Harvard Business Services opened in 1981, and they’ve formed 300,000+ businesses since then.
Considering how much competition there is in the LLC formation industry, it’s impressive that they have such longevity of operations and volume of customers.
This Harvard Business Services LLC service review is laid out in a way that makes it as easy as possible for you to find the information you need regarding their pros and cons, pricing and features, and more.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of Harvard Business Services:
✔ If you put a lot of weight on customer reviews, Harvard Business Services makes a strong case in that department. They have thousands of reviews across the web, with high average scores.
✔ Each of their LLC formations includes a year of registered agent service at no extra charge. Furthermore, if you add additional years of registered agent service, it’s only $50 annually which is the lowest flat rate we’ve seen, and that price is guaranteed not to increase over the life of your company.
✔ In a hurry? They can provide same-day formation with expedited service.
✔ If you need service in Spanish, they offer bilingual customer support and even have a Spanish version of their full website.
Disadvantages of Harvard Business Services:
Harvard Business Services LLC Packages
Harvard Business Services has three packages of LLC formation services to choose from: Green, Basic, and Standard.
Before we dive into their packages, we’d like to clarify their pricing a bit. Unlike their competitors, Harvard Business Services includes Delaware’s $90 state fee in their listed prices. With this in mind, the following price points are calculated to match the ones found in our other LLC service reviews so that you can easily compare them if you so choose.
Green = $89 + State Fee
Best For: Entrepreneurs who want to form a Delaware LLC with a free year of registered agent service.
➢ Preparation and Filing of Articles of Organization: The Articles of Organization are the forms you fill out in order to officially create your new business with the state of Delaware. Harvard Business Services will create these documents for you and also submit them to the state.
➢ Name Availability Check: They will search through Delaware’s official business database to ensure that your desired business name is still available and hasn’t already been claimed by another company.
➢ 1 Year Registered Agent Service: A registered agent is a person or entity that receives important document deliveries from the state on your behalf, then forwards them to you. This is required of all Delaware LLCs. Harvard Business Services will provide registered agent service for one year, after which you can renew for $50/year. Of course, you are under no obligation to renew this service.
➢ Ongoing Compliance Notifications: If you’re required to file annual reports, tax documents, or any other filings with the state of Delaware, Harvard Business Services will send you regular reminders of these deadlines.
➢ Digital Copy of Filed Documents
Basic = $139 + State Fee
Best For: Entrepreneurs who want to add a variety of customizable documents to their LLC formation.
Everything from the Green package, plus…
➢ Sample Documents: You’ll receive templates to create your own LLC operating agreement, banking resolution form, digital membership certificates, and more.
➢ Hard Copy of Filed Documents w/ Priority Mail Service
Standard = $239 + State Fee
Best For: Entrepreneurs who want to form an LLC and also want a symbolic corporate kit to hold company documents.
Everything from the Basic package, plus…
➢ LLC Kit and Seal: A binder with your company name embossed on it, plus a decorative seal customized for your LLC. Also includes some more sample documents, a meeting minute book, a transfer ledger to track ownership changes, and more.
Harvard Business Services also offers international LLC service. The Green package is exactly the same as the domestic version, but the international Basic package (and therefore, the Standard package as well) includes things like apostille and notary services to maintain compliance outside the US.
In-Depth Review of HBS
Overall Pricing and Value
Compared to other incorporation services, Harvard Business Services has competitive price points, especially when you consider that all of its packages include registered agent service for a year. The features you receive for their pricing are pretty good for the lower-level package, but the higher-tier packages aren’t as impressive.
Compared to the $89 Green package, their $139 Basic package and $239 Standard plan don’t add a ton of value.
Harvard Business Services was established in 1981 and has since formed more than 300,000 Delaware businesses. For the first ten years, the founder and his wife ran the business out of their home before expanding their company to an actual office.
By 1994, they expanded to reach a global market, and Harvard Business Services now serves businesses based in nearly a dozen countries. Their founding CEO is still leading the company and even has his email address listed on the website.
They have thousands of positive reviews online across a handful of sites and very few negative reviews. We were also impressed to see that they have five stars with the Better Business Bureau, with 136 reviews and just one customer complaint, which has since been resolved.
