For businesses seeking recognition 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, assenting 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 benefits, 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 Syracuse area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more cumbersome. Finally, ownership of a corporation is divided into equal portions or "shares" of stock, which may be bought and sold much more easily than the ownership of an unincorporated business.
Costs of Incorporation
Incorporation can be costly. First, a modest filing fee may be charged in New York for any business that wants to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own entity. The incomes of owners as individuals are also taxed of course, meaning that income to the corporation may be subject to double taxation. However, this disadvantage can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Syracuse lawyer.