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Old 03-22-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default Small business bs thread

I know a lot of you on here have your own business and could probably share a good amount of information with us looking to start one.

Today was my official first step in that I now have an accountant. Corporate tax network is the company I chose, as recommended by legalzoom.

I'm in the process of working with legalzoom to setup the LLC, although I've been on the fence about dba or llc for the past couple days. I'm thinking llc is the way to go for what I'm looking to do.

I have to say, this is the most stressful and confusing thing I've ever done in my life, but I'm hoping it'll all be worth it in the end.

Lets make this a thread that we can talk anything small business, as I know there's always something new to learn.
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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lol @ paying taxes.
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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lol @ paying taxes.
Starting this year, for the first time, banks and other financial institutions will have to report merchant transactions. This includes PayPal.

I make my money 4 different ways till Sunday, but unfortunately what goes through PayPal will now be reported. If I keep myself in the hobby bracket I'll never know the true potential I feel I have.

So can anyone recommend a good virtual phone service? I was recommended to http://www.ringcentral.com/plansandp..._referrer=null by someone local. Seems like not enough mins though.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:39 PM   #4
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How much legalzoom charging you?
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:26 PM   #5
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I incorporated last fall - gave me some security "if" I was sued to point of business bankruptcy (does not exclude criminal suits) it would protect my family, house, etc... you're doing right by on-line lawyers (?), the real ones cost me $2K - was a lot of talk...

I learned A LOT, almost to a point of thinking why the hell did I do this? Have to issue myself 1099s at end of Jan, have to submit corporate taxes by Mar 15th, then I have to submit my personal taxes in April.... freaking hate taxes. I still have trouble keeping personal purchases separate from the business account... yeah, I needed that Xida setup for the Excursion This first year was kinda screwed up since I was partially DBA, and the other half Inc.... lucky me, my father in law is a CPA, who handled it all for me - but I still had to sit down and cruch numbers = no fun.

My reason for Going Inc. vs LLC was the number game. In an Inc business, you can roughly take 60% of business profits and pay it to yourself which you pay FICA and taxes on it... the other 40% can stay with the business and just pay taxes on it - not FICA.
Hell - I'm still learning this game, esp with taxes - but every dam nut and bolt that can be remotely tied to the business is written off - unless the reciept says Tracksport LLC or something like that.... might be tough to right off that new OSG for the truck during an audit.

As far as the phone thing - I use Charter business internet with a static IP and voice... not that I use it, just as a fax machine... $105/mo

Last edited by GeneSplicer; 03-23-2012 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:59 AM   #6
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Make sure that LLC is the right choice for you before jumping on the LLC bandwagon. In most cases corporation will be MUCH more beneficial. I would strongly suggest talking to your accountant about what entity you should choose based on what type of business you are planning to do and what type of transactions you are dealing with.

Another suggestion is not to use LegalZoom. There is absolutely no reason you should be paying them to fill out papers and send them to the county. The process of starting a business is actually very straight forward (as long as you read forms carefully) and if you want to save as much as you can - do it yourself.

Do not, under any circumstances, sign up for anything extra that LegalZoom will try selling you on. You will just waste your money on random ---- that you will never use/require.

Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll be glad to help with whatever I can
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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How much legalzoom charging you?
I'm still in the works of figuring everything out. At first it started around $300ish, but that's probably doubled since then. Not much by any means.

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Originally Posted by GeneSplicer View Post
I incorporated last fall - gave me some security "if" I was sued to point of business bankruptcy (does not exclude criminal suits) it would protect my family, house, etc... you're doing right by on-line lawyers (?), the real ones cost me $2K - was a lot of talk...

I learned A LOT, almost to a point of thinking why the hell did I do this? Have to issue myself 1099s at end of Jan, have to submit corporate taxes by Mar 15th, then I have to submit my personal taxes in April.... freaking hate taxes. I still have trouble keeping personal purchases separate from the business account... yeah, I needed that Xida setup for the Excursion This first year was kinda screwed up since I was partially DBA, and the other half Inc.... lucky me, my father in law is a CPA, who handled it all for me - but I still had to sit down and cruch numbers = no fun.

My reason for Going Inc. vs LLC was the number game. In an Inc business, you can roughly take 60% of business profits and pay it to yourself which you pay FICA and taxes on it... the other 40% can stay with the business and just pay taxes on it - not FICA.
Hell - I'm still learning this game, esp with taxes - but every dam nut and bolt that can be remotely tied to the business is written off - unless the reciept says Tracksport LLC or something like that.... might be tough to right off that new OSG for the truck during an audit.

