The following is a list of the basic steps that may be necessary for you to incorporate your business. Please note that not all steps will be necessary, and there may be some steps that are necessary for your corporation that are not included.
Decide to Incorporate

Incorporating has its advantages, but it can also have some drawbacks. Before you decide to incorporate, you should look at all the business types and determine which is best for you and your company.

Choose a Corporate Name

Once you have decided to incorporate, you will need a corporate name.

When naming your corporation, you should make sure:

  • That the name has not already been registered in the state of incorporation
    • When you order LawDepot’s Florida Incorporation Package, LawDepot will search to see if your name is available for registration with Florida Department of State Division of Corporations.
  • That you follow the corporate naming requirements of the state of incorporation
    • Each state has different naming requirements, so be sure to research your state's legislation.
  • That the name you choose has not been trademarked
    • You may want to see if your corporate name is available to be trademarked.
File Articles of Incorporation

To register your corporation, you must file a document called the Articles of Incorporation with the state in which you wish to incorporate.

  • LawDepot offers an automated Articles of Incorporation form. Fill in the form, purchase a license, print it, sign and date it, and file it with the appropriate state in incorporate your company.
  • LawDepot also offers a Florida Incorporation Package. Simply fill out the short form, purchase the package, and LawDepot will create and file your Articles of Incorporation with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. Your corporation should be active within 2-5 business days.
Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a 9 digit unique number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to every organization with paid employees. All new companies that will have employees require an EIN number. Existing companies that incorporate and that have employees will need a new EIN number. LawDepot offers EIN Application preparation to those who purchase the Florida Incorporation Package. If you are unable to or choose not to have LawDepot help with the preparation of your EIN Application and you feel up to the challenge, you can fill out Form SS-4 - Application for EIN (PDF) on your own, or file an electronic EIN application with the IRS by clicking here

Register your Fictitious Name (Optional)

A Fictitious Name is a name that a company operates under that is other than its legal name. For example, if an LLC’s legal name is “Johnson and Meyers Distribution LLC” but the company operates under the name “Monster Distribution”, “Monster Distribution” is a fictitious name. Any business that does not use its legal name must register a fictitious name. Fictitious names are usually filed at the county level, but in some states they are filed at the state level.

Elect S-Corporation Status (Optional)

If desired, you can elect S-Corporation status for your corporation. An S-Corporation lets you pay taxes as though you were a sole proprietor or partner while giving you the limited liability of a corporate shareholder. You can elect S-Corp status by filing Form 2553 (PDF) with the IRS.

Adopt Corporate Bylaws

Corporate Bylaws describe the internal rules governing the management of the corporation. Bylaws describe the duties and obligations of the directors and officers and govern how the corporation will be run. LawDepot offers an automated Corporate Bylaws form.

Prepare a Shareholders’ Agreement (Optional)

A Shareholder Agreement can be used to say how a corporation will be managed, how disputes will be resolved, what will happen on the death of a shareholder, and to prevent shareholders from competing with the corporation. LawDepot offers an automated Shareholder Agreement.

Other Steps

  • Appoint Officers (if they were not appointed in the Articles of Incorporation)
  • Approve the corporate seal
  • Issue shares of stock
  • Open a corporate bank account
  • Apply for local and state occupational licenses, if necessary
  • Register to pay local and state taxes, if necessary
  • If you wish to carry out business in another jurisdiction, please consult with that state’s government for additional information.
Ready to incorporate your business?
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