California law allows a business to incorporate and be recognized as its own legal entity. After incorporation, buying and selling property, assenting to contracts and exercising legal rights are considered acts of the business itself and not its owners. In California, the process of incorporation is begun by filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in California
There are distinct benefits to incorporating a business. Most importantly, liabilities the business accrues may be satisfied only by assets that the owners have specifically invested in it. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to satisfy the liabilities of the business. Furthermore, banks in the El Dorado County area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of acquiring corporate loans simpler. Lastly, 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
These advantages come at a price. First, incorporation in California may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other 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 El Dorado County lawyer.