For businesses seeking identification as separate legal entities, North Carolina law allows them to undergo the process of incorporation. As a separate entity from the owners, the business is then considered to be acting on its own when it buys and sells property, assents to contracts and exercises legal rights. To incorporate in North Carolina, a business must file with the Secretary of State in compliance with specific 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. Without incorporation, the personal property of business owners is at stake should the company become unable to pay its debts. Furthermore, banks in the Raleigh area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of getting corporate loans simpler. 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 North Carolina, 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 Raleigh lawyer.