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DC Biennial Reports & Trade Name Renewals Due by April 2nd!

Biennial Report, DCIn order to maintain its authority to do business in the District of Columbia (DC), registered entities are required to file a biennial report the year after registering with the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and every two years thereafter. 

The biennial report filing period allows for updating officers, directors, managers and/or members.   Additionally, you may now elect to change your registered agent at this time!  Incorporating Services, Ltd. would be honored to represent you in DC and all 50 states!

Also, if your trade name is expiring this year, you must renew your trade name by April 2nd or risk having the registration cancelled after August 31st.  This is consistent with the biennial report filing requirement.  Don’t lose your registrations! Blank forms may be found on the DCRA website at Let Incserv help you to stay in compliance!

As always, if you have any questions about biennial reports or need assistance with filing, we are more than happy to help. Simply e-mail us at or call us at 202.386.7575 or 877.531.1131.

Deirdre Davis-Washington, Assistant Vice President

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Legalization Blog Series – Part 4

legalization, flagsWe’ve reached the final post of the legalization blog series!  In part 1, we introduced the legalization process and provided detail on what types of documents require legalization.  In part 2, we defined and discussed apostilles, authentications and embassy legalization in depth and in part 3, we discussed the differences between embassies and consulates and how to navigate through each to have your documents ready for use outside the U.S.   Finally, in part 4, we will go over a few tips on avoiding rejection and getting your documents completed within your deadlines.

Avoiding Rejection

We can’t stress enough that each country has its own chain of requirements!  Some embassies will take a few days to process, while others may take weeks.  Some have special forms that must accompany documents and others may have additional steps in the authentication process before the document can be submitted to the embassy.  Export shipments leaving the US and going to Arab countries may require shipping documents such as Certificates of Origin and Commercial Invoices to be submitted to the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) for review and certification.  Every country is different!  To find out more on the functions of the NUSACC, visit  or reach out to us.

Meeting Deadlines

When an order is placed, make sure important deadlines are communicated to your service provider!  The Court or other official or government agency overseas may accept copies of completed documents by the deadline, while others will need the originals in hand by a specific date.  Either way, give yourself enough time to complete all steps required for processing, while also allowing time for shipping internationally, if required.

The Do’s and Don’ts!legalization, document

Remember, documents must be original.  Documents certified by a federal official may not be authenticated by the State but must be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State.  Once certified by a government official, do not remove grommets, staples, or any pages in the document!  Lastly, content of the document must not be contrary to the laws of the country in which the document will be used.  For example, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China has been known to reject documents which refer to “Taiwan” as its own independent country.

It has been a pleasure presenting the topic to you!  If you’ve missed any part of the series or for access to other blog posts, feel free to click on the following link:  Should you need assistance, an Incserv representative is available to help!

Thanks for reading!

Deirdre Davis-Washington, Assistant Vice President

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Delaware Annual Report & Franchise Tax–The Buzz! Part 5

Delaware Annual Report & franchise taxThe Delaware Annual Report deadline is approaching quickly – File by Thursday, March 1st!

For our final installment of Delaware Annual Report & Franchise Tax–The Buzz!, we would just like to remind you that the deadline is approaching quickly!  Delaware Domestic Corporations must submit their 2017 Annual Franchise Tax Report and Payment on or before 3/1/2018 (that’s this Thursday) in order to remain in good standing.  Penalty and interest are also assessed for entities that file their annual report and pay their franchise taxes after the due date, which is why it’s important to file by the deadline!

  • Have questions about the content of the Delaware annual report? You can refer back to the previous sections of this blog for helpful tips (click here to view part three).
  • Need help filing? Log into Snapshot™ for step by step filing or contact Incserv to have one of our trained Client Service Representatives file for you.  Our online order form is one great way to request our help and provide us with the information we need to file.  You can also call or email us for assistance as well!
  • Don’t have a Snapshot™ login? You can visit this link anytime and place a request for a login.  In addition, during business hours, feel free to email or call us and we will be happy to provide you with a login and password for your Snapshot™ account.

