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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.

How to Obtain a U.S. Visa for Business Travel
By Meri Weiss Tuesday, March 8, 2016

how to obtain a u.s. visa for business travelIf you are planning to visit to the United States in order to conduct any type of temporary, international business—including to attend conferences, consultations or conventions—you will need a non-immigrant Business Visitor Visa, known as a B-1.


Below is a summary of some of the types of temporary, business-related travel allowed by the U.S. Department of State on a B-1 Visitor Visa. Please visit the Department of State’s website for more information on who needs a B-1 Visitor Visa and why.  


If the descriptions below fit your planned travel purpose and the facts accurately describe your trip, you should schedule a visa interview appointment as well as apply for a visa at the United States Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.


You can use this link to locate a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and you can estimate how long it will take to get an interview; however, be sure to plan ahead and apply for your visa months before you plan to travel so your plans are not affected.


You probably need a B-1 Business Visitor Visa if:

  • the purpose of your travel is a business venture, or you are an investor in search of an investment and visiting the U.S. in order to find potential sites for a business and/or to rent office space in the U.S. for a business venture you’ll oversee from an international location.


  • the purpose of your travel is to attend a conference, meeting, trade show or other type of business event and you are not receiving any salary or income from a U.S.-based company or business entity and/or your visit is for scientific, educational, professional or business endeavors.


  • the purpose of your travel is to work as an expo or trade show employee for an international exhibitor, and you are not receiving any salary or income from a U.S.-based company or business entity, and your visit will be centered on planning, assembling, dismantling and/or maintaining an exhibit at the international expo or trade show.


  • the purpose of your travel is as a lecturer or speaker, and you will not be receiving any salary or income from a U.S.-based company or business other than receiving compensation for incidental expenses; if you are receiving an honorarium for services that are conducted on behalf of, and for the sole benefit of, a college, university, institution or organization; if you are to receive an honorarium, your business activities cannot last any longer than nine (9) days at a single college, university, institution or organization and you will not have accepted incidental expenses nor honorariums from more than five (5) colleges, universities, institutions or organizations over the previous six (6) months.


  • the purpose of your visit is sales or selling and you will be attending an exhibition, receiving orders, negotiating and/or signing contracts for products produced outside of the United States.


When you apply for a B-1 Business Visitor Visa, you must meet all requirements for the visa at the time of application. The consular officer will determine whether you meet the proper requirements.


If the above descriptions do not fit your planned visit, you will likely need a different type of visa. Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to read about other types of temporary workers in the United States. You can also visit the U.S. Visas website for more information.



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Why Incorporate in Delaware? [INFOGRAPHIC]
By HBS , Meri Weiss Monday, March 7, 2016

Why Incorporate in Delaware? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Please read Why Incorporate in Delaware? for more detailed information.

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Harvard Business Services Reaches Another Milestone
By Michael Bell Tuesday, March 1, 2016

harvard business services Harvard Business Services, Inc. is celebrating its 35th anniversary on March 2, 2016 and we are so proud to share this prestigious moment with you.

Our clients are the reason for our success, as over 50% of our business comes from returning clients and referrals. Harvard Business Services, Inc. is the third largest incorporator in the state of Delaware, with over 54,000 current clients.


We are thrilled and honored to have helped form more than 140,000 companies for customers since our start-up in 1981.


Richard (Rick) Bell, Chairman & CEO says, “It has been a dream come true to see such fantastic growth in the company that I started in the basement of my home 35 years ago. I can’t thank my team enough for the job they do every day.”


Harvard now employs 30 full-time people in its Delaware office, and eight of them have been with the company for more than 10 years. We have a deep bench with unmatched expertise in Delaware formations, Delaware Franchise Tax and internet marketing. We have carefully built this team in order to excel at customer service, a lost art in many service companies today.


In 2015, Harvard had the best year in its history, helping to form 14,459 new companies for our clients from across the United states and all around the world.


Michael Bell, Vice President and Director of Marketing, states, “2015 was a terrific year for us here at Harvard, and we look forward to another outstanding year in 2016. January 2016 was the best single month in the history of the company.”


So here’s to you, our customers, for helping Harvard Business Services, Inc. become Delaware’s Premier Formation Specialists since 1981. We are so pleased and proud you trust us with your businesses, and we look forward to serving you as well as our new clients for many more years to come.


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What Is a Non-Stock Corporation?
By Paul Sponaugle Sunday, February 28, 2016

what is a non-stock corporation?

These days, the term "non-stock corporation" has essentially become synonymous with the term "non-profit corporation."


But what is a non-stock corporation?


