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. The office of the Secretary of State is the agency that receives applications for incorporation in California, and they must be completed in conformity with certain guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in California
An incorporated business enjoys certain advantages, 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 could run the risk of losing their personal property to pay for the company's financial liabilities in case of default. Also, creditors in the Mission Viejo area typically 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 stake in a corporation can be apportioned into uniform slices, known as "shares" of stock. This makes it possible to sell ownership investments in more manageable slices.
Costs of Incorporation
These benefits come at a price. First, incorporation in California may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other entity. Disbursements to the owners of the corporation are also taxed as individual income, so this means earnings might be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Mission Viejo lawyer.