Question: I incorporated my landscaping business, to protect my home and my family from liability. I registered the corporation with the Secretary of State’s office, and obtained a Tax ID number from the IRS. Going forward, how do I sign my contracts and invoices?
Answer: In order to preserve the limited liability benefits of your new company, get used to having two identities: corporate and personal. (Like a business superhero). Whenever you act for the company, protect your personal identity at all costs. This requires a certain level of formality when conducting business. Slip up, and you may lose your protection.
Don’t sign business documents using just your name. This is the most common mistake people make. When you sign for the business, follow this format:
YOUR NAME, ITS PRESIDENT
It is also important that company actions be kept separate from your personal affairs. Don’t mix your company and personal funds. Keep assets and liabilities of the company separate by not using your personal accounts or checks to pay on behalf of the business.
Should you ever be sued, you will want a flawless record of corporate formality. This way, nobody can argue otherwise, and your personal assets will remain outside of the reach of your creditors.
Do you need advice on how to protect your business? Contact Priority Law to schedule a consult with a Massachusetts attorney.
The article was originally published in the Lowell Sun and for informational purposes only and not to be relied on as legal advice, in any manner.