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Why Customers Love Us – CorpNet Reviews

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We get asked a lot how we are different from our competitors. Although we offer similar services, we take great pride in our stellar customer service which sets us apart from the rest!

You call us, use our chat feature or email us – one of stellar tenured business filing experts in our Westlake Village, CA headquarters will answer. We’re a small team who wants the best for you and your business! No outsourced call centers here!

Just to show how much our customers love us we are starting a new series on the CorpNet Blog sharing some CorpNet reviews. These clients took the time to leave us a great review and we appreciate every single one of them.

Here is a look at why customers love using CorpNet.com to incorporate, form an LLC, file a DBA and more! Check out all of our reviews on TrustPilot. Are you ready to get your business off the ground? Reach out anytime for a free business consultation.

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Expecting A Tax Refund? 8 Business-Savvy Ways To Spend It Wisely

US treasury check.

According to the IRS, it expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers will receive tax refunds this year. Last year, the average refund of the 109 million issued was $2,797. That’s no chump change!

If you’re one of the fortunate taxpayers who will get a tax refund this year, how are you planning to spend that “bonus”?

Decisions…decisions.

While you may find it tempting to blow the cash on a Louis Vuitton handbag or put a deposit on a tropical vacation getaway, there’s something more fulfilling you can do with that money:

Invest it into your business

Yes, I know it doesn’t sound very sexy at face value. But by putting that money back into your company, you’ll expand upon its potential and promise.

How might you use your tax refund to boost your business? Here are a few ideas for making good use of it:

  • Use the money for a consultation with your accountant about tax planning for the future. Just because you got a refund this year, doesn’t mean you will next year!
  • Give your website a make-over. If you’ve got a DIY site, consider hiring a professional to create one that will more successfully generate traffic and leads.
  • Register to attend a highly regarded business or marketing conference. Not only will you learn a lot of relevant information to make you a more enlightened business owner, but also you’ll make valuable connections with other professionals.
  • Get yourself or an employee some specialized training to up your game in the competitive market. When you expand upon your skill set and hone your craft, you make your products and services more valuable to customers.
  • Ditch an old, unreliable piece of office equipment (e.g., laptop, printer, etc.) and purchase a new one. Equipment that doesn’t do the job well can kill productivity and add a lot of stress. Your refund money will be well spent by giving yourself the tools you need to work more efficiently.
  • Buy yourself an ergonomic desk chair. Your comfort and physical well-being should always be a priority if you want to work like you mean business.
  • Join a well-respected networking group. Do some research and find a group that has highly motivated, accomplished members who have a genuine interest in supporting and encouraging each other. While no networking group membership guarantees you’ll get business from it, a culture of camaraderie provides a firm foundation for referrals and for the purchase of services or products between members of the group.

As you can see, you have plenty of ways to creatively use your tax refund to better your business. Whether you’re just starting your company or want to grow it, make the designer shoes and fancy cocktails in coconuts wait. Consider putting your refund dollars where they’ll really make a difference—into your business.

Image: Adobe Stock

Delving Into The DBA: Does Your Small Business Need To File For One?

unsure young woman scratching her head

DBA who?

Also called a fictitious business name, trade name, or assumed business name, a Doing Business As (DBA) filing lets the public know you’re the true owner of your business.

Do you need one for your business?

You’ll need a DBA if one of the following scenarios applies to you:

1. You’re a sole proprietor or general partnership and want to conduct business using a name that’s different from your own name. For example, if Jane Doe wants to open a gift boutique called Things That Matter, she would need to file a DBA. In some states, you’re allowed to use your personal name in addition to a description of your product or service without filing a DBA. For instance, Jane Doe may not need to file a DBA if she wants to call her business Jane Doe’s Gift Boutique. You will need to file a DBA if your business name indicates a group (such as, The Doe Group) or if you only use your first name (i.e., Jane’s Gift Boutique).

