Do I need to use Incorporation, Co. or Company after the name I have chosen?

Yes. The Secretary of State requires that you use one of the above so that your customers know they are dealing with a Corporation. We will check the name that you are requesting to see if it is available. If the name is not available, we will contact you about your alternatives.

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What is the difference between a corporation and an LLC?

Corporations are formed pursuant to state law and have shareholders, are managed by a board of directors, and the daily affairs are administered by officers. Similarly, a limited liability company (LLC) has members and may be managed by one or more managers. Most often, both entities must pay franchise taxes, but may have different federal [...]

Do I need to publish a notice of incorporation?

While a few jurisdictions require publication of the corporate name to be published in a newspaper local to the county of the registered agent (Georgia, Arizona, Illinois, and Pennsylvania), most jurisdictions do not require publication unless an existing unincorporated business intends to incorporate without a change in its name; that business must then publish its [...]

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Can the same person be the shareholder, director and all officers of a corporation?

While jurisdictions will vary in their requirements, most states require that there be at least one director and two officers, in a general, for-profit corporation. The required officers are president and secretary. Most states allow one natural person to hold both offices and be the sole director of the corporation. Usually, that one person may [...]

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Can I protect a trade name nationwide?

There is no national registration of trade names. Generally, businesses, including corporations, protect their trade names by registering their trade name as a service mark or trademark, if the trade name also functions as a service mark or trademark. Because of the legal complexities involved, we recommend that businesses obtain private counsel to get advice [...]

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If I incorporate, will doing so prevent others from using my company name?

Incorporating will not keep another business from using your name. Generally, every business must protect its own business name and the good will that it has acquired from the sale of its goods or services in a specific geographic area. Filing articles of incorporation only prevents the secretary of state from filing a document to [...]

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Do I need to file a DBA (‘Doing Business As’)?

Individuals and unincorporated entities that regularly conduct business using an assumed name (often called a DBA ) must file an assumed name certificate with the county clerk in each county in which business premises are maintained. If corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships (entities created by filing with the secretary of state) do business [...]

Does a corporation have to issue stock?

Shares of stock represent ownership of the corporation. Where no shares are issued, no individual owns the corporation. Thus, shares must be issued to those individuals who will own the corporation. While most states have created many exceptions and exemptions from registering a stock issuance with the State or with the SEC for most small [...]

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What are Articles of Incorporation?

A Corporation's "Articles of Incorporation" is the main filing document which begins the corporation's existence under state law. Once filed, the corporation comes into existence. The level of complexity for a corporation's Articles of Incorporation can range from very simple to extremely complex. Generally, most jurisdictions require Articles of incorporation to contain, at a minimum, [...]

How long is the incorporation process?

Processing times for incorporating a company vary and change constantly depending on the workload at the state office. Please ask one of our representatives for our most current approximation of the current processing time for Articles of Incorporation. Non-expedited processing with the California Secretary of State can often take several months. We offer expedited services [...]

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