In Louisiana, businesses are allowed to incorporate, thereby becoming their own legal entities. After incorporation, buying and selling property, assenting to contracts and exercising legal rights are considered acts of the business itself and not its owners. A business seeking to incorporate in Louisiana must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Louisiana
An incorporated business enjoys certain benefits, 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. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Calcasieu Parish 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
Incorporation comes at a price. First, Louisiana may charge a filing fee to process applications for incorporation. Also, the corporation will pay taxes as its own entity. The individual incomes of the owners are still taxed also, and this can mean the same income is taxed twice, known as double taxation. With proper planning and assistance from a local Calcasieu Parish lawyer, you can avoid this disadvantage.