2. You have incorporated or formed a limited liability company (LLC) and are operating your business under a name that is different from the name of your company or LLC. To illustrate this scenario, suppose Jane Doe has formed an LLC called Jane Doe Gift Boutique, LLC and Jane also wants to operate her business under the name Janesgifts.com; the LLC would need to file for a DBA for Janesgifts.com. Similarly, if Jane wanted to expand into interior design consulting, then Jane Doe Gift Boutique, LLC would need to file a DBA to do business as Jane Doe Interior Design Consultants.

The DBA designation was created to protect consumers by preventing deceitful business owners from operating under a different name to dodge legal trouble. When you file a DBA, you typically need to print an announcement in the local newspaper, so your community knows who owns the business.

What benefits does a DBA deliver?

Above all else, registering a DBA keeps you in compliance with the law. And for sole proprietors who want to avoid complexity and expense, a DBA lets them use a business name without creating a formal a corporation or LLC. Filing a DBA gives the sole proprietor the freedom to use a business name that will help them market their products or services while establishing a separate professional business identity. Realize, however, that while forming an LLC or corporation protects your business name at the state level, a DBA won’t protect your business name from being used by others—that would require trademark protection.

If you’re a sole proprietor, you will need to file a DBA to open a bank account and receive payments in the name of your business from your customers. Most banks will ask for a copy of your filed DBA before they’ll open your account, so you’ll want to file sooner rather than later!

An LLC or corporation may operate multiple businesses without having to create separate legal entities for each business when they have DBAs. For instance, if Jane Doe plans to open several different boutique shops, restaurants, or websites, she might want to set up one corporation with a relatively generic name and then file a DBA for each shop, restaurant, or website.

Essentially, a DBA will help you expand your business while controlling costs and minimizing the amount of paperwork you have to deal with.

How do you file for a DBA?

From state to state and county to county, the requirements for filing a DBA vary. In some states, you register for DBAs at the county level (and individual counties may have different forms and fees). In some states, you register your DBA with the State Secretary of State or another state agency.

Depending on the state you’re located in, you might also need to publish a notice in your local newspaper and then provide proof to the state that you have done so.

To review the different requirement for DBA filings in your state, you can visit the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) website or use a professional legal document filing service to make sure you’re meeting all county and state requirements.

How soon should you register for a DBA?

You should file for a DBA before doing any business under your fictitious business name. Some jurisdictions give you some leeway and will allow you to file shortly after you first use the name. With a DBA a prerequisite to opening a bank account and forming contracts with customers, however, I recommend filing for one upfront. I also encourage you to try our free business name search tool before filing your DBA to see if your preferred business name is available.

Filing a DBA is an affordable way to keep your business in good legal standing from the very start. Ready to begin?

You can start the process quickly and conveniently online at CorpNet.com!

Image: Dollar Photo Club

Should You Convert Your Business Structure to an S Corp?

Question Mark for Making Decisions

You’ve been chugging along as a sole proprietorship for a while now, but you’re beginning to realize that might not be the best idea to protect your business. So you’re considering converting your sole proprietorship to another structure, specifically the S Corporation.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine if now is the right time to convert your business structure.

1. Do You Want to Bring on Investors?

Maybe you bootstrapped your business, but now you’re ready to take the company to the next level, and to do that, you need investors. This is an automatic reason to convert to an S Corp because investors rarely want to invest in a sole proprietorship (it puts their assets at risk).

If you want potential investors to take you seriously, change your structure to an S Corp. That way, they aren’t liable for your company’s debts or legal fees, and they’re more likely to give you the money you need.

2. Are You Worried About Protecting Your Personal Assets?

Did you realize that as a sole proprietor, the law sees you as an individual as the same as your business? That means if you are ever sued, you may have to shell out from your personal savings to cover legal fees if your business doesn’t have the funds.

Incorporating, on the other hand, separates you from your business, providing a legal shield around you that protects your assets and finances from being taken for the business.

