Under Tennessee law, a business may incorporate. If it chooses to do so, it is thereafter identified as its own legal entity. After incorporation, buying and selling property, agreeing to contracts and exercising legal rights are considered acts of the business itself and not its owners. In Tennessee, the process of incorporation is begun by filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with specific guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Tennessee
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. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to fulfill the liabilities of the business. A corporation might also find it easier to finance itself through loans, allowing creditors in the Bristol area to evaluate their investment by assessing the corporation rather than the individual credit-worthiness of its owners. 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
Along with a possible fee to apply for incorporation in Tennessee, there are other costs that corporations incur. The most important is that a corporation is taxed as its own 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 Bristol lawyer.