Harvard Business Services offers phone, email, chat, and even Skype support. We reached out via all except Skype and were impressed by their customer service and response times. This came as no surprise since many of their customer reviews mentioned these points, but it was nice to confirm it for ourselves.
Our chat question was answered almost immediately. The representative offered to call and talk us through the process, but we declined, wanting to call in on our own. Similarly, our email was answered by midday the following day.
The direct extensions of their staff are listed on the website, but we just called the main number to make a selection. Our call was answered in less than two minutes, and we were greeted by a very courteous agent who answered and even expanded upon our question.
Ease of Placing an Order
You want to start a business, but you have no idea where to begin. You don’t know how much goes into forming and running a business behind the scenes, and you shouldn’t lose sleep over figuring it out. The point of using an incorporation service is to save time and make the formation process simple.
Overall, the ordering process with Harvard Business Services is very straightforward. We were able to complete the process of forming a company in less than ten minutes.
After selecting a package, you put in your personal and business information. Before reaching the end of the order, you’ll receive an upsell to include a federal tax ID number (also known as an EIN) for $65. If you want to save some hassle, adding an EIN isn’t a bad idea, although you should know that you can acquire one from the IRS for free if you’re willing to do the legwork yourself.
Overall Turnaround Time
Harvard Business Services includes the total turnaround time for each of its packages, which is 3-5 business days (4-6 business days for the hard copy included in the Basic package). They guarantee same-day electronic filing of all documents as long as everything is in order. For an additional $150 fee, they also offer expedited same-day formations if filed by 1 p.m. ET or by the next business day if filed later in the day.
Best LLC Service Alternative
|🥇 ZenBusiness||$0 + state fee||Excellent||Absolutely|
If you’d like to explore other LLC services, choose ZenBusiness. We have formed 400,000+ businesses and accumulated thousands of positive reviews. We'll form your LLC for free — just pay your state's required fee!
Harvard Business Services Customer Reviews
|Trustpilot (3,322 reviews)||4.9 out of 5 stars|
|Better Business Bureau (43 reviews)||5.0 out of 5 stars|
|Facebook (77 reviews)||3.8 out of 5 stars|
|Google (75 reviews)||4.4 out of 5 stars|
There are thousands of Harvard Business Services reviews all around the web, and most of them are positive in nature.
If you would like to read some of them for yourself — which we always advise — you can check them out on TrustPilot, BBB.org, Google, and Facebook.
Generally speaking, their clients praise the efficiency of their services and also compliment their professional and friendly customer service agents.
Here are some of the things customers say they appreciate about Harvard Business Services:
- Annual cost to maintain the company with HBS is one of the lowest in the industry
- Friendly, professional, responsive staff that looks to help the client, not upsell
- Easy to use
- Quick turnaround for filings
Customer Service Quality
Harvard Business Services offers customer support through a variety of different mediums, including phone, email, web chat, and Skype. Both in our own experience and according to their customer reviews, Harvard Business Services representatives are helpful and professional no matter how you contact them.
Their response times are also quick, meaning you won’t have to sit around waiting to hear back from them. We also like how they list their staff members’ direct phone extensions on their website.
How Does Harvard Business Services Work?
Harvard Business Services is fairly easy to use. To get started, you’ll head to their “Form an LLC” page. Once there, you can expect to complete the following steps:
- Enter personal contact information: To file your paperwork (and notify you about your business in the future), Harvard Business Services needs some more information about you, including your email, your full name, your phone number, and if you want, your Skype.
- Information about your business: Here, you’ll tell HBS what type of business you want to form, your business name, and other information, such as the business owners, how the company will be managed, and more. This is the nitty-gritty stuff, but it helps make your business a reality.
- Choose any add-ons: Harvard Business Services doesn’t nag you with a lot of additional services, but they do offer you the option to expedite your filings. They’ll also get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for you if you want them to.
- Payment information: Of course, you’ll have to give Harvard Business Services the money they deserve for all their help. To that end, you’ll need to provide your credit card information.
Is Harvard Business Services Right for You?
Harvard Business Services is one of the top LLC service options for formations in Delaware. Their speedy filing times and affordable service packages make them worthy of consideration for any entrepreneur. Of course, no one solution will fit every business type, so let’s finish by discussing scenarios where you may or may not want to use their services.
