For most, there are generally four types of corporations to choose from:
To compare top level attributes for each type of corporation and compare them to other business structures, please click on the Business Structures Chart below for your reference:Business Structures Chart
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The C Corporation is the most common form of corporate entity. Also known as a “General for profit corporation”, the C Corporation is owned by shareholders. The shareholders elect a board of directors to create and direct the high-level policies of the business.
This Board of Directors then appoints corporate officers who in turn manage the day-to-day operations of the business.
Please note: In most cases, ONE PERSON may act in all capacities. As a corporate formality, and as a good business practice, however, its important to separate these roles and simply “switch hats” when necessary.
Thus, shareholders generally have limited liability, even if they are involved in the day-to-day management while wearing the hat of employee or corporate officer.
The shares of a corporation are freely transferable unless limited by agreement of the shareholders. The corporation exists indefinitely, unless and until it is dissolved. It is a separately taxable entity, meaning that it must file its own tax return and pay corporate taxes on its profits. There is no limit on the number of shareholders in a C Corporation.Learn more about C Corporations C Corporation Chart
An S Corporation is formed in the same way that a C Corporation is formed - the Incorporator files Article of incorporation with the state office.
However, the S Corporation is different from a C Corporation in two significant ways.
For those groups that are formed for charitable, educational, religious, literary or scientific purposes, and not for the purpose of generating profits for its shareholders, a special legal entity may be formed under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A fully and properly qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation has the following characteristics:
Where a business provides a professional service, most states have special filing requirements when incorporating. Professional services typically include:
Corporate filing requirements can vary and may be more or less expansive depending on your state.
Laws governing professional services and corporations are often quite complex. We strongly urge you to consult with an attorney before making the decision to incorporate as a Professional corporation. Once you are properly equipped with the legal advice and information specific to your individual circumstances, CorpNet® can assist you and / or your attorney in preparing and filing the necessary documents with the state office.Learn more about Professional Corporations