California law allows a business to incorporate and be identified as its own legal entity. After incorporation, buying and selling property, agreeing 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 certain guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in California
Benefits of incorporation are many. The primary benefit is that the liabilities of the business can only be satisfied by the assets specifically invested into the company by the owners. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to fulfill its liabilities. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Manhattan Beach area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more difficult. Lastly, ownership of a corporation is divided into equal portions or "shares" of stock, which may be bought and sold much more easily than the ownership of an unincorporated business.
Costs of Incorporation
Incorporation comes at a price. First, California might charge a filing fee to process applications for incorporation. Also, the corporation will pay taxes as its own entity. The individual incomes of owners who are paid disbursements from the corporation's earnings are still taxed as well. This is called double taxation, but it may be avoided with proper planning and assistance from a local Manhattan Beach lawyer.