by Roberto Neuberger
Incorporation fees vary widely depending upon in which state you file, but you should only pay the state fee that is requested by the state. For example, one website lists Massachusetts incorporation state filing fee as $390, while a quick check shows that in reality, the state fee for incorporating a business in that state is $275.
It’s a good idea if you do plan to hire a firm to handle the bureaucratic red tape, that you either find a reputable company or go online and check out the fee for yourself. Every state lists their fees, so it’s an easy thing to verify. Access to the Secretary of State (or Department of State of all 50 states is available at ActiveFilings.com – SOS Access Gateway
Know What You Are Paying For
If you plan to hire a company to file for you, it might be a good idea to request the state receipt. The last thing you want to do is pay hundreds of dollars more than you need to when starting a new business. Find a reputable company to do your filing and be sure to contact the Better Business Bureau before sending anyone a check.
Having a company incorporate your business is a good idea if you have any qualms about the legal aspects and the paperwork involved in the process. Most companies include various services, from basic services like checking corporation name availability to preparing a business license compliance package. Again, fees for these services vary widely, so be sure you are comparing apples to apples when researching these businesses.
Why incorporate? Incorporating your business gives you limited liability should you have legal or financial difficulties down the road. It’s a sort of insurance policy that will protect your personal wealth if your business suffers. If something does happen to your business, as long as you are incorporated, your business, and not you personally, is liable.
Other reasons to incorporate include the idea that if you are incorporated your business is more legitimate than one that is not. Incorporating gives your business credibility and a sense of permanence that customers look for when doing business.
Also, if you incorporate your business, it can continue after you retire and even if you die. The business can be transferred to your children or sold to another party. Incorporating can also lead to tax savings because corporations are taxed at a lower rate than individuals.
The bottom line is that incorporating your business is probably one of the best business moves you can make to protect both yourself and your business. But like anything, you need to do your homework and be careful who you trust to handle such an important legal matter as incorporating it.