Harvard Business Services, Inc. was formed on March 2, 1981 by its chairman, Richard H. Bell, II. Prior to forming Harvard Business Services, Inc., Rick was the business manager for The Company Corporation, one of the largest Delaware Registered Agent firms at that time.
When Rick started Harvard, the market demand existed strictly in the United States; all the major market channels were already occupied and divided by three deeply entrenched competitors. Nevertheless, Harvard Business Services, Inc. not only survived but thrived in the market by efficiently serving its customers, getting to know them and ascertaining what they needed. Harvard understands the incorporating process and how to use it, and we're happy to help you understand it in detail.
Since Harvard Business Services, Inc. has been in business, more than 150 new competitors have entered the market, all competing for the fringe or niche customer not taken by the entrenched giants. Of all these players, Harvard's performance since 1981 has made us the leading specialist in Delaware business formations.
Harvard became successful due to a different attitude about serving the customer. From the beginning, Rick and his wife, Paulise, built strong relationships with customers through attention to personal service. During the first 10 years the Bells operated Harvard out of their home. They answered every phone call and they knew every customer. While Harvard's competitors sold from a cost-plus, a la carte menu, Harvard sold all-inclusive packages, such as a Mini Service, a Standard Service and an Express Service, all of which included value-added services the other companies did not offer at all. Harvard became known for its efficient and friendly attitude, providing customers with everything they needed, quickly and efficiently.
In January of 1995, Harvard Business Services, Inc. moved from the Bell's home to a classic 1890s Victorian home and landmark in downtown Lewes, Delaware, at 210 Savannah Road. In 2002, Harvard moved into its current world headquarters at 16192 Coastal Highway, Lewes. This new state-of-the-art facility provides Harvard with the necessary space and equipment to service its more than 45,000 customers well into the 21st century.
Maintaining a technological advantage has always been imperative to Harvard. In the 1980s, Harvard consistently upgraded through the state-of-the-art computers and software of the time, going very early into each of the 8086 - 286 - 386 - 486 and Pentium hardware platforms and maintaining the latest versions of application software. As early as 1982, Harvard created electronic corporate documents for every corporate situation, long before the major competitors had computerized this function. In 1983, Harvard developed a custom database application dubbed IncWare. Over the years, IncWare has been housed on D-base II, D-Base III / Clipper and Microsoft SQL database software platforms.
IncWare has now become its own proprietary, web-based application housed in a custom SQL database that drives our new and improved extranet website, Delawareinc.com. The new and improved site allows Harvard's customers to conduct online procedures previously only accesible via phone or fax; they can place orders, pay Franchise Taxes and pay Registered Agent Fees, among other things. This exciting new website, customer database and work management system will ensure Harvard's continued reign at the forefront of technology in the industry.
Once Harvard Business Services, Inc.'s foothold had been established in the United States in 1990, Harvard expanded into the international markets. First, Harvard developed a network of representatives in Western Europe. Harvard had especially strong ties to Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and England by the end of 1993. In 1994, Harvard gained strong representatives in Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Slovenia.
In September of 1995, Harvard held its first Gold Conference, during which affiliates came to the United States and toured the Division of Corporations and the Chancery Court, and met the governor and the Secretary of State at Harvard-sponsored events. This team-building week solidified many relationships, as 40% of the participants—all high-volume representatives for Harvard—were visiting the United States for the first time.
Between 1992 and 1996, Rick Bell traveled bi-annually with the State of Delaware's International Marketing Committee, an official state committee chaired by the governor of Delaware. This group of officials, from the Delaware Secretary of State's office, the Division of Corporations, six private attorney firms, three Delaware banks and two service companies, presented seminars in 15 different world capitals during this period. Rick was a featured speaker, representing the Delaware service companies, explaining to the audiences the functions performed by the Delaware Registered Agents. The group also gave lectures three times in Mexico; twice in Canada; and once in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Zurich, Madrid, Lisbon, Saarbrucken, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.
Building on the efforts of the committee, Harvard Business Services, Inc. presented an annual series of self-sponsored seminars abroad. Harvard developed a corporate lecture series for attorneys, entrepreneurs, accountants, inventors, executives and wealthy individuals that has been translated into seven languages. In 1996 and again in 2002, Rick presented the seminar at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland (where he is both an alumnus and a trustee), marking Harvard's first engagement with the international business school audience. This series lead to a unique college marketing program, commencing in the summer of 1997.
Since 1996, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has also become the leader in forming companies for U.S. truckers. From 1996 to 2007, Harvard attended U.S. trucker trade shows and events to offer seminars to truckers on protecting their assets. Only Harvard specializes in showing truckers how to protect their assets by forming Delaware entities in which to operate their businesses and hold their major assets.
In 2001, Rick and six Harvard staff members traveled to Europe for a lecture series entitled "Delaware: Better Than Offshore," which focused on the advantages of the Delaware LLC and statutory trust to the non-U.S. citizen. During 2001 - 2002, Harvard sponsored 12 of these seminars for European attorneys and accountants. This series was capped off by a gala event in Lugano, Switzerland, where customers from Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland joined Harvard for networking and well-deserved fun.
"Harvard Business Services, Inc. is more vibrant and focused on our customers today than it has ever been," says Rick Bell. "With specialists in the areas of Franchise Tax, U.S. federal tax, customer service and Internet services, you will continue to see Harvard Business Services, Inc. assume the role it took on in 1981—to be the leader in Delaware corporate services not just from the service side but also as a global educator and facilitator."