Step 1) Pick a Name for your Wisconsin Corporation

Choose a Business NameThe first step to forming a Wisconsin Corporation is to pick a valid name. The state requires that any of these words should be found in the actual name of your Corporation: ‘Company’, ‘Corporation’, ‘Incorporated’, or ‘Limited’.

In lieu of those words, its corresponding abbreviations ‘co.’, ‘corp.’, ‘inc.’, or ‘ltd.’ or any foreign language that corresponds to those exact same words can also be used.


Step 2) File the Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCAn Articles of Incorporation legally creates your Wisconsin Corporation. This form should be filed to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. The following data are required when filing this form:

An online or mail application for the Articles of Incorporation can be filed.

Filing Fee: $100


Step 3) Choose a Wisconsin Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentA Wisconsin Registered Agent is required to incorporate a Corporation in the state. There are statutory requirements that must be observed with regard to this matter for the approval of your incorporation. A Registered Agent must be a professional who is residing in Wisconsin or a business entity registered to operate in Wisconsin. A physical street address in Wisconsin must also be provided by the Registered Agent upon designation.

All in all, a Registered Agent Service could cost your business up to $160/year, but if you’re forming a Corporation with IncFile, you can have free of charge Registered Agent services.


Step 4) Maintain a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book is an integral part of the smooth flow of business operations. It is a simple organizer that holds all vital documents to your Wisconsin Corporation. This organizer can be used to store copies of business licenses and permits, tax returns, copies of the Articles of Incorporation, and other pertinent document.

One can easily purchase a Corporate Records Book in the nearest local office supply store, or purchase it via Amazon.


Step 5) Elect Initial Directors for your Wisconsin Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsThe next step that the incorporator must do is to elect an initial set of directors to serve under the board of the Wisconsin Corporation. The board of directors will serve for a period until the time that the first shareholder’s meeting is scheduled and a new set of directors is elected.

As soon as the directors are elected, the incorporator should create an Incorporator’s Statement that contains all the names and addresses of the directors. The incorporator/s must then sign the form, and this should then be stored on the Corporate Records Book.


Step 6) Schedule an Initial Meeting with your Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsWhen you have the initial directors, an organizational meeting should be immediately organized with the following items as agenda:

During the meeting, it is crucial that the minutes of the meeting accurately record the agenda discussed in the said assembly. The minutes should also be signed by all of the attendees.


Step 7) Take Care of your Wisconsin Business Taxes and Obtain the Necessary Business Licenses

Business LicensesTogether with incorporation, your business must also take care of its tax obligations as well as obtain the requisite business licenses. Failure to do so will result in serious consequences. Follow this process to take care of these obligations:


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountWhen you start a Wisconsin Corporation, it’s only practical that you also open a bank account separate of your personal finances. A business bank account helps monitor your business finances and expenses much more efficiently and with the knowledge that come tax season, you are more efficient at completing tax reports.

Recommended ResourceThis roundup of the most viable options when opening a business bank account should help.


To-Do After Starting a

Wisconsin Corporation

Now that you have accomplished the steps above, you are a certified Wisconsin Corporation. Before you proceed further, follow through your Corporation formation with the best practices below to improve chances of business progress.

1) Create a Funding Ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanA business plan is not just any document you are compelled to create, but rather, it is a necessity if you want smooth business operations. From the get-go, it is your business plan that helps you get the funding required to jumpstart your Corporation, and it is also the very same document that will help map out business goals and how to accomplish this.

The links below are some useful resource to get you going towards business growth with a funding-ready business plan.

Quick Links to Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteBuild a website and increase your online presence. Build a website and make it into an effective marketing tool. There are so many more benefits to creating a business website, so it is high time that you make one as well using WordPress. Bluehost features a one-click installation feature of WordPress, so you can get a move on that business website.

Resource for Getting Started: Walk through the steps on creating a professional-looking, beautiful website using this step-by-step guide.


3) Create Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsCorporate bylaws outline the internal rules of your Wisconsin Corporation. From the Corporation’s purpose to day-to-day operations to responsibilities and obligations of each of the individuals involved in the Corporation, these are all contained in the bylaws.

Although not by any means required when incorporating a Wisconsin Corporation, corporate bylaws put some semblance of order and organization in your Corporation. It is also one proof of your business’ legitimacy.

Take note that this article should only be referred to for informational purposes and should never be taken as a legal document or a legal advice. Any questions on the legalities of forming a Wisconsin Corporation should always be directed towards your business lawyer. Also, please note that there are Annual Reports and other maintenance requirements you need to observe for continuous compliance.

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