Friday, November 7, 2014

Incorporation - Is It Right For My Business?

The process to form your incorporation is relatively easy, and the legal concept of incorporation is recognized all over the world. A Certificate of Incorporation is the evidence of incorporation and registration of the legal entity with the authorities of a particular state or an offshore jurisdiction. A primary advantage of incorporation is the limited liability the corporate entity affords its shareholders, and in many cases, favorable tax treatment. For anyone starting up his or her own business, an understanding of business incorporation is a must before taking that step.

Incorporation is a system of registration which gives a business certain legal advantages in return for accepting specific legal responsibilities and is an option that many businesses each year decide to take advantage of. However, prior to filing with the state, you should have your attorney and accountant advise you as to whether or not incorporation is the right step for your business, both from a legal standpoint and from a tax perspective. If the corporation is a closely held corporation and does business primarily within a single state, local incorporation is usually preferable. Incorporation is a state process, and therefore the process and specific benefits may differ from state to state, as well as registration costs, resident agent fees, etc.

What type of incorporation is best for my business? A "C" Corporation, an "S" Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? In addition to those choices, you then need to decide where to incorporate. Not only does each state offer certain benefits, but costs to file and maintain the corporate status are different. Additionally, if your business purpose is rather simple and straight forward, you may be able to use an online incorporation service to incorporate, at substantial savings. Remember, when in doubt, or if any questions or issues need addressed, seek professional usually is cheaper in the long run!

There are certain states that offer important incorporation benefits to the directors and shareholders. You need to make a comparison of these benefits, as well as the filing costs, to determine if incorporation in that state is warranted. Another consideration for incorporation in a state other than where your business is located, is that you may be required to register as a foreign corporation in your resident state. This will usually entail annual filing fees equal to or greater than that for a domestic corporation. Again, prepare a checklist and weigh all benefits as well as additional costs, etc. before the incorporation process begins. Rather than incorporating in another state, you may also benefit by an offshore incorporation. Check it out carefully.

Gust A. Lenglet is an accomplished author and financial advisor and has written many articles in the fields of investments, law, education, as well as taxation. He is President and CEO of HBS Financial Group, Ltd. and offers online tax filing as well as timely advice on tax planning and investments.
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