In Missouri, businesses are allowed to incorporate, thereby becoming their own legal entities. An incorporated business acts in its own name, whether buying and selling property, agreeing to contracts or exercising legal rights. The office of the Secretary of State is the agency that receives applications for incorporation in Missouri, and they must be completed in conformity with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Missouri
Certain advantages inure to a business in Missouri 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. 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 Berkeley area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more difficult. Lastly, 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
These benefits come at a price. First, incorporation in Missouri may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other 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 Berkeley lawyer.