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It's best to incorporate at the beginning of the year

Most business planning experts will be quick to point out the benefits or incorporating your business or forming a limited liability corporation here in Michigan or elsewhere throughout the country. Taking these measures with your business will help save it money with taxes and limit your own personal liability as owner.

If you have not done either with your business, you are in luck. The beginning of the year is considered the best time to incorporate your business. One of the main reasons is the fact that an incorporation date is not retroactive. If your business started as a sole proprietorship at the beginning of the year and you later incorporated, you would have to file two tax returns -- one for the sole proprietorship and the other for the corporation. If you incorporate on at the beginning of the year, you can remain as a corporation throughout the whole year and file just one tax return.

This is also the reason why Secretary of State Offices throughout the country are generally swamped around that time of year. Because this is the most logical incorporation date, many people flood to the offices to file. The process can take 40 to 60 days to complete, and with a backlog of filings submitted to a short-staffed government entity, the wait time could increase.

Luckily, business-owners can submit what is called a delayed filing, where they can submit all the paperwork and pick a date that the incorporation or LLC will kick in. Of course, this would not be a good idea if the tax benefits of incorporating were so significant that it is not worth waiting. Or, if you need the legal protection a corporation or LLC brings right away, by all means, do not wait.

But, if you are not in a rush, many small business advisors suggest that a delayed filing could be the best move.

Source: Small Business Trends, "Should you incorporate now or in 2012?" Nellie Akalp, Dec. 20, 2011

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