How To Incorporate In Indiana

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1. Choose a Name for Your Indiana Corporation

Check on Available Names in Indiana: The first step toward incorporating your small business in Indiana is to choose a corporate name for your business. The name that you choose must be unique. The name cannot already be in use by another corporation. You should search online records and databases to find out if the name that you have chosen is in already use by another corporation. Go to the official website of the Secretary of State to search a database of Indiana businesses: Indiana Corporation.

Reserve a Corporate Name: You may decide to reserve a specific corporate name that you have chosen until the time that you are able to incorporate. You can apply online to reserve a corporate name at Reserve an Indiana Corporation Name. It costs $10.00 to reserve a corporate name online. The reservation that you make will be effective for a period of 120 days.

Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: Don’t forget that even though the name that you have chosen to use to incorporate your small business may be available in the state of Indiana, it is possible that a company in another state is using the same name. There may be certain restrictions on the corporate name that you have chosen. It is best to consult an attorney when you are preparing to incorporate your small business so that you can learn about these possible restrictions and how to take steps to trademark the name that you have chosen. See the article on how to choose a name for your corporation.

Indiana Corporate Name Requirements: In order to incorporate your small business in Indiana, the corporate name that you have chosen must include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” “company” or an abbreviation of one of these words.

2. Find a Registered Agent in Indiana 

Once you have chosen a name for your corporation, you should decide on a registered agent for your corporation. The registered agent for your corporation will act as an agent for service of process and will receive legal and tax documents for your corporation.  There are various corporate service companies that provide registered agent services for a fee. When you are deciding on a registered agent for your corporation, you might consider using one of these corporate services companies.

3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Indiana Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements: In Indiana, you may file Articles of Incorporation online for your small business. Go to Indiana Corporation Set Up to download the Articles of Incorporation form or to file online. The Articles of Incorporation for your corporation must include the corporate name that you have chosen, the physical address of your main office, the number of shares authorized by your corporation, the name and address of your registered agent, and the name and address of the incorporators. Each incorporator must sign the Articles of Incorporation.

Other Indiana Legal Provisions: When you file Articles of Incorporation for your small business, you should consider including additional legal provisions in the document along with the minimum requirements. It is best to consult an attorney. An attorney will help you to include the additional legal provisions that may be appropriate and beneficial for your company.

Where to Submit Form: You can file Articles of Incorporation online at Start an lndiana Corporation. If you choose to file a physical copy, you should submit the completed form to the Office of the Secretary of State, Business Services Division, 302 W. Washington St., Room E018, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Filing Fee: The filing fee for Articles of Incorporation in the state of Indiana is $90.00. You should make any checks payable to the Secretary of State.   

4. Create Other Indiana Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)

After filing Articles of Incorporation for your corporation, you will need to think about taking certain other actions in your corporation, such as appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, obtaining a tax ID number, and acquiring the necessary business licenses. You will also need to think about creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements that determine when stock can be sold, and documents that indicate what will happen if an owner decides to leave the company. These types of documents are especially important when a corporation has multiple owners. It is best to consult an attorney when you are creating these documents so that you can be sure that you are in compliance with all the legal requirements that apply to your corporation. There are also various corporate service companies that assist corporations to prepare these types of documents for a fee.

5. Qualify Your Indiana Corporation to Do Business in Other States

You will need to qualify your corporation to do business in states other than Indiana if the main office of your corporation is located out of state. Most other states will require you to qualify your corporation to do business in the state. You will be required to pay taxes in your home state. You can read more about how to qualify your corporation to do business in other states at Doing Business in other states.

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Indiana

Corporations registered in the state of Indiana are required to file a biennial report. You will be able to provide updated information about your corporation, your registered agent, and your officers. If you file online, the filing fee is $20.00. You can find instructions and begin to file online at Indiana Corporate Tax.

You must also file a corporate income tax return and pay Indiana state income taxes. Tax forms and information about tax rates for small businesses in Indiana can be found online on the official website of the Indiana Department of Revenue: Indiana Corporate Tax. It is a good idea to have a professional accountant help you to prepare the tax documents for your corporation.  An accountant can help you to avoid mistakes in your tax documents that could wind up costing you extra taxes.

There many decisions to make when you are incorporating your small business. If there are multiple owners of the corporation, the decisions can become even more complex. However, if you consult an attorney and an accountant during incorporation, you can feel confident that your paperwork will be processed correctly.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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