Incorporation 101: Incorporating your business

After several years of blood, sweat and tears, your business is a success. But getting your fledgling company off the ground was only the first step. Your company has all the potential to grow, which means you may want to consider the advantages of incorporating your business

The Benefits of Incorporating

How long it takes to incorporate a company can vary widely. It can take anywhere from a few days to several months. Whether the process will be easy or difficult depends on factors like how you and your business partner work together, whether you choose to work with an attorney or attempt it alone and just how well you understand your company. Some business owners are put off by the seemingly-intimidating process. But with dedication and persistence, incorporation can bring major rewards, including:

  • Acquiring limited liability protection
  • Not being held accountable for business debts
  • Gaining tax advantages
  • Improving your business's credibility
  • Raising capital more easily
  • Transferring funds faster

The Process of Incorporating

Like many other aspects of running a business, incorporation can be complex and time-consuming. The process of incorporation is composed of several steps, all of which may involve thorny legal details. For large and small companies alike, incorporation has several requisite steps.

1. Choose which type of corporation you want your business to be - an S Corporation, C Corporation or Limited Liability Company.

2. You and your co-owners or board members will have to choose a unique name for your company that generally ends in "Corporation," "Incorporated" or "Limited." Your name can't imply any association with the federal government.

3. Once you have chosen a name, you must select your company's directors. These directors will oversee financial and policy decisions for the company.

4. Then, you must file your company's articles of incorporation for the state in which you operate. This step can be as simple as filling out the appropriate paperwork.

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