A corporation is basically the most universally accepted form of establishing a different entity from you to start and run a business under. A corporation is formed by filing articles of incorporation or a certificate of incorporation with the Secretary of State, Corporation commission, or Corporation division of the state of your choice. This process is what makes the corporation a completely separate entity from the people who run it.
Corporations are owned by shareholders.
Corporations issue a number of shares of stock when they file articles of incorporation with the state the shareholders would like to incorporate in. The shares are how the corporation is initially funded.
A Corporation can be formed in any state. Most of the time if you're operating the corporation in the state in which you reside, it will be best to incorporate in your home state. If you're going to be a national company, it will be beneficial to incorporate in tax friendly states like Wyoming, South Dakota, Delaware, or Nevada. If you live in a state with high income tax, you might find it advantageous to form a corporation in a tax free state and keep it as a C corporation.
A corporation has shareholders:
Most states require you have at least a director, president, secretary, and treasurer.
Some states allow Close corporations which can operate without the appointment of a director.
In theory, each year the shareholders hold an annual meeting, where they elect their director(s) and then the directors elect their officers. Most states have language in their laws that basically say it's ok if the shareholders fail to have and hold an annual meeting, and that the current or initial directors and officers can maintain their office until a special or annual meeting is held, regardless of if a new meeting never gets held.
When we incorporate your corporation, we file custom drafted articles of incorporation according to your needs, make the initial resolution appointing directors and officers, complete everything with the state, do it correctly to minimize your exposure, and provide you corporate bylaws. All this for only our $100 Incorporation service fee.
To incorporate in most states with our service fee and registered agent service will usually be about $250 - $400.