DO I NEED TO FILE AN S ELECTION IN PENNSYLVANIA – LEGAL RESEARCH ON YOUR OWN: A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE SOON PARTED

These are dangerous times to be starting your new business. The economy is tight, money is not readily available and your legal budget is next to nil. You’ve heard that you need to incorporate to protect your family assets and you keep hearing on the radio that you don’t need a lawyer. In fact, you do some quick internet research and feel you can do it yourself. Having practiced for over 20 years now I am confident in stating that yes you can do this on your own but you might make a critical mistake. Doing legal research online without the appropriate background is dangerous. The first answer you get may not be the correct answer and you really are not in a position to recognize whether what you found on the web is just what you “wanted” to find or really the legally correct answer.

For example, after you incorporate you need to decide whether you want to be a C corporation or an S corporation. Usually the S election is preferable for smaller entities because it eliminates taxation at the shareholder level whereas a C corporation is taxed at both the corporate level and the shareholder level. Seems straightforward enough, right? You google S election and click on a link to the Department of Revenue website (click here) where it clearly states that any federal S election is automatically a S election unless you opt out. However, right under the Department of Revenue’s link is Pennsylvania’s Open for Business website link (click here) that clearly states you must file for S-corporation status within 75 days of incorporation. This is a website that was created for the purpose of assisting new business owners and has the Governor’s name on the top yet its advice is 180⁰ opposite the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

My point is that when I need brain surgery I go to a doctor. If I need help with my lawnmower I go to my local repair shop. I let the experts in their respective fields help me. If you try to save a few dollars, it may prove costly down the road. I started this firm because I wanted to help people get to where they needed to be in their business life. Whether it is starting your business, leaving a business you created, shareholder disputes, litigation to protect your rights, the attorneys at Danziger Shapiro & Leavitt are here to assist you. Please feel free to call me to schedule a free consultation or visit our website and explore our other blog entries that might be of interest.

This entry is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

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