I want to set up a company in the US. Is it necessary to hire a lawyer for this?
There are some situations where the first call you should make is to a lawyer. Fortunately forming a corporation is not one of them.
You do not need an attorney. The United States is “business friendly” and does not require you to engage an attorney to set up your company. This is great because that kind of professional service can carry an excessive price tag.
You do need help. On the other hand, you want to tap into the expertise of an organization that is specialized in the process so that you don’t learn how to do it “the hard (and expensive!) way.”
Corporation service companies offer a cost efficient solution. A great middle step between hiring a lawyer on the one hand and trying to struggle through it on your own is to engage the assistance of a corporation service company like Inc. Plan (USA.)
Use the resource that many attorneys use. Corporation service companies have a focused area of expertise and years of experience in assisting the creation of new companies. In fact, they are so professional that very often attorneys who are hired to form new companies subcontract the job to an experienced corporation service company!
If you are thinking about incorporating, do what clever entrepreneurs and legal professionals do: contact an experienced and well established company like Inc. Plan (USA) directly. One of the best regarded in the business, Inc. Plan has served its large global clientele for over 20 years.
Why should my corporation have an annual meeting of the shareholders when there is only one shareholder– me?
There is often a temptation with a new company to skip the “formalities”. For one thing, the owner or owners are often working long hours growing the business. When time is scarce it is easy to defer proper corporate maintenance. You may feel that this order has to go out today. Corporate by-laws can wait till tomorrow. This is a mistake for two reasons:
First, successful businesses grow. It is important to initiate and adhere to clear standards and practices. If this is not done, the beginnings of the company will become murky with time. This lack of documentation can even lead to legal issues over time.
Second, even if a corporation stays a one person enterprise, its legitimacy for both legal and tax purposes is bolstered by proper corporate maintenance. This means annual meetings, documented elections and properly authorized expenditures. It means having regular shareholder meetings… even if there is just one shareholder voting.
A way to ease the burden of corporate maintenance is to have a corporation service company keep your corporate records up to date, taking the burden off you. While you run your business, Inc. Plan (USA) can work with you to keep your bylaws, organizational meeting minutes and minutes of your annual meetings up to date. With a very modest effort on your part, you can be sure that your company records are compliant and your corporation is in legal “good standing”.