It's never been easier to incorporate a business

Launch as a corporation—whether you have plans to crowdfund or go public, get help from us every step of the way. Start forming today and get a free website included, powered by Wix. Starts at $149 + filing fees.

See pricing options. These costs are often tax deductible.

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Why use LegalZoom to incorporate your business?

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Incorporate your business in 3 easy steps with the industry leader in online business formation.

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Our tools offer step-by-step guidance to help you launch and protect your new business.

Get the help you need

Our network of experienced professionals can guide your launch and help you grow.

What is a corporation?

A corporation is a business entity created by filing formation documents with the state, a process also known as incorporation.

Just like an LLC, a corporation is a legal entity that is separate from its owners, which can protect you from any business liabilities or debts. However, corporations offer other important benefits, like shareholders and the ability to seek outside investors.

Why start a corporation?

Attract investors

Raise funds by appealing to investors who may prefer corporations for the ability to offer stock.

Entice employees

Attract and keep top talent by offering competitive benefits packages that include shares of your company.

Look more official

Corporations are often seen as more credible, which can make it easier to do business with other companies.

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Corporation benefits

There are several advantages of forming a corporation. Incorporating offers liability protection, which means that owners of a corporation are generally not personally responsible for business obligations like debts or lawsuits. Incorporation also allows you to add shareholders and raise money from outside investors.

Corporation requirements

Corporations are typically required to adopt by-laws, hold annual shareholder meetings, issue written corporate resolutions for significant decisions, and file annual reports. Our service allows you to efficiently form your corporation the right way. We also have packages with essential documents and services to meet these corporation requirements and keep you in compliance.

Is a limited liability company a corporation?

A limited liability company is a different type of business entity than a corporation. Each one has unique formation requirements, tax requirements, and ownership structure. Typically, LLCs have more flexible tax requirements and fewer reporting requirements, but corporations make it easier to transfer ownership—shares of stock—and court outside investors.

S corporation vs. C corporation: What's the difference?

S corporation and C corporation designations are both valid choices when incorporating a business—and whichever you choose, we can help make it happen. Before you make your decision, make sure you understand the pros and cons of each.

S corporation

Taxes on profits only

Shareholders only pay taxes on profits received. Income gets passed through to the owners instead of being taxed at the corporate and shareholder level, so you avoid double taxation.

Shareholder maximum

The maximum number of shareholders is 100, and they all must be U.S. citizens or residents.

Only common stock available

S corporation owners can only get common stock, which comes with voting rights.

C corporation

Taxes on income and profits

Income is taxed twice—the business pays corporate income tax on its net income, and then the shareholders also pay personal income tax on the profits they receive.

No shareholder maximum

There are no limits on who and how many people can own shares of a C corp.

Preferred stock available

C corp owners may get preferred stock, which usually comes with no voting rights but priority to dividends before common shareholders.

Ready to start your corporation?

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How to incorporate

Choose and reserve a business name

The catchier and more memorable your business name, the more likely it is that consumers will choose you over your competitors. We include a name check with our formation services and can reserve names for you, if possible in your state.

Appoint a registered agent

Most states will require you to appoint a person or entity as a registered agent (also called an agent for service of process or statutory agent). A registered agent agrees to receive lawsuits, subpoenas, and other official documents on behalf of your business. You can appoint us as your registered agent to make things easier for you.

Prepare and file articles of incorporation

Although requirements differ by state, corporations generally must file articles of incorporation. These constitute the charter and legal framework for the business and may contain key information such as the principal location where business will be conducted. When we file these articles for you, it's typically sent to the Secretary of State.

Frequently asked questions

Ready to start your corporation?

Start my corporation

What our customers are saying

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The process was quick, easy and cost effective. Great value for the money. I was able to get everything I needed.
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