How many times have you seen a commercial or ad for a company selling its incorporation services?
How often do you hear how important it is to incorporate your business for the legal protection it provides only to be given a sales pitch for a “professional incorporator”.
And do you know what you get from most of the incorporation services?
Well, maybe some will give you a binder with your incorporation documents and a corporate seal to make it look all official and worth the fee.
But the truth is, none of that stuff is relevant these days anyway.
Your Articles of Incorporation or Organization are stored online in most states, and you can always just scan them if you do it by hand to keep digitally.
Be honest now, how many of you even know what a corporate seal is or what it would be used for?
Unless you are filing articles for a complex organization, you can do your own corporate filing, and save the fees you would have otherwise spent for marketing or design work.
Most, if not all states only require the bare minimum in order to file Articles of Incorporation or Organization.
You basically just need a few pieces of information to be on your way:
- Company name, mailing & physical addresses,
- Responsible party’s name & address,
- Registered agent’s name & address,
- Officer(s) or Member(s) [for LLCs] name(s) and address(es),
- Number of authorized shares,
- Sometimes you may need a business purpose but the standard line of “The purpose of the corporation is to engage in any lawful activity for which corporations may be incorporated in this state” almost always will suffice.
That’s really not a whole lot of information, and the difficulty of gathering it all is relatively non-existent, especially if you’re running a small business in which the same person acts in all of those capacities.
Look, there’s always a drawback to DIY, and particularly in business matters but. this is one of those times when you should be doing something on your own rather than outsourcing tasks.
Based solely on the simplicity of the task and how much you’ll be saving it is worth the few minutes that incorporating will take out of your day.
And just to make it super-easy (dare I say foolproof?) you have this handy-dandy map that will take you to the exact page for each state, so you won’t mistakenly use a site that charges a service fee to “do it yourself”!
Just click on your state below to be taken to its central site for business registration: