Starting as Corp denotes the process of initiating any business or establishing any company as a corporation in the United States and its respective regions. Using the same, you can set up a legal entity with the structure, rights, and responsibilities of a corporation. We will now delve deeper and try to know more about starting as a Corp below.
Steps for Starting as Corp
Starting a business as a corporation involves several steps to ensure a smooth and compliant process. Here is a guide to help you navigate the entire Corp starting process:
- Determine Your Business Name. Choose a unique and distinguishable name for your corporation. Ensure it complies with the naming guidelines and availability requirements of the state you plan to incorporate.
- Select Your State of Incorporation. Analyze and choose the particular state where you want to incorporate your new business. Many entrepreneurs choose Delaware due to its favorable corporate laws, but you can also incorporate it in the state where your business primarily operates.
- Prepare and File Articles of Incorporation. Draft the Articles of Incorporation, which outline key details about your corporation, such as its name, purpose, registered agent, authorized shares, and directors' names. File the completed document with the appropriate state agency, usually the Secretary of State.
- Appoint Directors and Hold an Initial Board Meeting. Select individuals to serve as directors for your corporation. Hold an initial board meeting to adopt bylaws, appoint officers (e.g., president, treasurer, secretary), and issue stock if applicable. Document the proceedings within minutes of the meeting.
- Register for Taxes. Check and analyze whether your corporation must register for state-level taxes depending on your business activities and location. Consult with the appropriate state agency to fulfill the registration requirements.
- Comply with Ongoing Requirements. Be aware of and fulfill ongoing compliance obligations, such as filing annual reports, paying franchise taxes, and maintaining good standing with the state. Requirements vary by state, so familiarize yourself with the specific obligations in your chosen state of incorporation.
- Consider Additional Licenses and Permits. Identify and obtain any necessary business licenses and permits required for your specific industry, such as professional licenses or permits related to health and safety regulations.
- Consult with Professionals. You must always get advice from professionals. People like attorneys and accountants help you ensure compliance with legal and tax requirements, understand corporate governance best practices, and receive guidance tailored to your specific business needs.
Benefits of Starting as Corp
You get several benefits for starting a business as a corp that can contribute to the success and growth of your company. Here are some key advantages of a corp that everyone must know:
- Limited Liability Protection: One of the key advantages of incorporating is its limited liability protection. Your personal assets are generally separate from the company's debts and legal liabilities as a shareholder or owner of a corporation. This means your personal wealth is protected if the corporation faces financial or legal challenges.
- Credibility: It signals to customers, clients, investors, and partners that your company is a legitimate and established entity. Additionally, a corporation has perpetual existence, meaning it can continue to operate even if ownership changes or key individuals leave the company.
- Easier Access to Capital: Corporations have greater access to various capital sources than other business structures. It is generally easier for corporations to raise funds through the issuance of stocks or by attracting investors. Moreover, financial institutions and investors often view corporations as more stable and reliable entities, increasing your chances of securing financing or investment opportunities.
- Tax Advantages and Deductions: Corporations can access certain tax advantages and deductions. They can deduct legitimate business expenses, such as salaries, benefits, advertising, and office rent, reducing the taxable income.
- Transferable Ownership and Stock Options: A corporation always has the flexibility to transfer ownership through the sale or transfer of shares. This facilitates business succession planning, allows for attracting and retaining talented employees through stock options, and can incentivize key individuals to contribute to the company's growth.
- Enhanced Corporate Structure and Governance: Operating as a corporation provides a clear and established structure for decision-making, governance, and shareholder rights. This structure allows for a particular separation of ownership and management, making it easier to attract investors and establish effective corporate governance practices.
- Brand Protection and Intellectual Property: Registering your company as a corporation provides additional protection for your brand and intellectual property. You can trademark your company name, logo, or other assets, preventing others from using or infringing upon your protected intellectual property.
Tax Considerations for Starting as Corp
There are important tax considerations to keep in mind when starting a business as a corporation. Here are some additional tax-related factors that you may like to consider:
- Double Taxation: All corporations are subject to corporate income tax on their profits by default. The dividends are also taxed at the individual shareholder level if the corporation distributes them to its shareholders.
- Qualified Business Income Deduction: Corporations may be eligible for the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This deduction allows eligible business owners to cut around 20% of their business income from taxable income.
- Fringe Benefits: Corporations have the advantage of being able to provide various fringe benefits to their employees. These benefits can be considered business expenses and are generally not subject to employee income tax.
- Accumulated Earnings Tax: Corporations must be cautious about accumulating excessive earnings and profits without a legitimate business purpose. 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 Corp
- Articles of Incorporation: Legal documents filed with the state government that establish the existence of a corporation and outline its basic details, such as the company name, purpose, registered agent, and stock structure.
- Corporate Bylaws: The legal regulations that maintain the corporation's operations. Such bylaws include procedures for shareholder meetings, appointment of directors and officers, and decision-making processes.
- Shareholder: A person who owns specific shares in a corporation. The same person also has certain rights, such as voting on important matters, receiving dividends, and participating in the distribution of assets upon dissolution.
- Board of Directors: A particular group elected by the shareholders to authorize the management and decision-making process of the corporation.
- Authorized Shares: The shares issued by any corporation with permission, as per the Articles of Incorporation.
Final Thoughts on Starting as Corp
Starting a business as a corporation can provide numerous advantages and opportunities for growth. It offers limited liability protection, enhances credibility, and provides a clear structure for decision-making and governance. While there are tax considerations to navigate, proper planning and compliance can help optimize tax benefits and deductions. Additionally, the ability to raise capital, transfer ownership, and protect intellectual property further contribute to the appeal of starting as a corporation. A proper consultation with legal professionals or attorneys helps ensure compliance, maximize advantages, and set a solid foundation for long-term success in the business world.
If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.