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Companies Served Since 1981

The HBS Blog

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

Software Tools to Help You Manage Remote Teams
By Kathryn Hawkins Monday, October 7, 2013

Distributed teams, in which employees and contractors are based at home offices throughout the United States or even the world, are becoming increasingly common: Successful companies making use of a virtual workforce include Automatic, makers of the popular WordPress content management platform.

There are many benefits to using a virtual team: You have the ability to recruit talent from anywhere in the country; you can save money by avoiding rent for a physical office; and many employees find that telecommuting offers a better work-life balance. However, it can be challenging to properly manage a remote workforce when you can’t see or meet with employees regularly. To keep things going smoothly, you’ll need to make use of software tools to stay on top of projects and communicate with staff.

Some of the most popular and highly regarded software tools that can assist with virtual workforce management are:

  • Skype – This popular video, audio, and chat VOIP service provides the ability to communicate with anyone in the world online for free, or at minimal cost if dialing another party’s landline. Skype is an ideal tool for businesses, as it allows multiple people to join chats or calls, and it’s possible to send files directly through the chat, enabling real-time feedback. Larger companies may wish to purchase a Skype Business account, which enables group video chats as well as one-on-one conferences.
  • Basecamp – This simple project management tool allows your company to set up internal groups for setting project milestones, in which your team can easily upload files and discuss projects. You can also share files and discussion threads with your clients, so the tool can be used to manage every stage of the collaboration and easily track progress.
  • Toggl – If many of your employees are working on an hourly rate, it can be difficult to keep track of their hours when you’re not supervising them directly. Toggl is a simple, stopwatch-based time tracking tool, available for both desktop and mobile, that enables employees and contractors to easily track their time switching between tasks with the click of a button. You can then easily take note of how much time is being spent on different tasks and compare your employees’ efficiency. If your business is client-focused, this tool can also help you easily monitor how much of your company’s work is billable to each client, versus time spent on internal projects.
  • Dropbox – When your staff is working all over the country or all over the world, it’s important to create a repository of company assets that can be accessed from anywhere, rather than only from the company’s headquarters. Cloud-based data storage tools like Dropbox for Business enable you and your team to upload any type of file to a secure account, which can be accessed by anyone you’ve granted permission to.

Of course, along with a great set of software tools, it’s important to make sure your team has the right technology to use them—so if you’re hiring employees rather than contractors, make sure to factor in an equipment budget that allows for a good laptop and smart phone for each person, to help them stay connected to your business no matter where they travel.

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Self-Filing a Delaware LLC vs Using a Registered Agent
By Devin Scott Monday, September 30, 2013

People often wonder about the benefits of utilizing a business formation company, such as Harvard Business Services, Inc., to prepare and file their company formation documents as opposed to filing these documents on their own. Harvard Business Sevices, Inc. is happy to share our experience and knowledge to answer this frequently-asked question.

Privacy: One of the main reasons business owners prefer the Delaware LLC is because of the privacy the state of Delaware provides its LLCs. In Delaware, LLC owners are not required to supply members’ names or addresses in order to form an LLC if they file the company through a Registered Agent. However, if you file your documents directly with the state of Delaware, you will be required to make your information public. This is because when you file the company yourself, you become more than a member; you also become the Authorized Person to file the document. The contact information of the Authorized Person is listed on your Certificate of Formation, and is available to the public. When Harvard Business Services, Inc. prepares and files your company formation documents for you, we act as your Authorized Person, and therefore it is our address listed on the documents, and to the public, not yours.

Speed and Efficiency: When Harvard Business Services, Inc. prepares and files your company formation documents, we guarantee accuracy. Whichever day you initiate the company formation with us will be the birth date of your company. We will email you the approved documents in two to three days. When you file your documents directly with the state of Delaware, the standard turnaround time is about 3 to 4 weeks. If there is a mistake on the forms you submit, it could take about 3 to 4 weeks for you to receive notification; by the time you have corrected the mistake and resent it, you have wasted valuable time. You can file your LLC with Harvard Business Services, Inc. over the phone or on our website; both take less than 15 minutes. 

Cost: All of our business formation packages include the state of Delaware's fees, expedited documentation preparation and the first year of Registered Agent service. After the first year, our Registered Agent Fee will be $50 per year. This rate is guaranteed to remain fixed at $50 per year for the life of your company, as long as your company remains in good standing with the state of Delaware. Many Registered Agents raise their Registered Agent Fee every year; however, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has charged only $50 for our Registered Agent Fee since our company was formed in 1981.

Convenience: In addition to forming your company, Harvard Business Services, Inc. offers many additional services, such as obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number, providing a Corporate Kit and digital company seal, Mail Forwarding Services, free LLC Operating Agreement templates and more. 

If you now realize the many advantages of forming a Delaware LLC with Harvard Busiess Services, Inc., please contact us so we can file your new company today. If you have any questions or are unsure why you shouldn't file on your own through the Delaware Division of Corporations, please get in touch with us and our helpful, knowledgable customer service representatives will be happy to answer all your questions. You can call us at 800-345-2677, email us at, Skype with us at Delawareinc or talk to us via LiveChat. 

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Building Your Board of Directors
By Kathryn Hawkins Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When you’re launching a new company, you’ll continually learn as you go—and by building a qualified Board of Directors, you can gain access to support and mentorship, and avoid many of the missteps that you may otherwise make without such guidance.

