For businesses seeking identification as separate legal entities, New York law allows them to undergo the process of incorporation. An incorporated business acts in its own name, whether buying and selling property, agreeing to contracts or exercising legal rights. In New York, the process of incorporation is begun by filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in New York
An incorporated business enjoys certain advantages, the most important being a limit of liability for the shareholders. The most shareholders can lose is the amount they invest in the business. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to satisfy its liabilities. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Suffolk County area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more difficult. 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
Incorporation comes at a price. First, New York 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 Suffolk County lawyer.