STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE YOUR BRAND NAME

Choose a Business Name

First, make sure the name you want for your corporation isn’t already taken, too similar to another, and doesn’t contain any restricted wording. Conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and then if there may be trademark issues use the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office to check.

Keep in mind your brand name should contain the words ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, file an Application for Reservation of Name which can be mailed to the Secretary of State to reserve your business name for 120 days.

Filing Fee: $60

STEP 2) SELECT A CONNECTICUT REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is anyone who resides in the state, or a recognized/registered business entity with a physical street address. This includes you and anyone else within your organization. However, as this person will be responsible for receiving and helping to handle all legal documents on your behalf (court documents, legal notices, state filings, tax forms, etc.), you want them to be serious about this role.

That being said you can hire an outside professional if need be and pay up to $160/year, or get a qualified agent free of charge when you incorporate with IncFile or Incorporate.com.

STEP 3) FILE CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION

Register an LLCThe first step to filing a corporation in Connecticut is to obtain a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation form.

Basic information pertaining to your business is required when you’re incorporating. Double check to ensure all submitted information is accurate. File the form through online application.

Filing fee: $250

STEP 4) GET A CORPORATE RECORDS BOOK

File Annual Reports & Publication Requirements

Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.

You can find them at nearby office supply stores or on Amazon, but we’re huge fans of Corporate Kits which include gorgeous records books/binders you can brand for as little as $99.

STEP 5) ELECT INITIAL DIRECTOR, MEET, DISCUSS BYLAWS

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Appoint at least 1 director who among other things will oversee the Connecticut corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:

  • Appoint officers & discuss/create Corporate Bylaws.
  • Choose a bank & approve the issuance of stock certificates.
  • Agree on corporate seal and adopt official stock certificate form.
  • Approve s-corp (opt.). Record Minutes of Meeting, have directors sign, then add to records book.

STEP 6) OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank Account

Ideally, during your first shareholder meeting you spent some serious time going over where to bank and set up your corporation’s financial foundation. With so many different banks (local, state, national) with tons of different fee structures, incentives, kickbacks, and other business services this shouldn’t be taken lightly.

The other issue is to make sure corporate accounts aren’t connected or mixed with any accounts of any other kinds. It should be a dedicated and separate account for easy financial tracking and tax purposes synced with your accounting software.

STEP 7) HANDLE TAXATION & LICENSING/PERMITS

Business LicensesAs a legally operating CT corporation, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally you should have an attorney or be sure to do plenty of research. Here are four resources to get started:

  1. Get a free Employer Identification Number, quickly through the IRS Website.
  2. Bookmark the Hartford Small Business Administration office and Dept. of Rev’s Business Services.
  3. To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
  4. Also, consider professional Business License Research packages that take care of the legwork for you.

OPTIONAL) WRITE A FUNDING-READY BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business Plan

Unlike other types of businesses, corporations tend to need funding pretty earlier on which is why “funding-ready” plans are much more prevalent. What this means is that the basics are clearly refined and set down in a nice presentable plan ready to show investors, VCs, lending institutions, etc.

From marketing and budgeting, to competitive analysis and financial forecasts, these folks want to be able to quickly assess the core fundamentals of your brand to decide whether it’s a solid worthwhile investment or not. To learn more check out the links below.

QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING

  • Our guide to Business Planning Software breaks down the best user-friendly solutions to help you strategize. (Spoiler Alert: LivePlan is the clear winner, in our opinion.)

OPTIONAL) BUILD A COMPANY WEBSITE

Build a Business Website

Not every business needs to make digital marketing the cornerstone of their growth strategy, or even put much emphasis into building a digital presence…but a website is necessary nonetheless. What will potential customers and stakeholders find when they search for your brand online to see what it’s about and what people might be saying?

There’s a lot of options to get running smoothly if you don’t have an in-house designer, for example Wix and Weebly. We have used both and highly recommend them to new entrepreneurs.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom

Note that this article on how to form a corporation in Connecticut isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form a corporation in Connecticut or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.