This is an exciting step – when your idea officially becomes a company! While many new business owners try to do this step on their own, it is easy to submit inaccurate or incomplete information, which can be detrimental to your operation. Forming a company is a process that is much easier to do right the first time than to try to fix retroactively.
The forms the state provides offers optional protections to new businesses, but to take advantage of these protections, the new business must file additional paperwork. We file these extensions as standard business formation practice, to ensure the owners and managers of your company take advantage of the full extent of the state’s protections.
Choice of Entity
This step refers to choosing whether you will be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company. There are optional elections (such as an LLC electing to be taxed as a corporation) that add layers of complexity to the decision. This choice impacts how the company is taxed, what liability protection the company offers, the owners’ relationship to the company, and default processes set into motion in case of dissolution, death, disagreement or divorce. We explore the various entity structures with you and will discuss the best options for your business scenario. That will set us in motion to register the company with the state and federal government and generate the agreements and contracts applicable to your entity structure.
Forming the Company
We register with the Secretary of State, elect optional additional liability protection (when applicable), apply for a business license with the State Department of Revenue, and apply for a federal tax ID number from the IRS. We will also create the necessary documentation to define the relationship between the company and it’s owners and managers. We review this documentation with you to ensure all parties involved understand and agree with the terms. Completing this step and ensuring everyone is on the same page at the beginning tends to make future business decisions much easier.
Digital Minute Book
A minute book is a compilation of all corporate documents, including articles of formation, bylaws, licenses, annual meeting minutes, and any agreements or contracts made with the business. Generally, it is a fancy book that sits on a shelf and gathers dust. We have found that this documentation is much more accessible when formatted as a digital book that is easy to navigate and update. We will create your Digital Minute Book as we progress through the formation process. Hosted in the “cloud”, this minute book is secure but easy to access from any device. If you are an existing company, your current minute book may be outdated or incomplete. We will review the existing records, bring all agreements up to date, ensure all signatures are present and supplement any incomplete documentation. In the process, we will digitize the book and train applicable staff how to access and update the records.
From day one, your company will likely interact with other businesses and individuals in a variety of contexts, from hiring employees to partnering with a fellow company on a new product or service. It is important to have relevant contracts and agreements in place between the parties to set expectations, protect yourself and your company and spell out what happens in the case of a dispute. We create customized packages of contracts that are tailored to your business’s needs and expectations. You will own these contracts to use as necessary, and we will review each agreement with you to ensure you fully understand what they state and when to use each of them. Packages can include employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements, proprietary information agreements, master services agreements, independent contractor agreements and more.