1. The Benefits of Incorporating Your Business
2. How to Incorporate Your Business
3. Costs Associated With Incorporating

Getting a lawyer to incorporate my business is a great way to simplify the incorporation process, allowing you to take full advantage of all the benefits that come along with incorporating and get to the business of running your company as quickly as possible.

The Benefits of Incorporating Your Business

There are a number of benefits to incorporating your business, such as:

  • Corporations limit personal liability
  • They offer attractive tax breaks
  • Costs of health and life insurance are tax-deductible
  • More credibility and taken more seriously by other people and companies in your market
  • Ability to sell stock to raise capital for your company
  • Ease of transferring ownership of the corporation

How to Incorporate Your Business

Incorporating your business can be done without help if you know which documents to fill out and file with local state authorities. A popular alternative, however, is to work with an attorney who has knowledge and experience in this area. If you plan to incorporate your business without help from an attorney, there are a number of steps you'll need to take.

To begin, you'll need to select a suitable name for your company. Don't make the mistake of thinking this is as simple as it sounds, though. You'll need to run a search for your intended company name with your local Secretary of State to make sure it's not already in use by another company. It's also not a bad idea to check the federal and local state trademark databases. If your intended name is available, you're going to want to reserve it, if this is allowed in your state.

Next, you'll need to create your company's articles of incorporation, referred to in some states as "articles of organization". These will be filed with your local Secretary of State. In most cases, you'll also need to pay filing fees to do this, and these fees will vary from one state to the next.

You'll also need to put a board of directors in place. In addition to a board of directors, your company will need to have a registered agent. A registered agent is somebody who lives in the state in which you're incorporating who agrees to receive legal correspondence on the company's behalf. Every corporation also needs to have a set of bylaws in place. If you choose to, you can issue stock in the company.

Depending on the city and state in which you are conducting business, you may also be required to obtain a business license. Finally, you'll need to obtain an employer identification number, or EIN, from the Internal Revenue Service. This allows you to hire employees and file taxes for the company.

Costs Associated With Incorporating

If you choose to file your incorporation documents without a lawyer's assistance, you'll normally only have to worry about paying state filing fees. These can range somewhere from $100 to $250 on average, depending on your specific state. If you use an online incorporation service, you'll likely end up paying a few hundred dollars more than filing by yourself. However, filing in this way provides you with the peace of mind that everything has been completed and correctly filed. That can potentially save you much time and money in the long run.

While hiring a business lawyer is the most expensive option, it's also the safest. On average, expect to pay around $150 per hour for an attorney's services and the process will take him or her somewhere around a total of five billable hours to complete. This is, of course, in addition to state filing fees. The main benefit here is, a good business lawyer knows exactly what to do to get you incorporated as quickly and correctly as possible, which could save you much time and money as opposed to trying to handle everything yourself and making expensive mistakes.

Generally speaking, the less complex your business is, the less you'll need an attorney to help you incorporate. If you are planning to start a more complex company, it is highly recommended that you get help from a lawyer.

If you need help from a lawyer to incorporate my business, 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.