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FAQ

How long does it take to Incorporate?
What is the fastest way to incorporate?
How can I speed up the time to incorporate?
What happens after I place my incorporation order?
Can I incorporate without an attorney?
Do I need an EIN Number to incorporate?
Do I need a business license if I am incorporated?
Does my state have any special requirements to incorporate?
What if my company name is already incorporated?
Do I have to issue stock after incorporating?
What comes with my incorporation package?
What documents are filed to incorporate?
Is there any IRS documents to file when incorporating?
Can I incorporate in one step?
What else do I need to remember when incorporating?
Corporate structure and incorporating, can I change it?
What are bylaws when incorporated?
If incorporated, do I still need a D.B.A.?
Where can I find additional information?
What do I need to open a bank account after I incorporate?
What are the types of corporations?
How is a corporation taxed?
What is “double taxation” for corporations?
What are corporate bylaws?
How do I issue corporate Stock?
How many shares can my corporation have?
What is “Par Value” and corporate stock?
Do I have to hold corporate meetings?
What are the corporate formalities?
How does my corporation get an EIN number?
How are corporations managed?
How many officers can my corporation have?
Who are corporate board of directors?
What are disadvantages of corporations?
What are articles of incorporation?
What is an S Corporation?
Who can own and run a corporation?
How much does it cost to run a corporation?
Where can I find additional information?
What are professional corporations?

How long does it take to incorporate?

When you order an incorporation service with us, we process your order in the same day. Our customer service department verifies all of your information and will contact you if there are any necessary changes or items that need to be corrected. Once it has passed verification, it goes into our legal department for document preparation. You can choose to purchase Speed File, either same day, or 24 hour guaranteed processing of your order. Your documents will be drafted and shipped to the correct Secretary of State branch office within the time period you chose. Typically this time period is 3 business days. Once your documents are with the state office, it is a matter of your state’s processing times. With the state, you can choose standard or expedited filing. All estimated state filing times can be seen here state incorporation filing times (these subject to change). The documents are then recorded with the state office and shipped back to Companies Incorporated. At this time your order is processed by our shipping department and any additional products or services are included, such as ordering your corporate kits and seals, IRS document preparation and bank accounts. You will receive your complete incorporation package via priority mail or overnight, depending on the services you selected.

Order processing time + State processing time + Shipping processing time (1 day)

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What is the fastest way to incorporate?

When you incorporate with Companies Incorporated you can choose to Speed File your order with either same day processing, or 24 hour. This means your documents are guaranteed to be prepared and shipped to the appropriate state office for recording within that time period. Upgrades start at $150 and are available through our customer service department. When you select our complete package (recommended) we will upgrade your shipping options to priority overnight to the state and to you. Your state filing can be upgraded to expedited saving you time with the state processing. Once filed and received, your documents are prepared and shipped directly to you overnight. In general, the state office will consume the majority of the overall processing time. By decreasing the time for preparation, shipping and order processing with Companies Incorporated, you can save up to 10 business days. The fastest way to incorporate is the Complete incorporation package with a Speed File upgrade.

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How can I speed up the time to incorporate?

There are many ways to save time with your incorporation order. Overnight delivery service to the state office and to you is a quick way to reduce the transit time of your documents. Expediting your order with the state office will reduce the state filing time. Purchasing a Speed File upgrade will guarantee that your order is processed and shipped to the state office within the time period you chose, either same day or 24 hours, guaranteed. Our complete package includes priority shipping and expedited state filing.

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What happens after I place my incorporation order?

When you incorporate with Companies Incorporated, we receiveyour order either via online or through our customer service department. All of your information is verified for accuracy and completeness and will go to our legal department. First the name you chose to incorporate is checked for availability with your state’s office. If it isn’t available we

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Can I incorporate without an attorney?

Yes. Companies Incorporated is a legal document preparation service specializing in incorporating and forming new business entities, primarily, Corporations, Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships, among others.

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Do I need an EIN Number to incorporate?

No. You do not need an EIN number before incorporating. In some cases you can use an existing EIN number if it is for the same business and attained prior to incorporation. Companies Incorporated can prepare your EIN application, or obtain your EIN number for you. You will need an EIN number to open a bank account for your incorporated business.

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Do I need a business license if I am incorporated?

Possibly. You should check with your county and/or city for local statutes on businesses. Some business types and local governments will require a business license or additional certificates or permits to operate your incorporated business.

