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How to Start a Corporation in Indiana

To start an Indiana corporation, you must file Indiana Articles of Incorporation with the Business Services Division and pay a $98-100 filing fee. While this filing creates your business, it’s really just the first step to launching your Indiana corporation. The complete steps to incorporating in the Hoosier State are as follows:

  1. File Indiana Articles of Incorporation
  2. Pay the Business Services Division $100 ($98 online)
  3. Wait to receive your Certificate of Incorporation
  4. Get a federal tax ID (EIN) for the corporation
  5. Create Indiana corporate bylaws
  6. Take these documents to the bank and get an Indiana corporate bank account
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Indiana Articles of Incorporation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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Documents & Forms

How to File Indiana Articles of Incorporation

To form an Indiana corporation, you file the Articles of Incorporation in the following steps:
Step 1 Decide if you’re creating a for-profit, benefit, or professional corporation
Step 2 Choose a name for your new corporation
Step 3 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 4 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 5 Decide how many shares you’d like to authorize
Step 6 Choose an incorporator to sign and submit your Articles
Step 7 File online and pay $98 with a credit card (fastest) or mail to the Secretary of State Business Services Division at 302 W Washington St, Rm E018, Indianapolis IN 46204 with a check or money order for $100

How Long Does it Take to Start an Indiana Corporation?

1

Fastest 1 day

File your Articles online yourself. The standard processing time is 24 hours.

1

Almost Fastest (and some might say better) 1 day

Hire Northwest to file your Articles online for you. Just answer a few brief questions about your business, sit back, and let our Corporate Guides file everything correctly the first time.

5-7

Not Too Shabby 5-7 days

Print out your Articles and mail them to the Business Services Division. In a week or so, someone will eventually enter your information into the system and process your filing.

What is the Cost of 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 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.

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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.

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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%.

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Is a Registered Agent Required for an Indiana Corporation?

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.

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Indiana Corporation Versus Indiana LLC:

Regarding costs, there’s not a lot of difference. State filing fees for both Indiana corporations and LLCs are the same: Articles are $100 ($98 online) and the Business Entity Report is $50 ($32 online). People tend to assume corporations pay more in taxes, but it really depends more on your tax election than your entity choice. For example, both LLCs and corporations can choose to be taxed as S corporations, which would make their tax obligations the same.

So without much difference in costs, why form an Indiana corporation over an LLC? Each entity operates a little differently, which can make them a better fit for certain kinds of businesses. For instance, large businesses (or those that hope to scale quickly) often go with corporations. Why? Their familiar, formal structure makes it easier to manage lots of moving people and parts. Stocks also offer a lot of flexibility for attracting investors or raising capital. LLCs, on the other hand, are more common for small businesses. The lack of corporate formalities makes LLCs simpler to understand and operate. Thinking about an Indiana LLC? Here’s information on starting an LLC in Indiana.

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Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for an Indiana Corporation?

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.

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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.

Does an Indiana Corporation 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.

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.

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.

Indiana Articles of Incorporation Requirements

Corporation Type

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.

Corporation Name

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.”

Principal Office

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.

Registered Agent

You can either list a commercial agent (like Northwest) or a noncommercial agent (like yourself). Tip: We’re fans of Northwest.

Registered Office

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.

Registered Agent Email

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.

Authorized Shares

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.

Indiana Incorporator

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.

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®