We have written on non-profit corporations before, but as we only dedicated a sliver of a paragraph to how you actually form a non-profit, we felt the topic was worth revisiting. A non-profit corporation is a great way to fulfill a philanthropic pursuit, and if you are looking at dedicating your life to charity, then running a non-profit may be right up your alley. Forming a non-profit corporation is actually very similar to forming a regular corporation.
Step 1. Find a business name
Your non-profit is going to need a name just like with any other standard corporation. That name needs to be unique and, typically, has to include the a designator like ‘Corporation’ or ‘Incorporated,’ though not all states require that.
Step 2. File your Articles of Incorporation
After you’ve confirmed that your corporate name is available, you have to actually form the corporation by filing what is normally known as your Articles of Incorporation. The forms usually aren’t too complicated, and normally just ask for the names and addresses of the corporation, its registered agent, and its directors, as well as the corporation’s purpose for existing.
Missouri – the “Show-Me” state – is the subject of this week’s 50 states of incorporation, but first we want to show you why Missouri is such a great place to start a business. Missouri has long-been an important economic hub because America’s three great rivers – the Missouri, the Mississippi, and the Ohio – all flow through the state. And though shipping has died down and Missouri is no longer the sole Gateway to the West, the state has shown an amazing propensity towards adaptation, and some of the most successful high-tech companies in the world call Missouri home.
Monsanto, one of the world’s biggest bio-technology companies, is based out of Missouri, as is Boeing Defense, Space & Security, a leading aerospace and defense-research firm. But the company that Missouri is most famous for has to be St. Louis’s Anheuser-Busch. It is, in fact, so loved that Busch’s St. Louis brewery was declared a national landmark in 1966.
Missouri knows how important small business is to the state, and the government offers loads of incentives and programs to help small businesses get started properly. Missouri lists many of the public resources that are available, and it is especially supportive of its agricultural industry; Missouri has 108,000 active farms, the second highest amount in the United States.
Corporate dissolution can be a touchy topic since dissolution is associated with a business going under, but there are lots of reasons for a business to shut down. For example, you wouldn’t want to keep paying fees and renewals for an LLC that was founded with a specific purpose, like building a housing tract, after that purpose is fulfilled. Nor would you expect an entrepreneur to balk at a particularly lucrative opportunity that would divert too much attention away from their original business. Whatever the reason, there may come a day when your corporation or limited liability company has to file their Articles of Dissolution and close down for good. If that day does come, you may find yourself wondering what else you have to do to finalize the dissolution. To help prepare our readers for any possible future, we decided to use a Business Basics post to outline what, exactly, has to be done during dissolution.
Vote on Dissolution
Most states require that the managing members (in the case of an LLC), or the board of directors (in the case of a corporation) votes, and agrees, on dissolution. If the corporation is publicly traded, the shareholders will also have to vote and agree on dissolution. If you cannot secure that vote, you will probably not be able to dissolve the business. Now, lawsuits can be filed to force dissolution, but these suits are rarely in the best interest of the directors, executives, or managing members. So when you start the dissolution process, make sure you can secure enough votes to get past this first hurdle.
Business Basics started out as a way to educate would-be and current entrepreneurs on the basics of running a business, and has slowly morphed into a place where we can try to tackle some of the most common questions we get about the ins-and-outs of business ownership. But, after looking through a few old posts, we were surprised we hadn’t delved into a very, very important part of running a business – protecting your intellectual property! To help rectify this, here is the first post in a series looking at IP protection. This week we are going to look at the trademark.
What, exactly, does a trademark do?
Studious readers of our MyCorp blog may recall that, back in June, we covered non-profit corporations in a ‘Business Basics’ post, and answered a few simple questions like what a non-profit corporation was and how to form one. This week, we felt it would be a good idea to tackle one of the most often asked questions about non-profits – how do you run a successful non-profit corporation? Now, it’s impossible to distill what makes a non-profit successful into a 700 word post, but we can point out a few things you can do to help your non-profit succeed.
Draft, and adhere to, a solid mission statement
When you form a non-profit corporation, you have to clearly identify your mission. What, exactly, do you hope to accomplish with this organization? Who do you hope to help? What type of a vision do you have? You may have a few fuzzy answers to these questions running through your head, but you have to absolutely solidify every idea and goal you have before you ever hope to begin raising money. If your ‘elevator pitch’ is a jumbled mess of ideals with no, clear, actionable goals, no one will want to donate to your non-profit. The IRS will also review your mission statement when they decide whether or not to grant your group tax-exempt status.
Welcome to Part 2 of our Business Basics posts on Canada. Last week we took a quick look at corporate law in Canada, and explored some of the major differences between American and Canadian corporate law. If you are thinking about incorporating up north, you should start there as it will give you a basic idea of what to expect in terms of regulations and rules.
This week we are going to shift gears a bit and answer a few of the most commonly asked question about incorporating in Canada.
We’ve talked extensively about how to incorporate a business in the United States, but we have yet to explore the corporate laws of our neighbor to the north – Canada. Since MyCorporation offers incorporation packages for Canada, we thought it would be a good idea to dedicate two Business Basics posts to exploring Canada, with one on corporate law and the other detailing how to actually start a corporation in Canada. So, without further ado, here is a quick look into corporate law in Canada.
If you’ve been following our Business Basics series, you’ll know we’ve already covered registered agents, and briefly explained what it is they actually do. However, people still had questions about registered agents, as well as the benefits and pitfalls with choosing a third-party service like registered-agent.com. So we decided to re-visit the topic and dedicate a post to answering some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received. Also, if you haven’t read it already, we recommend first reading our last post on registered agents as it answers the more basic questions.
Arkansas is known both as ‘The Land of Opportunity’ and ‘The Natural State,’ and these nicknames are truly befitting of a state with as much natural beauty and entrepreneurial spirit as Arkansas. With fifty-two state parks, including Hot Springs National Park, which is the nation’s first national park, and a strong, thriving culture, Arkansas continues to attract tourists from all across America. Arkansas is also known as the birthplace of multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Walmart, Tyson Foods, and Dillard’s.
But even if you are just a small, one-person company operating out of your garage, Arkansas is still one of the best states to found a business for several reasons.
An Employer Identification Number, or EIN for short, is basically a social security number for your business. Like with social security numbers, the IRS uses EINs to track what businesses need to certain types of tax. However, not all businesses are technically required to have an EIN as sole proprietorships can be identified by the owner’s SSN instead. That doesn’t mean, though, that you should avoid filing for one, as there are three main reasons why obtaining an EIN is important for a small business.
It allows the business to hire employees.
If you run a sole-proprietorship and you are the only employee that works for the business, all of the profits and losses are going to be reported as part of your personal income. You then pay whatever state and federal taxes you need to, just like you would if you received an income from anywhere else. However, when you hire an employee, you are responsible for withholding any necessary taxes from that employee’s income. The IRS then cannot simply use your SSN to keep track of what they are owed as there are now two different employees, and that’s where the employer identification number comes in. EINs let the IRS and other tax-collecting bodies know what businesses need to be sending in the usual payroll taxes.