For businesses seeking identification 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 acting 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 specific guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in North Dakota
A corporation enjoys advantages that unincorporated companies do not. Primarily, it cannot be held accountable for an amount of debt greater than the value of the assets that the owners have invested in it. If the business had remained a personal asset of the owners, they could run the risk of losing their personal property to pay for the company's financial liabilities in case of default. A corporation might also find it easier to finance itself through loans, allowing creditors in the Williston area to evaluate their investment by assessing the corporation rather than the individual credit-worthiness of its owners. Finally, 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 benefits 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 might avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Williston lawyer.