How do I incorporate a social network startup in Delaware without living there?

Thanks for your inquiry! I will assume that you are not interested in forming a limited liability corporation (if you are, simply post another question and we will answer that for you as well). The question you posed assumes that you need to reside in Delaware to establish a corporation in that state. Fortunately for you, this is not the case. If you want to form a Delaware corporation all you need to do is:

File an incorporation certificate with Delaware’s Secretary of State

If the company has shareholders, you may want to include a clause providing protection for the company’s board of directors or officers in the event of a lawsuit

List your corporation’s name, purpose, and number of authorized stock shares (assuming the company decides to issue shares)

List the corporate agent’s name and address (a registered agent is a thirty-party authorized to receive tax forms and lawsuit notices on the corporation’s behalf)

List the names and address of your company’s founders

Draft By-laws setting out how the corporation will be governed

Every corporation must pay a flat $50 filing fee and a $24 county fee. You will also pay a minimum $15 tax on the transaction – if you plan to issue shares your tax payment will increase in proportion to either your stock’s value or the number of stock issued.

It may be wise to come up with a corporation name before completing the necessary paperwork because Delaware law requires that each corporation in the state have a unique name that cannot be used by other firms. The firm name must also contain one of the following words in its name: “association,” “company,” “corporation,” “club,” “foundation,” “fund,” “incorporated,” “institute,” “society,” “union,” “syndicate,” or “limited.”

It is in your best interests to obtain all necessary signatures and to date the documents so that they are legally binding. Store files with copies of all documents in a safe spot so you can prove that your corporation observed all necessary formalities. Finally, remember that after you file the necessary paperwork, you will have to obtain an employment identification number for tax purposes, file documents and fees to do business in other states, and may have to obtain a license from the state to enter certain heavily regulated sectors.

Need assistance incorporating in Delaware? LawTrades has amazing business lawyers across the country who can help get your business off the ground. We offer free initial consultations, transparent flat-fee pricing, and start-to-finish project management. Feel free to message me with any questions!