Why Start a CT Corporation?
The state offers up an abundance of reasons to choose Connecticut as the place to start your business. Some of those reasons involve certain tax incentives, giving businesses in Connecticut a competitive edge. Your corporation may be able to take advantage of these incentives, provided it meets qualifying criteria.
For example, Connecticut has created an Opportunity Zone Program that helps to incentivize public and private stakeholders to work together to rebuild American cities. Eligible investors who make qualified investments within those zones may be eligible for significant capital gains tax benefits.
For many entrepreneurs looking to start a larger business, CT incorporation may be the best choice. As a corporation, your business is able to buy and trade stock, and when it comes to excess profits, corporations offer more flexibility than a limited liability company (LLC). A corporation is allowed to pass income and losses to its shareholders, who report taxes on an individual tax return at ordinary levels.
Is an LLC Better Than a Corporation?
It all depends on your goals. For smaller businesses, limited liability companies are usually a better option. An LLC is easier to set up and receives many of the same benefits as corporations, but with less regulation.
Learn more about forming a Connecticut LLC so you can decide which business entity is right for you.
Benefits of Forming a Connecticut C Corporation
Benefits of Forming a Connecticut S Corporation
It offers several advantages similar to those provided by a C Corp including, but not limited to:
- Options for creating, transferring and selling stock, though not as many as a C Corp
- The capacity for up to 100 shareholders
- Simpler rules than those applicable to C Corporations
- Easy transfer of ownership simply by selling your stock
- The possibility of saving money by allowing you to pay less self-employment tax
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your corporation, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, business taxes and much more. We also cover what you'll need to register your corporation and how you'll interact with the Secretary of State in Connecticut.
Start a Business in Connecticut Checklist
To help you along the way, use our Starting a Business checklist to keep track of everything you need to do to get your business up and running.
How to Form a CT Corporation Yourself in 6 Steps
Step 1 - Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
Step 2 - Provide an Official Address for Your Corporation
Step 3 - Assign a Registered Agent
Step 4 - File Your Certificate of Incorporation with the Connecticut Secretary of State (SOS)
Step 5 - Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
Step 6 - Write Your Bylaws
Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
Every Connecticut business must have a unique name that hasn't already been claimed by another business in the state. If you’re having difficulty coming up with a name, try using our Business Name Generator to gather ideas. You'll need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the Connecticut Corporation Names page.
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Connecticut. To see whether another company in the state is using your desired business name, use our tool to do a Connecticut entity search.
You can also carry out a name search on the state's website.
Provide an Official Address for Your Corporation
All CT corporations must have a designated address. It could be the address of your home (if you’re running the company from your residence), a building where your office is located or any physical address of your choice. The address can be outside the state of Connecticut and can be a P.O. Box.
You may also be able to use a virtual mailbox for your business address. Incfile can provide you with a Connecticut virtual mailbox where we'll receive your mail and scan it for your online review. This can be especially helpful if you run a home-based business and don't want your home address published as part of your business public record.
Assign a Registered Agent
Someone who receives official correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the Connecticut Secretary of State (SOS) is known as a Registered Agent. Every Connecticut corporation is required to have a Registered Agent.
You can fill this position, assign another manager in your business or use a Registered Agent service. If your Registered Agent in Connecticut is a person, they must have a physical street address in Connecticut and must be present during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your company. You'll appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Certificate of Incorporation with the Connecticut SOS and formally create your corporation.
All of Incfile’s business formation packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. You can also access a digital dashboard to view any document we've received on your behalf.
File Your Certificate of Incorporation with the Connecticut Secretary of State (SOS)
Once you've gathered all the information for your corporation, you’ll need to file a form with the Secretary of State to create your Certificate of Incorporation. This will officially create your business.
Your Certificate of Incorporation can be filed online via the state's digital portal CT Business One Stop. You can also mail or deliver the form in-person to the Office of the Secretary of State, or Incfile can file it on your behalf. The CT Corporation filing fee is $250.
File by Mail
Business Services Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
P.O. Box 150470
Hartford, CT 06115-0470
File in Person
Business Services Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
165 Capitol Avenue, Suite 1000
Hartford, CT 06106
You only need to file your Certificate of Incorporation in Connecticut once, but once a year thereafter, you'll also need to file an annual report electronically online with the Secretary of State in CT. A first report is also due within 30 days of filing your Certificate of Incorporation with the state. Incfile can remind you about this every year, or we can do it for you if you have us handle the paperwork.
What are the fees and requirements to incorporate in Connecticut?
Last business day of anniversary month of incorporation.
The initial annual report filing is due within 30 days of the entity formation date.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You'll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number for filing and paying taxes, submitting payroll information and payments for your employees and opening a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you as part of the CT corporation creation process.
A set of rules that govern how a corporation will be run, bylaws detail how many directors the corporation will have, whether the board of directors will have annual meetings and what the voting requirements will be, among other things.
Some states legally require companies to create bylaws, and the state of Connecticut is one of them. You don't need to file your bylaws with the Secretary of State, but keep them with your other business records.
It's always a good idea to write and follow bylaws to protect your business from any future changes and events.
Types of CT Corporations
Check with the Secretary of State to confirm whether your business should and can be a Professional Corporation.
Helpful Resources from the State of Connecticut
How to search the state business registry and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, trade names, reserving names for CT corporations and more.
How to appoint, change and search for Registered Agents. Also includes the duties they fulfill and the rules they’re required to follow.
Details the various fees you’ll need to pay and the state and federal requirements you’ll need to meet. Includes details about Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.
Covers the various taxes you’ll have to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details about state taxes such as income and sales, and federal taxes such as income and self-employment.