Are you interested in forming your own limited liability company (LLC), but you don’t want to try the DIY route? Are you also unwilling to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars hiring a business lawyer to form your company?
That’s why companies like Harvard Business Services and IncFile exist, to form LLCs cheaply and effectively. But how do you pick the best one?
In this Harvard Business Services vs IncFile comparison, you’ll find everything you need to know about each service. From their commonalities to their major differences, read on to discover all the relevant details. Which one should you choose?
Do Harvard Business Services and IncFile
Offer Good Value?
|🥇IncFile||Starts at $0||(4.8/5)||Excellent||Absolutely|
|Harvard Business Services||Starts at $89||(4.4/5)||Fair||Sometimes|
With Harvard Business Services and IncFile, we’re discussing two of the top LLC formation services available online. They’re both reputable companies, and they’re both easy to recommend. However, IncFile has a few distinct advantages that make them our preference for most of our readers.
First off, IncFile forms LLCs in all 50 states, whereas Harvard Business Services only forms Delaware LLCs. In addition, IncFile’s starting price point of $0 (plus state fee) is considerably lower than the $89 you’ll pay for Harvard Business Services. Overall though, HBS is a great IncFile alternative.
7 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: Harvard Business Services and IncFile can both save you hundreds of dollars compared to hiring a lawyer to draft and file your formation documents. Furthermore, LLCs are typically rather simple business structures, so you may not need an attorney’s expertise to begin with.
2) Customer Support: Even though you’re saving so much money by not hiring a lawyer, you still aren’t going it alone. Both of these companies have extensive customer support departments that are only a phone call or email away if you need any assistance.
3) Experience: IncFile and Harvard Business Services have each formed thousands of LLCs, so they clearly have the expertise to get the job done right.
4) Registered Agent: These service providers both include a full year of registered agent service with your LLC formation purchase. Every LLC in America needs to designate a registered agent to receive and forward your important government documents, so this is a very valuable bonus.
5) Customer Reviews: Both Harvard Business Services and IncFile have thousands of customer reviews available online, and they also both maintain high average rating scores. It’s clear that their clients truly appreciate their services.
6) Additional Services: Do you need assistance with other popular business services like federal tax ID number (EIN) acquisition, foreign qualifications, or LLC operating agreements? Harvard Business Services and IncFile provide many additional services, making them one-stop shops for your LLC.
7) Efficiency: Do you need your LLC formed in a hurry? That’s not a problem for these companies. Both IncFile and Harvard Business Services offer expedited service (for an additional fee, of course) that can speed up your formation from a matter of weeks to mere days.
Side by Side Comparisons
IncFile’s pricing starts at $0, which is obviously quite a bit lower than the $89 rate charged by Harvard Business Services. (See Details)
You certainly don’t need us to tell you that paying $0 is always preferable to paying $89. We think this preference will become even clearer after you read the next section and realize how similar these companies’ LLC formation packages really are.
As we mentioned before, both of these companies provide a year of registered agent service in their base packages, along with access to a compliance alerts system that informs you of important deadlines for your LLC. For the most part, Harvard Business Services and IncFile offer very similar LLC formation packages.
Of course, it is worth reiterating that IncFile will form an LLC in any state, whereas Harvard Business Services solely forms companies in Delaware.
As you can see, there’s not much separating these two companies when it comes to their included features. Can Harvard Business Services make this a closer competition in the remaining categories?
IncFile has served 500,000+ clients since they opened back in 2004. While Harvard Business Services has been around longer (since 1981), but they have a smaller volume of customers, with more than 200,000 clients served.
Harvard Business Services has excellent support that their customers often rave about in their reviews. They have friendly and knowledgeable representatives, and they’re available from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday, and 9 am to 4 pm on Fridays.
IncFile also has high-quality customer service, but their responsiveness can leave something to be desired at times. While it’s not the norm for them, we have had to wait in excess of 24 hours to get a response via phone from them in the past. IncFile’s email support is basically not worth trying, as they often don’t even bother replying to messages sent via their online contact form, in our experience. Their support reps are available from 10 am to 7 pm ET on weekdays.
Harvard Business Services has a distinct advantage in this area, as their typical turnaround time for a Delaware LLC is 1-3 days. IncFile takes about 15 days to form a Delaware LLC, which can be cut down to around five days if you expedite your order. As for other states, IncFile’s turnaround times vary depending on which state you’re forming in.
To get information regarding your order status from Harvard Business Services, they recommend that you email or call them and provide your name, company name, and order number. It’s not nearly as efficient a system as IncFile’s handy online order status tracking tool.
Registered Agent Service
Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or business entity 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.
As we discussed earlier, both of these companies provide a full year of registered agent service in their LLC packages at no extra charge. Beyond that, Harvard Business Services charges just $50 per year and also guarantees that this rate will stay at $50 for the life of your LLC. This is a much better deal than IncFile’s $119 annual fee for registered agent service.
