CorpNet.com client Jonathan DePaz, owner and creator of DePaz Energie, turned to CorpNet when he wanted to start a business and had questions on how to open a gym and incorporate his fitness studio. In this video, Jonathan shares his inspirational story as to how he decided to take the leap and start his own fitness business and the many obstacles he has gone through with “failure” never being an option:
We know that Jonathan will succeed as we are seeing it on a daily basis right before our own eyes with his local gym right here in the heart of Westlake Village, CA, get packed with daily locals wanting to incorporate fitness into their daily routine.
As he achieves global domination in his journey to success, Jonathan continues to rely on CorpNet to manage all his business filing and compliance needs by using our free Business Information Zone platform. There, he can set up alerts to make sure he doesn’t miss a tax or filing deadline or a state requirement , or he can let CorpNet.com handle it for him.
Thanks, Jonathan, for all of your support and loyalty to CorpNet. Here’s to your success at DePaz Energie!
Countless startup ideas are hatched between friends, colleagues, college roommates, and family members. A late night discussion between two friends can turn into the next social network or mobile ad platform.
These relationships can be great breeding grounds for new ideas and innovation, but navigating business management with friends or family members can also be tricky. It may be tempting to rush forward without anything in writing: after all, you know each other so well, you both want the same thing for your business, why waste time with the formalities?
While you may agree on everything today, issues will inevitably emerge…maybe a friend gets married and decides it’s time to go back ‘to the office.’ Maybe you’ll disagree over compensation or whether to spend your whole marketing budget launching at a conference. Continue reading “4 Vital Conversations for Any Startup Team” »
Starting a business isn’t always easy. Sometimes mistakes are made when investing in a product or running a startup, and that’s okay. However, owners and partners should be doing what they can to avoid the unnecessary. There are a few steps you can take to avoid mistakes that are common to startups. From planning to finding the right liability insurance, here are 5 startup mistakes that you can easily avoid with just a bit of research.
1. Not Building a Business Plan There is nothing wrong with being motivated, but startups need to make sure a plan is in place. According to the SBA, a basic business plan should include: a summary of your company’s profile and goals, a description that includes what the business does and what markets it serves as well as a market analysis and more. A business plan lets investors and lenders know you have a well-thought-out idea of business’ service or product line and how it will benefit others.
There are countless garage-to-Fortune 500 success stories. Jeff Bezos first ran Amazon.com out of his garage in Bellevue, Wash. As Stanford University graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched Google from Susan Wojcicki’s garage. And invoicing company FreshBooks was headquartered in Mike McDerment’s parents’ basement for 3.5 years.
Launching a business from your garage, basement or dining room table is a great way to keep overhead costs down when you’re just starting out. And in most cases, it’s usually the only option for bootstrapping startups. But how are you supposed to handle a home-based startup from a legal perspective?
As the looming “fiscal cliff” dominates the post-election news cycle, it’s hard to know what tax and financial moves make sense this time of year. Pundits are talking in circles, and experts don’t possess a crystal ball. In this environment, it’s understandable that startups and self-employed professionals are confused about the next steps.
However, when it comes to tax planning, paralysis isn’t an option. Here are seven tax-saving ideas to consider before the calendar flips to 2013. Of course, these tips represent general advice — you should always consult with a tax planner/CPA for insight into your own personal situation.
1. Assess Your Profitability
Before making any strategic moves, you need to know if you’ll be in the black or the red for 2012. If you haven’t done so already, take charge of your books to get a full picture of what you’ve made and what you’ve spent for 2012.
2. Meet With a Tax Advisor
Many tax credits and incentives are set to expire Jan. 1, 2013. According to Bert Seither, director of operations at Corporate Tax Network, the top thing a startup can do between now and the end of the year is to schedule an appointment with an accountant.
Not every business is in it for the money. There are those entrepreneurs who start a business to support or advocate a cause, commonly called social entrepreneurs. These are people like Jamie Oliver, world-renowned chef who opened a restaurant, Fifteen, to give disadvantaged youths the opportunity to train in a restaurant career, or Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley, founders of Kiva, the microlending site designed to help entrepreneurs in third world countries. By their nature, social entrepreneurs try to make the world a better place. They often have already had successful careers or run businesses and sold them, and now they’re trying to give back.
