This thread discusses the ease of DIY incorporation. We set up our first S-corps last month, and found the basic process pretty easy in WA, which started allowing online incorp just weeks ago.
I'm wondering what other Finance members who've done DIY incorporation have used for setting up and maintaining corporate formalities (things like bylaws, meeting minutes, corporate seal, etc.)
There are many references to "incorporation kits" for such matters, but after some searching I didn't find any site that reviews or ranks such products. I'm also not sure how necessary those are if one's Articles of Incorporation are in order.
Do any of you have preferred incorporation resources (kits or otherwise)? Any other web sites or contacts that you've found especially helpful? TIA.
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 2:35p
Didn't use any kits but used every related book in the library and ordered 2 books specific to incorporating in the State of GA (Sphinx Legal's "How to Start a Business in Georgia" and "How to Form a Corporation, LLC or Partnership in Georgia" by W. Dean Brown. They were very helpful especially with specific wording that was required on the stock certificates. I also used the state website which also gave the specific wording I was looking for. Now just to keep up the minute book.
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 2:38p
Senior Member - 2K
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 2:43p
I basically has everything done by an attorney.... who charged me $1000 for an LLC....
then I opened 10 more exactly the way he did. on my own.
Senior Member - 6K
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 3:18p
Thanks for the replies.
bfit01, I appreciate the nolo reminder. I've used them before for many things, can't believe I didn't remember to look them over for this. This product looks pretty interesting, especially if a coupon would drop the price.
I am looking to do this in Jan, and would like to do all the paperwork myself - looks good. Anyone use this before?
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 5:05p
The software comes up as $69.99 for me. Have you seen it for $20 elsewhere?
Senior Member - 1K
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 5:23p
Contact your state's Secretary of State and/or Department of Commerce. They will provide all the information and forms you need to incorporate. There is no charge for this other than your state's fee for incorporation.
When I incorporated about 20 years ago I was going to use The Company Corporation.. But, once I saw how little was involved, I went directly to the state capital and filed the paper work directly with the Secratary of State. Got incorporated on the spot and had them FedEx a copy of the incorporation papers to me the next day so I could immediately open up a business checking account, etc.
Senior Member - 1K
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 6:21p
mike - i used the company corporation a couple of years ago -- while the process went well - cancelling their registry service was a complete nightmare
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 6:56p
if you are looking for the actual kits, binders, certificates, seals, etc. try here:
This is somewhat off topic, I admit, but I've always found it interesting that so many people incorporate small businesses. Sometimes when it's not really necessary. (I'm not passing judgment on anyone in this thread.) Limited liability is probably the driving force behind most of this, but if it's a small and/or part time business/activity, and if the main participant isn't really, really careful...it's not particularly hard to comingle assets or otherwise commit some sort of accounting or legal blunder. And then wind up defending yourself against personal liability anyway--whether justified or not.
allen074 said: [Q]mike - i used the company corporation a couple of years ago -- while the process went well - cancelling their registry service was a complete nightmare I assume that by "registry service" you mean you designated them as your Registered Agent for the receipt of official notices.
For anyone else that is about to do this, you can designate yourself as your corporation's Registered Agent. If you are apprehensive about this, then name your accountant or lawyer to serve as your Registered Agent.
Note that notices sent to the Registered Agent will almost certainly need your attention. Therefore, you might as well designate yourself to begin with. If you designate someone else and they don't pass on the communications to you in a timely manner you're still on the hook for any late responses/payments/penalties that may result.
Senior Member - 1K
posted: Dec. 3, 2004 @ 10:26p
There's nothing wrong with using any of the packages or services mentioned by myself and others. But you can get all the forms and assistance you need directly from your state (paid for by your own tax dollars).
Also, if you want some extra hand holding, search out your local SCORE office. Also try contacting the Small Business Administration. Both of these organizations will help you with establishing a business, developing a business plan, getting funding, making contacts, and familiarizing you with federal and local tax requirements. All this at no cost to you - your tax dollars at work
Senior Member - 6K
posted: Dec. 6, 2004 @ 2:47a
Again, thanks for the replies!
I'm already incorporated, so I don't need help with that--just would like additional forms/resources for guidence on maintaining them (as OP says, bylaws, minutes, etc. and advice/strategies for same.)
-NatronsMean, I get $70 also...how did you get $20?
-SIS, thanks for the several good suggestions. I especially liked http://www.attorneyscorporationservice.com/products_corp.asp# and http://www.corpusa.net/choiceplusthree.html for our needs. I'm also going to order that eBay book you linked...can't go wrong for $7 shipped.
-mikeres, thanks for the SCORE suggestion. Knew about SBA, but not those folks.
It doesn't seem like any of these folks carry Washington specific stuff. I'll have to make some more calls this week.
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