How to Start a Utah Corporation


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a Utah Corporation

When you plan to start a business in Utah, you must decide on the appropriate structure. Starting a corporation may be more complicated than creating an LLC in Utah or a sole proprietorship. However, it is not that difficult as well. There are a few guidelines that you should be aware of when it comes to creating Utah corporation. Starting a corporation involves a legal process, that is, the process of incorporation.

In this article, I will share a step-by-step guide to start a corporation in Utah. I will also enlighten you on the advantages and disadvantages of having a corporation. Some people consider starting a corporation in Utah more than other business structures since it has many advantages over other forms.

What is a Corporation in Utah

In definition, a corporation is a formal organization established by stockholders, shareholders, or other people to make a profit. Like individuals, corporations can undertake contracts, own assets, sue and be sued, pay taxes, limit state and federal taxes, and loan funds from banking institutions.

Common Types of Corporations

Before you start with the process of forming a corporation, you should know what type of corporation you will form. There are several different forms of corporations you can take into consideration, depending on your corporation’s objectives and ownership structure.

  • C-Corporation: C-Corporation is the most known type of incorporation. They have almost all corporate distinguishing characteristics. Profits are distributed to corporate owners who are taxed at an individual level. The corporation is taxed similarly to a business unit.
  • S-Corporation: An S-Corporation is set up similarly to a C-corporation but has different tax implications and owner limits. S-corps have no more than 100 stockholders and are not taxed separately. These business units must also file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain their status.
  • Non-profit Corporation: Nonprofit businesses are frequently used by religious, educational, and charity institutions to run their operations without making a profit. Thus, a nonprofit corporation is exempt from paying taxes. The nonprofit organization’s gifts, contributions, or cash are reinvested in the company to fund its growth, future endeavors, or operations. Read how to start a nonprofit corp in Utah to learn about nonprofit corporations.

If you have a small business, it is recommended that you form an LLC instead of a corporation in Utah. LLCs have more tax benefits than other structures. Besides, LLCs protect your personal assets. However, it is wise to consult a legal expert before you start setting up your business in Utah.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Start a Corporation in Utah

To start a corporation in Utah, you must follow the below steps that, include forming a corporation name, appointing a board of directors, filing for Articles of Incorporation, drafting corporate bylaws, meeting with the board of directors, issuing stocks, creating a shareholders agreement, requesting for an EIN, and getting a license and permit. All these steps are basic ones. It can be changed depending on the type of corporation you form and the nature of your business.

Step 1: Choose a Corporation Name in Utah

Naming your business is one of the most crucial activities during the startup phase. Your corporation name serves as the foundation for your brand. Legal procedures should be taken into account when choosing your corporation name. Choose a corporation name that will enable you to develop a strong brand identity without being hampered by irrelevant factors.

If you are forming an LLC, there is a complete guide on Utah LLC name guidelines for a proper LLC name. Here are some guidelines you must follow while naming your corporation in Utah-

  • Your business name must contain entity identifiers, such as “Incorporated,” “Limited,” “Corporation,” or “Company,” or an abbreviation, such as “Inc.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.”
  • Exclude any words in your business name, such as “Trust,” “Bank,” “Credit Union,” or “Trustee,” or words related to a government agency, such as “FBI,” “State Department,” or “Treasury.”

Step 2: Board of Directors Initial Appointment

To form a corporation in Utah, you must appoint an initial board of directors before making them permanent once the corporation is formed. In Utah, you may appoint at least Three board of directors. The initial board of directors is in charge of guiding the overall strategy of your business. The structure, responsibilities, and powers given to a board of directors are determined by the bylaws of a company or organization. So, appointing your corporation’s initial board of directors in Utah is a big step in forming a corporation.

Step 3: Filing the Articles of Incorporation in Utah

After you appoint the initial board of directors in your Utah corporation, the next step is to write and file a Articles of Incorporation. In writing, the Utah Articles of Incorporation, the corporation name, principal place of business, the purpose of business, Utah Registered Agent contact information, and the names and addresses of incorporators and/or initial board members, should be written.

