Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele recently gave a speech to the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association at its Annual Meeting. He provided excerpts from an upcoming law review article that explains the ways in which the Delaware judiciary provides guidance for the many businesses and their lawyers who need to abide by Delaware law.
Many of the numbers indicative of why Delaware law is important to our country’s businesses, are familiar to readers of this blog, but the updated figures warrant repetition. There are many volumes that have been written about how and why Delaware maintains its national prominence in corporate law. This short post only highlights some of the "net numbers" aspect of that multi-faceted topic. As reported in the August 22, 2007 issue of the Delaware Law Weekly, in connection with the Chief Justice’s speech, here is a sampling of the key data: As of April 2007, over 61% of all Fortune 500 companies were incorporated in Delaware, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts. Since 1973, 75 percent of all U.S. initial public offerings selected Delaware as their state of incorporation.
The revenue that the legal industry generates for the State of Delaware is also of vital importance to the First State and its residents as well. Over $709 million or 21.6 percent of all of the state’s general fund revenue in fiscal year 2007 came from the corporate franchise tax and related fees. Corporations generated another $15 million in special fund revenue and about $10 million for local governments.