Small Business Reading Room

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Proposed Changes to Delaware Franchise Tax Reports

As Russell mentioned in a previous post we recently attended the 19th Annual Executive Strategic Planning Conference held by the Secretary of State and the Division of Corporations. Many proposed changes were discussed at the Conference, including proposed changes to Delaware Franchise Tax Reports.

The State hopes to begin sending postcard notifications of when the Annual Reports are due instead of the green reports currently mailed. The notifications would direct the company to log on to the State's Franchise Tax payment website or direct the company to contact its registered agent for assistance in paying the Franchise Tax. The State hopes that the notifications will increase the number of electronic transactions. For those who would still like to file the paper form, they could download the form from the web or contact their registered agent.

The State is hoping to implement the new procedure for the 2006 tax year and they eventually hope to make electronic filing mandatory for all Delaware entities.

Trust in Internet Sites Declines

According to a poll released by Consumer Reports WebWatch an alarming percentage of web users have modified their behavior in response to growing fears of identity theft, data insecurity, fraud and malware.

  • 30 percent say they have reduced their overall use of the Internet.

  • A majority of Internet users (53 percent) say they have stopped giving out personal information on the Internet.

  • 25 percent say they have stopped buying things online. • 54 percent of those who shop online report they have become more likely to read a site’s privacy policy or user agreement before buying.

  • 29 percent of those who shop online say they have cut back on how often they buy on the Internet.

This poll simply measured the fear. It did not measure the risk. In fact, a Federal Trade Commission expert presenter at the press release indicated that only 2.2 percent of all identity theft was perpetrated with information gained from the Internet.

Most identity theft involves friends and family or a lost or stolen card. The threats from malware and data insecurity are harder to quantify, but I doubt they have gone down recently.

Most importantly for the small business person setting up an internet business are the factors the respondents mentioned as important in determining if a site could be trusted. From the Trust & Credibility Online Section of the poll:

  • 88 percent say keeping personal information safe and secure is very important for a Web site they visit.

  • Being able to trust the information on a site is not far behind, with 81 percent saying it is very important, little changed from 80 percent in the 2002 survey.

  • 76 percent say it is very important to be able to easily identify the sources of information on the site, up 8 percentage point.

  • 73 percent rate knowing a site is updated frequently with new information as very important, also up 8 percentage points.

  • More surprisingly (to the pollsters), 48 percent say knowing who owns a Web site is very important, up 16 points.

The Survey did not address how respondents evaluated these factors. When designing a web presence, it would be wise to keep these things in mind.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Some Old Names are New Again

The 2005 Void Proclamation is now available from the Delaware Secretary of State. That means they are providing us with a list of the companies that are no longer on the books in Delaware.

Since Delaware has been doing this for a long time, some people have run into difficulty finding names for new entities. Here is an opportunity to browse the names that have just been abandoned and see if any of them appeal to you.

If you would like us to research the availability of any of these names, please order a no cost name search.

Please remember that the business may still exist and you must take into account trademark and copyrightissues.

But a significant number of these entity names will now be available.

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Delaware Intercorp, Inc.
113 Barksdale Professional center
Newark, DE 19711-3258

"For all the best reasons to incorporate,the best place
is Delaware and the best incorporator is
Delaware Intercorp!"

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