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 particular 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 Greenfield 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
Incorporation comes at a price. First, Ohio may charge a filing fee to process applications for incorporation. Also, the corporation will pay taxes as its own 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 may avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Greenfield lawyer.