Thanks for visiting our blog.  Stay tuned for more great content to come from Incserv!

Lucy Rose, Project Manager, Product Research and Development

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Jurisdictional Closures for March 2018

closures, closed signPlease see the list below for Jurisdictional Closures for March.  Dates and information are subject to change.

Date: Holiday: State:
 Mar 6th  Town Meeting Day
 Mar 26th  Seward’s Day  AK
 Mar 26th  Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day  HI
 Mar 30th  Good Friday  CT, DE, HI, IN, LA, NJ, NC, ND, TN

KY (1/2 Day)

 Mar 31st  Cesar Chaves Day (observed)  CA

Please check out our blog posts throughout the month for any last minute changes or updates from these or any other state or local office.

If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-346-4646 or via email at

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DE Annual Report & Franchise Tax – The Buzz! Pt 4

Delaware Annual Report & franchise taxPart four of our Delaware Annual Report & Franchise Tax Series will answer questions about the deadline for filing. If this happens to be the first blog you’re seeing in the series, click here to start from the beginning.

The Delaware annual report for all domestic corporations is due on or before March 1.

What happens if I miss the deadline for filing my corporation’s Delaware annual report and paying the franchise tax?

 A penalty fee of $200 will be added if the annual report is not filed by the due date. In addition, 1.5% interest is assessed and added to the total amount due. The 1.5% interest is calculated based only on the total franchise tax due and does not include the annual report fee and penalty. Interest is continually accrued on the 6th of each month until the franchise tax is paid or the entity goes into an inactive status.

What if I have not filed Delaware annual reports for two consecutive years?

The State will declare the company void.  The company will not be in good standing and will need to pay all applicable fees.  A reinstatement will need to be filed in order to bring it back into good standing.  If Incserv is the registered agent, a resignation will most likely be filed prior to March 1, which will place the company into a forfeited status.  Again, all applicable fees and the pertinent filing will need to be completed in order to reinstate to good standing.

What do I do if I made a mistake on my Delaware annual report filing?

An amendment may be filed, but it must be filed before a subsequent report is filed. For example if you made a mistake on the 2016 report, the 2016 report must be amended before the 2017 report is filed. Otherwise the 2016 record will stand as is.

If you have any questions about or need assistance with filing a Delaware annual report or paying Delaware franchise tax, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help!

Rose Redman, Quality Assurance and Employee Development Manager

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Legalization Blog Series – Part 3

DC,, legalizationPart 3 of our Legalization Blog Series discusses embassies and consulates, the differences between the two, its functions and how to navigate through its processes to have your documents legalized for use outside of the United States.

Embassy vs. Consulate

Embassies are typically located within the capital city of a country.   Foreign Embassies within the United States are located in Washington, DC.  For most U.S. documents to be used in other countries, as long as the documents have been authenticated by the U.S. Department of State, the Embassy in Washington DC will legalize it for use in the destination country.   There are some exceptions:  Egypt, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are examples of countries that will require use of a consulate office within the jurisdiction of the document’s origin for legalization, after receiving the U.S. Department of State’s authentication.

Consulate offices are smaller versions of Embassies and are designed to assist with local matters involving its citizens and business abroad.  Consulates are generally located in major cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Houston and Miami.  These offices have officials that are able to review documents which have originated within their local jurisdictions, providing the necessary stamps, seals, and signatures for legalization.  If a country has a local consulate office, in some cases, the document can go direct from the Secretary of State to the Consulate office, avoiding federal authentication. is a great resource for determining which countries have local consulates and where.

Getting Your Documents Processed!

It is important to remember, each Embassy will have its own chain of requirements for legalization processing.   Some will require full copies of documents, special forms and applications to accompany the documents, various acceptable payment methods, etc.  The People’s Republic of China’s (China) Authentication Form is one most people are familiar with in doing business with China.   Also known as the “G1” form, the form must be completed in all caps, bold print, and must be signed by the applicant, as well as the agent that will be presenting the document to the Embassy for legalization on the applicant’s behalf.  Additionally, the Embassy will require a copy of the applicant’s and agent’s passport and/or driver’s license.  This form has been changed a few times over the years.  For the most recent form, visit the Embassy’s website at:

Keeping up with these steps may seem a little overwhelming, but we are certainly here to assist where you need us!  With our daily experiences in working with the embassies, an Incserv representative can make sure your documents in need of legalization are processed accurately and quickly!  In the final part of the series, we’ll provide tips on avoiding rejection and getting your documents processed to ensure your deadlines are met!

