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How Incorporation Works

How Long Will Incorporation Take?

No matter how eager you might be to get your business off the ground, incorporating a business takes time. How long it takes can depend on factors that can include the location of the business or the desired type of business structure. In the United States there are generally up to six steps that are necessary in order to get most businesses started, a process that can be completed in a week or two. As you've read, potential business owners need to file forms on the state level that declare their intention to start a corporation and fill out federal forms that allow them to be identified for taxation, hire employees and offer insurance coverage. Each state has its own set of procedures and requirements for establishing a business, and requirements for forming different business structures can vary significantly by state. These factors will ultimately determine how long it takes to get a corporation started.

A great deal of research and planning is required before would-be entrepreneurs embark on a business venture. Otherwise, the two-week period it takes to incorporate could easily turn into two years or longer while the necessary planning is done. Understanding the ins and outs of starting a corporation and all of the available options can be tricky for those who are unfamiliar with the process. As a result, there are many organizations and agencies in existence, such as the Small Business Administration in the United States, that help fledgling business owners and incorporators to get started. Learning about corporations and business structure won't provide all of the necessary tools for a successful business, but it will help you to understand just what that "Inc." you might encounter on a business card actually means and the steps it took for it to get there.

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