For businesses seeking identification as separate legal entities, Montana law allows them to undergo the process of incorporation. This means that the business can 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 Montana, and they must be completed in conformity with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Montana
Benefits of incorporation are many. The primary benefit is that the liabilities of the business can only be satisfied by the assets specifically invested into the company by the owners. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to fulfill the liabilities of the business. A corporation might also find it easier to finance itself through loans, allowing creditors in the Billings area to evaluate their investment by assessing the corporation rather than the individual credit-worthiness of its owners. Finally, 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 benefits come at a price. First, incorporation in Montana 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 may be avoided with proper planning and assistance from a local Billings lawyer.