First the organization must register with the Department of Revenue of the Secretary of the State or other agency identified within their state to file their Articles of Incorporation. Once they file these documents and receive verification back from the state, the business then files the IRS Form 2553 to elect the S Corporation status.
S corporations are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credit through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes. Shareholders of S corporations report the flow-through of income and losses on their personal tax returns and are assessed tax at their individual income tax rates. This allows S corporations to avoid double taxation on the corporate income. S corporations are responsible for tax on certain built-in gains and passive income.
To qualify for S corporation status, the corporation must meet the following requirements:
- Be a domestic corporation
- Have only allowable shareholders
- including individuals, certain trust, and estates and
- may not include partnerships, corporations or non-resident alien shareholders
- Have no more than 100 shareholders
- Have one class of stock
- Not be an ineligible corporation i.e. certain financial institutions, insurance companies, and domestic international sales corporations.
In order to become an S corporation, the corporation must submit Form 2553 Election by a Small Business Corporation (PDF) signed by all the shareholders.