LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - February 10, 2010) - While long-term job losses continue to make headlines, many Americans have stopped waiting to see what's next and are creating their own opportunities in areas they know best. In time for February's National Start a Business Month, LegalZoom.com surveyed 1000 Americans to learn more about their entrepreneurial ambitions. Their findings: when it comes to starting a business, the most popular choices hit close to home.

When asked what their perfect business would be, the most popular response, 20% of the survey, was to own a restaurant or bar. "It makes sense that opening a restaurant or bar is at the top of the list. People love to cook and entertain at home. The entrepreneur who can transform a personal skill into a viable business model holds a key part of the recipe for success," said Brian Liu, Co-founder and Chair of LegalZoom.com.

Professional consultant practices are the second most wished for entrepreneurial option, 12% of the survey selected this choice. Consultants often work from home and enjoy less overhead than a restaurant. A successful practice may require an investment in education, training, and on-the-job experience -- something many would-be self-employed consultants already have thanks to years of working for somebody else. Three professions round out the survey's top five most-desired business start-ups: inventor (10%), professional contractor (8%) and performing artist (7%).

When it comes to ownership, 88% of the survey respondents plan on keeping their business in the family; working as a single owner, a husband and wife team, or in partnership with adult children. Most of these respondents said their ideal businesses would be home-based (62%) or online (21%).

To begin the journey to financial independence, each of these new business owners will have to successfully navigate the formal start-up process. "A great idea can't succeed in the long-term without taking the right legal steps to create a solid business," said John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom.com. "LegalZoom.com makes basic start-up legal documents quick, easy and affordable. While the entrepreneur focuses on creating their product or service and attracting customers, they can rest assured knowing they have protected themselves and their intellectual property by having the proper legal documents in place.

In keeping with the theme, LegalZoom empowers entrepreneurs to form an LLC, Inc. or DBA from the comfort of their home with an easy to use online process. Plus:

-- LegalZoom offers a comprehensive Education Center to answer many questions about different business formations, legal requirements and asset protection.

-- The site makes it easy to protect your intellectual property with a patent, copyright and trademark. Instead of finding, downloading, filling-out and mailing-in all of the necessary government forms, simply answer LegalZoom's easy-to-follow questionnaire and you're well on your way.

-- A proper business entity, whether an LLC, LLP, or Inc. can give your business credibility, may limit liability, and can generate tax advantages. From your first declaration, to your grand opening, and throughout the business life cycle, LegalZoom has the self-help Legal services entrepreneurs need to start their business within budget and within the law.

About LegalZoom.com

Launched in 2001 by a founding team that includes famed attorney Robert Shapiro, LegalZoom.com has become the nation's leading online legal document company. LegalZoom merges innovative technology with personalized service to deliver a simple, cost-effective way to take care of common legal needs. Legal Zoom is not a law firm and can only provide self-help services at your specific direction. LegalZoom service offerings include: Wills, Living Wills, Incorporation, LLC Formation, Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Divorce, Small Claims, Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights.