Do you need to form an LLC online, but you’re not sure whether Harvard Business Services is the right choice to assist you with LLC service?
There are many companies offering formation services online, and it can be difficult to figure out which one will be the best fit for your specific business.
This Harvard Business Services LLC service alternatives guide takes a look at how they compare side-by-side with four of their top competitors. Which one is the right pick for your company?
3 Fast Facts About Harvard Business Services
Before we get too far into our discussion of its alternatives, let’s quickly dig into some core components of Harvard Business Services as a company. Here are the three most important attributes of Harvard Business Services to know before examining your other options:
- Delaware Experts: If you’re forming an LLC in Delaware, very few companies can hold a candle to Harvard Business Services. They have formed more than 200,000 Delaware businesses over the years, and their expertise in this state is second to none.
- Outstanding Customer Feedback Reputation: It’s tough to top what Harvard Business Services has to offer when it comes to customer reviews. We found about 3,500 reviews of their services and discovered that nearly all of that feedback is positive in nature.
- Affordable Registered Agent Service: Harvard Business Services offers an excellent rate for registered agent service that few competitors even come close to. They charge just $50 per year, whereas some competitors charge $200 or even more for this exact same service.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Great low rates, feature-packed formation packages, and a dedication to giving back.
ZenBusiness opened its doors in 2015, and they have a unique approach to business formation services thanks to their use of automation to speed up and simplify several parts of the process.
Let’s see how they stack up when compared to Harvard Business Services.
- ZenBusiness is one of the most affordable LLC services online. For just $39 (plus state fee), they will form your business and provide a full year of registered agent service. That off the bat will save you $50 as opposed to Harvard Business Services.
- If you like seeing positive customer reviews, you’ll love ZenBusiness. They have more than 6,200 reviews available online, and it’s difficult to find more than just a small handful of negative reviews.
- We really appreciate ZenBusiness’ commitment to giving back. As a public benefit corporation, ZenBusiness partners with Kiva.org to provide financial lending services to poverty-stricken individuals, and they also loan money to women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
The only negative with ZenBusiness is that if you’re on a VERY tight budget, they might not be the best option for you. If that is the case, IncFile has a free LLC service.
Want to learn more about ZenBusiness? Read our review.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Free LLC formations that still come with plenty of valuable features.
IncFile is a highly popular option for LLC service, as they’ve helped 500,000+ customers since opening in 2004. They have appealing service packages because they mix great prices with complete feature sets. How do they stack up next to Harvard Business Services?
- IncFile’s pricing starts at just $0 (plus state fee), which can obviously save you quite a bit of money compared to the $89 rate of Harvard Business Services.
- One major similarity to Harvard Business Services is that IncFile offers a full year of registered agent service with any formation package. It is certainly worth noting though that IncFile charges $119 per year for registered agent service after your first free year, whereas Harvard Business Services has a low annual rate of just $50.
- Another area where IncFile overlaps with Harvard Business Services is great customer feedback. Both companies have thousands of reviews available, and still manage to maintain very high average rating scores.
One other important note is that Harvard Business Services only forms companies in the state of Delaware. IncFile will form an LLC in any state, as will the other services in this guide.
Want to learn more about IncFile? Read our review.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Industry-best customer support and outstanding registered agent service.
Northwest Registered Agent has been around since 1998, and they’ve carved out a nice spot for themselves as a midsize company providing top-notch business services. They have thousands of satisfied customers, but are they a better option than Harvard Business Services?
- With Northwest Registered Agent, you can acquire LLC formation service packages starting at $225, which is more expensive than the $89 rate offered by Harvard Business Services.
- Northwest Registered Agent also provides a year of registered agent service with any LLC service package, but they have an advantage in this area that ZenBusiness, IncFile, and Harvard Business Services can’t match. Northwest is the only major service provider that locally scans every document they receive on your behalf as your registered agent ― most other companies will only scan government forms.
- Northwest’s customer support is unrivaled in this industry. They offer a level of personalized support that most competitors only dream of. While some companies outsource their support teams to foreign countries, Northwest’s highly knowledgeable reps are with you every step of the way.
Northwest Registered Agent also receives strong customer feedback (although they only have a few hundred reviews available), and they form LLCs in all 50 states. Overall, they’re a great choice if you prefer to work with a company that has a bit more of a personal touch.
Want to learn more about Northwest Registered Agent? Read our review.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Extensive marketing campaigns and a massive volume of customers served.
LegalZoom has a truly impressive experience level, as they’ve helped about 4 million total customers and formed more than 1 million LLCs since opening in 1999. Let’s find out how they compare to Harvard Business Services in other areas.
- LegalZoom charges $79 (plus state fee) for LLC formation, which is slightly lower than the $89 price point available from Harvard Business Services.
