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, assenting 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 certain guidelines.

Benefits of Incorporation in Missouri

A corporation enjoys benefits 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. If the business had remained a personal asset of the owners, they would run the risk of losing their personal property to pay for the company's financial liabilities in case of default. A corporation may also find it easier to finance itself through loans, allowing creditors in the Clayton area to evaluate their investment by assessing the corporation rather than the individual credit-worthiness of its owners. Lastly, 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 advantages come at a price. First, incorporation in Missouri 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 can be avoided with proper planning and assistance from a local Clayton lawyer.