Starting A New Small Business
If you’re a creative, I’m assuming the LAST thing you really want to think about are the administrative and legal side to your business. You just want to create! That’s just what you do.
And you may be thinking - “I’m not sure what I do is a ‘business.’” Girl, YES it is. If you love what you do and want to protect your content that you originated (even if you’re not being paid!) you need to start thinking of your services as a business.
When YOU start taking yourself seriously, other people will too.
Think of me as your virtual attorney friend - I’m here to help jump start your business and prevent your business from any trouble!
First Things First, Subscribe & Gain Access To The Legal Resource: "How To Legally Form & Setup a Small Business" - a quick 15 minute video that explains the legal and formal business process of starting your own small business.
Then, go through the following questions below to get started...
There are 5 questions you should answer "Yes" to before moving onto the Existing Business Page to learn how to grow your business.
Find those 5 questions below and work your way through all 5 linked pages as well to ensure you're setting your business up for success!
Starting a Small Business
DIY Small Business Kit
If you want to skip the free 15 minute consultation that we offer, the Business Starter Kit contains everything you need to know to start your own business - all on your own!
Inside the Kit you'll find:
How To Research & Plan
How To Form Your Business Entity
How To Apply For Federal & State Taxes
How To Manage Business Finances
How To Create An Online Shop
How To Get Insurance
How To Contract
Wanna skip the one-one-one? That's cool too!
You can go straight to downloading the Business Starter Kit!
1. Do I really need an Operating Agreement?
Yes. Certain businesses will require your Operating Agreement when contracting with your business, in order to ensure that you are indeed one of the named person(s) allowed to contract on behalf of the company. For example, when I started my first business when I signed our Leasing Agreement in the name of our company, we were required to show our leasing agent our Operating Agreement laying out that I was a signatory member. I was also required to show one of my non-profit’s Bylaws (which are what nonprofit Operating Agreements are called) as well as Board meeting minutes, when switching bank signatories.
2. I'm still on the fence, let’s go over the Pro’s of Forming Your Own Limited Liability Company (LLC). Okay!
An LLC provides for pass through taxation, which allows you to do your business taxes and personal taxes together (with the filing IRS Form 1065: Return of Partnership Income)
An LLC is also is easily transferable (which essentially means how liquid it is or how easily you can transfer) as your Operating Agreement will allow you to name successors and other member's ownership interests.
An LLC provides the best liability coverage outside of a Corporation and other super specific entities that you’d REALLY need an attorney to form.
An LLC is also super easy to form – if you know the right steps to take and the right forms to turn in.
2. Will I be protected with a DBA or Sole Prop?
No, both a DBA and a Sole Proprietorship do not have any sort of legal protections. This is a common misconception that I HATE! Always setup an LLC or an S Corp. Always. (And ask your CPA which one is best for you!)
3. What happens if I just DON'T setup a formal business structure?
In most places, if you do not setup any type of business entity and you just start selling products – you default to a sole proprietorship or a DBA. This is bad because all assets and liability are in the name of the owner personally – not the company. That means if your business gets in any sort of trouble, say someone slips and falls, the person suing can come after you personally and can collect on the assets in your personal name (including your personal bank accounts and possibly your home).
To answer this question, ask yourself the following:
· Do you collect any sort of website data?;
· Do you collect any information from children?;
· Do you do any sort of email marketing?;
· Do you sell any products on your website?;
· Do you sell to California Residents?; or
· Do you sell to residents of the EU?
5. Why do I need a Terms & Conditions?
6. Will you review contracts for me?
Yes! Absolutely! I also do custom contract work as well! You can learn more about this here.
7. Will you help me form my business entity?
Yup! You betcha. You can learn more about this here.