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blueshogun96

Question about corporations

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I just have a quick question about corporations. If you start one, are you required to offer stocks? And are you required to have a board of directors? Thanks.

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The board question is determined by where you live. Most states require a board, but I know of at least a couple of exceptions. Issuing shares is pretty much required in all corporations, but in a closely held company they can be issued to one individual (you), making you the sole owner of the company. Sole-director boards are legal in most states (e.g., only your name is listed on the board), so that shouldn't be a problem. None the less, check with your state/region's laws. You should find most of this information on your secretary of state's office website.

The important thing to remember is maintaining corporate procedures, including holding an annual shareholder meeting and maintaining minutes of those meetings. Plenty of firms will do this for you inexpensively, or you can educate yourself on the process and take care of it yourself. Just remember that you may lose your liability shield if you fail to keep appropriate records, which eliminates much of the benefit of having a corporation.

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And a lot of this stuff sounds more formal and structured than it has to be. It depends on what type of corp you form and what state you are in. If you and your brother (hypothetically I mean) are the only shareholders, then it isn't a complex as you might think.

Look up the LLC option.

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Since you live in the USA, OP, you could just go to the SBA. They're more than happy to answer all kinds of questions about creating a small business. That's what they exist for! Look'em up and go!

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First I'd like to thank you all for your input! Even though the word "Corporation" sounds all high and mighty, maintaining it initially sounded scary. It's also great to hear from fellow gamedev members in Seattle. I'll be returning to that area by the end of this month (I promised my mom I'd stay for her wedding!) and I need to get more aquainted with Seattle and Washington state's laws (want to learn more to be on the safe side!). I have also thought about LLC as well, but I'm still leaning towards the corporation though.

A sole director board is what I'd prefer TBH, but yet I would still like to be the sole owner of the company as well. I hope that accomplishing this wouldn't be too much work, but if it is, I will stick with LLC. Thanks again! Anymore advice is also welcome :)

EDIT: I'll start calling up the Seattle branch of the SBA pretty soon! The SBA site is highly motivating!

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In my (limited) understanding, the only benefit of a corporation over an LLC is that you can issue stock (as a way to raise funds from stock holders, rather than trying to get loans privately), with the downside being that you have to do a lot more paperwork and record keeping, and pay more taxes. So if you don't want to sell stock to get funds, why go through the extra work and extra taxes?

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