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The HBS Blog on provides Delaware incorporation information and general business news you need to know now.

How to Get an ITIN Number
By Brett Melson Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Numbers are frequently used to identify a variety of things. When you buy a new computer, one of the things you record is the serial number. That number is IRSunique, identifying your specific computer.  The same is true for taxes—every business needs a tax identification number, and every individual person in America needs a tax identification number.

There are two kinds of individual tax identification numbers. Both numbers have the same format: 000-00-0000.The first type of individual tax number is the Social Security Number. These are available to all United States citizens, permanent resident aliens and temporary residents authorized to work through a work permit. The second type of individual tax number is the ITIN number.  The term “ITIN” stands for Individual Tax Identification Number. Any person who needs a tax identification number but is not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number can apply for an ITIN. An ITIN is easy to identify, as it always begins with the number “9.” An ITIN does not qualify a person to legally work in the United States, nor does it provide eligibility or access to Social Security benefits. ITIN’s are issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The following people should utilize an ITIN number:

  • Foreign nationals who do not qualify for Social Security Numbers but who have U.S. federal tax reporting requirements
  • Non-resident aliens not eligible for a Social Security Number who are required to file a United States tax return in order to claim a tax refund
  • Resident aliens filing a U.S. tax return
  • Dependents or spouses of U.S. citizens or resident aliens who have U.S. federal tax reporting requirements
  • Dependents or spouses of a non-resident alien visa holder who have U.S tax reporting requirements

The ITIN program has not been around for very long. The program began around 1996. It was set up so individuals without Social Security Numbers could file taxes and abide by U.S. tax laws. Remember—obtaining an ITIN number does not grant you the right to work and receive income in the United States, and it has nothing to do with Social Security, or the right to receive Social Security benefits.

If your U.S. resident status fits one of the above categories, you will need an ITIN in order to file income taxes.  Unlike a joint bank account, where two people can share the same account number, each person listed on a tax form must have his/her own ITIN number. If you have any dependents, make sure each of them also has an ITIN. Since they are listed on the tax form, the government needs to ensure that only one taxpayer is claiming that person as a dependent.

There are additional situations in which you may need an ITIN, and they are all tax-related. For example, if you open a business bank account, the bank must have the tax identification number for your business. The bank may also require the ITIN number of any other people connected to the business bank account.

Since I have outlined a few of the ways in which an ITIN number is utilized, it makes sense to discuss the ways in which an ITIN can never be used. Remember that “ITIN” stands for Individual Tax Identification Number. The key here is tax identification. The only manner in which the United States government is allowed to utilize an ITIN number is for tax purposes. It is not to be used by other United States agencies, such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The U.S. government and the IRS just want to be certain that anyone who earns money abides by the same set of rules in regard to income taxes.

If you do have an ITIN, be very careful and make sure you file your annual income taxes. Your ITIN will expire if it is not used on a federal income tax form for five (5) consecutive years.

There was a brief period of time, from 2012 to 2014, when ITIN numbers with 5-year expiration dates were issued. Check your paperwork to ensure you were not issued one of the ITIN numbers that is only valid for five years. The IRS revised this rule, however, and it now states the ITIN will only expire if you do not file taxes for five years in a row.

Do you need help getting your ITIN? Although you can obtain an ITIN Number online via the IRS website, it is a confusing form to fill out, and you may wind up needing assistance anyway. A number of our clients have used Seaford Management LLC to obtain their ITIN and rave about their friendly service. Seaford Management LLC is a Certifying Acceptance Agent with the IRS, and they can file your application to obtain an ITIN number. If you have any questions about your ITIN, or would like to get an ITIN, you can email Seaford Management LLC or call them at (302) 990-9003. They offer services in both English and Spanish.


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How a Delaware LLC Can Protect Trucking Companies
By Devin Scott Monday, October 12, 2015

how a delaware llc can protect trucking companies

If you’re in the business of moving goods from point A to point B, it's likely that the vehicle or vehicles that transport those goods are big, heavy and fast, and move among vast herds of much smaller vehicles operated by drivers with varying skills. The potential for disaster is always present; if an accident with multiple deaths does occur, you need to have already taken steps to protect your assets and your family’s financial future.

If you are operating a trucking company as a sole proprietorship, you should enlist Harvard Business Services, Inc. to help you place each of your trucks into separate Delaware LLCs, and then set up an S-Corp in which to operate your trucking business. We have specialized in Delaware business formations for over 30 years, and we excel at helping truckers protect their personal assets.

