Do I need to incorporate my business or form an LLC?
At the risk of sounding very lawyerly, that depends! What is your business? Who is actually engaged in doing the business? Where? What are you concerned about? During a Small Business Needs Evaluation we can discuss all of these questions to determine if, when, and how (what choice of entity) you should incorporate your business. The choice of entity for your business is not mere "verbiage" but of significant legal and tax consequence.
Do I need a lawyer to set up an LLC?
No. You can file the "paperwork" to incorporate your business as an LLC without a lawyer. Where a lawyer comes in handy is in advising you about whether an LLC is the right choice of entity for your business, how to apply for a taxpayer identification number ("TIN" or "EIN") for your business, whom to list how on your Articles of Organization, and how to maintain the necessary formalities so the LLC will work to provide you with the shield from personal liability you likely want. The value in hiring a lawyer is not in having her fill out a form for you but rather in providing you with legal advice about your business.
How much does it cost to set up an LLC in Massachusetts?
The fee you pay to the Secretary of the Commonwealth is $500, plus an additional $20 to file electronically, which is not only more convenient, but also faster. Then you must pay the same fee annually to maintain the corporate status. If you change anything during the year, you may need to file additional amendments at additional fees payable to the state. The fees you pay for legal advice to set up your LLC are worth it to avoid pitfalls that could cost much, much more than those legal fees. If you are just starting a new business and cash flow is tight, we understand and will work with you to make sure your business is poised for success as you grow.
How long does it take to set up a corporation in Massachusetts?
Your first and most important step is determine, with the help of your lawyer and your accountant, which type of corporate entity is most appropriate for your business. Next, you'll need to confirm some basic details and make some choices about how to incorporate your business. Finally, your lawyer can file the appropriate "paperwork" for the Secretary of the Commonwealth to review and approve. That final piece is usually very quick.
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