Can You Set Up a Corporation Without a Lawyer?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

The most important decision revolves about the type of business structure you should be setting up. That is really the reason you need a professional’s advice.

While setting up a corporation without the help of an attorney is possible, you may want to take a look at all of the variables before deciding to embark on this adventure since there are long-term consequences. Aside from a corporation being a different legal entity than a partnership, LP or an LLP, there are different legal structures within the corporate form as well.

Different Types of Legal Structures for Corporations

You must first decide whether a C-corporation, S-corporation, or an LLC is the right business entity for you. While you can do this research on your own, a professional knowledgeable in corporate formation can give you the ins and outs of the benefits and drawbacks to each type of corporate structure, and be able to help you determine which entity will fit your needs. Each of these entities will have different fees and administrative expenses, restrictions, and tax implications.  Where the stakes are high or consequences immediate (i.e., loss of corporate status), the most prudent course is to consult an attorney early on to determine which legal business structure is best.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Steps to Take After Choosing a Legal Structure

After choosing a legal structure, you will have to appoint your directors and file the Articles of Incorporation. While there are many do-it-yourself kits that will allow you to file these on your own, the downside is that these kits will not be able to give you legal advice through the process of filling out the forms. The head of the corporation must also create the corporate by-laws or the rules of the corporation.

By-laws are necessary to ensure that your corporation is protected. While research is available through books, you may feel more comfortable discussing by-laws with an experienced attorney who will be able to guide you depending on the intricacies of your business. Further, if you plan to hire employees, incorporate in one state and do business in another, get funding from outside investors, sell shares of stock, or open multiple business locations, the formation of your corporation will be more complex. For these reasons, getting an attorney’s help in guiding you through the process is highly recommended.

Do-It-Yourself Corporation Kits

If you plan to form a single-owner corporation, and have used an attorney to form a corporation in the past, and want to set up a similar corporation using the same model, then the do-it-yourself process may work for you. As with anything else, including hiring a lawyer, you should research any do-it-yourself kit or book that you use, and make sure you are getting a reputable product. Otherwise, to avoid making mistakes that could be detrimental to your business and more costly in the long run, you should contact an experienced business attorney for advice.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption