1. Choose Your Business Name
First, you must choose and research your corporation's name. This name is considered a fictitious name because, though you are filing for it, it isn't going to be your real name. This becomes your doing business as (DBA) name. The name must be unique from others in your state. If you go onto your state's Small Business Administration, you can conduct a search on all of the registered business names in your state. Only attempt to register a name for your corporation that's not been used. Otherwise, you'll have to start all over again.
2. Prepare Articles of Incorporation
Generally, you can find Articles of Incorporation on your state's Small Business Administration site or at your local courthouse in the clerk's office. The articles of incorporation vary significantly from state to state, but at the very least, they generally include the:
- Name(s) of the business owner(s)
- Business address
- Business name
- Desire to be a C-Corporation
3. Mail it to the Appropriate State Agency
Once you finish the articles of incorporation, you mail these in to the Secretary of State or the Small Business Administration Department, depending on your state. The registration fee should be included in this mailing.
After the necessary government official goes over your articles of incorporation, he'll let you know whether everything is in order. You should receive a Certificate of Incorporation or a similar equivalent. At this point, you are an official C-Corporation, and can begin calling yourself that.
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This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.