Jean Kennedy Smith was incorrectly indentified as Pat Kennedy Lawford in a caption accompanying a picture on Page A4 in yesterday's editions.

After an off-and-on courtship of the presidency for the better part of a decade, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) will become a formal suitor a week from tomorrow.

The 47-year-old senator will formally declare his candidacy, based on his contention that President Carter is not competent to deal with domestic problems, at Faneuil Hall, a historic meeting place in his hometown of Boston.

The youngest member of America's best-known political family will enter the campaign at the top. Opinion polls suggest that he has a big lead over Carter for the Democratic presidential nomination and that voting-age Americans prefer him by a considerable margin over any of the Republicans pursuing the presidency.

In legal terms, Kennedy actually declared himself a candidate yesterday, when he formed an official "Kennedy for President Committee" and told the Federal Election Commission that the committee is authorized to raise campaign funds in his behalf.

The committee, which opened for business yesterday in the boarded-up showroom of a former Cadillac dealership on 22nd Street NW, will be headed by Kennedyhs brother-in-law, Stephen Smith, who ran the financial operations in the presidential campaigns of the senator's late brothers, John and Robert.

It will be staffed by a mixture of old-guard Kennedy backers, personal aides to the senator and veterans of other presidential efforts.

Smith said yesterday the Kennedy campaign will be a nationwide effort, but refused to say whether the senator will run in all 35 state Democratic primary elections next year.

When he was asked specifically about Kennedy's primary plans, Smith said, "We will contest for delegates in all areas of the country," but declined to be more specific.

Carter's campaign aides have said the president will enter every primary, as did in 1976.

Ever since late summer, when Kennedy began seriously to consider entering the 1980 presidential race, the time and the place of his formal announcement have been sources of a teapot tempest within the Kennedy camp.

There were, in essence, two locations under debate: some aides wanted Boston, while others favored the Senate Caucus Room on Capitol Hill, where Sens. John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 announced their candidacies for the presidency.

By last weekend, Kennecy plainly was tired of officiating over this argument. "I've got a campaign to run," he said at the end of a campaign trip late Friday night, "and my most talented people are sitting around arguing what room I'm going to give the speech in."

Kennedy said the debate about the time of his announcement came down to his desire to get going as soon as possible -- "The president's already moving on all eight cylinders," Kennedy said Friday -- versus his staff's view that it was necssary to wait until a full-fledged campaign appartus was in place around the country to handle the surge of contributions and volunteers that they expect to come forward when Kennedy officially declares himself in the race.

Nov. 7 announcement probably will not give the staff time to set up a coast-to-coast organization, but the Kennedy campaign expects to gear up at breadneck pace.

Martin Katz, a 36-year-old accountant who will keep track of the campaign's money, said last week that the organization hopes to have 100 staff members in offices around the country by the end of November.

"It can be a little frightening, if you think about it," Katz said. "This is a big business. We're going to spend about $16 million over six months of primaries. That's the equivalent of a $30-million-a-year corporation. And we're going to set the whole thing up overnight."

Katz, who left a job on the staff of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-n.y.) to take the campaign job, worked previously in the campaigns of George Mcgovern in 1972 and Henry Jackson in 1976.

The Kennedy campaign's chief fund-raiser, Morris Dees, worked with Katz on the Mcgovern campaign and then served as the top fund-raiser in Carter's presidential drive four years ago.

Working with them will be Carolyn Reed, a lawyer no employed by the House Administration Committee, who will be designated the campaign's treasurer.

Paul Kirk of Kennedy's Senate Staff will be the chief political strategist at the campaign committee. He will head a staff that will include Antonia Hernandex and Irene Emsellem, staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Kennedy heads; Susan Riley, a former Kennedy aide who now works at the Department of Transportation; and Anne Strauss, who works for the senate health subcommittee headed by Kennedy. The committee's counsel will be John E. Nolan jr., a partner in the Washington law firm of Steptoe and Johnson.

Steve Robbins, a veteran Democratic campaign worker who is the Department of Transportation's regional chief in San Francisco, will run the scheduling arm of the committee. Elaine Shocas of the Judiciary Committee staff will work with him.

Among the old Kennedy hands who will come to work for the committee are Dick Drayne, a longtime aide to the senator who will serve as an adviser and speech-writer, and Tim Hannan, a fried of KennedyS since college days, whose precise job has not yet been determined.

Richard Stearns, a lawyer who was George McGovern's chief delegatehunter in 1972, will serve the same function for Kennedy. Carl Wagner, who ran McGovern's campaign in Michigan and recently joined Kennedy's Senate staff, will seve as a campaign factotum.

Thomas Southwick and Sue Cobb, press secreatary and deputy press secretary in Kennedy's Senate office, will perform the same jobs for the campaign committee.