Harvard Business Services vs IncFile

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Do Harvard Business Services and IncFile Offer Good Value?

With Harvard Business Services and IncFile, we’re discussing two of the top LLC formation services available online. They’re both reputable companies. Each of these companies has its advantages over the other.

First off, IncFile forms LLCs in all 50 states, whereas Harvard Business Services only forms Delaware LLCs. In addition, IncFile offers free LLC formations (all you’ll pay is your state fee), while HBS charges at least $89. Overall though, HBS is a solid IncFile alternative, especially if you’re looking for cheap registered agent services.

7 Things They Have In Common

1) Affordable: Harvard Business Services and IncFile can both save you hundreds of dollars compared to hiring a lawyer to draft and file your formation documents. Furthermore, LLCs are typically rather simple business structures, so you may not need an attorney’s expertise to begin with.

2) Customer Support: Even though you’re saving so much money by not hiring a lawyer, you still aren’t going it alone. Both of these companies have extensive customer support departments that are only a phone call or email away if you need any assistance.

3) Experience: IncFile and Harvard Business Services have each formed thousands of LLCs, so they clearly have the expertise to get the job done right.

4) Registered Agent: These service providers both include a full year of registered agent service with your LLC formation purchase. Every LLC in America needs to designate a registered agent to receive and forward your important government documents, so this is a valuable bonus.

5) Customer Reviews: Both Harvard Business Services and IncFile have thousands of customer reviews available online, and they also both maintain high average rating scores. It’s clear that their clients truly appreciate their services.

6) Additional Services: Do you need assistance with other popular business services like federal tax ID number (EIN) acquisition, foreign qualifications, or LLC operating agreements? Harvard Business Services and IncFile provide many additional services, making them one-stop shops for your LLC.

7) Efficiency: Do you need your LLC formed in a hurry? That’s not a problem for these companies. Both IncFile and Harvard Business Services offer expedited service (for an additional fee, of course) that can speed up your formation from a matter of weeks to mere days.

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Side-by-Side Comparisons


IncFile: Are you looking for business formation service and a year of registered agent service bundled together in one convenient package? With IncFile, you can get this combination of features for free (plus state fee). If you want to continue using IncFile for registered agent service after those 12 months, they have a solid $119 annual price point. Their Gold package for $149 is also a good buy, as it adds a federal tax ID number (EIN) and some sample business documents.

Harvard Business Services: First off, we should mention that Harvard Business Services only operates in the state of Delaware ― they do not offer any products or services for businesses in any other state. That said, their pricing starts with the Green package for $89 (plus state fee), and similar to Incfile, this package includes a full year of registered agent service, along with access to their compliance alerts system. Their ongoing registered agent service is actually available for the lowest price we’ve ever seen, at just $50 per year. However, their $139 Basic and $239 Standard plans don’t add enough value to justify their price points.


IncFile: IncFile has served 800,000+ clients since it opened back in 2004.

Harvard Business Services: While Harvard Business Services has been around longer (since 1981), they have a smaller volume of customers, with more than 300,000 clients served.

Customer Support

IncFile: IncFile provides their customers with support that they can access by phone or email. IncFile’s phone support is typically responsive and helpful. However, its email support is much less responsive. Many of our emails have gone unanswered, and several of the responses we have received are just form emails that don’t directly address our questions.

Harvard Business Services: Harvard Business Services offers customer support via phone, email, chat, or Skype. Regardless of which option you choose, in our experience, they provide good support, and they never leave you waiting too long to get a response. One aspect of their customer service that we like is the fact that they provide a full list on their website of direct phone extensions and email addresses for all of their employees. Their hours of availability are pretty limited though ― 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and 8 am until noon on Fridays.

Turnaround Times

IncFile: IncFile prepares your articles of organization or incorporation and files them with your state within one business day of receiving your order, which is always impressive. Their turnaround times are based on how quickly each state processes business formations and can vary from just a couple of days all the way up to several weeks. If you need your business formed quickly, you can select their expedited processing option.

Harvard Business Services: Because Harvard Business Services only provides services in the state of Delaware, they can process formations in this state more quickly than most competitors. Their standard processing can have your business formed within 3-5 business days, and their expedited processing (while expensive, at $150) gives you a same-day turnaround if purchased before 1 pm ET or a next-day turnaround after that.

Customer Reviews

IncFile: IncFile has around 32,000 reviews online, and even with this high volume of feedback, the company still maintains a strong average rating score.

Harvard Business Services: With roughly 3,600 reviews available on reputable third-party websites and mostly positive ratings, it’s clear that most customers are pleased with the service they receive from HBS.

Ease of Use

IncFile: If you’re looking for a streamlined, user-friendly business formation service, look no further than IncFile. All you need to do to get the ball rolling on your formation is to choose one of their three service packages and give IncFile some basic info about yourself and your new business entity. They personalize their order form based on which state you’re forming in, as well as whether you’re creating an LLC or corporation, and if you find yourself wondering what some of their features mean, they have links available throughout the order form that explain things nicely.