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Does my state have any special requirements to incorporate?

Possibly. Some states require publication, which means that a short notice in a newspaper needs to publicize the incorporation of your business. Companies Incorporated handles this and any special requirements in your state for all of its clients.

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What if my company name is already incorporated?

When you order an incorporation service, you will choose an entity name and identifier. The identifier follows your name and is generally, “corp”, “corporation”, “inc”, “llc”, “limited liability company”, etc. If at any time your first entity name and identifier is unavailable, we will use your first alternate choice and continue until the name is available with your state. Our customer service department will call you to confirm any changes to your incorporation order before they are made.

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Do I have to issue stock after incorporating?

Issuing stock is a formality with corporations. In order to be fully compliant with all of the operating formalities, issuing stock is a necessary procedure. There are many ways to issue stock and it can be issued to individuals, other organizations and corporations. You should check with your financial planner or legal advisor on the types of stock that can be issued, the amounts of authorized shares and their value and how it could affect your tax scenario. Companies Incorporated includes stock certificates with complete packages with all of its incorporation orders.

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What comes with my incorporation package?

Here is a table showing what each package consists of:

Benefits Included In Your Package

Complete Package Basic Package Starter Package
Name search / reservation. small-tick small-tick small-tick
Preparation and filing the articles of formation small-tick small-tick small-tick
Registered agent service. small-tick small-tick
Essential corporation checklist small-tick small-tick
Complete Corporate Kit small-tick small-tick
Rapid Filing Service – Documents are submitted
overnight or hand delivered to the government
small-tick
FedEx overnight delivery to you small-tick
S-Corp Election Form (2553) small-tick
EIN Tax ID application (SS4) small-tick
Tax Classification (8832) small-tick
Build Your Financial Castle (ebook) small-tick
Price (Does not include State Fees) $380 $280 $99

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What documents are filed to incorporate?

In order to incorporate the simplest form would be a business entity being recorded within the state where the majority of business is conducted. In this case, only the Articles of Incorporation (Corporations) or Articles of Formation (LLC or LP) are filed and recorded with your state’s office are necessary to incorporate. In some cases the state of incorporation is not where the majority of business is conducted, where the articles are filed with the state of incorporation and a foreign qualification is filed with the state(s) where business is being conducted. In order to file for a foreign qualification, certified copies of the original articles and a certificate of good standing are required to complete the process.

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Are there any IRS documents to file when incorporating?

No. The IRS doesn’t require any documents to incorporate. If you chose a different tax status, such as “Sub Chapter S Election” then your IRS form 2553 needs to be filed within the time period for new businesses with the IRS. These tax status changes should be conducted with your financial planner or accountant. Companies Incorporated includes completed tax forms for you with complete incorporation packages and you can choose to file those and change your tax status with the IRS.

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Can I incorporate in one step?

Yes. From a consumer stand point, once you order with Companies Incorporated, you will receivestatus updates on your order every step of the way and your entire document package will arrive in one delivery. There are many documents to prepare and agencies to communciate with, Companies Incorporated handles all of this for you, so our customers are incorporated in one fast and easy step.

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What else do I need to remember when incorporating?

When you place your incorporation order, it is wise to let your accountant or financial planner know the details of your decision so that any tax planning changes can be handled at the conception of your new business. It is also important to know and understand your state’s operating formalities with your entity type. All states require, by law, that corporations hold meetings of the shareholders, at least, on an annual basis. Minutes of these meetings are supposed to be kept, not filed, but recorded and available should you need them. Each year, you will have to file a statement of information, or annual report with your state office noting any changes to the entity record, addresses, officers, directors, registered agent, etc. Keeping an address on public record (a designated registered agent) is also required to remain in good standing with your state office. Paying the correct taxes on time is another important consideration and should be handledwith your accountant so that you don’t incur any penalties with your new business.

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Corporate structure and incorporating, can I change it?

Yes. You can always make changes to your incorporated business. In some cases, it is a matter of legal documentation, or operating agreement changes (LLC), and other actions require a filing of an Article of Amendment with your state office, such as changing of the company name, adding or removing officers and directors, changing the authorized shares or par value of your stock (Corporations). Companies Incorporated can file your articles for any reason within 1 business day.

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What are bylaws when incorporated?

