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 operating 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
Benefits of incorporation are many. The primary benefit is that the liabilities of the business can only be satisfied by the assets specifically invested into the company by the owners. If the business had remained a personal asset of the owners, they could run the risk of losing their personal property to pay for the company's financial liabilities in case of default. Furthermore, banks in the Somerset area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of getting corporate loans simpler. 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 Pennsylvania may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other 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 might avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Somerset lawyer.