The Pros and Cons of Incorporating Your Business

Incorporating your business can have significant advantages, but it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. Understanding the pros and cons can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to incorporate your business.

What Does Incorporating Your Business Mean?

Incorporating your business means creating a separate legal entity for your business. A corporation is a legal entity that can enter contracts, sue, and own property. When you incorporate your business, you create a corporation owned by shareholders.

Pros of Incorporating Your Business

Some of the biggest pros of incorporating your business include the following.

Limited Liability Protection

One of the primary benefits of incorporating your business is that it provides limited liability protection. As a result, shareholders and directors are not held accountable for the company's legal obligations or debts.

Increased Credibility

Incorporating your business can increase your credibility and professionalism in the eyes of potential customers, investors, and partners. Incorporation signals that your business is a legitimate, established entity.

Ability to raise capital

You will find it easier to raise capital by Incorporating your business. A corporation can issue stock to investors, providing a source of funding for the business. In addition, banks and other lenders may be more willing to lend money to a corporation than to an individual business owner.

Tax Benefits

Incorporating your business can provide tax benefits such as deducting certain business expenses and paying lower corporate tax rates. Additionally, shareholders may receive tax-free fringe benefits like health insurance or retirement plans.

Perpetual Existence

Incorporating your business also provides perpetual existence. This means the corporation can continue to exist even if the owners die or leave the business. This can provide peace of mind to business owners and make transferring ownership easier.

Separating Business and Personal Assets

Incorporating your business also provides a separation of business and personal assets. This means the business's assets are separate from the owner's personal assets. This can make it easier to manage the finances of the business and can protect personal assets if the business is sued or cannot pay its debts.

Cons of Incorporating Your Business

Although incorporating your business can have many advantages, like all things, it has some limitations. Below are some of the main cons of incorporating your business.

Increased Complexity

Incorporating your business can be more complicated and expensive than other business structures. There are more formalities to comply with, such as holding regular board meetings, maintaining detailed records, and filing annual reports.

Higher Administrative Costs

Incorporating your business also involves higher administrative costs, such as fees for filing incorporation documents, maintaining corporate records, and hiring legal and accounting professionals to ensure compliance with regulations.

Limited Control

As a corporation, decision-making is shared between the board of directors and shareholders, which can limit the business owner's control. This is particularly true if the owner has a minority stake in the company.

Double Taxation

Corporations are subject to this. This means that profits are taxed at individual and corporate levels. This can result in a higher tax burden for shareholders who receive dividends.

Limited Flexibility

Incorporating your business means following certain formalities and procedures, such as holding regular meetings, issuing stock certificates, and following certain voting procedures. This can limit your flexibility in making decisions and responding to changes in the business environment.

Increased Scrutiny

Incorporating your business means you will be subject to increased scrutiny from government agencies, creditors, and shareholders. This can lead to more regulatory and legal requirements and increased scrutiny of your financial statements and other business practices.

Incorporating Your Business: Step-By-Step Guide

Now that you know the pros and cons of incorporating your business and want to go through it with you, below is our step-by-step guide to help you incorporate your business.

Step 1: Choose a Business Name

The first step in incorporating your business is to choose a name for your corporation. You must check with your state's Secretary of State or other designated agency to ensure that the name you choose is available and not already used by another business.

Step 2: Choose a State of Incorporation

The next step is choosing a state to incorporate your business. Most small businesses choose to incorporate in the state where they are located, but you may also choose to incorporate in a state with more favorable business laws or tax benefits.

Step 3: File Articles of Incorporation

To incorporate your business, you must file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State or other designated agency in the state you chose to incorporate. The articles of incorporation typically include the name of the corporation, the purpose of the corporation, the number of shares authorized, and the names and addresses of the initial directors.

Step 4: Draft Bylaws

Once your corporation is formed, you must draft bylaws that govern how your corporation will be run. The bylaws typically include provisions on how directors and officers are elected, how meetings are conducted, and how decisions are made.

Step 5: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain business licenses and permits from your state or local government. These may include zoning, health and safety permits, or other regulatory requirements.

Step 6: Obtain a Tax ID Number

You must also obtain your corporation's tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This number is used to identify your corporation for tax purposes.

Step 7: Issue Stock Certificates

Finally, you will need to issue stock certificates to your shareholders. Stock certificates represent ownership in the corporation and are typically issued to the initial shareholders at the time of incorporation.


Incorporating your business can be smart for some entrepreneurs, but it's not the right choice for everyone. Ultimately, the decision to incorporate should be based on your business needs, goals, and long-term plans. If you're unsure whether incorporating is right for you, it's important to consult with a professional who can help you assess the pros and cons and make an informed decision.