By Washington 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. The office of the Secretary of State is the agency that receives applications for incorporation in Washington, and they must be completed in conformity with specific guidelines.

Benefits of Incorporation in Washington

Certain benefits inure to a business in Washington 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. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to satisfy the liabilities of the business. Furthermore, banks in the College Place 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, 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

Along with a possible fee to file for incorporation in Washington, 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 may be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local College Place lawyer.