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How To Structure Multiple Businesses

Beautiful information technology specialist is thinking about optimisation of the business process' structure. Microchip sketch behind the standing person.

Having multiple businesses makes entrepreneurship all the more exciting—and it raises a question CorpNet fields frequently:

How do I structure multiple businesses?

When you have more than one business venture, it may make sense to host them all under a single corporate entity rather than incorporate them separately. If the various businesses complement each other, share similar marketing strategies, and target similar customers (for example, a doggie daycare and mobile pet grooming services), you could host both of the ventures under the same corporate umbrella.

While that might sound complicated at face value, it’s really not a daunting process.

A Simple, Straightforward Approach To Hosting More Than One Business Under A Single Corporate Umbrella

What I suggest to most multi-business owners is that they consider forming an LLC, S-Corporation, or C-Corporation as the “holding company.” Then underneath that main “umbrella” corporate structure, they can file the various other ventures as DBAs (“Doing Business As”) that have their own unique business names.

So, say you have three businesses—one interior design consulting service and two separate websites that sell products related to the interior design work—you could form one overarching LLC or corporation named “Jane Smith Enterprises, Inc.” and then file “Illuminating Light Fixtures” and the “Whimsical Window Treatments” for each of your subsidiaries as part of the overall corporate structure, even though they have different names.

This approach offers simplicity while protecting an owner against liability for any of the businesses. It might significantly cut down on your paperwork, too, as you’re filing taxes, etc. for just one entity rather than multiple, entirely separate companies. Also, depending on your tax filing status, structuring under a holding company might also minimize your tax liability. Another bonus: It provides added credibility—that can mean a lot in a highly competitive environment.

To Keep In Mind When Structuring Multiple Businesses As An Umbrella Corporation and DBAs:

  • If you don’t want to, you don’t have to disclose the name of your holding company. If your multiple businesses aren’t closely related to each other, you can do business under each individual business’s name because there’s no legal requirement to disclose the name of your holding LLC or corporation in your marketing messaging.
  • Track financial information in one place. By keeping tabs on your earnings and expenses for your multiple businesses under one corporate structure, you’ll save hours and headaches at tax time.
  • Don’t leave any stones unturned. Think ahead and think strategically about the DBAs you might operate under. Might you do business under other names besides the most obvious ones that come to mind? It’s quite easy to file a separate DBA for the possible variations of your business name. For example, “Whimsical Window Treatments” and “WhimsicalWindowTreatments.com.”

Want to protect your assets, simplify your bookkeeping efforts, and better manage your marketing messaging? By filing an LLC or forming a corporation as a corporate umbrella under which you file multiple DBAs, you can do all of that. Of course, I urge you to do your homework first to make sure it’s the right approach for you. Talk with accounting, legal, and tax professionals who you trust before making a decision. And remember, the CorpNet team is here as a resource to answer your questions and help you through the business formation and registration process. Call for a free business consultation anytime! 888.4449.2638

Photo: Adobe Stock

By | May 17th, 2016|Other|2 Comments

Nellie in the News: April 2016

nellie in the news

Well looks like April showers will bring May flowers this year! Spring has sprung around our office and we can smell the sweet air of summer right around the corner.

We have been busy daily chatting with entrepreneurs who are looking to incorporate or form an LLC for their small business. Some customers love us so much they even shared some great reviews these past few weeks.

Nellie was thrilled to receive the award for Women Business Owner of the Year by NAWBO VC earlier this month and the rest of the month she has been sharing articles and interviews left and right educating small business owners.

Here’s a look back at a successful April 2016!

Want Nellie to speak at your next event or share her tips on your podcast? Contact her today

Upcoming Speaking Appearances

Ventura County Professional Women’s Network

Nellie will be the guest speaker at May’s monthly dinner meeting sharing the importance of passion in entrepreneurship. Join her on May 12th at 5:30. More info & tickets: http://bit.ly/1rAhIwl

Interviews & press Mentions

Solopreneur Blog  – Interview with Nellie Akalp http://bit.ly/1qq8Qsj

She Wrote a Book Podcast – Podcast Interview with Nellie Akalp about her Amazon Book http://bit.ly/22piCab

Female Bloggers Association – Interview with Nellie Akalp, CorpNet CEO & Founder http://bit.ly/1XtIrV5

