Stuck between choosing Harvard Business Services or LegalZoom?

When it comes to choosing a business services company, there are many factors to consider. Two of the most popular options are Harvard Business Services and LegalZoom. Both companies have their pros and cons, so which one is the better choice for you?

Harvard Business Services vs LegalZoom: A Quick Overview

FeaturesLegalZoom Harvard Business Services
Company’s Reputation4.5/54.3/5
Customer Support4.6/54.6/5
Affordability4.1/54.3/5
Ease of Use4.3/54.4/5
Registered Agent Services3.5/04.0/5
Customers’ Review and Feedback4.3/54.4/5

How We Review & Compare LLC Services

Before we go into details, let us discover how we review and compare services. In this comparison, we’ll walk through the six main factors including some others you need to consider when choosing between LegalZoom and Harvard Business Services. The following 6 factors are what made up for our stress test:

  • Company Reputation
  • Customer Service
  • Affordability (Prices & Packages)
  • Registered Agent Service
  • Ease of Use
  • Customers Review & Feedback

Detailed Comparison

1. Company’s Reputation

The reputation of the company refers to their overall performance, which is indicated by many things including the experience of their staff, how long they have been in business and their overall customer satisfaction. It is important see r how each company has performed in these areas before you settle on one.

Harvard Business Services

Harvard Business Services is a trusted business formation company in Delaware since 1981. They say they’ve formed over 170,000 companies with quality services to the local economy.

They have gained the customer’s trust with their dedication and nearly all reviews are perfect across the internet from thousands of people who have used them before.

The only drawback with Harvard Business Services is that its services are only available in the state of Delaware. If you are seeking assistance in LLC formation outside Delaware, Harvard Business Services is not for you.

LegalZoom

Since its inception in 1999, LegalZoom has served 3.6 million customers. You can find plenty of reviews about this company; however, the reviews are of mixed nature.

Some customers are pretty happy with the services provided by LegalZoom, while some are dissatisfied. This is justifiable to an extent that with such a large customer profile, it is almost impossible to have 100% positive feedback.

2. Customer Support

Customer support is another important consideration, as you will want to be able to easily get in touch with someone if you have a question or issue.

Both companies have a wide variety of different services which you can access, but Harvard Business Services provides you with personalized support from their dedicated staff.

Harvard Business Services

The Harvard Business Services team provides top-notch customer service with any purchase.

Their knowledgeable staff members resolve any issue and answer the toughest LLC questions. Their Business hours extend from 9 am to 5 pm EST Monday through Thursday. On Friday, the customer representatives are available from 9 am to 4 Pm EST. 

You can access them via phone, email, live chat, and skype to resolve any issue you’re experiencing regarding LLC formation in Delaware. 

LegalZoom

The customer service of LegalZoom has helpful professionals answering their phones. However, given the huge customer load and owing to being a large company, it’s no surprise that you will find some of their support representatives better than others. 

LegalZoom goes a step ahead of the others when it comes to providing customer support. They have extended service hours, which run from 10 am-8 pm ET weekdays and 10 am-7 pm ET weekends.

3. Affordability

Sometimes, people cannot afford to get the services that they need. That is why it is important to find out exactly how much each company will cost you before you make your decision.

Hidden fees and expensive services will not be beneficial to you, so you want to find out if there are any hidden costs before signing up.

Harvard Business Services

Harvard Business Services offers a year of a registered agent service with any LLC formation and ongoing compliance notifications in the Green formation package that costs $89.

The compliance alert dashboard helps you keep track of important filing deadlines is a valuable feature that most entrepreneurs seek while forming an LLC with professionals. 

Hence this plan has a slight price advantage over LegalZoom’s economy package ($79) which does not include registered agent and compliance notification. Unfortunately, their Basic plan for $229 and Standard package for $329 are not good bargains. 

LegalZoom

LegalZoom charges $79 for their basic plan, which is still higher than ZenBusiness, IncFile, IncAuthority, etc. But, if you compare the pricing of Harvard Business Services and LegalZoom, you will find LegalZoom cheaper. 

However, LegalZoom has fewer features in advanced plans than Harvard Business Services, which provides more personalized services and features.

