Harbor Compliance vs LegalZoom (Who’s Better?)
Do you need to form an LLC, but you’re not sure where to look for assistance? Companies like Harbor Compliance and LegalZoom offer LLC services that can be a great help, but which one is the best for you?
This Harbor Compliance vs LegalZoom comparison is structured in a way that makes it easy for you to find the information you need. From their commonalities to their differences, you’ll get the complete picture to help make your LLC formation decision.
* Note: If you would like to compare the top LLC services, we reviewed and ranked the best based on overall value-price-reliability. See Comparison.
Harbor Compliance and LegalZoom are both highly respected LLC service providers with extensive track records of success, and they’re both strong choices to form your new company. However, LegalZoom has a few advantages that make them our preferred pick for most of our readers.
First and foremost, LegalZoom’s $149 price point is much lower than the $399 base rate offered by Harbor Compliance. In addition, LegalZoom is one of the industry giants, with millions of customers and a ton of brand power.
Would you like to learn more about these two reputable LLC service providers before making your decision? Read on to find out their most important commonalities and differences.
6 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: With either of these providers, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over hiring a business lawyer to draft and file your formation documents. Furthermore, most LLCs are relatively simple business structures, so you may not need an attorney to begin with.
2) Customer Support: The big advantage Harbor Compliance and LegalZoom have over the DIY option is their customer service. Whenever questions or concerns may arise, you can simply call or email them to get a response instead of trying to find the answers on your own.
3) Experience: These are both highly experienced companies that are completely legitimate and trustworthy. With thousands of customers served, Harbor Compliance and LegalZoom have the know-how and experience to get the job done right.
4) Additional Services: Do you also need registered agent service? How about a federal tax ID number (EIN)? Or perhaps you need to acquire licenses or permits? LegalZoom and Harbor Compliance can both help you with these and many other services. Think of them as one-stop business service shops.
5) Security: Your online security is a priority for them. Both of these companies use Norton Web Security to protect their sites from malware and encrypt data transfers.
6) Educational: Whether you end up purchasing services from either of these companies or not, they both have lots of free learning tools at your disposal. LegalZoom and Harbor Compliance have all kinds of information available on their websites on topics ranging from formations to ongoing compliance issues and more.
Side by Side Comparisons
LegalZoom’s base price of $149 (plus state fee) represents a significant savings over Harbor Compliance’s starting rate of $399.
Harbor Compliance does quite a bit to justify that higher rate. They include both a federal tax ID number (EIN) and registered agent service, which are both necessary for most businesses, and they also provide premium customer support (more on this in a moment).
LegalZoom doesn’t include either of these in their base package, although they do provide a banking resolution which can be used to open business checking and savings accounts.
Harbor Compliance has served over 10,000 customers since they opened in 2012. LegalZoom is on another level though, with over 2 million business customers served since they formed in 1999. Harbor Compliance is a great mid-sized company for LLC service, whereas LegalZoom is among the industry giants.
Harbor Compliance made their reputation with their premium customer service. A Compliance Specialist is assigned to every customer, and that same specialist will guide you through every step of your formation. You will not wait on hold or talk to random call-center employees who know nothing about your business. Instead, you can call or email this specialist directly anytime you would like.
LegalZoom has a more standard support system, with representatives who can be a bit hit or miss. Some of them are quite good, but as is true with many companies of this size that isn’t the case with all of them. One thing that is consistently appreciated is their extended support hours. They’re available from 8am to 10pm ET Monday through Friday, and they’re even open from 10am to 7pm ET on weekends.
Harbor Compliance has state-by-state turnaround time estimates on their website. LegalZoom does it a bit differently, as their turnarounds are based on what level of LLC formation service you order from them. Express Gold (7-10 business days) is the fastest, followed by Standard (15) and Economy (30).
Neither of these companies feature advanced real-time order tracking tools, but they both do a good job of keeping you updated regarding the status of your LLC formation.
Registered Agent Service
Harbor Compliance includes a full year of registered agent with any LLC formation package, and it costs $99 per year after that. LegalZoom does not include registered agent with your formation, and they charge $159 annually to add it on. This category is obviously a big advantage for Harbor Compliance. (What is a Registered Agent?)
Harbor Compliance is a relatively new company, but out of the 54 reviews we did find for them, most are positive. Their customers frequently praise their next-level customer service.
LegalZoom has over 1,500 reviews available online, and they’re split relatively evenly between positive and critical feedback. Plenty of people enjoy their services, but they do have their fair share of unsatisfied customers who have problems with inconsistent customer support.
Ease of Use
LegalZoom and Harbor Compliance both make it easy to use their services, and they also both have efficient user-friendly websites.
LegalZoom and Harbor Compliance are both highly capable companies that can efficiently and effectively form an LLC. Still, if you remain undecided, it might help to go over a couple scenarios that may sway your opinion one way or the other.
Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
They can save you some money over Harbor Compliance, and they also have superior brand power and customer volume. If those things are important to you, LegalZoom is a solid choice for LLC service.
Choose Harbor Compliance if You Are:
Do you place a high value on customer support? Are you seeking a complete formation package that includes everything you’ll need to run a compliant LLC? Harbor Compliance is a great option if these questions apply to you.