Corporation Service Company

Corporation Service Company
Corporation Service Company (CSC)
Type Privately Held Corporation
Industry Registered Agent, Corporate Governance, Corporate Compliance, Name and Intellectual Property Management
Founded Delaware (1899)
Headquarters Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Products Corporate, litigation, domain, intellectual property, and lien portfolio management
Employees 1,000+ (need citation)

Corporation Service Company ("CSC") is one of the largest Registered Agent service companies in the world. CSC represents hundreds of thousands of business entities worldwide, including a substantial number of the Fortune 1000.[citation needed]


CSC commenced business in 1899. Otho Nowland, then President of Equitable Guarantee & Trust Company, suggested to a young lawyer named Christopher Ward that they establish an agency to organize business entities (Corporations, etc.) and act as their registered agent. With an initial investment by Nowland and Ward, "The Delaware Incorporators' Trust Company" was created. A similar company was formed separately by Josiah Marvel, who was a well-respected attorney and then-leader of the American Bar Association, The Delaware Bar Association, and the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce[1]

In 1920, Ward and Marvel combined their companies under the name Corporation Service Company (CSC).[2] Throughout the 1970s, CSC continued to serve only Delaware business entities. The company increased in size, and Delaware's reputation as "The Corporate State" also grew. In 1975, Daniel R. Butler joined CSC as part-time president. At that time, CSC had only 12 employees. From 1976 to 1979, under the direction of Butler, CSC increased its advertising, marketing, and sales staff to facilitate growth. CSC grew from a small, "Delaware-only" service provider to the industry's leading privately held company.

From 1980 to 1985, CSC continued to grow. It received a cash infusion from the sale of its subsidiary company, the "Delaware Charter Guarantee & Trust Company," which it had acquired in 1977.[3] In 1990, CSC acquired Florida-based "Corporate Information Services" (CIS). This acquisition was the first of many designed to expand CSC's scope beyond the State of Delaware. Between 1990 and 1998, CSC continued to expand through the acquisitions of nine other service providers, including Prentice Hall Legal & Financial Services in 1995 and Entity Service Group, LLC in 1998. After this period, CSC had a solid footprint outside the State of Delaware, serving companies in major cities throughout the United States.

Between 1990 and 1999, CSC acquired The Company Corporation (one of the first companies to provide incorporation services via the Internet),[4] and Corporate Agents, Inc.[citation needed]

CSC's golden spike
the CSC golden spike

Bruce R. Winn began serving as CSC’s president in 1997 and its chief executive officer in 1998. Winn had an aggressive personality and made it known that he wanted CSC to surpass CT Corporation as the largest agent service company.[citation needed] and giving every new employee an actual "golden spike" and told that they are to drive it through the heart of CT Corporation, CSC's larger competitor.[citation needed]

The company came under fire of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, where the company had offices on the 87th floor of the South Tower. The Corporation Service Company was among the few companies located above the impact zones in either tower to weather the attacks unscathed, as all 60 employees present at the time of the attacks managed to evacuate the tower before the second plane struck.[5]

In 2002, CSC acquired Powerbrief's litigation management application in order to offer litigation and matter management solutions to clients. CSC also released RecordsCenterSM, an online application combining compliance, governance and Intellectual Property tools. The same year, CSC's subsidiary, Corporate Domains, Inc., became an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar and began managing domain names for CSC's many Fortune 500 clients.

In 2003, CSC acquired Lexis-Nexis Document Solutions[6] to supplement its Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), secured lending, and motor vehicle services.

In 2006, CSC expanded its incorporation and registered agent services to specific small-business sectors. It also created a new trust company, "The Capital Trust Company of Delaware," which provides corporate trustee services for Delaware business trusts. After its acquisition of’s corporate services division in 2006, CSC became the world’s leading provider of corporate domain name management services.[citation needed]

In 2007 and 2008, CSC acquired NameProtect, which enhanced its trademark clearance and brand monitoring presence, as well as Business Credit Services, Inc., a provider of credit solutions and consulting services for small businesses. CSC also launched the CSC Dashboard, a customizable online workspace, and the CSC Matter Management system, which helps customers manage their corporate legal documents and workflows.

In partnership with The Company Corporation and Business Credit Services, Inc., CSC launched in 2009 to help small business owners start, grow, and finance their businesses.

In 2010, CSC announced the election of Rodman Ward III as its president and chief executive officer. Ward previously served as a board member for 15 years and is a fourth-generation descendant of Christopher Ward, one of the company’s founders.


  1. ^ "How Delaware Became No. 1" (fee required). The New York Times. 1976-05-09. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  2. ^ "Miss Ward Has Bridal". The New York Times. 1982-10-07. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  3. ^ United States Congress. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection, and Finance (1984). Financial Restructuring: The Road Ahead : Hearings Before the Subcommittee. U.S. G.P.O.. pp. 394–395. 
  4. ^ Sniffen, Carl R. J. (2001). Incorporating Your Business for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0764553410. 
  5. ^ Moore, Martha (September 2, 2002). "Delay meant death on 9/11". USA Today ( Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  6. ^ "LexisNexis sells document solutions unit to Corporation Service Co.". Legal Publisher. 2003-05-31. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 

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