Corporate Filing: 6 Easy Steps to Register Your Business

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corporate filing

You’ve taken the exciting leap of turning your business idea into a reality. Now, it’s time to make it official. However, before you start designing your dream office space or launching your website, there’s one crucial process you need to go through – Corporate Filing.

What is Corporate Filing and Why it Matters?

Put simply, it’s the legal process of incorporating/registering your business as a corporation or legal entity. Forming your corporation involves choosing the right business structure and  name, filing and submitting the relevant paperwork, and ensuring ongoing compliance with legal and regulatory obligations.

Time-consuming and overwhelming at first, the business formation process is worth considering either by doing it yourself or utilizing corporate filing services to get your company up and running.

Also known as company registration, it comes with heaps of advantages. Liability protection, investors enticement, scalability prospects, and tax saving – all these benefits make incorporation an attractive option for many entrepreneurs and small business owners alike.

With corporate filing, you attain legitimacy and various legal benefits combined to propel your business forward. Explore the benefits in detail below to know more about why corporate filing is worth considering.  

Corporate Filing Benefits:

  • Limited liability protects your personal assets from your business liabilities in case of debts or lawsuits.
  • Gain certain tax benefits compared to sole proprietorships.
  • Become more credible and established to potential investors and customers.
  • Raise capital through issuing stocks and bonds.
  • Protect intellectual property rights, such as trademarks and patents.

Addressing Concerns About Corporate Filing

Many solopreneurs, while eager to turn their passion into a business, might hesitate at the prospect of corporate filing. Concerns about complexity, expense, and even “double taxation” can be deterrents, which may hold them back from legal formation.

On the contrary, corporate filing is a strategic decision one can take to reap long-term rewards, and unlock a wealth of growth possibilities. That may not be possible in a sole proprietorship situation, therefore, corporate filing becomes a viable solution.

6 Easy Steps to Register Your Business

So, you have a business idea or are already a solopreneur looking forward to registering your business as a legal entity in your state. Although every state handles the corporate filing process a bit differently, here you’ll find easy and simple filing steps to do so that are generally relevant everywhere.

1. Choose Your Business Structure

First and foremost, choose the appropriate business structure. The business structure builds the foundation of your business. It impacts various business matters – income taxes, financing, compensation, and insurance.

Ideally, the business nature and day-to-day operations specify your structure. Determine those factors and consider other business structures that are similar business to yours.

In general, there are different types of business structures/corporations to choose from. Such as:

  • Sole Proprietorship: A business owned and operated by one person with unlimited personal liability.
  • Partnerships: A business co-owned by two or more people who share profits and liabilities unless having a limited partnership.
  • C-Corps: Standard corporations with double taxation (for both corporate and shareholder taxes) and ease of raising capital – not personally liable.
  • S-Corps: Tax-advantaged corporations with limitations on shareholders and ownership structure – not personally liable but do have self-employment tax liability.
  • LLCs: Limited Liability Companies offer flexibility in structure, combining features of corporations and partnerships – flexible tax liability.

While each has its own set of advantages and requirements, so it’s key to select the one that is best suited to your needs.

During this phase, all you need to do is answer the following questions to determine your business structure:

  • What type of liability protection is necessary?
  • How do I prefer to handle tax payments?
  • What are my financing requirements and choices?
  • How much administrative complexity am I able to handle?

After choosing a suitable legal structure for your business, proceed to pick a name for it.

2. Select a Business Location and Name

Next, you need to pick a name for your company and a location where you’ll operate.

A business name must be unique and clear for your audience to naturally understand your purpose. Make sure that your desired name is available and complies with naming regulations in your state. An ideal way to deal with this is to check in with the relevant state agency to confirm the name’s availability.

Naturally, you don’t need a location at all if you operate online, mostly with an e-commerce business or something else. A location is necessary to settle your business on for receiving state mails, filing taxes, and more. Different locations have different levied fees. Keep in mind the costs for that address while incorporating.

Or…

Appoint a registered agent to eliminate the hassle of renting/ allotting a place for your company. Instead, hire a registered agent – authorized to receive legal documents on behalf of your corporation. The registered agent must have a physical address in the state where your corporation is being registered.

3. Procure an EIN (Tax ID)

Once you have a name and location prepared, you need to acquire an EIN – Employee Identification Number, also known as a federal tax ID. It acts as your business Social Security Number. This ID procurement helps you file taxes, open business bank accounts, and hire employees.

For that, register your business with the federal state agency – with the IRS – and report all your income, sales, franchise, or any other business tax.

You can easily apply for an EIN online in the US here: online EIN form. On this site, you can also check whether or not your business is applicable for the TAX ID number.

4. File Articles of Incorporation

While your EIN registration application is submitted and in review, focus on incorporating articles. The main objective of article incorporation is to define and specify your company’s purpose and regulations for operations.

In this step, file the articles of incorporation with your state’s corporate filing office.

Prepare a document outlining your corporation’s basic information, such as – its name, purpose, registered agent (if any assigned), shareholder info, and initial directors.

It’s essentially the legal birth certificate of your corporation. Keep in mind to file them accurately and timely to shun delays and overall costs in the long term.

Moreover, you can also hire a business attorney to prepare the articles on your behalf, where he will assume the role of the incorporator.

5. Formulate Your Corporate Bylaws

After filing articles of incorporation, you need to create your corporate bylaws and shareholders agreements.

Bylaws are laws and regulations you’ll set to govern your company’s operations.

In this process of formulating your bylaws, make tailored guidelines with your company’s operations and state compliance both state and federal in mind.

Typically, many would hold a board meeting with key personnel and shareholders. During this meeting, you’ll also elect officers (such as the President and Secretary) and document key decisions in the meeting minutes. This is also the time to discuss and formalize a shareholders’ agreement – designed to outline the shareholders’ rights and limits.

6. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Finally, the end is in sight.

Now you have your company’s:

  • Name,
  • Location,
  • EID Tax number,
  • Article Incorporation,
  • Shareholders’ Agreement,
  • Bylaws.

In the final step, you need to acquire business licenses and permits before running your business. Depending on your industry and location, utilize the Small Business Administration website to check for licenses and permits to operate legally.

Here, you ensure you comply with local, state, and federal regulations. Make sure to register your business with relevant local and state agencies in your country separately. Each has its own requirements that you must follow. Comply with agencies, such as the (if applicable):

  • Department of Revenue
  • Secretary of State
  • Better Business Bureau

To do it accurately and promptly – without avoiding any key regulations with any local or state agencies – it’s worth working with a business attorney to help you determine important and relevant agencies for you to comply with.

After Corporate Filing

Registering your business can be a straightforward process, especially after you’ve done some research. It becomes even easier when you hire a business attorney to assist you. While some complexity may be involved, it’s a worthwhile endeavor for many new ventures.

After corporate filing, continue to comply with state and federal laws, maintain record-keeping and accounting, file taxes on time, and focus on marketing and branding your business.

If you have a business idea and want to register it, SMB Services can help! Even after corporate filing, we can help maintain your books, file taxes on time, keep your business compliant, and assist with branding and marketing. Access our end-to-end business services and eliminate the hassle of running your business.

Consult our corporate filing and business experts now

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