In Massachusetts, businesses are allowed to incorporate, thereby becoming their own legal entities. 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. To incorporate in Massachusetts, a business must file with the Secretary of State in compliance with particular guidelines.

Benefits of Incorporation in Massachusetts

Certain benefits inure to a business in Massachusetts 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 satisfy the liabilities of the business. A corporation may also find it easier to finance itself through loans, allowing creditors in the Athol area to evaluate their investment by assessing the corporation rather than the individual credit-worthiness of its owners. Finally, ownership of a corporation is divided into equal portions or "shares" of stock, which may be bought and sold much more easily than the ownership of an unincorporated business.

Costs of Incorporation

Incorporation can be costly. First, a modest filing fee may be charged in Massachusetts for any business that wants 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 may be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Athol lawyer.