Sole Proprietorship

The Accountant’s Role in Business Formation

How much do you value your accountant? If you answered “plenty!” then you’re in good company. According to a survey* by Wasp Barcode Technologies, small business owners ranked accountants as the most important professional to their businesses. Not surprisingly, when asked how familiar the business owners are with accounting functions, most answered in the middle range. Most business owners would never attempt to file their business taxes without the help of an expert accountant, so why wouldn’t you turn to your accountant for help with business formation, too? Most business owners hire an accountant for taxes and accounts [...]

Hit Hard With 2017 Taxes? It’s Time To Change Your Legal Structure for 2018

It seems like you just got your business taxes handled for 2017, and now you must start worrying about 2018 taxes. That’s because the tax reforms signed into law last December under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will most definitely affect your business taxes—and possibly your company’s legal structure as well. And you might be wondering how to avoid a hit like that in the future.  Maybe it’s time to change your business legal structure. If you’re self-employed and operating as a sole proprietor, I suggest exploring if a change in legal structure might provide some tax relief [...]

2018-05-09T06:15:45+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Categories: Ongoing Management and Protection|Tags: , , , |

How to Budget as a Freelancer

Creating a budget as a freelancer shouldn’t be any harder than it is for any other small business. And yet, the rollercoaster ride of finding and keeping clients, collecting invoices, marketing your business and juggling all of this yourself can create major budgeting headaches. Income predictability is a challenge unique to freelancers, according to a recent survey by Upwork and Freelancers Union. Fortunately, there are many simple steps you can take better learn how to budget as a freelancer. Step 1: Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate Even if you used personal assets to start your freelance business, [...]

2018-01-18T06:19:50+00:00 February 15th, 2018|Categories: Ongoing Management and Protection|Tags: , , , , |

Benefits of an S-Corporation

Incorporating is one of our favorite services, not only for the tax savings it provides those who are self-employed, but also for the asset protection it offers those with passive real estate investments or one-off productions in the entertainment industry. Before we dive into the benefits of an S-Corporation, let’s first understand each type of business entity: S-Corporation: Entity used to assist self-employed individuals transition from small to medium sized business structure. Only entity that allows the self-employed to reduce social security and Medicare tax (SE tax). An S-Corporation can also be an LLC electing to be taxed [...]

2018-01-09T06:13:59+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Categories: Startup and Launch|Tags: , , , , , , |

Closing Down a Business – The 12 Steps of Corporate Dissolution

You're not the first owner to consider closing down a business and you certainly won't be the last. But it is a big decision and one that should be taken lightly. Regardless of your final decision, you need to prepare yourself for the necessary steps involved in the process. Closing down a business requires a certain process be followed. This process is just as important as the steps required to start a business. I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ Thomas A Edison 12 Effective Steps for Closing Down a Business 1. Admit [...]

What Is a Fictitious Name?

What Is a fictitious name? A fictitious name is a name other than your proper legal business entity name that you formally get permission from the state (or county) to use when conducting business. You may also see a fictitious business name referred to as a “Doing Business As” (DBA), “assumed name,” or “trade name.” Throughout this post, I will use the terms “fictitious name” and “DBA” interchangeably. At CorpNet, we help business owners throughout the United States file DBAs. Fictitious names can benefit businesses of all types—from sole proprietorships to LLCs to corporations. At CorpNet, we help [...]

Breaking Down Business Entity Types

One of the most important steps you’ll need to make when starting your business is reviewing business entity types and deciding which one you should choose for your company. The structure you pick will affect your business from legal and tax obligation standpoints. That’s why it pays to understand the various business entity types—and the potential advantages and downsides of each. I recommend talking with a business attorney and accounting professional for guidance. In the meantime, I’m going to share some information about the most commonly used business structures to give you a head start in furthering your [...]

Back to School and Back to Business: Legal Checklist for Entrepreneurs

This time of year is a rite of passage for any student and parent, but it also signals that we’ve entered the home stretch of the year. We want to make sure that small businesses end the year with success! That’s why we put together a back-to-school legal checklist for entrepreneurs. Instead of hitting the books this fall, small business owners should take the time to make sure their legal and administrative obligations are in order. The Legal Checklist for Entrepreneurs 1. Incorporate or Change your Business Structure Many small businesses start out as a sole proprietorship or [...]

How to Legally Structure Your Business To Secure Financing

All the pieces of your entrepreneurial dream are finally falling into place. You have a name for your business, a product or service that makes you super excited, and you’ve even started noodling designs and logos. Before you can go much further, however, you’re going to need funding. And in order to get funding, you will need to decide what type of structure is best for your business: a sole proprietorship DBA (doing business as); a C corporation or S corporation; a professional limited liability company (PLLC) or a limited liability company (LLC). Let’s take a look at [...]

How To Choose And Legally Use Your Business Name

The name you choose for your business will be one of your most powerful and valuable assets. As one of the primary ways customers distinguish you from your competitors, your business name wields a lot of power. The right name can help propel you to success; the wrong name can put you at a disadvantage. Besides choosing a business name that: Projects how you want people to view your business (e.g., edgy, professional, high-tech, academic, approachable, etc.) Makes it easy for customers to identify what you do. Is simple enough to be memorable. I encourage you to have [...]

