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Answer from our Guest Expert Kent Capener of Capener Consulting

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What's A Small Business?

Other than a term describing the size of your business say in relation to IBM- or Dell-sized companies, the description of small business used by the private sector (when it's relevant) is the same as the government's. This small business definition in paraphrased form states: A small business is any business with less than 500 employees and/or with gross annual sales of less than $5 million.

Here's a free tip for you on this government definition of small business. Retail stores have government contracts too. It's true. If you were to research in the localities of a major military facility, you'll likely find that several, if not many (if it's a large facility), have contracts in place with local retailers to provide service personnel and qualified retirees with services and/or products at "government benefit" prices. This is a relatively new development as privatization of this significant service benefit is likely in the future. If the products you sell would be of benefit, needed or wanted by service personnel and their dependents, you'd qualify for several types of contracts as a small business.

A Partnership or Corporation?

Any type of business for profit can be a corporation.

The concept of a national corporation and partnership are irreconcilable in my opinion. To be national, as you indicate you will be, is going to require substantive business agreements of several types, all of which, would be in jeopardy, should the "partnership" dissolve. Of course, this can be prevented with a heavy dose of legal fees to cover the bad taste of potential personal arguments, disagreements, falling-outs, divorces, illness, and even death -- all of which will significantly affect the partnership negatively.

By incorporating, you simplify these partnership negatives because your corporation becomes its own entity or "person" -- it can't get divorced, agrue or die. All your contracts that will be sprinkled throughout the country will have firmer legal footing and less chance for problems.

Remember that spirit that came through our crystal ball? Given that incorporating and establishing the spirit of your partnership in a legal business entity is the way you're going to go, you've made this biz maitre d` very happy.

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