The common use of the non-stock corporation as the vehicle with which to obtain tax-exempt or non-profit status from the IRS has led to an interchangeability of the two terms, but this can be problematic.


The notion that non-stock corporations and non-profit corporations are the same has led many individuals to believe that if you form a non-stock corporation, you are forming a non-profit organization, which is not true.


In addition, individuals assume that as long as the corporation has no stock, it is a non-stock corporation and therefore eligible for tax exemption, which is also not true.


A non-profit (notice I left out the word "corporation") is most commonly an organization that has obtained tax exemption, under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, by filing Form 1023.


To qualify, the organization must be a corporation, community chest, fund or foundation (a trust is a fund or foundation and will qualify) that is created, organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the following purposes:


•    Religious
•    Charitable
•    Scientific
•    Testing for public safety
•    Literary
•    Educational
•    Fostering national or international amateur sports competition (but only if none of its activities involve providing athletic facilities or equipment)
•    The prevention of cruelty to children or animals


non-stock corporation

It just so happens that many states, including Delaware, have a type of entity whose articles are designed to facilitate the application for tax exemption.


Can you guess what that entity is called? That’s right, it’s the non-stock corporation.


Do not confuse this with a stock corporation that has no authorized stock.


(Yes, it is possible to have a stock corporation that does not possess authorized stock. Even though it makes no sense, Delaware does allow stock corporations to file Articles of Incorporation without authorizing shares of stock. It is rare but we have seen individuals accidentally file corporations in this manner. This error can be corrected, but it will cost you precious time and money.)


A Delaware non-stock corporation has no capital stock and is required to disclose its non-profit intentions in its Articles of Incorporation at the time of filing.


It is typically but not exclusively used by organizations that plan to apply for tax exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Other applications of the non-stock corporation may include:


  • civic leagues
  • labor organizations
  • business leagues
  • recreational clubs
  • other organizations (such as amateur athletic organizations) that unify a common social goal


These organizations may be eligible for tax exemption under a different section of the IRS code. For more information on tax-exempt status for your organization, refer to IRS Publication 557.





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Angel Investing: Words of Wisdom from David S. Rose
By Rick Bell Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Last summer, I wrote a blog on finding money from angel investors (which we re-published yesterday, February 24, 2016, due to its immense popularity). It raised quite a bit of interest among our clients and I received a number of requestsangel investing to dig more deeply into the subject.


The next day, I got an email from perhaps the most successful, prolific and knowledgeable angel investor in the world, David S. Rose. We arranged to meet and ended up having a six-hour conversation reflecting on his experience as an angel investor. The time went swiftly, as he is truly an interesting, intelligent and experienced man.


As of now, after more than 25 years of investing in more than 100 start-up companies, David S. Rose is recognized by just about everybody as one of the world’s most active angel investors.


I was not aware, at the time, that there are now many serial angel investors and organizations of angel investors who consider angel investing a vital aspect of the business world.


Rose actively manages a portfolio of over 100 companies he has invested in as an angel; he runs Rose Tech Ventures, an "early stage investment fund dedicated to finding, nurturing and launching the next generation of world-class ventures."


David S. Rose is also the founder of the New York Angels, a group that has been meeting every month for more than 10 years; together they comb the business world for interesting start-ups in which to invest. Obviously, he has had some major hits along the way, with quite a few strike-outs, but the fact is, he remains one of the many influential angel investors who search daily for companies in which to invest.


Rose is an entrepreneur as well an angel investor; he is also the founder and CEO of Gust, an online platform connecting angel investors with companies seeking money. Gust serves both angel investors and start-up companies; it negotiates each deal and keeps track of all the necessary documents and compliance matters.


If you’re planning to raise money for your start-up business, or if you’re an angel investor looking for high-quality, high-potential companies, Gust is for you.


David S. Rose’s book, entitled Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money and Having Fun Investing in Startups, is most enlightening. It is easy to read, and essential for anyone seeking angel investors as well as anyone interested in serious angel investment.


He really articulates the granular detail of what an angel investor is looking for in a start-up as well as in the entrepreneur behind the start-up. Rose coaches entrepreneurs in how to approach angel investors, and he coaches angel investors in finding, evaluating and negotiating the terms of angel investments.


I picked up the book and couldn’t put it down. 250 pages later, I had learned so much about angel investing; it thoroughly explains the mind-set of prominent angel investors, and it will give you a tremendous advantage in raising money for your start-up through an angel investor.


David S. Rose’s book, Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money and Having Fun Investing in Startups, is available at Amazon or can be acquired from your local bookstore.


[This blog was originally published on July 14, 2015. It has been updated to reflect the passage of time.]

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