After you've completed the steps described above, your LLC is official. But before you open your doors for business, you need to obtain the licenses and permits that all new businesses must have to operate. These may include a business license (sometimes also referred to as a "tax registration certificate"), a federal employer identification number, a sellers' permit, or a zoning permit. For more on business licenses and permits, see the Licenses & Permits for Your Business area of Nolo's website.
For federal tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service has separate entity classification rules. Under the tax rules, an entity may be classified as a corporation, a partnership, a cooperative or a disregarded entity. A corporation may be taxed as either a C corporation or elect to be treated as a Subchapter S corporation. A disregarded entity has one owner (or a married couple as owner) that is not recognized for tax purposes as an entity separate from its owner. Types of disregarded entities include single-member LLCs; qualified sub-chapter S subsidiaries and qualified real estate investment trust subsidiaries. A disregarded entity's transparent tax status does not affect its status under state law. For example, for federal tax purposes, a sole-member LLC (SMLLC) is disregarded, so that all its assets and liabilities are treated as owned by its single member. But under state law, an SMLLC can contract in its own name and its owner is generally not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the entity. To be recognized as a Cooperative for tax purposes Cooperatives must follow certain rules under Sub Chapter T of the Internal Revenue Code.
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For businesses in industries like construction or real estate, where unforeseen circumstances and hazardous conditions may hold the owner responsible, consider starting an LLC. The protection gained means you will not be held personally liable, protecting you and your family from litigation or the debts of the business. An LLC may not be the best choice for business owners who plan on raising capital through outside investment. LLCs are not public structures and do not have shareholders, so taking a company public is not an option either. However, in the event that you'd like to take your business public you may switch to a public legal structure, like a C corporation, later on.
"A lot of startups tend to spend money on unnecessary things," said Jean Paldan, founder and CEO of Rare Form New Media. "We worked with a startup that had two employees but spent a huge amount on office space that would fit 20 people. They also leased a professional high-end printer that was more suited for a team of 100 (it had keycards to track who was printing what and when). Spend as little as possible when you start and only on the things that are essential for the business to grow and be a success. Luxuries can come when you're established."
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: