The Launch Blog: Expert Advice from the CorpNet Team

What You Need to Know About Collecting Sales Tax

Before a retailer or service provider can open for business, they first must get approval from the state for sales tax registration. Not all states charge sales tax, and not all products and services are taxable, so it’s essential to learn the facts before you find yourself in compliance hot water. Here’s what to know about your business’s responsibilities regarding the collection of sales taxes. Sales Tax Vary by State and Sometimes by County Currently, forty-five states and the District of Columbia collect statewide sales taxes, while five states do not have a statewide sales tax. The...

Sales Receipt in Printer

How to Legally Dissolve a Corporation or LLC

Dissolution is the act of formally dissolving (closing) a business entity with the state. It involves far more than just stopping to sell products and services. Dissolution is a process for wrapping up all legal and financial aspects of the business and legally terminating its existence in the state(s) where it is registered. Business owners, and professional services providers who offer accounting, tax, or legal services to entrepreneurs, should know how to legally dissolve a Corporation or LLC. Just like life, running a business has its share of ups, downs, and surprises—and there are...

Women in Storefront Holding Close Sign

How to Start an Accounting Business

Whether you’re a finance major fresh out of college or have been working in an accounting firm or department for years, I’ll bet you’ve thought about being your own boss. There’s a lot to consider when exploring how to start an accounting business. Let's dig into the necessary steps and mistakes to avoid. Starting an accounting business offers an opportunity to chart your own professional course and enjoy the flexibility and control of self-employment. Of course, there's plenty of research and work involved in the process. You'll want to be thorough and well-informed as you make decisions...

Serious business man working on documents

What Is a Fictitious Name?

What Is a fictitious name? A fictitious name is a name other than your proper legal business entity name that you formally get permission from the state (or county) to use when conducting business. You may also see a fictitious business name referred to as: Doing Business As (DBA) Assumed name Trade name Throughout this post, I will use the terms “fictitious name” and “DBA” interchangeably. At CorpNet, we help business owners throughout the United States file DBAs. Fictitious names can benefit businesses of all types—from sole proprietorships to LLCs to corporations. At CorpNet, we help...

Businessman in Mask

What Is a Letter of Good Standing?

Professionals like you, who help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of starting and growing their businesses, will likely encounter clients asking about a "Letter of Good Standing." Let's take a moment to talk about what a Letter of Good Standing is and why maintaining a status of good standing is so important. A Letter of Good Standing refers to a certificate issued by a state's Secretary of State office (or comparable agency). It verifies that a registered business (e.g., an LLC or corporation) has complied with all of the state's rules for conducting business in that state. "Good...

Legal Document

Can an S Corporation Use LLC or Inc in Its Business Name?

If you are considering electing S Corporation status you might wonder how this will impact your existing LLC or C Corporation. One question that comes to mind quickly is the continued ability to use LLC or Inc with a business name. S Corporation election is a tax classification, it does not change a business’s legal structure. Limited Liability Companies and C Corporations that elect S Corp status remain the same underlying business entity and retain their legal business name. Therefore, a Limited Liability Company may use "LLC" (or another limited liability company designator allowed by...

Street Signs With Inc and LLC Words

How to Legally Change a Business’s Name

Despite your best efforts to choose the perfect name for your company, there may come a time when that name no longer is the best fit. Perhaps the business name no longer accurately reflects your brand or there are legal considerations at play. Regardless of the reasons to make a business name change, it’s a process that many entrepreneurs find confusing. The steps involved can vary depending on the business entity type and state of registration. You may not expect ever to have to change your company name but knowing what to expect will help alleviate some of the stress if ever you do...

Main-Street-in-Small-Town-America

Should I Incorporate or Form an LLC for My MLM Business?

Also sometimes called network marketing companies, a multilevel marketing company (MLM), offers income opportunities to folks who want to set their own schedule and work at their own pace—without having to build a business from the ground up. Many people who want the flexibility of being their own boss have chosen careers working as agents for MLM companies, so I regularly field questions from these entrepreneurs about what legal structure will be optimal. MLM entrepreneurs are considered independent contractors. Sometimes they are also referred to as independent consultants, independent...

Woman Working at Desk

Choosing the Best State to Start a Business

Choosing the best state to start a business is an important detail in your overall business plan. When it comes to launching a small business, “Location, location, location” is part of the formula for success. If you’re wondering if a specific location would give your startup an extra advantage over the competition, you should check out WalletHub’s latest report on 2022’s Best & Worst States to Start a Business. With a bad location ranked as one of the top reasons for business failure, choosing where to launch your business can be almost as important as choosing what business to...

Map of the United States

Buying a Business Checklist

Want to buy an existing business? You’re not alone. BizBuySell.com, a marketplace for business buyers and sellers, reports continued strong business-for-sale activity in the second quarter of 2018. Small businesses sold for a median sale price of $239,000 in the second quarter of 2018. BizBuySell.com predicts 2018 will be a “recording-breaking year when it comes to small business transactions.” As a result, more sellers are putting their businesses up for sale—adding to the already sizeable number of baby boomer entrepreneurs who are selling their businesses in preparation for retirement....

