The HBS Blog offers insight on Delaware corporations and LLCs as well as information about entrepreneurship, start-ups and general business topics.
Paul is currently an IT/Systems Administrator for Harvard Business Services, Inc., but he was initially a part of the Sales team for four years before assuming this more recent role. Born and raised in the coastal resort area of Sussex County, Delaware, Paul is the son of well-known local restaurateurs who taught him, very early in life, the value of hard work and dedication. As with all family businesses, theirs required the whole family to participate, so as a teenager Paul found himself washing dishes at his parents' establishment. It was there he began to learn business and, more importantly, the business of people, and how courtesy and great service can go a long way.
Paul began working with computers in college, but he never considered it as a career. He spent two years in the mountains of Morgantown, West Virginia before deciding to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Biology at the University of Delaware. After graduation, Paul had no prospects of going into the medical field, so he returned to Delaware's beaches and resumed working at his family's restaurant, this time as a server and bartender, as well as at a local nightclub.
Over the next few years, Paul continued to sharpen his customer service skills, but the long hours and frenetic pace of restaurant life inspired him to look for a career change. In December 2004, he parlayed his computer and people skills into a career with Harvard Business Services, Inc.
Most entrepreneurs don’t start out with a full public relations department. In fact, most entrepreneurs are their own public relations department in the beginning. They identify their company’s news, create a media contact list, and write and send press releases. This post focuses on how to write an effective, basic press release for your company. The good news is—it’s easy!
As you might guess, a press release provides a media contact with the information they need to write about your company. A good press release is short, clear, thorough, and without errors. Most press releases adhere to a standard format including: the heading, the headline, the body (with a quotation), and your company’s boilerplate.
The heading. Make sure your press release includes the most pertinent information at the top. It should read: For immediate release and give the date. Include a contact name with a title and an email address.
The headline. The headline is important! Begin with your company name followed by a strong, specific verb. For example, Harvard Business Services Launches Video Series for Entrepreneurs. There are those who say you need experience in Search Engine Optimization to write a headline. Don’t let this stop you. If you have in mind the top three key phrases and/or words your audience is searching, you are on your way.
The body. In this part of the press release, answer the questions: who, what, when, where, and why? In addition, include at least one quote from a key figure—probably you. If a media contact writes about your company and does not have time to interview you, they will use this quote.
The boilerplate. Finally, include a boilerplate and let your audience know how to contact you to learn more. Briefly describe your company, what you do, and who you are. End with a reiteration of your contact information. It is always helpful to include a relevant link to your website or blog. Finally, if you are publicizing something to a highly visual audience (say comic book readers) or from within a primarily visual industry—such as Interior Design or Architecture, send an image.
See below for a basic example:
For immediate release: February 21, 2011
Contact: Christina Cornelius, Director of Public Relations, Christina@delawareinc.com
Harvard Business Services Launches Video Series for Entrepreneurs
February 21, 2011 (Lewes, Delaware)—Harvard Business Services (HBS) announces the release of a video series for entrepreneurs seeking information about forming a company in Delaware.
“We at HBS have a long tradition of guiding entrepreneurs through what can sometimes be a daunting process of forming their own companies. We are pleased to offer a video series that answers the questions entrepreneurs ask us the most,” says chairman and CEO Rick Bell.
HBS’s video series covers the following topics:
About the HBS Blog
Launched in March 2009, the HBS Blog covers a wide variety of topics ranging from tips on raising capital to business basics on how and why to incorporate. Harvard Business Services created the blog as a tool to empower entrepreneurs through thought-provoking articles. In addition, the HBS Blog is a virtual community where entrepreneurs can join an open dialogue and share expertise.
About Harvard Business Services, Inc.
Founded in 1981, Harvard Business Services has formed more than 80,000 corporations and Limited Liability Companies. Harvard helps clients to incorporate in Delaware (DE), form Delaware Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), conduct business filings, pay franchise tax, and research corporate formations. Now in its 30th year of service, Harvard Business Services builds on its tradition of providing same-day business filings combined with unparalleled customer service.
Before coming to the U.S., Sasha studied International Economic Relations in Europe. However, after moving to the Eastern shore, she decided to pursue education in information technology field that always interested her. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from American Sentinel University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Management Information Systems, Sasha joined HBS team in August 2007 as an assistant programmer knowing little about the incorporation business. However, through extensive work and dedication, she learned the ropes pretty quickly and started developing the sections of our web site as need arose. Now working as a main web developer and further developing and maintaining the company's web site, Sasha facilitates and helps improve and streamline business processes greatly.
The most popular type of company formation in Delaware is, by far, the LLC. The Delaware Legislature created the LLC business form to give maximum effect to the members’ freedom to contract with one another upon whatever terms they deem best suited to their circumstances and goals. In a corporation, for example, Delaware law requires certain terms be included in the corporation’s constituent documents, mandates certain provisions related to corporate governance, and limits (to some extent) the ability of parties to modify certain terms relating to voting or fiduciary obligations, among other things. In an LLC, however, the members are free to organize the LLC in whatever manner they choose, with near-total freedom to define the relationship among the members and the terms governing the operation of the entity.
The Delaware Legislature also allows for the creation of a Series LLC. The Series LLC garnishes a lot of interest from clients because each series is treated as a separate entity, meaning the debts, liabilities, obligations and expenses of one series cannot be enforced against another series of the LLC, or against the LLC as a whole. Each series can hold its own assets, have its own members, conduct its own operations and pursue different business objectives, but remain insulated from claims of members, creditors or litigants pursuing the assets of or asserting claims against another series. In addition, a Series LLC is treated as one entity for franchise tax and registered agent fee purposes, meaning that it is assessed one $300 annual tax and one registered agent fee, rather than the separate tax and fee that would otherwise be applied individually to separate LLCs. As this structure gains traction and becomes more and more popular, our clients with a traditional LLC have been inquiring about transferring the existing LLC to a Series LLC. This can be achieved by amending the original Certification of Formation filed with the Delaware Division of Corporations, Secretary of State’s office to include an extra article allowing the LLC to establish designated series of members, managers or membership interests.
Should you like to make an amendment changing the existing LLC to a Series LLC, HBS will prepare a Certificate for signature, and forward via fax or email. Once executed by a member, the amendment document will need to be returned by fax or email to Harvard Business Services. Then the Certificate will be filed with the State of Delaware later that day. The State typically takes 3-5 business days to return the receipt of filing. As soon as the approved document is available we will forward it to you for your records; it is just that easy.
For any questions regarding the service please call me at 800 345 2677 ext 6131.
Be sure to view all of our blog articles on the Series LLC.
Small businesses around the country have been worried about the massive paperwork burden included within the Healthcare bill passed last year. The new law, which takes effect January 1, 2012, requires them to provide 1099 forms to every person or business with which they spend $600 or more each year (for more information on this see our previous blog post).
Lawmakers have been debating for months how to deal with the 1099 provision, named for the IRS form that it requires. On February 2nd, small business cheered as a successful bi-partisan vote in the U.S. Senate took place to repeal the 1099 requirement. In his January 25th State of the Union address, the President called the reporting rules a “flaw” in the Healthcare Law.
The House of Representatives is working on this and now has two bills passed by the Ways and Means Committee to be considered by the chamber as a whole, and is expected to pass with flying colors.
When and if the 1099 provision is repealed, small businesses will be greatly relieved, as the law could have burdened small business owners with the unnecessary paperwork involved in compliance. Small businesses across the nation are optimistic about the repeal of this legislation. We will keep you posted!