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, agree 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 specific guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Massachusetts
Certain advantages 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. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to pay its liabilities. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Canton area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more difficult. Finally, the ownership stake in a corporation can be apportioned into uniform slices, known as "shares" of stock. This makes it possible to sell ownership investments in more manageable slices.
Costs of Incorporation
These benefits come at a price. First, incorporation in Massachusetts 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 Canton lawyer.