4. Ease of Use

Another key consideration is how easy it will be to use each company.

You will want to have access to all the tools you need, but an overly complicated system will only frustrate you. That is why, the ease of use of a company is an important factor to consider.

The service must be user friendly, and you must be able to access all the necessary forms, legal documents and information easily.

When you need help with using the service, there should also be a good customer support system in place. Either the user is new or experienced, having access to a simple way of completing each step in the process is necessary.

Harvard Business Services

Customers usually complete their entire order form in ten minutes at Harvard Business Services website.

They also avoid third-party partnerships and upsells for the most part. However, they do have one minor upsell late in the ordering process but this is not that bothersome compared to the bombardment of third-party offers that many competitors have.

LegalZoom

It has a simple and user-friendly website. You can pick any service and order it online using that website. However, you face many costly upsells while selecting an LLC plan. 

5. Registered Agent Services

A registered agent is an important part of your business.

This person or service is responsible for receiving any legal documents on behalf of your company. They will also keep you apprised of any legal actions that are taken against your company.

The good news is that both Harvard Business Services and LegalZoom offer this service.

They will keep you informed of any legal proceedings that may affect your company, and they will make sure that you have the most accurate information possible.

They will confirm the details of the suit and your position in it, as well as whether or not a settlement is likely.

Harvard Business Services

Harvard Business Services includes 1 year of free registered agent service with their all LLC formation packages.

After the initial term is up with Harvard Business Services, you will have to pay $50 per year for registered agent service, the lowest rate in the industry. 

Many reputable LLC companies offer registered agent services as a part of their formation plan or as a standalone service at a cheaper rate.

If you are to subscribe to this service as a separate feature, you can also compare the prices of best registered agent services before making a final decision.

LegalZoom

In any of the formation packages, LegalZoom does not offer registered agent service. You have to order this service as an add-on feature.

You need to pay $299 per year for this service. However, if you incorporate it into your formation bundle, the first year will cost you $159 for a registered agent service. 

6. Customers’ Review and Feedback

The backbone of any company is customer satisfaction. Without it, a company will not survive for long. That is why it is important to read reviews and feedback from past customers before making your final decision.

Both Harvard Business Services and LegalZoom have a number of satisfied customers. However, it is important to read reviews and feedback from those who have actually used the services. This will give you a better idea of what to expect.

Harvard Business Services

Harvard Business Services is a company that specializes in providing services for startups and shines in the feedback realm. They have more than 3,500 reviews and their average rating scores are extremely high at 4.8 out of 5 stars. 

When looking through client feedback about the quality of work, it’s clear why so many people choose it as an LLC formation service. Harvard Business Services has gotten 4.8/5 stars from 3,323 reviews on Trustpilot and 4.98/5 stars from 49 reviews on BBB.

LegalZoom

It has 3,500 reviews on BBB with a 4.4/5 stars rating. The reviews are of mixed nature: positive and negative.

However, recently there has been a massive shift of feedback towards the positive side, showing that LegalZoom has improved its incorporation services.

On Trustpilot, LegalZoom has gotten 4.3/5 stars from 1046 reviews, while CustomerAffairs has given them 4.6/5 stars from 692 reviews.

Some Additional Features to Compare

When looking for a business services company like Harvard Business Services or LegalZoom, in order to incorporate your business, you should look for additional features besides the price. It is important to compare the different companies until you find one that has unique and beneficial features. For instance:

  • Turnaround Time
  • Additional Free Services
  • Track Record
  • Ongoing Compliance Issues
  • Refund Policy

Turnaround Time

Harvard Business Services process formations with their fast and efficient services – completing all necessary paperwork and -formation process within three to five business days with the standard package.

In the expedited option, they provide a same-day turnaround if purchased before 1 pm ET on weekdays for a $150 upcharge.

On the other hand, LegalZoom is also very efficient as they have clearly mentioned on the website that their basic plan takes about 30 days while premium packages cover expedite LLC filing within 15 days or 7-10 days accordingly.

However, the customers are unaware of the average processing time of the state, so turnaround calculation for some customers may go wrong.

