Step 1) Verify & Secure Brand Name
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered Nebraska name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through 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 words like ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, you can file an Application for Reservation of Corp Name through postal mail that’s good for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $30
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
A Nebraska registered agent can be an individual resident of the state or a legally registered business entity with a physical street address and regular M-F business hours. On behalf of your brand they receive and help process important business documents like state filings, tax forms, legal notices and so on. They’re essential and required by law.
That said, you can work with a professional and expect to pay up to $160/yr, or get a qualified agent free of charge when you Incorporate with IncFile or CorpNet. They handle this and much more depending on which startup package you opt for.
Step 3) File Articles Of Incorporation
With a registered agent, once you’re ready to make your brand official, set up an account with the state to file Articles of Incorporation. Do this using Online Filing. It asks for basic information to disclose for the public record:
- The name and address of the business,
- The number of shares authorized, the value they hold, and any transfer restrictions,
- The addresses and names of the president, initial directors, secretary, and treasurer,
- The type of business structure chosen, and so on.
Filing Structure: $60 for $10k or less authorized stocks, then $300 for up to $100k, $3 for every additional 1k.
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 Director, Meet, Discuss Bylaws
Appoint at least 1 Director who among other things will oversee the Nebraska 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
As your corporation gets off the ground, it’s critically important to keep business accounts/assets separate from any other. If you don't yet have a CFO or amazing accountant, shop around at different banks and credit unions to see who has the most to offer new corporate accounts.
Recommended Resource: Check out this Business Checking Account breakdown that shows you some of the basics in terms of mainstream banking fee structures to start getting an idea of how important this decision is.
Step 7) Handle Taxation & Licensing/Permits
When registering a corporation in Nebraska, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally you should have an attorney or at least be working with a professional filing service. Otherwise, here are four resources to get started:
- Get an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, free and easy through the IRS website.
- Bookmark the Omaha Small Business Administration and the state’s Business Services.
- To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
- Consider professional business license research services that handle the legwork for you.