3. Are You Looking for Some Tax Relief?

While incorporating won’t magically eliminate your taxes, there are some pretty great tax perks, like only being taxed once (versus twice like with the C Corporation) and being able to report your business profit and loss on your personal income tax forms.

4. Do You Want to Reduce Your Likelihood of an Audit?

Sole proprietors are nine times more likely to get audited than corporations. What does that tell you? It’s time to change your business structure! Being audited can be a paperwork nightmare that can eat up precious time you’re better off spending running your business, so if a simple switch of business structure could reduce your chances, go for it.

5. Do You Plan to Sell Your Business?

Whether you want to sell in a year or 10, the S Corp is the ideal business structure to make that transition a breeze. Because you can’t transfer ownership of a sole proprietorship (it’s tied to you and only you), the S Corp is a better entity to package up and hand over to the new owners.

If these questions made you realize that, yes, you do need to convert your sole proprietorship to an S Corp, now’s the time to do it. As long as you file File Form 2553 by March 15, 2016 (or let CorpNet do it for you), your business will be treated as an S Corp for the 2016 tax year.

Don’t delay! Get your S Corp Election order processed now with CorpNet so you can reap the tax benefits for 2016.

Image: Dollar Photo Club

Converting Your Sole Proprietorship to an LLC in 8 Simple Steps

Two hands figuring number eightAny business that doesn’t deliberately choose a business structure launches by default as a sole proprietorship (or a partnership, if it has partners). But sometimes down the road, needs change, and the business starts to consider a different structure to protect itself.

If this describes your business, read on. I’ll tell you how to easily convert your existing sole proprietorship into an LLC.

But First, Why Switch?

There are several reasons to move from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, including:

  • What started out as a hobby has become a veritable business, and you want to protect it
  • You don’t want your personal assets to be at risk
  • You want to take advantage of pass through taxation and other tax benefits
  • Your client or investor requires you to be an LLC

Step 1: See if Your Name is Available

Just because you’ve been operating as “Beth’s Bonnets” for years doesn’t mean that name is necessarily available in the state where you want to form an LLC. That’s why you need to conduct a corporate name search to make sure it’s available for your new LLC. If the name you want isn’t available, you might have to slightly modify it. Continue reading “Converting Your Sole Proprietorship to an LLC in 8 Simple Steps” »

By | December 23rd, 2015|Business Filings, Forming An LLC|0 Comments

5 Weeks Left in 2015. Is Your Business Ready for the New Year?

Businessman jumps to The New Year 2016.

Boy, the year has just flown by, hasn’t it? Before you know it, you’ll be ringing in 2016 and getting a fresh start with a new year. But before you break out the champagne, make sure your business is ready to close out the year. Here, I’ve broken down some administrative tasks you need to take care of by the week so you don’t end up rushing around at the end of December to handle it all!

Week 1: Change Your Business Structure

If you want to incorporate your business or form an LLC for 2016, now is the time to get on it. Keep in mind: your Secretary of State gets a ton of applications for new business structures this time of year, so you may have to rush your order or use the delayed filing option to ensure you start the New Year with your new structure. Don’t put this off!

Week 2: Check Your Budgets for the Year

Have you spent all the money you budgeted for different parts of your business? If you still have wiggle room, now is the time to go shopping. Spending money on business expenses now — i.e. a new computer or printer, office supplies, software — will reduce your taxable income for 2015. And if you had a thriving year, you could stand to reduce what you pay in taxes! Continue reading “5 Weeks Left in 2015. Is Your Business Ready for the New Year?” »

By | November 25th, 2015|Business Filings|1 Comment

Articles of Organization: Does Your S Corp Need One?

unsure young woman scratching her headIf you’ve spent any time on this blog or researching how to incorporate your business online, you’ve probably found some terms you weren’t really clear on and had questions. What’s the difference between an LLC and a corporation? What paperwork do I need to file annually? What are Articles of Organization, and do I need them?

Let’s address that last question and talk about Articles of Organization.