Businesspeople Having Meeting In Modern Open Plan Office

Do Amazon Sellers Need an LLC?

Amazon sellers, like other entrepreneurs that sell products online, should think about how their business structure affects them professionally and personally. The business entity type chosen has an impact on income tax obligations, ongoing business compliance requirements, and the financial and legal liability of the business owner. So, you’re asking a valid question if you’re wondering if Amazon sellers need an LLC or is a Sole Proprietorship or no entity at all is sufficient. While it doesn’t appear that Amazon requires sellers to form their businesses as any particular business entity...

Amazon-Truck

How to Apply for an EIN

One of the essential steps new business owners must take when launching their companies is to apply for an EIN. An Employee Identification Number (also known as a Federal Tax ID Number or Tax ID Number) is a nine-digit number assigned to a business for filing taxes, submitting reports to the state, applying for business licenses and permits, and completing other documentation. Similar to how a social security number serves as identification for an individual, an EIN serves to identify a business. The IRS issues EINs at no charge. Is an EIN Necessary? The IRS identifies the specific...

Employer Identification Number (EIN) written on legal document

Can an S Corporation Own an LLC?

When entrepreneurs want to expand their businesses, they face the important decision of how to structure that growth. One approach is to form a separate company under another registered business entity. Some restrictions exist and small business owners may be wondering if an S Corporation can own an LLC (Limited Liability Company). The answer is yes and in today's article, I’ll shed some light on what S Corporation ownership of an LLC means and how an S Corporation may benefit from being a member of an LLC. What is an LLC? A Limited Liability Company is a business entity that provides...

Woman Looking at Question Marks

What Is 501(c)(3) Status and How Do You Obtain It?

Have you always dreamed of starting a nonprofit organization so you can give back to your community? Maybe you have a charity that’s close to your heart, such as research for autism or helping the homeless, and you’ve always wanted to have the same kind of impact through your own nonprofit. Whatever your vision, making your nonprofit organization a success starts the same way as any other business—by staying in compliance with government regulations. Your nonprofit organization is accountable to state and federal agencies, including the IRS, which is where 501(c)(3) (also referred to as a...

Volunteers Working Outside

How to Budget as a Freelancer

Creating a budget as a freelancer shouldn’t be any harder than it is for any other small business. And yet, the rollercoaster ride of finding and keeping clients, collecting invoices, marketing your business, and juggling all of this yourself can create major budgeting headaches. Income predictability is a challenge unique to freelancers. Fortunately, there are many simple steps you can take better learn how to budget as a freelancer. Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate Even if you used personal assets to start your freelance business, it’s important to create a clear boundary...

Man Looking at Reports

Ten Tips for Creating a Business Name

Creating a business name is one of the most exciting and important startup tasks that entrepreneurs must tackle. The name you choose for your business will serve to distinguish you from your competitors and give customers insight into the experience they will have with your company. You will want to get it right and follow the necessary steps to ensure you have legal rights to use your name before you start publishing it on all of your documentation and marketing materials. 1. Consider the Personality You Want to Project How do you want people to perceive your company? Hip? Luxurious?...

Branding Work on Desktop Compute

Do I Need Articles of Organization For a Michigan LLC?

If you're considering forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Michigan, you're probably wondering what paperwork the state requires. For example, do you need Articles of Organization for a Michigan LLC? That's one of the common questions we field here at CorpNet—for Michigan and the other 49 states in the U.S. The answer is yes. In the state of Michigan, an LLC must file an Articles of Organization form with the Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The Bureau will then assign your business a...

Aerial view of downtown Detroit at twilight

Can a Sole Proprietor Have Employees?

Even when a small business starts as a sole proprietorship with only a solitary business owner who handles everything, growth and expansion are often the ultimate objectives. To achieve those goals, a sole proprietor will likely need some help along the way — which may involve hiring workers. Since a sole proprietorship is not an officially registered business entity nor recognized as its own tax entity, you may be wondering if a sole proprietor can have employees. The answer is yes! Let's explore this further and answer some common requestions that relate to this topic. 1. What is a sole...

Businessman Talking to Staff on Zoom

Dissolutions and Moving Your Business to a New State

If you’re planning to move your business to another state or close it altogether, there’s a process you must follow, which varies by the structure of the business. It may seem a bit complex, but we’ll simplify it for you. Feel like it’s too late to close your business and/or move it to a new state this year? Don’t worry; you can still make it happen. Here’s the right way to process a business dissolution and legally move your business to a new state. Closing a Business The steps for business dissolution depend on the legal structure of your business. Let’s look at the steps for each...

