In Illinois, businesses are allowed to incorporate, thereby becoming their own legal entities. This means that the business can buy or sell property, offer and accept contracts and exercise legal rights in its own name. The office of the Secretary of State is the agency that receives applications for incorporation in Illinois, and they must be completed in conformity with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Illinois
Certain advantages inure to a business in Illinois 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. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to fulfill the liabilities of the business. Also, creditors in the St. Joseph area usually prefer to deal with corporations, since a loan is an investment more easily evaluated when the credit-worthiness of various owners is not an issue. 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.
Costs of Incorporation
These benefits come at a price. First, incorporation in Illinois may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other 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 may be avoided with proper planning and assistance from a local St. Joseph lawyer.