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The HBS Blog offers insight on Delaware corporations and LLCs as well as information about entrepreneurship, start-ups and general business topics.

Delaware's Digital Documents
By Frannie Esparza Tuesday, May 5, 2015

delaware digital documentsThe state of Delaware is considered the number one state in which to incorporate a new business, due to the benefits it offers. One of the many benefits for Delaware incorporated companies is the fact that all documents in Delaware are filed digitally. Thus, Delaware is now considered a fully digital state. What does this mean for your company? Here at Harvard Business Services, Inc., we work directly with the state through an imaging system that allows us expedited access to your documents.

Therefore, your state-approved documents will be emailed to you and you can print them out and use them right away. They are official documents that bear Delaware's digital state stamp. Unlike most other states, the state of Delaware no longer uses original documents (hard copies) or raised state seals; everything is done electronically. This allows for faster and more efficient approval and delivery of incorporation documents.

There are many benefits to Delaware being a fully digital state. For example, oftentimes obtaining a document from various states may be a lengthy process. The state may require you to file a request by mail in order to make any changes or obtain information. Delaware has eliminated this time-consuming process. For example, perhaps you are at the bank and you need a Certificate of Good Standing. If your Registered Agent is Harvard Business Services, Inc., we can simply email you the document.

This is a convenient option in many ways but it often raises the question, “Are these documents valid?” We have, at times, encountered this issue when clients open bank accounts.The Certificate of Formation/Incorporation that is filed with the state of Delaware is a black and white, digital document. Some banks have questioned the authenticity of the document. Typically, clients then contact us looking for an original or a document possessing a raised state seal. Don't worry--the digital document from Delaware is valid, legal and all you need. And, for many of our international clients, we are able to offer digital documents with notarization and apostille in order to legalize their documents in other countries.

For clients forming new companies, the process is so quick and easy, they tend to ask, “Is that it?” The approved formation documents for their new companies can often be emailed to them within 24-48 hours. Delaware has streamlined and quickened the filing process by becoming a fully digital state. Please contact Harvard Business Services, Inc. at 1-800-345-2677 for more information, if you have any questions or to speak with one of our experienced representatives. You can also call to obtain any digital documents you may need. 

Don't forget, you can also Skype, live chat or email us.

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Incorporate in Delaware for Success
By Brett Melson Monday, May 4, 2015

incorporate in delawareAmericans love small businesses. According to a recent survey by the PEW Foundation, 71% of us hold a better opinion of small businesses than any other institutions, including religious organizations.   

As Delaware formation specialists, we at Harvard Business Services, Inc. often point out the many benefits of utilizing a Delaware corporation. Business start-ups need to be aware of ways to ensure their ventures are successful, so a recent article describing a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper from researchers at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technoloy caught our attention. The researchers found that the odds of success for a Delaware corporation with intellectual property compared to a Massachusetts LLC without intellectual property are 3,097:1.

The authors of this working paper have created a way to predict the growth of a new business. Although it would seem like a very complicated task to find data to predict success, they were able to identify a few surprisingly simple concepts:

* Merely registering a company in the business-friendly state of Delaware is indicative of a 40% greater chance of success

* The company name makes a difference. Keeping the name short, three words or less, is associated with success. Companies named after the founder have only a 5% rate of success compared to companies not named for the founder.

* An early mention in a newspaper, in this case The Boston Globe business section, gives a business a 30% better chance at success

* There is a 60-times greater chance for success if a business files for a patent within a year of start-up

 * Companies registering as a corporation as opposed to an LLC have a 5 times greater success rate

In addition to these factors, the research predictably indicated that the timing of a start-up has a significant impact on success. Entrepreneurs who were able to start during a growth market had an easier time, since they benefitted from the boom.

There is a large amount of research indicating the advantages of incorporating both small and large businesses in Delaware. Perhaps that is why more companies are incorporating in Delaware than any other state, including half of all U.S. publicly-traded companies and 60% of Fortune 500 companies.

For assistance with the formation of your next Delaware Corporation, please call Harvard Business Services, Inc. at 800-345-2677 Ext 6131 or visit  

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Doing Business in Connecticut with a Delaware LLC
By Devin Scott Tuesday, April 28, 2015

doing business in connecticut with a delaware llcWhen forming an LLC, Delaware is often the most popular choice. This is due to Delaware’s strong corporate law structure, which is considered by many to be #1. Clients from all over the world contact Harvard Business Services, Inc. to form a Delaware company, despite the fact they will not be operating their business from Delaware. When forming a Delaware LLC, your business is domestic to Delaware and foreign to every other state. When operating a Delaware LLC in Connecticut, clients can register as a foreign entity in their home state of Connecticut.

The process of registering a Delaware LLC as a foreign entity in Connecticut is called foreign qualification. It is the way in which the state of Connecticut grants you permission to operate with a Delaware LLC. Each state has this qualification but each state presents different requirements.

Since each state has its own requirements, let Harvard Business Services, Inc. take care of this detail for you. Connecticut, like most states, has an application process and a state fee. Unlike most states, however, Connecticut does not require a Certificate of Good Standing from Delaware. Harvard will prepare the appropriate documentation, email it to you for your signature, and then file the documents directly with Connecticut.

