Important Steps to Take After Business Incorporation

If you are considering incorporating your business or forming an LLC (limited liability company), you either know or are realizing that the process involves certain steps: file the appropriate paperwork, pay the necessary fees, etc.

But what happens after incorporation?
What must businesses do after the incorporation is complete?

Steps by business type

For the most part, what you need to do varies by the type of business you incorporate: C corporation, S corporation, LLC, limited liability partnership (LLP), limited partnership (LP), or nonprofit corporation.

The chart below outlines post-incorporation steps specific to these business types. For a list outlining steps businesses, in general, often need to take after incorporating, view our Business Startup Checklist.

Common requirements after incorporating

Post-incorporation requirements for all business types include:

  • File initial report/list, if state requires it.
  • Publish notice of the incorporation or formation in local newspapers, if the state requires it.

Annual requirements for all business types include:

  • File annual report with the state, if your state requires it, and pay necessary fees.
  • Pay franchise tax, if your state requires it.
  • Pay necessary federal and state taxes.

Requirements by business type

Download Chart as PDF

Type Post-incorporation requirements Unique annual requirements

C corporation

  • Publish notice of the incorporation, if state requires it (AZ, GA, IL, NE and PA).
  • Create bylaws.
  • Issue shares of stock to owners (shareholders) and record in stock transfer ledger.
  • Hold and document initial meeting of directors (also called the organizational meeting).
  • Hold and document initial meeting of shareholders.
  • Obtain federal tax identification number (EIN).
  • Obtain necessary business licenses.
  • Open a business bank account, obtain business credit card and begin establishing establish clear separation of business and personal assets.
  • Hold and document annual meeting of directors.
  • Hold and document annual meeting of shareholders.

S corporation

  • File Form 2553 with the IRS to elect S corporation status.
  • File state-level S corporation election, if state requires it (AR, NJ, NY and OH).
  • Publish notice of the incorporation, if state requires it (AZ, GA, NE and PA).
  • Create bylaws.
  • Issue shares of stock to owners (shareholders) and record in stock transfer ledger.
  • Hold and document initial meeting of directors (also called the organizational meeting).
  • Hold and document initial meeting of shareholders.
  • Obtain federal tax identification number (EIN).
  • Obtain necessary business licenses.
  • Open a business bank account, obtain business credit card and begin establishing clear separation of business and personal assets.
  • Hold and document annual meeting of directors.
  • Hold and document annual meeting of shareholders.

LLC

  • Publish notice of the LLC formation, if state requires it (AZ, NE, and NY).
  • Obtain federal tax identification number (EIN).
  • Obtain necessary business licenses.
  • Open a business bank account, obtain business credit card and begin establishing establish clear separation of business and personal assets.
  • Recommended – Create an operating agreement.
  • Recommended - Issue membership interest certificates to owners (members) and record in membership transfer ledger.
  • Recommended - hold and document initial meeting of members (and also the managers, if your LLC is manager-managed).
  • Recommended – Hold and document annual meeting of members (and managers, if your LLC is manager-managed).

LLP

  • Publish notice of the LLP formation, if state requires it.
  • Obtain federal tax identification number (EIN).
  • Obtain necessary business licenses.
  • Open a business bank account, obtain business credit card and begin establishing establish clear separation of business and personal assets.
  • Recommended – Create a partnership agreement.
  • Recommended - Issue partnership interest certificates to partners and record in partnership transfer ledger.
  • n/a

LP

  • Publish notice of the LP formation, if state requires it.
  • Obtain federal tax identification number (EIN).
  • Obtain necessary business licenses.
  • Open a business bank account, obtain business credit card and begin establishing establish clear separation of business and personal assets.
  • Recommended – Create a partnership agreement.
  • Recommended - Issue partnership interest certificates to partners and record in partnership transfer ledger.
  • n/a

Nonprofit

  • Publish notice of the incorporation, if state requires it (AZ, GA, NE and PA).
  • File Form 1023 with the IRS to apply for federal tax-exempt status, if applicable for your nonprofit.
  • File necessary forms with the state to apply for state tax-exempt status, if applicable for your nonprofit and your state requires it.
  • Create bylaws.
  • Issue shares of stock to owners (shareholders) and record in stock transfer ledger.
  • Hold and document initial meeting of directors (also called the organizational meeting).
  • Hold and document initial meeting of shareholders.
  • Obtain federal tax identification number (EIN).
  • Obtain necessary business licenses.
  • Open a bank account for the nonprofit, obtain business credit card and begin establishing establish clear separation of business and personal assets.
  • n/a

Ensuring you undertake all necessary post-formation and ongoing requirements, such as annual report and franchise tax filings, for your business is important. Doing so both helps protect the personal asset protect of owners (protects the corporate veil) and keeps your company in good standing with its state of incorporation, which means your company has met all state requirements in a correct and timely manner.

After incorporation, establish a business calendar for yourself that notes all the important steps and deadlines for your company, or use an online business compliance management tool, such as BizComply.

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