First, the LLC vs Corporation Discussion

While ultimately, the LLC and corporation are different, they both provide similar protection and tax benefits. Also, when you either form an LLC or a corporation, there are a lot of similarities in the processes. For both, you have to fill out an application and submit a fee (though the paperwork varies slightly and the fees may be different from one another).

That paperwork is either called Articles of Incorporation (for…you guessed it! Corporations) or Articles of Organization (for LLCs). They serve the same purpose, but don’t really cross streams.

So, to answer your question: you only need to fill out and submit Articles of Organization if you plan to file as an LLC. If you are incorporating as an S Corp (or any other type of corporation) you do not need to fill out Articles of Organization. Continue reading “Articles of Organization: Does Your S Corp Need One?” »

By | November 11th, 2015|Business Filings|0 Comments

What are the Fees for Forming an LLC in DE?

Welcome to Delaware USA Road SignDid you know: 60% of the Fortune 500 have made Delaware their legal home. It’s a popular choice for both corporations and LLCs because of its small business-friendly economy and laws.

If you’re considering starting a business in Delaware, consider the LLC as your business structure. Not only will it protect your personal assets, but it also requires less formal paperwork than its cousin, the corporation.

Here’s what you need to know if you plan to form an LLC in Delaware.

Who to File With

The Delaware Division of Corporations is the entity to file your LLC paperwork with. If you hire CorpNet to file your Delaware LLC paperwork on your behalf, we will send it to the Division of Corporations for you.

You Need a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or business that is authorized to act on your behalf with the State of Delaware. If you do not have a physical presence in Delaware, your registered agent will receive your LLC paperwork and documents on your behalf. Continue reading “What are the Fees for Forming an LLC in DE?” »

By | November 5th, 2015|Business Filings, Fees for Starting a Business|0 Comments

Got an Inactive Business? Start Your Dissolution Paperwork NOW to Avoid Penalties

Out of business note printed on paper hanging on rope with clothes pins

If 2015 brought the end of a business for you, don’t sweep it under the rug. You’ve still got legal responsibilities to handle to avoid penalties and fees.

How the State Sees You

Even if you’re no longer operating your business, if you have formed a corporation or LLC, have business licenses, and/or pay taxes, the state still sees you as operating, and will continue to try to get you to pay fees and taxes. It’s your responsibility to handle the paperwork that notifies the state business resources that your business is no longer operating. That way, you are no longer required to pay these fees.

The Dissolution Paperwork You Need to Handle

Even though every business is different, yours will need to handle at least some of these administrative tasks to ensure that you are no longer on the hook for taxes or permit fees.

1. Dissolve Your Business Structure

Incorporating a business or forming an LLC was important when you started a business. Now it’s important to dissolve your business structure in the appropriate way. First, hold a meeting with your business partners or Board of Directors and ask them vote on closing the business. This vote needs to be officially recorded.

You’ll then need to file your Articles of Dissolution with your state. This document lets your state know that you are no longer operating as a corporation or LLC. Continue reading “Got an Inactive Business? Start Your Dissolution Paperwork NOW to Avoid Penalties” »

By | October 29th, 2015|Business Checklists, Business Filings|0 Comments

How to Make Your Business Roll with the Changes

Thinking business woman with glasses looking up on many questions markYou may have been too busy to notice that things have changed in your business. Maybe you started out as a one-man or one-woman show, and now you’ve got a real team working for you. Or maybe you’ve shifted directions from where you first started out with your business.

No matter what the change, it’s important to make sure that you have the appropriate business structure, business licenses, and policies in place as your business needs change. Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re in line with what your business requires.

Have the changes affected my vulnerability?

If you operated as a solopreneur with a hobby business, you probably didn’t have much risk. But now, if you have corporate clients or employees who rely on you, you’re automatically more vulnerable than you used to be.

If this is the case, consider changing your business structure. Forming an LLC or corporation can protect your personal assets in the event that you are ever sued. Continue reading “How to Make Your Business Roll with the Changes” »

By | October 28th, 2015|Business Filings|0 Comments