Starting a business opens the floodgates to a world of new processes, requirements, and regulations. Ensuring your legal entity is set up correctly, refining your business plan, and scaling for the future are all essential for progressing your business.
Without the right resources and systems in place, starting a business can quickly get overwhelming, but companies like Harbor Compliance can help entrepreneurs keep organized.
In this review, we have compiled information regarding Harbor Compliance and the business services they offer. We’ll cover their available packages in addition to their processing time, document management, compliance, and customer service that make up the whole experience.
Interested in Harbor Compliance?
About Harbor Compliance
Harbor Compliance is a business services company that provides business registration, compliance, and maintenance tools to ensure you meet entity management requirements.
To date, Harbor Compliance has helped upwards of 10,000 companies register and maintain proper federal, state, and local business licensing. With the help of a robust team of business licensing experts and specialized software, they can track even the smallest details, like renewal dates, fees, and deadlines.
This company is a bit different from many of the other companies that manage LLC formation on behalf of other organizations. While most other competitors ask you to submit your information online through an order form or questionnaire, Harbor Compliance sets you up directly with one of their licensing specialists via phone call to review their services and complete offerings.
For some, this change will be welcomed as they can get more customized service when working one-on-one. Others may prefer the option to submit online without a required intro call.
Structure Breakdown: Who is Harbor Compliance Good For?
Harbor Compliance is a good option for businesses of all kinds. Here’s a look at the difference between these organizations and how Harbor Compliance can help.
An LLC combines the benefits of liability protection that corporations get with the simpler pass-through tax benefits partnerships and sole proprietorships get.
Harbor Compliance can help new LLCs get started by managing the following documents:
- Articles of organization
- Operating agreement
- State and local tax IDs
- Local business licenses
Neither S nor C corporations are technically legal structures. They are actually two different tax elections that LLCs or corporations can make. These are entities expected to make substantial revenue immediately or involve complex ownership.
If you’re starting a corporation, Harbor Compliance can help by offering:
- Articles of Incorporation
- State and local tax IDs
- Local business licenses
Partnerships can refer to general partnerships (GP) or limited partnerships (LP). Both refer to a business owned by two or more people. Partnerships are generally easier to start than other types of companies, as the main legal filing document needed to form one is a Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement covers things like profit sharing and management.
Partnerships are a good fit for the services offered by Harbor Compliance. They can help you get set up by:
- Filing in the state where required
- Setting up a partnership agreement
- Creating EIN
- Handling state and local taxes and licenses
Sole proprietorships are businesses operated and owned by a single person. They are the cheapest and easiest ways to set up a business as no separate entity needs to be created. However, the owner has unlimited liability, and personal assets may be at risk in the case of lawsuits.
Harbor Compliance can help sole proprietorships with the following:
- DBA (Doing Business As) set up
- EIN creation
- State and local taxes and licenses
A non-profit organization (NPO) is a non-business entity, non-profit institution, or not-for-profit organization. To qualify for an NPO, your business must meet tax-exempt status from the IRS and have a mission that provides a public benefit and furthers a social cause.
Even though non-profits are non-business entities, Harbor Compliance can still help with the following:
- Name availability
- Articles of incorporation
- Conflict of interest policy
- 501(c)(3) approval
- Fundraising registration
They have even more services to offer entrepreneurs looking to start a non-profit, depending on the package you choose.
Harbor Compliance Packages & Pricing
Formation Package - $399 + state fees
The Formation Package is limited to entity formation requirements. This package includes:
- Filing Articles of Organization - Drafting and filing forms submitted to the state to officially create a business entity
- Name Availability Search - Ensuring your name is available by searching through your state database
- Registered Agent Service - Free year of mail forwarding via a Registered Agent who receives important deliveries from the government for you and sends them your way
- Federal Tax ID Number - An SS number for your business, which is used to file taxes, open bank accounts, and hire employees
- Sample Operating Agreement - Template to outline ownership structure and operation guidelines that you can fill in on your own
The Formation package costs $399 plus your state fee.