2017-11-20T11:17:30+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Categories: Startup and Launch|Tags: , , , , |

S Corporation Election Deadline Is Almost Here: What You Need To Know

If you’ve legally established your business as a C Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) that has elected to be viewed as a corporation for tax purposes, you have the option of filing IRS Form 2553 to get S Corporation tax treatment. Why would you want to do so, you ask? Because it could make a big impact on your business’s bottom line. The Potential Advantage for LLCs LLC owners who find themselves with a high self-employment tax burden might benefit from choosing the S Corp election. LLCs are normally taxed like sole proprietorships—with all business profits subject [...]

2018-02-23T07:16:54+00:00 March 2nd, 2017|Categories: Ongoing Management and Protection|Tags: , , , , , |

Starting a Part-Time Business

So you’re not ready to quit your “day job,” but you want to launch a business? Many entrepreneurs dip their toes to test the waters by starting a part-time business. In some ways, it’s the best of both worlds; you pursue your dream of business ownership while still bringing home a steady paycheck. 4 Steps for Starting a Part-Time Business Off Right Although there are some considerations unique to starting a business part-time, you’ll find other aspects are the same as when starting a company full-time. For example, you have to take the necessary steps to operate your [...]

2017-10-04T08:40:30+00:00 January 11th, 2017|Categories: Startup and Launch|Tags: , , , , , , |

Ready Or Not – Is Your Business Prepared For 2017?

Congratulations on what I hope has been another prosperous year for your business! With 2016 coming to a close, now is the time to reflect on your successes and what you still need to do to make sure you’re set to make the upcoming year better than ever. Do you have all of your business’s end-of-year responsibilities wrapped up? Here’s a list of questions I recommend you ask yourself, so you can identify what you still need to take care of before the New Year begins: Have you organized all your accounting and tax records? Tax time can [...]

Should I Incorporate Now or At The Beginning Of The Year?

So you want to change your business structure from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or a corporation? Great! But you might be wondering if you should incorporate now and make the change, or wait to file your paperwork until the New Year. If you’re one of those hyper-organized people, like me, you probably love the idea of having a neat and tidy January 1 effective date. After all, who wants to deal with filing two sets of tax forms—one for the period of time in this year when you operated as a sole proprietor and another for [...]

2017-09-27T09:40:52+00:00 November 24th, 2016|Categories: Startup and Launch|Tags: , , , , , |

Running Your Business: Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

With school back in session, students of all ages are learning new things—and discovering how much they don’t know in the process. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or long-time business owner, one thing is certain: like the kids who are back to school, you always have room to learn and grow. As I’ve learned and grown as a business owner, one of my favorite phrases has become, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” How true, right? It’s far too easy to fool ourselves into thinking we really know all there is to know. But the truth is [...]

CorpNet FAQs – Business Licenses

As an online legal document filing service that helps entrepreneurs with an array of startup needs, we get asked a ton of questions from our clients about various topics. We decided to start sourcing these questions and create a new blog post series for our readers, as some of you may be wondering the same thing but haven’t found the answer elsewhere. Today we are launching our new FAQ series starting on the topic of business licenses. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions on the popular topic followed by answers from our CEO Nellie Akalp. [...]

2017-12-20T11:10:19+00:00 August 2nd, 2016|Categories: Startup and Launch|Tags: , , |

Legal Steps to Start a Business & Special Offer

So you have an idea and want to get that business off the ground - congratulations!! When planning the steps to start your business, there are some legal aspects you don’t want to overlook. These steps may not be the most glamorous parts of starting a business, but you want to make sure the business is set up properly from the start to avoid issues down the road. Here are my must-do steps to legally start a business followed by a special offer on CorpNet.com services: 1. Choose a Business Name Have an ideal name in mind for [...]

2017-09-28T06:14:09+00:00 July 26th, 2016|Categories: Startup and Launch|Tags: , , , , , |

Can A Corporation Be A Member Of An LLC?

Starting and running a business as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) offers some advantages to business owners who want liability protection, taxation flexibility, and credibility without complexity. Next to a sole proprietorship, it’s the business legal structure that’s least complicated and void of cumbersome formality. But if you’ve already incorporated a business, can that entity be a member of your LLC? And what could that accomplish for you? Yes! Your Corporation Can Be A Member of Your LLC All states allow for other types of business entities (not only individuals) to serve as members of LLCs. Generally, there [...]

2017-11-22T14:31:04+00:00 June 23rd, 2016|Categories: Startup and Launch|Tags: , , |

Nellie in the News – May 2016

It’s officially summer time here in Westlake Village, CA where the CorpNet offices are located. Many of us hit up the beach this past weekend and had our first ocean swim of the season! We had a great month helping entrepreneurs incorporate a business, form an LLC, file a DBA and more across all 50 states. Our CEO Nellie Akalp also had another great month sharing her expert tips and advice across many podcasts and blogs. Check out some press highlights below! Want Nellie to speak at your next event or share her tips on your podcast? Contact [...]

2017-09-12T11:29:20+00:00 May 31st, 2016|Categories: Nellie in the News|Tags: , |

Business Name Registration Or Trademark: Which Is Best?

One of the most valuable assets your business will ever have is its name. Your business name is more than what your company is called—it represents your brand’s identity and it’s a way for you to distinguish yourself from your competition. With your business name carrying that much weight, it makes sense to protect it. As you start your business, consider these two approaches to prevent other companies from using your name and confusing your customers: Business Name Registration If you form an LLC or apply to incorporate a business in a state, your business name is automatically [...]