For businesses seeking identification as separate legal entities, New Hampshire 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. A business looking to incorporate in New Hampshire must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in New Hampshire
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. Had the business instead remained a collection of the owners' personal assets, the personal property of the stakeholders could be liquidated to pay the liabilities of the business, if it runs into financial issues. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Portsmouth area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more difficult. 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 New Hampshire may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other 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 Portsmouth lawyer.