Harvard Business Services vs LegalZoom (Who’s Right For You?)
Do you need to form an LLC, but you find the DIY option unappealing? Thankfully, there are online LLC websites like Harvard Business Services (also known as Delawareinc.com) and LegalZoom that can help you, but how do you discern which one can best assist your company?
This Harvard Business Services vs LegalZoom comparison is structured in a way that highlights their common traits and major differences. Let’s figure out which one you should choose!
* 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.
Harvard Business Services and LegalZoom are both highly respected LLC service providers, and either one of them would be a great choice to form your new company. If you’re forming an LLC in Delaware, Harvard Business Services is the obvious choice, but if you’re forming a company in any other state, you’ll want to stick with LegalZoom.
Harvard Business Services is the preferred option for Delaware businesses because their $89 (plus state fee) price point is much lower than LegalZoom’s $149 offering, and Harvard Business Services also receives far better customer feedback.
If you would like to learn all the relevant details that set these companies apart, we invite you to read on as we cover their most important commonalities and differentiators.
6 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: Is saving money a high priority for you? With either Harvard Business Services or LegalZoom, you’ll save loads of cash over hiring a traditional law firm. That means hundreds of dollars that you can pour into your business instead of forking over to an attorney.
2) Customer Support: Even though they’re much less expensive than a lawyer, these providers still have your back. With their easily accessible customer support teams, both of these companies have service reps ready and willing to answer your tough questions.
3) Experience: Experience matters, and these companies have plenty of it. Harvard Business Services and LegalZoom have each served thousands of businesses over the years, making them both trustworthy and legitimate LLC formation services.
4) Guaranteed Service: They both offer satisfaction guarantees that cover any services you order from them. If you’re unhappy with your LLC formation, simply inform LegalZoom or Harvard Business Services to receive a refund. It’s as simple as that.
5) Efficiency: If you need your LLC formed in a hurry, they can still help you out. Both of these companies can expedite your service — LegalZoom in as little as a week, while Harvard Business Services can form your company with same-day turnarounds!
6) Security: Online security is a major priority for these companies. Harvard Business Services has strong security certificates, and they ensure that your data will be encrypted and kept confidential. As for LegalZoom, they use Norton Web Security to protect against malware and secure data transfers.
Side by Side Comparisons
Harvard Business Services offers LLC formation starting at $89 (plus state fee). This is much lower rate than LegalZoom’s baseline price point of $149.
It’s important to note that Harvard Business Services only does LLC formations in the state of Delaware, while LegalZoom works in all 50 states. Aside from that, Harvard Business Services includes a complete year of registered agent service with any LLC formation, along with ongoing compliance notifications.
LegalZoom doesn’t provide registered agent with any of their service packages, but they do include a banking resolution to help you open business checking and/or savings accounts.
Harvard Business Services opened in 1981, and since then they’ve helped form over 175,000 companies. That’s impressive, but LegalZoom is one of the industry giants and they exist in a league of their own. LegalZoom opened in 1999 and they’ve helped over 2 million business customers.
With Harvard Business Services, you’ll receive their acclaimed customer service with any purchase. Their support agents are widely regarded as being knowledgeable and professional, and they’re able to answer even your toughest LLC service questions. Their offices are open from 9am to 5pm ET on weekdays.
LegalZoom has some advantages and disadvantages by comparison. One thing their customers love is their extended service hours, which run from 8am-10pm ET on weekdays and 10am-7pm ET on weekends. However, they’re a bit inconsistent when it comes to their support agents, probably because they’re such a huge company. The more reps you have, the less likely they’ll all be top-notch, and that seems true for LegalZoom.
LegalZoom’s turnarounds are based not on your state of formation, but rather on which level of LLC service you decide to buy from them. Their quickest package is the most expensive, Express Gold (7-10 business days). Next is the Standard package (15 days), followed by Economy (30 days).
Since Harvard Business Services only forms companies in Delaware, their estimates are quite simple. If you want rush service, they can form your LLC in one business day or even less. Otherwise, the process takes about 1-2 weeks.
If you want order status tracking from Harvard Business Services, you’ll need to send them an email that includes your name, company, and order number. It’s not the most efficient system. LegalZoom has a simple yet effective tracking tool on their website. Just log into your account and you’ll see where you stand in the formation process.
Registered Agent Service
LegalZoom offers registered agent for $159 per year, and they do not include this feature with any of their LLC formation packages. However, Harvard Business Services not only bundles in a full year with any formation package, they also have a low annual rate of $50 that is guaranteed to remain at $50/year for the life of your company. (What is a registered agent?)
With over 2,000 reviews, and extremely high average rating scores, Harvard Business Services truly shines in the feedback realm. In general, their clients enjoy how quickly they work, and rave about the high quality of their customer support.
LegalZoom also has a high volume of feedback (1,500+ reviews), but they do not maintain the same level of quality that Harvard Business Services does. In fact, their reviews are split pretty evenly between positive and critical feedback. Plenty of their customers are quite satisfied with the efficiency and effectiveness of their services, but there are quite a few others who are not pleased with their customer service, or who have concerns about billing.
Ease of Use
We’ll give a slight edge to LegalZoom when it comes to the convenience of their services. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Harvard Business Services or that their services are difficult to use, it’s just that LegalZoom’s website is much easier to use. Navigating their site is a highly user-friendly experience.
Better LLC Service?
Harvard Business Services and LegalZoom are two of the best LLC services available online. Still, some of you may remain undecided, so let’s finish by walking through some scenarios that may make you more inclined to use one instead of the other.
Choose Harvard Business Services if You Are:
If you’re forming in Delaware, they’re a slam-dunk choice. They also have excellent customer support, great feedback, and strong pricing models. Harvard Business Services has a lot going for them.
Choose LegalZoom if You Are:
If you want to form in any state other than Delaware, they’re clearly your better option. Also, if you respect things like brand power and experience, LegalZoom rates strongly in those areas as well.