Incserv No Comments

Team Member Spotlight: Rhonda Wilkins

At Incserv, our people are what make the difference – and we’re excited to introduce the folks that make this place special. Each quarter, we profile an Incserv team member, sharing a little bit about what they do, how they got here and what matters to them outside the world of incorporating services. In this installment, we sit down with client services representative, Rhonda Wilkins. Enjoy!

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat, Rhonda. Let’s start with a little bit about your role at Incserv. Let’s start with the obvious! When did you start working at Incserv and tell us about your position?

Thanks! So, I started working at Incserv in April 2022. I’m a Client Services Representative for the Corporate Division. 

What is the corporate division focused on? 

It’s a little bit of everything. I help with filings not only for Delaware, but jurisdictions nationwide. So it could be anything from EIN filings, company formations and qualification documents to nationwide document retrieval, beneficial ownership information report filings and document preparation such as affidavits and incumbencies. Each day it’s a little different! 

Sounds like you appreciate the variety.

I do. It keeps the job interesting! Every email, every phone call… They all have different asks from our clients.

Anything new and exciting that you could tell us about?

There is a new requirement from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that recently went into effect on January 1, 2024. It’s related to beneficial ownership reporting and virtually every entity in the United States has to comply with it. Our team is tasked to reach out to all clients and help them with their beneficial ownership reporting. This is all being done to help stop fraud and money laundering. It’s designed to help prevent terrorism funding and strengthen national security.

That sounds like a massive undertaking.

It is. We started by creating a whole new email system to help organize the federal request. We then reached out via email to all of our clients with the task of providing the names and beneficiaries of their companies through an intake form. We can either do it for them, or they can submit on their own. It can get complicated so I’m there to answer questions, provide support and help them through the process. 

Even though it seems like a tedious job, I like it. It’s the same for when you are doing a large filing for a client. There could be several documents in several states. This one is done, this one has an issue…it keeps you focused and alert!

Tell me about your team. How many people do you work with on a daily basis? 

There are about 10 of us in the corporate division. Some process large, multi-state filing requests and others are focused solely on Delaware. I do a little of everything!

That’s the truth. Talk to me about the Incserv company culture.

Incserv has a great office atmosphere. Everyone here gets along and works together and helps each other out. It’s refreshing. I’ve worked at other offices the environment was very draining. Here, I’ve never felt like that. 

Well, we’ve talked a lot about work. What about your free time? Favorite things to do? 

I work another job on the weekends so I don’t have much free time. But when I do I spend time with my boyfriend, Michael, and our dog Ricky by trying new wineries and breweries in the area. We also really like going to car shows.

rhonda

Car shows? Say more.

It started in 2020 when I got my car, a Lexus IS 300. Michael and I go to local shows in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. It’s mostly walking around to other cars and vendors and talking with the other owners about the car details. It’s something fun that we love to do together!

That’s great, Rhonda. Appreciate your time!

 

Rhonda Wilkins No Comments

Notes from the Delaware Division of Corporations’ User Meeting

A few weeks ago, members of the Incserv team attended the Delaware Division of Corporations’ User Meeting, a small quarterly gathering of registered agents that have online access to the state. Expectedly, the meeting focused on beneficial ownership. FinCEN representatives presented on the program’s recent rollout, its reception and learnings and best practices. Highlights include: 

File with a Respected, Established Vendor

Already, scams are afoot. FinCEN noted that it has seen illegitimate parties set up websites designed to look like proper BOI collection systems, only to result in the information collected selling on the dark web for upwards of $500. Whether you file on your own, with us or with a different vendor, please do your research to determine the legitimacy of the third party you work with. Find out how long a vendor has been in business. Do they have contact information on their website? Research their leadership team. Examine the domain of their website. Does it make sense? Are things spelled correctly? Use a tool like Who Is to potentially see who registered the domain and when. 

Communicating with FinCEN

Currently, the only way to communicate with FinCEN is through its online form. They will respond on a first come first serve basis. Phone support and live chat is coming. 

