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How to Incorporate a Business in Delaware

Posted by American Ltd on Apr 29, 2024 8:00:00 AM

When it comes to incorporating your business, choosing the right state can make a significant difference.

Delaware stands out as a preferred destination for business incorporation, offering a range of advantages that attract entrepreneurs from across the globe.

Let's explore why Delaware is a top choice and the steps involved in incorporating your business in the First State.

Top Reasons for Incorporating in Delaware:

General Corporation Law: Delaware's General Corporation Law is considered the gold standard for corporate law. Its clarity, flexibility, and business-friendly provisions make it the preferred choice for corporations.

Business-Oriented Legislature: Delaware's legislature is renowned for its expertise in corporate law. The state regularly updates its statutes to meet the evolving needs of modern businesses, ensuring a favorable regulatory environment.

Court System: Delaware boasts a specialized Chancery Court dedicated to handling corporate matters. With expert judges and a streamlined process, the court provides efficient resolution of corporate disputes, enhancing business confidence.

Case Law: Delaware's extensive body of corporate case law provides valuable precedents for corporate officials and legal counsel. The state's rich legal history offers clarity and guidance on a wide range of corporate issues.

Division of Corporations: Delaware's Division of Corporations is known for its efficiency and responsiveness. With expedited filing options and a commitment to customer service, the division facilitates smooth incorporation processes.

 

Steps to Take When Incorporating Your Business in Delaware:

Choose a Name: Select a unique and memorable name for your business that complies with Delaware's naming requirements.

Appoint Directors/Managers: Determine the individuals who will serve as directors or managers of your corporation or LLC.

Obtain a Registered Agent: Designate a registered agent with a physical address in Delaware to receive legal notifications on behalf of your business.

File Incorporation Paperwork: Prepare and file the necessary documents, such as the Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Formation, with the Delaware Department of State.

Review Annual Report and Franchise Tax Requirements: Understand the ongoing reporting and tax obligations for corporations and LLCs in Delaware.

Obtain Required Licenses and Permits: Ensure compliance with state and local licensing requirements for your business activities.

Complete Other Regulatory Obligations: Address additional regulatory requirements, such as obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and opening a business bank account.

Consider Additional Start-Up Considerations: Depending on your business's structure and operations, address additional considerations such as real estate requirements, vendor contracts, and professional licensing.

Incorporate with American Incorporators:

Let American Incorporators help your business get up and running as a viable corporation or limited liability company (LLC). All of our services are available in all 50 states + DC. We are here to help your business from its inception and as it continues to grow and change over time.

American Incorporators Offers:

What else do we offer?

Our time, our commitment, and most of all, a level of personal concern for your incorporation order – or any other service you buy from us. We'll make sure everything is delivered in a professional and timely fashion. (If it isn't, we want to hear about it so we can rectify the situation.)

Call us at 800.441.5940 or chat online if you have any questions. We're here to help.

Topics: Tips & Tricks, Delaware, Entrepreneur

Unleash Your Entrepreneurial Potential with Business Grants

Posted by American Ltd on Apr 24, 2024 6:29:25 PM

Are you eager to bring your business idea to life but lack the necessary funds to get started?

Don't let financial barriers hold you back! Business grants offer a valuable source of funding for aspiring entrepreneurs, providing the capital needed to launch and grow their ventures.

In this guide, we'll explore information you need to know about business grants, from understanding the different types available to navigating the application process successfully.

  1. Types of Business Grants:

Business grants come in various forms, including government grants, corporate grants, and nonprofit grants. Government grants are often available at the federal, state, and local levels, supporting businesses in specific industries or geographic regions. Corporate grants are offered by companies looking to invest in innovative startups or initiatives aligned with their corporate social responsibility goals. Nonprofit grants are provided by charitable organizations and foundations to support social enterprises and community development projects.

  1. Eligibility Criteria:

Before applying for a business grant, it's essential to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the grant provider. Eligibility requirements may vary depending on the type of grant and the funding priorities of the grantmaker. Common eligibility criteria may include business size, industry sector, geographic location, minority or women-owned status, and the intended use of grant funds. Carefully review the eligibility criteria for each grant opportunity to determine your chances of success.

  1. Tips for Successful Grant Applications:

Securing a business grant requires careful preparation and strategic planning.

