For businesses seeking recognition as separate legal entities, North Dakota law allows them to undergo the process of incorporation. As a separate entity from the owners, the business is then considered to be functioning on its own when it buys and sells property, assents to contracts and exercises legal rights. The office of the Secretary of State is the agency that receives applications for incorporation in North Dakota, and they must be completed in conformity with certain guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in North Dakota
An incorporated business enjoys certain benefits, the most important being a limit of liability for the shareholders. The most shareholders can lose is the amount they invest in the business. 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. A corporation may also find it easier to finance itself through loans, allowing creditors in the Dickinson area to evaluate their investment by assessing the corporation rather than the individual credit-worthiness of its owners. Lastly, a corporation's ownership stake is divided into equal slices or "shares" of stock, which make investments in the business much easier to transfer.
Costs of Incorporation
These advantages come at a price. First, incorporation in North Dakota may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other entity. In other words, the profits a corporation makes are now taxed separately, while any disbursements to shareholders are taxed as individual income. This is called double taxation. However, a business may avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Dickinson lawyer.