You cannot actually incorporate yourself, but you can brand a business in your name, closely identify the business’s brand with you, and incorporate that business. When you operate a sole proprietorship, your business and you are the same, both legally and financially. When you incorporate, your sole proprietorship ceases to exist, instead becoming a legally distinct corporation wholly separate from you.

Incorporating Under Your Name

You may have an idea for a business that you will closely associate with yourself and your name, but have not yet begun operating. You can name your company whatever you want as long as there are no legal prohibitions against the name, no one else has used the name in your state and there are no copyrights or trademarks on the name. If you are your brand, as many celebrities or fashion designers are, then you can incorporate using your name as the company name. When you incorporate, you must add "incorporated," "corporation" or similar to the name. By incorporating, you remove the risk of losing all your personal assets and holdings if your business fails or loses a lawsuit.


To incorporate your business, you must file articles of incorporation with your secretary of state. If you are a sole proprietor, you will be the sole shareholder in your corporation. Nearly all states require you to specify the names and addresses of the directors. Most states require you to specifically give the names of the president, secretary and treasurer in the articles of incorporation, but some, including Arizona, do not. If your state does, you may be able to occupy all of these positions. If this is not allowed, you can ask a business associate, advisor or friend to do so. An officer sits on the board of directors, so the person you select must behave as a director.


Whether or not you are the sole shareholder, you must follow corporate formalities. To finalize your articles of incorporation, you must specify the number of shares issued and the par value, or face value, of the stock. Then you and any other owners or investors must actually purchase a package of common stock certificates and record the number of shares and total par value of the shares on each shareholder's certificate.


If you operate your business as Your Name Inc. or Your Name Corporation then you must adhere to state corporate administrative requirements to avoid nullifying the liability protection your corporation provides. For example, you must sign any document that could legally bind you with your name and title. Although this is a concern for all small corporations, this is doubly important for those whose corporation shares their name.