Here are some tips to increase your chances of success:

  • Research Grant Opportunities: Explore various grant databases, government websites, and corporate giving programs to identify suitable grant opportunities for your business.
  • Customize Your Applications: Tailor your grant applications to each funding opportunity, highlighting how your business aligns with the grantmaker's mission and objectives.
  • Provide Detailed Business Plans: Clearly articulate your business concept, goals, target market, competitive advantages, and financial projections in your grant application.
  • Demonstrate Impact: Emphasize the potential impact of your business on the economy, community, environment, or target population to showcase its significance to the grantmaker.
  • Seek Professional Assistance: Consider seeking assistance from grant writing professionals or consultants to optimize your grant applications and improve your chances of success.

  1. Conclusion:

Business grants can provide a valuable source of funding and support for aspiring entrepreneurs, helping them overcome financial barriers and turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. By understanding the different types of grants available, meeting eligibility criteria, and submitting well-prepared grant applications, you can increase your chances of securing the funding needed to launch and grow your business. Don't miss out on the opportunity to unleash your entrepreneurial potential with business grants!

Need help?

Our team at American Incorporators is committed to supporting entrepreneurs like you on your journey to success. Together, let's unlock your entrepreneurial potential and make your business dreams a reality!

 

Call: 800.421.2661 Or Email info@ailcorp

 

Topics: Grants, Entrepreneur

5 Year-End Small Business Tips

Posted by American Ltd on Nov 22, 2019 10:41:16 AM

year end business tipsFor many small businesses, the end of the year can be a busy and confusing time. Rectifying paperwork and dealing with the new year can take the holiday spirit out of anyone, but December doesn't have to be glum for small business owners. We've collected 5 year-end small business tips that will help ease end of year stress and lead you into a profitable 2020. 

1. Get Organized. It is important to take some time to review your books and make sure they're accurate. In this final stretch, getting things organized and catching up on regular organization will be a big help when tax time comes. Make sure that W-2 forms and 1099 forms are all together, organized and properly filed; if the forms aren't properly handled it, it can quickly turn into a problem for small business owners. 

2. Stock Up. Along with getting everything organized, it is a good idea for small businesses to deal with tax bracket issues before the close of the year. Buying new equipment before 2019 is officially over becomes a write off for the 2019 tax year; the same goes for donating to a charity during the Holiday season. 

3. Hire. Consider adding a Veteran to your payroll before the end of 2019. The government is offering tax credits for employers who hire war veterans. The tax credit is especially helpful to small businesses, but the employment of a veteran is even better. Military vets generally have exceptional knowledge, discipline and work ethic; they are certainly an asset aside from tax credits. 

4. Review Your Website. Small businesses that haven't started to utilize the internet are missing out on many opportunities. Even those who are connected need to maintain their website in order to continue attracting customers. Web content grows old quickly, so take a look at your website and add new, fresh content. This can really give a small business a lift for the new year

5. Get Social. Social media is a branch of marketing that simply can not be avoided or ignored by small businesses . One of the best end of year small business tips that a business can utilize  is to get connected; or at the very least update existing profiles and websites. Adding Facebook and Twitter allows small businesses to "join the conversation" and generate new interest and business. There are plenty of social media management software applications out there to help small businesses manage social media and analyze changes in consumer activity. 

Take a look at these tools recommended for social media management.

HubSpot: With this platform, you can manage your social media profile as part of a larger marketing ecosystem consisting of tools that empower your social media program (landing pages, blog posts, etc)

HootSuite  With this tool, you're able to manage multiple social profiles, schedule messages and tweets, and track brand mentions.

By utilizing these end of year small business tips, the new year can be bright, fresh and wonderfully profitable. Stay tuned for more year end tips as we come closer to the end of the year!

If you haven't incorporated your business yet, learn more about how you can protect your personal assets through incorporation!

Protecting Personal Assets

Topics: Tips & Tricks, Year End Business Reminders, end of year small business tips

Your Business License Questions Answered

Posted by American Ltd on Sep 17, 2019 10:55:50 AM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kylesteeddesign/3When opening a small business, it’s important to research any business license and permit requirements that may apply to your industry. It does not matter if you're an LLC or Corporation not having proper licensure can be extremely detrimental to your business. It can cause unnecessary stress, confusion, and potential fines.

To help you avoid this and better understand the basics of business licenses, we’ve answered these 4 common questions. 

1. Why Do I Need a Business License?

Obtaining proper business licenses and permits ensures that your business is maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local laws. Keeping your business license up to date is just as important as paying your taxes and annual state fees.

