What are the requirements for forming a corporation?

A Minnesota corporation is a separate, legal entity that is established with many rights and responsibilities. A corporation requires many steps in its creation. Different corporations, such as a non-profit entity, may require additional procedures. However, there are several steps that are generally applicable for incorporation.

First, a name must be chosen for the business that does not conflict with existing registered names. It may be helpful to add words such as incorporated, limited, corporation or their abbreviations.

A corporation must be incorporated at a certain location. Directors also have to be selected.

Each corporation must also have executed articles of incorporation and written by-laws and a separate bank account should be established.

Corporations can elect to choose S corporate tax status with a limited number of shareholders. S-corporations are usually not subject to corporate income taxes.

Corporate names must be registered with the Minnesota Department of State. This agency keeps a list of registered corporations that is accessible on its website and which can used to search for existing names.

The articles of incorporation must also be filed with the Department of State. Minnesota also requires a renewal fee every year. Additional business licenses and permits may be obtained by other federal, state and local agencies.

A board of director’s meeting must be held. All corporate meetings should be recorded in its minute book.

Failure to comply with required steps can pose numerous problems in the creation and operation of a corporation. An attorney may be able to help a corporation ensure that it complies with all legal requirements so that the corporation can focus on its business and goals.

Source: FindLaw, “Checklist: Starting a corporation,” accessed Aug. 31, 2014

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