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Everything you need to know about Corporations, LLCs and Trademarks.

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After Incorporation and Other Costs

Corporate Formalities

  • Annual Report Requirement

    Most states require that Corporations and LLCs file a statement and pay a moderate fee on an annual or biennial basis. This filing requirement, which is generally referred to as an "Annual Report" or "Franchise Tax," updates the state government as to the status of the company, and permits the company to continue its existence.
  • Corporate Records Requirements

    • C-Corporations and S-Corporations

      Almost every state has a Corporate Records Requirement. Generally the requirement compels a Corporation to maintain certain past and present corporate records at its principal office. Such records may include the current Articles of Incorporation, the Corporate Bylaws, minutes of shareholder and director meetings, written communications between the shareholders and the Corporation within the last three years, the Corporation's stock transfer ledger, the names and addresses of current shareholders, directors and officers, the most recent annual report and the financial records from the last three years.

      Included in the Premier Incorporation Package, Direct Incorporation offers information and tools that will help assist corporations to comply with the corporate records requirements of their state.
    • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

      Although the corporate records requirement is usually more stringent for a corporation, an LLC is subject to the records requirement to a certain degree and should follow the requirement as far as applicable. States that have corporate records requirements for LLCs may require a company to maintain at its principal office the current Articles of Organization, the Operating Agreement, minutes from various meetings, the company's stock transfer ledger, the names and addresses of all current members, managers, and officers, and the most recent annual reports and financial records.

      Included in the Premier Incorporation Package, Direct Incorporation offers information and tools that will help assist LLCs comply with the corporate records requirements of their state.

  • Miscellaneous Issues after Formation

    • Licenses

      In order to comply with state business regulations, most new corporations and LLCs will be required to obtain a license and possibly pay a state fee before transacting business. The following is a non-exhaustive list of businesses that may be required to obtain licenses:

      • accountants
      • architects
      • attorneys
      • barbers
      • collection agencies
      • damage appraisers
      • dealers and salespersons
      • electrical workers
      • employment agencies
      • engineers
      • manufacturing companies
      • nurseries
      • real estate brokers
      • restaurants
      • security brokers

      After formation, it is urged that you check with the appropriate state agencies to ensure that you comply with the license requirements for your particular business.
    • Trademark Corporate Name

      In order to protect the exclusive use of a company's name, the company may be required to obtain a Trade Mark on the name. In some circumstances, protection may not be warranted simply by the use of the name in the Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization.
    • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

      Every new corporation or LLC is required to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. If you have not already applied for an EIN, you must do so. An EIN can be applied for via mail by filing form SS-4, or by telephone.

      To apply by phone, call: 1-800-829-4933.

      To apply by mail, fill out the form and send it to your region's IRS office. The regional addresses can be found on the Internal Revenue Service's web site: http://www.irs.gov

      Download an application for an EIN (form SS-4)
    • Tax issues

      • C-Corporations

        It is important to remember that although federal taxes are likely to comprise the most significant portion of a C-Corporation's tax liability, the C-Corporation will also have to pay tax at the state level. A newly started business should contact its state's revenue department as soon as possible to be put on notice of its state's corporate income tax procedures. Further, it may be wise to contact a tax advisor for a complete discussion on complying with state and federal tax regulations. The States of Washington, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada and Florida do not have to be concerned about such requirements, as there is no state corporate income tax.
      • LLCs

        One of the primary benefits of the LLC is that it is not necessarily subject to tax at the corporate level. However, one must be aware that to take advantage of the LLC "pass through" taxation, multi-member (multi-owner) LLCs must file a partnership tax return (K-1). Filing this form does not mean that the LLC will pay taxes on income. Instead, the form merely notifies the IRS of the LLC's "pass through" taxation to its members. Single-member LLCs are not required to file this form. Instead, a simple attachment to the owner's individual tax return is required. Please contact a tax advisor for further details.

    • Publication Requirement

      A handful of states have a publication requirement. This requirement generally directs a new corporation or LLC to file a notice of incorporation (organization) in a newspaper of local circulation. The following states have such a requirement: Pennsylvania (C and S-Corporations), Georgia (C and S-Corporations), Arizona (LLCs, C and S-Corporations), Nebraska (LLCs, C and S-Corporations) and New York (LLCs only). If you choose to form your company through our services, we'll be sure to notify you of this requirement if it is applicable to your state.