Incorporation 101: What Is C-Corporation?

What Is a Corporation?

Corporation is a legal form of organization of persons and material resources, chartered by the state, for the purpose of conducting business. Corporation is owned by shareholders, the Board of Directors governs the business, and elected officers manage the day-to-day activities. Corporation must adhere to corporate tax laws and file corporate taxes regularly.

A Corporation, also referred to as Standard Corporation, C-Corporation, or Regular Corporation, may have an unlimited number of shareholders, including foreign citizens, may be public (when shares are offered for sale to the public) or privately held (when shares are not sold to the public). Usually shares of the corporation are held by the founders, board members and private investors, such as venture capitalists, who may or may not sit on the board of directors.

C-Corporation is the most common type of incorporation. C-Corporation is considered to be a for-profit, state-incorporated business. Registration is done with state authorities and must abide by corporate laws in the state where it is incorporated.

Corporation provides protection to its shareholders from the corporation’s liabilities, thus the term “limited liability”. However, C-Corporations also have what is called “double taxation” – first the corporation is taxed on its profits, and then shareholders are taxed on the distributions they receive, such as profit sharing payments or dividends.
To incorporate you will need to register your business name, file a certificate of incorporation or articles of incorporation, and pay a fee. You will also need to draft corporate bylaws and hold a board of director’s meeting.

Why Should I Incorporate?

Incorporating is one of the best ways to protect your personal assets while doing business. Most people choose to incorporate solely for this reason, but its not the only advantage of incorporation.

For example, owning a corporation can save you tax money, allows for a greater business flexibility, reduces your chances to be audited, provides tools for better itemization, and makes raising capital less complicated.

Advantages of Incorporating

  • Limited Liability: A corporation is a legal entity that exists separately from its owners or shareholders. With some exceptions, shareholders are not liable for the debts and obligations of the corporation or from any litigation where the corporation is the defendant. Some form of insurance may still be necessary, but incorporation contributes an added layer of protection (also called “corporate veil”).
  • Tax Savings: Careful planning of your business expenses can result in lower overall tax rates. There are many tax benefits for doing business under incorporation, depending on your business income. Even if your young business becomes quite profitable soon, a corporation is entitled to many deductions otherwise not available to you, resulting in significant tax savings. An example of such tax-deductible expense would be salaries of your employees and yourself.
  • Reduces Likelihood of IRS Examination (Audit): Non-incorporated businesses, particularly of higher gross income levels, are targets of many IRS Audits. Incorporated businesses have a much lower audit rate, even if they have high income levels.
  • Anonymity: Depending on the state where you choose to incorporate in, a corporation can be established in such a way that shareholders/owners remain anonymous. Often same level of anonymity can be provided for officers and directors.
  • Added Credibility: A corporate structure communicates permanence and credibility. Even if its a company with only one stockholder and employee.
  • Easier Access to Capital Funding: With a corporation it is much easier to attract investors through the sale of stock.
  • Easier Transfer of Ownership: Ownership of a corporation may be transferred without substantial disruption of operations through the sale of stock. This way the need for complex legal documentation is reduced.
  • Flexibility of Share Ownership: Owning shares gives you the flexibility needed, among other things, to effectively capitalize your business, or to retain key employees. To further capitalize the business successful C-Corporation can be taken public in a process called Initial Public Offering (IPO). You can also issue stock or stock options to your key employees, “binding” them to the business and thus retaining them (common in hi-tech industry among others).
  • Longevity: The board carries on the corporation, not the owner. That means that a corporation formation can last longer than an owner-based company such as an LLC.

Main Disadvantages of C-Corp.

C-Corporations have certain disadvantages. The main disadvantage is the fact that the profit of a C-Corporation is taxed to the corporation when earned, and the corporation does not get a tax deduction when it distributes dividends to shareholders. Then when dividends are distributed to the shareholders they are taxed again at the shareholder level. This phenomenon is called “double taxation”.

Similarly, when C-Corporation has a loss, its shareholders cannot deduct it from their personal income.

C-Corp. vs. S-Corp. vs. LLC

Other forms of incorporation of business organization include S-Corporation and LLC. Each of those types of entities have certain advantages and disadvantages when compared to the common C-Corporation, but a more detailed comparison between those entities goes beyond the scope of this article.

