Incorporating a Business

A Checklist for Starting a Corporation or S Corporation

If you want to start a corporation, you should know the process so you can make decisions and take care of many of the details. You will probably still need an attorney for the legal filings, but your participation can save you money and time during this process.  Follow the list to start an S corporation, including the process of filing an s corporation election.

Reasons to Incorporate a Business

Incorporate a Business
How to Incorporate a Business - Step by Step. Jon Feingersh/Getty Images

Before you decide to incorporate a business, think about why you are incorporating. Make sure you are incorporating for one of the reasons in this article, not just because your attorney or your friends say it's a good idea. More

Obtain the Services of an Attorney for Your Incorporation Process

Although there are many books telling you that you can incorporate on your own without the services of an attorney, you will probably want to use an attorney to guarantee that the process goes smoothly and that your incorporation is completed satisfactorily. Here are some suggestions for finding an attorney to help you incorporate. More

Select an Incorporator to Do Preliminary Work

Before a corporation has been officially formed, an incorporator works to prepare documents, file the Articles of Incorporation, and select the board of directors. Learn more about this important person and his/her duties in guiding the new corporation to start-up. More

Decide What Type of Corporation You are Forming

Is your corporation public or is it privately held? Is it a stock corporation or a non-stock corporation? If the corporation's shares are publicly traded, will they be closely held or widely traded? A discussion of these different corporate types will help you make decisions as you start your corporation. More

Select Your Corporate Name, Check Availability, Register and Protect Your Name

You probably have a name you want to use for your corporation. Before you can incorporate, you will need to check to be sure the name is available and it is not being used by another corporation or other business entity. After you have registered your business name, you may want to protect it by applying for a trademark. More

Obtain Incorporation Information and Materials from Your State

You will be incorporating in a specific state (or states), so you will need to check that state's requirements for incorporation, including specifics of the Articles of Incorporation, what to include in your by-laws, and other requirements. More

Select the Board of Directors for Your Corporation

Your corporation's board of directors is an important part of your business. Learn about selecting board members, compensating directors, conflict of interest and liability issues for your board of directors. More

Apply for an Employer ID Number for Your Corporation

Here are the steps in the process of applying for an Employer ID Number More

Obtain Your Corporate Checking Account

Establish the checking account for your corporation and decide what other banking services you will need. More

Prepare and File Your Articles of Incorporation

Your Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the state in which you are incorporating. This document establishes your corporation, names the incorporator, and sets out your business purpose. Learn where to file the Articles with your state. More

Set Up Your Corporate Records Book

Every corporation needs a corporate records book, to authenticate the fact that the corporation is operating as a separate entity from its owners. The specific format for a corporate records book is detailed in this section. More

Create Your Corporate By-Laws

The by-laws for your corporation define the purpose of the corporation, list the officers and directors, set their compensation, and define the meetings of the board of directors. The by-laws also set the duties of officers and other corporate policies. Here is a list of Articles that should be included in your corporate by-laws. More

Set Up the First Meeting of the Board of Directors for Your Corporation

What happens at the organizational meeting of the Board of Directors? Learn here about the typical resolutions which are passed by a corporate board at the first meeting.