If you have an existing business, then its assets and contracts should get transferred to your corporation. This can look like an assignment, or a bill of sale. There are tax considerations regarding contribution of the assets of your existing business. You may also need to notify third parties, such as vendors and landlords. A stitch in time, as they say. Paperwork is king.
The answer in most situations is going to be yes. One of the virtues of an LLC is its simplicity. Once you choose to form your business as a corporation (and then an S Corporation), or to have your LLC elect to be taxed as an S Corporation, costs for tax returns, payroll, corporate state compliance paperwork, and other accounting items get triggered. You'll need to balance the benefits of an S Corporation against the ease of use that comes with an LLC.
No. You may get background checked as a vendor, even if you put your business in a corporation. But incorporating does not require any background checking.
Also known as a DBA (doing business as), if your entity is using a name for its business that’s different from its entity name, then you are using a fictitious business name, and state law requires that you file a fictitious business name statement in the county you are operating out of that records the name of your business and the name of the entity using that name. It’s also a good idea to do file that even if you don’t want to, because it’s helpful evidence to prove the use of your name from a certain point in time, which helps you to defend or bring trademark infringement claims.
That would be nice, but this is the beginning of you needing to think about why you formed the corporation to begin with: to make it separate from the sins of the past. So, no, new bank account, with a new tax ID number. Sorry.
Authorized shares are the number of shares your corporation is authorized to issue. You do not have to issue all of your authorized shares, and frequently it can be a mistake to do so. Authorized shares do not vote, and do not participate in dividends.
Directors are the individuals who direct or guide the corporation with respect its overall business model and, well, direction. The board sets policy and votes on major or extraordinary decisions. Shareholders elect directors, and directors elect officers. The “board” is the entirety of all of the directors.
Whether for a corporation or in any business or political setting, bylaws are the rules that govern the procedures of the particular entity. In a corporation, the bylaws is the set of rules which address, for example, when meetings will be held, and what the duties of the officers are. Though it’s a standard document for a corporation, some LLCs will also choose to have bylaws separate from their operating agreement. Some bylaws are considered “off the shelf”, but your business, like any other, is unique, and therefore it’s a document that should be reviewed and drafted carefully to suit your particular needs.
Novices to LLCs tend to think that this is the document governing the actual operations of the company. Not so. The operating agreement, also sometimes known as the LLC Agreement (or some variation), is the governing document for the LLC itself. It may be very short, defining merely who the members are and what their respective ownership percentages are. Added to that, there may be restrictions on the transfer of the ownership interest, as well as guidelines for meetings, consent rights, call rights, and so on. These are contracts that can become quite complex.
Need? No. And if I were a litigation attorney who made money off of people’s mistakes, I’d say don’t have one and let the chips fall where they may -- better yet, let state law govern your rights and duties. But I’m in the business of preventative law. So, yes, you should have an operating agreement. Just by way of example, without one, and your partner dies, you’ll become partner’s with your dead partner’s surviving spouse -- think about that one for a minute. No way out of that without a written operating agreement providing for a buy-out.