Harvard Business Services is an LLC services and registered agent company that has been in business since 1981. Despite the company’s name, they are not affiliated with Harvard University.
Harvard Business Services is also known as “Delaware Inc.” (probably because the vast majority of companies they form and work with are registered in Delaware).
In the 40 years that Harvard Business Services has been in operation, they have helped form thousands of businesses. Most of those businesses were formed in Delaware. However, Harvard Business Services will help you form a business in another state if you call them and request it. They also offer registered agent services at a reasonable price point.
Warning! If you don’t live or do business in the state where Harvard Business Services forms your LLC (e.g. Delaware), you’ll need to register your LLC as a Foreign LLC in your home state. This means you need to maintain two LLC filings, pay two state filing fees, and maintain two Registered Agents.
Please see Best state to form an LLC to make sure you’re forming an LLC in the right state.
LLC Formation Services
As with most of the LLC services companies that we review, Harvard Business Services offers several different service packages at different price points. Their service packages include the Green, the Basic, and the Standard.
Confusingly, the Green package is the cheapest, while the Basic package has some extras you don’t get with the Green package, and the Standard package is actually the premium option with all the bells and whistles.
The Green service package is the most affordable of the three at $179. That price is the $90 Delaware state filing fee plus the $89 service fee charged by Harvard Business Services.
The “Green” package is called that because all of the documents are sent to you electronically, saving the environmental cost of printing and shipping.
If you purchase this package, Harvard Business Services will check your business name for availability, and then complete and file your Articles of Organization in Delaware. The package also includes compliance notifications to remind you of the LLC annual franchise tax deadlines.
The Green package includes one free year of Registered Agent service. After that, Harvard Business Services’ Registered Agent service is $50 per year.
The Basic package is very similar to the Green one plus a few extras. It costs $139 plus the $90 state filing fee (a total of $229). You still get the business name check, filing of your Articles of Organization with Delaware, and a free year of Registered Agent service.
For that extra $50, you get your LLC documents mailed to you (instead of electronic delivery), and some legal document templates. We don’t think the Basic package is worth the money compared to the Green package.
Harvard Business Services’ top service package is the Standard package for $329. If you choose this package, Harvard Business Services will check your business name availability, complete and file your Articles of Organization in Delaware, send you the approved LLC documents by mail, give you legal document templates, and a corporate kit.
The corporate kit includes a personalized binder, a personalized seal, and several additional legal document templates than what you would have gotten in the Basic package like Membership Certificates and meeting minutes.
We don’t think the Standard package is worth its price, either. You’re not getting much more than the Green package (which is $150 less!).
You can make membership certificates for your LLC at home with our free LLC membership certificate template. And if you want to order a business seal or other stationery items, we recommend Moo.com. You can design and fully customize everything you order from Moo.com, unlike the bundled items through Harvard Business Services.
Harvard Business Services (aka Delaware Inc.) offers quick turnaround times. On average, your Delaware business registration will be completed and you will receive your approved documents within 3 to 5 business days.
Harvard Business Services guarantees that they will file your documents within one business day as long as you do not make any errors when placing your order, and as long as you are forming your LLC in Delaware. The processing times will vary if you want to register your business in a different state, and since they don’t register many businesses in other states, Harvard Business Services couldn’t give us an estimate.
Harvard Business Services does offer an expedited processing option. As long as you place your order by 1 PM Eastern Time on a business day and pay for expedited processing, they will have your company formed that day. If you place your order after 1 PM or on a non-business day and pay for expedited processing, they will ensure that your company is formed on the next business day.
One of the positive aspects of Harvard Business Services’ LLC services is that they do not push upsells. Some competitors bombard you with notifications about purchasing optional services when you are placing your order. Often, these upsells offer little to no real value.
The one upsell that Harvard Business Services offers is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for your LLC.
Harvard Business Services will obtain an EIN for you for a $65 fee. While this may seem reasonable, you should know that you can obtain an EIN for your LLC yourself for free. All you have to do is submit a digital form on the IRS website – and an EIN is free from the IRS.
Harvard Business Services uses very clear and honest language on their website. They describe their service packages and their prices in straightforward terms. There are no hidden fees or exceptions. Frankly, Harvard Business Services is a breath of fresh air in this regard, as many of their competitors use unclear and misleading language throughout their websites.
