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Starting Your Own Company

February 04, 2007

If you haven’t considered it yet, chances are you will at some point. It can be overwhelming at first (like most things), but hopefully this will help to get you going.


The Baiscs:

In my eyes there are really only two main types of companies. Those with liability protection and those without it. Some of the most common types of businesses with liability protection are Corporations (C Corp, S Corp, etc.) and Limited Liability Companies (a.k.a. LLC’s). Some common types of companies without liability protection are sole proprietors or a partnerships. The reason for liability protection (in case it isn’t obvious) is when something goes wrong, people sue the business and not you. This helps safeguard your assets like your house, car, life savings, etc.


Starting A Company Without Liability Protection

This type is the easiest to start. An afternoon and ~$100 is what you can expect for this kind of company. You simply go down to your county office and register for a “fictitious business license”. If you are in california you can go to the California Business Portal to locate the office in your country. Initially this will cost you about $40 and then you will have to pay another $25 to $50 to advertise your new business in some sort of newspaper or magazine.


Starting A Company With Liability Protection

This process is a little trickier and much more costly. But what did you expect in order to protect your assets? The easiest and also most popular way to start this type of company is to form a LLC. Costs will vary based on your state, but generally it will cost you ~$400 if you pay somebody to file for you. This will be cheaper if you file yourself, but you had better be good at reading legalese and remembering to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Lastly, in California you will have to pay $800 YEARLY to the Franchise Tax Board for the pleasure of doing business in California. Just in case you were thinking it…YES you still have to pay regardless of how much (or little) your companies makes.


Final Remarks:

If you’re thinking about forming a company without liability protection you had better think again or have a damn good reason. Just watch afternoon T.V. and you can see you ridiculous lawsuits can get. Also, in case you missed the blinking banner above I highly recommend BizFilings.com. I used them to form my LLC and had a very good experience. Even if you decide not to use them, you may still want to take a look at all the useful business information on their site.


What the future has in store

You can expect this site to change fairly regularly (probably a least once per week). I will be using it mostly as a way to centrally house my ideas and as a way to test new and/or exciting projects that I happen to be working on. If you'd like to see something on this site or have any sort of feedback please feel free to contact me.