Step 1) Pick a Name for Your Indiana Corporation

Choose a Business NameThe task of starting a business in Indiana starts with naming your Corporation. The Corporation name should be a unique identifier of your business, not similar or closely resembling any current business name.

In addition, the state stipulates that any of the following words or their equivalent abbreviations should be present in the actual business name: ‘Corporation’, ‘Limited’, or ‘Company’ or ‘Corp.’, ‘Ltd.’, ‘Co.’, or ‘Inc.’

To check for name availability, the Indiana business name search tool can be used. If the name is available, you can then use it or have it reserved by filing an Application for Exclusive Use of Corporate Name through the Secretary of State. A $20 filing fee is required together with the application.


Step 2) Process the Articles of Incorporation Application

Register an LLCWhen incorporating in Indiana, you only become a legal business entity when you file an Articles of Incorporation. This document is to be filed with the Secretary of State.

When filing a Corporation in Indiana, certain information regarding your business and about its owners will have to be provided in the actual form. An online or mail application is applicable for this form.

Filing fee: $90


Step 3) Find a Qualified Indiana Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentThe Indiana Registered Agent is in-charge of accepting service of process and other legal documents from the state for your business. Any qualified professional or service can act as a Registered Agent.

As part of the requirement for the Registered Agent in Indiana, a physical address in Indiana should be provided before the actual position designation. That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get an Indiana Registered Agent free of charge when you form your Corporation with IncFile.


Step 4) Maintain a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book acts as your record-keeping folder for all documents pertaining to your Corporation. From your Indiana Corporation registration documents to forms for business taxes, licenses and permits, everything should be kept in this folder for safe-keeping.

A Corporate Records Book can be ordered directly through Amazon or at your local office supply shop.


Step 5) Elect Initial Directors for Your Indiana Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsAs an Indiana Corporation, the incorporator must have a number of initial board of directors to help decide on crucial corporate matters. When forming a Corporation in Indiana, the board of directors will serve until the first annual shareholder’s meeting.

As soon as the directors are elected, an Incorporator’s Statement must be created, containing the name and address of each member of the board.


Step 6) Conduct the Initial Meeting with the Elected Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe initial meeting with your board of directors is important when starting an Indiana Corporation. The following agenda will be discussed during this meeting:

As soon as the meeting ends, be sure to keep the minutes of the meeting signed by all the participants.


Step 7) Complete Your Indiana Business Tax and Corporation Licensing Requirements

Business LicensesThere are several requirements as to complying with Indiana business taxes, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for free at the IRS website.
  2. Keep track and complete all requirements for business taxes as part of Indiana Corporation maintenance regulations using our Indiana Business Tax guide.
  3. File for a 2553 Election signed by all corporate shareholders for S Corporation status application. (Optional)

As for Indiana business licenses, there are also regulations required by federal, state, and local laws for compliance. Each business license applicable to your business should be processed, otherwise you will be penalized and subject to fines. You can take care of these obligations with Startup Savant’s Indiana Business Licenses and Regulations guide.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountBy opening a bank account you will be able to keep your personal and business finances separate. This way, you can ensure that all your personal assets will not be mixed up with your business assets.

To find out which is the best bank for your Indiana Corporation, do the research. Visit this quick roundup for a list of our favorites.


To-Do After Starting an Indiana Corporation

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are officially an Indiana Corporation. Other than those 8 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are a few additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful Corporation. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Create a Funding-Ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanA recipe for success starts with the right business plan. A comprehensive, clear cut business plan that directs your business through its goals and how to achieve them. A business plan does not require technical expert writing experience.

A good knowledge about your business and how you translate that into a concrete plan are the necessities. Below are some resources to help you write a business plan.

Quick Links on How to Write a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteThe next step when starting an Indiana Corporation is to build a professional website that represents what you offer. Thankfully you don’t have to be tech savvy to start a website since there are platforms like WordPress that are easy to get started.

Recommended Resource: Learn how to start a website and customize it through this step-by-step guide.


3) Create Indiana Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsJust as there are basic rules in everything you do, having a clear set of ground rules for business operations is also as crucial. This is the purpose that your Indiana Corporation bylaws serves. It sets the basic foundation on how to go about business operations.

In addition, it is also a valid document to prove your Corporation’s legitimacy.

As with any article, this is only an informational guide, and it should not be used as legal advice or document nor should it be used as a substitute for legal expertise. When you want further information on how to form a Corporation in Indiana or you’re starting a business in Indiana, a lawyer’s expert advice is the only way to get that information.

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