Step 1) Verify & Secure Your Brand Name
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
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 Exclusive Use of Corporate Name form to reserve the name for 120 days.
Filing fee: $20
Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use WEEBLY to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away. Even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it’s going to be soon, and you might as well nail down a domain name that’ll make it easy for customers to find you!
Step 2) Appoint A Registered Agent
An Indiana Registered Agent. is an individual or recognized/registered business entity in the state with a physical street address (typically non-P.O. Box) responsible for receiving and helping to handle/process all official documents like state filings, legal notices, important tax forms, etc.
That said, you can hire a third party service and pay up to $160 a year or get an Indiana Registered Agent free of charge when you incorporate with IncFile.
Step 3) File Articles Of Incorporation
Now that you've got your registered agent, to make your corporation an official by filing Articles of Incorporation with the Sec. of State. This discloses:
- Corporate name, address, and statement of purpose,
- Corporate Registered Agent name, signature and address,
- Number of shares Corporation is allowed to issue,
- Corporate officers and directors name and address
- Incorporator’s name and address and so forth.
Filing fee: $90
Step 4) Get A Corporate Records Book
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.
Step 5) Elect Initial Director, Meet, Discuss Bylaws
Appoint at least 1 director who among other things will oversee the 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:
Step 6) Open A Business Bank Account
Where you choose to bank is no small matter when we’re talking about a corporation. Often startups and solopreneurs just use personal accounts, but that’s not going to fly with a corporation. Instead you and your CFO, if you have appointed one, need to find the best bank or credit union to handle the business banking services you’ll need to grow.
Look at different fee-structures, perks, incentives, and overall costs and savings and think ahead! You could start with a smaller bank for better deals, then switch to a much larger bank when your volume demands it. To get started, check out this quick breakdown of Business Checking Accounts.
Step 7) Complete Business Tax & Licensing Requirements
To ensure that you don't face penalties, fines, and fees when operating a business, you need to completely fulfill your regulatory requirements. To get started:
- Quickly register for an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, for free at the IRS website.
- Bookmark the Indianapolis Small Business Administration and Business Services Guide.
- To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
- Also, consider professional license research services that take care of the legwork for you.