Are you looking for a business lawyer near you?
What kind of work do we handle? We can help you form your corporation and even draft operating and partnership agreements.
Forming a corporation might sound complex, but it’s something we can easily help you with. Here are some of the steps we will walk you through:
Step 1: Choose a Name for Your Corporation
Think of a unique name for your corporation. Make sure it’s not already in use by another business in your state. Check with your state’s business registry or website to see if the name is available.
Step 2: Decide on the State of Incorporation
Choose the state where you want to incorporate your business. Many people pick the state where they plan to do most of their business, but some states have more favorable laws and tax benefits for corporations.
Step 3: Prepare and File Articles of Incorporation
Prepare a document called “Articles of Incorporation” (sometimes called a “Certificate of Incorporation” or “Charter”). This document includes important information about your corporation, like its name, address, purpose, and the number of shares of stock you’re authorizing. You’ll need to file this with the appropriate state agency (often the Secretary of State).
Step 4: Create Bylaws
Write up a set of rules called “Bylaws” that outline how your corporation will be run. These rules cover things like how meetings will be held, how decisions will be made, and the roles of the officers (like the president and treasurer).
Step 5: Appoint Directors and Officers
Choose people to serve as directors and officers for your corporation. Directors make big decisions, while officers handle day-to-day operations. You can be one of these people or appoint others.
Step 6: Issue Stock Certificates
If your corporation will have shareholders (people who own part of the company), you’ll need to issue stock certificates to them. These certificates show how much of the company they own.
Step 7: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Apply for an EIN from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). This is like a social security number for your corporation and is needed for tax purposes. You can usually do this online for free.
Step 8: Register for State Taxes and Permits
Depending on your state and the type of business you’re in, you might need to register for state taxes or get specific permits or licenses. Check with your state’s government website for more information.
Step 9: Pay the Required Fees
Incorporating usually involves paying some fees. These fees cover things like filing your Articles of Incorporation and getting your EIN. The costs can vary depending on your state.
Step 10: Start Doing Business
Once you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork and legal requirements, you can start operating your corporation and doing business.
Remember, it’s important to follow all the rules and regulations for corporations in your state. You might want to consult with a lawyer or a business advisor to make sure you’ve covered everything correctly.