By choosing Harvard Business Services, Inc. as the company to help you make informed decisions about incorporating in Delaware, you’ll join thousands of other savvy business owners who have turned to Harvard Business Services, Inc. to help them protect their personal assets.

If you own a trucking company, you can read more about protecting your assets, or feel free to call Harvard Business Services, Inc. today at 800-345-2677 with any questions you may have about asset protection for truckers.  

how a delaware llc can protect trucking companies


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What Is Stock?
By Brett Melson Monday, October 5, 2015

what is stockStock represents an equity ownership in an entity, and normally, with certain exceptions, is given in exchange for a paid-in capital contribution to a business. Ownership of stock does not entitle the holder to specific property or assets of the company, but rather, provides the holder with a share of the entity’s profits and gains, normally through the receipt of dividends.

The Supreme Court identified those characteristics usually associated with stock as “(i) the right to receive dividends contingent upon an apportionment of profits; (ii) negotiability; (iii) the ability to be pledged or hypothecated; (iv) the conferring of voting rights in proportion to the number of shares owned; and (v) the capacity to appreciate in value” (United Housing Foundation, Inc. v. Forman, 421 U.S. 837, 851, 1975). These are general features, and can vary depending upon a company’s Articles of Incorporation and the terms governing specific classes or stock. 

Dividends: Although stockholders are generally compensated through dividends, a company can issue classes of stock that do not pay dividends, or it can issue different classes of stock with different rights and priorities with respect to dividends. For example, a company could issue a class of preferred stock that is entitled to a first payment of proceeds available for distribution as dividends relative to another class or classes.

Negotiability: Negotiability refers to the ability to buy and sell stock. A shareholder's ability to buy stock or sell stock it owns will depend upon a variety of factors, including the size and depth of the market for the company’s shares, if any exists, as well as the restrictions of the federal securities laws. The stock of IBM or Google, for example, is highly liquid and can be purchased or sold with ease on an established exchange. There may not be a market for the stock of smaller or less established corporations, however, and many closely-held corporations' Articles of Incorporation do not permit sales to outside parties without prior consent.

Pledge: Like the other features identified by the Supreme Court, this is a common feature of stock but may not be present in all cases. Many small or closely-held corporations restrict the ability of shareholders to pledge or hypothecate their stock holdings.

Proportional Voting Rights: Stock may be issued as one or more series of common shares, all of which have the same rights and privileges with respect to voting, or it may represent preferred shares, which have some voting preference or additional rights relative to the entity’s common shares. Similarly, a company can issue classes of non-voting stock. Notably, although the voting rights may vary with respect to classes of stock, stock within a class will all have the same proportional voting right, if any, as other shares of the same class.

Capacity to Appreciate in Value: As an equity interest, the value of stock will rise and fall with the success or failure of the company. This feature is in contrast to debt issued by a company, which pays a fixed rate of interest regardless of the company’s changing fortunes (although the company’s success or failure may affect the price of a debt instrument on a secondary market, if any exists).

Should your company require stock certificates, Harvard Business Services, Inc. offers high-quality stock certificates preprinted with your company's name, number of shares and the par value. Feel free to email me for more information.

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October 2015 Formation Package Discount
By Michael Bell Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall is upon us, and it’s a good time to start thinking about forming your own company.

In order to help you get started, Harvard Business Services, Inc. will october 2015 formation package discountcontinue to offer the biggest discount in our 34-year history. Yes, we are once again offering $60 off all LLC, corporation and limited partnership formation packages for the entire month of October.

All formation packages will be discounted $60, and this landmark rate will be available starting October 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM ET and will expire on October 31, 2015 at 11:59 PM ET.

To apply your discount, simply enter “HBS2015” on our online order form.

All of our packages feature all-inclusive pricing and include the following:

  • Name check and clearance
  • Certificate of Formation/Incorporation
  • Preparation of Articles
  • All Delaware filing fees
  • Same day electronic filing
  • Registered Agent fee – 12 months
  • Email of approved documents
  • Free shipping & handling
  • Free lifetime customer support
  • And much more!

You can view and compare all our business formation packages and find more information on Our Services page.

When you’re ready to take a life-changing step and form your own company so you can become your own boss, the helpful business formation specialists at Harvard Business Services, Inc. will be ready to help. We will answer all your questions and walk you through the entire process via phone (1-800-345-2677), live chat, email ( or Skype (Delawareinc). We appreciate your business and look forward to assisting you with all your incorporating needs.

