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 operating 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 particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in North Carolina
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. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to satisfy its liabilities. Furthermore, banks in the Wilmington area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of receiving 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
Incorporation can be costly. First, a modest filing fee might be charged in North Carolina for any business that wants to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own entity. The incomes of owners as individuals are also taxed of course, meaning that income to the corporation might be subject to double taxation. However, this disadvantage can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Wilmington lawyer.