Incorporation in California
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 specific guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in California
Certain advantages inure to a business in California that has incorporated over one that has not. First, a corporation's liabilities can never go beyond the amount invested in the business by the owners. Without incorporation, the personal property of business owners is at stake should the company become unable to pay its debts. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Santa Ana area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more difficult. Lastly, 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.
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Life in Santa Ana
Santa Ana is the county seat of the infamous Orange County, California. Santa Ana is the 4th most densely populated area in the United States with over 325,000 residents. Santa Ana is known nationally for it's beautiful coastline and it lends its name to the Santa Ana Freeway that bisects the city as well as the winds that historically fuel wildfires in Southern California, the Santa Ana Winds. One of the reasons people flock to Santa Ana is for work with Orange County at the Santa Ana Civic Center. Santa Ana has a high number of skilled lawyers because it's the location of the Orange County Supreme Court and the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse.
Santa Ana's close proximity to Los Angeles attracts many corporate headquarters. Behr Paint, Corinthian Colleges, First American Corporation, and The Orange County Register all have their corporate headquarters in Santa Ana. Ingram Micro is the world's largest information technology distributor and outdoes all of the others as the top employer in Santa Ana besides Orange County. For those folks commuting out of the city by way of public transit, Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner runs through Los Angeles to San Diego. Santa Ana also has service from the Metrolink Orange County Line to Oceanside and the Inland Empire Line running to San Juan Capistrano and San Bernardino.
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. 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 might avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Santa Ana lawyer.