Indiana Incorporation Services
To start a corporation in Indiana, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Business Services Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Incorporation cost $100 to file ($98 online). Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Indiana corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting an Indiana Corporation Guide:
Indiana Corporation Filing Options
Skip the state fees! Get an Indiana corporation and the best of our services today. Includes EIN, hassle-free maintenance, business address & mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, local Corporate Guide® service, and everything you need to operate at full capacity.
Do It Yourself
Sign up for a free account and use our online tools to start your Indiana corporation today. Includes Indiana incorporation and maintenance walkthrough and company document creation. All for free.
Pay in Full
Includes Indiana corporation, business address & free mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, lifetime support from local Corporate Guides® and a year of registered agent service.
Indiana Articles of Incorporation Requirements
To form an Indiana corporation, you must complete and file the Articles of Incorporation with the Business Services Division. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Indiana’s Business Services Division uses one form for multiple types of corporations. Select whether you’re a for-profit corporation (standard), benefit corporation (has a charitable or educational purpose), or a professional corporation (provides a state-licensed service). Note that benefit and professional corporations have additional regulations to follow. Tip: Most corporations are for-profit.
Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited,” “Company” or an abbreviation of one of these words. Tip: Most corporations keep it short and sweet with “Corp” or “Inc.”
This street address is the official address of your business and where you’ll receive any mail besides legal notifications. Tip: Keep things simple with one address for all your mail. When you hire Northwest as your registered agent, you can use our Indiana address as your principal office address.
You can either list a commercial agent (like Northwest) or a noncommercial agent (like yourself). Tip: We’re fans of Northwest.
If you have a noncommercial agent, you’ll need to list the agent’s Indiana street address. Note that this information will become part of the permanent public record of your Indiana corporation. Have a commercial registered agent like Northwest? All that’s needed in your Articles is our name.
If you have a noncommercial agent, you’re also required to provide their email address. If you’d prefer not to give an email address, the Secretary of State recommends using a commercial registered agent, which are required to have email addresses on file with the state. Tip: Northwest is a commercial registered agent, so the state already has all our information on record.
List the number of shares you want to create. You must list at least one. You can distribute some or all of these shares later on at your organizational meeting.
Incorporators sign and submit your Articles of Incorporation. They must include their name, address, date, and signature. Incorporators don’t have to be directors, officers, or anyone in the corporation—just someone you authorize to submit Articles. Tip: When you hire Northwest, we’ll be the incorporator for your Indiana corporation.
How much does it cost to start an Indiana corporation?
$98-$100. The base filing fee for online submissions is $95, but there’s a $3 credit card processing fee. For paper submissions, the filing fee is $100.
Hire Northwest and your total, out-the-door cost is $323, including state fees. We also provide a full year of registered agent service and all the corporate forms you’ll need to open a bank account.
How long does it take to start an Indiana corporation?
The standard processing time for online filings is 24 hours. If you print and mail your filing, it will be 5-7 days before someone at the Business Services Division manually enters your information into the system and processes your filing.
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your Indiana corporation formed within 24 hours.
Does an Indiana corporation need a registered agent?
Yes, you must appoint an Indiana registered agent in your Articles of Incorporation. You’ll also have to confirm you are maintaining your agent every two years in your Business Entity Report. So who can be your registered agent? In Indiana, you can either choose a noncommercial agent or a commercial agent. A noncommercial agent is a person or business that doesn’t specialize in registered agent service and isn’t listed as a registered agent service provider of record in the state. This could be yourself, or perhaps one of the of directors or officers of your corporation. Your noncommercial agent would have to be okay with putting their name, address and email on your public documents, and they would have to be available during regular business hours at the address listed to accept any legal notifications. Odds are, no one in your corporation is going to be fighting to take on this job.
Your other option is hiring a commercial registered agent service like Northwest. Hiring Northwest has some major perks. We accept, scan and send you your legal documents in real time, so you can stay on top of your business wherever you are (no worrying about missing a process server when you’re in meetings or out wooing investors). We also have free tools to help you maintain your Indiana corporation, and we’ll send you free compliance reminders so you don’t forget key business filings. For a long list of all our benefits, check out our Indiana registered agent page.
Create Bylaws for Your Indiana Corporation
Do I need bylaws?
Bylaws are a critical document for any corporation. Bylaws are not, however, a public document that you have to submit to the state like your Articles of Incorporation. Instead, bylaws are a private, internal document that define the rules for your Indiana corporation.
Why are corporate bylaws important?
Your bylaws put into words how decisions will be made and who gets to make those decisions. There’s a lot to consider: How will you choose the board of directors? How long will their tenure on the board last? How many members of the board will be required to vote on a resolution? Who will be officers? What duties and authority will they have? Which types of stock will have voting shares? Your bylaws will help your corporation get organized, but they’ll also do a lot more—for instance, you’ll likely need your bylaws just to open a corporate bank. Plan to take on investors or partners? They’ll want to see your bylaws as well.
Do I have to write bylaws?
Essentially, your bylaws are absolutely crucial for your business. That’s why Northwest gives you free corporate bylaws when you hire us to form your Indiana corporation. We know what kinds of topics and questions corporations need to address, and we’ve spent years refining and improving our forms. We also give you other free corporate forms, like resolutions and meeting minute templates. Let us help you start out on the right foot. Check out the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.
Get an EIN for Your Indiana Corporation
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Yes, the IRS requires corporations to obtain an EIN for their federal tax filings. You’ll likely find you need an EIN for more than just taxes as well. Banks typically ask for your EIN when you go to open a corporate bank account. Local permit and license applications may require your EIN too. You can get an EIN directly from the IRS for no fee. Or, save yourself the extra paperwork and hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our services.
Open a Bank Account for Your Indiana Corporation
To open a corporate bank account, you will need to bring the following to the bank:
- A copy of the Indiana corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
- The Indiana corporation’s bylaws
- The Indiana corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open corporate accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does an Indiana corporation need a business license?
Indiana doesn’t have a general, statewide business license. However, cities and counties sometimes have their own business licensing requirements. For example, if you engage in any business in Gary, you must obtain a city business license.
File Indiana Corporation Reports
What is an Indiana Business Entity Report?
Your Indiana Business Entity Report is a form you file with the Business Services Division every other year to update your corporation’s ownership and contact information. The filing fee is $50 for paper submissions and $32 online.
Forget to file? While there are no late fees, the state can dissolve your corporation after 120 days. Yikes. No worries though—when you hire Northwest as your registered agent, we’ll send you report reminders to help ensure you remember to file and stay in compliance. Better yet, avoid this annoying report entirely and hire us to file your Indiana Business Entity Reports for you.
How much does a corporation in Indiana cost each year?
Every other year, Indiana corporations are required to file a Business Entity Report, which comes with a $32 (minimum) price tag.
Pay Corporate Taxes
What are the taxes for an Indiana corporation?
As of July 2018, the Indiana corporate net income tax rate is a flat 5.75%. That’s already pretty low, but there’s even better news: this rate is scheduled to decrease yearly until it settles at 4.9% in 2021.
Indiana sales tax is 7%. Cities and counties don’t have their own sales taxes, so it’s a uniform 7% across the state. The only exceptions are a few specific products and services that have specialty rates. For example, short-term auto rentals are taxed at 4%, and fireworks sales are taxed at 5%.