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 acting on its own when it buys and sells property, assents to contracts and exercises legal rights. A business looking to incorporate in Pennsylvania must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Pennsylvania
An incorporated business enjoys certain advantages, the most important being a limit of liability for the shareholders. The most shareholders can lose is the amount they invest in the business. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to pay its liabilities. A corporation also allows creditors in the Whitehall 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. Finally, 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
There are costs associated with incorporation, both short and long term. First, businesses in Pennsylvania might be charged a fee to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own entity. The incomes of owners as individuals are also taxed of course, meaning that income to the corporation might be subject to double taxation. However, this disadvantage can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Whitehall lawyer.