We like that Harvard Business Services includes the state fee in their package prices, so you aren’t surprised by the extra $90 when you get to checkout.
However, it’s very difficult to find any information on their website about forming a company in a state other than Delaware.
Harvard Business Services makes customer service one of their cornerstones of their business. Their website frequently mentions that packages include free lifetime customer support. In addition to the standard phone customer service, they offer chat, email, and even Skype support. In spite of their stated commitment to excellent customer service, however, Harvard Business Services actually fell short in this area during our tests.
We gave both their phone and chat support a try. Their chat support consisted of sales material that was clearly copied and pasted. They only answered our questions after we asked them a second or third time.
Also, their chat support was only relevant to Delaware. They told us we had to call the phone support if we had any questions about any other state.
Other Harvard Business Services reviews have found similar issues with their chat support.
Their phone support was more helpful, though the rep we spoke to still tried to convince us to file in Delaware. LLC University® frequently debunks this myth: Delaware is not the best place to form an LLC. So we didn’t appreciate this push.
Besides this, however, the phone support was good. The rep was helpful and knowledgeable. They also did not try to push optional services and upsells, which is something we have encountered from other LLC services companies.
Unlike their competitors, Harvard Business Services offers customer support by Skype. This can be helpful, since video chat can be more personable. We didn’t try their Skype service.
Want something better? Hire Northwest ($39 + state fee) to form your LLC. They’re our favorite company and who we recommend to friends and family. Northwest doesn’t hire any sales reps. Instead, their entire staff are subject matter experts and they’re genuinely happy to answer any LLC questions you have!
Check out our Northwest Registered Agent review for more info.
Harvard Business Services is Better Business Bureau accredited with an A+ rating. They have an impressive 4.98 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau website, a 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Google, and a 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Trustpilot.
Customers forming businesses in Delaware seem to appreciate Harvard Business Services’ quick turnaround time and helpful phone representatives.
Harvard Business Services offers an excellent user experience if you want to form an LLC in Delaware. Their website is designed to make the order process as simple and intuitive as possible.
However, if you want to register your LLC anywhere other than Delaware, you will have to call Harvard Business Services and do the whole process with a representative by phone. That’s pretty inconvenient, since other business formation services let you form an LLC in any state using simple online forms.
It’s a myth that Delaware is the best state to form an LLC.
If you don’t live or do business in the state where Harvard Business Services forms your LLC, you’ll need to register your LLC as a Foreign LLC in your home state. This means you need to maintain two LLC filings, pay two state filing fees, and maintain two Registered Agents.
Additional Services & Features
Harvard Business Services does not offer any additional services and features, as they are focused on LLC services and registered agent services. Some competing LLC services companies offer extras like a tax consultation or website hosting. Harvard Business Services does not offer these or similar services, nor do they connect you with offers from partner companies for additional services and features.
Registered Agent Services
Learn more: What’s an LLC Registered Agent?
Harvard Business Services, Inc. advertises their Delaware Registered Agent service most prominently. But they can be your Registered Agent in any US state, not just Delaware. This could be important if you end up having to register your LLC as a Foreign LLC after forming it in Delaware.
Harvard Business Services offers Registered Agent service for $50 per year. Harvard Business Services will receive and scan legal documents for your business and forward them to you via email. $50 is one of the lowest prices in the industry.
Harvard Business Services Reviews
Is Harvard Business Services legit? We think Harvard Business Services is a good choice for LLC services and registered agent services as long as you want to register your company in Delaware. While they will (reluctantly) help you form your company in another state, they specialize in Delaware LLCs.
Delaware LLCs are popular with people from all over the United States and even the world because Delaware offers low business taxes and business-friendly laws. However, you should not form a Delaware LLC if you do not live in Delaware. Please see Best state to form an LLC to make sure you’re forming an LLC in the right state.
If you form a Delaware LLC despite not living in Delaware, you will have to pay fees to the State of Delaware. You will also have to register your LLC in your home state and pay fees in your home state. If you form a Delaware LLC and you do not register your business in your home state, you are breaking the law and you will likely receive an expensive citation.
The bottom line is that Harvard Business Services is only a good option if you are a Delaware resident or if you live in another country (if your country has favorable laws regarding foreign businesses).