I am forging forward with stubborn determination, accepting nothing but positive to come through...although I am painfully aware of the negative. One speed bump that I would love to have help over is the questionable format to set my business up. LLC? "C" corp? Uhhh. Isn't it common for the single mom's out there wishing to make it without depending on three jobs and a support check that never came to not have a cent to spare? I now do, thankfully, have a bit extra to devote to starting my dream. I know that I have to be incorporated or at least named as a LLC etc. to open an account and deposit money from my online business. Do I need an attorney. How about an accountant? Both? I want to protect myself and don't want to be double taxed. I honestly know that my talent will succeed and my up-all-night dedication to my dream will make it happen; I do need to go though the steps to get there and set myself up for success both mentally and legally. Please; any advise will be welcome and cherished! Oh! If anyone would like to be my "big brother" or "big sister" adviser; I would be honored and soooo thankful for any encouragement and ideas!
#1. "RE: Stubborn determination goes blank..." In response to Reply # 0 Tue Oct-14-08 08:55 AM by nightsky
(Sorry in advance for the LOOOOOOOONG answer.)
>I am forging forward with stubborn determination, accepting nothing >but positive to come through...although I am painfully aware of the >negative.
May I suggest that you not just focus on the Positive and reject all Negative? While it is true that the consequences of being negative, in looking for what it wrong instead of what it right? is destructive to your dreams.
We are motivated by the pleasure of success, but we can also be motivated by the pain of not reaching it. So, I would suggest that you look at both. Don?t dwell on the negative and see everything that way, but see it for what it is and let it motivate you too. Positive thinking only can also be very destructive. I have had friends who have tried to be so UP about everything and so positive? that they weren?t real. The didn?t accept anything negative and when things, for whatever reason, didn?t work out? they fell hard and decided that they couldn?t do whatever it was that they had set out to do. They lost their dream and never wanted to try again. Look at the positive and the negative in a general way? not so focused on either.
Anyway? that?s just a suggestion. But, if you have a clear vision of what your dream is - and you are clear and precise about it, then when tough times come? you can look at that vision and you will know what you are going for? it will pull you through the tough times.
>One speed bump that I would love to have help over is the >questionable format to set my business up. LLC? "C" corp? Uhhh.
Are you already making money in that business? If you are up and running at full steam? or even half steam? then it is time to decide. But, if you are still just thinking about what you want to do? and you haven?t even gotten started yet, then I would hold off for a while. Test the waters and see how it goes. Not that it won?t go? but you still have time to worry about that stuff. Focus on getting the product produced. I am assuming that you will be starting up at your house and not in a 5000 sq. ft warehouse? with 200 employees. If that is the case, then decide on how to structure the business. If not? then wait a while.
>I know that I have to be incorporated or at least named as a LLC >etc. to open an account and deposit money from my online business.
Not true. All that you need is a DBA account to set up a bank account. You do that by registering a ?Fictitious Business Name? at your city or county building (for a nominal fee) and then taking that paperwork to the bank. They will set up an account as You, Doing Business As (DBA) and you will just need your Social Sec. number. Again? you can always change the structure of your business down the road when it is running smoothly.
>Do I need an attorney.
I would suggest one. One thing that I have done is to sign up with Pre-Paid Legal (about 10 years ago). It is a great service and they have been with me whenever I needed one. For between $16 and $25 per month they will be just a phone call away to answer any questions, write letters for you or even make a call for you. Some things have cost me, which I got at a discounted rate, but in 10 years I would say that I have never had to pay more than the regular monthly fee in about 99.9% of the times that I have used them. It is a great service for families and businesses. They have different plans, but for a business that won?t need much legal advice? the regular family plan is enough. I have had my own business for 20 years now? and in the 10 years of having PPL? I have only carried the family plan, not the small business plan.
I can help you find someone who can tell you about PPL and help you get set up, if you want.
If you don?t want PPL? then you can ask around to your friends and they may have a suggestion of who you can call when you need an attorney.
>How about an accountant? Both?
If this is your first business? then you might want to go in to an accountant and have them walk you through smart things to do when you are setting up your business. There are also books on that.
One thing that I would suggest is to get a debit card on that DBA account that you set up (if you go that route) and use it ONLY for business expenses. Don?t use it for personal? and don?t use your personal account for business. That will make things so much easier when you organize your receipts and things.
Again, unless you are starting out with a huge, or even good sized company, I would suggest a book on setting up the books when starting up a business, or sitting down with an accountant for an hour (it will probably cost between $50 and $100 ? the book is cheaper and you can go back to it from time to time) and then either entering the receipts and income? or looking for a bookkeeper to do that for you. You can find someone who wants to do bookkeeping from home and it will cost you nothing, compared to an accountant, and they can really keep you up on your accounts and when it is time to file taxes and things.
>I want to protect myself and don't want to be double taxed?
With a DBA account? you are the business. Whatever the business makes is what you make. You do your taxes on a regular form 1040 with the, I believe, schedule C form attached to it. It is very easy. Then, when your business is ready to hire the employees and move to a different location? you can set up everything else. That is all just opinion on my part. Take it for what it?s worth.
#5. "RE: Stubborn determination goes blank... or Starting a Small Business" In response to Reply # 4
It is very easy these days to start a small business.
Sole Proprietorship vs Legal Entity
Hinges on paying taxes. As a S.P. you must remember to make timely quarterly payments based in the income you are producing. As a L.E. you can pay yourself and will have to make payroll tax payments for the business.
First stop should be your State website. Every state these days has a whole range of material for starting a company. You can actually prepare Articles of Incorporation right online (no need to hire an attorney). But more importantly they have lots of information for deciding which way to go. Usually a single person company is a Corporation who elects to be a Subchapter-S. This means the profits or losses can be deducted from the owners tax return. And this makes it easy to keep your business expenses separate and deductible from the business income.
Also online is www.irs.gov where you can apply for an employer identification number (EIN). Again the IRS has tons of documents to understand the best way to start a business.
But before you start anything you need a.) a good idea for a business, b.) a good plan to implement the idea and c.) some seed money to get it going. Without these you will not get far.