Harbor Compliance opened in 2012, and they’ve already helped over 10,000 customers in those few years.
There are many LLC services available, but Harbor Compliance has still managed to carve out a place for themselves in the industry.
This Harbor Compliance LLC service review is structured so that you can easily find the information you need in order to decide whether or not you’d like to use their services.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of Harbor Compliance:
✔ The biggest selling point for Harbor Compliance is their premium customer service. Every client is assigned a Compliance Specialist who walks you through each step of your formation. If you ever have questions, you can directly call or email your Specialist. No waiting on hold, and no talking to random service reps who aren’t familiar with your business.
✔ Harbor Compliance is a complete LLC formation service provider. They even offer assistance with state-specific compliance guidelines, like publishing your formation in newspapers. Not all providers tell you that you might need these features, and even fewer offer to help you with them.
✔ Every customer who orders LLC formation through Harbor Compliance receives a full year of their registered agent service.
✔ Customer feedback is a plus for Harbor Compliance, as it’s nearly impossible to find any critical reviews of their services anywhere online.
Disadvantages of Harbor Compliance:
✖ Harbor Compliance’s pricing starts at $399 plus state fee, which is far more expensive than cheap LLC services who only charge $39 or less. Granted, Harbor Compliance offers a far more personalized service.
Harbor Compliance LLC Packages
Harbor Compliance presents customers with two options for LLC service: Formation and Compliance. If you’d like to see how they define these packages in their own words, take a look at the breakdown below.
Formation = $399 + State Fee
➢ Preparation and Filing of Your Articles of Organization: These forms are submitted to your state of formation to officially create your new LLC. Harbor Compliance will draft these documents, and file them with the state.
➢ Name Availability Search: To ensure that the name you want for your company is available, they’ll search your state business database to make sure someone else hasn’t already claimed it.
➢ One Year Registered Agent Service: Every LLC operating in America needs to designate a registered agent. This is a person or entity that receives important document deliveries from the state on your behalf, then forwards them to you. After your first free year of registered agent, Harbor Compliance charges $99/year, which is a solid price point ― though you are in no way obligated to renew.
➢ Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): An EIN is basically a Social Security Number for your business. With an EIN, you can hire employees, file business taxes, open business bank accounts, etc.
➢ Sample Operating Agreement: This document outlines the ownership structure of your LLC, and also lays out some guidelines for how it will be operated. Harbor Compliance supplies a template for you to create your own operating agreement.
Compliance = $799 + State Fee
Everything from the Formation package, plus…
➢ Managed Annual Report Service: Harbor Compliance will handle every aspect of your LLC’s annual reports. They’ll keep track of your due dates, create your reports, and submit them to your state.
➢ Initial Report: In some states, you need to file an initial report after forming your LLC. Harbor Compliance will draft and file this report on your behalf.
➢ Publishing: Select states require every new LLC to publish proof of their formation in a local newspaper, then provide the state with an affidavit showing that you complied with the regulation. With the Compliance package, Harbor Compliance will handle this step for you (if necessary).
➢ LLC Kit and Seal: A binder with your company name embossed on it, along with a symbolic seal customized with your business name, state of formation, and incorporation date.
➢ S Corp or C Corp Tax Election: If you choose to have your LLC be taxed like a corporation instead of like a partnership, Harbor Compliance will prepare and file the necessary forms with the IRS.
➢ Ongoing Support: The Formation package only provides access to customer support through your LLC’s successful formation, whereas the Compliance package provides ongoing customer service access.
Top Harbor Compliance Alternatives
Harbor Compliance definitely has some distinct advantages in the online LLC services world, but there’s a lot of competition in this industry these days. If Harbor Compliance doesn’t sound like a perfect fit for your business, there are plenty of other options that we could take a look at.
ZenBusiness – $39: A great Harbor Compliance alternative is ZenBusiness. Their prices are much lower than Harbor Compliance’s, as they start at just $39, which still includes a full year of registered agent service. They also have hundreds of very positive reviews across the web. Northwest – $225: Another option is Northwest Registered Agent, with prices starting at $225. Northwest provides premium customer support that’s quite similar to the Compliance Specialist system used by Harbor Compliance, and they also include a year of registered agent.
ZenBusiness – $39: A great Harbor Compliance alternative is ZenBusiness. Their prices are much lower than Harbor Compliance’s, as they start at just $39, which still includes a full year of registered agent service. They also have hundreds of very positive reviews across the web.
Northwest – $225: Another option is Northwest Registered Agent, with prices starting at $225. Northwest provides premium customer support that’s quite similar to the Compliance Specialist system used by Harbor Compliance, and they also include a year of registered agent.
Harbor Compliance Customer Reviews
|Google (68 reviews)||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|Better Business Bureau (29 reviews)||5.0 out of 5 stars|
|Facebook (24 reviews)||4.7 out of 5 stars|
As a relatively new company with just a few years of experience, it’s not surprising that Harbor Compliance doesn’t have a ton of online customer feedback, at least not compared to some competitors that have thousands of reviews. Still, the feedback they do have is so positive that it’s easy to overlook the fact that there isn’t a lot of it.
If you would like to get a feel for what the Harbor Compliance customer experience is like, we would recommend reading through some of their reviews for yourself.
In general, the vast majority of their clients mention the exceptional support they receive from Harbor Compliance’s service reps, which is no big surprise to anyone familiar with their services.
Is Harbor Compliance Right For You?
Harbor Compliance is one of the top LLC formation services online. Of course, every business has a unique set of requirements when it comes to formation and ongoing compliance concerns, so let’s wrap things up by discussing a couple scenarios in which you may or may not want to use Harbor Compliance to form your LLC.