Harvard Business Services: We were able to fill out their entire formation service order form in under ten minutes, which is about as quickly as you could ever hope for. They avoid third-party partnerships entirely, and they have just one minor upsell in their ordering process.

Additional Services

With either IncFile or Harvard Business Services, you can access a broad selection of additional business services. These companies offer many of the same services, including registered agent service, certificates of good standing, EIN acquisition, foreign qualifications, and LLC operating agreements.

There are also some services that are only offered by one company or the other. For instance, only Harvard Business Services provides its clients with DUNS number acquisition, while only IncFile can help you when it comes to trademark protection services. Of course, we’ll mention once more that IncFile offers services in all 50 states, whereas Harvard Business Services is a Delaware-only operation.

Which Is the Best LLC Service for You?

Harvard Business Services and IncFile are two of the most popular LLC formation services, and they’re both worthy of forming your new company.

Since they are both such strong choices, we would understand if you haven’t quite made up your mind yet. With that in mind, let’s close this comparison piece by discussing some factors that lead entrepreneurs to choose one or the other.

Choose Harvard Business Services if You Are:

If you are forming an LLC in Delaware and want the fastest service, Harvard Business Services is a good choice. In addition, their registered agent service is cheaper than IncFile’s.

Choose IncFile if You Are:

If you want a free LLC service or if you want to form an LLC in any state other than Delaware, IncFile is your best option.

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The best value you’ll get from IncFile for LLC service is their Silver package for free (plus state fee). With this option, you’ll receive a year of registered agent service along with your LLC formation, and of course, it’s always difficult to complain about that price point!

If you have some extra room in your budget, you could also go with the Gold package for $149, which adds an EIN and an operating agreement, both of which most companies need. This package also includes a company alerts system.

Nope. We called IncFile to seek some clarification on this issue, and we were told that they do not offer any assistance with state-specific publication requirements because “those need to be taken care of with the state directly.”

It’s a bit disappointing, especially when you consider that some of their competitors do offer this service. For what it’s worth, Harvard Business Services doesn’t offer publication service either because this service is not required in Delaware.

That said, ZenBusiness is the best LLC service if you need help with NY publication requirements. For more information on our favorite New York LLC publication services, check out our full guide on this topic.

Is IncFile the best LLC formation service? That’s one of our most asked questions. For a close-up look at how they compare to other top-rated LLC services, check out our comparisons below:

We’re quite pleased with the lack of upsells from both of these companies.

While some of their competitors pile on the additional feature suggestions and package upgrade options, IncFile and Harvard Business Services let their products and services do the talking for themselves.

Harvard Business Services offers refunds within 30 days of your initial purchase date, with a 5% processing fee.

In addition, they won’t pay you back for any external costs (like your state fee), and you will need to return any physical items (like LLC kits) to them within seven business days.

IncFile will grant refund requests as long as they haven’t yet sent any payments to your state government, which they say is typically within 24 hours. Even then, they will keep $30 as a cancellation fee. Once they’ve transferred money to your state, they will not refund your money.

Harvard Business Services has a unique advantage in Delaware. Their processing times are estimated to fall in the 1-3 day range, which is awfully tough to top. By contrast, IncFile estimates a 15-business-day turnaround in Delaware for standard processing and a five-day turnaround with a $50 expediting fee. In other states, IncFile’s processing speeds vary based on each state’s capabilities.

You sure can, and many entrepreneurs DIY their LLC formations every day. However, the DIY route does not provide the same peace of mind that you’ll receive from having professionals form your business. Furthermore, each state sets its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, and it can be a hassle just to track down your state’s requirements. Plus, services like us at ZenBusiness can form your LLC for free, as long as you cover the state fee.

IncFile’s major advantage compared to most companies is its offer of a free LLC or incorporation service package. Only a small handful of companies (including ZenBusiness) can match this deal.

As for Harvard Business Services, they have a noteworthy advantage when it comes to the timeliness of your formation ― if you’re in a hurry, they can form your business much faster than most competitors can.

Both of these companies provide an array of services that can help you keep your business in good standing down the line. Harvard Business Services provides registered agent service for just $50 per year, which is the lowest rate in this industry.

They also offer assistance with Delaware annual reports and franchise taxes, but you’ll need to call them to get a quote on these services. As for Incfile, they have a much higher annual price point of $119 for registered agent service, but their annual report service is available for a reasonable rate of $88.

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To be quite honest and bold… I had an…

To be quite honest and bold… I had an amazing experience. I set up my first business with ease and have been guided incredibly well throughout. I’m able to access even more help through the app with anything that has to do with starting, progressing, and moving my business to the next level. I have zero complaints so far other than not being able to view my state documents but I received them within 2 minutes of messaging their help center on the app. Easy 123. Now I can go make real money.

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