Iowa law allows a business to incorporate and be identified as its own legal entity. An incorporated business acts in its own name, whether buying and selling property, agreeing to contracts or exercising legal rights. The Iowa Secretary of State receives and processes applications for incorporation, which must be submitted in compliance with local guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Iowa
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. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to fulfill its liabilities. A corporation also allows creditors in the Mason City area to assess the credit worthiness of the business as a whole rather than that of its owners, allowing the business to acquire loans more easily. 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
There are costs associated with incorporation, both short and long term. First, businesses in Iowa might be charged a fee to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own 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 Mason City lawyer.