The Latest on the Delaware Division of Corporations
Posted by Josh Twilley
September 14, 2022
The Delaware Division of Corporations governs business entity formations in the state of Delaware. For millions of businesses registered in the state, they are the agency that processes annual reports and franchise taxes, UCC filings, certificates of good standing, entity formation, amendments, dissolutions and cancellations, mergers, revivals, corrections, changes of agent, conversions and numerous other requirements and filings.
And like so many government agencies at both the federal and state levels, they are swamped. Backlogs are growing. Estimated processing times are extending. Staffing has contracted, with some positions remaining open for months. The pandemic has had its impact. Employees are working overtime and weekends. Burnout is very much a real thing.
All of this is contributing to a routine general public processing turnaround time of about four months. If you submitted a filing in May, congratulations. They’re probably getting to it right about now.
As a registered agent with Delaware (as well as with the 49 other states), we have a unique perspective that can help the paralegal and legal teams that work with the Delaware Division of Corporations on behalf of their clients under the current circumstances.
Use a Registered Agent
This sounds self-serving, but the truth of the matter is that many registered agents have direct lines to the Delaware Division of Corporations. (Pro tip: Ask if yours does!) Because of this connection, they have a better read on current turnaround times for the different filings and filing types. And perhaps most importantly, registered agents have filing options that are not available to the general public. Routine processing for general public? As mentioned, you’re currently looking at four months. Routine processing for registered agents? Two months. Registered agents also know when to pull the trigger on 24-hour service or even same day service. General public filers might not be aware of these options. What’s more, there is a routine filing option available to registered agents only and not the general public.
Errors kill momentum. We routinely hear from our friends at the Delaware Division of Corporations about common errors with documents that are submitted. When that happens, the process basically has to start all over again, compounding wait times.
Again, probably a little self-serving, but tooth comb fact checking and double fact checking is part of a registered agent’s job.
Rely on Your Registered Agent
One of the many great things about a registered agent is that they know the ins and outs of communicating with the folks at the Delaware Division of Corporations. We know exactly who to talk to about a specific thing and exactly who not to talk to about that same specific thing. It just comes with experience.
As a registered agent, we like to think that we have two customers: paralegals and the businesses they represent and the staff at the Delaware Division of Corporations. Part of our job is to make things easier for our friends at the state. We serve as a partner, a liaison and sometimes, even a buffer. And we like to think that they appreciate it.
The Delaware Division of Corporations is behind. The backlog outweighs the resources. They are doing everything they can to close the gap—from new hiring campaigns to satellite office considerations. But in the meantime, we recommend accuracy, patience, foresight and, yes, engaging a registered agent.