Do you need to form an LLC or corporation, and you prefer to have a professional service handle the paperwork for you? Harvard Business Services is one of several companies that can get the job done.
In this review, we’ll talk about the important details you need to know before choosing their service. Alternatively, you can check out our comparison guide of the top online incorporation services.
Why We Scored Harvard Business Services 8/10
When it comes to online incorporation services, here’s what matters most:
- Does the company offer good value for what you pay?
- Do they have a track record for providing high-quality service?
- Do they offer good customer support if you need help?
- How easy is it to place and create an order?
- How quickly is your business formed?
Based on these criteria, Harvard Business Services gets an 8/10. We were impressed with their customer service, their fantastic customer reviews, and their intelligently constructed formation packages that are packed with value. Their registered agent service is also a tremendous bargain, with one of the lowest price points available in the entire industry.
The only significant downfall to Harvard Business Services is that they are only available to businesses being established in the state of Delaware.
Overall Pricing and Value
Compared to other incorporation services, Harvard Business Services has very competitive price points. The features you receive for their pricing is outstanding for the lower and mid-level packages, and the higher-level package isn’t even that much more expensive.
We put significant value in the conciseness of their package features for the price. There are no seemingly random add-on features that make you wonder if you really need them or not.
Harvard Business Services was established in 1981 and has since formed over 150,000 Delaware businesses. For the first ten years, the founder and his wife ran the business out of their home, before expanding to operate out of an official 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 174 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 an LLC 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 yourself some hassle, adding an EIN isn’t a terrible idea, although you should know that you can acquire one from the IRS for free.
The cost breakdown shows that the package price includes the state filing fee of $90, which most service providers add on later, so Harvard Business Services formations are even more affordable than they seem on the surface, when you compare them to the competition.
Overall Turnaround Time
Harvard Business Services includes the total turnaround time for each of their packages, which is 3-5 business days (4-6 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.
Pricing & Features of Each Package
Harvard Business Services offers three packages, which are almost exactly the same whether you’re forming an LLC or a corporation. Thankfully, each package is clear and concise, with no add-on options (except the EIN mentioned earlier) that can be confusing or overwhelming for a new business owner.
Depending on your wants and needs, the only package that is a little pricey is the top-tier Standard package. You’ll just have to consider how much you will use the additional items included for the price.
Best for: Entrepreneurs who simply want to form an LLC or corporation without any bells or whistles.
The Green package costs $179, which includes the $90 state fee for Delaware. After filing, you’ll receive your final paperwork via email in 3-5 business days. The idea behind the setup of this package is that everything is electronic, hence the term “Green.” This package includes:
- Business name availability check – Before you form your company, Harvard Business Services will search the Delaware state business database to ensure that your desired company name isn’t already claimed by someone else.
- Preparation and filing of all documents – They will create your articles of organization or incorporation, then file them with the state to officially form your new company. They also provide you with a digital copy of your formation docs.
- 12 months of registered agent service – For one full year, Harvard Business Services will receive your important government documents, scanning them and forwarding them to you. This prevents you from having to use your own address as a matter of public record, and also ensures that you don’t miss an important delivery. After the first year, you can renew this service for just $50, the lowest rate in the industry.
- Compliance coaching – They will keep track of any annual requirements Delaware has for your LLC or corporation, helping you keep your good standing with the state.
- Digital corporate seal – A symbolic digital graphic customized for your business.
Best for: Entrepreneurs who want to add a variety of documents to your LLC or corporation formation.
The Basic package includes everything from the Green package, plus:
- Corporation Only: Corporation bylaws – This document explains the rules and regulations which the company will abide by when operating. The bylaws include information like how shareholder votes are held, how often the board of directors will meet, procedures for resolving intra-company disputes, and more.
- LLC Only: Operating agreement – This is a private agreement between the members or owners of the LLC, and it details the ownership, rights, and responsibilities of each person.
- Banking resolution – This document designates who within your company has the authorization to open a business bank account.
- Document templates – You will also receive a selection of commonly used sample documents to help you operate your LLC or corporation.
- Hard copy of your completed formation documents (includes priority shipping)
Best for: Entrepreneurs who want to form an LLC or corporation, and also want a corporate kit to hold company documents.
The Standard package includes all features from the Basic package, and adds:
- Business formation kit and seal – A binder with your company name embossed on it, along with some more sample documents, and a custom lead-cast seal personalized for your company.
Final Thoughts on Harvard Business Services
Overall, Harvard Business Services offers a great value to their customers for the features they include in their packages. Their customer service is fantastic, and our opinion in this regard was backed up by the thousands of positive reviews available online.
Plus, with a focus on one single state, their representatives are able to know your options inside and out, instead of trying to learn the different factors for all 50 states. Harvard Business Services also has the lowest rate for registered agent service that we’re aware of anywhere.
The only real downside is that if you are establishing a business in any other state than Delaware, you’ll need to look elsewhere.