Alex Zehnbacht is an entrepreneur with over 8 years of experience in start-ups and business consulting and one of the founders of MyUSACorporation.com, an online business dedicated to help entrepreneurs with all their business filing needs. He has helped thousands of clients to incorporate their businesses, form LLC, obtain various business licenses, and much more.

Business Relationships As They Relate to Corporate America

WHAT TYPE OF CORPORATION DO YOU HAVE?

As we anatomy business relationships, the catechism arises to whether a sole cartel or association is needed. For a analogue purpose, a association is a acknowledged entity, abstracted from its shareholders, created beneath the ascendancy of the legislature. As an entity, a association is amenable for its debts. The shareholders are not amenable for the accumulated debts. Shareholders accident is bound to the bulk of their investment. The buying interests of the association are represented by shares, which are advisedly transferable. Administration ascendancy of a association is centralized in the lath of admiral and admiral acting beneath the administration of the board’s authority. Shareholders about accept the board, but they cannot ascendancy the activities of the lath and accept no adeptness in administration of accumulated business.

Corporations accept audible differences than partnerships. Partnerships are absolute by the Uniform Affiliation Act (UPA). Partnerships are not acknowledged entities, but aggregates of two or added bodies affianced in a business. With corporations, shareholders are bound their investments. In partnerships, anniversary accomplice is accountable to l\unlimited claimed accountability for all debts of the partnership. Know your goals in what you wish and analysis anniversary afore chief on a affiliation or association (refer to my March 2003 commodity in Chiropractic Products “Partnerships”).

A corporation, as a acknowledged commodity admitting the afterlife or affliction of its shareholders can accept a abiding duration. Partnerships are not able to perpetuate. If a association goes bankrupt, any debts owed by the association may, beneath assertive affairs be subordinated to the debtors. This agency the debts would accept to be paid afore the shareholders get any money. This came about in a case (Taylor vs. Standard Gas and Electric Corp.) and is alleged “Deep Rock Doctrine”. Formation or alignment of a association is completed beneath “general accumulated law” or “business law” statutes of the accompaniment in which you are incorporating. Usually a association is organized by the beheading and filing of the “certificate of articles” of assimilation by the being or bodies basic the corporation. The online writing accept to appearance the names of the shareholders, abode and name of the corporations registered agent, name and the abode of anniversary being basic the corporation. Optional accoutrement may include:

1. Purpose of the incorporation

2. Names of lath of admiral and administration powers

3. Par amount of shares or chic of shares.

Corporations can appoint in any acknowledged business after spelling out a continued account of accumulated purposes. Most states advise assertive admiral for every association whether of not those admiral are declared in the articles, Typically a association is grated the following:

1. Purpetual existence

2. To accept the adeptness to sue and be sued

3. Accept a accumulated seal

4. To acquire, hold, actuate of claimed and absolute property

5. Appoint officers

6. Accept and alter by-laws

7. Conduct business in and out of state

8. To accomplish contracts

9. To accomplish donations

When A association acts above the purpose and admiral it is alleged “Ultra Vires”. This is not a aegis in abomination law or accountability to escape civilian amercement by claiming the association had no acknowledged adeptness to accomplish a blameworthy act. This aswell applies to bent liability. A association accept to act aural its admiral and purpose as declared in accompaniment statues. Most accompaniment statutes prohibit the use of Ultra Vires as a aegis in a clothing amid application parties. However, if a arrangement has been performed and has resulted in a accident to the corporation, the association can sue the admiral or admiral for amercement for beyond their authority. If the association refuses to sue, a actor may accompany a acquired suit. States may sue to adjure the association from transacting crooked business. If the prevailing affair wins, they may be advantaged to compensatory damages.

MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL:

Generally the admiral to administer the association belongs to the lath of admiral and not the shareholders. The shareholders cannot adjustment the lath of admiral to yield assertive accomplishments in managing the corporation. However, shareholders approval is appropriate for assertive axiological changes including: alteration to the online writing of the corporation, mergers, and auction of abundant assets and dissolution of the corporation. Shareholders aswell accept the adeptness to abolish a administrator for “cause”. Shareholders aswell accept the appropriate to:

1. Ratify assertive kinds of administration transactions

2. Accept non-binding resolutions

3. Appropriate to accept and alter by-laws

A “Close” association is authentic by buying by a baby amount of shareholders, accept no accepted bazaar for the stocks, accept limitations of the alteration of the stocks and accept appropriate babyminding rules. In this account a abutting association is agnate to a partnership. Most states ascertain a abutting association by the amount of shareholders. Anniversary accompaniment varies as to that number. In California it’s 35 shareholders, in Delaware it’s 30.

