Do I really need an attorney to form a California corporation?

While there are many paralegals and document preparation services offering to assist you in forming the business entity of your choice, these document preparation services cannot offer you legal advice. These services simply form the corporation or LLC you request in accordance with the instructions you provide. It is up to you to "fill in the blanks" with the correct information to ensure proper business entity formation. Document preparation services provide a one-size-fits-all approach to forming corporations and LLCs. Without personal legal advice, mistakes are destined to be made. Moreover, many document preparation services encourage their clients to seek legal counsel but hide this valuable advice in their contract's small print.

If you are looking for personal legal assistance with forming your business entity, seeking the advice of an attorney is an important first step. An attorney can explain the differences between an LLC and a California corporation as well as the nuances of a C-Corp as opposed to an S-Corp. By meeting with an attorney early in the business formation process, you can avoid making mistakes that you will only have to rectify in the future at a greater overall cost.

Similar to document preparation services, many attorneys form California corporations for a simple flat fee. But unlike document preparation services that increase their fees with hidden add-ons and mark-ups, most attorneys charge a flat fee that includes everything to properly form a California corporation including; filing of the articles of incorporation; obtaining a formal corporate seal; drafting and adopting bylaws; holding the first meeting of shareholders and directors including drafting of minutes reflecting corporate business transacted; and additional state and federal filings. Moreover, many attorneys work closely with other professionals and can recommend quality accountants and dependable payroll companies to further assist the new corporation or LLC.

You wouldn't use a simple fill-in-the-blank computer program for other legal needs, so you shouldn't form your California corporation using one. Your business is worth a better investment and hiring an attorney to assist in forming your corporation or LLC is a great place to start.

Amir H. Afsar, Esq. is an attorney and founder of Afsar Law Group, A.P.C. which represents clients in business, real estate, construction, and estate planning matters throughout the Coachella Valley including Indio, La Quinta, Bermuda Dunes, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Banning, Joshua Tree, and other cities located within Riverside and San Bernardino County. Mr. Afsar can be reached at Afsar Law Group, A.P.C. at 760.345.3110.

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