Compliance Package - $799 + state fees
The Compliance Package provides the full suite of Harbor Compliance services. This package includes everything from the Formation Package, in addition to:
- Managed Annual Report Service - Managing due dates and filing annual reports to the state on your behalf
- Initial Report - Some states require an initial report after filing. Harbor Compliance can determine if it’s necessary and handle it for you
- Publishing - Some states have a publishing requirement of public proof of their business formation in a local newspaper, which Harbor Compliance can handle if required
- LLC Kit - Custom company binder with your brand name embossed along with a symbolic seal white-labeled with your company name, state, and date of creation
- S-Corp and C-Corp Tax Election - Preparing and filing necessary IRS forms for tax election if you choose to be taxed as a corporation
- Ongoing Support - Ongoing access to Harbor Compliance’s customer support even after entity formation
The Compliance package costs $799 plus your state fee.
Overall Value vs. The Competition
While Harbor Compliance’s prices may be in the budget range for many entrepreneurs, its prices are still much higher than other services on the market, some of which start at $39. Harbor Compliance offers a good quality premium service, but unfortunately, there are no lower-tier packages that come at a more accessible price point.
Harbor Compliance Document Management & Online Experience
Thanks to Harbor Compliance’s software like Entity Manager, Tax Manager, License Manager, and Records Manager, it’s easy to log in to your entity portal and access your records, licenses, taxes, and documents whenever you need them.
Their software is set up intuitively and is user-friendly for most beginner entrepreneurs. The additional layers of security through Harbor Compliance software provide peace of mind that your information is safe.
Harbor Compliance also offers a few key features that help it stand out from the rest. For example, Harbor Compliance provides complete LLC formation services and even helps with more granular tasks like state-specific requirements. The company is also an attractive provider for potential NPOs as they offer a 100% success rate in getting 501(c)(3) certified.
Additionally, any Harbor Compliance formation customer also gains free Registered Agent service through the company for a year.
It is worth noting that Harbor Compliance also offers an offline experience through phone calls and email access to your very own Compliance Specialist and Account Manager.
Harbor Compliance Processing Time
Processing time is hard to gauge when it comes to business formation, but Harbor Compliance does what it can to speed the process along. For example, every client works directly with a Harbor Compliance Specialist from day one. Their goal is to gather the information and submit it for filing as quickly as possible.
However, like any other filing service, the processing time relies more on the state your business is in than anything else. Some states can have documents filed the same day they were submitted, but others may have a backlog of registrations and require up to a few weeks for final processing.
One downside of Harbor Compliance is that, unlike other business formation companies, there is no option for expedited processing.
Harbor Compliance Compliance & Track Record
It’s nearly impossible to find negative customer feedback for Harbor Compliance, which says the company does a great job keeping their customers happy and are legally compliant with federal, state, and local regulations.
When considering customer reviews, it’s best to look at the reviews on multiple platforms and compare them to understand the client experience better.
When sourcing the 68 Google reviews, you’ll find an average of 4.7 stars out of five. Harbor Compliance has an average of five stars from the Better Business Bureau, and from Facebook, they see an average of 4.7 out of five stars again.
These ratings are impressive by any standard, but the reviews show even more. Customers rave about the customer experience, particularly the individualized support they get from the service reps. This extra support ensures the customers stay legally compliant with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Harbor Compliance Customer Service
Premium customer service is Harbor Compliance’s most significant selling point. Every entrepreneur that works with Harbor Compliance is set up with a Compliance Specialist that takes you through every step of the way.
They are always available for your questions or concerns via their direct phone number or email address. When a challenge arises or something goes wrong, there’s no fear of getting stuck on hold or talking to random representatives who don’t know your business. Anytime something goes wrong, you have a dedicated person who knows you and your business that can help.
To get in touch with the company’s customer service department directly, clients can call them at 1-888-995-5895, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or even fill out a form on their website. They have made it as easy as possible to get ahold of someone when you need them, which is a component that can’t be undervalued.
The Last Word: Is Harbor Compliance Worth It?
Harbor Compliance offers a premium business entity formation service for all types of businesses and non-profit organizations.
The biggest disadvantage to choosing Harbor Compliance is the cost. However, if you don’t mind paying a premium fee for high-quality service, it can easily be worth the investment.
In our opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. Some of the most noticeable advantages of choosing Harbor Compliance include the dedicated one-on-one support from your Compliance Specialist and the intuitive software that keeps documents and records safe.
If you value dedicated customer service and safe, secure records management over a low price point and online-only service, then Harbor Compliance may be right for you.