You have two options for choosing a location to incorporate in. You can either incorporate in the state where your company expects to conduct the majority of its business, or you can choose to incorporate in another state. However, if you incorporate in one state and end up conducting business in another, you will have to qualify to do business in that state which will most likely involve more incorporation fees, filing requirements and paperwork.
Many businesses (mostly publicly-held corporations or companies that operate in multiple states) will decide to form in one state even though the business’ primary headquarters is located in another state. Doing so allows for the possibility of tax benefits and flexibility in management structure. If you are a small business only operating in one state, choosing to incorporate in a different state than the one you are conducting business in could cost you more time and money. Knowing what the comparative costs would be if you formed a legal entity in a particular state versus the costs of registering as a “foreign corporation” in that state is very beneficial in this case.
It’s also beneficial to know what the state’s corporate laws are in regards to the rights and responsibilities of corporate shareholders and directors, as well as in regards to the rights of creditors. Further, each state has a different tax rate, so knowing what those numbers are for each state can also help you decide where it would be best to incorporate your business. Incorporation services may also differ from state to state.
Popular states for forming legal entities
Certain states (most commonly Delaware and Nevada) will provide additional incentives and lower tax rates than others and it should be a part of the LLC services provided to you by your chosen vendor.
Delaware is considered to be a popular state to form a business legal entity, such as a corporation or LLC. According to the Delaware Division of Corporations, more than 60% of the Fortune 500 and 50% of U.S. publicly-traded corporations on the New York Stock Exchange are incorporated in Delaware. This is because Delaware General Corporation of Law is one of the most advanced and flexible in the nation, and offers inexpensive incorporation fees. Delaware also has a court system with over 200 years of legal experience. Another reason Delaware is so popular is because the state keeps corporation statute and business laws current, and the Delaware Secretary of State operates like a business, rather than a governmental bureaucracy.
Nevada is the runner up for incorporation services, and one of the reasons why is that, unlike other states, it does not have an annual franchise tax. There are also other benefits for business owners who choose to form a legal entity in the state of Nevada, such as: directors and officers may be nonresidents, stock holders can remain private, and one person may hold all corporate officers.
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