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 remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to fulfill its liabilities. Furthermore, banks in the Geneva area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of receiving 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
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. 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 Geneva lawyer.