For businesses seeking identification as separate legal entities, North Carolina 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 North Carolina must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.

Benefits of Incorporation in North Carolina

There are distinct advantages to incorporating a business. Most importantly, liabilities the business accrues may be satisfied only by assets that the owners have specifically invested in it. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to fulfill the liabilities of the business. Also, creditors in the Gaston County 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. 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

There are costs associated with incorporation, both short and long term. First, businesses in North Carolina might be charged a fee to incorporate. Also, 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 Gaston County lawyer.