Are You a Social Entrepreneur?
If the idea of making a difference in the world or your community appeals to you, you just might fit the bill as a social entrepreneur. If you haven’t yet started a business, consider what you’re really passionate about. What would you do to instill change? What would the business platform look like? If you file your business as a nonprofit, you might be eligible for certain grants and funding, so that opens the door to a lot of opportunity if you choose to go down this path. Continue reading “Social Entrepreneurship: When Small Business Comes from the Heart” »
It’s that time of year again where we start trading in beach towels for school supplies. For many busy moms like myself, now is the perfect time to focus on your own goals and for those moms who are running their own business, it’s also a good time to revisit some of the legal and administrative details that may have slipped through the cracks over the past few months.
If you’re running a small business, here’s a ‘back-to-school’ checklist to help you stay on top of the legal aspects of your business:
Check that you’re legally permitted to use your business name
If you’re just starting a business, everything begins with the name. But before you start printing out business cards, you need to make sure that your great new name isn’t infringing on an already existing business. You should search corporate names in your state’s secretary of state’s database, as well as conduct a Trademark search at the federal level. CorpNet.com offers both a Free Business Name Search and Free Trademark Search Tool.
Register Your Fictitious Business Name (aka DBA, “Doing Business As”): If you’re a sole proprietor or general partner, you’ll need to file a DBA registration when your company name is different than your own name. For an LLC or corporation, DBAs must be filed whenever you conduct business using a name that’s different than your official Corporation or LLC name.
Incorporate Your Business or Form an LLC
This is a critical step to protecting your personal assets (such as your personal property or your child’s college fund) from any liabilities of the company. That means that if your business should be sued, your personal property may be shielded from any judgment. Depending on your specific circumstances, you might choose among an LLC (great for small businesses that want legal protection, but minimal formality), an S Corporation (great for small businesses that can qualify), or a C Corporation (for bigger companies or companies who plan to seek funding from a VC). Unless your business is particularly complex, you should be able to incorporate or form an LLC online, without having to retain a business attorney.
Do you ever get those midnight sweats? You know the ones… you can’t sleep because you’re worrying about your business.
Can you afford to hire? Will you make payroll? Are the people you have hired doing what they are supposed to be doing and getting the work done? Will it all come together before it falls completely apart?
These scary parts? They start to ease up and even evaporate once you’ve got good, solid, clear expectations set with the people who work for you, with you and who you work for.
I can’t explain why, it just does. Maybe it’s because when you know you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, you can trust the Universe will conspire for your benefit.
Setting clear expectations and creating agreements can be confusing and even overwhelming, especially when you’re holding it all yourself. Luckily, you have support. I’m here to tell you that the my beautiful friend and colleague, the truth-telling lawyer, Alexis Neely, is devoting an entire hour to answering YOUR questions, for free.
As the (female) CEO of a small company that helps entrepreneurs start a business (Whether it’s incorporating a business, fomring an LLC or simply setting up a sole proprietorship/DBA) and get their businesses off the ground, I have the incredible fortune to work with countless budding and talented business owners. Here are my thoughts on this important day…
In 2010, women became the majority of the U.S. workforce for the first time in U.S. history. 57% of college students are now women. While men continue to dominate the executive ranks and corner offices of Fortune 500 companies, women now hold their own in a number of lucrative careers: they make up 54% of accountants, 45% of law associates, and approximately 50% of all banking and insurance jobs.
But for me, the most telling statistic rests in the state of entrepreneurship. AnAmerican Express OPENState of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that between 1997 and 2011, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 50% — that’s a rate 1.5 times higher than the national average.
More and more womenare coming into their own as business owners. And the motivation behind each business is as diverse as the women themselves. For some women, a business is a great outlet for their energy, leadership skills, and passion. For others, it’s a flexible way to supplement the household income. And for many, it’s simply a necessity. Since let’s face it: living on a single income is not that easy in our two-income economy.