Slow Start for FinCEN IDs

So far, only a few thousand FinCEN IDs have been created. Here at Incserv, we use this functionality because we know that our CSRs will show up on the filings for which we are operating in an entity applicant role

Data Flow

Currently, only FinCEN has access to BOI data. Eventually, law enforcement will, followed by financial institutions (but only with consent): 

“FinCEN will permit Federal, State, local, and Tribal officials, as well as certain foreign officials who submit a request through a U.S. Federal government agency, to obtain beneficial ownership information for authorized activities related to national security, intelligence, and law enforcement. Financial institutions will have access to beneficial ownership information in certain circumstances, with the consent of the reporting company.”

No Paper… For Now

Currently, all BOI reporting is done digitally, including the ability to upload a PDF. However, FinCEN acknowledges that there is a portion of the population that needs a non-digital method to submit. FinCEN plans to address this issue soon.

As Always, We’re Here to Help

For all your BOI needs and questions, email cta@incserv.com

Rose Redman No Comments

Your Registered Agent Just Got Acquired. What Does That Mean for You?

Over the last few years, there has been a good amount of M&A activity in the registered agent space. Some have spun down, leaving their client list to the highest bidder. Some larger firms have scooped up smaller independent shops, absorbing them into bigger corporate structures. In other cases, middle market firms have merged to join forces. Private equity firms have been active in the space too, acquiring companies, maximizing bottom lines at literally all costs and eventually flipping the firm.

No matter the arrangement, M&A activity usually brings change. Sometimes it’s good change. Sometimes it’s less so. If an agent you work with was recently acquired, we’ve created a short checklist to help you ensure you’re getting the best service possible. 

 

Can you reach your agent directly, as you previously had been able to do?

Are there new systems in place that impact your access to your agent? 

Is it taking longer for your agent to get back to you?

When you place an order, is the turnaround time about what you have been accustomed to?

Has the way you are expected to place orders changed? Are you now required to enter orders into a “system”?

Are there unexpected changes in pricing or billings?

Is your order getting unnecessarily passed around in the company?

 

As the registered agent ecosystem continues to evolve, accessibility, personalized service and efficient accuracy will matter more than ever. If changes in your agent relationships have caused hiccups and delays for you and your clients, the team at Incserv – independent for 50 years and counting – is here to help.

 

Brooks Ferrett No Comments

UCC Updates: December 2023

Effective July 1 of this year, the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) put forth new national forms for UCC1 (Financing Statement) and UCC3 (Financing Statement Amendment)

Almost all states accept the new 2023 forms with only a few exceptions.

A few states, such as Florida, still have their own forms that filers may use. If a filer in, say, Florida, prefers to use the new national forms, they must add a Documentary Tax Statement to the national form.  

Additionally, New York does not accept the national form at the Secretary of State or County levels. A specific form is required and accessible here.  

A complete guide detailing 2023 vs 2011 UCC form acceptance policies by state is available here

Incserv to Support Your UCC Search Needs

Built on a network of trusted and experienced partners, Incserv navigates the massive and complex web of UCC and lien filing offices scattered across the country with personalized service and support. 

Deeply experienced in UCC search logic, we deliver an individualized approach for each search request, provide appropriate follow-up to ensure proper indexing and efficiently communicate search status.

Learn more about our UCC search and lien search services.

 

Incserv No Comments

Team Member Spotlight: Justin Roper

At Incserv, our people are what make the difference – and we’re excited to introduce the folks that make this place special. Each quarter, we profile an Incserv team member, sharing a little bit about what they do, how they got here and what matters to them outside the world of incorporating services. In this installment, we sit down with legal service specialist – and military veteran – Justin Roper. Enjoy!

justin roper

Justin, thanks for taking the time to chat. Let’s start with your role at Incserv. What’s your role and when did you start? 

Sure thing. I started at IncServ in July of 2022. I work in the SOP division (Service of Process). It’s a form of data entry with a big emphasis on detail. We make sure all legal documents are accurate. 

And what is it that you really enjoy about the position? 

As I mentioned, there’s a requirement for attention to detail. It’s a very fast paced environment and the days fly by. This past May I started in the accounting department of SOP which I have been pleasantly surprised with! Definitely different from my previous career. 

