To do business as a corporation in Indiana, a company must register by filing articles of incorporation with the Indiana Secretary of State. One of the main benefits of organizing as a corporation is that the owners' liability is generally limited to the amount invested in the business. The downside to incorporating is that profits are taxed twice – once when the money is earned and the corporation files its annual tax return and a second time when profits are distributed to the owners as dividends.
Confirm that the name you want to use for your corporation is available by checking on the Indiana Business Services Online website (link in Resources). If the name is already taken, you must choose another. Indiana requires that your company name must be distinguishable from the names of other businesses on the records of the Secretary of State.
Draft articles of incorporation for your company. In Indiana, the articles must contain the name of the corporation, the name and address of the registered agent, the number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue and the names, addresses and signatures of all incorporators. Your company name must include "Corporation," "Company," "Incorporated," "Limited" or the corresponding abbreviation to inform the public that the business is operating as a corporation. The registered agent is the corporation's legal contact.
File your articles of incorporation with the Indiana Corporations Division of the Secretary of State and enclose the current filing fee, which is $90 as of 2012. Unless the articles explicitly state that the corporation will not come into existence until a later date, it comes into existence on the date of filing.
- After the business has incorporated, the incorporators or initial directors, if named in the articles of incorporation, must hold a meeting to elect or appoint officers and adopt bylaws.
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images