LegalZoom versus Harvard Business Services: What You Should Know

When it comes to online incorporation services, there are numerous options available that it can be daunting to choose the best one for your needs. LegalZoom and Harvard Business Services are two of the most respected online incorporation services available these days.

However, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, so how do you know which one of them is better for your business? With that said, you’ll find a comprehensive comparison of these two companies in this article. From their pricing and features to their customer service, you’ll discover how each one fares, and which one is best suited for your business.

Comparison Based on Six Key Aspects

To help you gain a better understanding of both services, this article compares them based on six key aspects. Discover how each one of them does in the following critical factors:

  • Track record and experience
  • Ubiquity
  • Plan pricing and overall value
  • Customer support
  • Ease of the ordering process
  • Turnaround times

 

Track Record and Experience

Experience is a crucial factor to consider when availing of an incorporation service. This can even be seen in the reviews they receive from clients. Check out how both LegalZoom and Harvard Business Services do in these areas.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom goes above and beyond just providing business formation services, to other various legal services that cut across personal wills and intellectual property. 

Founded in 1999, it boasts a customer base of over 4 million, with over 2 million businesses helped, and experienced attorney consultations to over 550,000 people. LegalZoom is a trusted brand by many.

 

LegalZoom’s Official Website

 

Harvard Business Services 

Founded in 1981, Harvard Business Services, Delaware, is the foremost business formation services provider for Delaware state LLC and corporations. They have helped to form over 200,000 businesses in their almost 40 years of existence. 

They’re an authorized Registered Agent. And they can help clients pay the Delaware Franchise Tax, as well as obtain a Tax ID, Certificate of Good Standing, and Certified Copies. They have been reviewed by the BBB (Better Business Bureau).

 

Harvard Business Service’s Official Website

Verdict

When it comes to experience, LegalZoom’s sheer volume of clients gives them the edge over Harvard Business Services. However, the latter is unmatched when it comes to client feedback. So, for this section, the decision is ultimately up to your preference and which one you value more.

Ubiquity

Learn which areas these two companies cover and whether or not their services are available in your preferred state of formation.

LegalZoom

Their presence extends to all 50 states in America. They also operate as a full-fledged law firm in the UK since 2016. 

What that means for you as an intending business owner is, you’re not restricted to establish your business in a place. You can access their services easily, and from anywhere.

 

Harvard Business Services

Harvard Business Services only operates in Delaware. So, unless you’re forming your company there, they cannot help you.

However, you don’t necessarily have to come from Delaware or live there before you can form a company there. They help clients from all over the USA and around the world from Delaware businesses.

 

Verdict

For this category, LegalZoom has the clearer advantage as they cover more areas than Harvard Business Services whose operations are confined to Delaware. 

 

Pricing and Overall Value

Of course, when it comes to incorporating services, you need a company that can give you the best bang for the buck. Check out each one’s prices and which one gives the best value for money below.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom charges start at $149, being the lowest for their incorporation services. It is called the “Economy” package. The other two packages are “Standard” and “Express Gold,” both at $329 and $349 respectively.

These fees, however, do not cover the state filing fee, nor the registered agent service. Neither is it a guarantee of the best service. So, you will have to pay $299 annually for that. But if you employ their business formation service, you’ll have your first year for $159.

Harvard Business Services

If you’re filing with this company, you will pay $89 for their Green formation package. This, unlike LegalZoom’s, already includes a year of registered agent service, which only costs $50 yearly after that. Regrettably, their basic and standard packages are not good deals.

The $50 registered agent fee is the lowest in the incorporating industry, and it stays that way through the entire life of your company. Yet this doesn’t make their services of less quality than the competitors’.

Verdict

In terms of the best value for money, Harvard Business Services seems to have a clearer advantage because it offers more features for the price. Plus, with its more affordable prices, you get more for less cost.

 

Customer Support

A company’s customer service is vital for any company. Check out how well these two companies fare in this aspect.

LegalZoom

By phone, LegalZoom has a solid customer support service in place. However, the same can’t be said for their email system. Some reviews on this have shown poor customer experiences.

However, they do have big extended support available on weekdays and Saturdays.

Harvard Business Services

The company boasts unparalleled customer service; a lifetime customer support that extends beyond the business formation is in place to answer questions and help inquirers make educated decisions.

They have experienced business formation professionals who work with each client, so they can receive personalized and excellent services. 

Verdict

They both do well when it comes to providing their clients with adequate customer support. Because of this, both can be considered excellent options if you value a company’s ability to provide customer support.

 

Ease of Ordering

Having a user-friendly interface for ordering can be a key factor when deciding on which service to avail of. So, how do both these companies do when it comes to the ordering process?

Legal Zoom

LegalZoom is not straight to the point. After providing them with your personal information, they will then bug and bore you with loads of upsells before you can access their formation package. 

This could be confusing as well as frustrating. It could also result in a high total of money by the time you eventually get to the end of their order form.

Harvard Business Services

With Harvard Business Services, you couldn’t have it easier. The fee structure is transparent and easy to understand. And their Green package lets you track important filing deadlines with the compliance alert dashboard. 

Filling their order form is fast, straightforward, and easy, as there are no upsells, and no hidden or surprise charges.

Verdict

With their clearer and faster ordering process, Harvard Business Services has the edge over LegalZoom in this regard. You don’t have to worry about understanding the various upsells and whether you need them or not.

 

Turnaround Time

Another factor that can significantly impact your decision is a service provider’s turnaround time. So, how quickly do these two companies deliver on their promises?

LegalZoom

Unlike other competitions in this business for whom formation speeds depend on different state processes, LegalZoom bases their speed of formation on which package you purchase. So, as they say in economics, the lower the price, the slower the turnaround time, and vice-versa.

Their cheapest package will earn you so much processing speed of 30 business days. The following has an estimated processing time of 15 business days, and the most expensive one will take an estimated 10 business days turnaround time.

Harvard Business Services

Companies are filed on a same-day basis, at no extra cost. This is an unmatched speed. And it is enabled by their electronic connection to the Delaware Division of Corporations, guaranteeing dispatch of approved business documents within 24-48 hours.

Verdict

With their quick turnaround times, Harvard Business Services has a clear advantage over LegalZoom. 

 

Conclusion

With all these factors considered, Harvard Business Services offers the best value in every regard. Only that if you’re not forming your business in Delaware, you might want to consider LegalZoom, as their services are ubiquitous and are more extensive in scope. Plus, they are a trusted brand too.

 

Frequently asked questions

Is it necessary to use an incorporating service?

No. Most times, you can do all the required work by yourself. But it will usually take a longer time than if you use an incorporating service.  Besides, there are other advantages in using a business formation service. 

Can I pick the date of my incorporation?

Yes, you can, if the state you’re forming a business in allows it. 

Can I get bylaws created for my business?

Yes. Both companies can help with that.

Do these companies have a money-back guarantee?

Yes, they do. LegalZoom’s is 60 days, while Harvard’s is a 30-day refund period.

Which of these companies renders helps with ongoing compliance issues?

Both companies do. But Harvard’s ongoing compliance resources and services are limited, as they focus on new start-ups. LegalZoom on the other hand helps both new and existing businesses.

Which company has the biggest advantage?

Well, it depends on what you want. Both services hold big advantages for you: LegalZoom in terms of ubiquity, extensive services, and ongoing compliance requirements. And Harvard Business Services (HBS) in terms of price, ease of use, turnaround time, and customer support.

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