Last Updated: May 31, 2024, 2:42 pm by TRUiC Team

How to Start a Corporation in Connecticut

To open a Connecticut corporation you will only need to complete a few key steps. The first of these is filing your Certificate of Incorporation with the Connecticut Secretary of the State.

Once this is done, the next step is to create corporate bylaws to manage your corporation’s internal affairs, before finally appointing the initial director(s).

We’ll show you how to start a corporation in Connecticut yourself.

Or simply use a professional service:

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Learn how to start a corporation in Connecticut

It's Easy to Incorporate in Connecticut

Step 1Name Your Connecticut Corporation
Step 2Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3Hold an Organizational Meeting
Step 4File the Certificate of Incorporation
Step 5Get an EIN

For a look at corporation formation in every state, check out our other How to Start a Corporation guides.

Not sure if a corporation is right for you? Check out our LLC vs. Corporation guide to help you make your decision.

Step 1: Name Your Connecticut Corporation

Choosing a business name is the first step in starting a corporation. 

1. Connecticut naming guidelines:

  • Your name must contain one of the following words or abbreviations: corporation, incorporated, company, Societa per Azioni, limited, corp., inc., co., S.p.A., ltd., or words or abbreviations of like import in another language.
  • Your name may not contain language stating or implying that the corporation is organized for anything other than its permitted purpose.
  • The name you appoint for your business must be distinctive enough from the Secretary of the State’s records of names that are already registered or reserved.
  • You are prohibited from using words or phrases that could cause some confusion between a branch of government (e.g. Treasury) and your corporation.
  • Your corporation’s name cannot suggest or imply that it is affiliated with a government or Connecticut-run agency.

Read the Connecticut state statute regarding corporation naming guidelines for more information.

 2. Is my corporation name available in Connecticut?

Your Connecticut corporation name must be unique and distinguishable from other business names in Connecticut. Use the Connecticut Business Records Search tool to determine if your desired business name is available.

3. Is the URL available?

Before registering your Connecticut corporation, you’ll need to check if a good URL is available for your business name. It’s important to secure your URL right away.

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Step 2: Choose a Connecticut Registered Agent

You must appoint a Connecticut registered agent when registering your corporation with the Secretary of the State.

A registered agent is an individual or entity appointed to receive service of process, government correspondence, and compliance documents on behalf of a business.

Your registered agent can be an individual, business entity, or professional registered agent service. Any member of the corporation or individual can serve as your Connecticut registered agent as long as the person:

  • is 18 years or older
  • has a physical address in the state where business activity is conducted
  • is available (in person) during normal business hours
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Recommended: Northwest offers one year of free registered agent services with their corporation formation package ($29 + State Fees).

Step 3: Hold an Organizational Meeting

Before you officially file the Certificate of Incorporation in Step 4, you will need to hold an organizational meeting to complete the following tasks:

  • Fill out and execute the Certificate of Incorporation
  • Create and approve bylaws
  • Select your initial director(s)
  • Determine your share structure
  • Execute an Incorporator’s Statement

Create and Approve Corporate Bylaws

Bylaws are the rules that determine how your organization will be governed and run. For detailed instructions on creating your bylaws, read our corporate bylaws guide.

Appoint Initial Directors

You must appoint at least one director who will oversee your Connecticut corporation until the first shareholder meeting.

A corporate director is in charge of the adoption, amendment, and repeal of operational bylaws as well as the election, supervision, and removal of officers.

After forming the corporation, the incorporator(s) — or initial director(s), if named on the formation documents — should call an organizational meeting. During this initial meeting, either the incorporator(s) will elect the board of directors or the initial director(s) will appoint the officers. 

Choose a Share Structure and Strategy

A share of stock is the unit of ownership of a corporation. Each share of stock represents a percentage of ownership of the company. For example, if a corporation issues one share of stock the shareholder (stock owner) would then own 100% of the corporation. 

Shares can be structured into classes. Each class, termed a share class, holds different rights and privileges. You can have multiple classes and each class can hold any number of shares.

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Authorized Shares: the number of shares the corporation is allowed to issue.
Issued Shares: the total number of shares actually issued to shareholders.
Share Class: a group of shares that has a unique set of rights and privileges.

In Connecticut, the Certificate of Incorporation allows you to indicate if the corporation will issue more than one authorized share class or series.

Create and Execute an Incorporator’s Statement

The incorporator(s) should sign an Incorporator’s Statement with complete names and addresses of each initial director and store it in the corporate records book. 

This document names the initial director(s) that will serve until the board of directors is elected during the first shareholder’s meeting. It should be stored with the rest of your corporate records.

Step 4: File the Connecticut Certificate of Incorporation

You will need to file the Connecticut Certificate of Incorporation to set up a corporation in Connecticut. You can file it online, by mail, or in person with the Secretary of the State. The filing cost is $250.

This document will cover the basics of your corporation, including:

  • Corporate name and address
  • Corporate registered agent name, street address, and signature
  • Number of authorized shares the corporation is allowed to issue
  • Incorporator(s) name(s) and address(es)

File the Connecticut Certificate of Incorporation

OPTION 1: File Online With Connecticut’s CT Business One Stop Portal

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File the Certificate of Incorporation by Mail or In Person

Download Form

Filing Cost: $250

Online Instructions: Create a User Name and Password and Follow the Prompts.