That’s right! You served in the U.S. military. With Veteran’s Day right around this corner, thank you for your service! So, military to accounting. That’s a pretty big jump!

Well, thank you! I appreciate that. And, yes… a very big jump!

How did you make it?

Well, oddly enough at a music bingo night with my wife.

You’re going to have to explain this in a bit more detail!

My wife and I like to enjoy music bingo at a local restaurant. Over time, I got to chatting with Casey Pineda, Incserv’s legal services division lead. She described her work and mentioned that they were hiring. This was about the same time I was looking to retire from the military. The timing was perfect so I jumped at the opportunity. I put together my first resume, interviewed, and got the position. 

That’s a pretty incredible story. I suppose you can network anywhere! So, any similarities between the two careers?

In the military, it’s a very large operation but a very small community at the same time. Over the course of time, you seem to run into the same people. At Incserv, it’s a small community which I really like. You quickly get to know everyone. Being new to the position, everyone has been very welcoming and helpful.

Can you tell us a little about your military career?

Sure. I worked as an aircraft mechanic for the U.S. Air Force. I retired in September of 2022 after 20 years of service. 

Wow! I’m sure that job took you to different places in the world. Any favorites? 

Yes, I’ve been all over the world. Guam makes the top of the list. So do Alaska, Japan and Vietnam.

Incredible! Now, I know you love a good music bingo night. Any other things you enjoy during your free time? 

I enjoy spending time with my family – my wife and four children. They keep us busy! My oldest just started at University of Delaware. I enjoy playing video games and we like to get down to Disney when we can!

Sounds great, Justin. I appreciate your time. Thanks so much and I wish you the best of luck!

Thank you!

Steven Gibson No Comments

Federal Services Update: October, 2023

Earlier this year, we provided a federal services update that included legalization news and notes from around the world. Today, we’re sharing a few new developments. 

Egypt

The Embassy of Egypt has stated that the notary’s dry seal must be next to the signature on any document that is being submitted for legalization or authentication and not on a separate paper.

China

After conceding to the Hague Convention, The Embassy of China will no longer require authentication from the U.S. Department of State and/or legalization with the embassy. After November 7, 2023, documents destined for China should be accepted with an Apostille.

United Arab Emirates

The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates no longer requires Corporate documents to go through the U.S. Department of State. Only personal documents must go through the U.S. Department of State for processing.

With a dedicated, knowledgeable staff in our Washington, D.C. office, we’re ready to support authentications, legalizations and a variety of other federal services needs. To get started, contact info@incserv.com or call 800-346-4646.

Josh Twilley No Comments

FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirements “Small Entity Compliance Guide” Just Released — Here’s What You Need to Know

Since the Corporate Transparency Act was signed into law in 2021, we’ve reported on how FinCEN, or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, has been building out expected reporting requirements. Final guidelines were published in September of 2022, and this month, the network has released its “Small Entity Compliance Guide,” designed to “help small entities comply with the requirements of the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Rule.”

The full guide is available here. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to the reporting rules. 

Is anything in the “Small Entity Compliance Guide” different from the final guidelines published last year? 

Materially, no. The final guidelines published in September of 2022 are reflected in the “Small Entity Compliance Guide” that FinCEN recently released. From our perspective, the guide is designed for easier consumption compared to the final guidelines.

What is a beneficial owner? 

Beneficial Owners are individuals who either 1) exercise substantial control over a Reporting Company or 2) own or control at least 25 percent of the ownership interest of a Reporting Company. It is notable that “substantial control” is defined broadly while the definition of “ownership” offers some exclusions (such as for minors and intermediaries).

What types of companies must report? 

The final rule expresses that domestic reporting companies and foreign reporting companies must file beneficial ownership information, or BOI, reports. A domestic reporting company is a corporation, LLC, or other entity created by filing documents with a secretary of state. A foreign reporting company is an entity created under the laws of another country but registered to do business in the United States as a result of documents filed with a secretary of state or comparable office.

fincen reporting required

What information must reporting companies submit?

At a high level, reporting companies must submit information about the entity, information about the beneficial owner and information about the person(s) forming the entity, of which there may be up to two: the individual directing that the entity should be formed and the individual physically performing the filing.

