Taylor Legal Blog

Do I Need a Lawyer to Form a Corporation?

Posted by Katherine L. Taylor, Attorney and CPA, Chief Problem SolverAug 20, 20200 Comments

In a prior post, I discussed when you need or do not need a lawyer to assist in the formation of an LLC. Now, I'm going to explain to you when you do and don't need a lawyer to assist with the formation of your corporation.

You can form a corporation by filing certain documents with any state in the country. While each state has its own requirements, there is some basic information that most require.

If you are seeking to form a corporation and you know for sure that that is the type of entity that you want to form, you can go online to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation or the Secretary of State and get a standard form and complete it and file it yourself. There are also third party sites that will assist you in getting those documents filed with the state, but they will charge an upcharge.

However, if you are forming a corporation where you have more than one member, you're going to need to pay special attention to not just the formation of the company, but to the things that you need to do after the actual entity is formed with the state. Many people forget these things or don't even know that they're required. You have to have an organizational meeting of your board; you have to have bylaws (most states require them); and if it's a stock corporation, which most corporations are, you have to actually make sure that the stock is issued. You cannot forget those things, because if you do, you can have a real mess on your hands later on.

So if you're forming a corporation, yes, you can do it yourself. Make sure you follow through with all of the steps that you have to do to ensure that the corporation is operating validly. If you have more than one shareholder, definitely contact a lawyer to make sure you have a good shareholder's agreement drafted to protect your rights and set forth the obligations of the shareholders to each other.

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