- LegalZoom offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee that’s the best refund policy of any service in this guide. If you’re unhappy for any reason, simply request a refund within 60 days of your purchase, no questions asked.
- Our favorite aspect of LegalZoom’s service is that they have extended customer support hours that are much longer than any other company in this guide. They’re available from 8am to 10pm ET Monday through Friday, and they’re even open on weekends from 10am to 7pm ET. By comparison, Harvard Business Services has standard 9am to 5pm ET weekday operating hours.
They don’t get great customer reviews either, with more of a mix between positive and negative feedback than these other choices. Still, LegalZoom’s brand power and convenient customer service hours are a formidable duo of advantages in our book.
However, it’s worth noting that our LegalZoom alternatives review is one of the most researched reviews that we have.
Want to learn more about LegalZoom? Read our review.
The Best Harvard Business Services Alternative?
In our opinion, these are all strong choices for LLC formation, with reliable and efficient services. In addition, they’re all going to save you quite a bit of money compared to hiring an attorney to draft and file your formation documents.
All five of these service providers have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages in comparison to each other.
In general, ZenBusiness’ excellent overall value and IncFile’s entirely free LLC service are tough to top, whereas Harvard Business Services has the best deal on registered agent service. LegalZoom has an impressive experience advantage, while Northwest Registered Agent has the best customer support.
Of course, if you’re not forming a business in Delaware, Harvard Business Services won’t be an option for you. We honestly wouldn’t have a problem recommending any of these services, and we think they each appeal to a certain segment of the market.
Our personal favorite though is ZenBusiness. They have great prices, and they also have lots of great features and positive customer feedback.
Customer Feedback Comparison
One of the most important aspects of any LLC formation service is the customer feedback the company receives. To help you analyze each company’s customer reviews, we decided to create this customer feedback comparison section that breaks down how these companies stack up next to each other in this crucial area.
LLC formation services can have customer feedback collections that vary considerably in both quality and quantity. With this in mind, we created the following comparison in an attempt to make it as easy as possible for you to compare these companies in an apples-to-apples manner.
- Harvard Business Services: 3,460 reviews / 4.9-star average score
- ZenBusiness: 6,260 reviews / 4.8-star average score
- Northwest Registered Agent: 269 reviews / 4.4-star average score
- IncFile: 26,608 reviews / 4.8-star average score
- LegalZoom: 4,070 reviews / 4.1-star average score
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
Do Any of These Services Handle Requirements Like Publication?
ZenBusiness is the only one of these companies that offers publication service, although in Harvard Business Services’ case, it’s because they only offer service in Delaware, a state that does not require publication.
Northwest does provide their customers with step-by-step instructions to complete their own publication requirements, but that’s as close as you’ll get with any of these companies other than ZenBusiness.
Which Service Has the Fewest Upsells?
To be perfectly honest, Harvard Business Services, ZenBusiness, Northwest, and IncFile all have basically zero upsells. They will all occasionally present an opportunity to upgrade services or add features, but they’re never pushy about it.
LegalZoom though is a different story. They attempt $1,080 worth of upsells just as you traverse their LLC formation order form, which can be a real turnoff for entrepreneurs on a budget.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
Harvard Business Services, Northwest, and LegalZoom all avoid third-party partnership offers, which is a breath of fresh air in an industry that can often get overwhelming with info-sharing between companies.
On the other hand, IncFile and ZenBusiness do share your info with some third-party partners. As you make your way through IncFile’s LLC service order form, you’ll see a business tax consultation offer, a business bank account offer, and a website building package, which are all third-party partnership offers that require sharing your info. As for ZenBusiness, their upper-tier packages have features like domain name registration and a corporate website that are provided by third parties.
Are Any of These Services Faster Than the Others?
If you’re forming an LLC in Delaware, Harvard Business Services is the quickest of these options, as they can get your formation completed in just 1-3 days, even with non-expedited processing.
Other than that, IncFile and Northwest have very similar filing speeds because they both base their turnarounds on each state’s processing times, but LegalZoom and ZenBusiness structure their filing times differently.
The turnaround times for LegalZoom and ZenBusiness vary based on whichever LLC package you choose. The lower-priced packages take the longest, while the most expensive packages have the fastest turnaround times.
Which Service Has the Best Refund Policy?
LegalZoom is our winner in this category, as their satisfaction guarantee ensures that any customer who requests one within 60 days of their purchase receives a full refund of their service fees. They don’t even charge a cancellation fee!
Harvard Business Services comes close, as they only have a 5% service fee and a 30-day refund window, but LegalZoom is still our preference.
Can I Just Form an LLC on My Own, Without a Service?
Absolutely. The DIY option is always available to you, and quite a few people do form their own LLCs without professional assistance. However, we love the peace of mind we get from hiring a professional service to form our LLC because we trust their expertise.