Steps to incorporating your business

After reviewing the various business structures and the needs of your business, you may find that a corporation works best for you. While it may seem difficult or overly burdensome, taking the time to properly incorporate can provide long-term protection of your personal assets as well as the business’ assets.

The first step to incorporating a business is choosing an effective business name. However, before you finalize the name, you will need to check with the state corporate filing office as well as federal and state trademark registrars to make sure another business does not have the same name. Next, you will need to choose the state for your business’ headquarters. While you may choose to use your homestate, you may benefit from choosing a state with lower incorporation costs.

You will also have to decide whether you want to categorize your business as a C-corp, S-corp or LLC. While each type of corporation has its own advantages and disadvantages, generally, if you choose to incorporate your business, you are setting the business as a separate legal entity from you as a person. If tragedy were to befall the business, you will not be personally liable the debt obligations created.

Once you have chosen the structure for your corporation, you will name a board of directors to run the corporation and the type of shares to sell to stockholders. After finalizing the details, you will need to go to your state’s corporate filing office and complete a certificate of incorporation. You will then submit the articles of incorporation and pay a registration fee to finalize your corporation. The incorporation process can be challenging, but a business law attorney in your area can assist you.