Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you're going to cover those costs. Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money? If you're planning to leave your current job to focus on your business, do you have money put away to support yourself until you start making a profit? Find out how much you're going to need.
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Are you the person who all your friends and family call when they're trying to find a good restaurant, lawyer, plumber or gardener? If that's the case and you love referring them to all the lovely businesses you know of in your neighborhood, you could start a business doing just that. You'll be able to work with individuals and businesses, helping customers find what they want, and businesses gain more clients. To get started, you will need to:
Decide if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. A "member" of an LLC is either an owner of or investor in that LLC. A member-managed LLC affords each member equal rights in deciding how the business will be run. A manager-managed LLC is where the members elect several from their number to be responsible for the company's business affairs.
The governing document of the LLC is called an operating agreement, and it is within this document that the members lay out all important provisions, such as standards for LLC governance, ownership parameters, and rules around member changes (adding or removing members, or what happens in case of death or incapacity of a member). The operating agreement is an internal document and is an agreement amongst the members or owners, which means it is not recorded with the state.
Some businesses are prevented from forming an LLC, however. Typically financial companies such as banks, financial trust companies and insurance agencies can't file as an LLC. LLCs are sometimes limited for industries in certain states, too. For example, if you live in California, you can't form an LLC if you're an architect, accountant or licensed health care provider. Check out our LLC information by state for more details on your state.
"Be prepared to adjust," said Stephanie Murray, CEO and founder of Fiddlestix Candy Co. "There's a saying in the military that 'no plan survives the first contact' meaning that you can have the best plan in the world but as soon as it's in action, things change, and you have to be ready and willing to adapt and problem solve quickly. As an entrepreneur, your value lies in solving problems whether that is your product or service solving problems for other people or you solving problems within your organization."
A series LLC is a form of limited liability company that provides liability protection to multiple "series". Essentially, it's a master LLC with separate divisions, each protected and operating independently. As an entity, the series LLC is geared towards businesses where investors own multiple companies, with each series being protected from the debts and obligations of the other series. Currently, only several states support this option, including Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
Depending on how your business is structured, the amount of revenue your business earns, and several other factors, forming an LLC can provide potential tax benefits for business owners. LLCs are allowed to choose how they want to be taxed, either as an S corporation or C corporation. These options are not available when you are operating as a sole proprietorship. LLCs don't pay their own taxes directly, the income of the business its passed on to the members of the LLC through "pass through taxation." This means that a member is subject to self-employment taxes, but at higher levels of income, the LLC can often pay a lower base tax rate than a C Corporation. The best way to determine your potential tax benefits is to consult an accountant.
A partnership is a business relationship entered into by a formal agreement between two or more persons or corporations carrying on a business in common. The capital for a partnership is provided by the partners who are liable for the total debts of the firms and who share the profits and losses of the business concern according to the terms of the partnership agreement.
North Carolina a corporation must contain the word "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd."; a limited liability company must contain the words "limited liability company" or the abbreviation "L.L.C." or "LLC", or the combination "ltd. liability co.", "limited liability co.", or "ltd. liability company"; a limited partnership that is not a limited liability limited partnership must contain the words "limited partnership", the abbreviation "L.P." or "LP", or the combination "ltd. partnership"; a limited liability limited partnership must contain the words "registered limited liability limited partnership" or "limited liability limited partnership" or the abbreviation "L.L.L.P.", "R.L.L.L.P.", "LLLP", or "RLLLP"; a registered limited liability partnership's name must contain the words "registered limited liability partnership" or "limited liability partnership" or the abbreviation "L.L.P.", "R.L.L.P.", "LLP" or "RLLP". North Carolina General Statutes § 55D‑20
Arizona "association", "bank", "company", "corporation", "limited" or "incorporated" or an abbreviation of one of these words or the equivalent in a foreign language. Corporation may not use "bank", "deposit", "credit union", "trust" or "trust company" unless it also has a license to operate one. May not use "limited liability company" or "limited company" or the abbreviations "L.L.C.", "L.C.", "LLC", or "LC" § 10-401 Arizona Revised Statutes
Unlike in many other Western countries, Canadian businesses generally only have one form of incorporation available. Unlimited liability corporations can be formed in Alberta "AULC", British Columbia "BCULC" and Nova Scotia "NSULC". The aforementioned unlimited liability corporations are generally not used as operating business structures, but are instead used to create favorable tax positions for either Americans investing in Canada or vice versa. For U.S. tax purposes the ULC is classified as a disregarded entity.