/Tag:starting a home business

6 Steps to Starting a Business From Your Home

775_4655279There are countless garage-to-Fortune 500 success stories. Jeff Bezos first ran Amazon.com out of his garage in Bellevue, Wash. As Stanford University graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched Google from Susan Wojcicki’s garage. And invoicing company FreshBooks was headquartered in Mike McDerment’s parents’ basement for 3.5 years.

Launching a business from your garage, basement or dining room table is a great way to keep overhead costs down when you’re just starting out. And in most cases, it’s usually the only option for bootstrapping startups. But how are you supposed to handle a home-based startup from a legal perspective?

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways Small Businesses Get Social Media Wrong

Whether you’re developing a mobile app or digital media consulting group, here are six steps to ensure your home-based business is legit.

Continue reading “6 Steps to Starting a Business From Your Home” »

By | December 26th, 2012|Starting a Business, Startups|0 Comments

Don’t Leave Home Without These Items in Your Bag of Tricks

pixAs women we are notoriously

[in]famous for carrying big, huge stuffed purses & totes.  Just think about it…you know you are guilty!

This got me thinking – what do we really need (and NOT need) in our small biz bag-of-tricks?

I took a long hard look into the deep dark depths of my blue tote bag that I drag everything around in, and realized it was a total mess.  Upon noticing this, I made a deal with myself — I could NOT go for my afternoon cup of coffee until I cleaned that sucker out.  The goal was to clean out items that I did not need to carry around and determine my must-haves vs. the non-essentials.  Of course, while I did this, I decided to make a list of my very own startup women in biz essentials.

With many of us splitting for the holidays, you never know what can happen or who you will meet.  Beyond travel, just heading out of the house or office on errands or appointments can be surprisingly fruitful. Continue reading “Don’t Leave Home Without These Items in Your Bag of Tricks” »

By | December 12th, 2012|Women In Business|1 Comment

Million Dollar Question: Do YOU Backup?

 

775_4681350Last week my laptop started making the most awful noise. A noise that even I could not argue indicated that I needed to turn my computer off and give it a break.  The noise reappeared the instant I turned my computer back on, so off to the Genius Bar at Apple Computer, my laptop and I went.  After a number of consults along with the fact that the computer ceased making the noise as soon as I wanted it to led the geniuses to agree to keep MY LAPTOP over night.   Taking a laptop away from a blogger/writer is like taking a toy from a toddler.  Although I did not scream, I may have shed a few tears. Did I mention, I have now been without my laptop for a week! Anyway, I digress.

The first question the Apple Genius asked me was: ‘do you back up?’ Duh – of course, I do….but, I didn’t always. We all hear the horror stories of colleagues and friends.  Their computers just freeze up and poof everything is gone.  They can’t get it back no matter what they do.  We THINK that can’t happen to us.  Often, I fondly recall the Sex and the City episode where Carrie Bradshaw’s trusty hard drive fries and no, she doesn’t back up either.  Yet, I did not back up for years. Well, thankfully, a little over a year ago I started backing-up.

Continue reading “Million Dollar Question: Do YOU Backup?” »

By | November 7th, 2012|Running A Small Business, Women In Business|0 Comments

Multiple Ventures? How to Best Structure your Multi-Brand Business

775_4297457I’m always in awe of the many talents of today’s entrepreneur…the wedding photographer who also writes children’s books, the copy editor who sells homemade soap, and the stay-at-home mom who doubles as a part-time caterer and jewelry designer. Today’s creative professionals often find themselves making income through a creative patchwork of diverse interests and talents.

Take Sue as an example. She recently called into the office with no fewer than five ventures. She has been selling children’s clothing, handbags, and craft supplies on Etsy. After a few solid years on Etsy, Sue was now ready to take the next step and launch her own websites outside of Etsy, as well as expand into handmade paper goods and home décor. Continue reading “Multiple Ventures? How to Best Structure your Multi-Brand Business” »

By | August 24th, 2012|Choosing A Business Structure|7 Comments

Home Office Rules for Smarties!

728_4610511Recently, I was chatting with a friend who was lamenting, wishing, and hoping that she worked from home rather than an office.  I assured her that she should be VERY careful for what she wished for….Home offices are not always what they are cracked up to be!

Home offices are sort of like out-of-town visitors who never seem to leave, an over-bearing mother-in-law with never-ending opinions, or that nagging zit that just will not seem to go away.

While it is very convenient when my kids are home sick or off school for conference day, when it is pouring rain, or I am having a bad hair day, a home office has its very own downfalls.  It can be like a black hole.

A place where you get sucked into and cannot seem to find your way out EVER.

First and foremost, it is extremely hard to set boundaries with a home office similar to an overbearing mother-in-law.  When you decide to venture into another part of the house, you may feel your home office pulling at you to come in its confines.

Second, you have to make and get your own coffee.  Now, I know most of you do that anyway in your ‘offices,’ but who doesn’t want someone to bring them coffee?  Forget the corner office with the view, I just want a hot, steaming cup of joe brought to my desk on request.  One can dream. Continue reading “Home Office Rules for Smarties!” »

Asset Protection 101: What is an LLC?

257_2701929In my previous post, I spoke of the potential risks involved in real estate investment – namely, the risk that your personal assets are vulnerable should you be sued by a tenant or property guest. There are measures you can take to prevent such a scenario from playing out. 

The LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a popular asset protection vehicle for real estate investors. It essentially forms a wall that shields individual owners from personal liability. In addition to this personal liability protection, the LLC can also offer tax advantages and other benefits.