✔ When to Start an LLC with Harbor Compliance:
Any entrepreneur who wants a complete LLC formation package with next-level customer service has to be interested in Harbor Compliance. Their top-tier Compliance package is worth pursuing if your state has complex compliance requirements.
✖ When NOT to Start an LLC with Harbor Compliance:
There are much cheaper ways to form your LLC with registered agent service, like with ZenBusiness for just $39 compared to Harbor Compliance’s $399 base rate.
Final Verdict (Our Recommendation)
Harbor Compliance is a great option to provide fully managed LLC service because of their fantastic customer support and their valuable packages of well-balanced features, but their prices leave a lot to be desired. Are they’re higher prices worth it? Overall, yes, if you have the budget. However, most entrepreneurs get everything they’ll need by forming an LLC with a cheaper LLC service.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Got Harbor Compliance questions? We’ve got answers.
How Does Harbor Compliance Compare to Other LLC Services?
To be perfectly honest, there are many LLC providers that we prefer to Harbor Compliance. Their prices are simply too high compared to their competitors, and while Harbor Compliance does have high-quality services, they’re still not worth the cost.
In fact, Harbor Compliance did not to claim a spot on our “7 Best LLC Registration Services” guide. If you’re looking for one of the best LLC providers in the industry, we strongly recommend ZenBusiness, Northwest Registered Agent, or IncFile.
Is Harbor Compliance Legit?
Harbor Compliance has been around since 2012, and more than 25,000 business customers have used their services in the years since then. Their customer feedback is mostly positive as well, although they only have around 115 reviews available online, which is a much smaller collection of feedback than some of their competitors have.
Is Harbor Compliance the LLC Website You Recommend to Family and Friends?
This is a somewhat difficult question to answer. If our mom asked whether Harbor Compliance is worth using, we would say that we appreciate their comprehensive state-specific services and their strong customer support network, but also that there are clearly some better options out there.
We would ultimately recommend ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent because these companies have much lower price points while still providing similar services.
Does Harbor Compliance Offer Any Discounts?
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any promo codes, discounts, coupons, or sales for Harbor Compliance’s services.
Does Harbor Compliance Have Good Customer Support?
Harbor Compliance’s claim to fame is their next-level customer service. Each one of their clients gets paired up with a Compliance Specialist who walks you through every step of the LLC formation process. Very few competitors can match their level of involved support.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
In their own words: “If you order services from us, you may not cancel.” Fair enough!
Other Than LLC Formation, What Else Can Harbor Compliance Do?
LLC formations are not Harbor Compliance’s primary service. Instead, they focus much of their attention on registered agent service, business licensing, and annual reports. Another area where Harbor Compliance can help you is compliance software, as they offer entity management, licensing management, recordkeeping, and tax assistance. They also provide several services for nonprofits.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
You certainly have this option, and quite a few entrepreneurs do choose to form their own LLCs. The reason we aren’t huge fans of the DIY route is because it often requires quite a bit of legwork, especially if your state has any advanced compliance requirements.
On the other end of the spectrum, some people hire lawyers to form their LLCs, but this is a much more expensive option than using an online LLC service.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC?
Reserving an LLC name before forming your business entity is almost always unnecessary. If you’re not yet ready to form your LLC, it can be a good idea to reserve your business name ahead of time, simply so that when you do form your business, the name you want is still available.
In addition, if you’re forming an LLC in Alabama, you’ll need to reserve your name before forming your business to comply with state law. Other than those exceptions, you don’t need to concern yourself with this step.
Can I Form an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
You certainly can! One of the reasons the LLC is such a popular business structure is that there are so few restrictions on who can form one.
You don’t have to be a United States citizen or resident, you don’t need to be physically located in the country to form an LLC, etc. Long story short, there are very few limitations regarding who can form LLCs.
Does Harbor Compliance Handle New York Publication and Alabama Name Reservation?
Harbor Compliance is one of the most complete LLC formation services available online, providing everything you could possibly need to form your compliant business entity.
This means that they provide publishing service (for a $325 additional fee), and they’ll also take care of your Alabama name reservation.
What's the Harbor Compliance Customer Support Phone Number and Email?
There are several ways to get in touch with Harbor Compliance’s customer service department, starting with calling them at 1-888-995-5895.
You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can fill out the contact form on their website. No matter which one you choose, you’ll receive prompt and knowledgeable assistance.
Does Harbor Compliance Share My Information With Third Parties?
So many of Harbor Compliance’s competitors try to get you to sign up for “special offers” or “free extras,” but when you read the fine print, you realize that it’s actually just an opportunity for them to share your info with third-party partners.
On the other hand, Harbor Compliance doesn’t do this, as they keep your private information in-house, and they don’t try to get you to opt into any info-sharing situations.
I’ve Heard LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells. Does Harbor Compliance?
In our opinion, compared to LegalZoom’s services, Harbor Compliance does a good job of minimizing the amount of upsells throughout the ordering process.
They don’t try to push unnecessary features on you, and once you select which formation package you want, they don’t make any upsell attempts. Harbor Compliance is one of the best companies in the industry in this regard.
How Quickly Does Harbor Compliance Process LLC Formations?
Like most of their competitors, Harbor Compliance’s LLC formation processing times are based on the requirements set forth by your formation state.
Depending on which state your business is located in, it could take as little as a few days, or as long as several weeks to get your LLC formed.
Ready to Start Your LLC?
Start your LLC with Harbor Compliance or read our comparison of the 7 top rated LLC services.