Filing a Articles of Incorporation in Utah may be done with four methods that are online, fax, by mail and in-person. The Articles of Incorporation fee may vary from different states. However, in Utah, it costs $54 for filing online, by mail, in person filing, or by Fax.

  • Online Filing: Create an account/Log in to the SOS site, get the e-form, fill it, and submit online. Or get the online PDF, fill it up and upload it back on the site.
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail to or drop it off in person at Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code, P.O. Box 146705, Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Step 4: Draft Corporate Bylaws

Now you are done filing a Articles of Incorporation in Utah, the next step is to draft corporate bylaws. Corporate bylaws are the basic rules that control a corporation. It includes the organization’s structure, processes, laws, and rules. As a result, all personnel, managers, and corporation members must obey the firm’s rules.

In creating corporate bylaws, you should include the following on how the decisions will be made-

  • The responsibilities are given to each officer.
  • How will judgments in business be made?
  • Where and when are the annual shareholder meetings?
  • The minimum number of shareholders required for decision-making.
  • Location and timing of dividend payments.

Step 5: Hold the First Board of Directors’ Meeting

After drafting the corporate bylaws, gather all the board of directors for the first meeting. This meeting will be finalized by appointing directors to manage the company’s daily operations, approve the bylaws, choose the corporation’s accounting year, and approve the stock issue. All board meetings should have minutes taken and stored with the company’s records.

Step 6: Issuing Stock in a Corporation

After starting your Utah corporation, one of the first official corporate actions is issuing stock to the shareholders. Keep track of the number of shares issued to each shareholder and the purchase price. A corporation in Utah is managed by its shareholders, who contribute to the business in exchange for ownership shares.

Step 7: Draft and Finalize a Shareholders Agreement

Even though drafting and finalizing a shareholders agreement is unnecessary, I suggest you still comply since it will benefit your corporation and its shareholders. A small business’s shareholders enter into a shareholder agreement contract. It establishes how ownership will be handled in unexpected situations, like a shareholder passes away, retires, becomes disabled, or quits the corporation. Early on in the life of your Utah corporation, signing a shareholders’ agreement can help maintain corporate continuity and prevent future disputes.

Step 8: Request an EIN in Utah

After everything is in place, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your Utah corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website.

The application of an EIN in Utah can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The EIN online application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in a number of ways. It will give your corporation the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 9: Get Licenses and Permits for your Corporation in Utah

Before your corporation operates in Utah, you must have a business license. A business license is a document issued by a government agency that permits you to operate your business in the geographic region that that agency governs. To legally operate your corporation, you’ll need a business license. Numerous corporate licenses need to be filed and renewed regularly. Check out how to get business licenses and permits in Utah to know more.

You must also register a DBA name if you intend to conduct business using a name other than your corporation’s legal name. The DBA name is sometimes known as “doing business as” or a “fictitious business name.” Depending on your location, you may need to register the DBA with your state, city, and county. You can skip this step if your business solely uses your legal company name.

Important Information

Paying your Taxes in Utah

Even if you have established your corporation in Utah, pay your taxes and keep everything up to date so you won’t pay any penalty. Unlike an LLC, there is a corporate tax that every corporation in Utah has to pay. On the other hand, they must pay income taxes based on their business income. Some other types of taxes in Utah are sales tax, franchise tax (not applicable to all the states), and other state taxes.

Cost of Forming a Corporation in Utah

A filing and annual fee must be paid to form a corporation in Utah. Without it, your corporation won’t operate. The initial filing fee for a corporation may vary depending on the state. However, in Utah, it costs $54 for filing online, by mail, in person filing, or by Fax. The corporation in Utah also has to file an annual report (though it might not be mandatory, it is recommended to file one). Ensure you comply with all the necessary fees and costs so your corporation will run successfully and smoothly. If, in the future, you make any changes to your corporation, you must file the Utah Amendment. It costs $37 to file an amendment in Utah.

