ZenBusiness vs Harvard Business Services

This article compares the incorporation services offered by ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services. The aim is to figure out which service is better. 

At the outset, it is important to point out that ZenBusiness allows you to create a corporation in any State in the US. Harvard Business Services, on the other hand, limits its services to Delaware. 

It is never easy to decide which service is better. It all comes down to some basic comparison criteria. Even though we do make a recommendation towards the end, we suggest that you also do your research. There are many other similar service providers. Check them out before you settle on or the other. The final decision is yours.

ZenBusiness’s Official Website

 

Basic Comparison Criteria

To compare the services, we had to select certain points of comparison. We have gone with the following criteria to try and make a decision. Pricing is always the first thing that we look for. After that, we then look at experience, customer satisfaction, and a few other features to come up with a decision.

These are what we were looking for:

  • Pricing and Value
  • Company Information & Experience
  • Customer Service
  • Ease of Use
  • Turnaround Times
  • Registered Agent Services
  • Additional Services

 

Pricing and Value

ZenBusiness offers three packages: Starter, Pro, and Premium. These are priced at $49, $199, and $299 plus state fees. The Starter pack is one of the most economically viable packages. It is also among the most affordable packages across all such service providers. It’s a definite plus point. 

However, ZenBusiness also promotes the Pro package. We feel the Starter package is more than enough for most startups. Though you can have a look and decide which package suits your needs.

Meanwhile, Harvard Business Services offers three packages: Green, Basic, and Standard. They are priced at $179, $229, and $329 respectively. The best package seems to be their Green package at $179, though they recommend the Basic package. Then again, do not go by the hype; just select the package that suits your requirements. 

One standout feature with Harvard Business Services is their Registered Agent fees which are the lowest in the industry at $50 a year. Both providers have options for free registered agent services for the first year. For every subsequent year, if you want to hire the services of a registered service agent from ZenBusiness, it will cost you $99. 

In case you do not want to use their paid registered agent services, you could opt for the annual report services offer at $75 per year.

Even though both service providers recommend their mid-range packages, their basic packages cover almost everything you need, so do give it a thought before going in for a higher-end package.

On the price front, ZenBusiness emerges as the clear winner.

Harvard Business Services’s Official Website

 

Company Information & Experience

ZenBusiness is a fairly recent entrant into the incorporation services market which was founded in 2015. ZenBusiness points out that they are a Public Benefit Corporation out to help people. According to their website, they offer grants and loans to entrepreneurs. In 2020, they have disbursed $100,000 worth of grants to small businesses. 

Despite being comparatively new entrants, they have helped over 70,000 businesses. Trustpilot gives ZenBusiness a rating of 4.8 out of 5 from almost 5,000 reviews, with about 86% of the reviewers giving them an Excellent rating.

On the other hand, Harvard Business Services started in 1981. Since then, they have helped form over 200,000 corporations for national and international clients in Delaware. Harvard Business Services have been in the industry for over four decades. They focus on personalized customer services. 

The Better Business Bureau gives Harvard Business Services an A+ rating, with 5 out of 5 from 71 reviews. Trustpilot gives them a 4.9 rating from about 3,000 reviews, with about 93% of the reviewers giving them an Excellent rating.

Please note that ratings are dynamic and can change over a period, but they do indicate the performance of a service. 

On the experience front, Harvard Business Services seems to emerge as a close winner with more years of experience and a slightly better rating. Do keep in mind that despite being a new entrant, ZenBusiness has garnered about 5,000 mostly positive reviews compared to only 3,000 reviews for Harvard Business Services.

 

Customer Service

ZenBusiness provides phone, chat, and email support. You can call or chat with them from 8 AM to 8 PM CT from Monday to Friday and from 10 AM to 7 PM CT on Sundays. Their customer service staff is very responsive and gives good advice.

Harvard Business Services can be contacted via phone, fax, chat, Skype, WhatsApp, and email. You can call or chat from 9 AM to 5 PM EDT, Monday through Thursday; and 9 AM to 4.30 PM EDT on Fridays. Moreover, their customer service staff is very helpful and gives good advice and information.

Both service providers have a very responsive customer service team that provides good solutions and answers to queries. However, Harvard Business Services seems to be a bit ahead on this front because for some time, ZenBusiness was not very responsive to customers. 

This has now been corrected, but Harvard Business Services still wins this round.

 

Ease of Use

Both service providers have made their sites very easy to use and navigate. Besides this, both services have very user-friendly ways to avail their services. It is as simple as choosing a package and providing your necessary details. However, ZenBusiness seems to be slightly ahead in this category as being just a little easier to use.

