Harbor Compliance NonProfit REVIEW
Is It Worth It? (Pros, Cons & More)
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
Do you need to start a 501(c)(3) nonprofit but you don’t want to go the DIY route?
Nonprofits can have complex layers of compliance, so going it alone can be a real hassle. On the other hand, so many companies provide nonprofit formation service that it can be tough to figure out who has the best offer.
To complement your own research, we invested countless hours into finding the best nonprofit formation services available. Our goal is to provide you with the info you need to make a smart decision for your company.
Recommended Nonprofit Formation Service:
Northwest Registered Agent ($29 + State Fees)
Northwest is reliable, offers great customer service, and includes a free year of registered agent services at a lower price.
Pros & Cons of Harbor Compliance
Pros of Harbor Compliance
- Harbor Compliance assigns a Compliance Specialist to every customer. Instead of waiting on hold in a call center or sending an email to a company’s general inbox, you have the direct phone number and email address to connect with your Specialist whenever you need help.
- Harbor Compliance offers complete nonprofit formation packages that handle far more than their competitors do. Every nonprofit package comes with a 501(c)(3) application with guaranteed approval, a federal tax ID number (EIN) and registered agent service.
- Do you need advanced features for your organization, like fundraising registration, initial and annual reports, publishing, etc.? Harbor Compliance offers all of these services and more.
- They don’t have a ton of customer reviews because they’ve only been in business for a few years, but the feedback they do have is overwhelmingly positive. Customers love this company.
- They take online security seriously, with Norton Web Security scanning their website for malware and encrypting data transfers, and Trustwave which verifies merchant validity for credit card purchases.
Cons of Harbor Compliance
- If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to look elsewhere because Harbor Compliance’s nonprofit formation packages start at $1,499.
Harbor Compliance Nonprofit Alternative
Northwest's customer reviews are excellent and the full year of registered agent service is a valuable addition at no extra charge.
Pricing & Features
With Harbor Compliance, you have your choice of two nonprofit formation packages, starting at $1,499: Tax Exempt and Compliance. Check out this quick overview of what you get with each package, then we’ll get more in-depth.
Tax Exempt = $1,499 + State Fee
What It Includes: This package starts with the formation basics, like a name availability check, and the preparation and filing of your formation documents with the state.
In addition, you receive a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status application with guaranteed approval, a federal tax ID number (EIN) to hire employees and open business bank accounts, registered agent service to receive and forward important compliance documents, and custom bylaws that outline the rules and structure of your nonprofit.
Who It’s Right For: This package includes everything most nonprofits will require for formation and 501(c)(3) status, so unless your organization requires extra layers of compliance you should be good to go with the Tax Exempt package.
Compliance = $2,499 + State Fee
What It Includes: Everything from the Tax Exempt package, plus fundraising registration to allow the solicitation of donations for your organization, and preparation and management of your initial and annual reports.
Also, this package includes ongoing support from your personal Compliance Specialist, who will cultivate year-end reviews of your records, operations, and growth. Finally, in states that require it, you’ll get publishing service to print notice of your nonprofit formation in newspapers.
Who It’s Right For: To put it simply, some nonprofits require these features and some do not. If you do need it, we think the Compliance package is a smartly bundled package of features that should appeal to any nonprofit with compliance requirements beyond the basics.
Honestly, we think either package is a smart purchase. If you’re not sure which one you need, contact Harbor Compliance to speak with one of their Compliance Specialists and they’ll help you figure it out.
With 10,000+ customers served since 2012, Harbor Compliance is off to a strong start in the industry, but they haven’t yet had the volume of clients to produce large collections of online reviews.
However, very few of the 100+ client reviews we were able to find online are negative in any way. Harbor Compliance’s many happy clients praise their top-notch customer support system with great regularity.
Customer Reviews Section Last Updated 9-19-18
- Google: 4.6 out of 5 stars (53 reviews)
- BBB: 5.0 out of 5 stars (35 reviews)
- Facebook: 4.7 out of 5 stars (28 reviews)
Conclusion: We couldn’t find any customer reviews that mentioned legitimate gripes, which is a great achievement for a company looking to expand their reach in the industry.
How Does Harbor Compliance Compare?
Harbor Compliance is an excellent option for anyone looking to form a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status. Their top-notch customer feedback, strong feature sets, and personalized customer support really set them apart from the majority of their competitors.
Still, it’s always smart to keep an eye on what the competition has to offer, so let’s check out Foundation Group, another one of the top nonprofit formation services.
Pricing: Whereas Harbor Compliance has a base price point of $1,499 for nonprofit formation with 501(c)(3) status, Foundation Group charges a slightly higher rate of $1,750.
Features: For the most part, the features offered by these two providers are relatively comparable. The only major difference between their base packages is that Foundation Group includes personalized oversight from an IRS-certified tax specialist, which Harbor Compliance does not.
Customer Support: If you want excellent customer service, both Foundation Group and Harbor Compliance are known for providing just that. Each company assigns helpful and professional service reps to each client account to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Experience: Harbor Compliance has served 10,000+ clients since opening in 2012. For their part, Foundation Group has 17,000+ customers since they opened their doors in 1995.
Here's A Quick BreakDown
Pricing Starts At $1,499
In Business Since 2012
Perfect for: Anyone wanting top-to-bottom formation and ongoing compliance
Pricing Starts At $1,750
In Business Since 1995
Perfect for: Anyone wanting a specialized company that's cost-effective & trustworthy
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I File a Nonprofit Independently?
You certainly have that option, but considering the often complex nature of nonprofit compliance, it can be a real hassle ― especially if you want 501(c)(3) status. Services like Harbor Compliance can handle that for you, leaving you free to actually run your organization.
What’s Their Refund Policy?
In their terms of service, they say that “if you order services from us, you may not cancel.” If Harbor Compliance chooses to terminate their relationship with you, they will refund your money, but not if you terminate the relationship on your end.
How Secure Is Harbor Compliance?
With the combination of Norton Web Security and Trustwave protecting their website, you can browse and purchase with confidence.
Do They Offer Ongoing Support?
This depends on which package you purchase. With the Compliance package you receive ongoing access to your Compliance Specialist who will prepare reports on your records, operations, and growth ― with the Tax Exempt package this support ends when you gain your 501(c)(3) exemption.
Should You Use Harbor Compliance?
Harbor Compliance is worthy of a 4.6/5 score in our book. Their customer support is truly next-level and they offer more complete nonprofit formation packages than most competitors. It’s clear though that you need a sizable budget to afford either of their packages, which holds down their overall score a bit. That being said, if this doesn’t sound like your perfect fit, check the Foundation Group.