1. Filing Your Corporation
2. Steps to Follow
3. Form a Company: Florida

It's rewarding to form a company of your own. A popular business entity is a corporation, which is a legal entity that's separated from the owner. A corporation can open their own bank account, have their own assets, and be taxed under their own name separately. Forming a corporation gives the shareholders and investors liability protection by protecting their personal assets. How a corporation is taxed will also depend on if you form an S corporation or a C corporation. Once deciding that, you'll need to know the necessary steps to take for a business to be organized.

Filing Your Corporation

When forming a company, you'll want to first pick a corporate name. This shouldn't be related to another company's trademark and should be completely original. A trademark can be one of the following:

  • Symbol
  • Design
  • Name
  • Word
  • Combination of any of these

The trademark should distinguish and identify what goods will be sold and indicate where the source of the goods is. A search can be done in the United States Patent and Trademark database to see if the name is currently being used. The name should not be similar to another name on the records of the Secretary of State, and it can't trick the public. For example, due to the well-known company Twitter, you can't register a business with the name of "Twitter, Inc." or even "Tweeter, Inc." as they're too close.

Some states, such as Texas and California, can do a check for you to see if the name is available when a request is mailed in. Make sure the name is in line with the guidelines for state corporations. It may need to have a designator such as Corp., Inc., or Ltd. The name should not have words in it that imply it's associated with the government, such as Federal, National, or Reserve. In order for the name to be approved and registered successfully, the name must be very unique.

Steps to Follow

You'll need to check if the web domain is available for the name you have in mind. The internet is how many people search for companies, so you'll want a domain name that matches your company's name. If this is already taken, you might consider coming up with a new name. You'll also need to register your new name with the government. Corporations will need to register their names with the government of the state they'll be operating in. Each state has different filing requirements, which can be found out by checking with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Some states let business names be reserved for a certain period of time. In Texas, you can reserve your name of choice for up to 120 days, and for up to 60 days in California. There is usually a fee that's required for the name reservations, which will vary depending on the state.

A board of directors should be chosen for the corporation. They're in charge of making decisions for the business and approving all financial decisions as well as major corporate procedures and policies. They choose the officers of the corporation, decide what the salaries will be, and approve stock issuance.

The board of directors can be appointed by themselves or by other people. There needs to be at least one director regardless of how many owners exist. This varies from state to state, so the policies for each state should be checked. Any licenses or permits that are required will also need to be obtained. After you've finished all the necessary steps to start a corporate entity, you'll want to make sure you comply with any requirements for running a business in your locality and state.

You will also need to get an employment identification number, or EIN, and a business license before starting to operate your business.

Form a Company: Florida

For businesses in the state of Florida, companies will need to register with the Division of Corporations before they can begin operating. This includes non-profit corporations, for-profit corporations, and limited liability companies. It's not necessary for sole proprietorships and other types of partnerships though.

If you need help with figuring out how to form a company, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.