Thanks for reading!

Deirdre Davis-Washington, Assistant Vice President

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Delaware Annual Report & Franchise Tax–The Buzz! Part 3

Delaware Annual Report & franchise taxFrequently Asked Questions – Delaware Annual Report

In today’s Delaware Annual Report & Franchise Tax – The Buzz!, we would like to offer you answers to frequently asked questions you may have while filing your Delaware Annual Report.  If you happen to have missed part one and two of our blog series, click here to view.

Q.  Where do I find my Gross Assets?

A.  The Delaware Annual Report requires your company’s entire Gross Assets as reported to the IRS on your Federal 1120, Schedule L form. If you haven’t filed your Federal Taxes yet, please refer to your Balance Sheet for your most recent information on your gross assets.  If you have an accountant or tax service handle this for you, please ask them for the most up to date information.  If you used Snapshot™ last year to file your report and nothing has changed, this information will still be available for your reference.

Q. What if my Gross Assets change after I file my Delaware annual report; shouldn’t I wait to file when it is finalized?

A.  You can file an amended Annual Report with the State of Delaware if you need to make a change, rather than filing your report late to wait for the finalized amounts. Filing late incurs both a penalty of $200 as well as interest of 1.5% per month on the unpaid tax amount.

Q. Where do I find my Issued Shares?

A.  The State of Delaware has record of your Authorized Shares and Par Value, however, Issued Shares are not public information. The shares your company has issued should be recorded on a company held stock ledger found in your corporate minute book.  If you have a CPA or Attorney handle these matters for you, please ask them for the current amounts.  If you’ve used Snapshot™ last year to file your report and nothing has changed, this information will still be available for your reference.

Q. My company didn’t do any business during part of 2017; can I enter those Inactive dates in the space provided?

A.  The Inactive dates on the report refer only to a portion of the year in which a company was potentially Inactive within the records of the Secretary of State. If you had to file a renewal or reinstatement during the calendar year of 2017 then this may apply to your company (please call or email us to provide you with the dates.)  Otherwise this does not likely apply to your company.  If your company is no longer doing business, but you have not filed a dissolution with Delaware, your company will continue to be required to file a Delaware Annual Report until this is filed; please call or email us if you feel you need to dissolve.

Q. My company never began doing business; do I still owe this report and fee?

A.  As long as the company is Active with the State of Delaware, it will owe a Delaware Annual Report and franchise tax each year. The report fees are based on the Authorized Shares as outlined in the charter documents filed with Delaware.  If the company is minimum stock then the minimum tax will be due ($225 which includes the report filing fee.)   If you feel you should dissolve the company because it will not do business in the future, please contact us to ask about dissolving.

Q. My Principal Place of Business is outside the U.S.; how do I enter this?

A.  There is a check box on the Annual Report for a “Non-US Address”. By checking this box and choosing the country, the report will format correctly to accept the address and allow the report to submit properly.

Q. Why am I receiving an error when attempting to submit my report through Snapshot?

A.  Be sure and enable your pop-up blocker for our site when filing. If you still experience trouble, please let us know.

Lucy Rose, Project Manager, Product Research and Development

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Legalization Blog Series – Part 2

Part two of our legalization blog series provides detail on apostilles, authentications and legalizations including what each step entails.  The process by which the documents are legalized is unique to the country in which the documents will be used.  Knowing the destination country can determine if the process will be same day or if it will take weeks to receive the completed document.

What is an Apostille?

