If you’re incorporating your business, besides your Articles of Organization, you’re going to need a variety of documents that describe your business and provide details about its operation. You may be required to show these documents at various times, such as when you apply for a loan, open a bank account, and so on, so it’s a good idea to acquire them, read and familiarize yourself with their purpose, and fill them out correctly—with legal assistance/advice if you need it.
Before you stress out: realize that most documents can be bought as an “LLC Kit” and they can even be customized for you, for a small fee, all via the web. Then you just need to fill them out and keep them safe and current. Remember, though, that your business may need more or fewer documents than are part of any given kit, so do you homework and consult with an attorney if needed.
Some documents and items to consider when you’re preparing to incorporate:
- Data Sheet: with the basic information about the business, date and state of organization, manager, secretary, treasurer, bank accounts, members, etc
- Operating Agreement: outlines your business’ decision-making procedures
- Banking Resolution: proves you are legally able to bank on behalf of the business
- Shares & Business Seal: for selling shares
You may be thinking, “I’m just a business of one so I don’t need all of that” but remember that:
- You may in your state be legally required to have, say, an operating agreement.
- You may grow unexpectedly, and you want to have a structure that will scale.
- You may need one or more of these documents—or others—for some unforeseen purpose and you want to have them on file.
Also, in case of any business, tax, or legal irregularities, you don’t want it to look like there is no business and that it’s just you, effectively doing business as yourself. If it looks like that, if you are ever sued, a judge may “pierce the corporate veil” and you’ll be personally liable.
So go through all the procedures, fill out all the forms, and let the business be the formed, functioning, funded, entity it’s supposed to be so that it protects you.