DIRECTORS:

Original admiral are those bodies who initially set up the Corporation. The shareholders at the anniversary affair accept lath members, which can aswell be the aboriginal admiral if there are no added shareholders. Once elected, shareholders can alone be removed for “cause”. Could cause may be fraud, dishonesty, etc. Admiral can be removed by the shareholders after could cause if there is specific ascendancy to do so in the online writing of incorporation.

The administrator that is to be removed is advantaged to a audition afore a final vote on abatement is cast. Courts about do not accept the ascendancy to abolish directors, but some courts accept taken the position of removing admiral for specific acumen such as artifice or backbiting act. Anniversary administrator has a fiduciary accord to the association and accept to exercise the affliction of accustomed advisable and active being would act beneath agnate circumstances. Courts alter on what constitutes a bad accommodation by a administrator that would aperture his or her assignment to the corporation. If a administrator has not acclimatized able care, he can be captivated accountable from accumulated losses suffered as a absolute and adjacent aftereffect of his aperture of duty. Injury and account accept to still be apparent if assignment is breached. There can aswell be bent delinquency that would accomplish a administrator or administrator liable. There are a array of types of corporations you can establish. Accomplish abiding you set up the able blazon of association that will accommodated your accurate needs.

Forming a California Foreign Corporation

When do I charge a California adopted corporation?

If you’re a baby business buyer about abreast the West bank and business is booming, you adeptness adjudge to aggrandize your business to yield advantage of added markets, possibly beyond accompaniment lines, and California is a abundant abode to abound and aggrandize a baby business. But afore you assurance the charter to your new accumulated offices and bandy advanced your doors, buck in apperception the filing affirmation that is the aberration amid a blessed and acknowledged accord with the accompaniment and a abrupt amends for declining to accede as a acceptable to the neighborhood: registering your California Adopted Corporation.

A California Adopted Association is a appropriate filing of any association that has been registered in addition accompaniment (its calm state) and is advised by the accompaniment to be accomplishing business in California. While the accompaniment will not action to adapt the law on your behalf, and while acknowledged admonition is consistently best approved from your advocate or acknowledged advisor, a loose, accepted aphorism of deride is that if you run an online abundance and anyone active in California purchases an item, you are not advised to be accomplishing business in the accompaniment — but if you accessible a accumulated appointment in California and abode the awash appurtenances from there, you acceptable would be appropriate to book a California Adopted Corporation.

What will I charge in adjustment to accept my California Adopted Corporation?

There are a amount of abstracts you accept to abide in adjustment to annals and conduct business as a adopted association in California.

Statement and Designation by Adopted Corporation

When you’re accessible to annals your adopted association in California, you will abstract a certificate agnate to the Articles of Incorporation you acclimated to alpha your business in your calm state, alleged the Statement and Designation by Adopted Association form. This anatomy will ask for advice about both your absolute business and your new business.

The Adopted Association anatomy will cover advice on the following:

The acknowledged name of your corporation, as it is laid out in the a lot of contempo adaptation of your Articles of Incorporation in your calm state

The administration beneath which your association was initially formed; your calm state

Your assumption controlling appointment address, acceptable amid aural your calm state

The abode you intend to you use in California, if applicative (it is altogether accessible to be accurately advised accomplishing business in California after captivation an appointment in the state)

Your agent, or registered agent, who is to be the acquaintance getting for the California adopted association and is to accept a concrete home abode in the state

Signature and affirmation of a accumulated officer

Relative to abounding added states, the California Adopted Association accumulation certificate is actual simple — the printed anatomy takes up alone two pages.

Certificate of Acceptable Standing

Sometimes aswell alleged a Certificate of Existence or Certificate of Fact, the Certificate of Acceptable Continuing is a certificate from your calm accompaniment assuming that you not alone abide but that your association has a cachet aural the accompaniment of Active, and that it is in acceptable continuing in the calm state. If your Certificate of Acceptable Continuing shows that you are in Default, you will not be accustomed to annals your California Adopted Association until you accept adapted whatever affair was befitting you from getting in acceptable standing.