An apostille certificate is a document consisting of 10 elements issued for documents to be used in countries that are party to the Hague convention that abolishes the need for full legalization by the embassy.  A list of these countries may be found at  For state certified documents or notarized documents, the apostille certificate is issued by the Secretary of State.  For federally certified documents, the apostille is retrieved from the U.S. Department of State, as only the federal government can attest to the authenticity of a federal document or a federal official’s signature.  When the Apostille has been issued, the document is ready for use and does not require additional steps (with the exception of California, Oregon, and Montana certifications).

Authentication and Legalization

For non-Hague countries such as the People’s Republic of China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia, documents will have to go through a multi-step process consisting of authenticating the document before submitting the document to the embassy for legalization.   The process of authenticating is similar to the attestation of the person signing that is provided with apostille certification with the exception, the seal, certificate, and/or ribbon affixed to the document by state officials requires authentication of the state official’s signature by the U.S. Department of State.

The U.S. Department of State will affix its authentication page to the state authenticated document or if a federal document, to the document issued by the federal agency.  After this is done, the document can be sent to the embassy of the destination country which will then provide signatures, stamps, and/or seals deeming the document duly legalized.  For more information on embassy hours, contact information, etc.,, is a great resource with links to all foreign embassies in the District of Columbia – or just reach out to us!  Some embassies have additional steps or special requirements that must be met before submitting the document to the embassy. We will touch on these in part three of the series.

Until next time, should you require assistance or have questions, please feel free to reach out to an Incserv Representative.  Thanks for reading!

Deirdre Davis-Washington, Assistant Vice President


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Jurisdictional Closures for February 2018

Closed, closuresPlease see the list below for Jurisdictional Closures for February.  Dates and information are subject to change.

Date: Holiday: State:
Feb 12th Lincoln’s Birthday CT, IL, MO, NY
Feb 13th Mardi Gras Day AL (Baldwin & Mobile Counties only)


Feb 19th President’s Day (Washington/Jefferson/Lincoln) AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, CO, CT, DC, HI, ID, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NY, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WY

Please check out our blog posts throughout the month for any last minute changes or updates from these or any other state or local office.

If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-346-4646 or via email at

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The Federal Government Is Open For Business! But What If It Hadn’t?

DC Flag, federal Government How the Government Shutdown Affects the Legal Services Industry.

Hours before the deadline Friday, January 19th, it appeared Congress would not reach an agreement to avoid a shutdown of the Federal government.  Clients had begun to inquire whether or not their requests for Federal services would be processed, such as legalizations, authentications, USPTO …. And even embassies!  Fortunately, Congress came to an agreement quickly after only one business day, but this situation could emerge again – so what would happen in the case of a Federal Government shutdown?

U.S. Department of State

Generally, most government agencies with which we work most frequently generate their own revenues, which allows these agencies to operate (some, temporarily), in the event of a shutdown.  For example, business can be conducted with the U.S. Department of State because, as with the shutdown of 2013, the authentications office would be able to process visa applications and other consular services using revenues generated from fees it charges for these services.  Embassies would typically be unaffected, as they are governed by the laws of their own country.

Other Federal Agencies

Like the Department of State, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) remains open, funding its operations using the fees it collects; however, in the past this has only been for a few weeks. The Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC), as per its website, is “funded through assessments on supervised institutions and not Congressional appropriations, OCC operations are not affected by a government shutdown from a lapse in budget authority.”  This means we are able to request certificates of corporate existence and other certified documents for national banks and savings banks.  The Surface Transportation Board, an independent agency, where railcar liens are recorded and searched, was one of the agencies affected and could not operate.

District of Columbia

If you didn’t know, DC does not have autonomy over its own budget!  In the past, the District of Columbia would have been affected by the shutdown.  However, thanks to legislation sponsored by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton passed in 2017, DC was not affected by the shutdown.    With the new legislation, DC government agencies including the Department of Consumer of Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), Recorder of Deeds, and the Department of Notary and Authentications, will now be business as usual during a Federal shutdown!

For more information on our federal agency services, you may click on the following link: . If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to reach out to one our experienced staff members.  We are happy to assist!

Deirdre Davis-Washington, Assistant Vice President