If you form your Delaware Company through Harvard Business Services you will experience the fastest and friendliest way to start your business that you can imagine. We're specialists in just this ONE thing, and we take pride in our desire and ability to do it BETTER than anyone out there. Excellence means getting it done quickly, getting it done correctly, and making you feel important, because you are!
Richard H. (Rick) Bell, II
Chairman & CEO
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As we help our customers reach informed decisions about forming business entities, we find that some questions about incorporating come up more often than others. Below is a list of those most frequently asked questions. Remember that if you don't see your question answered here, our business formation specialists are available to help via phone (800-345-2677) or live chat.
Yes. A corporation can own another corporation and can purchase it using the first corporation's stock. This is yet one more advantage among many of having a Delaware corporation. In fact, under the new IRS regulations, even subchapter S corporations can own and control major portions of affiliated companies.
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 than later, so consider getting it right from the beginning if you're planning to raise money.
Yes. Only Harvard Business Services, Inc. gives you a 5% discount on the formation of every new LLC or corporation after your initial filing, regardless of when you form them. If you're a current client, you must form the new company in your own name and at your own address to be eligible for this discount. Call for more details.
No. You don't need to transact business in Delaware, keep a bank account here, or even visit the state in order to form and operate your corporation under Delaware law. (See more on why you should choose Delaware for your incorporation needs.)
Yes. We retain as our company counsel a prestigious and widely acclaimed Wilmington, DE law firm whose specialty is Delaware corporation law. This is an important consideration for at least two reasons. 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 everything we do with the specific mission of drafting our corporate papers and keeping the language state-of-the-art.
Investors, in addition to a suitable return on their money, want tangible, legal evidence of their investment (their part of ownership) in your enterprise. Stock certificates are really the only way to accomplish this. Serious and savvy investors are far less likely to invest in a "project" or an "idea" without the stock ownership structure in place. If you approach or are approached by an investor, have that structure and your business plan ready.
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.
No, we are not affiliated with Harvard University.
The key difference is that their "packages" are not really packages because they don't include extras that wind up costing a lot of extra money. Our packages include everything they say they include. There are no hidden fees or surprises. The wording, the claims, and the promises we make about our services are very straightforward and easy to understand. Beware of what others claim.
The name of your corporation or LLC must have an approved corporate ending (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."
For more information, check out an article on naming a company posted on the HBS Blog.
We can deliver the fastest incorporation services in the world, period. When we say "next day delivery," it means exactly that: a first-class corporate kit, which includes a stand-up desk seal, as well as stock certificates and a minute book the very next day.
Service that fast 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 with the Division of Corporations as well. Then we rush your documents out by courier so that they are in your hands the next morning (in most areas).
We often hear the question, "What is a Delaware corporation?" In short, a Delaware corporation is a business entity that is created under the Delaware General Corporation Law. The state of Delaware is the popular choice for companies that wish to incorporate due to its business-friendly legal climate, which has been voted the best in the country for 11 years in a row by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. 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 101 page.
People from outside Delaware who wish to form Delaware corporations must, as prescribed by Delaware law, have a registered agent within the state. The registered agent acts as the original incorporator, files the corporation, and remains the registered agent for the life of the corporation.
You can count on our registered agent service to send out your annual Delaware franchise tax report, to help you compute your tax if necessary, to assist you when necessary in making changes in your corporation such as increasing the number of shares of stock or changing the corporate address, or just to answer your questions whenever they come up.
We charge $50 per year which, to our knowledge, is and has been the lowest fee available. And, unlike some other services, our fee covers 12 full months regardless of when during the calendar year you file your corporation. (See next question below.)
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 it saves money to assign a low value. A $0 par value is usually recommended for companies with 1,500 shares or less. (See more on understanding your company’s stock.)
We bill you on the anniversary of your incorporation date each year, which means your 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 registered agent services bill you on a calendar-year basis. If you incorporate toward the middle or end of the year, you'll get a registered agent invoice again at the beginning of the next calendar year, which may be only a few months away. Again, beware of what others claim.
Your LLC name CANNOT contain the words "Bank," "University," or "College." It may contain the word "Trust."
Rick Bell, the founder of Harvard Business Services, Inc., has an entrepreneurial background which spans a wide range of start-ups and business ventures. Since starting Harvard Business Services, Inc. in 1981, Rick has kept that spirit and those experiences foremost, as he has refined and simplified 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 barrier to starting a business, it would stall an otherwise powerful economic engine.
Absolutely not. This is one of the hallmarks of our way of doing business and we are proud to point it out. We are alone in guaranteeing a fixed annual fee of $50 for the life of your corporation.
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.