By West Virginia law, a business that has incorporated is identified thereafter as its own legal entity. As a separate entity from the owners, the business is then considered to be functioning on its own when it buys and sells property, assents to contracts and exercises legal rights. The West Virginia Secretary of State receives and processes applications for incorporation, which must be submitted in compliance with local guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in West 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. If the business had remained a personal asset of the owners, they could run the risk of losing their personal property to pay for the company's financial liabilities in case of default. Furthermore, banks in the Elkins area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of getting corporate loans simpler. 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 West Virginia, 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 Elkins lawyer.