An attorney is typically not required when starting a business. A business filing service such as Swyft Filings can help you streamline the formation process, and save you a great deal of time, effort, and money. However, if you are unsure of which business structure may be right for you, or you have questions regarding specific tax or organizational issues, it may be advisable to speak with an attorney or accountant before starting a new business.
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.
Having a eureka moment is great, but it can be hard to put that idea down on paper in a way that will speak to a potential investor. If you have owned your own business in the past or earned a business degree, why not help those with a eureka moment start something they love? Plan your fee around the various packages you are prepared to offer your clients. You can either:
The wedding industry is one that will most likely live in perpetuity. This is meant to be a special day for a couple, but often turns into a chore because of all the planning that comes with it. Because it is nearly impossible for brides and grooms to be able to enjoy the planning of their wedding, they often pay professionals to do it for them. If you have strong organizational skills, are communicative, pay attention to the little details, and love weddings, then you could set up shop from the comforts of your home. To get started and build a portfolio, offer your services to a friend or family member. From there, you can start charging other clients.
"Many people think they have a great idea and jump into launching their business without thinking through who their customers will be, or why these people should want to buy from or hire them," Desaulniers said. "Second, you need to clarify why you want to work with these customers – do you have a passion for making people's lives easier? Or enjoy creating art to bring color to their world? Identifying these answers helps clarify your mission. Third, you want to define how you will provide this value to your customer and how to communicate that value in a way that they are willing to pay."
In some places, dog walking alone can be a very profitable business. Those working from 9 to 5 either do not have time to walk their dogs before leaving the house or just prefer it if someone comes in to let them out of the house for some exercise. Also, dog walking businesses that offer additional services are becoming increasingly popular. Consider also offering:
"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."
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 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.
Limited liability companies allow for a large variety of management structures based on your specific needs. Management structures for S-Corps are largely dictated by state and federal law. Management schemas for C-Corps are largely dictated by state and federal law. NPOs need to follow strict management laws to guard their non-profit status. Since Sole Proprietorships have only one member, there is no management structure.
If the LLC will be Manager governed, an elected set of Managers (who can be people other than Members), will make the business decisions. Under this structure, the business will more closely resemble a traditional corporation, with the Managers acting as directors, and the owners acting as shareholders. If an LLC elects to be governed by Managers, this decision must be stated in the Articles of Organization.
Nevada No specific requirements stated except that a name appearing to be that of a natural person and containing a given name or initials must not be used as a corporate name except with an additional word or words such as "Incorporated", "Limited", "Inc.", "Ltd.", "Company", "Co.", "Corporation", "Corp.", or other word which identifies it as not being a natural person 78.035 Nevada Revised Statutes
Articles of organization are short, simple documents. In fact, you can usually prepare your own in just a few minutes by filling in the blanks and checking the boxes on a form provided by your state's filing office. Typically, you must provide only your LLC's name, its address, and sometimes the names of all of the owners -- called members. Generally, all of the LLC owners may prepare and sign the articles, or they can appoint just one person to do so.
Another option is to open a franchise of an established company. The concept, brand following and business model are already in place; all you need is a good location and the means to fund your operation. Regardless of which option you choose, it's vital to understand the reasoning behind your idea. Stephanie Desaulniers, director of operations and women's business programs at Covation Center, cautions entrepreneurs from writing a business plan or worrying about a business name before nailing down the idea's value.
If you need financial assistance, a commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these are often difficult to secure. If you are unable to take out a bank loan, you can apply for a small business loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternative lender. [See related story: Best Alternative Small Business Loans]
Another important component when you are determining how to form an LLC is the creation of an LLC operating agreement. While operating agreements are not required under state law when forming an LLC and do not have to be filed with the state, they are very important documents to create because they help you and any other members of the LLC organize your business, plan for the future, and put all pertinent facts in writing.
Oregon For private corporations it shall contain one or more of the words "corporation", "incorporated", "company" or "limited" or an abbreviation of one or more of those words; shall not contain the word "cooperative." For non-profit corporations there is no specific requirement except the name cannot imply a purpose not dictated in its articles of incorporation and cannot contain the word "cooperative" or the phrase "limited partnership." Oregon Revised Statutes 60.094 for Private Corporations; ORS 65.094 for Non-Profit corporations
When the dissolution filing becomes effective, the business may not carry out any activities except those appropriate to wind up and liquidate its affairs. You also must file the appropriate dissolution forms with the Department of Revenue, Department of Workforce Development and the Attorney General in order to avoid tax consequences and additional liabilities.
Private Limited Company: Liability, limited by shares; Name, cannot be deceptively similar to another registered company; Management, at least 1 director; Shareholders, limited to 1–50 excluding persons who are employed by company, prohibition against any invitation to the public to subscribe for shares; Founders, 1–50; Nationality, Nepalese company; Company purpose, any lawful purpose except industry on Negative List; Formation, file Memorandum and Articles of Association with Registrar of Companies.