When it comes time to fill out the ‘contract incorporation’ or articles of incorporation, there are some basic things you need to consider. First of all you need to decide which state you want to set your corporation up in. You can choose, you don’t have to establish your corporation only in the state you live in or even in the state you do business in. There are some very big advantages to setting your corporation up in states that are very pro business.
The top three states usually associated with pro business attitudes are Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming. Some of the benefits of incorporating in these states is a low initial filing fee, generous tax breaks for businesses, and increased privacy for the shareholders to name just a few. Talk to your attorney about the best place for you to establish your corporate identity.
Once you’ve figured out where to put your business, you need to figure out what to call your business. Picking a name may not seem all that important at this point but it is. When you fill out the forms you will need to designate the name you want for your corporation. If the name you have picked out is already taken you will have to start the whole process over, that is after the weeks or days it takes for the state to get back to you and let you know the name you wanted isn’t available. Pick out the name first to save some time later.
OK, you’ve got the state you want to incorporate in picked out, you’ve got your corporate name picked out, what next, The next thing is to determine what type of corporation you want to set up. There are several choices but one of the most common is the limited liability company (technically this isn’t a corporation, but it does offer many of the same protections of a corporation). The reason a LLC is so common is that it combines the best of the corporation and the best of a partnership. You get the tax advantages as well as the personal property protection of a corporation but you have the management flexibility of a partnership. You aren’t tied to the rigid corporate structure.
Again, consult with your attorney to decide which type of business entity is best for you and your needs.
Depending on the exact corporate structure you choose, you will need to designate the number of shares you will sell as well as the price per share you will sell them for. You will also need to establish a board of directors. You will need to furnish the names and addresses of the corporate officers.
After you’ve fully completed the forms you will need to sign, and date them (you will need signatures from all of the officers in most cases, make sure and check). Now that you’ve gotten everything filled out you can send the forms back with the filing fee and you’ll be good to go.
I’m not an attorney and I can’t give legal advice so take this article as just a basic overview of the process of filling out a contract incorporation or articles of incorporation. The processes will vary from state to state but for the most part, this is what it will entail.