Under Pennsylvania law, a business may incorporate. If it chooses to do so, it is thereafter identified as its own legal entity. As a separate entity from the owners, the business is then considered to be functioning on its own when it buys and sells property, assents to contracts and exercises legal rights. The Pennsylvania Secretary of State receives and processes applications for incorporation, which must be submitted in compliance with local guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Pennsylvania
There are distinct advantages to incorporating a business. Most importantly, liabilities the business accrues may be satisfied only by assets that the owners have specifically invested in it. 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. A corporation also allows creditors in the Pittsburgh area to assess the credit worthiness of the business as a whole rather than that of its owners, allowing the business to acquire loans more easily. Lastly, the ownership of a corporation is divided into an abundance of equal portions or "shares" of stock. Without this mechanism, transferring ownership of a business would be impractical.
Costs of Incorporation
Incorporation can be costly. First, a modest filing fee might be charged in Pennsylvania for any business that wants to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own entity. The individual incomes of the owners are still taxed also, and this can mean the same income is taxed twice, known as double taxation. With proper planning and assistance from a local Pittsburgh lawyer, you can avoid this disadvantage.