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
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. Furthermore, banks in the Madison area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of getting corporate loans simpler. Finally, a corporations charter requires that ownership be divided into stakes or "shares" of stock, all of equal size. This makes the process of transferring control much more practical.
Costs of Incorporation
Incorporation comes at a price. First, New Jersey might charge a filing fee to process applications for incorporation. Also, the corporation will pay taxes as its own entity. The individual incomes of owners who are paid disbursements from the corporation's earnings are still taxed as well. This is called double taxation, but it may be avoided with proper planning and assistance from a local Madison lawyer.