If you are starting a business, one of the first and most important decisions you must make is choosing a business structure. There are many different types, including corporations.
Know the benefits
Incorporation is just one option for setting up your business. There are other types, like sole proprietorship and partnerships, but incorporating your company can be beneficial for many reasons.
- You can issue stock to share ownership of your company.
- You have limited liability protection, which means you are not personally responsible for the business’s debts.
- It can be easier to get a loan as an incorporated borrower.
- Incorporation can allow owners to take advantage of tax benefits and write-offs.
These and other benefits can make incorporation an attractive option.
Keep in mind, though, that there are some drawbacks that come with this type of business structure. For instance, incorporation can demand more recordkeeping and fees than other types of entities.
Understand the process
The process of incorporation is relatively straightforward. Generally, it involves:
- Naming your corporation
- Creating your Articles of Incorporation
- Establishing your registered office address
- Deciding on your Board of Directors
- Submitting the application and paying the necessary fees
While this is a seemingly simple process, it can involve a great deal of documentation, structuring agreements and legal filings. Mistakes or delays with any of these steps could negatively affect the opening of your company.
Keep your corporation going
To maintain your corporation status, you will need to fulfil many tasks. Some of your duties to maintain your status include:
- Holding annual shareholders’ meetings
- Holding periodic directors’ meetings
- Keeping meeting minutes documenting important decisions and actions
- Maintaining accurate and detailed financial records
- Filing tax returns for the corporation
- Preparing and sharing financial statements
The incorporation process might seem simple on its face. However, whether you are forming a corporation or attempting to maintain its status, there are countless obligations and responsibilities that can fall on you and others.
If tackling all these details and duties seems overwhelming or you are at risk of letting something fall through the cracks, know that you can get legal help. Lawyers can help guide you and manage the many tasks necessary to get your business off the ground and set up for success.