✔ When to Form an LLC with Harvard Business Services:
If you’re forming an LLC in Delaware, they’re a solid option. Also, if you place a high value on customer feedback, it’s hard to go wrong with Harvard Business Services.
✖ When NOT to Form an LLC with Harvard Business Services:
If you want to form in any state other than Delaware, you’ll need to find someone else. Additionally, even though their prices are quite low, you can still save a bit of money on basic LLC formation with another service.
If you’re forming a limited liability company in Delaware, Harvard Business Services has good customer reviews, and all of its LLC formation packages include a full year of registered agent service.
The only significant drawback to their service is that they only form LLCs in Delaware ― if you want to form a business anywhere else, you’ll need to find a different business formation service.
What Other Services Does Harvard Business Services Offer?
As with most competitors, Harvard Business Services provides a wide variety of additional services to help entrepreneurs form, maintain, and grow their businesses.
We dug into the list of features Harvard Business Services offers to see how much they charge for each of these services, which can be especially interesting when examining a la carte pricing for features included in their formation packages.
We will point out that Harvard Business Services does not provide as many additional services as some competitors, and we also left out a handful of services that either require you to contact them for more information or reroute you to purchase services from a third-party partner company.
Let’s take a look at everything Harvard Business Services offers and discuss which services are good deals and which ones you can ignore. Keep in mind that Harvard Business Services includes state fees (if applicable) in most of its pricing models, while competitors that offer services in all 50 states do not. That’s why the prices below are occasionally higher than you might expect from such an affordable company.
- Registered Agent Service ($50 per year): Harvard Business Services offers one of the industry’s lowest price points for registered agent service. At just $50 per year, this is a bargain.
- Certificate of Good Standing ($124): This form proves your LLC is current and compliant with all regulations in your state. The $124 Harvard Business Services fee for this service is reasonable, as it includes Delaware’s $50 state fee.
- EIN ($95): It’s very easy to obtain your own EIN from the IRS, so it’s probably unnecessary to spend $95 having Harvard Business Services acquire one on your behalf.
- Mail Forwarding Service ($29 or $99): Harvard Business Services has an interesting setup for its mail forwarding service. Instead of a monthly fee, you instead pay them per piece of mail. You’ll pay $29 per six pieces of mail or $99 per 25 pieces of mail. HBS even offers specialized packages for airplane and boat operators, and a virtual office service with 520 forwarded pieces of mail per year.
- Operating Agreement Template (FREE): Every LLC needs an operating agreement, and Harvard Business Services provides templates for these important documents for free! When you consider that some competitors charge $35 for their templates, this is a good offer.
Harvard Business Services is a good option for any entrepreneur seeking a high-quality Delaware LLC formation service. We also appreciate this company’s positive customer feedback and cheap registered agent service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got Harvard Business Services questions? We’ve got answers.
Is Harvard Business Services Legit?
Harvard Business Services has formed more than 200,000 business entities since it opened for business back in 1981. They have a good reputation for customer feedback, as nearly all of their thousands of reviews are highly positive. Their clients frequently mention how pleased they are with the speed of their services, as well as the assistance provided by their customer support team.
Does Harvard Business Services Have Good Customer Support?
Both in our own experience and as it pertains to their general reputation, Harvard Business Services has solid customer service, although it has somewhat limited hours of availability. They’ll provide all the support you need throughout your company’s life cycle, and you can contact them any weekday between 9am and 5pm ET.
Does Harvard Business Services Offer Any Discounts?
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any discount codes for Harvard Business Services. Trust us, it’s not for a lack of searching. We looked far and wide hoping to find a way for our readers to save money with Harvard Business Services, but we came up empty.
Harvard Business Services has reasonable pricing to begin with, but it’s still disappointing that there aren’t any ways to knock their rates down a bit.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
As long as you request your refund within 30 days, they will provide it less a 5% service fee with no questions asked.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
Of course. Many entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs and if this is something you’d like to look into, check out our step-by-step guide. On the other side of the coin, some people choose to hire a lawyer to form an LLC, but this route is usually much more expensive than using an online LLC service.
How Does Harvard Business Services Compare to Other LLC Providers?
