have a website and by combining the two you create a new kind of stickiness.
When will the other website companies do deals with legal services companies…?