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Starting as a corp is a process of initiating any business or establishing a company as a corporation in the United States of America and its regions. Then, you can create a legal entity with the form, rights, and obligations of a corporation. We will now delve deeper and try to know more about starting as a Corp below.

Steps for Starting as a Corp

Beginning your business as an incorporated body involves several steps that must be followed to ensure smooth compliance. The following is an entire guide to help you throughout the entire process of starting as a Corp:

  1. Choose Your Business Name. Come up with an original and distinguishable name for your corporation that conforms to state naming guidelines and availability requirements.
  2. Determine where You Want to Incorporate Your Corporation. Study the particular state where you intend to locate your new enterprise and decide on it. Many entrepreneurs opt for Delaware because it has friendly corporate laws, but you can also incorporate in the state where most of your business activities are conducted.
  3. Prepare and File Articles of Incorporation. Draft Articles of Incorporation that highlight key details about your corporation, such as its name, purpose, registered agent, and authorized shares, among other things, then submit them to the appropriate state agency, usually the Secretary of State’s office upon completion.
  4. Appoint Directors and Hold Initial Board Meetings. Identify individuals who will serve as directors for your company. Organize initial board meetings during which bylaws will be adopted, and officers appointed, e.g., president, treasurer, secretary, etc., stock issued if any, among other things related thereto, writing down the proceedings orally thereafter.
  5. Register for Taxes. Determine whether your company needs to register at state-level tax depending on its operations location and type of business being undertaken. Consult with related state departments to fulfill registration requirements.
  6. Comply with Ongoing Requirements. Be informed about ongoing compliance obligations like filing annual reports, paying franchise taxes, or maintaining good standing with the State. Monitoring statutes are different across States. Thus, familiarize yourself with specific obligations in the state of your incorporation.
  7. Consider Additional Licenses and Permits. Ascertain and acquire all mandatory business licenses and permits for your particular industry, including professional or health and safety licenses/permits.
  8. Consult with Professionals. Always seek advice from professionals. Getting help from persons such as attorneys and accountants will ensure that you meet legal requirements concerning the organization and taxation compliance, understand corporate governance best practices, and receive guidance tailored to your business needs.

Benefits of Starting as a Corp

You get many benefits for starting a business as a corp that may contribute to the success and growth of your firm. Below are some crucial advantages of being a corp that should not be unknown by anybody:

  • Limited Liability Protection: This is one of its main benefits since, once incorporated, your assets are generally separate from the company's debts and legal liabilities as a shareholder or owner of a corporation. That means if something goes wrong financially or at law with such an entity, you won’t lose your wealth.
  • Credibility: It makes it known to customers, clients, investors, and partners that your company is a credible entity established over time. Besides, once set up, corporations exist forever. Hence they can continue even after ownership changes or key players' departure.
  • Easier Capital Access: Corporations have greater access to different capital sources than any other business entity. For instance, companies can raise funds by selling stocks or attracting investors. Additionally, banks and investors see corporations as stronger and more predictable entities, thus improving their chances of getting financing or investing opportunities.
  • Tax Savings and Deductions: Corporations can obtain particular tax benefits and deductions. They may subtract justified business costs such as wages, perks, advertising expenses, rent on offices, etc., thereby bringing down what is payable in the form of taxes.
  • Ownership Transferability and Stock Options: The transfer of ownership in a company through the sale or transfer of shares is flexible. This aspect also helps when it comes to business succession planning. It allows issuing stock options that serve as incentives for talent retention purposes, among other reasons, and to encourage key personnel to participate in profit-sharing plans.
  • Better Corporate Structure and Governance: Being incorporated provides distinct corporate governance requirements with decision-making structures that are easy to follow through. This structure facilitates the separation of ownership from management, providing an opportunity to attract investors and establish effective corporate governance practices.
  • Brand Security & Intellectual Property: Registering your company as a corporation will give you some extra security regarding brand equity as well as intellectual property rights (IPR). You can trademark your company name, logo, or other assets so that no one else can use them without permission.
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Tax Considerations When Starting as a Corp

Here are some additional factors relating to taxation which you might want to take into account:

  • Double Taxation: All corporations automatically default into paying corporate income tax on their earnings. Also, if the corporation distributes these dividends, then they become subject to individual shareholder-level taxation.
  • Qualified Business Income Deduction: Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), some corporations might qualify for Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction. This deduction enables eligible entrepreneurs to shave off up to 20% of their taxable business income.
  • Fringe Benefits: Businesses that incorporate have the opportunity to offer a range of fringe benefits to their employees. These may be treated as business expenses and are not subject to regular employee income tax.
  • Retained Earnings Tax: Companies should not accumulate too much earnings and profits without a legitimate business need. The IRS can impose an accumulated earnings tax on corporations that retain earnings beyond what is considered reasonable for business needs.

Key Terms for Starting as a Corp

  • Articles of Incorporation: These are the legal papers filed with the state government that create the status of a corporation and stipulate its basic details like company name, purpose, registered agent, stock structure, etc.
  • Corporate Bylaws: It means the formal rules governing how the corporation runs. They consist of guidelines on holding shareholder meetings, appointing directors and officers, and other procedures regarding decision-making within the organization.
  • Shareholder: A person who owns some shares in a corporation. This person, i.e., shareholder, also has some rights such as voting on major issues, receiving dividends, participating in asset distribution upon dissolution, etc.
  • Board of Directors: A special group elected by shareholders who oversee management decisions for a corporate entity.
  • Authorized Shares: These kinds of shares become available once any corporation gets issued them through its Articles of Incorporation.

Final Thoughts on Starting as a Corp

When a business is incorporated, it has numerous advantages and possibilities for development. One of these is limited liability protection which enhances its credibility, as well as having clear decision-making and governing frameworks. Proper tax planning and compliance should be considered to maximize tax benefits and deductions. Hence, this form of business may be more favorable because it allows raising capital, transferring ownership interests as well as safeguarding proprietary rights.

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ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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