In Michigan, businesses are allowed to incorporate, thereby becoming their own legal entities. An incorporated business acts in its own name, whether buying and selling property, assenting to contracts or exercising legal rights. To incorporate in Michigan, a business must file with the Secretary of State in compliance with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Michigan
There are distinct benefits to incorporating a business. Most importantly, liabilities the business accrues may be satisfied only by assets that the owners have specifically invested in it. Without incorporation, the personal property of business owners is at stake should the company become unable to satisfy its debts. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Washtenaw County area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more cumbersome. Finally, 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
There are costs associated with incorporation, both short and long term. First, businesses in Michigan may be charged a fee to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own 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 can be avoided with proper planning and assistance from a local Washtenaw County lawyer.