Incorporation Cheatsheet

In light of the feedback from my corporate entity cheatsheet, I’ve decided to compile a cheatsheet for incorporating a California C-corp.  As you can see, it’s a process with many steps and formalities –  a lot of them are just to abide by corporate formalities and rules.  There are definitely some steps you can take by yourself, but the majority I would recommend consulting a lawyer for.  This is not meant to be an exhaustive list – there are typically closer to 40 individual steps that I’ve distilled for this post.

  1. Check the availability of the corporate name with the Secretary of State
  2. File the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
  3. File an S-corp election if desirable
  4. Apply for two IRS numbers: the employment identification number, and the employer development department number
  5.  File Statement of Information with the Secretary of State
  6. Draft and execute bylaws, indemnification agreements, confidentiality agreements, invention assignment agreements, founders agreements, employment agreements, common stock purchase agreements
  7. File private placement filings with Secretary of State
  8. File 83(b) election with the IRS
  9. Draft and execute Action by Sole Incorporator, Initial Action of Board of Directors, Initial Shareholder meeting and approvals
  10. Apply for business license with applicable city
  11. Open corporate bank account
  12. Investigate copyright and patent issues
  13. Send notice of annual meeting of shareholders
  14. Annual shareholder meetings

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