Florida law allows a business to incorporate and be identified as its own legal entity. When an incorporated business acts, whether it is to buy and sell property, agree 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
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. 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. Furthermore, banks in the Tampa area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of receiving corporate loans simpler. Finally, 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 benefits come at a price. First, incorporation in Florida 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 Tampa lawyer.