C Corporation: Everything You Need to Know

ccorp meaning

If you have a great business idea and can convince investors of its profitability, you’ll likely receive valuable investments. Since a C corporation exists in perpetuity, separate from its owners and managers, the business can continue to operate if any key managers or owners leave. In contrast, if an LLC owner passes away, the LLC must often be dissolved. This also means that owners can freely sell or trade their shares to meet their own goals without impacting other shareholders or the business’s integrity.

Shareholders contribute the money or assets the corporation uses to conduct its business and the corporation issues shares of its stock to shareholders as evidence of ownership. Shareholders are entitled to any dividends the corporation pays, and if the corporation liquidates, they are entitled to all of the ccorp meaning corporation’s assets after all creditors are paid. C corps have what is referred to as “perpetual existence,” meaning they can continue to exist even if their owners or shareholders leave the company or die. Double taxation is a common reason many small-business owners choose not to set up as a C-corp.

When you want your business to last

During the meetings, shareholders may approve the company’s bylaws and any merger proposals. C corps are a good option for those trying to attract investors to grow the company. Unlike an S corp, a C corporation can have unlimited shareholders and there are no restrictions on the types of shareholders they can have. They can also issue common and preferred stock, which allows the company to better cater to the preferences of investors. This means a C corp has the potential to grow quickly by attracting investors.

ccorp meaning

The C-corp is named for the subchapter of the Internal Revenue Code—subchapter “C”—under which its tax designation is described. Still not sure whether C corporation status is right for your business? Once you have found a suitable name, you should reserve it with your Secretary of State if name reservation is available for C corporations in your state. A C corporation also has unlimited potential for growth, as you can sell stocks anytime you wish to expand your company when you need financing. Similarly, there are no restrictions to the number of stockholders your corporation can have, unlike S corporations.

You’re our first priority.Every time.

Stripe Atlas makes it simple to incorporate and set up your company so you’re ready to charge customers, hire your team, and fundraise as quickly as possible. NerdWallet has rounded up some of our best information on starting a business, including structuring and naming your company, creating a solid plan and much more. If you’re considering any of these options, keep in mind that you’ll need to draft articles of incorporation or an operating agreement. Check out our guide to learn more about these documents and why they’re important.

  • The main downside to a C-corp is that it’s taxed twice—once at the corporate level (21%) and another at the shareholder level when dividends are paid.
  • This rate is generally lower than individual tax rates, which can be as high as 37%.
  • With the widest array of expense deductions entitled by the IRS, the C corporation allows for reimbursement for employee fringe benefits.
  • Do this before you start your business so that your personal assets are protected.
  • S-corps allow many small businesses to save money on taxes, but C-corps give you more options to expand and raise money.
  • An S-corp may save owners money on taxes, though that isn’t always the case.
  • C corps tend to be more attractive to investors compared to other business models like LLCs and S corps.

However, this designation comes with many considerations regarding structure and taxation you should weigh before opting to incorporate as a C corp. Consider the advice above and the alternative business entities available to make the best choice for your business. A C corporation must pay income tax on its net profits, unlike pass-through entities such as an LLC. In which owners pay income tax on the income they draw from the business. Then, the shareholders of a C corporation must pay income tax on the profits paid to them as dividends, which is where the term “double taxation” comes from. The main difference between an S-corp vs. C-corp is how they’re formed, how they’re taxed and their ownership restrictions.


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other tax authorities consider corporations to be separate taxpayers. C corps pay tax at a special corporate tax rate different from, and often lower than, individual tax rates. C corps are subject to a flat corporate tax rate, which is currently set at 21% for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.

  • Many startup founders choose to file an 83(b) tax election to potentially save on future personal taxes.
  • Owners are given limited liability protection, meaning their personal assets or funds cannot be seized to pay corporate debt or liability.
  • Investors in Trump Media & Technology Group are buying shares in a fledgling social media business that booked $3.3 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2023, according to a regulatory filing.
  • Because a C corporation is a legal entity distinct from its owners, it can enter into contracts and is liable for its debts.
  • Business ownership is a journey that takes time, money, and dedication.

C corporations can pay corporate taxes on earnings before distributing their profits to their shareholders in the form of dividends if they choose to do so. Individual shareholders are then subject to personal income taxes on the dividends they receive. Double taxation is an unfavorable outcome but the ability to reinvest earnings after taxes in the company’s projects at a lower corporate tax rate is an advantage.

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