Corporate registrations in the United States of America
Incorporation is the responsibility of State governments and detailed requirements vary according to State law. A legal entity is usually known as a corporation and it is usual for it to have limited liability for its shareholders. A corporation doing business in another State will need to register there as a 'foreign' corporation.
Many States now also have limited liability companies. The precise definition will vary according to State law but, in general, a limited liability company has a minimal corporate structure, without centralised management. This enables it to have limited liability for its members (who are not shareholders) while being treated as a partnership rather than as a corporation for taxation purposes.
Corporations whose shares are to be traded publicly will also need to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington. The SEC maintains an on-line register.
The amount of information available about United States corporations varies according to State law. In many cases, detailed disclosure is optional.