Features Included in the Basic Package

The low-tier package (standard plan) of Harvard Business Services files your article of organization with registered agent service and compliance alerts. To get the Federal Tax ID Number (EIN), file your state franchise tax.

LegalZoom offers a banking resolution in the basic plan that is needed to open business checking and savings accounts.

However, in the advanced packages, there are no extraordinary features compared to the price. In short, Harvard Business Services offers more features in its plans than LegalZoom.

Track Record

The track record refers to the past performance of a company. A company with a good track record is likely to provide better services than one with a poor track record. You can check a company’s track record by reading reviews from its past clients.

When it comes to the track record, LegalZoom is the better company. It has been in business for over 16 years and has successfully served more than 1 million customers worldwide. On the other hand, Harvard Business Services is a new company with only a few reviews from past clients.

Ongoing Compliance Issues

Compliance issues are the things that a company must do to stay in the good graces of the law. They are likely to include legal requirements like filing tax forms and paying taxes on time and having the right licenses. You should look for a company that is likely to be able to manage compliance issues in the future.

LegalZoom is a better company in terms of compliance issues. It already has the necessary licenses and tax forms that you will need to file for your business.

Every year the company releases an updated checklist of its services and licenses on its website. Harvard Business Services will also need to obtain these things before it can start providing services to its clients.

Refund Policy

A refund policy is a guarantee from a company that states it will return your money if you are not satisfied with the services that you have received.

You should look for a company that has an easy refund policy if you are planning to pay it in advance.

Both of these services have excellent refund policies that are among the best in the business. However, LegalZoom is the better company when it comes to refund policies.

If you are not satisfied with the services that you have received, you can request your money back. Harvard Business Services will only give you a refund if it is not able to complete the services that you have hired it for.

Overall Value

Overall, LegalZoom is the better company to go with in terms of business services. It has all the necessary licenses and tax forms that you will need. Additionally, it already has the right documents on its website.

Price Comparison | LegalZoom vs Harvard Business Services

Basic Plan

FeaturesLegalZoom Harvard Business Services
Price$79 + state fee$89 + $90 Delaware state filing fee
Turnaround Time30 days3-5 business days
Banking ResolutionYesNo
Registered AgentNoYes
Compliance AlertNoYes
Digital Corporate SealNoYes

Middle Plan-

FeaturesLegalZoom Harvard Business Services
Price$329 + state fee$229 (state fee included)
Turnaround time15 business days4-6 Business days
Deluxe OrganizerYesYes
Official Certificates and SealYesNo
Annual ComplianceOne month free ($320 per year afterward)Yes
Registered AgentNoYes
Shipping Fee IncludedNoYes
LLC Document TemplatesNoYes

Top Plan

FeaturesLegalZoom Harvard Business Services
Price$349 + state fee$329 (state fee included) 
Turnaround time7-10 Business days3 – 5 Business days
Express ShippingYesYes
Registered AgentNoYes
Deluxe OrganizerYesYes
Official Certificates and SealYesYes
Maintain your business in good standingNoYes
Custom BylawsNoYes
Operating AgreementNoYes
Company Guide BookNoYes

Should You Look for an Alternative?

Of course! If you are looking for comprehensive LLC services with a personalized legal touch, try BetterLegal, which also offers a $30 discount through MoneyAisle. However, if you are looking for premium LLC services and want to enjoy all the perks at a single place, there is no better company than ZenBusiness.

Which LLC Service is Better Value?

There are several things to consider when deciding which formation company you want for your new LLC.

As mentioned earlier, in this quest, there is no right and wrong choice. LegalZoom and Harvard Business Services offer quality services that will get the job done, but each has its own unique selling point.

The final decision only depends upon your specific business situation. Let us make a final note on that. 

Choose LegalZoom:

If you prefer brand power, appreciate the experience, and premium service, go with LegalZoom. It covers the basic set of features at lower price points. As a reputable LLC formation service with a 3.5 million customer profile, it has all chances to work best for you. 

Choose Harvard Business Services:

If you are looking for a formation company exclusively in Delaware, then there is no match for Harvard Business Services. From affordable pricing to matchless reviews, there is no one who can beat Harvard Business Services in Delaware.

Please note: This page may contain affiliate links. If you buy a product or service through such a link we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

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