When applying for a bank account, you will most likely be asked to present your business license. Your business license can also help you with business financing, and may make things smoother when filing your taxes.  

2. What Are the Different Types of Business Licenses?

Keep in mind that business license types and requirements can vary from federal, state, county, and city levels. The following are a few common types of business licenses and permits to help you gain a general understanding of what you may need.

Basic Business License: This is typically issued by the city or county in which you’ll be operating.

Health Department Permits: If you prepare, serve, or sell food products, this will most likely be required,

Sales Tax License: This license is typically required for the sales of products and services.

Zoning Permits: This permit states authority to use a certain area of land for a certain purpose.

Professional & Occupational Permits : These may be required for services that are regulated by the state. These services may include, but are not limited to:

Medical Services                Legal Services

Tax Servoces                    Real Estate Services

Be sure to review your state laws if you are in an industry that may require an occupational license.

Federal Permits: if your business involves any of the following, it is best to contact federal departments for specific requirements.

Alcohol, Tobacco, or Firearms  Ground Transportation

Drug Manufacturing                Broadcasting

This is a sample of industries that may require federal licensure. Please check with federal agencies for your specific requirements. 

3. Are There Penalties for Not Having a Business License?

If you do not obtain required business licenses and permits, you are highly jeopardizing the security of your company. Not having a business license can leave you legally vulnerable, result in high financial penalties, and in some cases may lead to imprisonment. Aside from this, it negatively impacts your credibility as a business owner and will cause long term negative effects for your business. 

4. How Do I Get a Business License?

Since business licenses are handled on many levels, we suggest doing research with your state to find out exactly what you may need. You may find that your local city hall, state’s government websites, or www.sba.gov are great resources.

Since researching all of the requirements on the Federal, State, Country, and City level can be a time consuming task. American Incorporators Ltd. offers a service that researchesdetails, and lists all of the licenses and permits you will need. The only thing you would need to do is answer a few quick questions about your business. If you’d like to learn more, visit our Business License page.

Having the proper business licenses and permits is just as important as incorporating your business. Do not leave this process out of your business plan. We hope that this eases your business license research process! If you have any questions, feel free to post below or contact one of our Incorporation Specialists by dialling 800.421.2661

For more information and answers to your 50 most common incorporation questions read our FREE eBook

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Topics: LLC Creation, Tips & Tricks, Corporation Creation, Business Maintenance, Business Licenses, Alabama

5 Tips on Naming a Business

Posted by American Ltd on Sep 12, 2019 2:25:23 PM

Today we're revisiting a helpful post, co-written with insight from Incorporating Specialist Curt Sweltz, a 15+ year contributor here at American Incorporators.

78375487Deciding on a business name will be one of the most exciting steps of your incorporation process. Your business name is going to be one of the largest parts of your brand's identity. You can get creative – but try to have the name maintain some relevance to your service or product. You’ll want the name to have a meaning to the customer. At the same time, don’t be too generic. If you use something like “National Service Co.,” chances are it will be less distinguishable from companies with similar names.

After you’ve ironed out the creative details, you’ll have to worry about state level issues. To make things easier, keep these tips in mind when naming a business:

  • Your name may be available in one state, but not another.

Corporations and LLCs are “state-level filings.” This means that if a name is available in Iowa, this does not mean it will be available in Kentucky. When a name is submitted to your chosen state of formation, the state checks it only against the incorporated and LLC names in their state records.

  • Create 2-3 Distinct options.

Adding “s,” “the,” “and,” or “&” is not enough to distinguish a name and will rarely change the acceptability of a name. For example, if a company is named “Frank’s Lawn Service LLC,” the state will most likely reject a request to form “Frank’s Lawn Service LLC.” 

  • An LLC may be able to have the same name as a Corporation.

While this is not the case in all states, California will allow an LLC to have the same name as a Corporation, even if they are not related. So, Joe Jacobs from Arkansas can form “ABC LLC” in California, and Amy Alan in Ohio can in incorporate “ABC Inc.” even though the companies have no relation.

  • Decide on a Corporate Ending.

This can be simple. Most states will require your business to have a “corporate ending.” Corporations can typically decide from Incorporated, Inc., Corporation, and Limited. LLCs can use LLC or Limited Liability Company. Keep in mind, these corporate endings do vary by state, and some states will offer more options.

  • Take advantage of your resources.

American Incorporators offers a free name search service in all 50 states. Checking the name before submitting your filing will save you time and money. 

