Checklist for New Corporations

Checklist for New Corporations

Incorporating is just one step in starting a new business. There are other federal, state, and practical considerations as well. The following is a list of things to do or think about once you have formed a new corporation:

  • Decide on corporate name
  • Prepare and file articles of incorporation
  • Contact the state tax board for information about state taxes and obtaining a state tax number
  • Check with the state department of consumer affairs to obtain any required business licenses or permits
  • Check zoning laws
  • Check with the city/ county business offices to obtain business licenses or permits
  • Contact the IRS for information on filing your federal tax schedules
  • Find out about workers' compensation if you will have employees
  • Protect your trade name
  • Meet with accountant to discuss capitalization and tax planning
  • Get adequate business insurance or a business rider to a homeowner's policy
  • Complete and file IRS Form SS-4
  • Prepare a shareholder agreement, if necessary
  • If necessary, meet with securities lawyer regarding stock sales
  • Obtain corporate seal and ring binder for minutes
  • Pay any applicable taxes for sale or issuance of stock
  • Hold organizational meeting
  • Complete the bylaws, waivers, minutes, and offers to purchase stocks
  • Sign all documents and place in minute book
  • Issue stock certificates
  • Be sure consideration is paid
  • Complete a bill of sale if property is traded for stock
  • Get licenses
  • Open bank account
  • For S corporation status, file IRS Form 2553
  • Print business cards and stationery
  • Acquire an email address
  • Set up your website

You can view more information on incorporating with LegalZoom at our Incorporation Process Page.

  • Corporation: Introduction
    Each year, hundreds of thousands of corporations are registered in this country, and it is not a coincidence that the largest businesses in the world are corporations. The corporation is a popular method of doing business for most people because it offers many advantages over partnerships and sole...
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  • What is a Corporation?
    A corporation is a legal person that can be created under state law. As a person, a corporation has certain rights and obligations, including the right to do business in its own name and the obligation to pay taxes. Some laws use the words "natural persons." A natural person refers only to human...
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  • Articles of Incorporation
    The Articles of Incorporation (in some states referred to as the Certificate or the Certificate of Incorporation) is the document that is filed with the appropriate state agency to start the corporation. In most states, this agency is the Secretary of State but may be called the Department of State...
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  • Shareholder
    A shareholder is a person who owns stock in a corporation. In many small corporations, the shareholders act as the officers and directors, but many shareholders do not have these roles in large corporations. Sometimes small corporations have shareholders who are not officers, such as when the stock...
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  • Board of Directors
    The board of directors is the controlling body of a corporation that makes major corporate decisions and elects the officers. It usually meets just once a year. In most states, a corporation can have one director (who can also hold all offices and own all the stock). In a small corporation, the...
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  • Officers
    Officers are appointed by the board of directors to run the day-to-day operations of the corporation. Commonly, and by law in many states, a corporation will have at least three officers: President Treasurer or Chief Financial Officer Secretary Officers do not have to be shareholders or directors,...
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