How to incorporate yourself in all states

The pros, cons, and hows of incorporating a small business or organization. If you have or plan to start your own business, you may want to incorporate it, even if it involves only yourself or your family. You may also want to incorporate a society or organization you belong to in order to keep its financial involvements separate from those of its members. Incorporating has advantages and disadvantages. Consult an attorney or an accountant to review the ones that apply to you before you take the big step.

Generally, the chief advantage of incorporating is that your liability is limited to the amount you invested in the corporation. If your business fails or is sued, your home and personal property cannot be lost, as it can in a partnership or other unincorporated business. And you can withdraw from a corporation by selling your stock. A corporation can defer tax payments, spread its taxable income over several family members, and provide such fringe benefits as pensions and insurance as a business cost.

On the other hand, corporate profits are taxed, as well as your income from a corporation, and the activities of a corporation are limited to those granted in its charter. A corporation must gain permission to operate in other states, pay additional fees, and observe each state’s regulations. A corporation must keep exhaustive records and Me numerous reports in each state in which it does business. Finally, attorneys who do corporate work are generally expensive.

To form a corporation, you must file articles of incorporation with the state secretary of state, giving the name of the corporation, its intended duration (how long you want the corporation to continue), its purposes, its address, and the number, names, and addresses of the incorporators. There is a filing fee.