How to Incorporate in Indiana vs. How to Start a Indiana LLC

A Guide to Choosing the Best Business Entity in Indiana

Are you interested in starting a business in Indiana, but not sure if you should form an LLC or start a corporation? Active Filings has the guide for you! We’ll walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating or forming an LLC in Indiana. Throughout this Indiana-specific corporation and LLC formation guide, you’ll discover exactly how to form either an LLC or corporation in Indiana, and learn the disadvantages and advantages of each business type.

Then, after choosing which business formation best meets your needs, you can hire Active Filings to incorporate your business in Indiana for you. We’ll streamline the process and make it painless. Our starter package begins at only $25 (plus Indiana fees), and we’re sure that you’ll find out in no time why Active Filings is America’s most reliable business incorporation service.

Hire us to form your LLC or Corporation in Indiana!

Indiana LLCs vs. Indiana Corporations (Which is Better)

The average person doesn’t know the difference between an LLC and a corporation? Active Filings is about to drop some knowledge. Below you’ll find the three factors we think will help you make an informed decision on whether you want to incorporate or start an Wyoming LLC.

  • Ease of maintenance
    LLCs are pretty easy to maintain. An LLC can opt to be managed by its members, which allows all owners to share in the business’s day-to-day decision-making, or by managers, who can be either members or outside managers. This is helpful if members aren’t experienced in running a business and want to hire people who are. Corporations have to hold meetings, keep minutes, record votes, and generally file more paperwork compared to an LLC. However, corporations are perpetual, which means they can exist as their own entity forever, whereas an LLC will generally dissolve and cease to exist upon the resignation, death, or bankruptcy of the member or members.
  • Desired tax structureLLC is generally organized as a pass-through entity, meaning its profits go directly to its members without being taxed by the government on the company level. Instead, they’re taxed on members’ federal income tax returns. This makes filing taxes easier than if your business were taxed on the corporate level. Corporate profits are subjected to what can be referred to as “double taxation,” which means that a corporations profits are taxed, and then you get hit with taxes at the personal income level. The Wyoming LLC is where it’s at on tax structure.
  • Investors
    If you plan to raise capital for your business, then incorporation probably makes the most sense. Investors prefer the favorable taxation rules of a corporations, and unlike LLCs, a corporation’s shareholders are not taxed on company profits unless profits are distributed. This means the dividends paid from the corporation can be structured to take advantage of the best tax scenario for the shareholders. LLCs If you plan to grow your small business into a larger entity and attract investors, forming a corporation is your best bet.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Indiana LLCs and Corporations

  • Biennial Reporting
    Having to file reports with a state can be time consuming and costly. Indiana cuts the pain in half by asking for a biennial report. And it’s only $50 ($32 if you file online). Pretty good deal if you ask us. It also shows that the state isn’t looking to nickel and dime it’s small business owners.
  • Corporate Income Tax
    In 2011, corporations doing business in Indiana were subject to a 8.5% tax rate. Indiana has made the decision to stop gouging businesses, and has instead decreased it’s tax rate. Currently the flat rate is 5.5% and will drop to 4.9% by June 30, 2021. Pretty awesome to see taxes go down instead of up, which means businesses have more money to re-invest, to pay their employees, to hire more people, or to put in their pockets. This is a win if you ask us.
  • Low Personal Income Tax
    Indiana has a flat state income tax rate of 3.23%, which means that all Indiana residents pay the same percentage of their income in state tax. This is viewed as progressive by some tax experts and regressive by others. Consider that an LLC with profits of $10,000 will pay the same percentage as an LLC with $100,000 in profits, though the amount paid is obviously different.
  • Are You a Big Corporation Looking to Relocate?
    Businesses that relocate a corporate headquarters operation to Indiana, create at least 75 jobs, and have annual worldwide revenue of at least $50 million are eligible to receive a tax credit of up to 50% of business relocation costs including capital investment. This probably doesn’t apply to most businesses, but it does show that Indiana is a business-friendly state, and that helps even the smallest of LLCs.

How to Incorporate in Indiana

To start a corporation in Indiana, simply file Articles of Incorporation with Indiana’s Business Services Division. You can file the document online or by mail. If you paper file the state charges $100, but if you file online you pay only $98. “I want my two dollars!” Hire Active Filings and rest easy knowing we’ll take care of the heavy lifting and make sure all your paperwork is filled out perfectly.

Indiana’s Business Services Division uses one form for multiple types of corporations. Most corporations are for-profit, but the state gives you options. You can choose benefit corporation (has a charitable or educational purpose), or a professional corporation (provides a state-licensed service). Note that benefit and professional corporations have additional regulations to follow.

Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” or an abbreviation like “Corp” or “Inc.” Example: Amazon, Inc.

Your principal office needs to be a street address. You can list your home office, but remember that your Articles of Organization are a matter of public record. When you hire Active Filings, our address goes here, which means you’ll be able to have a little more privacy and security.

You can either list a commercial agent (like Active Filings) or a noncommercial agent (like yourself).

If you act as your own registered agent, you’ll need to list the agent’s Indiana street address, which would be your info. Note that this information will become part of the permanent public record of your Indiana corporation. If you go through Active Filings, all you need to do is put our information here. Protect yourself before you wreck yourself!

If you act as your own registered agent, your email goes here. When you hire Active Filings you can use our email, which saves you the time and trouble of having to sift through important emails from the state, and emails from Nigerian Princes asking for you to send them money. We take your privacy seriously.

