For businesses seeking identification 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, agreeing 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 specific guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Ohio
Certain advantages inure to a business in Ohio 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 instead remained a collection of the owners' personal assets, the personal property of the stakeholders could be liquidated to pay the liabilities of the business, if it runs into financial issues. Also, creditors in the Lucas County area generally prefer to deal with corporations, since a loan is an investment more easily evaluated when the credit-worthiness of various owners is not an issue. 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 Ohio may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other entity. Disbursements to the owners of the corporation are also taxed as individual income, so this means earnings might be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Lucas County lawyer.