As far as the phone thing - I use Charter business internet with a static IP and voice... not that I use it, just as a fax machine... $105/mo
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanSoot View Post
Make sure that LLC is the right choice for you before jumping on the LLC bandwagon. In most cases corporation will be MUCH more beneficial. I would strongly suggest talking to your accountant about what entity you should choose based on what type of business you are planning to do and what type of transactions you are dealing with.

Another suggestion is not to use LegalZoom. There is absolutely no reason you should be paying them to fill out papers and send them to the county. The process of starting a business is actually very straight forward (as long as you read forms carefully) and if you want to save as much as you can - do it yourself.

Do not, under any circumstances, sign up for anything extra that LegalZoom will try selling you on. You will just waste your money on random ---- that you will never use/require.

Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll be glad to help with whatever I can
Thanks for the advice guys! Anything and everything you can share helps.

To be honest, I'm not really sure what will be the right entity for me, all I know is I want it to work best for me, rather than anyone else. hint hint

My next scheduled meeting with the accountant is this coming Monday, so I plan on asking him what he thinks before doing anything further with legalzoom.

I'm choosing them only because I dont have the time myself to run around and paper push. I have people up the *** waiting for me to do a hundred different things, plus on days like today I'm down at the shop for the concrete company, so my time is really limited.

I guess I figure if it'll cost me $1000 or so to get up and running and all I have to do is make phone calls or sign papers, then its worth it. Hopefully I can keep money coming in and pay that ---- right off without having to worry about it as an extra expense. I'll just work extra hard one week is all.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GeneSplicer View Post
I incorporated last fall - gave me some security "if" I was sued to point of business bankruptcy (does not exclude criminal suits) it would protect my family, house, etc... you're doing right by on-line lawyers (?), the real ones cost me $2K - was a lot of talk...
---- you 1%er. you slimy scum. how dare you protect yourself and your family.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:55 AM   #9
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We went the INC route. I'm not sure why but LLC has always turned me off when dealing with a company. INC sounds more professional and that is how I wanted to be known. I think I paid around $350 for it but that was in 1991. My lawyer ended up being disbarred due to tax evasion (IIRC). In the end I stopped submitting any tax stuff or whatnot and the state dissolved my corporation around 2003.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #10
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My past 2 businesses were LLC (including current business - Killer Beaver, LLC). It makes things easier when you are trying to get up and running as fast as you can and requires less paperwork in general. Biggest draw-back is taxation when you start making over $500k/year and the damned $800/year LLC tax.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by UrbanSoot View Post
My past 2 businesses were LLC (including current business - Killer Beaver, LLC). It makes things easier when you are trying to get up and running as fast as you can and requires less paperwork in general. Biggest draw-back is taxation when you start making over $500k/year and the damned $800/year LLC tax.
I know if I was bringing in over $500k a year, $800 a year for "whatever" tax wouldn't bother me one bit.

After talking with multiple people about the business and the way it works, I've been advised to go with an LLC to start up. If and when profits start getting up there, then I will probably turn to a c-corp.

I'm excited to finally be taking the plunge but super nervous at the same time. I cant wait to actually start advertising, making shirts, getting a radio ad, etc etc.

I'll be sure to keep you guys informed of my progress and if I have any questions I'll post em up.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vashthestampede View Post
I know if I was bringing in over $500k a year, $800 a year for "whatever" tax wouldn't bother me one bit.

After talking with multiple people about the business and the way it works, I've been advised to go with an LLC to start up. If and when profits start getting up there, then I will probably turn to a c-corp.

I'm excited to finally be taking the plunge but super nervous at the same time. I cant wait to actually start advertising, making shirts, getting a radio ad, etc etc.

I'll be sure to keep you guys informed of my progress and if I have any questions I'll post em up.
I wasn't talking about the LLC tax, I was talking about K1 (profit share) vs. W-4 + K1. With a corp you have to put yourself on W4 and whatever is left over at the end of the quarter/year goes over K1. K1 on corp is not a subject for a self-employment tax, where in LLC it is. Government gets you on W4 taxes though and when you have a corp, your W4 has to be within a "reasonable" salary for whatever the ---- you are doing

So, in my position (if I were making $500k/year and had a corp) I would have to pay myself around $150k over W4 (reasonable low-end salary for someone in my position) and the rest could go over K1. Given this scenario I would be paying taxes on whatever my W4 shows, and not the whole sum. In LLC, everything goes over K1 so I would be paying taxes on the whole amount.

