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The Steps to Business Incorporation

Updated on March 18, 2013

Have you been thinking about incorporating your business? If so, you probably have dozens of questions, including exactly what steps you must take to successfully complete the process. Before you begin, research the different types of corporations and decide which is best for your situation. Then proceed to take the following steps.

Where are you Incorporating?

The first thing you must decide is which state you want to be incorporated in.  If your business will only operate in a single state, say Massachusetts, that is the state where you file.  If, however, your business will operate in multiple states, choose to incorporate in the state that is the most business friendly.

Make Agreements with other Business Founders

Before you proceed further, decide who will hold what position on the board of directors.  You also need to create a set of bylaws which should describe in detail the way the corporation will be run.  They should include particulars about responsibilities of corporate officers and shareholders.

Choose a Corporate Name

You need to choose your corporate name carefully.  You name cannot be the same as any other corporation.  Check with the Secretary of State to make sure the name you would like to use is available.  You’ll also want to Google the name to verify that the one you have chosen doesn’t interfere with any existing businesses.  Review any existing patents as well to be confident the name hasn’t been selected by another company.

Once you have decided on the name you want to use, file an application to register the business name at the office of the Secretary of State.

Who Will Register the Corporation?

You will need a registered agent in the state where you file. The agent must have a physical address in the state and be able to receive corporate forms and paperwork. This person will file the paperwork for the company. The agent may be you, an attorney, or an incorporation service.

It does cost less initially to self-file, however, if you are not familiar with intricate corporation law in your state, it could prove to be an expensive venture if you make any errors in the complex process. It is often more cost efficient to use the services of a lawyer. Select a Boston law firm that specializes in business incorporations.

Prepare and Submit Your Paperwork

You will need to submit your prepared Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State.  Even if you have chosen to handle the filing yourself, at this stage it would be wise to consult a law firm in Boston just to make sure you have not missed any small, important details or misunderstood any of the legal jargon in the papers.

Once this step is completed, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation.  This should be signed by you and other business founders. 

The incorporation process may sound complicated, but you can accomplish your goal.  Do not be afraid to seek assistance to help you through the complex process. 


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    • okmom23 profile image

      Donna Oliver 7 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      Useful information, well written hub. Voted up!