For businesses seeking recognition as separate legal entities, Missouri law allows them to undergo the process of incorporation. This means that the business may buy or sell property, offer and accept contracts and exercise legal rights in its own name. 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
Certain benefits 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. Had the business instead remained a collection of the owners' personal assets, the personal property of the stakeholders could be liquidated to pay the liabilities of the business, if it runs into financial problems. Also, creditors in the Warrenton area generally 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, 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 Missouri may be charged a fee to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own entity. The individual incomes of the owners are still taxed also, and this can mean the same income is taxed twice, known as double taxation. With proper planning and assistance from a local Warrenton lawyer, you can avoid this disadvantage.