Incorporation services help business owners form corporations and save on legal expenses. The different types of incorporation services include filing Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization to form limited liability corporations, C and S corporations, and non-profit corporations. Some incorporation services also act as registered agents and search name availability and reserve names in the state where the corporation will be formed. The same services performed by a business lawyer often cost several times more. A business incorporation service often hires paralegals and non-legal professionals to complete the necessary paperwork for corporate filings and can charge less than law firms as a result.
Companies often use incorporation services to incorporate in regions where they live or in other regions that have more beneficial tax laws for corporations. The top service offered by these services is to file the paperwork with the corporations division or other government agency in charge of legally recognizing corporations. The incorporation service collects filing fees and the information required to complete and submit the Articles of Incorporation for a corporate entity, except for a limited liability company. Articles of Organization are required to form a limited liability company. The one drawback is that incorporation services are not lawyers and cannot advise a business owner on what entity to choose, but there are often free articles and resources on their websites to inform prospective customers of the options.
Some business owners also need a registered agent, especially if they are a forming a foreign corporation. A corporation that is located in another state that is not the corporation’s principle place of business is a foreign corporation. A registered agent is the person or entity that receives a service of process, which notifies the corporation that a lawsuit is filed against the corporation and delivers a copy of the complaint. Corporations are often required by law to have a registered agent, who must be named in the paperwork being filed to incorporate the business. Incorporation services often provide that as an extra service to corporations for an additional fee.
Choosing a name is often a critical step in starting a business. Those wishing to incorporate have to make sure that the name they want for their corporation is available in the region. If a business owner chooses a name that’s used by another business or corporation, then the owner's Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization will often be returned. A business incorporation service can check the name availability in the region as an extra service. In addition to checking whether the names are available, the incorporation service can reserve the name with the appropriate government agency so that another company cannot file a corporation using the name for a certain period of time.