6.18.2008

roadmaps: the business structure.



It's Roadmaps time! For those of you who are new to Roadmaps, check out this post where I introduce the meaning behind the shenanigans. And then, check out these posts to get all caught up so we're on the same page... err, screen.

Deal?



For everyone else, it's go time. I've been dragging my heels on this post because, well, it's not the funnest step of business planning. When you think of setting the groundwork for your business, you think of the pretty parts, like decorating your store, planning your site and/or merchandising your product.

You probably don't think of selecting your business structure, and if you do, then wow--- you're mighty nerdy. Which is fine, because, well, so am I.

Anyway. I'm going to break this down as easily as possible so we can get through this quickly and as pain-free as possible. Like ripping off a Band-Aid. Ready?

RIP.

Good news first. If you take the time to select the right business structure for you, the next few steps will be smooth sailing. Bad news? If you don't, your biz may suffer a bit of a shaky foundation. You wouldn't build a house on sand, so don't build your biz on the unknown. Take the time to research this part and then we can move on to the fun stuff. Like that whole making money part.

RIP.

There are four main types of business structures that I think the majority of you will be selecting from:

1. Sole Proprietorship
2. Partnership
3. Corporation
4. Limited Liability Company

To keep things simple, I've prepared a worksheet for you to print that outlines the basics of each of these, along with pros and cons for you to consider.


[click to read & enlarge]

RIP.

These are the most basic structures, and my guess is that few of you will need to venture outside of these four entities. In fact, the majority of you will probably fall into the LLC category, which is a very smart business solution if you want to keep your company small, but reap the benefits of a larger and more flexible corporation.

For more information on the LLC and how to file, visit this page.
And as always, email me for any questions you may have! The best resource that I've found for the legal aspects of business is the Small Business Administration, and if you haven't been there yet, go now.

RIP.

See? That wasn't so bad, was it? I promise next time will be funner. ;)

12 comments:

aimee said...

i.love.this. the whole roadmap concept. building the bones of your business may not be the most fun part, but it's one of the most important. kudos for knowing where you're going!

Krissy said...

Yay, another roadmap! I really love these. Thanks so much for all the effort you put into helping your readers. It means so much, Erin. You're the best :)

Chelsea said...

Such a great series for the itsy bitsy businesses sprouting up. Something I could have used about 6 years ago:)

design for mankind. said...

So glad I could help, even if this is the most boring stage of the process! :)

That Girl Designs said...

This is great information Erin. I might add that when starting a business venture, it is well worth the money to visit with a business attorney and CPA. Both of these professionals helped me to avoid costly mistakes when getting started. And, each state has different laws regarding corporations and LLCs.

You are doing such a great service with this series. I applaud you! (clapping here)

design for mankind. said...

That is SOOOO true, That Girl. THANKS for the advice! :)

Peace Lily Designs said...

thank you! this info is super helpful! i am building a small, artistic, home business. www.peacelilydesigns.com and my etsy site http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5261174

If you have a moment...take a look! I love feedback! thanks again

design for mankind. said...

Your mobiles are GORGEOUS, Peace Lily!

kay* said...

this is such a useful post in the roadmap series...i've thought about starting my own business many times and even half a rough business plan or two saved on my laptop - i always assumed i'd do a sole pro. but now that i know about the LLC it seems like another great option! thank so much for doing these - i'm following along... :o)

dailydesignspot said...

hey erin.. we recently started to fill out the paper work for a llc and it is quite easy! thats for the info as always..
so quick and painless! maybe you should join me in the health professions?? haha

design for mankind. said...

i'm so glad they're helpful, guys? :)

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6.18.2008

roadmaps: the business structure.



It's Roadmaps time! For those of you who are new to Roadmaps, check out this post where I introduce the meaning behind the shenanigans. And then, check out these posts to get all caught up so we're on the same page... err, screen.

Deal?



For everyone else, it's go time. I've been dragging my heels on this post because, well, it's not the funnest step of business planning. When you think of setting the groundwork for your business, you think of the pretty parts, like decorating your store, planning your site and/or merchandising your product.

You probably don't think of selecting your business structure, and if you do, then wow--- you're mighty nerdy. Which is fine, because, well, so am I.

Anyway. I'm going to break this down as easily as possible so we can get through this quickly and as pain-free as possible. Like ripping off a Band-Aid. Ready?

RIP.

Good news first. If you take the time to select the right business structure for you, the next few steps will be smooth sailing. Bad news? If you don't, your biz may suffer a bit of a shaky foundation. You wouldn't build a house on sand, so don't build your biz on the unknown. Take the time to research this part and then we can move on to the fun stuff. Like that whole making money part.

RIP.

There are four main types of business structures that I think the majority of you will be selecting from:

1. Sole Proprietorship
2. Partnership
3. Corporation
4. Limited Liability Company

To keep things simple, I've prepared a worksheet for you to print that outlines the basics of each of these, along with pros and cons for you to consider.


[click to read & enlarge]

RIP.

These are the most basic structures, and my guess is that few of you will need to venture outside of these four entities. In fact, the majority of you will probably fall into the LLC category, which is a very smart business solution if you want to keep your company small, but reap the benefits of a larger and more flexible corporation.

For more information on the LLC and how to file, visit this page.
And as always, email me for any questions you may have! The best resource that I've found for the legal aspects of business is the Small Business Administration, and if you haven't been there yet, go now.

RIP.

See? That wasn't so bad, was it? I promise next time will be funner. ;)

12 comments:

aimee said...

i.love.this. the whole roadmap concept. building the bones of your business may not be the most fun part, but it's one of the most important. kudos for knowing where you're going!

Krissy said...

Yay, another roadmap! I really love these. Thanks so much for all the effort you put into helping your readers. It means so much, Erin. You're the best :)

Chelsea said...

Such a great series for the itsy bitsy businesses sprouting up. Something I could have used about 6 years ago:)

design for mankind. said...

So glad I could help, even if this is the most boring stage of the process! :)

That Girl Designs said...

This is great information Erin. I might add that when starting a business venture, it is well worth the money to visit with a business attorney and CPA. Both of these professionals helped me to avoid costly mistakes when getting started. And, each state has different laws regarding corporations and LLCs.

You are doing such a great service with this series. I applaud you! (clapping here)

design for mankind. said...

That is SOOOO true, That Girl. THANKS for the advice! :)

Peace Lily Designs said...

thank you! this info is super helpful! i am building a small, artistic, home business. www.peacelilydesigns.com and my etsy site http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5261174

If you have a moment...take a look! I love feedback! thanks again

design for mankind. said...

Your mobiles are GORGEOUS, Peace Lily!

kay* said...

this is such a useful post in the roadmap series...i've thought about starting my own business many times and even half a rough business plan or two saved on my laptop - i always assumed i'd do a sole pro. but now that i know about the LLC it seems like another great option! thank so much for doing these - i'm following along... :o)

dailydesignspot said...

hey erin.. we recently started to fill out the paper work for a llc and it is quite easy! thats for the info as always..
so quick and painless! maybe you should join me in the health professions?? haha

design for mankind. said...

i'm so glad they're helpful, guys? :)

Blogger said...

Get daily suggestions and methods for earning $1,000s per day FROM HOME for FREE.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY