Generally, there are three options:
1) Filing with services:
In addition to the filing fees, you could pay a service provider to file the documents for you. After answering a few questions, some companies prepare and file the documents for you. However, you should know that the incorporation packages offered by “Do it yourself” services often don’t include the essential post-formation docs you need.
2) Hire a lawyer in order to file:
An attorney can help you answer tough questions. Also, you grow your company, might run into issues concerning employee agreements, protecting intellectual property, raising capital and more – areas of legal that a lawyer can help you organize from day one.
3) Do it yourself:
You’ll only have to pay filing fees and, depending on where you live, a registered agent. The process of incorporating is not complicated, and you can do on your own.
a. Choose a Corporate Name
You have to determine a unique name which is not registered with the Delaware Secretary of State. Also, the name must include a corporate ending or abbreviation thereof (ex. “Inc.”, “Incorporated”, “Company”, “Co..”, “Corporation”, “Corp.”, “Association”, etc.). You can check for availability in Delaware Secretary of State business name database.
b. Prepare and File Certificate of Incorporation
The incorporator is responsible for preparing the Delaware Certificate of Incorporation which officially creates the corporation when the state accepts for filing. The Certificate of Incorporation must contain the corporation’s name, its registered agent’s name, street address, the object of the corporation, the number of shares it is authorized to issue, the valuation of the shares, which is the cheapest price that a corporation can issue its shares to its initial founders, incorporator’s the name and address.
Corporate shareholders, directors, and officers do not have to be recognized in the Certificate. You can find this document on the Delaware Secretary of State website. Also, the incorporator’s sign and date must include the Certificate of Incorporation; you must be submitted Certificate of Incorporation with the appropriate fee to the Delaware Secretary of State by mail, fax or hand delivery but you cannot submit it online.
c. Required Personnel
A company must have at least one shareholder, one director, one registered agent and one officer secretary who can sign legal documents on behalf of the corporation and can record minutes of meetings. The director and registered agent do not have to be a shareholder. However, the director must be a natural person and registered agent must have an address — not a P.O. box — in Delaware. Also, the registered agent is the person responsible for receiving official communications for the corporation.
d. Stockholder Agreement
If your corporation has more than one stockholder, you should arrange a Stockholder Agreement. Stockholder agreement is optional. Any corporation which has more than one stockholder should have a Stockholder Agreement in order to reduce future problems of valuation, buyback, and unwanted third parties owning the stock.