How to Incorporate as a Delaware C or S Corporation

This is not the only way to incorporate, or even the easiest, but I am pretty damn sure that it is the cheapest. This checklist is based on personal experience and while it worked for Spotter, I would highly recommend running the important things (like articles of incorporation) by a lawyer first. You are using this at your own risk. Also, things change and links break, so please let me know if this needs to be updated (email me at albie@parkwithspotter.com). Without further ado, the steps to incorporation:

  1. Decide on an “Entity Name” (i.e. the name of your company) by finding a name that is not already registered in Delaware (entity name search)
  2. Choose a registered agent from the following list:
  3. Fill out the Incorporation Package for free on the Cooley GO generator, including which registered agent you chose.
  4. Fill out a Delaware cover memo.
  5. Write a check to “Delaware Division of Corporations” for: $89 + $9 x [# of pages of Cooley GO Certificate of Incorporation – 1]

    NOTE: For the 4-page Cooley GO Certificate of Incorporation, the fee was $116 = $89 + $9 x (4 pages – 1 page)

  6. Get all parties to sign all of the Cooley GO documents.
  7. Mail in the following documents unstapled in the following order:
    • Cover memo sheet
    • Check to “Delaware Division of Corporations”
    • A printed, signed copy the Certificate of Incorporation
  8. If you don’t pay any additional rush fees, after a couple business days, your official entity name should show up in the entity name search
  9. Once you have secured your entity name (but really, whenever you like), you can register for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for free through the IRS during business hours.
  10. If you expect your company to actually be worth something someday, avoid crazy high taxes by submitting your 83b election document to the IRS (from the Cooley GO forms). This needs to be done within 30 days of your stock grant.
  11. Congratulations, you’ve just incorporated for <$200!