By Virginia law, a business that has incorporated is identified thereafter as its own legal entity. This means that the business can buy or sell property, offer and accept contracts and exercise legal rights in its own name. In Virginia, the process of incorporation is begun by filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Virginia
A corporation enjoys advantages that unincorporated companies do not. Primarily, it cannot be held accountable for an amount of debt greater than the value of the assets that the owners have 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 might also find it easier to finance itself through loans, allowing creditors in the Arlington County 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 Virginia, there are other costs that corporations incur. The most important is that a corporation is taxed as its own entity. Disbursements to the owners of the corporation are also taxed as individual income, so this means earnings might be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Arlington County lawyer.