Of course I'm oversimplifying everything and in reality there is a crapload of other things to consider but I think you get the point.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:04 AM   #13
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I wasn't talking about the LLC tax, I was talking about K1 (profit share) vs. W-4 + K1. With a corp you have to put yourself on W4 and whatever is left over at the end of the quarter/year goes over K1. K1 on corp is not a subject for a self-employment tax, where in LLC it is. Government gets you on W4 taxes though and when you have a corp, your W4 has to be within a "reasonable" salary for whatever the ---- you are doing

So, in my position (if I were making $500k/year and had a corp) I would have to pay myself around $150k over W4 (reasonable low-end salary for someone in my position) and the rest could go over K1. Given this scenario I would be paying taxes on whatever my W4 shows, and not the whole sum. In LLC, everything goes over K1 so I would be paying taxes on the whole amount.

Of course I'm oversimplifying everything and in reality there is a crapload of other things to consider but I think you get the point.
Yeah. That was one of the topics of discussion we went over yesterday. She went over the pros and cons of both, giving me a few examples and showing me why an LLC would be a better fit for me to start up with.

Today I'm going to shop around for pricing on a sign for the shop. I want to get something smaller for the front of the shop so the trucks know where to come for pickups and maybe something bigger by the road with the eBay logo to get people's attention.

Hopefully the sign place does t-shirts and vehicle graphics too, cause I need that down the road not only for myself but for the concrete biz as well.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:05 AM   #14
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Given this scenario I would be paying taxes on whatever my W4 shows, and not the whole sum. In LLC, everything goes over K1 so I would be paying taxes on the whole amount.
From what I gathered, $100K/yr was kinda the tipping point for LLC vs Inc, and so for tax reasons, going S-corp put me ahead tax-wise, should I make over $100K - which I certainly hope too. Gotta buy all them flat screen TVs to the welfare non-working class, b/c as Brain said - I AM the 1%!


BTW, I learned that giving rides to my customers in my car on track as a promo event, lets me write off some of the costs of tracking a car. Hmmm... I see $200 in fuel, cost of the weekend, a set of Hoosiers... I think a new turbo is required as well - for that wekend
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #15
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Just to get a little off topic, what are you guys doing for personal health insurance. I own two businesses, a inc, and a sole proprietorship, franchise and neither offer any type of health care. I'm into almost $1200 a month for two people and the coverage is not all that good. Sometimes I miss a paycheck and a 401k and insurance.....

If this is too far off topic move it.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:38 PM   #16
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Just to get a little off topic, what are you guys doing for personal health insurance. I own two businesses, a inc, and a sole proprietorship, franchise and neither offer any type of health care. I'm into almost $1200 a month for two people and the coverage is not all that good. Sometimes I miss a paycheck and a 401k and insurance.....

If this is too far off topic move it.
Not off topic at all! I need to know this myself as well.

My broken hand ordeal was like $25k after the surgeries, pt, rx's, etc. If that was to happen to me now and I had no insurance to cover it, I'd be fucked.

Its been over a year now without any at all.

Meanwhile, I know plenty of people getting unemployment checks AND state insurance......but we'll save that for another thread. lol
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #17
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When I was buying my own insurance I shopped around online. It was something like $55 a month, but I had a $5k a year deductible with an HSA. So the first $5k each year was out of pocket. I figured that is easily worth it to have cheaper insurance otherwise. I was single and 23 at the time. So that probably helped with costs.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:20 PM   #18
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Not off topic at all! I need to know this myself as well.

My broken hand ordeal was like $25k after the surgeries, pt, rx's, etc. If that was to happen to me now and I had no insurance to cover it, I'd be fucked.

Its been over a year now without any at all.

Meanwhile, I know plenty of people getting unemployment checks AND state insurance......but we'll save that for another thread. lol
I own a bar with give or take 15 waitresses. I filled out too many forms for my staff to get state aide due to the lack of money they make. $2.13 an hour is the federal wage but if they don't clame tips (like most dont) they are qualified for aide. Bullshit. When I have a few bad months and dont get a paycheck at all I dont get any help.

Your right that is a entire new thread!
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:38 PM   #19
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lol @ paying taxes.
This.

Vash what kind of business? It may be much more financially advantageous and logic for you to go sole proprietor.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #20
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When I was buying my own insurance I shopped around online. It was something like $55 a month, but I had a $5k a year deductible with an HSA. So the first $5k each year was out of pocket. I figured that is easily worth it to have cheaper insurance otherwise. I was single and 23 at the time. So that probably helped with costs.

wait a minute? as free americans we dont have access to free health insurance. i just assumed so. i need to go lobby congress like fluke.
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