Take the quiz to find out if you should consider sole proprietor, LLC, and corporation for your business.
Keep it simple.
As the easiest form of business to start, you can start operating as yourself anytime you want. The only paperwork you may need is a DBA (Doing Business As), which you'll file with your state or local government.
Maybe you have an idea for a business but aren’t sure how to make it a reality, or perhaps you’ve just found yourself bitten by the entrepreneurial bug!
Either way. It’s great that you’re exploring this passion.
Not every business owner has all the answers from day one. While every great business starts with an idea, any successful entrepreneur will tell you that hard work and dedication are needed to get things off the ground.
This business structure works well for those who don't have a lot of personal belongings, are very unlikely to be sued, and want to file as few forms as possible. If your biz is a side gig or you're only planning to run it for a year or two, then what are you waiting for?
The most important reason to form a business is to separate you from your business and help protect any assets. If your business gets sued, you could lose everything you personally own. If you're married, this includes your spouse's assets as well.
The next step? Do your research, land your first client, and hit the ground running.
Go get 'em!
* Disclaimer - I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. This answer is based on my experience working with small business owners and preparing tax returns. Your situation may be different.
Limited liability is your friend! Forming a limited liability company will separate you from your business in case anything bad happens. There are a few requirements to maintain that separation, but you're organized and can handle it. Plus, it looks more legit to your customers and vendors.One person or multiple people can own an LLC. It's easy to operate — basically the same as a sole proprietorship or a partnership.So… go out and create that LLC! Simply search your local or state government or follow the steps here.
To raise lots of capital, a C Corporation is your best legal form of business. You'll likely need to bring in investors or venture capitalist funding. You can also go public and access capital through the stock market.
A C-Corp is a flexible structure and can have different types of owners, like voting vs non-voting, and more than one class of stock. This makes it more appealing to outside investors to invest in your company.
Like an LLC, you have limited liability. Unless you do something negligent, your personal assets are safe.
When it comes to launching your own business, you really do mean business! You’ve put in all the hard work necessary and are willing to make major sacrifices for the idea you believe in.
You’re ready for your new life as an entrepreneur - all that’s left to do is launch!