For businesses seeking recognition as separate legal entities, Ohio 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. The office of the Secretary of State is the agency that receives applications for incorporation in Ohio, and they must be completed in conformity with certain guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Ohio
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. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to satisfy the liabilities of the business. A corporation also allows creditors in the Green area to assess the credit worthiness of the business as a whole rather than that of its owners, allowing the business to obtain loans more easily. Lastly, a corporation's ownership stake is divided into equal slices or "shares" of stock, which make investments in the business much easier to transfer.
Costs of Incorporation
There are costs associated with incorporation, both short and long term. First, businesses in Ohio may be charged a fee to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own entity. Disbursements to the owners of the corporation are also taxed as individual income, so this means earnings may be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Green lawyer.