So what is an LLC? It’s a hybrid of a partnership and corporation. It’s considered to be a “Separate Legal Entity.” In fact, a properly formed and maintained LLC will have both a state-certified filing date and an IRS-issued Tax ID Number (similar to an individual’s birth date and social security number).

The following example illustrates the LLC’s liability protection. Let’s say you have XYZ LLC that holds title to a vacation rental property. A guest falls from the balcony and the court awards a multi-million dollar judgment to the plaintiff. The defendant in this case is XYZ LLC, not you. And the judgment can be collected only from XYZ LLC’s assets, and not from your own personal assets. You may end up losing your investment in the property owned by XYZ LLC, but your other properties, your savings account, and any other investments are all safe.

Setting up an LLC is a relatively easy task. You can either contact your attorney or use a legal document filing service such as CorpNet.com(R) to file the necessary forms with your state’s Secretary of State. Continue reading “Asset Protection 101: What is an LLC?” »

Now that I’ve Incorporated…What’s Next?

740_3681478The most frequently asked questions AFTER incorporation

Over the course of my career, I’ve helped over hundreds of thousands of small business owners incorporate a business or form and LLC. And certainly there are many questions leading up to the process, such as…what type of business should I form? What’s the difference between a C Corporation and an S Corporation? But I’ve also found there can be just as many questions after incorporating a business or forming an LLC.

I’ve put together some of the more commonly asked questions to help you navigate life after the incorporation or LLC formation process:

I used to be a sole proprietor and I had a Federal Tax ID number. Do I need to get a new Federal Tax ID number now that I’ve incorporated/formed an LLC?

The answer here is yes. An LLC or corporation is its own separate entity (remember an LLC or Corp can sue, be sued, get a loan…) and as such, it needs its own federal tax ID number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Think of business formation like the birth of child. Once a child is born, it needs its own social security number. The same holds true for your business. Continue reading “Now that I’ve Incorporated…What’s Next?” »

By | July 28th, 2012|Business Checklists, Startups|0 Comments

Starting a Home-based Business?

 

397_4206639One of the nice things about starting your own business is the number of options that exist. You don’t necessarily have to rent an office, or even commute to work.  If you want to be an entrepreneur, there are many businesses that can be run right from your home. Even if you don’t have a particular business in mind but do know that you simply want – or need – to work from home, ideas abound.

You might have a hobby or talent that can become the basis for a home business. Or perhaps you’ve got skills from a previous career that can turn a profit for you now.

What Type of Business Should I Start?

Here’s a QuickTip:  Make a list of all of your past jobs. Go all the way back to the part-time housecleaning job you had in high school. Then list the skills that each job required. You might be surprised to see just how varied your skill set is. Now list your hobbies and interests. If you notice a theme – maybe you worked in a bakery during college, and later your coworkers raved about the cookies you brought to the office every week – that might be a good idea for your business.

To help you along, consider these categories of jobs that are especially well-suited to home businesses. Maybe one will spark an idea for you. Continue reading “Starting a Home-based Business?” »

CorpNet.com: Helping Entrepreneurs Start New Businesses Online!

Nellie Akalp is a savvy entrepreneur, wife, and mother of four (inlcuding a newborn). As the CEO of CorpNet.com, she runs a small business that helps guide entrepreneurs and small business owners through the process of starting a business, incorporating a business, and filing business-critical legal documentation with an easy and cost-effective online service.

“With the downturn in the job market, more people are starting new businesses to take control of their own destiny and create opportunities for themselves,” says Nellie. “But the process of incorporating a business can be intimidating. A lot of people might not understand the legal requirements, or they might wonder, ‘Am I doing this right?’ CorpNet makes it easy. We take it off the ‘to-do list’ of our clients.”

If you want to start and grow a business in a way that complies with state laws and protects your personal assets, CorpNet gives free consultations to help choose the right business structure and file all the necessary paperwork. “You don’t need to hire an attorney to incorporate a business,” says Nellie. “CorpNet gives you a much less expensive way to start your business and comply with the specific requirements of whatever state you’re in.”

Nellie offers these four big reasons to incorporate your business: Continue reading “CorpNet.com: Helping Entrepreneurs Start New Businesses Online!” »

By | June 30th, 2012|Choosing A Business Structure, Starting a Business|1 Comment

Taming Your Home Office During Summer

As a mom in business, getting and staying organized is an ongoing theme.  From planning my week on Sunday night to scheduling in fitness to making sure everyone gets home from school to planning for an upcoming conference, my daily life runs like an airplane flight plan.  During the summer, hyper-planning and knowing where everything is located IS even more critical otherwise life begins to looks like one big circus.

When summer hits, our lives as mom (dad) – preneurs  and professional women (and men) get turned upside down, and we adjust our routines to allow for different pickup and drop off times along with wanting to enjoy some summer fun with our kids.  Unfortunately, somewhere in between basketball camp, swimming, and a myriad of important conference calls, my home office took a turn for the worse. 

The first sign was my desk.  I could not find what I needed when I needed it and wasted a good bit of time looking and searching.  The second sign was lost sleep over trying to remember which pile of papers was which.  The third and final sign was when I went into my closet to grab something off my normally tidy shelves and my CorpNet.com Binder (also know as a corporation or an LLC kit)fell on my toe.  OUCH.  If you have received a binder from CorpNet, you know what I mean.  Those suckers are big, heavy, and full of great info and ways to keep your paperwork together, but do not feel so great when they land on your foot. Continue reading “Taming Your Home Office During Summer” »