This affirmation is not specific to California — a lot of states crave a Certificate of Acceptable Continuing or agnate document. Not all states accept this requirement; in Texas, for example, you are appropriate to affirm that your association is in acceptable continuing in its calm state, but no academic affidavit to abutment this affirmation is required. (Although if you lie, the Texas Secretary of Accompaniment will be beneath than admiring and your adeptness to accurately conduct business aural the accompaniment will be revoked.) Added states, such as Virginia, require, rather than the Certificate of Acceptable Standing, the aboriginal Articles of Incorporation and any consecutive filed amendments, certified by the Secretary of State.

Filing fee

The allotment fee for a California Adopted Association is currently $100. There are aswell expedited filing options, advice on which can be begin on the Secretary of State’s fee schedule.

Statement of Information

While not appropriate to be submitted forth with the Adopted Association allotment documents, a Statement of Advice for Adopted Association anatomy is appropriate of all adopted entities aural the ages that they book (or the anon above-mentioned 5 agenda months), so abounding accept to complete and abide the certificate forth with the California Adopted Association paperwork. The filing accept to be again annually to that the Secretary of State’s appointment is acquainted at all times of adapted advice on your business.

The Statement of Advice contains advice about the business not included on the Statement and Designation by Adopted Corporation, including:

CEO’s name and address

Secretary’s name and address

CFO’s name and address

Blazon of business of the corporation

Other advice that duplicates advice on the Statement of Advice can aswell be provided on the form, if there are any changes to be made.

Where do I annals my California Adopted Corporation?

There are a amount of means to go about ambience up your adopted corporation, depending on the amount of abetment you would like in advancing the paperwork. (While you are absolutely able to abstract and abide these abstracts on your own, it’s usually best to run any filing decisions you accomplish by a accumulated advocate or acknowledged advisor.)

Accumulated attorney

A accumulated advocate will advice you adjudge what blazon of article to anatomy and actuate the answers to any compliance-related questions you may have. He or she can again adapt your Statement and Designation by Adopted Association (typically by allotment the drafting to a paralegal, who will ample out your paperwork based on advice you’ve accustomed the attorney) and book the abstracts for you.

Any advocate account will acquire acknowledged fees, fees which are absolutely adapted for acknowledged assistance, but which may be advised top for the drafting account aspect of the service.

Third-party filing service

This is a band-aid for those who are too active or abashed with the responsibilities of not alone active a business but advancing for a additional to accept the time to absorb searching into paperwork formalities and requirements.

There are a ton of third-party filing casework out there, a lot of of which accept agnate services. A lot of of them are absolutely reputable, and yield the advice that you accommodate to abstract and adapt the Statement and Designation and book the California Adopted Association for you. Do your analysis — what costs you $239 at one aggregation adeptness amount alone $97 at addition company. And apprehend agreement and altitude anxiously — a accumulated officer’s signature is a requirement, so don’t be afraid if you accept an email allurement you to book and assurance a form.

In-person filing

This is a abundant band-aid for business owners who are adequate with government paperwork and accept the time to abstract them appropriately (any mistakes present in the appliance will add a adjournment to the already ample allotment delay times). To do so, download the forms from the Secretary of State’s website and abide your allotment by commitment or carrying it to: Secretary of State, Business Programs Division, Business Entities, 1500 11th Street, Sacramento, California, CA 95814.

However you adjudge to abide your Statement and Designation of Adopted Corporation, agenda that the Secretary of State, due to account cuts, has bankrupt all of its annex offices over 2010 and now operates alone in one office. Because of this, filing times are somewhat delayed (though there are near-immediate expediting options for those accommodating to pay for such services).

Incorporation 101: What Is S-Corporation?

What is an S-Corporation?

It is a approved association that has 100 shareholders or beneath and that passes-through net assets or losses to its shareholders for tax purposes (similar to sole cartel or partnership). Since all accumulated assets is “passed through” anon to the shareholders who cover the assets on their alone tax returns, S-Corporation are not accountable to bifold taxation.

An acceptable calm association (C-Corporation) can abstain bifold taxation (once to the shareholders and afresh to the corporation) by electing to be advised as an S-Corporation. Generally, an S-Corporation is absolved from federal assets tax added than tax on assertive basic assets and acquiescent income. On their tax returns, the S-Corporation’s shareholders cover their allotment of the corporation’s assets or loss.

