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C Corporation Series Part Two — How to Register as A C Corporation

Key Takeaways:

  • To file as a C Corporation, you’ll need a business name and a filled out Form 1120. Depending on your state, you’ll also need to pay a filing fee and publish a notice of intent. You can learn state requirements on your Secretary of State’s website.
  • To form your C Corp, you’ll also likely want or need articles of incorporation, an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a business trademark, state-specific business licenses, and a sales tax ID (if you plan on selling items).
  • You can file a C Corporation application through your Secretary of State. or use a third-party company such as MyCorporation.

Welcome to part two of our C Corporation series! In part one, we covered the definition of C Corporations and the four tax considerations associated with the entity. For those that need a quick refresher, a C Corporation is a business entity where its profits are taxed separately from the owners of the business. This kind of structure allows C Corps to go public and raise investment capital. We also detailed the tax benefits of incorporating as a C Corporation. These include, but are not limited to, the ability to write off healthcare benefits and deduct its share of payroll taxes.

Now that we have a better understanding of this entity, let’s take a look at how to incorporate as a C Corporation. What do entrepreneurs need to complete the process and register as a C Corp? We’ll also examine other pieces of intellectual property, such as trademarks, entrepreneurs are recommended to file and register for their businesses.

What do you need to file for a C Corporation?

It’s not as expensive or time-consuming to set up a C Corp as you might imagine! Here’s what you should have on hand before getting started.

  1. Business name.
    The name of your business should be available for use. Ideally, you’ll have it registered as a trademark. More on that below.
  2. Form 1120 with all required paperwork details.
    Once you have decided to form a C Corp, you will need to file Form 1120 U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return with the IRS. The C Corporation should (if it has not already) establish officers within its structure. These include individuals such as a CEO, President, Vice President, and Secretary of the C Corp. This is information is necessary for completing your C Corp’s paperwork. Additionally, you will need to include information about the C Corp’s owner, the doing business as name (DBA), and registered agent information.

With a C Corporation, you can use your retirement funds to start or buy a business – without tax penalties. Learn more today.

  1. Pay a filing fee.
    Most applications require a filing fee. The amount may vary depending on the state.
  2. Notice of intent.
    When forming a C Corp, you may agree to publish a notice of intent. The need for a notice of intent also varies depending on whether it’s required in your state.

What additional documents do I need to form my C Corporation?

  1. Articles of incorporation.
    These documents prove the legality of your C Corporation and are, essentially, the foundation for a functioning C Corp structure. Articles of incorporation work as the rules and governance that pertain to a corporation. These documents dictate and regulate shareholder and officer liabilities within the C Corp. File your articles of incorporation in the state you do business in. Include information about the C Corp’s officers and the position each holds in the business. If you do not file articles of incorporation, you will not be able to develop your corporation legally.

Articles of incorporation are the rules of a c corporation

  1. Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    Your C Corporation will need an EIN for a variety of reasons. As a federal tax ID number, an EIN identifies your C Corp to the IRS. This allows you to file tax returns, hire employees, and open a business bank account. An EIN is also less sensitive to use on documents than a social security number (SSN) and may be used instead as a safeguard against identity theft.
  2. Business trademark.
    Does your C Corp have a unique business name, logo, slogan, or design? It’s important that you protect these assets by filing a trademark application. Conduct a name search first using The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) trademark database to make sure the mark is available. Then, register the trademark at the federal level. Once you have registered the trademark, you will become its legal owner. This means your mark is officially listed in the federal database and you have exclusive rights to use your trademark nationwide.
  3. Business licenses.
    The specific types of business license your C Corp needs will vary, depending on your location (city and state) and industry. Start by looking into a basic business operation license. This license is government-issued and allows you to operate your C Corp in your industry, city, and state. Additional licenses your C Corp may be eligible for include sales tax licenses and specific licenses in federally-regulated industries, like agriculture.
  4. Sales tax ID.
    Does your C Corporation plan to sell goods at a later date? File for a sales tax identification number now. This allows you to sell taxable goods and expand your business. Make sure to check in with your local Secretary of State to see whether or not you need it before conducting business as a C Corp.

protect your unique business name logo or slogan with a trademark

Where can I file a C Corporation?

You may file a C Corporation application online directly through your Secretary of State.

Not every small business owner feels comfortable filing on their own or has enough time to file for a C Corporation properly. You can also choose to work with a lawyer to help file your business. A trained lawyer can help provide legal advice and answer questions you may have about the entity.

However, some small business owners may still need to hire outside help to maintain certain upkeep aspects of their business. They may want to work alongside a third-party company that specializes in business filing, like MyCorporation.

MyCorporation (with our skilled team) is here to assist small business owners with forming a C Corporation for their business. For a low, flat fee, we help entrepreneurs prepare the paperwork and file a C Corporation. Need to register a trademark or file an EIN application? We’re here to assist you with these filings, too — just leave the paperwork to our professionals.

Join us for part three in our C Corporation series next month! Our next post will cover the role of ROBS (Rollovers for Business Start-ups) for establishing C Corporations and its five legality pillars. We’ll also define how C Corps differ from other entity types, including limited liability companies (LLCs), sole proprietorships, and S Corporations.

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