Alabama law allows a business to incorporate and be identified as its own legal entity. As a separate entity from the owners, the business is then considered to be operating on its own when it buys and sells property, assents to contracts and exercises legal rights. The Alabama Secretary of State receives and processes applications for incorporation, which must be submitted in compliance with local guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Alabama
There are distinct advantages to incorporating a business. Most importantly, liabilities the business accrues may be satisfied only by assets that the owners have specifically invested in it. If the business had remained a personal asset of the owners, they could run the risk of losing their personal property to pay for the company's financial liabilities in case of default. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Birmingham area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more difficult. Finally, a corporation's ownership stake is divided into equal slices or "shares" of stock, which make investments in the business much easier to transfer.
Costs of Incorporation
Incorporation comes at a price. First, Alabama might charge a filing fee to process applications for incorporation. Also, the corporation will pay taxes as its own entity. The incomes of owners as individuals are also taxed of course, meaning that income to the corporation might be subject to double taxation. However, this disadvantage can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Birmingham lawyer.