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 specific guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Missouri
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. Without incorporation, the personal property of business owners is at stake should the company become unable to pay its debts. Furthermore, banks in the Des Peres area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of getting corporate loans simpler. 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. The incomes of owners as individuals are also taxed of course, meaning that income to the corporation might be subject to double taxation. However, this disadvantage can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Des Peres lawyer.