Forming a closely held corporation is perhaps one of the simplest tasks a lawyer faces. Basically, it entails filling out and mailing standard forms to the proper state agencies. Yet, lawyers will charge $400 to $1,000 for the service. Booklets available from the American Entrepreneurs Association, a publishing and esearch firm devoted to small business, enable entrepreneurs to incorporate quickly and cheaply, while keeping legal expenses low.

The kits, about 40 pages each, contain legal forms and precise instructions tailored to individual states. The price is $45 for nonmembers, $39.50 for members, and is tax-deductible. Booklets are available for each state except South Carolina, which prohibits incorporation without the aid of a lawyer.

"Using the kit is like getting a $50 divorce," says AEA salesperson Brenda Robertson. "They're best suited for an incorporation that is straightforward and uncomplicated, like a single-owner small business."

Ron Richardson used the kit last May to incorporate R[2]0[2] Home Health Care Consultants Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn. Richardson is a respiratory therapist and was a consultant before deciding to incorporate his own medical equipment manufacturing company. "It's a simple procedure," he says. "Everything is included in the kit."

To obtain a kit, contact the AEA, 90954 Worldway Center, Los Angeles, CA 90009.