Under Pennsylvania law, a business may incorporate. If it chooses to do so, it is thereafter identified as its own legal entity. This means that the business can buy or sell property, offer and accept contracts and exercise legal rights in its own name. A business looking to incorporate in Pennsylvania must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Pennsylvania
A corporation enjoys advantages that unincorporated companies do not. Primarily, it cannot be held accountable for an amount of debt greater than the value of the assets that the owners have invested in it. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to fulfill its liabilities. A corporation also allows creditors in the Columbia area to assess the credit worthiness of the business as a whole rather than that of its owners, allowing the business to get loans more easily. 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
Along with a possible fee to apply for incorporation in Pennsylvania, there are other costs that corporations incur. The most important is that 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 might be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Columbia lawyer.