Incorporation Checklist

Here is a checklist of tasks related to incorporating a business in Massachusetts. Other states have similar rules. All of this is a pain in the neck – and expensive. But savings should come later in lower taxes and other benefits.

TASK
WHO SHOULD DO IT?
NOTES
Choose opening date for the new corp You SHOULD be but doesn’t have to be the FIRST of of a month – ie, July or August.
File Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State Fee Lawyer Will cost $200
File Form 2553 to Elect to be an S Corporation if planned as part of your tax strategy Lawyer or Accountant Don’t miss the deadline!
Qualify a fictitious name if you are using one Lawyer
Prepare your bylaws Lawyer
Hold your shareholders meeting You or a Lawyer Even if it’s just you!
Hold your board of directors meeting You or a Lawyer Even if it’s just you!
Issue your stock and collect appropriate money You or a Lawyer
Determine whether a professional license is needed You and your Lawyer
Secure your local occupational license You, Lawyer, or Accountant
Secure tax returns for quarterly filings You or Accountant
Register to pay sales tax with states in which you will do business You and Accountant
Call your town office about personal property taxes You or Accountant
Check on worker’s comp payments You See if you can switch existing policy
Check if leases need to be re-documented (i.e., with landlord) You
Apply for Federal Tax ID # You and either Lawyer or Accountant
Open corporate bank account with corp Tax ID# You
Set up new computer accounting file – post opening entries You and Accountant
Choose a salary amount for yourself You
Set up a new payroll file with your payroll service You and Payroll Service
Secure required employer posters and hang them as required Accountant
Update business cards and stationery to reflect corporate status You
Have annual meeting You and Lawyer File minutes in corporate book. Include shareholders AND directors
Pay annual corporate fee You and Accountant It’s $109 to the Secretary of State if you pay by credit card or $125 if you pay by check, plus $456 to the Dept of Revenue