Starting a company is the dream of many entrepreneurial individuals, but it can be an intimidating process.
Particularly when forming an LLC or corporation, there are many complex steps to take, confusing forms to fill out, and new terminology to understand.
Fortunately, there are companies that specialize in helping entrepreneurs form new business entities. One popular option is called Harvard Business Services (HBS).
In this Harvard Business Services review, we will cover everything from pricing and features to the reputation of the company.
What Is Harvard Business Services?
Harvard Business Services, also known as DelawareInc.com, is a business formation service. This means that they help form new LLCs and corporations. They have been in business for nearly 40 years, and have helped form over 200,000 new companies.
Unlike many competing incorporation services, Harvard focuses on business formation in just one state: Delaware.
Why Delaware? Because Delaware is known for being the most business-friendly state in America. They have low tax rates, a streamlined business court system, plus low costs and a fast turnaround time for new company applications.
In fact, over half of all publicly traded firms are incorporated in Delaware.
Uniquely, the business owner does not need to live in Delaware in order to form a company there. So, entrepreneurs from all over the nation (and the world) can take advantage of Delaware’s business-friendly laws.
So, where does Harvard Business Services come in?
This company makes it simpler to navigate the business formation process. Their online tools make a complex process much easier and more efficient.
Instead of applying directly with the state of Delaware, small business owners will work with Harvard and their online tools.
For those looking for an efficient, cost-effective way to start a company in Delaware, Harvard Business Services is an excellent choice.
Advantages of Harvard Business Services
HBS is a useful service, but it’s far from the only option. What sets Harvard apart from competing LLC formation services?
- Specialized service specifically for Delaware companies
- Makes it easy to take advantage of Delaware’s business-friendly rules
- Owners do not need to live in Delaware
- Very competitive pricing
- State filing fees are included in pricing, which is rare among similar services
- The cheapest Registered Agent rates in the industry ($50/year)
- Same-day electronic filing
- Fast turnaround – receive business documents in as little as 3-6 business days
- Free compliance coaching
- Offers international formations for non-US citizens
Disadvantages of Harvard Business Services
Harvard Business Services is not perfect. What downsides should business owners be aware of?
- Only works for Delaware companies – businesses cannot be formed in other states
- Minimal selection of ongoing services
- Does not support the formation of partnerships or nonprofits
What Services Does Harvard Business Services Offer?
Harvard Business Services helps form new businesses in the state of Delaware. The core of their business is based on the initial formation of new companies. However, they also offer a limited selection of ongoing services to help companies grow and remain compliant.
Starting a Business with Harvard Business Services
The focus of Harvard’s services is helping owners to form new companies in Delaware. Their lineup of services is simple and efficient.
- A fast and efficient way to start a company in Delaware
- Choice of corporation or limited liability company (LLC)
- 100% online application process
- Same-day electronic filing of documents
- Help preparing all necessary documents and forms
- Digital or physical mail delivery available
- First year of Registered Agent included for free (renews at $50/year)
- Find an available company name with Business Name Availability Check
Growing a Business with Harvard Business Services
Once the company is formed, HBS offers a few ongoing services and optional add-ons that some companies will find useful.
- Ongoing Registered Agent service ($50/year)
- Mail forwarding service
- Order Certificate of Good Standing
- Help with applying for a federal tax ID number (EIN)
- Help ordering Certificate of Incorporation
- Lifetime customer support
- Optional business templates (stock certificates, banking resolution, etc.)
How Much Does Harvard Business Services Cost?
Harvard Business Service has very competitive pricing. They are also one of the very few services to include state fees in their package pricing. Here is a breakdown of pricing for DelawareInc.com:
Green Package – $179 Including State Fees
The Green Plan includes all the basics and digital eDelivery of business documents.
- All the basic forms and steps required to start a Delaware company
- LLC or corporation
- Free compliance coaching
- Lifetime customer support
- Includes a full year of free Registered Agent service (renews at $50/year)
- 3-5 day processing time
- Includes Delaware state fees
Basic Package – $229 Including State Fees
The Basic Plan adds a hard copy of all documents, as well as extra features.
- Everything included in the Green plan
- Comes with hard copies of all important formation documents (mailed)
- Operating Agreement & Bylaws
- Digital membership or stock certificates
- Bank resolution form
- Documents delivered in 4-6 business days
Standard Package – $329 Including State Fees
The Standard Plan includes extras like a custom corporate seal, as well as priority processing speed
- Everything included in the Basic plan
- Hard copies of all important documents (priority mail)
- Deluxe Business Kit
- Custom corporate seal
- Membership/stock ledger and certificates
- Much more
Overall, HBS’ pricing is competitive. This is particularly true when considering that state fees are included in the pricing. Normally, state fees can add $100 or more to the total cost, but HBS includes filing fees in their pricing structure.
Harvard Business Services Ongoing Costs
Harvard’s business formation packages are primarily up-front costs. You pay the fee for the first year, get your business registered, and are then free to cancel any ongoing services that you may have.
However, there are a few ongoing costs to be aware of. Delaware Registered Agent is one – a 1-year plan is included, but after that, the service costs $50 per year.
This is an extremely competitive price, so for businesses who plan to keep Registered Agent, HBS is a great choice. If you don’t plan to keep a Registered Agent, the plan can simply be canceled.
What About State Filing Fees?
Harvard Business Services includes state fees in their pricing. So, the package cost is the total cost you will pay for the service.
This is significant, considering that Delaware charges at least $89 to incorporate a new business. Having those fees included in HBS’ pricing is a big cost savings.
This is abnormal in the industry. Nearly every competing business formation service, including Incfile, LegalZoom, ZenBusiness, and others, all charge state fees separately.
Of course, keep in mind that HBS is only useful for those wishing to form a company in Delaware. For entrepreneurs looking to incorporate in any other state, another option must be used.
Does Harvard Business Services Have Good Customer Service?
Harvard Business Services offers customer support via email, Skype, and phone. Agents are available during normal business hours.
HBS customer reviews indicate that most customers have had a positive experience working with support. On average, customer feedback for HBS is good. The company has also earned a great reputation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and others.
Interestingly, this service offers lifetime support for all plans. Even if no ongoing services are kept, support agents are available should any issues arise.
Is Harvard Business Services a Good Choice for Your Business?
For founders looking to incorporate or form an LLC in Delaware, Harvard Business Services is an excellent choice.
The service offers a streamlined application process, competitive pricing, and quality customer service. There are a variety of plans to choose from, with features covering all the essentials that a new business needs.
HBS also includes state fees in their package pricing, which is a welcome change from the industry standard. So, the cost of the package is the actual total cost that business owners will pay.
If you are looking to form a business in Delaware, Harvard Business Services is the best option. Likewise, if you want a Delaware Registered Agent, HBS is the cheapest option.
If you are looking to form a business outside of Delaware, Harvard Business Services will not work. There are many alternative incorporation services that can suit your needs.