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    1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 2, 2008 5:30 AM by LUCKIEST

    Structure that turns your business into gold

    jaggedja Newbie
      You Launch Your Business*

      The best time
      to explore how to structure your business is right after you decide to start

      A professional
      can help you sort out whether your new venture should be incorporated, a
      limited partnership or an LLC (limited liability company).

      Making the
      right choice can provide:

      • Tax benefits
      • Asset protection
      • Psychological benefits from separating your \\ business and personal life
      • Credibility in the marketplace
      • Increased privacy
      • Better positioning if you take the business \\ public
      protection for even the smallest business owner is important, because simply
      asking a friend to run an errand that ends in an accident can leave you open to
      a lawsuit that will impact your business earnings.

      By the same
      token, a personal accident that occurs to a sole proprietor, without proper
      asset protection, can result in financial calamity.

      Your Business is Already Established*

      Even if you
      have been operating for years, it's a good idea to revisit your corporate
      structure-including how to set up additional companies. For instance, a
      consultant might create a separate entity to handle her speaking business.

      Among the
      questions existing companies should consider:

      1. Do you have the proper paperwork?
      This includes articles of incorporation, employer ID, a set of bylaws,
      partnership agreement, operating agreement and certificates.

      2. Have you done annual filings in your state?
      These are required by the Secretary of State and, in some jurisdictions, the
      Franchise Tax Board?

      3. Is your accounting system in order? A
      shoebox is not an accounting system.

      4. Have your taxes been filed on schedule?
      If not, don't ignore them. Ask for a professional's guidance.

      5. *Do you have a separate bank account and credit card
      for your business?* Commingling your funds is the fastest way to
      tear down the walls of your company. If you are successfully sued, the courts
      will not take the time to separate your business and corporate assets.

      6. *Are you representing yourself properly when you sign
      contracts?* To avoid being personally liable, you should sign
      all legal documents with the proper title (officer/director) of your company.

      7. Do you have a good "resident agent" for your company?
      This is the person, designated on public record, who will receive documents in
      the name of your company.

      8. Do you have recorded minutes for your company?
      You need to document your decisions and maintain the records to establish that
      your business is a professional one.

      Running a
      business with all the proper paperwork in place ensures that you can work on
      the other factors that will ensure your success, secure in the knowledge that
      your earnings will be as safe as possible.

      Ignore the
      paperwork at your own peril.

      Download the chapter excerpts her for more helpful information from a business guru...