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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.

Punkin Chunkin
By Michael Bell Thursday, November 24, 2011

If I were to ask you what is bigger than Corporations and Nascar in Delaware with Corporations being number one and Nascar number two you would say: The World Championship Punkin Chunkin? The what? That’s right The Punkin Chunkin, this world championship event started 26 years ago right here in Delaware is a three day event that happens every year in November and is all about who can chunk a pumpkin the farthest.

It all started back in 1986 by the four founding fathers John Ellsworth, Trey Melson, Bill Thompson and Donald “Doc” Pepper. As said on Ellsworth said, “We were playing around one day and somebody started talking about throwing pumpkins. There had been an article in a newspaper or on television about some people through pumpkins at Salisbury State. A physics class or something. One of us said that they could throw further than someone else and I threw my hat on the ground”

The first event happened in a small field in a woods owned by Thompson near Georgetown, DE the farthest throw that year was 126 feet. Now 25 years later the world record was set in 2008 when the team Young Glory III out of Milton, Delaware chunked a pumpkin 4,483.51 feet.

This annual event is now located on a farm in Bridgeville, DE and attracts over 100,000 people from all over the world and has 13 divisions and more than 100 teams that line up in a semi circle that is more than a mile long.

So, looking for a great time then make sure to check out this one of a kind event. For more information visit or catch the event November 24th at 8pm est. on The Discovery Channel.

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Change of Agent Fees For LPs Lowered By Delaware
By Devin Scott Wednesday, November 23, 2011

To change the Registered Agent for an existing Delaware Limited Partnership (LP), the state of Delaware has, in the past, charged a filing fee of $200 to file the Certificate of Change of Registered Agent and Registered Office. This made changing Registered Agents for an LP almost cost-prohibitive.

The state has now lowered its $200 filing fee to $50. Here at Harvard Business Services, Inc., we are now happy to offer the same cost to change Registered Agents for an LP as that of an LLC or a Corporation. We will prepare and file the form for $50; we will also provide your first year's Registered Agent Fee for only $39. Thus your total cost to change Registered Agents is ONLY $89 per corporation, LLC, or LP.

Thereafter, your annual Registered Agent Fee will be only $50 per company; just think of the money you'll save! If you have delayed in changing the Registered Agent for your LP, now is the time. For additional savings above and beyond the $50 per year, we also offer 2 years for $90 or 3 years for $125.

Recently, I wrote a blog entitled “How Much You Are Paying For Registered Agent Service?” It spoke about how some companies overcharge their clients for Registered Agent service. It explained how other companies bait you with one price and then raise the Fee on you annually. The blog explained how Harvard Business Service, Inc.'s $50 Registered Agent Fee is guaranteed for the life of your company, and how you can change your Registered Agent to Harvard Business Services, Inc. Watch this short video to learn how easy and convenient it is to switch to Harvard Business Services, Inc. 

Why not peruse a list of our competitors and their prices?


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101: Compounding and Planning
By Gregg Schoenberg Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back in our inaugural HBS post about Interest Rates, we had a look at the way interest rates are set by the Federal Reserve and the effects that rates have on entrepreneurs who need to borrow money to launch or support their businesses.  Now we want to take a look at how rates affect those who are saving to start a new business or to expand an existing one.  In particular, we are going to focus on a very basic yet powerful concept that is available to all entrepreneurs as they attempt to save for the future: compound interest.

Compound interest is simply defined as interest paid on both principal and accrued interest. A quick example can help illustrate what this means to a saver in the real world.  Say you put $10,000 into a bank account earning 5% a year.  At the end of the first year you will have $10,500, as your initial $10,000 deposit grew by $500.  Quick question: at the end of year two, how much money will you have in your account?  If you answered $11,000 (or an additional $500), you are overlooking the magic of compound interest.

Because you will continue to earn interest on your initial deposit of $10,000, as well as on the additional $500 that you earned in year one, your balance at the end of year two will be $11,025. While an extra $25 might not have you worshiping at the altar of compound interest just yet, a look at its effects over the longer term may just make a believer out of you.

Suppose you run a business that regularly requires you to purchase some fairly expensive equipment that has a limited useful life expectancy.  For example, let’s assume that you know you will need to purchase a new $50,000 delivery truck every 10 years. How soon should you start planning, and saving, for this or any other large purchases that your business needs to remain vital? The short answer is: right now.

If you take our advice, you will have to set aside $320 a month in order to be able to purchase that truck when the old one is ready for the junkyard.  If you are like a lot of people though, you probably don’t think too much about purchases that are 10 years off. Maybe you decide to start saving 5 years from now and think that will do the trick.  Well, it might, but you’ll have to set aside $730 a month rather than $320.  Put another way, if you get started right away you’ll need to save a total of $38,400 vs. $43,800 if you wait 5 years. And that means you’ll have $5,400 to put towards other uses, like giving yourself a bonus for being such an astute financial manager.

While this is just one example, the math always reveals the same result: the sooner you start saving, the less you need to set aside each month, no matter the size or the date of your future purchase.  So in order to avoid the financial pain associated with large but necessary purchases, it always pays to start saving as soon as possible for big dollar purchases you’re expecting down the road.

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Growth Opportunity: Your Company's Website
By Michael Bell Monday, November 21, 2011

On a daily basis we receive numerous comments about how informative and great looking our website is. We really appreciate the positive comments as we take great pride in providing our clients with FREE live chat & lifetime customer support on all the information they need to know before, during and after filing a Delaware LLC or Delaware Corporation.

