Are you looking to form a new LLC, but you’re not comfortable going it alone with the DIY route?
Do you lack the budget necessary to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to hire an attorney to draft and file your formation papers?
Companies like Harvard Business Services and BizFilings can form your LLC with minimal hassle and at reasonable price points, but how do you decide which one to use?
This Harvard Business Services vs BizFilings comparison takes an in-depth look at their most important shared characteristics, as well as the attributes that set them apart. We’re confident that by the time you’re done reading, you’ll know which one is the best option for your new company.
Harvard Business Services and BizFilings are two of the top LLC formation service providers. They’re both easy to recommend because they can quickly and conveniently form your new LLC, but in general, we prefer Harvard Business Services.
First off, Harvard Business Services has one of the best customer feedback reputations in this industry, with thousands of positive reviews, whereas customer reviews are one of BizFilings’ weaknesses. Secondly, every Harvard Business Services formation package includes a full year of registered agent service, whereas BizFilings includes just six months’ worth. It should be noted however that BizFilings has some advantages of their own, such as the ability to form an LLC in any state, compared to the Delaware-only focus of Harvard Business Services.
Do you need some more info before you make this important decision? Let’s dive into the details of these two top-quality LLC formation service providers.
Is There a Better Alternative?
While Harvard Business Services and BizFilings both have plenty of positives, neither of them are among our absolute favorite companies in this industry.
In general, we prefer to use a service like ZenBusiness or IncFile. They include a full year of registered agent service with all of their LLC formation packages and a lot of other solid features. Plus, they have fabulous customer feedback reputations, with thousands of positive reviews all over the web.
6 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: With either one of these companies, you’ll save a considerable amount of money compared to hiring a lawyer to form your LLC. The LLC is one of the simplest business structures in America anyway, so you may find the attorney’s expertise to be unnecessary.
2) Customer Support: While saving money is always important, it’s not the only thing that matters. To us, it’s equally important to be able to access help when we need it. With Harvard Business Services and BizFilings, you’ll never feel left out in the cold, because their customer service reps can answer even your toughest LLC formation questions quickly and correctly.
3) Experience: Would you rather use a formation service that has already successfully formed thousands of businesses, or one with no track record of experience? Both BizFilings and Harvard Business Services have tons of experience, and you can absolutely trust them to know what they’re doing.
4) Registered Agent Service: Both of these companies include registered agent service in every LLC formation package they offer. Seeing as every LLC in America needs to designate a registered agent for compliance purposes, this is one less thing you’ll need to worry about as a Harvard Business Services or BizFilings customer.
5) Efficiency: Are you in a hurry to get your business formed? Are you operating on a tight deadline? No problem! Both BizFilings and Harvard Business Services can expedite your order to get your LLC formed in just a matter of days rather than weeks, although BizFilings does attach some hefty additional fees on top of your state’s expediting fee (more on this shortly…).
6) Additional Services: Are you in the market for other business services in addition to your LLC formation? Whether you’re looking for foreign qualification, an operating agreement, a federal tax ID number (EIN), or many other services, both of these providers have you covered. They’re truly one-stop business services shops.
Side by Side Comparisons
While everyone would rather pay $89 than $99, it’s not enough of a difference to make a big impact on our overall analysis. In our opinion, the next category is a bigger deal, so let’s see if Harvard Business Services can expand on their slight lead from this category, or if BizFilings is about to catch up.
With either one of these companies, you’ll receive the essentials of formation: a business name availability check, and the preparation and filing of your articles of organization. Beyond that, BizFilings provides six months of registered agent service and six months of its online compliance monitoring tool. They will also form an LLC in any state you wish.
Harvard Business Services only forms businesses in Delaware, but they offer a full year of registered agent service, along with lifetime access to their corporate compliance tool. Overall, your preference in this area likely comes down to whether you would like to form an LLC in the state of Delaware or elsewhere.
Clearly, Harvard Business Services has a significant advantage in this category. They offer an additional six months of registered agent service, and you’ll have access to a compliance dashboard for the life of your business. If you want to upgrade your BizFilings package to make it match the features offered by Harvard Business Services, you’d need to add $87 to purchase six additional months of registered agent service and the compliance tool, and you still wouldn’t match the lifetime compliance dashboard offer from Harvard Business Services.
Of course, if you’re not forming an LLC in Delaware, Harvard Business Services isn’t an option. For those of you forming a business in any other state, BizFilings is still a strong choice.
Harvard Business Services has formed more than 200,000 businesses in Delaware since they opened back in 1981. That’s a great experience level, but BizFilings has a higher customer volume, with 500,000+ business filings since 2001.
You’ll receive high-quality customer service from either one of these companies, in our opinion. They both have professional and friendly support reps who can answer your questions quickly, allowing you to maintain your focus on actually running your business. Harvard Business Services has standard operating hours of 9 am-5 pm ET Monday through Thursday and 9 am-4 pm ET on Fridays, while BizFilings is a bit more available from 9 am-8 pm ET on weekdays.
Harvard Business Services has some of the quickest processing times in the industry for LLC formations in Delaware, as they offer turnarounds in that state of just 1-3 days. For a $150 upcharge, they even offer same-day turnarounds. As for BizFilings, they calculate turnaround times a bit differently, based on what level of LLC formation service package you purchase. Their Basic package has a 4-6 week processing time, and they process their Standard and Complete packages in 7-10 business days.
BizFilings also offers expedited service, although their additional fees can add up quickly. For example, in Delaware, it will cost you $60 to get BizFilings’ expediting service, plus the Delaware state expediting fee on top of that. If you want same-day processing, it’ll cost you an additional $189.