List the number of shares you want to create. You must list at least one. You can distribute some or all of these shares later on at your organizational meeting.

Incorporators sign and submit your Articles of Incorporation. They must include their name, address, date, and signature. When you hire us, we’ll be your incorporator.

How to Start an LLC in Indiana

To start an LLC in Indiana, you must file Articles of Organization with the Indiana Business Services Division. You can file the document online for $98, or you can file by mail for $100. When you hire Active Filings we file online.

You must include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC.” Example: Leo’s Tuxedos, LLC.

Your principal office needs to be a street address. You can’t use a P.O. Box. You can list your home office, but remember that your Articles of Organization are a matter of public record. When you hire Active Filings, our address goes here, which means you’ll be able to have a little more privacy and security knowing that your information isn’t out there in the ether being used for nefarious purposes.

You or someone you know can act as your registered agent. Your best bet is to hire a professional company that does this all the time. Hire Active Filings and we’ll be your registered agent.

When you hire us you can use our address. Or you could go it alone and use your address, which just opens you up for junk mail and other annoyances. Protect your information by hiring a pro like Active Filings.

Indiana wants your email so they can send you updates and notices. Choose us and our email goes here.

Most LLCs continue to exist unless they’re dissolved. Want to set a time limit on your LLC? List the date you want your LLC to end.

Most LLCs are managed by members, but if you don’t plan to run the day-to-day operations, you can hire a manager and be “manager-managed.” If your LLC is managed by managers, you’ll check “yes” in this section.

This is the person who completes and signs your Articles of Organization. The organizer doesn’t need to be a member or manager. When you hire Active Filings, we’ll be your organizer.

Indiana Corporation and LLC Maintenance

How do I file my Indiana Business Entity Report?
You can file your Indiana Business Entity Report online or by mail. Either way, you’ll need to visit Indiana’s Secretary of State, Business Services Division website, INBiz.

Go to the INBiz Login page and enter your email address and password. If you don’t have an account, you can create one by clicking “Sign up now.”

When filling out the business entity report, you’ll include the following information and update it if necessary:

Name and address of the company.

Name and address of your registered agent in Indiana. (hello there, have you met Active Filings?)

Names and addresses of members/managers or directors/officers.

To File by Mail:

On the state website, go to the Division Forms page and click “Business Forms.”

Select “Business Entity Report 48725”

Download and print a business entity report.

If filing online, you can pay the fee with a credit card. If mailing your form, include a check or money order payable to the Secretary of State.

Mail your report to:

302 W. Washington Street
Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Understanding Indiana Taxes

Let’s be honest, taxes are like root canals. No one enjoys them. They are, however, an integral part of keeping your business legal and healthy. While we’re not tax professionals, we’ll definitely do our best to try and explain what kind of taxes your business will be expected to pay.

Corporations: The profit of a corporation is taxed to the corporation when earned, and then is taxed to the shareholders when distributed as dividends. This is what we mean when we say corporations face “double taxation.” If you are forming a corporation, you’ll want to pay attention to not only the state’s corporate tax, but also it’s income tax rate, as you will be on the hook for both.

LLCs: For income tax purposes, an LLC with only one member is treated as an entity disregarded as separate from its owner, unless it files Form 8832 and elects to be treated as a corporation. However, for purposes of employment tax and certain excise taxes, an LLC with only one member is still considered a separate entity. One of the most significant benefits of an LLC is that of pass-through taxes. LLC owners don’t have to file a corporate tax return. An owner simply reports their share of profit and loss on their individual tax return. This prevents double taxation, your business paying taxes and you paying taxes.

What is Indiana’s corporate tax rate?
Funny you should ask, because Indiana has been reducing their corporate tax rate since 2011 when it reached a high of 8.5%. Currently Indiana’s rate is 5.5% and will shrink to 5.25% by July 2020, and level off with a tax rate of 4.9% by end of June 2021.

Currently the tax rate is a flat 5.5%.

5.5% from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020

5.25% from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021

4.9% after June 30, 2021

What is Indiana’s personal income tax rate?
Indiana has a flat state income tax rate of 3.23%, which means that all Indiana residents pay the same percentage of their income in state taxes. Unlike the federal income tax system, rates do not vary based on income level.

What forms do I need to file?
Corporations will file Form IN-20
LLCs will file Form IN-40

When are my taxes due?
Indiana business tax returns are due by the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the tax year — or April 15 for calendar year filers. If you cannot file by that date, you may request a state tax extension.

What if I need an extension?
There are two ways to get an Indiana business tax extension:

1. If you have a valid 6-month Federal business extension (IRS Form 7004), you will automatically be granted an Indiana tax extension. In this case, you don’t need to file a separate state extension request. The deadline for your Indiana tax return will be moved to 30 days after the Federal extension deadline. (Note: The Federal extension deadline is September 15 for most businesses). A copy of your IRS-approved Form 7004 must be attached to your Indiana return when it’s filed.

2. If you don’t have a Federal tax extension, or if you need an extension beyond the 6-month automatic extension, you must submit a written request to the Indiana Tax Administration Division for a special extension of time to file. Make sure to do this before the filing deadline. Your request must explain why the extension is needed and for how long. The Tax Administration Division will then send you a notice of approval or rejection.

Hire us to form your LLC or Corporation in Indiana!