Articles

Think Beyond the Transaction

Law firm professionals — how did your Delaware filing season go this year? You’ve likely just crunched through a massive volume of annual report and other filings in short order. Now is a great time to assess your business compliance practices. Are you working as efficiently as possible? Are you mindful of creating efficient workflows for your clients?

An important first step is to take a big-picture, integrated approach. From formation through dissolution, a business entity is subject to annual compliance requirements to maintain its good standing status and more. In other words, setting up efficient processes for day to day, year to year business compliance begins with the formation filing. Therefore, think long term when choosing how to handle this filing.

Typically, the law firm handles new entity formations, and the client then takes over the ongoing entity maintenance and compliance. Let’s look at this from the perspectives of both the law firm and the client.

Your clients’ chief concern is to make sure that all their active entities are in compliance with all individual jurisdictional requirements. They must be able to efficiently track all business locations, stay abreast of all filing requirements for each entity, monitor the good standing status of all entities, and keep track of all service of process delivery instructions — and these are just the most basic compliance requirements.

Thus, you can gain an extra edge for your firm by considering ways to help your clients accomplish these tasks. Selecting a registered agent vendor who includes all of these services in their regular offerings is a simple and effective way to help your clients long term.

Conversely, by choosing different vendors for individual formation and other compliance filings, you’re handing your client an administrative mess. If one vendor provides regular monitoring and reporting for entity status and business licensing, and the other vendors don’t, your client is put in a position where they can accurately manage only a portion of their entity portfolio. For example, all filing requirements for each individual entity won’t be listed, your client is not being notified when certain entities fall out of good standing, they can lose track of some business locations, and they won’t have one central location to access all their state record ID’s.

From an efficiency standpoint alone — especially for corporate clients with complex organizations — it becomes a logistical and record-keeping nightmare to track which vendor to deal with for what, for each of the client’s entities, across all jurisdictions. This is magnified by the fact that you and your clients are continuously managing business entities that are in different phases of the business lifecycle at any given time.

Whether you specialize in supporting deals, are responsible for clients’ day-to-day entity maintenance, or are new to corporate compliance work, these are just a few examples of why you shouldn’t let any individual compliance transaction stand alone. By thinking beyond the transaction, you provide more value to your client because you’ve put all of their filings in the context of their broader entity life cycle needs and bigger compliance picture.

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