Advantages of Starting a Corporation in Utah

  1. Limited Liability: The biggest advantage of setting up a Utah corporation is that the shareholders are not personally responsible for the debts of the company. As a result, when you incorporate as a corporation, personal assets like homes, vehicles, and other possessions are prohibited. One of the main benefits of setting up a corporation over a general partnership or sole proprietorship business structure is that neither the business nor the owners are held legally responsible for the obligations of the business, even if it means giving up their personal assets.
  1. Limitless Corporation: The fact that a corporation’s existence is independent of its owners is another significant benefit of incorporation. In other words, a corporation has an endless life and will continue operating normally even if the owner dies or decides to sell their ownership.
  1. Advantages in Tax: The deduction of health insurance premium payments made on behalf of an owner-employee is one of the many financial benefits to which corporations are entitled. Corporations also save on self-employment taxes since their revenue is not subject to workers’ compensation, Social Security, or medical taxes. Tax rates on corporate profits are lower than those on individual income.

FAQs

What is a corporation?
A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. It is created under state law and has the rights and responsibilities of an individual.
Is it easy to start a corporation in Utah?
Yes, it is relatively easy to start a corporation in Utah. The Utah Department of Commerce provides a comprehensive guide on how to form a corporation in the state.
What are the requirements to form a corporation in Utah?
To form a corporation in Utah, you must file a Certificate of Incorporation with the Utah Division of Corporations, complete basic organizational steps, and obtain a Utah tax identification number.
What are the benefits of forming a corporation in Utah?
Forming a corporation in Utah offers several benefits, including limited liability protection, potential tax savings, and the potential for business growth and expansion.
What is the first step in forming a corporation in Utah?
The first step in forming a corporation in Utah is to file a Certificate of Incorporation with the Utah Division of Corporations.
How do I file a Certificate of Incorporation in Utah?
You can file a Certificate of Incorporation in Utah online or by mail. You can also use a professional service to help you with the filing process.
What information do I need to provide in my Certificate of Incorporation?
You will need to provide basic information about your business, such as its name, address, and directors. You may also need to provide additional information, such as a description of the business’s purpose.
How long does it take to form a corporation in Utah?
It usually takes about three weeks to form a corporation in Utah.
What type of taxes will my corporation have to pay in Utah?
Your corporation will be subject to federal and state income taxes, as well as other taxes, such as payroll, sales, and property taxes.
What are the filing requirements for a corporation in Utah?
A corporation in Utah must file annual reports and other documents with the Utah Division of Corporations, as well as file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.
What are the rules for corporate directors in Utah?
The Utah Corporate Code outlines the rights and responsibilities of corporate directors and sets forth requirements for the election of directors and other corporate matters.
Can I form a corporation in Utah without a lawyer?
Yes, you can form a corporation in Utah without a lawyer. You can use an online filing service or use the resources provided by the Utah Department of Commerce.
What are the advantages of forming an LLC in Utah?
An LLC in Utah provides limited liability protection, potential tax savings, flexibility in management, and the potential for business growth and expansion.
What are the requirements to start a corporation in Utah?
To start a corporation in Utah, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. You must also pay the required filing fees and appoint a registered agent.
What is the cost to start a corporation in Utah?
The filing fee to start a corporation in Utah is $70. Additionally, you may need to pay a franchise tax depending on the types of shares your corporation has.
How long does it take to start a corporation in Utah?
It usually takes about three to five business days for the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code to approve and process the Articles of Incorporation.
Do I need to have a physical office in Utah to start a corporation?
No, you do not need to have a physical office in Utah to start a corporation. You simply need to appoint a registered agent with a physical address in Utah.
What types of corporations can I form in Utah?
You can form a C corporation, S corporation, limited liability company (LLC), professional corporation, and nonprofit corporation in Utah.
What is the role of the registered agent in Utah?
The registered agent in Utah is responsible for receiving and forwarding legal documents and notices on behalf of the corporation.
Is there an annual filing requirement in Utah?
Yes, corporations in Utah must file an annual report with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.
What is the Utah Franchise Tax?
The Utah Franchise Tax is a corporate tax based on the number of shares a corporation has.
Is there a minimum fee for the Utah Franchise Tax?
Yes, the minimum fee for the Utah Franchise Tax is $15.
Do I need to file taxes in Utah?
Yes, corporations in Utah must file taxes with the Utah State Tax Commission.
Do I need to hire a Utah registered agent for my corporation?
Yes, you must hire a Utah registered agent for your corporation in order to comply with state laws.
Can I be my own registered agent in Utah?
No, you cannot be your own registered agent in Utah. You must hire a professional registered agent.
Are there any other fees associated with starting a corporation in Utah?
Yes, you may need to pay other fees such as publication fees, legal fees, and accounting fees.
What are the benefits of starting a corporation in Utah?
Some of the benefits of starting a corporation in Utah include personal asset protection and tax benefits.
What is the liability of shareholders in Utah?
In Utah, shareholders are generally not liable for the debts and obligations of the corporation.
Are there any special requirements for foreign corporations in Utah?
Yes, foreign corporations must register with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code in order to do business in Utah.
Is it possible to change the registered agent in Utah?
Yes, it is possible to change the registered agent in Utah. You must file an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.
Are there any other documents that I need to file?
Yes, you may need to file additional documents such as an Initial Report, Annual Report, and Statement of Authority with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.