Harvard Business Services and IncFile both receive excellent customer feedback, with thousands of reviews each and very few critical reviews. These are truly two of the best in the business when it comes to customer feedback. Harvard Business Services has more than 3,500 reviews available online, while IncFile has around 27,000 — both companies maintain very high average review scores.
Ease of Use
Both of these services will make the LLC formation process much easier than the DIY route. Our preference in this area is IncFile because their website is a bit more streamlined and user-friendly than that of Harvard Business Services.
With either IncFile or Harvard Business Services, you can access a broad selection of additional business services. These companies offer many of the same services, including registered agent service, certificates of good standing, EIN acquisition, foreign qualifications, and LLC operating agreements.
There are also some services that are only offered by one company or the other. For instance, only Harvard Business Services provides its clients with DUNS number acquisition, while only IncFile can help you when it comes to trademark protection service. Of course, we’ll mention once more than IncFile offers services in all 50 states, whereas Harvard Business Services is a Delaware-only operation.
Which LLC Service Should You Choose?
Harvard Business Services and IncFile are two of our favorite LLC formation services, and they’re both worthy of forming your new company.
Since they are both such strong choices, we would understand if you haven’t quite made up your mind yet. With that in mind, let’s close this comparison piece by discussing some factors that lead entrepreneurs to choose one or the other.
|🥇IncFile||Starts at $0||(4.8/5)||Excellent||Absolutely|
|Harvard Business Services||Starts at $89||(4.4/5)||Fair||Sometimes|
➥ Choose Harvard Business Services if You Are:
If you are forming an LLC in Delaware and want the fastest service, Harvard Business Services is an easy choice. In addition, their registered agent service is cheaper than IncFile’s is.
➦ Choose IncFile if You Are:
If you want the lowest price on LLC service, or if you want to form an LLC in any state other than Delaware, IncFile is your best option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use IncFile, Which Package Should I Choose?
In our opinion, the best value you’ll get from IncFile for LLC service is their Silver package for $0 (plus state fee). With this option, you’ll receive a year of registered agent service along with your LLC formation, and of course, it’s always difficult to complain about that price point!
If you have some extra room in your budget, you could also go with the Gold package for $149, which adds an EIN and an operating agreement, both of which most companies need, although this package also has some unnecessary fluff like a banking resolution (which is redundant since this package already includes an EIN).
Does IncFile Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?
Nope. We called IncFile to seek some clarification on this issue and we were told that they do not offer any assistance with state-specific publication requirements because “those need to be taken care of with the state directly.”
It’s a bit disappointing, especially when you consider that some of their competitors do offer this service. For what it’s worth, Harvard Business Services doesn’t offer publication service either because this service is not required in Delaware.
That said, ZenBusiness is the best LLC service if you need help with NY publication requirements.
Is IncFile as Good as Other Top LLC Formation Services?
Is IncFile the best LLC formation service? That’s one of our most asked questions. In short, they certainly are one of the best. For a close-up look at how they compare to other top-rated LLC services, check out our comparisons below:
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
We’re quite pleased with the lack of upsells from both of these companies.
While some of their competitors pile on the additional feature suggestions and package upgrade options, IncFile and Harvard Business Services let their products and services do the talking for themselves.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
If you look at IncFile’s package select screen, you’ll see a couple of special offers that require them to share your information with third-party partners.
First off, if you leverage their offer to set up a business bank account for your LLC, they’ll share your personal info with Bank of America. Secondly, their offer of a business website and a domain name is a way for them to send your information to a web-building company called SnapWeb.
As for Harvard Business Services, they do not share your info with any third parties as far as we can tell. Instead, they focus on providing their own high-quality products and services. This category is a big win for Harvard Business Services.
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
Harvard Business Services offers refunds within 30 days of your initial purchase date, with a 5% processing fee.
In addition, they won’t pay you back for any external costs (like your state fee), and you will need to return any physical items (like LLC kits) to them within seven business days.
IncFile will grant refund requests as long as they haven’t yet sent any payments to your state government, which they say is typically within 24 hours. Even then, they will keep $30 as a cancellation fee. Once they’ve transferred money to your state, they will not refund your money.
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
There’s really no one faster with Delaware LLC formations than Harvard Business Services, as far as we know.
Their processing times are estimated to fall in the 1-3 day range, which is awfully tough to top. By contrast, IncFile estimates a 15 business day turnaround in Delaware for standard processing, and a five-day turnaround with a $50 expediting fee.
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
You sure can, and many entrepreneurs DIY their LLC formations every day. However, the DIY route does not provide the same peace of mind that you’ll receive from having professionals form your business. Furthermore, each state sets its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, and it can be a hassle just to track down your state’s requirements.
Ready to Create Your LLC Online?
Create your LLC with Harvard Business Services or save $89+ by choosing IncFile.