Mailing Address:
Business Services Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
P.O. Box 150470
Hartford, CT 06115-0470

Office Address:
Business Services Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
165 Capitol Ave., Suite 1000
Hartford, CT 06106

Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Connecticut Corporation

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used by the federal government to identify a business entity. It is essentially a Social Security number for the company. An EIN is needed:

  • To open a bank account for the company
  • For federal and state tax purposes
  • To hire employees

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

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Running Your Corporation

It is very important to adhere to the formalities of running a corporation. Read our How to Run a Corporation guide to learn more.

Taxes, Annual Reports, & Licensing

Connecticut State Corporation Tax Requirements

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax:

Connecticut Sales Tax

If you’re selling a product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Connecticut Secretary of the State's website. This allows a business to collect sales tax.

Connecticut Employer Taxes

If you hire employees, you will need to register for Connecticut employer taxes through the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services website. This includes Employee Withholding Tax, Unemployment Insurance Tax, and Disability Insurance.

Connecticut Corporation Licenses and Permits

To operate your corporation in Connecticut, you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Learn more in our Connecticut Business License guide.

File the Connecticut Annual Report

You must file the Connecticut Annual Report online every year with the Secretary of the State. You will need to create an account on Connecticut’s website to file the report. The filing fee for corporations is $150.

Corporate Dissolution & Connecticut Good Standing

How to Get a Connecticut Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing, known in Connecticut as a Certificate of Legal Existence, verifies that your Connecticut corporation was legally formed and has been properly maintained.

To obtain a Certificate of Legal Existence in Connecticut, you must complete the request form. You can submit this form in person with the Secretary of the State, by mail, or online. You will need to create an account on Connecticut’s Business website to make an online request.

Request a Certificate of Legal Existence

OPTION 1: File Online With Connecticut's CT Business One Stop portal

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: Request a Certificate by Mail or In Person

Download Form

Filing Cost: $50 for express certificates, $80 for short-form certificates, $120 for long-form certificates

Mailing Address:
Commercial Recording Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
P.O. Box 150470
Hartford, CT 06115-0470

Office Address:
Commercial Recording Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
30 Trinity St.
Hartford, CT 06106

How to Dissolve a Corporation in Connecticut

If at any point you would like to permanently stop doing business, or close your business, it is important to officially dissolve your corporation. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities, penalties, or even legal trouble.

There are five main steps to close your Connecticut corporation:

  • Stop doing business
  • Hold a board meeting, vote on dissolution, and record the meeting in the corporation minutes
  • File the Certificate of Dissolution with the Connecticut Secretary of the State
  • Close your federal and state business tax accounts with the IRS and Connecticut Department of Revenue Services
  • Close your business bank accounts

File Dissolution Documents

You must dissolve or close your corporation online with the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s CT Business One Stop website. There is no fee for this transaction. You will need an account to log in to the website.

Is a Corporation Right For You?

An LLC provides limited liability protection without corporate complexity.
Find out if an LLC is the right structure for you.

LLC vs. Corporation | Form an LLC

Steps After Forming a Corporation

After forming a corporation, you’ll want to protect your personal and business assets and build credit.

Taking these steps will set your business up for success:

Form a Corporation with Northwest for $29 Plus State Fees

Connecticut Corporation FAQ

As a minimum, you must pay the filing cost of $250 in order to submit your Connecticut Certificate of Incorporation to the Secretary of State.

In addition to this, if you elect to use a professional registered agent service instead of assuming the role yourself this will naturally further increase your startup cost.

To find out exactly how much this will cost you, see our How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost article.

There are several differences between LLCs and corporations, however, the most important one revolves around whether or not you will require early investment.

This is because LLCs are favorable in almost all cases except where a business is looking to attract investors, since a corporate structure (i.e., stock, dividends, etc.) is better suited towards attracting silent investors. 

A comparison between the two structures is broken down further in our LLC vs Corporation article.

Filing a corporation in Connecticut can take between five and six weeks when filed by mail, or as few as 4 days when filed online.

If both of these are too slow, you can purchase expedited processing to get your corporation started even faster.

Another important factor in how long it will take to get your corporation is the type of corporation that you will elect. 

See our S Corp vs C Corp vs LLC article for more information. 

No, getting your corporation started in Connecticut is not difficult, but it can be less straightforward than the formation of other business types (e.g., LLC, etc.). 

Incorporating your business in Connecticut can be broken down into four steps:

  1. Select a suitable name
  2. Appoint a registered agent
  3. Holding an organizational meeting
  4. Submit your Certificate of Incorporation

See our How to Start a Corporation in Connecticut for more information.

An LLC can be simpler and less costly to start than a corporation due to the fact that they have fewer formalities and ongoing requirements.

By contrast, corporations must hold annual meetings and keep minutes, and are subject to intense government oversight.

This can make corporations more difficult to start and run than LLCs. See our How to Run a Corporation article for more information. 

Connecticut Corporation Quick Links