Forming a Corporation in California

By Dave Thomas

Has the time finally come for you to take your company to the corporate level? If the answer is yes, how and where do you start the process?

For many business owners, the notion of turning their pride and joy into a corporation can come with some sleepless nights. Stop for a moment and think about all there is to do in order to pull off such a feat. Even once you think you’ve dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s, another task will likely pop into your head. It’s important to make a plan and layout all of the resources at your disposal before getting started.

The Right Corporate Name Can Make All The Difference 

In order for your new corporation to have the best shot possible, start the process by coming up with a great name. When going about choosing that name, do your research to see what possibilities are out there. You not only want a name that is catchy, but also easy to remember. You also want to avoid any confusion with similarly named companies. Lastly, it should be simple to promote on your letterhead, business cards, billboards, and of course, your company website. Of most importance, do not make any promotional efforts with your new corporation until the state has signed off on your paperwork and it is properly filed.

Find Legal Counsel

If coming up with that name becomes a tad difficult, you might have then already come to the conclusion that doing this incorporating on your own may not be the best move. As such, finding the right legal counsel is something to certainly consider. Remember, there are companies out there that help business owners like you incorporate in California on a regular basis.

These experts can not only prepare all the necessary legal documentation, but they can also offer years of experience. That experience could ultimately be the difference between a smart and smooth incorporation and a disaster.

Obtain Permits and Licenses

Once the name is selected, look to reserve it. Again, having the right legal minds behind you can make this process go more smoothly. With all you have to do just to keep your business running, do you really have time of your own to deal with legal documents and filing costs with a state government the size of California? Remember, there are myriad licenses and permits needed, along with deciding on a federal employer I.D. number.

Yes, covering all of your bases can seem time-consuming and may even be out of your comfort zone, but it’s important to do. Having business legal help along the way certainly makes sense.

Protect Your Investment

Although you are likely not forming a corporation the size of a Bank of America or Google, you do want to be sure that your investment is protected.

With that being the case, you should trademark your corporation. In doing so, you make it clear to consumers who you are. This prevents competitors from possibly infringing on your logo and other aspects of your brand.

From there, be sure to have the right directors and other notable employees in the proper positions. Given your directors will represent the company’s shareholders, make it a point to have top-notch people in such roles. The last thing you want as a corporation is to have nervous and/or unhappy shareholders—people that question seemingly every move you make as a company.

Documenting Your Business Moves

Once you start having director and shareholder meetings, ensure those minutes are recorded. From the adoption of bylaws to ultimately issuing stock shares, document all important happenings so they can be reviewed at any given time. So that you do not run the risk of ethical or bad business questions, always document meetings and other important facets of your corporation.

Promote

Once your corporation is legally up and running, make sure you give it the proper promotions. Smart marketing and advertising will prove imperative when getting your corporate brand out there in front of countless eyes and ears. Do your best to promote your products and services so that you stand out from the competition.

From traditional marketing means like press releases and sales calls to digital marketing and more, your corporation should stand out from the crowd.

So, is now the time for your business to go the corporate route in California?

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