Incorporating for Women in Business

By Emily Beach

  • Overview

    There are more opportunities for women in business today than at any point in history. Not only are female entrepreneurs becoming more socially accepted, but new resources are popping up every year to assist with everything from start-up to financing. One of the most important decisions a business owner can make is what type of entity to form, and fortunately, there are resources available to help with that process too. Many business owners choose to incorporate to take advantage of all the protections this form of entity offers. Incorporation is a smart choice for women in business because it is an excellent way of protecting your personal property, your home and other assets from being exposed to the risk of running a company.
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    • Step 1

      Contact the United States Small Business Association's Office of Women's Business Ownership. They can direct you to a local chapter, which can provide free guidance and assistance for women looking to incorporate their company. The website for the SBA National Women's Center can be found in the Resources section of this article.
    • Step 2

      Check with your state and local department of minority affairs. Most women-owned organizations are considered minority companies, and both federal and local governments offer special resources, opportunities and assistance for minority firms. This can include everything from help filing articles of incorporation to fee waivers on the incorporation process.

    • Step 3

      Call your local Chamber of Commerce and inquire about mentors or special assistance for women-owned companies. Generally, they will point you towards organizations that will help draft articles of incorporation, decide which state to file in and get the paperwork submitted.
    • Step 4

      File the paperwork on your own. Most states have a website explaining the incorporation process and requirements. It generally involves writing a simple articles of incorporation and paying a small fee, usually a few hundred dollars, although this varies by state.
    • Step 5

      Hire a firm that specializes in incorporating small businesses. They will process all the paperwork and get your company incorporated for a small fee. You may even find companies that will offer extra services or reduced fees to minority and women-owned businesses.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Incorporating fee
    • Articles of incorporation
    • Basic business records
    • Tip: Check with your liability and workmen's compensation insurance providers before you incorporate. Some may require changes to your policy or specific wording of your Articles of Incorporaton in order to keep your policy valid.

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