BizFilings has a handy real-time order status tracking tool in the “My Account” portion of their website. Harvard Business Services says you should call or email them for a status update, providing them with your name, business name, and order number. BizFilings has the edge in this category.
Registered Agent Service
Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or business service that receives important document deliveries (like service of process) from your state government, informs you of the receipt, then forwards the documents to you. This is so crucial because the state needs to have a reliable means of contacting your business at any time.
We already mentioned that Harvard Business Services offers a full year of registered agent service with any LLC formation package, and BizFilings provides six months. After that initial year, Harvard Business Services has an incredible rate of just $50 per year for registered agent service. This is the lowest rate we’ve seen for any major service provider, and they also guarantee that your rate will stay at $50 for the life of your business.
As for BizFilings, they charge a much higher $174 annual price point.
BizFilings hardly has any customer feedback whatsoever, which is quite odd for a company with over half a million customers. We found just three reviews of their services, which is such a small volume of feedback that it’s impossible to analyze in any meaningful way.
As for Harvard Business Services, they have around 3,500 reviews available online, and almost all of them are extremely positive in nature. Clearly, this category is a huge victory for Harvard Business Services.
Ease of Use
Both Harvard Business Services and BizFilings offer LLC formation services that are simple to leverage compared to the DIY route. They also both have smartly built websites that are easy to navigate. Ease of use is a strength for both of these service providers.
With either Harvard Business Services or BizFilings, you’ll have access to a wide variety of additional services that you can use to help start, maintain, or expand your business entity. They offer quite a few of the same services, including registered agent service, EIN acquisition, foreign qualifications, operating agreement, business licensing service, and more.
However, each of these companies also has some exclusive features that aren’t offered by the other company. For instance, BizFilings offers services in every state, rather than just in Delaware. On the other hand, Harvard Business Services has mail forwarding service and DUNS number acquisition available, which BizFilings does not.
Which LLC Provider Wins?
With Harvard Business Services and BizFilings, we’re discussing two of the best and most popular LLC formation service providers available today. Regardless of which one you decide to use to form your LLC, we think you’ll be satisfied with the service you receive.
That said, if you still haven’t been able to make up your mind, we’ll close out this comparison guide by taking a quick look at some of the main reasons customers choose one over the other. No matter which company forms your new business, we wish you the best of luck!
➥ Choose Harvard Business Services if You Are:
If you’re forming a business in Delaware, they’re the obvious choice. In addition, if you value positive customer feedback, or you want an affordable registered agent service, Harvard Business Services is a great option.
➦ Choose BizFilings if You Are:
If you want to form an LLC in any state other than Delaware, BizFilings can definitely help you out.
While both of the LLC services in this comparison offer good overall value and have formed thousands of businesses, we think BizFilings is the better option. However, in the larger picture, neither of these LLC services are our top pick.
We highly recommend checking out our list of the top LLC services to see which is the best option available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use Harvard Business Services, Which Package Should I Choose?
Our preferred option when considering the LLC formation service packages offered by Harvard Business Services is their Green package, which costs $89 plus state fee.
This package includes the essentials of formation, then adds a full year of registered agent service, as well as ongoing compliance notifications. It’s a great offer that has no unnecessary features.
Does Harvard Business Services Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?
Because Harvard Business Services only forms companies in the state of Delaware, this question does not apply to their services.
However, if you’re looking for a company to handle New York publication on your behalf, look no further than BizFilings. They have a great low rate of just $100 for this service, which is the best price point we’re aware of in this industry.
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
Neither of these companies goes overboard with upsells, like many of their competitors do. While both Harvard Business Services and BizFilings have additional services that you can purchase along with your LLC formation, neither of them are pushy about these options in any way.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
Harvard Business Services doesn’t share or sell your personal information with anyone. They don’t overwhelm you with “free extras” or “special offers.” Instead, they focus their efforts on providing their own products and services to the best of their abilities.
Then there’s BizFilings. Speaking honestly, they’re one of the main reasons we even have this question in our FAQ sections. BizFilings has so many third-party partnerships that they’ll make your head spin. Just in the course of filling out their LLC formation service order form, you’ll need to opt into or out of info-sharing agreements with Hubspot, Grasshopper, Pitney Bowes SendPro, ADP, Palo Alto, and an unnamed business insurance provider.
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
BizFilings doesn’t have the world’s most straightforward refund policy. If you request a refund before they start working on any phase of your LLC formation, they’ll provide a refund less a $50 processing fee.
For refunds requested after the business name availability check is conducted, but before they send your articles of organization to your state, there’s a $75 fee. After your documents are submitted to the state, your refund window is closed.
Harvard Business Services is considerably more accommodating when it comes to refunds. As long as you request your refund within 30 days of your purchase date, they will refund your money less a 5% processing fee. If you ordered any physical products from them (like an LLC kit and seal), you’ll need to return them within seven business days of your refund request.
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
Harvard Business Services has the quickest Delaware turnaround times of any LLC formation service provider that we’re aware of.
Their standard processing speed estimates that your formation will be completed within just 1-3 days. As for BizFilings, their standard processing time for their Basic package is 4-6 weeks, and their Standard and Complete packages speed that up to 7-10 business days.
They do have 24-hour expedited filing available, but it costs $189.
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
The DIY route is always an option, and quite a few people do form their own LLCs.
The reason we don’t typically advise this option is that it can require more legwork than you might expect. This is because each state has its own requirements for forming an LLC, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your specific state’s rules and regulations.
Also, we like the peace of mind we get from using a reputable service like Harvard Business Services or BizFilings.
Ready to Set Up an LLC?
Create your LLC with BizFilings or read our comparison of the top 7 LLC services.