One of the first things that a business owner or owners will need to do if they decide to form their new business as a corporation is to select a name for the organization and file the requisite articles of incorporation. Selecting a name is a fairly simple process, although there are a few guidelines. The name must not be the same as any other business entity in the state, and it must not violate trademarks. Additionally, states require that the business name indicate it is a corporation, and will usually require some variation or abbreviation of that status in the name itself.
Once a name has been selected, directors will need to be appointed. Directors may be the owner or owners of a business, but this is not mandatory. These individuals are responsible for making policy and financial decisions for the business.
After a name has been selected and directors have been appointed, the founders will be required to prepare and file articles of incorporation. This is normally done through the secretary of state’s office, and filing fees range vary depending upon the state and in some cases the proposed capital structure. No state requires more than one owner of a corporation, but if there are multiple owners, they all may in some cases need to sign the articles, although usually only one signature is necessary.
Selecting a business structure for an organization is just one of many steps involved in business formation and planning. Owners will also need to be aware of a variety of legal requirements, including licenses and regulatory compliance, and a business law attorney can advise a client on the appropriate steps that will need to be taken in this regard.
Source: FindLaw, “How to Incorporate a Business”, accessed on March 6, 2015