It’s totally fine to be uncertain about which online LLC formation service is the right choice for your unique business. After all, there are a ton of options out there, and each of them has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
However, we’ve done countless hours of research on this topic, reviewing and comparing all of the best LLC formation services.
Beyond that, we invite you to check out some of our comparison guides, which take a head-to-head view of the competition between Harvard Business Services and its top competitors:
Harvard Business Services vs IncFile
Harvard Business Services vs IncFile: IncFile actually offers an LLC formation package for free, as long as you pay your own state fee. Seeing as Harvard Business Services charges $89, pricing is a win for IncFile, especially considering both companies include a year of registered agent service at no extra charge.
While both of these companies have good customer reviews, IncFile has more of them. Don’t get us wrong, Harvard Business Services still impresses in this area, but IncFile has a larger volume of positive reviews.
Overall, the big advantage for Harvard Business Services in this competition is in the area of turnaround times because they can form Delaware businesses faster than anyone else.
Harvard Business Services vs LegalZoom
Harvard Business Services vs LegalZoom: LegalZoom charges $79 for LLC formations, but this package includes very little when it comes to features. However, LegalZoom has more experience than just about any other company in this industry, with more than 4 million customers served.
Harvard Business Services and LegalZoom have similar customer feedback reputations, as both companies have thousands of positive reviews and only a small handful of negative feedback.
At the end of the day, the most convincing reason to use LegalZoom over Harvard Business Services for a Delaware LLC formation is if you prioritize experience.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC?
In most situations, this is not a necessary step.
The only times that we recommend reserving a name in advance is if you’re not yet ready to form your business, but want to ensure that the name you want will be available when you do enter the LLC formation process, or if you’re forming a business in a state like Alabama that requires an advance reservation. Otherwise, you can safely skip this step.
Can I Form an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
You sure can. In fact, there are almost zero restrictions on who can form an LLC in this country.
You don’t need to live here, you don’t need to be a resident, and you don’t even need to have a physical presence in the United States. These are some of the reasons why the LLC is such a popular business structure to begin with.
What Is Their Customer Support Phone Number and Email?
To connect with Harvard Business Services via phone, you can call 1-800-345-CORP, and their general information contact email address is email@example.com. You can also contact them via Skype or live chat. Harvard Business Services makes it easy to connect with their customer support team.
I’ve Heard LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells. Does Harvard Business Services?
We don’t feel like Harvard Business Services gets pushy at all when it comes to the category of upsells, especially compared to LegalZoom.
Once you select your formation package, they don’t try to convince you to upgrade to a higher tier of service, or to add unnecessary bonus features. In general, we don’t have any issue with the way Harvard Business Services presents their products and services.
How Quickly Does Harvard Business Services Process LLC Formations?
Harvard Business Services has some of the fastest turnaround times in the entire industry when it comes to processing times in Delaware.
It would be very tough to top their 1-3 day turnaround time for Delaware formations. In fact, IncFile takes 15 days to form a Delaware LLC, or 5 days if you expedite your order.
Other Than LLC Formation, What Else Can Harvard Business Services Do?
Harvard Business Services provides quite a few additional services for their Delaware clients, including registered agent service, certificates of good standing, EIN acquisition, certified copies, apostille, mail forwarding, foreign qualifications, operating agreements, amendments, business licensing, and dissolutions.
Is an Extra $95 Worth Getting an EIN?
Our answer to this question varies a bit depending on your priorities as an entrepreneur.
If you have the extra money available, we love the convenience of having your LLC formation documents and your EIN confirmation in the same place. If that’s not worth the extra $95 to you, you might as well just get your own EIN from the IRS for free.
What Are Harvard Business Service’s Biggest Advantage and Disadvantage?
The biggest advantage for Harvard Business Services is that they receive consistently positive feedback from their clients. Reading through their reviews, it becomes quite clear that their customers truly appreciate the services they provide.
As for disadvantages, their Delaware-only focus is obviously a major issue if you’re trying to form or maintain a business elsewhere, and we’re honestly not impressed by the value in their upper-tier formation packages either.
Does Harvard Business Services Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
Even with their most affordable formation package, Harvard Business Services includes a combination of features to help your business stay compliant into the future.
They include registered agent service with every one of their formation packages, along with their compliance alert system that lets you know when you have filing deadlines coming up. They also offer assistance with your annual report and franchise tax.
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