So while it may seem like an easy step, naming a business can become complicated. Take a look at these articles with suggestions and stories about naming your business:

                8 Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Your Business.

                Tips on Naming a Product 

Don’t forget, our free name search is always available. If you’d like to do more research, our State Specific Information Section also offers information on state requirements. Please post any questions or share some the business name blunders you’ve encountered!

 

Editor's Note: This post appeared previously on our blog.

Topics: Tips & Tricks, State Specific Information, Naming a Business

Incorporating or Forming an LLC for the First Time?

Posted by American Ltd on Jul 17, 2019 9:28:48 AM

Answers to Your Questions

Incorporating or forming an LLC for the first time American Incorporators Questions Answers business formation

The incorporation process can seem confusing and scary to a first time entrepreneur. What to name your venture, where to incorporate, and whether to form an LLC or corporation are just a few of the many questions that arise before you even begin the process. However, incorporating does not have to be intimidating. 

In reality, assuming you have taken the time to consider and evaluate all of your options, it should be a relatively quick and painless process. On the other hand, putting off this process can have dire consequences; from making it hard to open a bank account, to leaving your personal assets open to a liability suit, to limiting your access to investors. So don’t delay – please continue reading to find out how easy and painless the process can be!

Choosing a Name:

There are numerous places to learn about naming your entity – with everything from name reservations to trademark searches.  Read more about the process: 5 Tips on Naming a Business

LLC or Corporation?:

Likewise there are numerous sites and articles devoted to explaining the differences between LLCs and Corporations: Comparing Entities 

If you have further questions about which entity type is best for your venture we encourage you to consult an attorney or accountant.

Where Do I Incorporate?:

Similarly there are many factors that go into determining if you should form your company in your home state or in one of the so called “special formation stated” like Delaware where pro-business courts and practices attract thousands of new businesses annually. For information on what makes Delaware distinctive please read: Where Do I Incorporate?

 

This article is designed to de-mystify the actual company formation process once all of the above decisions have been made. Once you know where you want to form, what you want to form, and what you want to call your company, you are ready to start the process. In order to do this you have three main options – enlist the help of a professional accountant or lawyer, use a company formation service company or file directly on your own. There are clear advantages and disadvantages to each approach, but we will focus on the advantages of using a formation service company like American Incorporators Ltd. As a service company with extensive relationships in all 50 states, American Incorporators is able to form your company quickly and inexpensively (using a lawyer or accountant will often cost a lot more money, while doing it yourself will tend to take a lot longer).

What You Need to Do:

All you will need to do is answer a few questions related to the nature of your business. Requirements vary slightly depending on the jurisdiction (state) where you are forming, but in general you will need to know the names of your members or directors, your business address and purpose, how many shares of stock you want to issue (only for corporations), and who you want to appoint as registered agents (this can almost always be provided by the person or company forming the company for you).

A corporate service provider like American Incorporators will prepare all of the necessary paperwork, file it with the relevant state authorities and follow up to make sure your business is properly recorded. Depending on the state (and the amount you are willing to spend for expediting in certain jurisdictions) this process can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. In most instances you will have your paperwork back and your company officially listed within a week. Once completed, you will receive a filed certificate of incorporation (or formation) that you can use to prove you are a legitimately established business. Other steps that should be taken at this stage include obtaining and Employer Identification Number (the business equivalent of a Social Security Number) and creating your operating agreement.

Your EIN allows you to hire and pay employees and is usually needed to open a bank account. The operating agreement sets the by-laws for how your entity will be run and helps you to begin the process of establishing the corporate veil that protects your assets. For more explanation on what that means please see: What is the Corporate Veil and How Can it be Protected?

Corporate service providers like American Incorporators regularly obtain EINs for their clients as part of the formation process – saving you valuable time and energy. They also can provide Corporate Kits which will include templates for Operating Agreements and many other important documents you may need in your business life.

incorporate answers first time business formation American Incorporators

Once you have all of these documents back you are ready to begin your official business life – working with clients and other businesses, reaching out to potential investors and realizing your entrepreneurial dreams! And in most cases it can be completed in a very short time for a very reasonable amount of money! So don’t hesitate to take this important step to get on your way, incorporate today

 

Find the answers to all of your major incorporation questions in our new eBook

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Topics: incorporation process, how to start a business, forming a business, easy incorporation, create a corporation

Separating Your Company Assets

Posted by American Ltd on Jun 26, 2019 11:02:00 AM

Bank Accounts and EIN's 

running a business bank accountOpening a business bank account is one of the first major steps in running your company successfully. By establishing a business bank account you can legally separate your personal and company assets and keep track of income and expenses. You will need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to open a bank account.