Once your application has been approved, Harvard will send you a Certificate of Authority. This document states that your Delaware LLC has acquired the authority to operate in Connecticut. This is a very important, yet often overlooked, step.

Harvard Business Services, Inc. can also act as your Registered Agent in Connecticut for $99 per year.

Once registered in Connecticut, there are annual reporting requirements. The Connecticut annual report is due on the anniversary month of the creation of your foreign qualification. The cost for a foreign LLC's annual report in Connecticut is just $20. The Connecticut Secretary of State will mail a reminder to your Registered Agent in advance of the due date.

Your foreign entity maintains three annual responsibilities: it must file a Connecticut annual report, pay the Registered Agent Fee and pay the franchise tax. Your Registered Agent should send reminders to you about these critical Delaware compliance fees.

If you need assistance in registering your Delaware LLC in Connecticut, or have additional questions, please call 1-800-345-2677 Ext 6130 or email

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Do You Have a Digital Corporate Seal?
By Andrew Millman Monday, April 27, 2015

Digital corporate SealDid you form your Delaware corporation or LLC through Harvard Business Services, Inc?  Is Harvard Business Services currently your Delaware registered agent?  If the answer is "yes," then you probably already have a digital corporate seal.

The digital corporate seal will include your company name, the date of formation and the type of company, as well as the word "DELAWARE," illustrating that your company was formed in the most prestigious jurisdiction in the world.  Just point and click to add your digital company seal, the official signature for your company, on to all important documents.  LLCs will often use the digital seal on the operating agreement, membership certificates, banking resolutions, invoices, receipts, et al.  Corporations can use the seal on their bylaws, stock certificates, and meeting minutes to make them official. 

Contact any of our friendly customer service representatives at Harvard Business Services, Inc. to get your FREE digital company seal today.  We can be reached at 1-800-345-2677 Option 1, and we’re ready to help!

Harvard Business Services, Inc. now provides a FREE digital company seal to our clients.  Harvard Business Services, Inc. is Delaware's premier company formation service, home of the $50 annual registered agent fee.  Harvard Business Services GUARANTEES that your Registered Agent Fee will remain FIXED at $50 per year for the life of your company.  If Harvard Business Services, Inc. is NOT your Registered Agent, call us today to switch and get a FREE digital company seal.

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A Good Deal for Self-Employed: Solo 401 (k)
By Brett Melson Tuesday, April 21, 2015

401k retirementAre you self-employed and looking to start a Solo 401(k) retirement plan for the future? 401(k) plans let participants save and invest a portion of their earnings before taxes are taken out. No taxes are paid on the money until it is withdrawn, usually at retirement when the worker’s tax bracket is lower. 

If you are an independent contractor, consultant, freelancer, real estate agent, or other self-employed person, the government offers an annual $53,000 tax break that could help secure your retirement.  For this Solo 401(k) plan, the business owner wears two hats, employee and employer. Contributions can be made for both, resulting in very high contribution limits. The benefit is even more for married business owners because spouses are the exception to the “solo” or “one worker” rule and can make contributions equal to those of the owner.  Using this advantage married couples could put away $106,000 annually, tax-deferred.  Solo-k plans are best suited for self-employed workers who want to save as much as possible for retirement, and who make enough to make significant contributions.  If, however, the plan is to grow the company and hire employees, it would have to be converted to a full-blown 401(k) plan.

To qualify for a Solo-k an individual must be able to claim self-employed income, but have no full-time employees (except a spouse).  However, a person does not need to work full-time in the self-employed capacity.  Many times an individual works for an employer, but has another business on the side, making that business eligible for adopting a Solo 401(k).  The plan can be adopted by any self-employed business, including a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, partnership, S-Corporation, C-Corporation, etc.

The two basic types of this plan are self-directed, and brokerage based. The brokerage based plans invest in stocks and mutual funds, while the self-directed plans allow the entrepreneur to use retirement funds to make virtually any type of investment on their own. The IRS describes only the types of investments which are prohibited, which are few.  Varied options such as real estate, private business investments, precious metals, and loans give the holder many options. 

Another advantage of the Solo-k is that it allows a business owner to take out a loan on the retirement account. A participant is allowed to borrow up to 50% of the total value, or $50,000, whichever is less. This loan is tax free and can be used for any reason. (Failure to make payments back can result in taxes and IRS penalties, however.) 

There is an additional feature for those 50 years old and over.  They can contribute an additional $6,000 beginning this year, often referred to as a “catch-up” feature.  So the upper limit in 2015 for a business owner over 50 would be $59,000.

Many people are unaware of this Solo-k plan which allows for self-employed workers to invest a good amount of tax-deferred income, with less hassle to set up than many other retirement plans. It beats traditional corporate 401(k)s in higher savings limits and in the ability to invest in a variety of options.

At Harvard Business Services we feel this would be a great fit for a large portion of our clients.   We have formed a Strategic Relationship with Provident Trust Group to assist with the setting up of a Solo 401K, reach out to them directly at 855 279 5981 with any questions.   

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