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5 Daily Tasks of Successful Entrepreneurs
By Devin Scott Tuesday, September 29, 2015

People tend to think of very successful (and subsequently wealthy) entrepreneurs and cultural leaders as extraordinary and singular human beings, and sometimes they are. Usually, however, they are just highly attuned, exceedingly motivated thinkers who would rather try and fail for themselves than work for someone else. Yet there are some common threads that run between world-famous entrepreneurs and cultural leaders, and one of them is daily tasks.

5 daily tasksPlan your time! Successful people tend to have a set schedule. Their schedule is arranged in advance, before that day, before that week and sometimes even months before. Of course, their schedule can change, and certain variables will alter appointments, meetings and business dinners, but starting with an organized, prearranged schedule allows busy professionals to avoid wasting time throughout the day, thinking about their next move. It seems simple and obvious, but adhering to a set schedule—in all aspects of one’s life—can help lead to success.



Exercise! Successful people take time to work on their fitness goals. Whether they are working out, jogging, biking, swimming or practicing yoga, successful people understand that in order to have the energy to complete their daily tasks, they must feel good physically. Take a look at the most successful people in the world—entrepreneurs, singers, actors and actresses, CEOs, TV and film producers—and you will very likely see that almost all of them block out time for fitness, regardless of how busy the rest of their schedules are.

 5 daily tasks

Personal Development! Successful entrepreneurs understand that in order to maintain the level of success they have already achieved, they must continue to learn, grow and improve their craft. They often add personal development into their schedule, knowing there will always be someone who can provide them with guidance, advice and new knowledge, so these inquisitive people make time to learn something new every day. Personal development is easier than ever now; all you need is an internet connection and a laptop (or a tablet or cell phone). You can watch industry leaders and all types of icons discuss just about any topic on TED, and you can find inspiration in your own community by listening to local leaders on TEDx. You can even take free, challenging online courses via several MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) websites, such as Mooc List, which is an aggregate list of worldwide MOOCs. If you are a high achiever, you may prefer the remarkable selection of Ivy League MOOCs; you can take courses taught by real Ivy League professors from Brown, Columbia, Harvard, (Harvard also offers numerous video lectures, taught by some of the world’s greatest professors, through its Open Learning Initiative), Princeton, University of Pennsylvania and Yale. If you have varied interests and would like to learn about something related to your business, you can easily utilize Coursera, which offers courses on a multitude of subjects from universities. Through Coursera, you can take “Strategic Business Analytics Specialization” from the ESSEC Center for Excellence for Digital Business in France; “Think Again: How to Reason and Argue” from Duke University in North Carolina; “iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs” from the University of California, Irvine; “Inspirational Leadership: Leading with Sense” from HEC Paris; “Leading People and Teams” from the University of Michigan; or “Wireless Communication Emerging Technologies” from Yonsei University in South Korea. Or, just for fun, consider “Magic and the Middle Ages” from the University of Barcelona; “Greek and Roman Mythology” from Penn; or “Dog Emotion and Cognition” from Duke University.  If you prefer to expand your horizons the old-fashioned way, simply pick up a book whenever you have spare time. You can even listen to audio books while you commute. Many successful entrepreneurs admit to reading over 60 books per year. How many books did you read last year?


5 daily tasksEat Breakfast! This is another simple but overlooked task. We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but not all of us live by this rule. Successful people, however, seem to take the adage more seriously. Despite schedules filled with numerous responsibilities, a variety of locations and business decisions that may seem much more important than eating breakfast, highly successful people still eat breakfast. They acknowledge that they simply do not perform as well when they are hungry (what type of performing they do is irrelevant); they are not as aggressive, not as creative, not as focused and not as motivated. For most entrepreneurs and cultural leaders, this small step is an easy way to gain a competitive edge.

5 daily tasksReflect! Revisit successes and failures throughout the day, and consider whether or not you reached a goal, missed a deadline or grew your business. Successful entrepreneurs and cultural leaders take time to acknowledge their daily accomplishments, and also explore the ones on which they fell short. They ponder what happened, and what can be done differently in the future. A lot of successful entrepreneurs and cultural leaders contemplate their goals at least twice a day. If you compare this to average people, who tend to only scrutinize their aspirations at the end of the year (in the form of New Year’s resolutions), it becomes fairly obvious who has a clearer capacity to reach their career and personal objectives.

These are just five daily tasks that all of us can implement in order to emulate some of the most successful entrepreneurs and cultural leaders in the world. Start tomorrow, with these five, expand on them as you can and be sure to let us know how you’re doing. Please feel free to add suggestions for other daily tasks in the Comments section below, on our Facebook page or on our LinkedIn page.

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