Student Business Activity

Harvard permits undergraduates to undertake modest levels of business activities on campus. Students may be required to move businesses entirely off-campus should they disrupt residential life, compromise the educational environment, or jeopardize the nonprofit status of the University or any exemption of its income or property from federal, state or local taxation.

A “business activity” is any activity carried on by a student that is intended to or does generate revenue or trade, whether or not for profit, and is not an individual employment or independent contractor relationship.

Compliance with the following general restrictions, mentioned elsewhere in the Handbook, also apply to student business enterprises. Use of the Harvard name or logo in conjunction with a business enterprise is prohibited. All regulations concerning safety and the use of rooms must be observed. The compilation or redistribution of information from University directories (printed or electronic) is forbidden. Use of library resources for commercial purposes is prohibited. General regulations concerning use of computers and networks must be observed. Excessive data traffic on Harvard’s computer network is not allowed.

In addition, care must be taken to avoid excessive use of University resources, misuse of University facilities and information provided primarily for Harvard’s teaching and research missions, and activities that might jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the University or its property. Students must establish a means of communication with customers separate from those provided by the University for educational purposes. No student may list his or her dormitory address, campus mailing address or telephone number, Harvard email or Internet address, or Harvard Website in conjunction with any business enterprise, or in any way suggest that Harvard endorses or sponsors the business. Harvard reserves the right to restrict or control student business use of its resources, facilities, academic product, copyrighted materials, and institutional data.

Student businesses are considered outside vendors by the College and must follow the Handbook rules concerning solicitation on campus. Sales activities are permitted only with permission and at the discretion of the office granting permission (e.g. the Director of Student Employment or the Office of the Dean). Distribution of materials on campus must be conducted through Harvard Student Agencies. Student businesses are not allowed to poster or door drop on campus.

Other areas of concern, which could cause the College to prohibit the student business, include:

Student businesses may be required to seek approval in advance for operations that directly impact University offices, operations, facilities, or resources.