 

fincen reporting info

Are any company types exempt from the reporting requirements?

Yes. There are 23 specific types of entities that are exempt from the reporting requirements:

  1. Securities reporting issuers
  2. Governmental authorities
  3. Banks
  4. Credit unions
  5. Depository institution holding companies
  6. Money services businesses
  7. Brokers or dealers in securities
  8. Securities exchange or clearing agencies
  9. Other Exchange Act registered entities
  10. Investment company or investment advisers
  11. Venture capital fund advisers
  12. Insurance companies
  13. State-licensed insurance producers
  14. Commodity Exchange Act registered entities
  15. Accounting firms
  16. Public utilities
  17. Financial market utilities
  18. Pooled investment vehicles
  19. Tax-exempt entities
  20. Entity assisting a tax-exempt entities
  21. Large operating companies
  22. Subsidiaries of certain exempt entities
  23. Inactive entities

When should a reporting entity file? 

According to the Small Entity Compliance Guide, “If a company already exists as of January 1, 2024, it must file its initial BOI report by January 1, 2025. If a company is created or registered to do business in the United States after January 1, 2024, then it must file its initial BOI report within 30 days after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective. However, there is pending legislation to allow entities 90 days to file their BOI report.

 

fincen deadlines 1

Are there any ongoing requirements?

Yes, but only in the case of a change in Beneficial Owner information. There is no annual filing requirement, so it is important that the Reporting Company remembers to update its BOI Filing should any of the information change.

Are there penalties for failure to report?

Indeed, there are. The Small Entity Compliance Guide state that “the willful failure to report complete or updated beneficial ownership information to FinCEN, or the willful provision of or attempt to provide false or fraudulent beneficial ownership information may result in a civil or criminal penalties, including civil penalties of up to $500 for each day that the violation continues, or criminal penalties including imprisonment for up to two years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Senior officers of an entity that fails to file a required BOI report may be held accountable for that failure.”

Can Incserv help with beneficial ownership filings? 

Absolutely! Contact us at info@incserv.com or call 800-346-4646.

 

All images sourced from the Small Entity Compliance Guide, FinCEN

Incserv No Comments

Team Member Spotlight: Rosa Allen

At Incserv, our people are what make the difference – and we’re excited to introduce the folks that make this place special. Each quarter, we profile an Incserv team member, sharing a little bit about what they do, how they got here and what matters to them outside the world of incorporating services. In this installment, we sit down with compliance division associate, Rosa Allen. Enjoy!

 

rosa allen

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat, Rosa. Let’s jump right in! Tell us a little about your role at Incserv and what you do? 

I work in our compliance division. I communicate with our clients and file annual reports, working closely with the Delaware Secretary of State and Division of Corporations. We interact with a lot of people day in and day out. No day is the same and I love that.

And how did you get into compliance? 

It wasn’t exactly a straight line! I was previously in the culinary arts field. I prefer ‘art’ versus food services because at my core I’m an artist. More on that later! Before Incserv, I worked for Aramark for over 11 years. I worked my way up from a prep cook to an Assistant Food Services Director. I was even inducted into the company’s ‘Ring of Stars.’

My experience at Aramark presented me with a challenge to understand the business aspect behind culinary arts. The office work – things like budget planning, meeting prep, paperwork – helped set a foundation for a love of problem solving and organization. Those skills are a necessity within our compliance department.

That’s an unexpected career switch! How did you find Incserv? 

I saw a listing on Indeed. I had really amazing first interviews with both Stacey and Rose. The rest is history. 

How long have you been working for Incserv? 

It’s been almost a year and a half now! Which is crazy to think about. I just love my job, and the team I work with.

What do you like most about it? 

Every day and even every season is a little different. January through June is extremely high-paced. Everything is coming at you, in a good way! I’m a very detail-oriented person and I love to use my time management skills and really focus on gathering and collecting information. I come from working in a high stress job so this is sort of second nature for me. Just in a new setting, of course. I love having the opportunity to talk with people all over the country. CEOs. CFOs. Large companies. Small companies. It’s exciting. You feel like an extension of their company and I love partnering with them. I also love that I can incorporate my creativity – especially when it comes to solving unique challenges.