Bylaws are important because they specify how the company is operated. It outlines rights and power distribution among the officers or managers. Bylaws are not filed with a state office and can as simple or complex as you make them. Entity types differ with the bylaws and LLC and LP use operating agreements, which are very similar. You can make your company easy to run and manage as well as identify, how it will be run and managed through bylaws. What fiscal year, how meetings are held, how many directors and their qualifications, how your bylaws are amended and how to keep proper corporate books.

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If incorporated, do I still need a D.B.A.?

Possibly. When this comes into play is when you receivemoney, for the most part. A D.B.A. (doing business as) is a method of identifying your business through a recorded name, even if your incorporated name is different. For example if your incorporated name is California Computer Repair, Inc and you are doing business as www.WeFixYourPC.com, then you will need a D.B.A. to deposit funds received paid to www.WeFixYourPC.com. Essentially you have two recorded names for a business. You can D.B.A. a corporation or LLC just as you would an individual.

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Where can I find additional information?

Companies incorporated offers the most free information on the Internet for incorporating. You can browse our services and entity specific information here:

Corporation Information LLC Information Incorporation Services

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What do I need to open a bank account after I incorporate?

In order to open a business bank account, you will need your filed and recorded Articles of Incorporation and your issued Federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS. Plus any initial deposit amount.

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What are the types of corporations?

A C Corporation, otherwise known as a standard business corporation has several variants. Standing apart from these are Nonprofit Corporations which fall under completely different legal statutes and tax classifications. As far as general for profit corporations, there are the “C”, “S” and Professional Corporation. By default a “corporation” is a “C” corporation, it is called a C corporation because it is taxed under subsection C of the IRS code. C Corporations can have an unlimited amount of shareholders that can be all forms of legal entities. The S Corporation was created for smaller businesses to avoid double taxation and falls under the IRS code, chapter “S” and has limitations on the amount of shareholders and cannot be owned by anything other than an individual. Professional corporations are essentially C Corporations that are limited to purposes of professional services such as doctors, dentists and attorneys. These types of corporations are formed under state laws that dictate what kind of professionals have to incorporate this type of legal entity.

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How is a corporation taxed?

A C Corporation is taxed separately under special corporate rates on all net profits, after deductions, using the IRS form 1120. Other forms of business allow the profits and/or losses of the business structure to pass through to the owners who incur the tax liability on their personal tax reporting. The C Corporation is a taxable entity.

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What is “double taxation” for corporations?

After a C Corporation pays taxes, any after tax profits can be distributed to the shareholders in the form of dividends, or left in the business for future investment. This can cause double taxation for the business owners, when the corporation pays taxes on the profits of the business and any remaining profits are paid out to the shareholders who pay taxes on the dividend return. The IRS Code sub chapter S addresses this issue for smaller corporations and allows the entity to be taxed as a partnership or a “pass through” tax entity. S Corporations have much more limitations on who can be and how many shareholders there are.

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What are corporate bylaws?

Bylaws govern the corporation. It is an internal document that specifies the operational policies of the entity. All forms are included, even how the bylaws are changed, or amended. This will outline powers, rights and distribution of the stakeholders, from shareholders, directors and officers. Corporate Bylaws are not filed with any state or federal office.

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How do I issue corporate Stock?

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How many shares can my corporation have?

Some states have limits to how many shares a corporation can have and others have franchise tax rules based on the amount of shares and or the value of each share. You should consult with your legal or financial advisor in your state to decided how many shares your corporation should have. As a general guideline, for small corporations with one or just a couple of shareholders where there isn’t intention on acquiring investment capital a small amount of authorized shares is recommended with a low par value, such as 1500 shares at $1. This amount is low enough not to impose any increased franchise tax.

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What is “Par Value” and corporate stock?

Par value is the amount each share of corporate stock is worth, or its value. Each state is different with its par value parameters. Some states allow fractions of a cent in the par value, meaning your shares can be valued at $.001, while others cannot. Some states calculate franchise tax by the shares and par value of the corporation. You should make this decision with a legal or financial professional who works in the state you formed your corporation in. In general a low share amount and small par value will result in the same minimum franchise tax, if applicable.

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Do I have to hold corporate meetings?

Yes. By state law, all corporations must have a meeting of the shareholders on, at least, an annual basis. These meetings should be recorded in the form of meeting minutes and all decisions should be documented through corporate resolutions and kept in a corporate record book.

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What are the corporate formalities?

