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    5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2008 4:27 PM by dublincpa

    Question(s) about Restarting a Business

    siloblu Newbie
      Hello, my name is Ryan and I am a post-production editor, familiar in commercial media and web distribution. On the other end of the spectrum, I also have specialized training and repair experience in Apple (Mac) computers, acting as a part-time consultant to a small number of businesses.

      I started my own business in early 2007 and hired a local filing service to legitimize the business on paper. Shortly thereafter, I asked a friend to help manage the finances, taxes and payroll, which I have recently come to realize have been poorly managed. To be brief, my involvement included doing the work, submitting the hours, cashing the checks and spending the money. Everything else seemed to be left in hands of another party and my lack of education in business has left me with an "immediate desire to learn" to say the least.

      Now to my questions...

      I setup my LLC in Arizona, but recently moved to Massachusetts (late 2007). I currently have no active clients (by choice) and therefore I have not generated any income in Massachusetts. My LLC is filed at my old address in Arizona; do I need to change the business address (other than mailing) and if so, how? I would like to begin the process of restarting my business in the near future and have the freedom to work from any state, since I have been and will continue to travel the East Coast for the remainder of 2008. Is traveling and working from each location (instead of base office in one state) even doable? The great thing about my business is that I can technically "do what I do" from anywhere, but what do I need to do to get "restarted"?

      Feedback of any kind is, of course, welcome and requested.
        • Re: Question(s) about Restarting a Business
          DomainDiva Ranger
          Good foor you for jumping back in!!!!

          First, get a good accountant...one that makes you a partner in keeping the books. I am on QB Pro and I am 'assigned' to make deposits, balance the monthly account, make tax deposits, write payroll, enter credit card charges, etc. I set aside one evening a week to do all of this and put everything in a folder labeled IN during the rest of the week so I have all the info there when I sit down to work it. My accountant will either call or email me at any time to see how I am doing and to review my work. You have to be a part of the finances..it is a total pain, I hate it but I have to do it. You do too. If you devote one evening a week..usually 1-2 hours you can keep up.

          QB has become a lot more user friendly. LUCKIEST is a QB consultant and I can answer questions on the Board here as well.

          Change the LLC location to the state where you now reside as a legal resident. A CPA can help you with this. My business is located in Texas but I travel worldwide to do what I do....airplanes do not come to me..I go to them! This is your situation as well. Open up a business bank account, get a credit card that racks up airline miles (I use Citi AAdvantage..American Airlines...since I live on the DFW area they are the best game in town...).
          • Re: Question(s) about Restarting a Business
            dublincpa Scout
            LLCs are a function of state law. You should probably discuss the subject with a lawyer as well.

            Are you a single member LLC? Did you make any tax elections by filing forms 8832 and 2553? Do you have any permanent presence in AZ? Or have you moved away permanently? If you are gone from AZ permanently, you should probably get a registered agent there to receive service of process as the annual renewal forms. Every state that I know of requires someone at an address within the state to be designated as registered agent.

            Theoretically, nearly any state in which you physically perform work for the LLC would require you to register as a foreign LLC and pay some taxes in addition to your individual state of residence. That said many small freelancers get away without unless they get snagged by a fluke. If you hire employees that is another story. You will have to register in any state where you have employees working (W-2, not 1099).
            • Re: Question(s) about Restarting a Business
              Lighthouse24 Ranger
              Welcome to the community, Ryan. I don't know Arizona or Massachusetts law that well, but if they're like most states, here are some things to consider:

              Even though you've moved, you are probably still required to maintain a physical address and phone number for the AZ LLC in AZ (for service of process), and have a resident agent (sometimes called a registered agent) of the company within the state. Lots of firms provide these services for a few hundred bucks a year.

              You also probably have to register the AZ LLC as a "foreign" company operating in MA if you intend to do business there under that name/EIN, and there is probably a fee for that (for the states I know about, it ranges from $300 to $2,000 -- and in some states an annual fee also applies based on the percentage of your sales).

              In addition, you'll have to set up everything else the necessary to do business in MA (sales tax and use permit, licenses if applicable, etc.)

              You may discover that it would be less complicated and less expensive to just dissolve the AZ company, and open a new firm in MA. On the other hand, if MA has business income or business property taxes that AZ doesn't, it might be worth keeping the AZ-based firm and operating in MA as a foreign company.

              You can visit each state's website for specific regulations and fees, and/or consult with an attorney for guidance (or perhaps a community member from one of those states can provide more detail). Hope this helps. Best wishes.