Companies House


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.

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