How can I set up a corporation?

All states have a General Corporation Law or Business Corporation Law that allows virtually anyone to obtain a charter to conduct most businesses. (Certain types of corporations, such as banks, insurance companies, and public utilities often have to be formed either by act of the legislature or under special laws. This is a throwback to the days when all corporations were formed by a charter issued by the King of England, and later by a special act of a state legislature.)

The actual formal mechanics of creating a corporation is known as “incorporation.” The process involves completing and filing a “Certificate of Incorporation” or “Articles of Incorporation” and paying a filing fee. Each state has its own set of laws governing the process of incorporating. In most cases, it is best to have an attorney prepare the incorporation papers.

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