Perhaps you’ve been operating as a sole proprietor and it is time to expand into a limited liability corporation (LLC), or maybe you have decided to launch a new business venture and you’re ready to fully incorporate your business.
Incorporating your business or forming an LLC offers greater financial protection, but it is a bit more complicated than simply operating as a sole proprietor.
Regardless of what position you find yourself in, there are some important things to consider before deciding to incorporate your business or form an LLC on your own.
Once you have made the decision to establish your business as a formal corporation, you will need to file the appropriate articles of incorporation (also called the certificate of incorporation) with the government.
There are a number of documents included in this filing. While they may vary from state to state, typically, the documents will include the name of your business, your registered agent, the location of the business, authorized shareholders, the purpose of your business and more.
You will also need to know whether you will be filing as an LLC, an S-corporation or a C-corporation, non-profit, etc.
While you can serve as your own registered agent, which must be stated in your articles of incorporation, you can hire a registered agent who will not only act as your registered agent, but they can also handle the paperwork for you.
Check Name Availability
Before you file the paperwork for your new business, you will need to check to ensure the name is not already in use or copyrighted.
Though your business name may seem unique, and there may not be someone with your business name that you are personally aware of, it does not eliminate the possibility of another business owner already having the same name as your business or a similar business. While there can be different businesses with the same or similar names, it ultimately depends on your state’s laws and whether or not someone else has already claimed and copyrighted the name.
If this sounds complicated, don’t worry! A registered agent, which you’ll need anyway, can help you navigate this and ensure your business name has not already been claimed.
You’ll Need a Registered Agent
When you file the paperwork to incorporate your business, you will need to include a registered agent.
A registered agent has three essential functions, which include accepting service of process and filing legal documents, serving as the main contact person whose information is published, and acting as a liaison between the business owner and the government.
While it is possible to handle these duties on your own, most successful business owners choose to hire a registered agent as they deem it to be more beneficial. You can learn more about why you should hire a registered agent on our blog.
The Bottom Line
If you’re ready to take the next step and incorporate your business, let us help you take care of the paperwork. Contact us online or by phone at (855) 236-9172 to discuss your business’s needs.