I’ve seen a lot of misinformation, and misguided information on how to start a corporation. The specifics of this vary by state to state. I live in Florida, and I went through the process on my own. The process was a bit difficult, but only because there wasn’t a clear guide on what to do.
Hence, this tutorial
First, you’ll need to download a form, that indicates the type of corporation you want to be. This is NOT to determine if you’re an S-Corp or C-Corp. The determination of S-Corp or C-Corp is done with the IRS. That determination is done later. For now, you’ll just need to decide which of the following you will be:
- Non-Profit Corporation – If you want to be a 501c3, this one is for you. (form here)
- Profit Corporation – S-Corp and C-Corp (form here)
- Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) – Typical LLC (form here)
The forms will outline the specifications for each of the types of incorporation. While each of the forms contains the necessary questionnaire, I don’t recommend just filling in the blanks. There are a large number of templates for this. Google searches typically will bring up something to work with. Here’s the one I did for Hacked For BBQ, Corp.
Once you get something written up, mail off the package with money included. Once you’ve gotten this done, you’ll have to wait a couple weeks for the state to get back to you. If everything looks good, you’ll get a letter of confirmation regarding your corporation.
Once you have this letter of confirmation from the state of Florida, it’s time to get your FEIN number and file your corporation type with the IRS. I did this as an S-Corp, so my experience may be different than some of the rest of you.
Go to the IRS’s online application for obtaining an FEIN number at the current website for this : http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html. You’ll click a link that says ‘APPLY ONLINE NOW’. Afterwards you’ll be sent to a page giving you the instructions on how to complete the FEIN process. The process itself is fairly self-explanatory. Completing this process immediately provides you with an FEIN number, with which you can open a bank account and start doing some business.
To close, I’d like to point out how unnecessary services like company.com are. These services are overpriced, and often put people in difficult situations. DIY business starting isn’t nearly as bad as it might seem at first. As always, any feedback is certainly welcome.