Grant Cardone TV – File This Under “Must Do”: Nellie Akalp on Why You Need to Legalize Your Biz http://bit.ly/1Yyhujx

Huffington Post – Small Business Experts Share Their Worst Influencer Marketing Mistake http://huff.to/1NmDkFP

Entrepreneur – 10 Steps to Establish and Build Credit for Your New Startup http://entm.ag/1T48Nfh

Expert Contributed Posts

Entrepreneur – To Grow Your Business Start Focusing on Your Employees http://entm.ag/1qKoYoX

GoDaddy – 2015 Taxes: All About Filing an Income Tax Extension http://bit.ly/1Xrz2gK

Huffington Post – Four Old School Business Tools That Will Never Go Out of Style http://huff.to/25JDz3R

AllBusiness – Could Your Social Media Policy Land You In Legal Hot Water? http://bit.ly/1RWnEYR

Small Business Trends – Ladies, Are You Thinking About Starting Your Own Business? http://bit.ly/1VdFwlC

Showcasing Women – Work from Home? What you Need to Know Before Tax Time http://bit.ly/1VjSY6t

Mashable – What You Need to Know Before Signing Any Noncompete Agreement http://on.mash.to/1S8i5YJ

Forbes – Slow Paying Clients? 7 Tips to Help You Get Paid Faster http://onforb.es/1SpRc2F

By | April 28th, 2016|Other|0 Comments

5 secrets behind effective invoicing

Entered InvoiceFor many entrepreneurs who start a business, having customers who pay on time, every time, would only happen in an alternate universe. While you can’t eliminate the hassle of nudging customers to pay, you can make invoicing less stressful.

Invoices detail how much money a customer owes for goods or services provided by a business. Small-business owners use invoices for accounting and tax purposes, as well. When customers let invoices slide past the due dates, maintaining cash flow can become a challenge for business owners.

To help set up your business for success, here’s how to invoice more effectively.

1. Lay out your expectations in writing

Provide a quote to your customers before any transactions occur — and do it in writing. A conversation is fine for an initial agreement, but follow up with more specific terms, including an estimated cost, time frame for delivery of your product or service and the kinds of payment you accept.

Once you’ve provided a service or product, the invoice should detail exactly what a customer needs to know to make a payment, such as:

  • An itemized list of the goods or services provided — including costs, taxes and totals.
  • Specific payment instructions with an address to send a check to, credit cards that are accepted, or directions for using PayPal or another online payment system.

2. Use invoicing software 

If Excel is your only invoicing tool, you’re missing out on the benefits of automating. Invoicing software can reduce mistakes because you don’t have to manually enter billing information. This feature will come in handy with repeat clients. You can send invoices digitally to streamline the process.

3. Track invoices consistently 

Software can make invoicing more efficient, but remember to keep a digital or paper trail. Create a chronological, numerical system to assign your invoices and stick to it. A system is only useful if it’s consistent. This organization also will be a big help when tax season arrives. 

4. Send out invoices immediately

As soon as the services have been provided or goods delivered, send your invoices while you’re still on the client’s mind. If you want to get paid faster, offer the ability to make online payments at your website or via a mobile app. Some businesses send email as well as snail-mail invoices as an extra reminder.

5. Be clear about payment terms and follow up 

To increase the odds of getting paid on time, lay out clear directions for the payment due date. You can ask your client to pay by a specific date or within a number of days, typically 14 to 30 days after the date of the invoice.

Consider charging an interest fee on late payments, but be sure to disclose the interest fee in your written agreement with a client. To motivate clients, you could offer discounts for paying early or by check instead of credit card.

Before you expect the payment, send a written reminder that payment is due and note the day it is due. If the date passes, follow up within a week and include any interest fees that are part of the new payment.

If you end up with a slow-to-pay client, always remember to be polite in your interactions. A simple “please” and “thank you” can go a long way toward maintaining a business relationship. If an invoice slips badly, consider reaching out to the client to see if you can arrange an alternative payment plan.

Anna Helhoski is a staff writer at NerdWallet, which provides clarity around decisions that help you start or grow your small business. We provide clear unbiased information, entrepreneur-focused advice, and tools for small-business loans, tax and legal issues. We also connect you with experts who can answer questions about growing your small business.

Now that your invoices are in order – call CorpNet to get your business legally set up. Incorporate, Form an LLC, File a DBA and more! 888.449.2638

Image: Adobe Stock