How Does a Person Become Incorporated?

By Elizabeth Rayne

A corporation is an independent legal entity owned by shareholders, and may be incorporated by an individual. The shareholders are not personally liable for the corporation, which will continue to exist even if the shareholders change or pass away. State law regulates the formation of corporations and varies by state; however, there are some similarities.

Choice of Venue

In forming a new business, you must decide where you would like to incorporate. While many businesses simply incorporate in the state where the business is physically located, others incorporate in a different state for a variety of reasons including taxation and local court procedure. In order to incorporate in most states, you must have a registered agent who resides in the state and will be responsible for accepting legal documents on behalf of the corporation.

Applicable Law

Each state has unique laws for incorporation, and the steps for incorporating will vary depending on which state you select. Generally, the state assigns oversight to a state agency that acts as a business registrar. In most states, the secretary of state's office approves and monitors corporations. You should contact the business registration office to determine the specific steps for incorporation.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now

Articles of Incorporation

In most states, a business incorporates by filing articles of incorporation. Generally, this process begins by filling out a form with the corporate name and address, name and address of the registered agent and each incorporator, and the number of shares the corporation will issue. The articles may also include the purpose of the corporation. Generally, the articles must be signed by an incorporator and then submitted to the secretary of state with the appropriate fee. An online legal document preparer can help. After the articles are approved by the state, the business is incorporated.

Standard Requirements

Many states have similar standards for new corporations. Typically, state law requires an incorporated business to select and register a business name that is not already in use. Additionally, corporations usually must have at least one incorporator who signs the incorporating documents, and a registered agent who accepts legal documents on behalf of the business. Many states also require corporations to have a board of directors, composed of at least one member, who oversees the affairs of the corporation. Some states also require the corporation to issue stock certificates to the initial shareholders as part of the registration process.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now
How to Get an Article of Incorporation in Tennessee


Related articles

How to Change the State of Incorporation

Corporations have several options when it comes to expanding to new locations or relocating the home base. The state in which the corporation chooses to incorporate is known as its home base, or "domicile." The corporation is considered a citizen of that state. It is relatively easy to obtain the authority to operate in other states as a foreign corporation, while changing the domicile is a more complicated procedure.

How to Form an S Corp in New Jersey

A S corp is just a C corp that makes a special election to have its income and losses taxed directly on the shareholder's income tax return rather than having to pay the corporate tax. To make the S corp election, S corps must follow a number of restrictions, including having fewer than 100 shareholders, having just one class of stock, and limiting who can be a shareholder. Forming an S corp requires incorporating as a standard corporation first.

How to Sign a Corporate Letter With a DBA

Corporations can use a fictitious business name, also known as a "doing business as" or DBA, for a variety of reasons, including to maintain public recognition and goodwill in certain markets when a corporation acquires another company with an established customer base. The DBA is simply an alias, like a nickname, and is used for marketing and other informal purposes. It is not the corporation's legal name. The corporation's managers must present company information in such a way that informs the recipient of the legal name of the business, particularly when drafting contracts, ordering checks and sending official correspondence.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

How to Convert to S Corp From Sole Proprietor

A sole proprietor may benefit from converting to an S Corporation. While a sole proprietor is personally liable for ...

Can You Fill Out a 2553 Before the Articles of Incorporation?

A business entity that wishes to become an S corporation must file Form 2553 with the IRS. However, before a business ...

How to Develop a Charter & Bylaws for a New Organization

Starting a new business can be an exciting adventure. At the same time, you must address many important formalities at ...

What Do You Have to File to Become a C Corporation?

A corporation is an independent legal entity that is formed as a means to operate as a business. As a legal entity ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED