Under South Carolina law, a business may incorporate. If it chooses to do so, it is thereafter recognized as its own legal entity. After incorporation, buying and selling property, assenting to contracts and exercising legal rights are considered acts of the business itself and not its owners. To incorporate in South Carolina, a business must file with the Secretary of State in compliance with certain guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in South Carolina
Certain benefits inure to a business in South Carolina 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. Without incorporation, the personal property of business owners is at stake should the company become unable to fulfill its debts. Furthermore, a business that has not incorporated puts the unnecessary burden on creditors in the Sumter area to evaluate the credit worthiness of individual owners rather than that of the business, making loans more cumbersome. Finally, ownership of a corporation is divided into equal portions or "shares" of stock, which may be bought and sold much more easily than the ownership of an unincorporated business.
Costs of Incorporation
There are costs associated with incorporation, both short and long term. First, businesses in South Carolina may 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 may be subject to double taxation. However, this disadvantage can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Sumter lawyer.