Once you’ve formed your corporation, you must adhere to certain corporate formalities in order to maintain the protections incorporation offers. Follow this checklist to help ensure your company is fulfilling its corporate responsibilities.
- Prepare your incorporation documents. The Secretary of State in the state you plan to incorporate will provide you with a checklist of necessary documents.
- File the Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. To officially launch your corporation, file this important document, which is also known as the Articles of Incorporation.
- Start a corporate minute book. This official record can help prove that you are adhering to the rules and regulations regarding every corporate action and decision that is made.
- Elect the board of directors. Choose your directors carefully; most people do not realize it that one person can hold multiple officer positions, for example, such as CEO and CFO.
- Apply for your state and federal tax ID numbers. You can obtain these by visiting the IRS Web site and the Web site of the state where your business is incorporating.
- Find out if you need any special licenses for your corporation. Some state, federal, or local regulations may require you to get a special business license or permit.
- Open a corporate bank account. Since the corporation is a separate entity, it requires a separate bank account and financial records.
- Obtain the proper employee forms and agreements. Before you hire your first employee, make sure you have the correct paperwork, such as the at-will employment letter, confidentiality agreement, and other necessary paperwork.