For businesses seeking recognition as separate legal entities, North Carolina 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. A business seeking to incorporate in North Carolina must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in North Carolina
There are distinct benefits to incorporating a business. Most importantly, liabilities the business accrues may be satisfied only by assets that the owners have specifically 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. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Cumberland County area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more cumbersome. 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
These advantages come at a price. First, incorporation in North Carolina 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 Cumberland County lawyer.