/Tag:choosing business structure

5 Steps to Getting Back to The Heart of Your Business

1040_4351542The start of 2013 has brought a whole new crop of women who want to follow their passion and start their own businesses to my virtual door.  I love the excitement and energy behind each and every one of them.  Mostly because it is filled with heart.  There is nothing but pure, unadulterated passion behind their motives.  This is more than likely behind both men and women who are ready to jumpstart their lives with a new business venture.

For me this holds special significance because just a few short years ago, that was me.  Eager as a kid on Christmas morning to start my new adventure, I jumped right in….Perhaps, you remember me saying a while back that I made mistakes?  I did.  A made a few big ones and even more little ones. Continue reading “5 Steps to Getting Back to The Heart of Your Business” »

By | February 13th, 2013|Running A Small Business|1 Comment

Want to Start a Business in 2013? Questions to Ask Yourself

232_3071469With the beginning of each New Year, many people take stock in their lives and what changes they may or may not want to make.  We set out to lose weight, improve our careers, spend more time with family and friends, and probably take up a new hobby or two.  A few years back, the New Year goals included growing my own business for me.

I had my reasons: Independence, Flexibility, Diligence, Pride, & Passion being a few.  I sifted through the ups-and-downs of growing a brand, made mistakes, and continue to do a lot of both still.  I wish there was a cheat sheet when I started.  Don’t get me wrong, I would never change my mind or not start my own business, I just would have loved to have these questions and tips set before me when starting.

Before Starting Your Business, Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Are you good at asking for help?  

Do not be TOO independent.  It is a great characteristic and extremely noble to be independent, but starting a business requires help, mentorship, and often a shoulder to lean on.  While being a self-starter is crucial to starting a business and staying on target,  one cannot shut out those around them who can be of help.  Building a new business often involves focus groups, skill-sets that are not part of your repertoire, and a solid sounding board.  Do not try to be so independent that you turn away a good thing like the advice or opinion of a confidante, spouse, friend, or business mentor. Continue reading “Want to Start a Business in 2013? Questions to Ask Yourself” »

By | January 16th, 2013|Starting a Business, Women In Business|1 Comment

All About the Limited Liability Company (LLC)

705_3546162Here at CorpNet, one of our biggest services is helping business owners form an LLC and manage the business filings to register their business with the state authorities. Deciding to form an LLC can be one of the best business decisions you’ve ever made, especially if you want flexibility with regards to taxation, ease of including partners or operating as a sole proprietor, and most importantly, the “limitation of liability” to protect your personal assets from the debts or liabilities of your business.

Since we work so often with entrepreneurs who want to form an LLC, we’d like to dedicate today’s blog post to tell you all about this unique, flexible, adaptable corporate structure.

What is an LLC?

LLC is short for “Limited Liability Company,” (NOT a Limited Liability Corporation)  which is an interesting definition – unlike a C-Corporation or S-Corporation, an LLC is not technically a “corporation” in the same sense. The LLC acts like a hybrid business entity, giving the owner some of the same characteristics as a corporation, but with the pass-through taxation and flexible operations of a sole proprietorship.

What are some of the main advantages of incorporating a business as an LLC? Continue reading “All About the Limited Liability Company (LLC)” »

Interested in forming an S-Corp? Read this first.

434_3014587CorpNet has helped thousands of entrepreneurs start a business by forming an LLC or other business structure.

Deciding to incorporate a company can be complicated. If you’re trying to choose between forming an LLC or incorporating as an S-Corp, C-Corp or other business structure, keep in mind that each type of company has its own unique requirements, limitations and benefits.

One of the most popular business structures that our customers choose is the S-Corporation. The S-Corporation has become the most common corporate entity in America, with over 3 million small businesses filing taxes as S-Corps.

If you’ve ever wondered about the advantages of an S Corporation instead of simply forming an LLC, then read on for some insights. Continue reading “Interested in forming an S-Corp? Read this first.” »

Want More Customers for Your Small Business? Give them what they want!

In the movie, “Big Night,” Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub play two Italian brothers who run a struggling restaurant in New Jersey. Primo, the chef, is insulted when a guest wants risotto and spaghetti in the same meal. Real Italian chefs do not want to serve two starches in the same meal – it’s considered vulgar and undignified. Primo feels disrespected and demands to speak to the customer to persuade her to order the “correct” combination of food.

Secondo, the waiter, tells his brother to make the pasta. Even though his feelings are hurt, he knows that the restaurant is struggling and that the customer is always right. Secondo says to his brother, “We have to give people what they want before we can give them what we want.”

This scene is a good example of how sometimes as entrepreneurs, our expectations of what customers want do not always align with the reality. Sometimes the “can’t miss” new product or “in-demand” service we expected people to love does not find its audience. Sometimes customers want something that we don’t expect – sometimes the customer’s favorite item on the menu is the one the chef least expected.

How can your business learn from the lessons of “Big Night?” Continue reading “Want More Customers for Your Small Business? Give them what they want!” »

By | June 15th, 2012|Marketing Your Business, Running A Small Business|0 Comments

3 Reasons NOT to Incorporate as an S Corporation

285_2811074The S Corporation has become one of the most popular business structures in America because of its tax advantages and other benefits – but what if you are trying decide how to incorporate a business and you’re not sure if an S Corporation is the right choice for you?

If you’re trying to choose a business structure, there are several reasons why an S Corporation might not be the right choice.

