Florida law allows a business to incorporate and be recognized as its own legal entity. When an incorporated business acts, whether it is to buy and sell property, assent to contracts or exercise legal rights, the process is then attributable to the business itself and not its owners. The Florida Secretary of State receives and processes applications for incorporation, which must be submitted in compliance with local guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Florida
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. Had the business instead remained a collection of the owners' personal assets, the personal property of the stakeholders could be liquidated to pay the liabilities of the business, if it runs into financial problems. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the St. Augustine area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more cumbersome. 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 Florida may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other entity. The incomes of owners as individuals are also taxed of course, meaning that income to the corporation may be subject to double taxation. However, this disadvantage can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local St. Augustine lawyer.