Corporate formalities are important so that your corporation offers the most in liability protection. The primary reason to form a corporation is to separate your personal and business lives. In doing so, the corporation must be properly formed, operated and managed to maximize the protection. There are a number of “do’s and dont’s” where this comes into play. An example is commingling personal and business funds. When this occurs, should the corporation be challenged by a court, it could be found that the operations of the business were run so closely with personal affairs that the corporate shield could be disregarded. These types of formalities include taxes, property and its use, reporting and management. Other types of operating formalities include those mandated by state and federal law. Those are:

  • Corporate Record Keeping: By law, all 50 states require that the shareholders of a corporation hold a meeting at least on an annual basis, and one during the organization, or forming of the corporation. At these meetings, minutes should be taken and kept in a corporate minutes binder, or corporate record book. In these meetings, business items are discussed and decisions are made and the board approves actions taken by the officers of the corporation who run the day to day activities of the business. This formality is often overlooked and comes into play when the corporate veil is challenged. Keeping proper meeting minutes, documenting resolutions made and approved by the board of directors is a formality required only for corporations.
  • Registered Agent: Every incorporated business entity needs to have an address of server process on public record. This cannot be a PO box, it must be a physical address within the state the corporation is based or conducts business and is foreign qualified. In many cases, small business owners do not want their home address on public record, so they select a designated registered agent whose address appears on public record and satisfies this formality.
  • Annual Statement of Information: Every filed entity or incorporated business structure must file an annual statement of information, or annual report. This tells the state office any changes in the critical information of the business, such as addresses, change of officers, directors and shareholders, etc. This typically involves a nominal fee and can be performed electronically on most state’s websites.
  • Paying Taxes: Of course, every corporation must report and pay taxes to both federal and franchise governments on time and according the the tax classifications filed.

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How does my corporation get an EIN number?

In order to open a business bank account, and EIN number is required. In order to obtain your number from the IRS, a form must be completed, signed and sent in. When you complete the form, if it is a new business, the process is straight forward. If you already have an EIN number prior to incorporating, then there are some additional information requirements. You can apply online with the IRS and find more information here http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98350,00.html. Companies Incorporated can prepare your EIN form or obtain your EIN number for you. Its that easy!

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How are corporations managed?

Corporations have organizational structure. The owners of the corporation, or shareholders, elect a board of directors to oversee corporate management. The day to day activities of the corporation are the responsibility of the corporate officers, who are selected by the board of directors.

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How many officers can my corporation have?

In general a corporation has 4 primary officer positions, those are: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. In any case a corporate structure could be adopted to include many types of corporate officers.

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Who are corporate board of directors?

The board of directors is an assembled body, selected by the shareholders of the corporation. The board of directors oversee the management and policies of the corporation, meaning they elect officers and approve decisions made by them. There isn’t a requirement for a board of directors or a minimum amount, this is typically a larger corporate structure.

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What are disadvantages of corporations?

When you incorporate there are several operating formalities that must be conducted. The business is required to perform actions by both state and federal laws. These involve paperwork, reporting and nominal expenses throughout the year. The primary disadvantage are the formalities involved, however these are far outweighed by the liability protection and advantages, in most cases.

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What are articles of incorporation?

Articles of Incorporation are the actual documents that are filed and recorded with the secretary of state branch office. This is your corporation’s “birth certificate” and it is a legal document.

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What is an S Corporation?

A S Corporation is a corporation that falls under a different IRS tax classification, specifically sub chapter S election using IRS form 2553. This allows the corporation to be taxed as a partnership, a “pass through” tax entity where the profit and losses are recorded on the shareholders individual tax returns.

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Who can own and run a corporation?

Any U.S. resident over the age of 18 can incorporate. There are other criteria for non U.S. residents to incorporate that depend on the country and corporation type.

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How much does it cost to run a corporation?

In general the primary operating formalities that can involve expenses are maintaining a registered agent office – Companies Incorporated offers FREE registered agent representation in all 50 states for the first year with all incorporations. Annual statements of information filed with your state will cost approximately $15 to $55, depending on your state and can be filed electronically. Keeping a corporate record book or annual meeting minutes can be done by the secretary of the corporation at no cost.

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Where can I find additional information?

Companies incorporated offers the most free information on the Internet for incorporating. You can browse our services and entity specific information here:

Incorporate Information LLC Information Incorporation Services

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What are professional corporations?

Professional corporations are filed as standard C corporations and can choose to elect S corporation status. The primary difference is the type of business and what professional service can, or has to, be a professional corporation. In general, doctors, dentists and attorneys will form professional corporations.

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