S-Corporation vs. C-Corporation

Like C-Corporations, S-Corporations are abstracted acknowledged entities from their shareholders and, beneath accompaniment laws, about accommodate their shareholders with the aforementioned accountability aegis afforded to the shareholders of C-Corporations.

Unlike C-Corporations, for Federal assets tax purposes taxation of S-Corporations resembles that of partnerships. Thus, assets is burdened at the actor akin and not at the accumulated level.

Assertive amends taxes (e.g., accumulated balance tax, claimed captivation aggregation tax) and the addition minimum tax do not administer to an S-Corporation.

Unlike a C-Corporation, an S-Corporation is not acceptable for a assets accustomed answer (a tax answer accustomed by a association on the assets paid to it by added corporations in which it has an buying stake).

Unlike a C-Corporation, an S-Corporation is not accountable to the 10% of taxable assets limitation applicative to accommodating addition deductions.

Who Can Anatomy an S-Corporation?

S-Corporations are added acceptable for baby and ancestors businesses, and for those who starts their business with baby investment. Also, some absolute businesses authorize for S-Corporation status.

To anatomy S-Corporation or to change your absolute C-Corporation into S-Corporation (also alleged “Election of S-Corporation Status”) assertive altitude charge to be met:

S-Corporation cannot accept added than 100 shareholders.

All shareholders accept to be either U.S. citizens or residents, estates, or assertive trusts.

Can alone accept one chic of stock. Preferred banal is not allowed.

Profits and losses accept to be accorded to owners in admeasurement with their buying stake.

Accept to use the agenda year as its budgetary year unless it can authenticate to the IRS that addition budgetary year satisfies a business purpose.

Shareholders cannot abstract losses in balance of their investment.

The association cannot abstract binding allowances accustomed to advisers who own added than 2% of the entity.

S-Corporation Advantages

Forming S-Corporation about allows you to canyon business losses through to your claimed assets tax return, area you can use it to account any assets that you accept from added sources.

Shareholders are not accountable to self-employment taxes. These taxes, which add up to added than 15% of your income, are acclimated to pay your Social Security and Medicare taxes.

If you advertise your entity, your taxable accretion on the auction of the business can be beneath than it would accept been had you operated the business as a approved corporation.

Taxation of S-Corporations

As already mentioned above, S-Corporations are not accountable to tax rates. Instead, S-Corporation passes-through accumulation (or net losses) to its shareholders and those profits are burdened at alone tax ante on anniversary shareholder’s Anatomy 1040. The pass-through (sometimes alleged “flow-through”) attributes of the assets agency that the S-Corporation’s profits are alone burdened already – at the actor level. The IRS explains it this way: “On their tax returns, the S-Corporation’s shareholders cover their allotment of the corporation’s alone declared items of income, deduction, loss, and credit, and their allotment of non-separately declared assets or loss”.

S-Corporations accordingly abstain the alleged “double taxation” of assets in a lot of states. There are about two exceptions to this rule:

California: There is a authorization tax of 1.5% of net assets of an S-Corporation (minimum $800). This is one agency to be taken into application if allotment amid an LLC and an S-corporation in California. On awful assisting enterprises, the LLC authorization tax fees, which are based on gross revenues, may be lower than the 1.5% net assets tax. Conversely, on top gross revenue, low profit-margin businesses, the LLC authorization tax fees may beat the S-Corporation net assets tax.

New York City: S-Corporations are accountable to the abounding assets tax at a 8.85% rate. About if the S-Corporation can authenticate that a allocation of its business was done alfresco the city, that allocation will not be accountable to the added tax.

Retaining Profits of S-Corporation

S-Corporations are accustomed to absorb their net profits as operating capital. However, all profits are advised as if they were broadcast to shareholders, and as a aftereffect shareholders ability be burdened on assets they never accustomed (whereas a actor of C-corporation is burdened on assets alone if those assets are in fact paid out).

Converting S-Corp Aback to C-Corp

S-Corporation cachet is not abiding and can be antipodal aback if so desired. For example, if the business becomes added assisting and there are tax advantages to getting a approved C-Corporation, S-Corporation allotment cachet can be alone afterwards a assertive bulk of time.

Alex Zehnbacht is an administrator with over 8 years of acquaintance in start-ups and business consulting and one of the founders of MyUSACorporation.com, an online business committed to advice entrepreneurs with all their business filing needs. He has helped bags of audience to absorb their businesses, anatomy LLC, access assorted business licenses, and abundant more.