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#202 Forming a corporation

mp3 #202 How To Form A Corporation (mp3 file)

If you are thinking about starting a business, incorporating or changing the structure of an existing business there are many considerations that need to be addressed. An experienced business formation attorney can help you determine the best course of action, and assist you with the application process. Continue here to be referred to an experienced and insured business formation attorney.

Are you thinking about forming a corporation in California?

There are many questions to be answered before you make a decision to form a corporation. Some of these questions are: what are the tax consequences of incorporation? Are you willing to follow the legal requirements which are imposed upon corporations, such as electing officers, drafting and adopting by-laws, adopting a corporate seal, obtaining permission to issue stock, issuing stock, setting annual meeting dates, and other items of importance? Would your needs be better met by a sole proprietorship, general partnership, by a limited partnership, by a joint venture, by an association, or by a non-profit organization, instead of by a corporation? It is best to consult your accountant and legal advisor before you decide whether or not to form a corporation.

If you decide to form a corporation, it is important that the name of your new corporation is not too similar to the name of an existing corporation. You may formally reserve the name you want to use, in writing, for a $10.00 fee. This reservation will be held for 60 days.

A corporation is legally born when you file a document called the "articles of incorporation," with the office of the Secretary of State. You may obtain a sample set of "articles of incorporation," and an information sheet, by going to by writing to the Secretary Of State, Corporate Filing Division, 1500 11th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 657-5448.

When you typewrite the articles of incorporation, you provide the following information: (1) the name of your corporation; (2) the standardized purpose of your corporation; (3) the name and address of your corporation's agent; (4) the total number of shares of stock which your corporation is authorized to issue; and (5) the signing of the articles by the person forming the corporation. Filing fees vary depending on the type of document and time frame in which the documents must be filed. For additional information go to, or call (916) 657-5448.

If your corporation issues shares of stock, you will need an attorney to be sure that you comply with the California Corporate Securities Law.

If you need a corporate lawyer, talk to one of our Lawyer Referral Service Representatives by calling (213) 798-1611 or complete the Referral form at the top left hand corner of this page.


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