By Virginia law, a business that has incorporated is recognized thereafter as its own legal entity. This means that the business may 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
There are distinct benefits to incorporating a business. Most importantly, liabilities the business accrues may be satisfied only by assets that the owners have specifically invested in it. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to satisfy the liabilities of the business. Furthermore, banks in the Fairfax County area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of obtaining corporate loans simpler. Finally, the ownership of a corporation is divided into an abundance of equal portions or "shares" of stock. Without this mechanism, transferring ownership of a business would be impractical.
Costs of Incorporation
These advantages come at a price. First, incorporation in Virginia may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other entity. The individual incomes of owners who are paid disbursements from the corporation's earnings are still taxed as well. This is called double taxation, but it can be avoided with proper planning and assistance from a local Fairfax County lawyer.