In order to successfully incorporate a business, you'll need to meet the compliance requirements, decide on some business details, and submit applications to both the state government and the IRS. This article covers the basic steps involved in incorporation.
Step 1: Business Information
First, select a company name, registration state, and company type (LLC or C Corp). Check out the resources below for more info:
- Selecting a company name
- Which states does Firstbase incorporate in?
- LLC vs. C Corp: Which structure is right for me?
Step 2: Registration
At this point, you're ready to move forward with incorporation! Note the following two requirements for US businesses:
If you don't have these ready to go, we can help with Firstbase Mailroom and Firstbase Agent. We will not be able to submit your incorporation application until you have a US business address and in-state registered agent.
To complete your registration, you'll need to submit payment and provide some information about your business. Click here to enter the Firstbase incorporation flow.
You can track the registration progress by logging in to your account. On top of that, you will receive a welcome email with a timeline for each step of the process.
Step 3: Certificate of Formation and Post-Incorporation Package
We will upload your Certificate of Formation as soon as we receive it from the state. If there is any missing information, you will be asked to log in to your account on the website https://firstbase.io/ to fill in the required information.
Processing times are unpredictable and vary significantly between states. You can find more information about the incorporation timeline here.
It is crucial to provide the addresses of the shareholders (Corporation) or owners (LLC) so that we can move forward with the post-formation documents: Operating Agreement (LLC) or Post-Incorporation Package (Corporation).
The Post-Inc package will be uploaded into your Firstbase dashboard after your Certificate is received. These documents are only for your internal records, and you will be able to download them at any time.
Step 4: EIN (Employer Identification Number)
The EIN is a tax ID used by the IRS. While it isn't technically part of the incorporation process, you'll need an EIN to file taxes, hire employees, and perform other basic operations.
If you are not an SSN/ITIN holder, you will receive both the SS-4 (EIN application) and 8821 (tax information authorization) forms to sign electronically. EIN applications take substantially longer for applicants without an SSN or ITIN — as much as 20 to 30 business days compared to just 1-2 business days for applicants with an SSN or ITIN.
If you are an SSN holder, please provide the responsible party's personal tax number on the application form. This way, we can obtain the EIN online for your company in 1-2 business days.
**You must provide information about your company's responsible party in order to complete the EIN application. You can find further information about responsible parties here.
**Please ensure you have completed your Mailroom Activation task for this step. Your address needs to be notarized to activate Mailroom. Further information can be found here.
Once you sign these documents, we can start the EIN process for your company.
Step 5: Bank Account
We make banking easy through our partnerships with Arc and Mercury. Both of these are online banks, so there is no need to visit a physical branch.
You can submit a bank account application as soon as your incorporation is complete. Note that application approval is subject to the partner's discretion and is out of Firstbase's control.