Many company Presidents credit their business’ Boards of Directors for helping them recognize market opportunities, find the right employees, cut unnecessary costs, and build priceless industry connections. But how can you put an effective board together? Here are a few strategies for success:

  • Seek out business leaders with complementary knowledge and skills among your current group of peers.
    By the time you’ve decided to build a business, you’ve probably already developed an extensive network of contacts in the business world, whether they work in the same industry as you or not. As you launch your company, this is the time to tap into those connections: Review your contacts’ bios on LinkedIn to get a better sense of their skills, and contact a few who have strengths that you lack. For instance, you may excel in marketing, but don’t have a strong background in finance, so a friend who serves as CFO could be an ideal candidate for your board. Put together a “dream team” of five to 10 contacts (or friends of friends) to reach out to, who each have skills in different areas of business.
  • Come up with a set of expectations for each party.

Before asking your contacts to join your board, it’s important to specify exactly what they will be committing to. For instance, do you hope to have board meetings quarterly, or as often as biweekly? Do you anticipate that each board member will tap into his or her own personal networks to help you drive business? And, importantly, what is the incentive for each Director? In some cases, particularly if you have hopes for an eventual public offering, company stock may be a good reward; in others, it’s more appropriate to offer cash compensation, which could range from anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more per meeting. Some may be willing to serve without compensation as an act of good will, but it’s important to set expectations from the start.

  • Set an agenda for each meeting.

When requesting a meeting with your Board of Directors, it’s important to prepare in advance and set specific goals for the meeting, so that you’re not wasting your Directors’ time. For each meeting, set a specific discussion topic: For instance, “How can we increase sales by 20% over the next quarter?” In order to receive helpful guidance, you’ll need to give your Directors access to your company’s financial data and sales history—so you may want them to sign a non-disclosure agreement as a part of their orientation.  It may also be helpful to come up with a set of more specific questions for each Director to answer over the course of the meeting; this site shares some sample agendas. It is also important to record the discussion at each meeting, either through written minutes or an audio recording.

By putting time and care into creating an experienced Board of Directors, and ensuring that each meeting focuses on a topic specific to your business’ growth, you’ll gain the benefits of your Directors’ experience and wisdom to help you quickly scale your own company.

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How the New SEC Rules Can Help Businesses Get Funding
By Kathryn Hawkins Tuesday, September 17, 2013

If you’re seeking investments for a start-up business, new legislation from the Securities and Exchange Commission should make it easier to get access to the cash you need to grow your company.

Under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed into law in April 2012, Congress has eased the restrictions on who can invest in a company, and how they can be approached.

In the past, there were two factors that greatly restricted entrepreneurs’ ability to secure investment:

  • Companies that sought to raise investment without going public were generally subject to a “ban on general solicitation.” This meant that they were restricted from advertising the fact that they were seeking funds, and could not approach potential investors without an existing relationship. This meant that business owners who had access to large networks of family and friends with substantial cash had a clear advantage, while others would have to spend a disproportionate amount of time networking and seeking investments to potential investors.
  • Such companies were also restricted to seeking funds from an unlimited amount of “accredited investors,” along with just 35 “non-accredited” investors. Along with various types of businesses, an individual accredited investor is defined as someone with a net worth of more than $1 million, excluding the value of his home, or someone who earns at least $200,000 per year individually or $300,000 jointly. This meant that, after reaching the 35-person limit on non-accredited investors, entrepreneurs must seek out venture capital firms and angel investors rather than asking for smaller amounts from their less-wealthy associates.

Now, both of those guidelines have been changed for the better:

  • As of July, the SEC eliminated the ban on general solicitation for non-public businesses seeking funds. That means that start-up businesses are now free to publicly advertise their request for funding on websites, in magazines, on the radio, and anywhere else they see fit. Entrepreneurs can now reach a much broader audience, targeting precisely the types of investors they’re looking for by advertising in specific trade magazines, at trade shows, on specific websites, or using targeted LinkedIn or Facebook ads, among other methods.
  • Although the rules have not been set in stone yet, the JOBS Act will soon allow non-accredited investors to pool their funds and make investments through approved equity crowd-funding sites, such as FundersClub and Wefunder, which will allow individuals to invest as little as $1000 at a time.

For small businesses who need funding to grow, these changes could mean the difference between sinking and swimming—and, for individuals, it can provide an opportunity to invest in start-ups they care about, giving a much-needed boost to the small business economy.

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Scan Your Logo to Share Content
By Rick Bell Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Logo Grab

QR codes are everywhere—and they’re a great way to share content with your customers—but they’re so…ugly. Now, a Swiss company called LogoGrab has come up with a cool way for your customers to find out what’s new with you by using a hidden QR code embedded in your company logo.

With the LogoGrab app, your customers can scan your company logo and get the same results as if they scanned a QR code. (Why didn’t somebody think of this before?) This revolutionary idea is available with a free app you can use on your iPhone or Android.

To put it to use for your business, you first must register your logo with LogoGrab, and then select the options you want your customers to have. Once they’ve installed the LogoGrab app, they can scan your logo. It will direct them to your LogoGrab page where they can activate coupons from your company, get special offers, or open your product and social media pages.

LogoGrab works wherever your logo is already placed—on your products, marketing materials, and advertisements. Customers can even scan your logo off a billboard!

You’ve got to check this out—register your logo and get started. Then, scan our logo and see what special deals we’re offering this month!

We can see this becoming a very powerful tool for brands to interact with their customers, especially once millions of consumers have the app on their smartphones. To see how it works you can try it on LogoGrab’s site.

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