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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.

The Best Way to Form a Delaware LLC or Corporation
By Michael Bell Monday, January 10, 2011

At Harvard Business Services, Inc., we focus on doing one thing exceptionally well--forming Delaware LLC's and corporations. We've been the Delaware specialist for almost 30 years! Harvard Business Services, Inc. is connected directly, online, with Delaware's Division of Corporations, so we can serve you more quickly and efficiently than any other business formation service. Visit or call 800-345-2677 with any questions.

In this video, our Chairman/CEO Rick Bell takes you on a tour of Harvard Business Services, Inc. and explains what makes Harvard Business Services, Inc. Delaware’s premier Business Formation Specialists.

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HBS Video Series Now on
By Michael Bell Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Harvard Business Services, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of our video series on You can view them in our Video Library. Please feel free to leave your comments on YouTube and the blog-- we appreciate your insight.

Our new videos cover the following topics:

1.      The Best Way to Form a Delaware LLC or Corporation

2.      The Advantages of Incorporating in Delaware

3.      LLC vs Corporation: Which is Best?

4.      I Formed my Delaware LLC or Corporation: What Happens Next?

5.      Change your Delaware Registered Agent to Harvard Business Services

6.      The Best Delaware Mail Forwarding Service

7.      How to Pay Your Delaware Franchise Tax: LLC or LP

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How to Complete the Delaware Franchise Tax Report
By Amy Fountain Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Now is the time to pay and file the Delaware annual Franchise Tax report for corporations, and many peoplehave asked us how to complete the actual annual report worksheet, so we created this helpful FAQ blog.


What is the easiest way to pay my annual Franchise Tax fees through Harvard Business Services, Inc.?

The fastest and simplest way to pay and file the annual Franchise Tax fees is via our website at  By using our online step-by-step payment processing system, you will receive a discount on the Franchise Tax filing fee. We guarantee your Franchise Tax report will be filed accurately and on time with the state of Delaware.


What does "Principal Place of Business" mean? Can I use the address of Harvard Business Services, Inc.?

The Principal Place of Business is the physical location where the company is located. The actual street address, city, state and postal code must be indicated, as a Post Office Box address is not acceptable. The address of Harvard Business Services, Inc. may not be used, even if a Mail Forwarding service has been established.


Who are my officers and/or Directors?

The officers and Directors of a company are elected to manage the affairs of the corporation. The details of the officers and Directors are kept internally within the corporate record books. An officer would typically be the President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer of the company. For Franchise Tax filing purposes, only one officer's name and address is required to be filed on the annual report. However, all Directors' names and addresses are required to be listed on the annual report. A physical street address, including city, state and postal code, must be listed for each officer or Director. A Post Office Box address is not acceptable, and the address of Harvard Business Services, Inc. may not be used.


Who is authorized to sign and file the annual report?

 Your annual Franchise Tax report can be signed and filed by an officer or director of the company; however, one of the people listed in the officer and director section of the annual report is required to be the authorized signatory.


Where can I locate the Delaware State File Number for my company?

The Delaware State File Number is seven digits in length and typically begins with a 0, 2, 3, 4 or 5.  On the annual report worksheet, the number can be found on the upper left hand side of the page.


How can I determine my company’s total gross assets?

The State of Delaware Title 8 Chapter 5 § 503 (i) states “such total assets and total gross assets shall be those “total assets” reported to the United State on U.S. Form 1120 Schedule L, relative to the company’s fiscal year ending in the calendar year prior to filing with the Secretary of State pursuant to this section.  If such schedule is no longer in use, the Secretary of State shall designate a replacement.  The Secretary of State may at any time require a true and correct copy of such schedule to be filed with the Secretary of State’s office.

No corporation shall consolidate with its assets of another entity for purposes of this section.  If such schedule or its replacement reports on a consolidated basis, the reporting corporation shall submit to the Secretary of State a reconciliation of its reported total assets or total gross assets to the consolidated total assets reports on the schedule.”


Where can I find out how many shares my company has issued?

Typically, all information regarding a company’s stock structure can be found in the stock transfer ledger. This reference will indicate how many shares are authorized, issued, to whom the shares were issued, for how much, and other relevant information. For Franchise Tax calculation purposes of maximum stock companies (over 5000 authorized shares), only the number of issued shares are required to be provided.


