Review Overview

ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services are two reputable companies in the LLC formation services industry, and either can efficiently form your compliant business entity. However, we think we have a few distinct advantages in this comparison.

We offer LLC formation service for free (just pay your state’s required fee), which is $89 cheaper than the lowest rate offered by Harvard Business Services. In addition, Harvard Business Services only offers services in Delaware, whereas we provide services in all 50 states.

Would you like to learn the details that set these service providers apart, as well as the common characteristics both share? Read on as we discuss all the information you need to make a decision.

7 Things They Have in Common

1) Affordable: With either ZenBusiness or Harvard Business Services, you’ll save a significant amount of money on your LLC formation compared to hiring a business attorney to handle your formation process.

2) Valuable Features: Both of these companies have feature-rich LLC formation service packages.

3) Efficiency: Whether you choose ZenBusiness or Harvard Business Services, you’re getting a service provider that’s capable of processing an LLC formation quickly. If you’re in a hurry, both have options available that can speed up your formation (for an additional fee, of course).

4) Outstanding Customer Feedback: ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services have two of the most well known reputations in this industry when it comes to customer reviews. Both have thousands of reviews available online, and almost all of them are positive.

5) Experience: Both Harvard Business Services and ZenBusiness have helped form thousands of businesses over the years, and both have plenty of expertise. You can definitely trust these companies to have the experience necessary to form your compliant LLC.

6) Additional Services: LLC formation is far from the only service offered by ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services. Both have many other services available, from registered agent service to foreign qualifications and much more. These are one-stop shops for business services.

7) Customer Support: These two services both have customer support networks that can answer your tough questions. Why go it alone when you can get help from ZenBusiness or Harvard Business Services?

Side-by-Side Comparisons

Pricing

ZenBusiness: We offer LLC service for $0 (just pay your state’s fee). If you’re looking for some advanced features, our $199 Pro package adds ongoing compliance assistance, an operating agreement template, an employer identification number (EIN), and faster processing. You also might like our $299 Premium plan, as it adds a business website builder, a domain name, a business email address, and 25+ business document templates.

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

Experience

ZenBusiness: We were founded in 2015 in Austin, Texas. Since then, we’ve served 500,000+ customers. We’re a public benefit corporation that provides $5,000 grants to help our customers kickstart their businesses.

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

ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness provides access to our customer service team by phone, email, or web chat. We have expanded availability that even includes Sundays — very few competitors have any weekend availability. We pride ourselves in continuously improving the quality and responsiveness of our customer support, and we believe we compare favorably to the vast majority of competitors in this area.

Harvard Business Services: Harvard Business Services provides 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 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Turnaround Times

ZenBusiness: With ZenBusiness, all formation speeds vary based on state capabilities. Also, if you’re in a hurry, you can choose one of our premium packages to speed things up a bit. When compared to other formation services, we are usually either just as fast or slightly faster. To find out your turnaround time, simply plug in your state and immediately see your estimated processing speed.

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 p.m. ET or a next-day turnaround after that.

Customer Reviews

ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness excels when it comes to customer feedback, as we have more than 12,000 reviews available online, and nearly all of them are positive. Our clients are clearly satisfied with our services, and they frequently praise our efficiency, along with the general ease of use provided by our platform.

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

ZenBusiness: Forming a new business entity is simple with ZenBusiness. You’ll start by selecting your formation package, then you’ll provide us with some basic information about yourself and your business. After that, we’ll take care of the rest. It doesn’t get much easier than this.

Harvard Business Services: We were able to fill out their entire formation service order form in less than ten minutes. They avoid third-party partnerships entirely, and they have just one minor upsell in their ordering process.

Additional Services

With either Harvard Business Services or ZenBusiness, you’ll have access to a variety of additional services that can help you grow and develop your business in a compliant fashion. Both offer many of the same services, including things like registered agent service, EIN acquisition, operating agreement templates, Certificates of Good Standing, and more.

However, there are also some services that only one of these companies offers. For instance, you can access mail forwarding services from Harvard Business Services, which ZenBusiness doesn’t offer. On the other hand, ZenBusiness provides accounting and bookkeeping services, while Harvard Business Services doesn’t. Of course, ZenBusiness also offers services in all 50 states, while Harvard Business Services focuses solely on Delaware.

Which is the best LLC service for you?

ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services have plenty of common characteristics that make these companies two of the most popular LLC formation services available, but also some major differences. If you haven’t yet made up your mind between these options, let’s finish this comparison by quickly describing some scenarios that may sway your opinion one way or the other.

➦ Choose Harvard Business Services if You Are:

If you’re forming a business in Delaware, they’re a solid choice due to their fast processing speeds. Their positive customer feedback and affordable registered agent service are selling points as well.

🎉 Choose ZenBusiness if You Are:

Seeking reasonable price points? The free LLC formation package (+ state fee) offered by ZenBusiness can save you a lot of money. In addition, we offer services in all 50 states, which Harvard Business Services doesn’t.

Get Started Today

Compare Packages

Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.

Starter

Premium

Starter

$0

Premium

$299/yr

Starter

File in 2 to 3 weeks **

$0

PLUS STATE FEES

Premium

File in 1 to 5 days **

$299/yr

PLUS STATE FEES

Top Features

More InfoWe do everything needed to file your application with the state and make your business official. Standard LLC Filing
More InfoWe’ll file your paperwork quickly and accurately. If there are any errors with your filing, our team will do what’s needed to make it right. 100% Accuracy Guarantee
More InfoKeeps you compliant with all state-required annual report and amendment filings to maintain LLC protections and avoid fines. Worry-Free Compliance
More InfoThis essential document is like the constitution for your business. Operating Agreement
More InfoOur fastest service puts you to the front of our line of filings. Our Fastest Filing Speed
More InfoOur team will secure your EIN from the IRS so you can open a business bank account, hire employees, and pay taxes. EIN
More InfoIncludes over 25 templates for contracts, service agreements, waivers, and more. Business Documents
More InfoGet online with a website builder tool optimized for traffic and customers. Business Website Builder
More InfoBuild and protect your brand by registering a private domain name that matches your business name. Domain Name with Privacy
More InfoStay organized and give your business more credibility with a business email. Business Email Address

File in 2 to 3 weeks **

1 year free, then $199/yr*
+$99
+$79
+$99
+$99
+$15/mo
+$35/yr
+$25/yr

File in 1 to 5 days **

*SPECIAL OFFER – Get Starter for $0 plus state fees. Includes one optional free year of Worry-Free Compliance that renews at $199/yr.
**These filing times are averages and include our processing times and Secretary of State turnaround times which vary by state.

Frequently Asked Questions About ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services

  • It’s hard to not be a fan of our Starter plan because it’s $0 as long as you pay your state’s required fee. If you’re looking for some more advanced features, our Pro package ($199 + state fee) adds ongoing compliance assistance, EIN acquisition, an operating agreement template, and faster filing. Meanwhile, our Premium package ($299 + state fee) adds a business website builder, a business email address, a domain name, and 25+ business document templates to the Pro package.

  • While some competitors won’t handle state-specific compliance requirements on your behalf, we offer a truly comprehensive LLC formation service. If you’re forming a business in a state that requires publication service to form a compliant LLC, ZenBusiness offers to take care of it for you. Check out our New York publication service offering. For what it’s worth, Harvard Business Service doesn’t offer publication service because it isn’t necessary in Delaware.

  • Harvard Business Services grants refunds as long as they’re requested within 30 days, and they have a nominal 5% processing fee. If you received any physical products as part of your formation (like an LLC kit), you need to return them within seven business days of your refund request.

    Meanwhile, our refund policy is one of the most reasonable in the industry. While many competitors have vague refund policies or even refuse refunds outright, we offer a 60-day money-back guarantee.

  • You can. In fact, quite a few entrepreneurs do choose to form their own LLCs without any assistance. However, the do-it-yourself route doesn’t provide the peace of mind we get from hiring a professional service. In addition, each state sets its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, so it’s not always easy to figure out what your state requires.

  • The big advantage for ZenBusiness (compared to most other formation services, not just Harvard Business Services) is the fact that we’ll form your business for $0 if you pay your own state fee. Harvard Business Services has an advantage of its own over most competitors, which is its ability to form a Delaware LLC with impressive efficiency.

  • Harvard Business Services provides registered agent service for $50 per year. They also offer assistance with Delaware annual reports and franchise taxes, but you’ll need to contact them to get a quote on these services. We charge $199 as an annual fee for registered agent service in any state, and we also provide annual report service for $100.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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