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Register a Delaware Corporation

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To register a Delaware corporation means creating a business entity in the US state of Delaware in accordance with the regulations that govern such entities. Delaware is prominently known for incorporation by offering multiple benefits, including relaxation in the legal system concerning businesses, low taxes, and a more progressive corporate legal system. Let us learn about the steps in registering Delaware corporations, their different types, and their benefits.

Types of Delaware Corporations

One can register for several types of corporations in the US state of Delaware. The most common types are:

  • C Corporation (C Corp): These corporations are separately taxed from the owners and do not limit the number of shareholders.
  • S Corporations (S Corp): These corporations are popular among small businesses as the profits flow through the owner's tax returns, avoiding double taxation.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): While not technically considered a corporation, LLCs provide liability protection similar to corporations. They are taxed like partnerships, with profits and losses passing through the owner's tax returns.
  • Non-Profit Corporation: This corporation type is formed for several non-profit purposes, such as education and charity. They are also exempted from federal income tax.
  • Public Benefit Corporation (PBC): PBCs are designed for companies to prioritize social and environmental goals alongside financial gains.
  • Close Corporation: The owners manage Close corporations with few shareholders. Family-owned or closely held businesses commonly use them.

Steps to Register a Delaware Corporation

There is a specific process involved in registering a corporation in Delaware. To register and form a corporation in the US state, one needs to follow these steps:

  1. Select a Name. Choose a unique name for the new business. Ensure that it is not similar to any other registered businesses in Delaware.
  2. File Articles of Incorporation. Submit the legal documents to the Delaware Division of Corporations. Provide all basic information about the business, including its name, address, goals, and purposes.
  3. Appoint a Registered Agent. Appoint a registered agent with an address in Delaware to receive legal notices. The person will also get the official documents on behalf of the corporation. A person can hire a registered agent service or act as their own.
  4. Draft Bylaws. Create rules and procedures, known as bylaws, which outline how the business will be run. This should include procedures for electing a board of directors, conducting meetings, and making decisions.
  5. Accomplish Necessary Licenses or Permits. Depending on the industry and jurisdiction, one may need to obtain specific licenses or permits to operate the business legally. These can be obtained from the Delaware state and local government.
  6. Hold First Board of Directors Meeting. Conduct the first board meeting of directors to approve the corporation's bylaws and other important documents. Use this opportunity to discuss business goals and direction with the board of directors.
  7. Issue Stock. Issue stock to shareholders to provide them with ownership in the corporation. This can also help raise capital by selling shares. File a stock certificate with the Delaware Division of Corporation and keep records of all transactions.
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Benefits When You Register a Delaware Corporation

There are several benefits to registering a corporation in Delaware. However, the most common ones that hold importance for many are mentioned below:

  • Enabling Tax Advantages: Holding corporations in Delaware are not required to pay corporate tax, allowing for tax-free expenses and vital savings for large businesses.
  • Having the Court of Chancery and Corporate Law: Business laws in Delaware are determined by judges rather than juries, allowing owners to predict lawsuit outcomes before going to court.
  • Requiring Simple Maintenance: Annual reports for corporations can be quickly and easily filed online, making the corporation's maintenance simple and efficient.
  • Simplifying the Filing Process: Delaware corporations require minimal personal information, ensuring the filing process is straightforward and secure.
  • Possessing High Status: Delaware corporations are highly regarded and have a prestigious business reputation.
  • Allowing Flexibility in Share Structure: Delaware allows corporations to have various classes of stock, providing flexibility in ownership and investment options.
  • Maintaining Confidentiality of Shareholders: Delaware does not require the public disclosure of shareholders' names, offering privacy and protection for investors.
  • Having Strong Legal Precedents: Delaware's well-established and consistent legal precedents provide a stable and predictable business environment.
  • Granting Corporate Veil Protection: Delaware law protects shareholders from personal liability for corporate debts and obligations, safeguarding their assets.
  • Offering Fast Incorporation Process: Delaware offers expedited processing options for incorporation, enabling businesses to begin operations quickly.
  • Facilitating Expertise in Corporate Law: Delaware has a specialized and experienced legal infrastructure that understands the complexities of corporate matters.

Steps to Engage a Lawyer to Register a Delaware Corporation

When approaching a lawyer to register a Delaware corporation, it is essential to follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful process:

  1. Research and Shortlist. Conduct thorough research to find reputable lawyers or firms specializing in corporate law and have experience registering Delaware corporations. Shortlist a few candidates based on their expertise and track record.
  2. Arrange an Initial Consultation. Schedule an initial consultation with the selected lawyers. During the meeting, discuss all business goals, the nature of the corporation, and any specific requirements. Use this opportunity to gauge the lawyer's understanding and suitability for all needs.
  3. Seek Legal Advice and Structure. Seek legal advice from the lawyer regarding the appropriate corporate structure for the business. The lawyer can explain the different entity types available in Delaware, such as LLCs or C-corporations, and recommend the best fit for all objectives.
  4. Engage in Document Preparation and Filing. Engage the lawyer to prepare the legal documents required for incorporation, including the Certificate of Incorporation. The lawyer will ensure that all relevant information is included in the filing accurately.
  5. Inquire about a Registered Agent Service. Corporations in Delaware must have a registered agent with a physical address in the state. The lawyer or law firm can provide this service or recommend a registered agent.
  6. Guide through Compliance and Ongoing Support. A good lawyer will guide the client through compliance requirements and ongoing obligations, such as filing annual reports and maintaining corporate records.
  7. Negotiate Fee Structure. Discuss the lawyer's fee structure for the incorporation process and ongoing legal services. Ensure to have a proper understanding of the costs involved.
  8. Review and Finalize Documents. Carefully review all documents prepared by the lawyer before finalizing the incorporation process.
  9. File for an EIN. The lawyer will file the documents with the Delaware Division of Corporations once they are finalized. The legal professional can assist the client in getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS after receiving the Certificate of Incorporation.
  10. Consider Post-Incorporation Support. The lawyer can offer legal support and advice for future business-related matters after incorporation.

Key Terms for Registering a Delaware Corporation

  • Bylaws: An outline of rules and procedures governing the corporation's functions.
  • Registered Agent: A person with a physical address in Delaware responsible for accepting legal notices and other important documents on behalf of the corporation.
  • Corporate Tax: Limited partnerships and limited liability companies require an annual flat fee.
  • Shareholders: Individuals who own stocks and shares in the corporation, granting them ownership rights.
  • License: An official legal permit authorizing the corporation to engage in specific activities.

Final Thoughts on Registering a Delaware Corporation

Registering a Delaware Corporation offers a range of options when incorporating a business. Before making any decisions regarding the business, it is advisable to consult corporate governance and law experts to ensure proper administration and capital structure for the corporation. Incorporating a business in Delaware is straightforward and streamlined, offering flexibility in choosing the entity that best suits all needs. However, the registration process in the US state is complex. That is why it is necessary to approach a lawyer to ensure no discrepancy or error.

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