For businesses seeking identification as separate legal entities, New Jersey law allows them to undergo the process of incorporation. When an incorporated business acts, whether it is to buy and sell property, agree to contracts or exercise legal rights, the process is then attributable to the business itself and not its owners. To incorporate in New Jersey, a business must file with the Secretary of State in compliance with specific guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in New Jersey
Certain advantages inure to a business in New Jersey that has incorporated over one that has not. First, a corporation's liabilities can never go beyond the amount invested in the business by the owners. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to pay its liabilities. Also, creditors in the Gloucester area generally prefer to deal with corporations, since a loan is an investment more easily evaluated when the credit-worthiness of various owners is not an issue. Finally, the ownership stake in a corporation can be apportioned into uniform slices, known as "shares" of stock. This makes it possible to sell ownership investments in more manageable slices.
Costs of Incorporation
These benefits come at a price. First, incorporation in New Jersey 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 Gloucester lawyer.