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. A business looking to incorporate in Montana must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Montana
Certain advantages inure to a business in Montana 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. 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 Hamilton area to evaluate their investment by assessing the corporation rather than the individual credit-worthiness of its owners. Lastly, ownership of a corporation is divided into equal portions or "shares" of stock, which may be bought and sold much more easily than the ownership of an unincorporated business.
Costs of Incorporation
Along with a possible fee to apply for incorporation in Montana, there are other costs that corporations incur. The most important is that a corporation is taxed as its own entity. Disbursements to the owners of the corporation are also taxed as individual income, so this means earnings might be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Hamilton lawyer.