  • You’re a sole proprietor who doesn’t want the hassle: If you’re a solo entrepreneur or sole proprietor with a “payroll of one,” it might not make sense for you to set up the extra structure and formalities and compliance obligations that go with an S Corporation. If you incorporate as an S Corporation, you need to set up a board of directors, file annual reports and other business filings, hold shareholder’s meetings, keep records of your meeting minutes, and generally operate at a higher level of regulatory compliance than your business might need or want to deal with. You also will need to “do payroll,” to pay your employees, even if you’re the only employee. This can create extra costs and operational challenges. Instead of dealing with all this red tape and complexity, forming an LLC might give you greater simplicity and ease of doing business. With an LLC, as a sole proprietor you don’t have to create a board of directors or jump through as many regulatory hoops.
  • You want venture capital: S Corporations offer important tax advantages for small business owners – but there’s another side to that coin; the IRS only allows S Corporations to issue one class of stock. With an S Corporation, there are no “preferred shares” or specialized tiers of stock with special privileges or benefits for the shareholders. If your company wants to attract venture capital or “angel investor” financing, you might be better off as an LLC or C-Corporation, since venture capital investors often want “preferred shares” of stock in your company (as a condition of giving you their money).
  • You want to grow and go public: S Corporations are designed for smaller businesses and so there are limitations on ownership of an S Corporation. An S Corporation can have a maximum of 100 shareholders (married couples and families count as a single shareholder for this purpose). In contrast, big publicly traded companies that incorporate as C Corporations can have millions of shareholders. So if you have big growth plans for your business, incorporating as an S Corporation is probably not the best choice for your long-term future.

Continue reading “3 Reasons NOT to Incorporate as an S Corporation” »

Ways of adding value with your small business marketing

609_3564269A much more comfortable place to be is to have a business that adds value. The more value you add with your business, the bigger your profit margins.

One example of a commodity business vs. a value-added business is in the farming sector. Most people’s idea of a “farm” involves big tractors and long rows of crops. This is the “commodity” side of the farming business – you need vast amounts of land, lots of expensive equipment, and you sell massive volumes of corn, wheat or soybeans for a small profit margin.

But recently, there is a growing trend for smaller-scale farmers to grow organic crops using more environmentally friendly farming methods. The organic foods that these farms produce are able to command a higher price, enabling these smaller farms to be successful without as much land and capital investment. This is an example of adding value to a “commodity” business.

Most small businesses are an exercise in finding a way to add value and avoid becoming a commodity. If you’re running a small business, chances are you want to be more like an “organic farm” than a large-scale “commodity crop farm.” Small business success is all about carving out a niche where you can be profitable, and competing on a different playing field than the big players and “800-pound gorillas” in your industry.

 

Continue reading “Ways of adding value with your small business marketing” »

The 3 Biggest Tax Advantages to Forming an S Corporation

775_4402069As anyone who has ever decided to start a business can tell you, paying taxes is one of the biggest challenges and drawbacks of being in business for yourself.

If you’re self-employed, you have to pay an extra share of self-employment taxes (the payroll taxes that pay for Medicare, Social Security, unemployment benefits and other ongoing government programs).

If you’re an employee, these taxes get withdrawn from your paycheck and you might not notice how much you’re paying. But even as an employee, payroll taxes add up to about 7.5% of your income (up to $90,000 – any income over that amount is taxed at a lower rate for payroll tax purposes).

When you start a business and become your own employer, if you’re paying taxes as a sole proprietor, you have to pay TWICE as much payroll tax as you used to pay as an employee – both the 7.5% employee share and the 7.5% employer share. This means that about 15% of your business income is going to payroll taxes. Continue reading “The 3 Biggest Tax Advantages to Forming an S Corporation” »

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Incorporating Your Business

 

35_2516978The portrait of today’s worker is undergoing a fundamental shift. Fueled by advances in cloud-based, social and mobile technologies, companies are choosing to gain agility and savings by leaning on an always-on virtual workforce of contingent employees.

According to Freelancers Union, there are approximately 42 million Americans who make their living independently—that’s 30 percent of the workforce.

Forget about a traditional 9 to 5 at the office. Workers in this new freelance economy find that they need to become their own marketing experts, accountants, sales and IT gurus. And somewhere along the way, small business providers, contractors and freelancers need to grapple with selecting a business structure.

Forming an LLC or corporation can be a relatively quick and easy process, but most small business owners aren’t exactly experts in tax and business law. There are a bevy of mistakes that can have a significant impact on their business; here are six of the most common. Continue reading “6 Mistakes To Avoid When Incorporating Your Business” »

How to Avoid Double Taxation: S Corporation or LLC?

804_4160245Here at CorpNet, we hear from entrepreneurs every day who are trying to decide the best way to start a business or incorporate an existing business. We offer free business consultations to help people learn the ins and outs of choosing a business structure, and one of the most frequently-asked questions we get is “How can I decide between an LLC and S-Corporation?”

Most small business owners want to limit their personal liability and protect their personal assets from those of the business. Any business structure, whether it’s an LLC, S Corporation or C Corporation, can achieve this goal of personal asset protection.

The biggest differences between forming an LLC and incorporating as an S-Corporation arise when you start to look at the more complex issues of taxation, corporate structure and regulatory compliance.

If you’re a new entrepreneur or longtime small business owner who’s trying to figure out how to choose between an LLC and an S-Corporation, here are a few considerations to keep in mind: Continue reading “How to Avoid Double Taxation: S Corporation or LLC?” »

By | May 7th, 2012|Forming An LLC, Incorporating a Business, Taxes|0 Comments