Do I still have to pay a Franchise Tax if my company has not conducted any business?

All companies that are incorporated in the state of Delaware are required to pay an annual Franchise Tax in order to maintain their corporate existence. The annual Franchise Tax is due, regardless of whether or not the company has conducted any business, had any profit or loss, opened a bank account or filed a federal tax return.


I no longer want my company; do I still owe Franchise Tax Fees?

In order to formally and legally close a corporation, a Certificate of Dissolution must be filed. At the time of filing the dissolution, all past and currently due Franchise Tax Fees must be paid. Once the dissolution filing has been approved by the state of Delaware, no further Franchise Tax Fees will be imposed upon the corporation.

If you have other questions on how to complete an annual Franchise Tax report, please check out our video with easy to follow instructions.

As always, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is here to assist you via email or telephone at: 1-800-345-2677 or 1-302-645-7400, Extension 6904. Feel free to call one of our helpful representatives and ask any questions you may have about Delaware Franchise Taxes. 


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Cortney Reihm Sharp, Filings Specialist at HBS, Inc.
By Carleigh Lowe Monday, January 3, 2011

Cortney SharpAfter graduating from Cape Henlopen High School, Cortney attended Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. She graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management, and secured a position with a large banking firm as a Fraud Analyst. Although she gained a great deal of experience in this position, she ultimately realized working for a large corporation was not for her. In September 2004, Cortney began her career at Harvard Business Services, Inc. as a Mail Center assistant. She assisted in the processing of Harvard's monthly client mailings as well as the daily sorting of both incoming and outgoing mail. Her friendly demeanor and positive attitude led to her transition to the Filings Department. She rapidly showed interest in expanding her expertise in all aspects of the department and currently assists with every aspect of the Filings Department, including both domestic and international formations, custom document orders and obtaining Federal Tax Identification Numbers. Her vast understanding of the state of Delaware's policies and her willingness to help make her a great asset to the Harvard Business Services, Inc. team.

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Harvard Business Services' End of Year Wrap Up
By Rick Bell Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rick at HBSLike any business, we like to end the year with a little profit. But we also like to have enough money,  before profit, to improve our infrastructure. In years past it was a new roof, a new parking lot, Aeron chairs for everyone. Those were the good old days.

Making improvements to your infrastructure is important. It lets your people know you care about them, and they appreciate the benefits from your expenditures. It can also be a very smart move financially. Example: we bought and installed two large monitors on every desk at HBS and everyone thanked me for months afterwards. The simple truth was, it made their jobs easier, which made them more efficient. They now provide services to our clients over the phone much more quickly, with multiple screens up at once, and clients are pleased at the speed with which our people can now create real-time data from the State of Delaware and our own client database. That improvement was a wise investment for many reasons.

This year, 2010, we used our infrastructure reserve fund to hedge against two distinct potential threats: rapidly inflating future energy costs and a potential interruption in the supply of electricity from our regional grid.

Regarding the first concern, skyrocketing projected energy costs for Americans:

Americans have enjoyed low energy costs for many decades due to our power to buy in enormous volumes, our good credit, and our stable currency. (Oh, so THAT’S why it’s going to skyrocket!) Well, I’m no MacroGlobal Economist but it is pretty clear that the cost of energy is now on the launching pad, ready for take-off. Prepare yourself and plan for your company.

You’re not too late, even though some government credits will not be available next year. 2011 is a “Get ‘er Done!” year for renewable power. There are two options for reducing dependence on your energy supplier by producing your own sustainable energy: solar and wind. At this time turbines and photovoltaic cells will supply you with a very small percentage of your total electric power, if you’re a small American business with over a million dollars in overhead. But State and Federal tax credits and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) will return a big percentage of your investment over the next fifteen years (maybe even all of it), which gives you 5 years of free energy (at prices fifteen years out), figuring the life of the system will be about twenty years. This year, this expenditure was our #1 priority for infrastructure improvement.

Second was the purchase of a 100 KW Kohler back-up generator that stands five feet six inches high and is 11 ½ feet long by four feet wide (see photo above). This baby has a Corvette Vortec 8.1 Liter (496 CI) engine powered by propane from an on-site 1,000 gallon reserve tank that will carry the electricity

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