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 certain guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Virginia
There are distinct advantages to incorporating a business. Most importantly, liabilities the business accrues may be satisfied only by assets that the owners have specifically invested in it. Without incorporation, the personal property of business owners is at stake should the company become unable to fulfill its debts. A corporation also allows creditors in the Henrico County area to assess the credit worthiness of the business as a whole rather than that of its owners, allowing the business to get loans more easily. Finally, a corporations charter requires that ownership be divided into stakes or "shares" of stock, all of equal size. This makes the process of transferring control much more practical.
Costs of Incorporation
Incorporation can be costly. First, a modest filing fee might be charged in Virginia for any business that wants to incorporate. Also, 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 Henrico County lawyer.