 

 

How Do I Open a Bank Account? 

It is best to speak with your personal bank to be sure that you meet all of their individual terms and policies, but in general you will need to provide the bank with the company's Certificate of Incorporation or Formation, its EIN, a copy of the by-laws or operating agreement, and copies of any necessary business licenses.

What is an EIN?

An EIN represents an entity's registration with the IRS. Although you are not required to obtain an EIN for your business, you will need one if you want to open a bank account for your company and to file your annual tax return.  Sole proprietors use their Social Security Number for these purposes, but do not posses the same liability protection provided by LLCs and Corporations.  International clients who form US companies but do not have any US income and have no need for a US bank account do not need to obtain an EIN. We highly recommend all other individuals obtain an EIN when they form their business. American Incorporators can help by preparing the EIN application for your company or by obtaining the number from the IRS for you here.

 

Find the answers to all of your major incorporation questions in our new eBook

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What to Do After Incorporation

Posted by American Ltd on May 13, 2019 11:10:00 AM

Corporate Requirements After Incorporation

An important first step after receiving your company's incorporation documents is to hold an initial meeting to appoint officer and directors, as well as to issue shares of stock.

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Directors typically operate as part of a Board, making up the governing body elected by shareholders. They are responsible for the management of a corporation's business and affairs. Officers consist of roles such as President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. They are responsible for carrying out the Board's policies and for making day-to-day decisions. Shareholders are included in annual meetings and must approve any major company decisions, such as issuing loans, purchasing real estate, and issuing additional shares.

It is important to hold annual meetings with shareholders and maintain minutes of those meetings. In general, maintaining a thorough corporate record means recording all meeting minutes, using a share ledger, and saving copies of all filed documents (formation, amendments, annual reports, etc.).  Make sure to maintain good standing with your state and registered agent by filing all annual reports and paying necessary taxes and fees on time. 

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Top 3 Reasons to Incorporate Now

Posted by American Ltd on May 6, 2019 1:52:00 PM

How Will Incorporating Benefit You?

incorporate now questions advice

There are many benefits to incorporating. In order to determine whether or not incorporating is the best option for you and your business entity we advise that you consult a trusted accountant or attorney for financial and legal advice.  Incorporating can be a big milestone in the life of your business and American Incorporators can help every step of the way!

These are our top three reasons for incorporating:

1) It offers liability protection

By forming an LLC or Corporation you create a barrier between your personal assets and your company assets, should your company every be sued. In this case you can protect your personal assets from being seized.  

 

2) It lends a sense of legitimacy

Forming a legal business entity also lends a sense of legitimacy to your venture.  This can help attract investors, clients, and vendors.  People tend to have more faith in a company with Inc. or LLC at the end of its name.

 

3) It allows for longevity

If the initial owner dies, the business entity continues and shares can be passed on to others. Or if the owner wants to sell his or her shares in a company it is much easier to do if a legal entity has been formed. 

 

 

Find more answers to the top 50 questions about incorporating in our newly published eBook!

 

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Who's Running Your Company?

Posted by American Ltd on Apr 22, 2019 8:30:00 AM

Member-Managed or Manager-Managed? What's the Difference?member-manager manager-managed llc questions and definitions

A Member-Managed and a Manager-Managed LLC differ in the way that the company is run.

A member-managed structure is the most common approach. This approach is recommended for companies where the members plan to have an active role in the daily activity of the company. This grants the members authority to act on behalf of the business.

In a manager-managed LLC, the members act more like silent partners and leave the day-to-day management of the company to a member-appointed manager. This operating structure is applicable only if a single member will be involved in running the company - the manager appointed can be a member.

Whichever managing approach the LLC chooses for its operation, it is important that the agreed upon rules and processes are clearly outlined in the company's operating agreement. 

What if I need to change my directors or members? It is a simple internal process to change a director or member. The company would need to have a meeting to pass a resolution indicating the new members or directors. Meeting minutes would be kept to record this transaction of resolution being signed by the current directors or members. It is also allowable, although generally not required, to file an amendment with the state naming the new directors or members. This allows for more formal documentation since the amendment would become part of the company's public record. 

 

Find the answers to all of your major incorporation questions in our new eBook
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