For businesses seeking identification as separate legal entities, New York 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. A business looking to incorporate in New York must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in New York
Certain advantages inure to a business in New York 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 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. Also, creditors in the Elmira area typically 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, 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
These benefits come at a price. First, incorporation in New York 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 Elmira lawyer.