Startup Procedures: Overview

Startup Procedures: Overview

Each state has its own process for starting a corporation, but all states require that you file a document often called the articles of incorporation with the state government in the state where you'll form your business. This document is like a birth certificate for your corporation. Once it is filed, the corporation is a legal entity and can do business.

What is required on the articles vary from state to state, but most include the following information:

  • The corporation's name;
  • The corporation's managers, directors;
  • The corporation's address, and;
  • The corporation's registered agent.

Before you file your articles of incorporation, you'll need to do some legwork. First, check your state's database of registered business names to make sure your corporation's name isn't already in use. You'll also need to pick a registered agent. This can be an individual or a company that must be generally available during business hours to receive legal notices for the corporation.

After the corporation is formed, the board of directors holds its first meeting and completes some of the corporation’s other initial actions, including appointing corporate officers, authorizing the opening of a bank account, the issuance of shares, and the adoption of bylaws. These bylaws are put in writing and placed in the corporation’s records, they are the rules governing how the corporation will operate.