How to Incorporate Your Business in 7 Steps

The opportunity to start a new turnkey business is usually an exciting time for every entrepreneur.

But before just diving into a new venture, you’ve got to set up your corporation. This article by Alyssa Gregory will guide you on how to properly incorporate your business in 7 steps.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Name – An effective business name should fit what you do, how you do it and the audience you are trying to reach. Check with your state’s corporate filing office as well as federal and state trademark registrars to see if the name you’d like to use is available.

Step 2: Identify Your Location – Select a state to incorporate. This doesn’t need to be where you live or even where you expect to do the majority of your business. Some factors to consider when choosing a state for incorporation include the cost to incorporate, taxation and corporate laws.

Step 3: Select the Type of Corporation – Decide what type of corporation you will form. You can incorporate your business as a C Corporation, an S Corporation or an LLC. Each of these types has their own advantages and disadvantages, so you should explore the explanations of each corporation type and consult a tax accountant for advice.

Step 4: Name the Company Directors – A corporation is required to have a board of directors who are effectively responsible for running the corporation. The selection of directors is a very important decision and can impact your business in many ways.

Step 5: Determine the Type of Shares – Next, you will select the type of shares your corporation will sell to stockholders. In many cases, corporations are private, limiting the availability of the shares to only a few individuals.

Step 6: Obtain a Certificate of Incorporation – Obtain and complete a Certificate of Incorporation, available from your state’s corporate filing office. It will include your company name, the purpose of the business, location and other information gathered in the previous steps.

Step 7: Process and File the Paperwork – Submit the articles of incorporation you prepared in the last step to the state, along with the required registration fee. You have the option of filing the paperwork yourself, through your attorney or by using a third-party service. Make sure you take the time necessary to gather all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

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