 

Turnaround Times

On this front, both the services perform equally well because the turnaround time depends on the government services and the backlog they have. Both service providers file your requests almost immediately, so there is no delay from their side. The usual turnaround time is 3-5 days, at most a week.

 

Registered Agent Services

This is an important comparison point. Both services offer Registered Agent Services free for one year. However, Harvard Business Services scores higher here because they offer these services for $50 a year, amongst the lowest in the industry. Compared to this, ZenBusiness offers the same service at $99 a year.

 

Additional Services

Both service providers do provide additional services that you can order separately. Some services like operating agreements, EIN registration, certificates of good standing, and more are provided by both ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services. 

In addition to this, there are some services exclusive to only one provider. For example, ZenBusiness provides bookkeeping services while Harvard Business Services provides mail forwarding services. To conclude, both services are a tie in this category.

 

Conclusion

Both ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services offer similar services and packages. ZenBusiness seems to win on the price and ease-of-use fronts. However, Harvard Business Services seems the better service when it comes to customer satisfaction, experience, and registered agent services. It looks like it is a tie. 

However, you need to keep in mind that Harvard Business Services only operates in Delaware while ZenBusiness helps you create a corporation in any state, which gives it the slightest of edges.

If the price is your only criteria, then ZenBusiness wins hands down. 

Our view is that both providers provide almost the same services and are similar on almost every front except pricing. This decidedly tips the balance in favor of ZenBusiness.

 

Some Common Questions

Do they have a refund option?

Both the providers have a refund option. Harvard Business Services deduct a 5% convenience fee if you want a refund within 30 days of making a purchase. On the other hand, ZenBusiness says they have a 100% refund policy minus expenses incurred. However, once your papers are filed, there is no refund. 

The Harvard Business Service refund policy seems clear and straightforward, though the ZenBusiness policy seems a bit obscure. Please check this option before you make a decision.

 

What’s the biggest plus point of each service?

The biggest plus point for ZenBusiness has to be its pricing which is lower than most service providers. On the other hand, the biggest plus point for Harvard Business Services is their high customer review rating.

However, you must keep in mind that even though ZenBusiness is a new entrant, it has performed well and is almost on par with Harvard Business Services on customer review ratings. Also, ZenBusiness helps form corporations in any state, while Harvard Business Services is limited to Delaware.

We highly recommend the Starter package from ZenBusiness as it covers all the requirements for setting up a business at an affordable price.

 

What’s the best package from each vendor?

By far, ZenBusiness’s lowest offer of $49 plus state fees is the best. For Harvard Business Services, their $179 Green package is great, though both providers push their mid-range services as the preferred or best option. It boils down to a matter of choice and what you want.

 

Which provider is better if I need publication services?

Since Harvard Business Services operates only in Delaware where there is no such requirement, this does not apply to them. ZenBusiness can provide these services for an additional $200. Without a doubt, ZenBusiness scores on this front.

 

Which company offers help with compliance regulations?

ZenBusiness offers the services of a registered agent for $99 per year after the first year of free service. If you do not want a registered agent, you could avail of their annual report services at $75.

On the other hand, Harvard Business Services offers registered agent services at $50 per year after the first year of free service. This seems very reasonable.

But do you need the services of a registered service agent? This is not an easy question to answer, but a dedicated registered service agent will keep you on top of all compliance issues so that you never default on any information required by the government. 

In case you decide to handle compliance issues on your own, it could be very problematic and difficult to handle. We suggest you use a dedicated professional registered service agent for all your compliance needs.

 

Are there any hidden costs?

No, there are no hidden costs. But do the two providers try to upsell? Harvard Business Services does not do that or keeps it to a minimum. However, ZenBusiness does try to upsell a lot of addons which can be annoying.

 

Do these services share my information with third parties?

To the best of our information, Harvard Business Services does not share or sell your information. On the other hand, be wary of using the domain name registration and website offers from ZenBusiness. These services are provided by a third party, which means your information is shared, and then you are prompted with “free offers” which can be irritating.

 

Do I need to use a service provider?

The answer to this question is entirely up to you. If you feel confident in handling the necessary paperwork required to start a corporation, please go ahead and do it on your own. However, to take the pain out of setting up a corporation, it is a good idea to use the services of a professional provider. 

With a dedicated service provider who knows the different laws and requirements of each state, you have peace of mind that your work will be handled with a minimum of input from you in a proper manner. The peace of mind this affords is worth the money you pay for the service.

 

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