Depending on the type of business you run, you may need to take some formal steps to set up your company. For example, if you want to open a corporation, adding “Inc.” or “LLC” to your business name will give it more credibility in the eyes of customers and vendors — and it also helps shield your personal assets from the debts of the business. Forming a corporation requires filing certain incorporation papers and documents with federal, state and local government agencies.
To become a corporation, you’ll need to file articles of incorporation with your state’s secretary of state office or corporations bureau. These papers typically include the business name, purpose, corporate structure, stock details and other important information about the corporation. You’ll also need to select a registered agent, which is the person or address (typically a physical address) where the corporation can be served with lawsuits, government correspondence and compliance-related documents.
Once you’ve filed your articles of incorporation, you’ll need to create corporate bylaws that lay out how the corporation will be governed on a day-to-day basis. Bylaws will include things like the number of directors; voting rights, election and removal procedures; annual meeting dates; and how to handle specific business activities like making purchasing decisions or hiring employees.
Finally, both LLCs and corporations should keep meeting minutes that record the date, time and location of each board or shareholder meeting, as well as the attendees and their votes on specific topics and business activities. These records will be invaluable if your corporation is ever audited or sued. set up a company