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. 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 particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in California
Advantages 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. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to satisfy the liabilities of the business. A corporation also allows creditors in the Watsonville area to assess the credit worthiness of the business as a whole rather than that of its owners, allowing the business to obtain loans more easily. 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
There are costs associated with incorporation, both short and long term. First, businesses in California may be charged a fee to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed 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 can be avoided with proper planning and assistance from a local Watsonville lawyer.