Chantal Towles has made a few career moves since graduating from Delaware State University more than 20 years ago. All of them, though, have been within the very Delaware industry of incorporation support services.
First up was working for a smaller company that was acquired by CSC before she moved to Wilmington’s Registered Agents Legal Services. Then, in 2010, Towles took her experience and started her own biz: Odessa-based Creative Business Assistants (CBA).
Like other incorporation services companies, CBA caters to businesses of all sizes and helps them incorporate in Delaware. However, with millions of entities from all over the world incorporated in the state — including most Fortune 500 companies — so they can benefit from its tax structures and Chancery Court, it might be surprising to learn that about 75% of CBA’s business incorporation clients are physically located in Delaware.
It’s part of the firm’s hands-on way of doing things.
“We’re for the smaller guy who needs more customized handling, so to speak,” she told Technical.ly. “We’re able to accommodate hand-holding.”
The company’s real niche, though, is its virtual legal assistance services for law firms nationally, according to Towles.
“We actually have grown that segment, working with personal injury attorneys,” she said. “That helped us to grow, but also there’s a lot of opportunity in that because, especially with COVID, law firms had to shutter their operations and send their workers to work at home. There’s even more opportunity for us to bring additional clients on now, because they understand the value of adding a virtual component to their practice.”
Towles’ passion for helping people is why she thinks she’s stayed in the business for so many years. It goes beyond metaphoric hand holding as an entrepreneur fills out paperwork.
Her goal, as part of CBA’s give-back initiative, is to start assisting entrepreneurs early, when their businesses are still ideas in need of cultivation and support, or don’t even exist yet. She is a SCORE mentor, a business strategy coach with YWCA’s Wo(men) Achieving New Directions work readiness and self-employment program, and regularly volunteers for Delaware Libraries and her alma mater, where she has presented workshops at its Garage incubator.
“I help people understand what goes in to starting a corporation and navigating through the process,” she said.
Being a Black woman business owner, she is aware of the value of networking and representation, and embraces the increased focus on Black-owned businesses and social justice movements since 2020.
“We have a lot of Black-owned businesses that are clients,” she said. “I find they like to see someone like me, that they are able to relate to me as a minority-owned business, a woman-owned business. I’ve been able to network within Delaware State’s entrepreneurial community. I think that’s important, especially being a graduate of the only historically Black college in Delaware.”
CBA is a small company, with three people working in the Odessa office (including Towles) and another who works remotely. That number is going to increase, she said, despite the challenges with worker shortages, and a more user-friendly website is coming soon.
“I feel like there’s nothing but opportunity out there to grow,” she said.-30-