That’s right. You mentioned being an artist at your core. What’s that about?

I love art! I write, draw, and even face paint. Being an artist is something I incorporated as a side gig with my company, A Koolinary Experience. Our culinary art spreads were even featured in Mingle Magazine in 2019 which was very exciting! I also love to spend time with my family. We enjoy movie nights; even partaking in the Alice in Wonderland Adventures and dressing up in costume.

Love it. Rosa, it was a pleasure getting to know you and what you do for Incserv. Keep up the great work!

Thank you!

Rose Redman No Comments

A True Partnership: Working With Incserv

Oftentimes when we inherit a client, they ask what working with Incserv is like. They want to understand the level of engagement, communication protocols, responsiveness, proactiveness and more. 

Here’s our answer.

We are a partner to the paralegal and legal community throughout the entire lifecycle of the relationship.

At the start, we immerse ourselves in the client relationship, conducting thorough research, building accurate documentation, and verifying good standing in all requisite jurisdictions. We ensure that we are working with the proper parties and establish communication protocols, timelines and fee estimates/schedules, if applicable.

 

independent-manager independent manager

 

Throughout the relationship, we’re focused on ensuring compliance, keeping entities in good standing and helping with local licensing requirements. Our Annual Report Filing Services (ARFS) ensures annual filing and tax payment deadlines are met and jurisdictional compliance is maintained. We also help clients get familiar with Snapshot, our 24/7 online portal. With Snapshot, clients can manage their account from anywhere, anytime, file annual reports, make franchise tax payments and pay invoices. Incserv customer service representatives, or CSRs, really take the lead here, anticipating client needs, providing speedy, accurate responses and ensuring data accuracy. At this point, the relationship truly begins to take on a collaborative nature. We work to develop creative solutions to unique client needs, tapping the collective Incserv brain to solve complex challenges. 

On the housekeeping side of things, we provide clients with tailored billing solutions, common renewal dates, consolidated annual invoices, direct-to-client billing and more. We pride ourselves on not saying no and instead researching any requests our clients may have.

Should a relationship come to a close, we always work with the law firm partner to make sure our clients understand what filings are required in the jurisdictions in which they need to dissolve or withdraw and we work with clients until those fillings are complete. We also provide flexibility around resignations. 

Ultimately, it’s about being a partner. We understand that a big part of our job is making the lives of the paralegal and legal community easier. That’s been our approach since Day One… way back in 1972

Incserv No Comments

Delaware Division of Corporations Updates: June 2023

Delaware shutterstock 102603476

 

This month, the Delaware Division of Corporations announced a number of updates relevant to corporate, compliance and registered agent services. Highlights include: 

 

  • No more 24-hour swap. As of Monday, June 12, the state has stopped and will no longer honor the “24-hour swap,” a policy that allowed for filed documents to be edited or changed within 24 hours of submission. Instead, a formal Certificate of Correction will be required. This applies to all entity types and all expedite levels.

 

  • Fees are increasing for new formations. The Delaware House and Senate have passed SB110 which increases the courthouse municipality fee portion of the filing fees assessed on all LLC and corporate filings from $20 to $40. The bill is expected to be signed by the Governor. August 1, 2023, is the expected effective date. The fees for LP filings are not affected.

 

  • Usage of registered agent address for annual reports. Corporations are not permitted to use the address of their Registered Agent when filing annual reports. In the coming months, the state will suspend all annual reports that appear to be using the agent as the primary place of business, and alert the agent. The state will give suspended entities 45 days to file a correction or appeal the suspension. After 45 days, entities will cease good standing. Responsible agents will alert their customers if their entity is suspended. Please reach out to us if you are concerned about this issue.

 

  • Corporate Transparency Act updates. While FinCEN is planning to roll out the beneficial owner requirements of the Corporate Transparency Act on January 1, 2024, there are still some major hurdles to overcome. Many terms are still not clearly defined, the database is still not built, and filing instructions and other educational materials have not been developed. This is a space we’re monitoring closely. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

 

For updates delivered to your inbox, subscribe to Incserv E-Alerts.