LLC and Corporation FAQs

Delaware Incorporation 101

As we help our customers reach informed decisions about forming business entities, we find that some questions about incorporating arise more often than others. Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you don't see your question answered here, our business formation specialists are available to help via phone at 800-345-2677 or live chat.

What is a Delaware Registered Agent?

A registered agent is the liaison between your company and the State of Delaware's Division of Corporations. We are responsible for receiving and forwarding government notices and legal documents to our clients in a timely fashion. Some examples of documents received and forwarded are franchise tax reports, late notices, and void notices from the Secretary of State, and service of process for legal actions against your company. Our annual agent fee is only $50 a year guaranteed never to increase.

You can count on Harvard Business Services, Inc.'s Registered Agent service to send out your annual Delaware Franchise Tax report, to help you compute your tax (if necessary), to assist you (if necessary) in making changes to your corporation, such as increasing the number of shares of stock or changing the corporate address. We can also answer your questions at any time. 

How many shares should I get in my company?

Only get as many shares as you need. Your annual Delaware Franchise Taxes will be based on the number of shares you have. (You can read more about understanding your company's stock.)

Can I issue preferred stock with non-voting rights?

Yes. Preferred stock is a popular way to give investors what they want and still retain voting control of the company. Preferred stock is much cheaper and easier to issue upon formation, so consider getting it right from the start if you're planning to raise money.

Does my corporate bank account have to be in Delaware?

No. You can form and operate your corporation under Delaware law without transacting business in Delaware, maintaining a bank account in Delaware or even visiting Delaware. (Read more on why you should choose Delaware for your incorporation needs.)

What are the laws in Delaware governing my choice of a company name?

The name of your corporation or LLC must have an approved corporate ending (i.e., a suffix). The following corporate endings are available to Delaware corporations: Association, Club, Company, Corporation, Fund, Foundation, Incorporated, Institute, Society, Syndicate or Limited, or one of these abbreviations: Co., Corp., Inc., or LTD. Your corporate name cannot have the word "Bank," "Trust," "University" or "College."

You can read more information about naming a company. 

Which endings are not allowed for limited liability companies?

Your LLC name cannot contain the words "Bank," "University" or "College." 

What par value should I place on my stock?

Par value has no relationship to the market value of your stock. If your stock were publicly traded, investors would determine its day-to-day market value. The stock of many large and well-known corporations may trade for $50, $75, or $100 on a given day, but the par value of their stock may be as low as $.00001. Par value affects your Franchise Tax, so you can save money by assigning a low value. A $0 par value is usually recommended for companies with 1,500 shares or less. To read more details on par value stock, see our understanding your company’s stock page.

In my corporate kit, is one stock certificate worth one share of stock?

No. Your stock certificates are printed with your company name and the total authorized shares in your company. You choose the name of the stockholder and the number of shares the certificate represents and enter that information on the certificate.

Can a corporation own another corporation?

Yes. A corporation can own another corporation and can purchase it using the first corporation's stock. This is yet another advantage of owning a Delaware corporation. In fact, under current IRS regulations, even subchapter S corporations (S-Corps) can own and control major portions of affiliated companies.

What does all this mean to me, as a person about to incorporate? What do I get from your service that I wouldn't get from your competitor?

Harvard Business Services, Inc. delivers the fastest, most efficient incorporation services in the world. Our Standard  services include a first-class corporate kit, which includes a fold-up style, lead-cast lettering corporate seal as well as stock certificates and a book for recording minutes. Our Basic package includes LLC or corporation digital documents, and our Green package is delivered entirely by email. All our business formation packages include a digital corporate seal and one year of Registered Agent Service. 

Harvard Business Services, Inc. fast, efficient service comes by virtue of our special authorization in cooperation with the state of Delaware to process approvals on an expedited basis. Your approval process takes top priority, not just with us but also with the Division of Corporations. We then send your documents by email and mail so they are in your hands very quickly. 

How is forming a corporation or LLC important for attracting investors?

Investors generally want two things: a suitable return on their money and tangible, legal evidence of their investment (their part of ownership) in your enterprise. Stock certificates are the only way to accomplish the latter. Experienced and savvy investors are far less likely to invest in an abstract project or idea without the stock ownership structure in place. If you approach or are approached by an investor, having a stock ownership structure in place and a prepared business plan vastly increase your chances of gaining investors.

What is your total annual Registered Agent Fee?

We charge $50 per year which, to our knowledge, is and has been the lowest Registered Agent Fee available. And, unlike some other services, our fee covers 12 full months, regardless of which point during the calendar year you file your corporation. 

Will you increase my Registered Agent Fees in the future?

Absolutely not. This is one of the hallmarks of our business philosophy and we are proud of it. Harvard Business Services, Inc. is alone in guaranteeing a fixed annual fee of $50 for the life of your corporation.


When is my Registered Agent Fee due?

We bill you on the anniversary month of your incorporation date each year, which means your Registered Agent Fee covers a full year's (12 months) service. For example, if you file through us in October, your next Registered Agent Fee is not due until the following October.

Some other Registered Agent services bill you on a calendar-year basis; that is, if you incorporate toward the middle or end of the year, you will receive a Registered Agent invoice at the beginning of the next calendar year, which may be only a few months away. Again, beware of what other Registered Agents claim. Look out for Registered Agents who tell you their fee can be increased at any time without notice. They can, and will, increase your annual rate.

Is your company affiliated with Harvard University?

No, we are not affiliated with Harvard University.

Have your forms been reviewed by attorneys?

Yes. We retain as our company counsel a prestigious and widely acclaimed Wilmington, Delaware law firm that specializes in Delaware corporation law. This is an important consideration. Your corporation or LLC is defined by the wording in the Certificate of Incorporation and the bylaws. Delaware law allows wording in corporate papers that offers added flexibility and protection to a corporation or LLC. Many filing services use generic or boilerplate wording in their forms that don't take full advantage of the benefits of Delaware's corporate law.

Our law firm writes, reads or reviews all of Harvard's written materials, with the specific mission of drafting our corporate papers to ensure both the validity and modernity of the language.

Why has Harvard Business Services, Inc., unlike most of its competitors, tailored its services so closely to the needs of people who are forming businesses? Has a company culture created this affinity with entrepreneurs?

Rick Bell, the founder of Harvard Business Services, Inc., has an entrepreneurial background that spans a wide range of start-ups and business ventures. Since starting Harvard Business Services, Inc. in 1981, Rick has maintained that spirit and utilized his experiences while refining and simplifying the business of helping other entrepreneurs form businesses.

Rick firmly believes that self-reliance, hard work and the can-do spirit of entrepreneurship have a proven history of creating and supporting vibrant, dynamic economic systems. If the process of forming a corporation were an expensive, time-consuming obstacle to starting a business, it would stall an otherwise powerful economic engine.

What is a Delaware corporation?

A Delaware corporation is a business entity that is created under the Delaware General Corporation Law. The state of Delaware's business-friendly legal climate has been voted the best in the country many times by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; this is why Delaware is the popular choice among cmpanies that wish to incororate. Corporations are different from limited liability companies in that they have the ability to go public by selling shares of stock in the company. For more details, or to form a corporation, please visit our corporation page.

Delaware Incorporation 101

Since 1981, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has helped form 406,441 Delaware corporations and LLCs for people all over the world.

Registered Agent Service

Harvard Business Services, Inc. guarantees your annual Delaware Registered Agent Fee will remain fixed at $50 per company, per year, for the life of your company.