If you have not already heard, to augment our main website in the last year we also launched two more websites (in both English and Spanish) and to help give our clients with more focused and in-depth information about our services and why Harvard Business Services is Delaware’s Premier Formation Specialists for the past 30 years now.

I recently read a great article on called Use Your Website to Grow Your Business. Nicole McCullum writes:

“Your website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. By itself it may not produce the results you’re looking for, but when combined with your other marketing initiatives it can be a vital source for your lead generation campaign while helping you increase sales, reduce advertising costs, and produce a higher return on investment. The key is including your website in all your marketing pieces. Whether you engage in online, print, TV, radio, or affiliate marketing, all roads must lead back to your website in order to maximize your return on investment. To do so, the following five steps must be implemented.”

1. Make sure your website is a reflection of who you are as a company. Your design is worth a million words, so make it count by ensuring it is an expression of your company and specifically geared and tailored to your target market. A good design should capture visitors’ attention the moment they arrive on your site, and hold their attention as they pass through your site?

2. Engage visitors with a compelling marketing message that has instant impact. Once you have captured visitors’ attention with your design, your marketing message is the key to getting them to stay on and learn more about your company and what you have to offer. Keep it short and include a problem statement and your solution. Solidify your credibility with testimonials, case studies, press mentions, or sample work.

3. Ensure your website has a call to action. Whatever action you want visitors to take once they arrive on your website should be clearly stated and highlighted. Say it once and say it again, not just on your home page but throughout your website and at every opportunity you get to increase your chances of converting your website visitors into leads.

4. Use ethical bribes to boost lead generation. You will maximize your return on investment and reduce advertising cost if you are able to convert more of your Web visitors into leads, which will in turn allow you to establish credibility and build a relationship. The best way to accomplish this goal is to use ethical bribes that are irresistible in exchange for their contact information. Try things like "free trials," "free reports," or "free consultations."

5. Nurture leads easily and effortlessly with website marketing automation. Integrate your website forms with a marketing automation tool that saves you time and money. You can easily schedule a series of follow up e-mails or phone calls to stay in touch with prospects and move them further along in the pipeline and into a sale.

Our website is our number one priority, along with being at the top in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you are a small company and have a minimal budget for SEO take a look at this helpful starter guide on SEO from Google.

In a time when the stock market and the real estate market are nothing more than financial roller coasters think about investing in the growth opportunity closest to home: Your WEBSITE!

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101: Exchange Rates Part II
By Gregg Schoenberg Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In our previous Exchange Rates Part I post, we gave an overview of the way that currency markets operate and explained the importance of foreign exchange rates to many small business owners in today’s global economy.  Now let’s take an in-depth look at some of the specific ways that exchange rates can affect your business and propose some solutions to dealing with this somewhat-complex issue.

We’ll begin by looking at things from the point of view of a business owner who is dependent upon an overseas supplier for some or all of his raw materials or services.  In our example we’ll assume that the business owner is located in the U.S. and has a company that makes wool sweaters. He has determined that he prefers to buy wool from a provider in New Zealand, where the sheep are plentiful and the quality is excellent, and has agreed upon a price per pound of wool in U.S. Dollars that is profitable for his business.  Things are moving along smoothly for a while but a few months later when he goes to place his next order he discovers that his supplier is charging 10% more for the same amount of wool.  What happened?

While there could be a number of reasons for the price increase, for our example we’re going to assume that is was entirely driven by a change in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the New Zealand dollar (affectionately dubbed the “kiwi” by currency traders).  Specifically what has happened is that the U.S. dollar has lost 10% of its value versus the Kiwi.  And while our sweater-maker has always paid for his purchases in U.S. dollars, what he may not have realized is that those dollars aren’t much good to someone living in New Zealand.  Therefore his supplier must convert those U.S. dollars into New Zealand dollars, and because of the fall in the value of the U.S. dollar the supplier now needs 10% more U.S. dollars per pound of wool in order to maintain his same level of profitability.

Now let’s think about what happens when our sweater-maker goes to sell his products to customers around the world via his online store.  He sets all of his prices in U.S. dollars but sells his products to customers who earn their livings in any number of different currencies.  Thus if the price of the U.S. dollar falls relative to the home currencies of some of his customers, his products will essentially become cheaper for them, but if the price of the U.S. dollar rises against some other customers’ home currencies, his products will seem more expensive to them.

So how is a small business owner supposed to manage the effects that currency rates can have on both his purchases and sales?  The most important thing to do is to stay informed of the level and direction of the exchange rates that matter to your business (i.e. those of the countries that you buy from or sell to).

If you find that a weaker U.S. dollar is driving up the price that you have to pay to foreign suppliers you may want to look for alternative suppliers either at home or in countries with a more favorable exchange rate.  And if the U.S. dollar is getting stronger but your foreign suppliers are not adjusting their prices downward, it may be time for you to renegotiate your contracts with the knowledge that your dollars are now worth more than they used to be.  As for the sales side of the equation, it may pay to ramp up your marketing efforts in countries whose currencies have appreciated versus the U.S. dollar, as your products are effectively on sale there without you having to drop the price.  Finally, there is the option to hedge the risk of your exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency via the financial markets, but this is something you would need to discuss with a reputable financial professional with expertise in the field.

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