Alabama law allows a business to incorporate and be recognized 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 office of the Secretary of State is the agency that receives applications for incorporation in Alabama, and they must be completed in conformity with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Alabama
An incorporated business enjoys certain benefits, the most important being a limit of liability for the shareholders. The most shareholders can lose is the amount they invest in the business. If the business had remained a personal asset of the owners, they would run the risk of losing their personal property to pay for the company's financial liabilities in case of default. Also, creditors in the Opelika area usually prefer to deal with corporations, since a loan is an investment more easily evaluated when the credit-worthiness of various owners is not an issue. Finally, the ownership of a corporation is divided into an abundance of equal portions or "shares" of stock. Without this mechanism, transferring ownership of a business would be impractical.
Costs of Incorporation
Along with a possible fee to file for incorporation in Alabama, there are other costs that corporations incur. The most important is that a corporation is taxed as its own entity. In other words, the profits a corporation makes are now taxed separately, while any disbursements to shareholders are taxed as individual income. This is called double taxation. However, a business may avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Opelika lawyer.