Also Read

Why Utah Corporation is So Important

First and foremost, Utah Corporation brings in a substantial amount of revenue for the state. These businesses contribute a large portion of taxes and provide employment opportunities for thousands of residents. This not only helps boost the economy but also improves the overall quality of life for individuals living in Utah.

Additionally, Utah Corporation plays a vital role in driving innovation and technological advancements. Many of these corporations are at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technologies and creating new products and services that have the potential to transform industries and improve people’s lives. By investing in research and development, these businesses help propel the state forward and stay competitive in a rapidly changing global marketplace.

Moreover, Utah Corporation also plays a significant role in promoting economic growth and development. These businesses often engage in partnerships with local communities, invest in infrastructure projects, and provide funding for education and healthcare initiatives. By supporting various initiatives that benefit the people of Utah, these corporations help create a stable and thriving environment for everyone.

Furthermore, Utah Corporation helps to attract investment and talent to the state. Large corporations with a strong presence in Utah not only create job opportunities but also make the state more attractive to other businesses looking to set up operations in the region. This leads to a healthy and diverse business environment that benefits both residents and the state’s economy as a whole.

In addition to their economic contributions, Utah Corporation also play a significant role in supporting social and environmental causes. Many of these businesses have sustainability initiatives in place and work towards reducing their carbon footprint and promoting social responsibility. By taking a proactive stance on issues such as climate change and social inequality, these corporations help create a more sustainable and equitable society for future generations.

Overall, Utah Corporation is an integral part of the state’s economy and plays a crucial role in driving its growth and development. From generating revenue and creating job opportunities to fostering innovation and supporting social and environmental causes, these businesses make a meaningful impact on the lives of residents and the overall prosperity of Utah. As such, it is essential to recognize the importance of Utah Corporation and continue to support and promote a business-friendly environment that encourages their growth and success.

Conclusion

When determining which corporate form is best for you, be selective. You must know which business structure is bet-fitted for your product/service in Utah. Consult a legal professional before you take the first step while setting up your business. Finding the ideal ratio of corporate advantages and legal protection that meets your unique needs is very important. In forming a corporation in Utah, you need to ensure that every detail is well-formed so that your corporation will be successful. And if you have any questions, share them in the comment section below.

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