Can I set up a corporation without a lawyer?
A corporation can be set up without the help or assistance of an attorney. An obvious advantage to going this route is that it is much cheaper for you, as you do not have to pay any attorneys fees. But there is a significant risk here, which is that unless you know the relevant corporate and securities laws very well, you may miss a step or do something which can cause you trouble down the road. Obviously, having an attorney set up your corporation can cut down on this risk.
There are some middle-ground choices, however, between incorporating yourself and having an attorney do it for you. Many incorporation services offer incorporation kits, which include basic boiler-plate documents and some helpful guidance on what steps you need to file. This is obviously better than simply incorporating on your own, but still not as advantageous as hiring an attorney, because the kits do not help you fine tune anything to your precise requirements nor do they help you with any of the issues that may come up after the corporation is first set up.
Ultimately, it comes down to a determination of how much you are willing to spend and how much time and effort you personally want to put into the process. Where it can be afforded, you will always be better off using an attorney. However, if need be, you can set up a corporation on your own as long as you are diligent in complying with the relevant laws and requirements.