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 certain guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Massachusetts
A corporation enjoys advantages that unincorporated companies do not. Primarily, it cannot be held accountable for an amount of debt greater than the value of the assets that the owners have invested in it. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to fulfill its liabilities. Also, creditors in the Newton area typically 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. Finally, a corporations charter requires that ownership be divided into stakes or "shares" of stock, all of equal size. This makes the process of transferring control much more practical.
Costs of Incorporation
Incorporation comes at a price. First, Massachusetts might charge a filing fee to process applications for incorporation. Also, the corporation will pay taxes as its own entity. In other words, the profits a corporation makes are now taxed separately, while any disbursements to shareholders are taxed as individual income. This is called double taxation. However, a business might avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Newton lawyer.