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LegalZoom.com is offering a free incorporation to existing small business owners in the states hit by Hurricane Katrina or anyone wishing to start a business in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The offer reinforces the nation's call to rebuild the Gulf Coast states and grow and retain businesses and jobs in the region as soon as possible.
Between now and the end of the year, any existing business owner or those wanting to establish a business in Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi are eligible for the offer. By incorporating in the affected states, businesses will help rebuild the region with an eye toward keeping and growing small businesses in the Gulf Coast and providing jobs for its residents.
"All of America wants to see Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi rebound from this catastrophe," said attorney Robert Shapiro, co-founder of LegalZoom.com. "LegalZoom.com wants to make sure that small businesses stay in the region and investors start investing in a better and brighter New Orleans and other areas in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina."
By forming a corporation, a legal entity owns the business assets. Individuals and shareholders are not personally liable for the corporation's debts or claims against the corporation. Most importantly, a corporation offers the greatest flexibility in raising money from venture capitalists and is the structure investors prefer most.
"We realize that many Katrina survivors are deciding what to do in the wake of this tragedy and are asking themselves if should they return and rebuild or restart their lives elsewhere," said Frank Monestere, president of LegalZoom.com. "We want to make it easier for people to return, rebuild and expand their small businesses and encourage other businesses to incorporate in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Ultimately, incorporating will help the devastated regions recover stronger and faster and encourage private investments into the communities."
LegalZoom.com will cover the basic costs of incorporating except for the state filing fee. The offer is extended to existing business owners affected by Hurricane Katrina or anyone wishing to start a business in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The regular price for the Economy Incorporation Package is $99 on LegalZoom.com and the process is as simple as answering a questionnaire online.