Monday, March 15, 2010

What you need to start your own company

This isn't one of those blog posts that tells you, you need passion, the ability to say "no", a solid advisory board, etc, etc.

Those are great. They're even better, in fact, after, you have your own company.

Now, I know, a lot of popular blog posts on this subject caution against incorporating too soon.

Which, is great advice for a startup building a Web site. I agree, put your head down and get something out the door.

But I found something completely different for my consulting company, Gunner Technology.

I'll keep the cross-promoting to a minimum here, so click the link if you want to know what Gunner does. One word answer is "consult", though.

Getting clients became much easier when Gunner was officially incorporated. But, it's a pain in the butt. In fact, it may be more of a hassel then buying a house. Seriously.

Probably the most frustrating thing was finding a cut-and-dry, step-by-step guideline for doing so.

So without further fluff, here it is. Gunner is a Nevada-based corporation with S status. Here is how I did it.
  1. Unless you're living in Nevada, get a registered agent. That page explains why. If you know someone living in Nevada, they can act as your registered agent. If you go this route, you are going to need mail forwarding as well.
  2. File articles of incorporation
  3. Get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) (if you prefer to mail the form, it's here)
  4. Complete your Annual List. If this is your first time, you'll also need to include an application for a business license. Note, you can file for an exemption for this if you plan on netting less than $20k. 
  5. File your company minutes. You can use a standard template. Really, any time you "meet" you must do this, but since Gunner is a one-person corporation, I just have to fill this out and save them  once a year
  6. File for S Corp status. Again, this isn't a "Why" post. Simply put, having S status will avoid double taxation. This form is a tricky one, so check out the instructions.
  7. Finally, if you want to be able to take payment, you're going to need to open a bank account for your new corporation. I went through the Wells Fargo branch in Las Vegas, NV. Call Maricela at 702-765-7608. She's very good. Tell her Cody referred you. If you need to be able to take credit card payments, call Arlette at 702-917-1565.
A couple of my links above are to IncParadise. They helped me big time through the process. If you're interested, they will do all of this for you with amazing and personal service.

Obviously, if you go through IncParadise, you are going to pay nominal fees. So, depending on how you choose to do this, you will end up paying between $400 and $700. I guarantee you'll make that up first year just through the credibility of having an official corporation.

Happy incorporating!
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