You Incorporated Your Startup Company - Now What?

what to do after i form a company

So, you’ve made the decision to start a new business. Like so many other smart business owners, you’ve determined the best jurisdiction for your new company is the state of Delaware.

You did your research and decided which business entity is the best for your new company. The next question is: "Now what?"

At this point, there are probably tons of questions swirling around your mind. Let’s start with the basics.

  1. Upon incorporation, it is helpful to create and maintain particular documents you will most likely need along your company’s journey. Generally, those documents include:
  2. Certificate of Formation (LLC)Certificate of Incorporation (corporation) or Certificate of Limited Partnership (LP) – this is produced upon incorporation by the state in which your company incorporates; it proves that your company has been formally and legally filed.
  3. Bylaws (for a corporation) or LLC Operating Agreement (for an LLC) – these are the framework of your company, and outline a plethora of important aspects of how your company will function.
  4. Bank Resolution Forms – you will need these when your Board of Directors (or members in an LLC) holds its first meeting. Banking resolution documents are drafted and agreed upon so the company’s banking needs are aligned with the responsibilities and benefits of the directors (or members).
  5. Certificate of Good Standing – you will need this document for real estate closings, loan approvals and other accounting and legal matters.
  6. Stock certificates (corporation) or Membership Certificates (LLC) – these determine the amount and types of shares (or units, in an LLC) held by your corporation’s shareholders (or LLC members).
  7. Corporate Seal – Nowadays, most corporate seals are digital rather than an actual, physical seal; however, whichever type of seal you choose to utilize, a company seal is important, as it displays your company’s name, its year of incorporation and the state in which it was incorporated. A corporate seal may be used on a variety of corporate documents in order to declare their validity.
  8. Meeting Minutes template – Every corporation is required to take and maintain meeting minutes during both Board of Directors meetings and shareholder meetings. Using the same template for meeting minutes throughout a corporation’s history makes logistical sense.

Along with creating and maintaining the above you will want to think about these additional items:

Corporation Compliance

If your new company is a corporation, you will have many things to think about and plan in order to stay in compliance, such as:

  • board meetings
  • bylaws
  • electing successors
  • appointing officers
  • keeping meeting minutes
  • issuing shares of stock to shareholders
  • recording shareholder information
  • paying dividends, quarterly taxes and Franchise Taxes
  • filing annual reports

Unlike a Delaware LLC, there's a lot more upkeep required in a corporate structure. Traditionally, bylaws will need to be adopted. The Board of Directors is elected and, in turn, appoints the officers, the president, the vice president, the corporate secretary and the treasurer.

Board meetings are normally held at regular intervals and meeting minutes must be recorded. Both quarterly and annual tax returns may need to be filed, along with annual reports and Delaware Franchise Tax.

steps to take after you incorporate

Marketing Plan

From determining and connecting to your target demographic to your SEO, PPC or advertising strategy, a marketing plan is an integral part of any company. Are you going to utilize social media? Are you going to handle content creation in-house or outsource it? Your chances of success hinge upon solid marketing, or lack thereof. You don’t want to overlook this detail.

Website/Domain Name

Are you planning on creating a website for your new company?  If so, it may be smart to check domain name availability concurrently when checking the company name in Delaware to keep things uniform.

DBA (Doing Business As)

Although DBAs are almost a thing of the past, the term still gets thrown around quite a bit. A "doing business as" is nothing more than a fictitious name or trade name. They are less common these days since most clients tend to form a company under the name they plan to use.

Business License

You may need a business license and/or permits in order to operate locally.  Business licenses are traditionally handled at the county level through the Division of Revenue. You can also check with your local SCORE office if you have questions about business licenses.

In conclusion, once you’ve determined to form a Delaware company, there’s still lots of formalities to take care of before you’ll be officially good to go, but you can count on us to guide you through the maze.

*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

More By Andrew Millman

There are 4 comments left for You Incorporated Your Startup Company - Now What?

David jackson said: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

I have a limited company with you. It doesn't trade . Do I need an EIN?

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Hello David,

Thank you for reading our blog. Every company in the U.S. needs a EIN. Think of it as the U.S. Social for the company. It allows you to open a U.S. bank account, hire U.S. employees and to conduct lawful business activities in the U.S.

Dominik said: Wednesday, May 8, 2019

This is very useful, thank you.

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Our pleasure, Dominik!

Daniel Jameson said: Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hi, Thanks for sharing a good information. It is very helpful to start a new business startup.

HBS Staff replied: Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Thanks for reading our blog! Best of luck to your startup!


I formed this LLC on 24th July 2017 through HBS. What are the other steps to proceed further?

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Your other steps and options are listed in the blog:


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