Man Carrying Moving Boxes in an Office

How to Register a Business in Oregon

Have you been thinking about making your dream of starting your own business in the beautiful Pacific Northwest a reality but not sure how to begin?  This post will help guide you through the process of registering a business in Oregon. That said, let’s get started exploring the steps needed for registering a business in Oregon. 1. Decide on a Business Name Before you submit the necessary forms to register your business, you will need to choose a name for your business. Then you’ll need to check to see if the name is available and meets Oregon’s rules and regulations. Do an Oregon...

Oregon on Old Road Sign

What Are Payroll Deductions?

Payroll deductions are monies that employers withhold from an employee’s pay. These deductions include withdrawals such as federal income taxes, state income taxes, local income taxes, FICA tax (Social Security and Medicare taxes), medical benefits, retirement savings plans, or wage garnishments. Some employee pay deductions are mandatory withdrawals such as income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and court-ordered child support payments. Others are voluntary deductions that the employee has authorized (via written permission) to be taken out of their compensation. Examples of...

Calendar With Pay Day Circled

What Every Small Business Should Know About 1099s

Every year when tax time rolls around, many business owners wonder whether they must send 1099s to their vendors. As commonly known as 1099 forms are, they remain one of the most misunderstood Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements. Recently, more confusion has surfaced as the IRS changed the type of 1099 form used for reporting nonemployee compensation to vendors. To help entrepreneurs understand the circumstances under which the IRS requires issuing 1099 forms, I will provide some basic “must-know” information here. I encourage business owners to speak with their accountant or...

Woman working on bills

How Much Does it Cost to Incorporate Your Business?

So you’ve decided to register your business as a Limited Liability Company or C Corporation. Kudos to you for thinking about the benefits of liability protection and possible tax advantages that come with formally establishing your company as a separate legal entity. Like many small business owners, you may now be wondering how much it will cost to incorporate your business and in what state should register your company. Some entrepreneurs opt to register their Limited Liability Company (LLC) or C Corporation within the state they live in. Others look around for a state with the most...

Bag of Money

Breaking Down Business Entity Types

One of the most important steps you’ll need to make when starting your business is reviewing business entity types and deciding which one you should choose for your company. The structure you pick will affect your business from legal and tax obligation standpoints. That’s why it pays to understand the various business entity types—and the potential advantages and downsides of each. I recommend talking with a business attorney and accounting professional for guidance. In the meantime, I’m going to share some information about the most commonly used business structures to give you a head...

Confused business person staring at two arrows

Is A Real Estate LLC Really Necessary?

A Real Estate LLC (Limited Liability Company) business structure has become a preferred entity of real estate investors for holding title to investment properties. That’s not too surprising considering the advantages of forming an LLC: It limits personal liability. It provides tax treatment flexibility. It’s relatively simple to establish and maintain. It’s less costly to set up and maintain. It offers more flexibility in how you distribute profits. It makes it easier to pass real estate investments to your loved ones. An individual or a company beyond the United States can own it. Let’s...

Thining business woman in office holding house

How to Choose and Legally Use Your Business Name

The name you choose for your business will be one of your most powerful and valuable assets. As one of the primary ways customers distinguish you from your competitors, your business name wields a lot of power. The right name can help propel you to success; the wrong name can put you at a disadvantage. Besides choosing a business name that: Projects how you want people to view your business (e.g., edgy, professional, high-tech, academic, approachable, etc.) Make it easy for customers to identify what you do. Is also simple enough to be memorable. I encourage you to have all your legal I’s...

Man in suit with 'HELLO My name is' tag

Will Your Business Need Financing in the New Year?

As you plan and set goals for your small business in 2023, one area to look at is financing. Will you need additional funding at some point in the New Year? If the answer is yes, how will you raise the money? Take a closer look at the two primary means of raising capital — equity financing and debt financing — and what you need to know about each. Equity Financing In equity financing, you give up a piece of your business (equity) in return for an investment of capital. Equity investors may be private investors, venture capital companies, or even your friends and family. Angel investors...

Crumbled Dollar Bill

What is a Series LLC?

The Series LLC is also known as a Series Limited Liability Company or SLLC for short. It allows multiple Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) within a master LLC to operate as separate entities with their own names, bank accounts, and record keeping. Each series can conduct business independently in this way because the series LLCs’ articles of formation explicitly allow them to have unrestricted segregation of membership interests, assets, liabilities, and operations.

Colorful Building Blocks

Can a Corporation Be a Member of a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

Starting and running a business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) offers some advantages to business owners who want liability protection, taxation flexibility, and credibility without complexity. Next to a Sole Proprietorship, it’s the business legal structure that’s least complicated and void of cumbersome formality. But if you’ve already incorporated a business, can that entity be a member of your LLC? And what could that accomplish for you? Yes! Your corporation can be a member of your LLC. All states allow for other types of business entities (not only individuals) to serve as...

Member written on small blackboard by computer keyboard

Should You Convert Your Business Structure to an S Corp?

You’ve been chugging along as a Sole Proprietorship for a while now, but you’re beginning to realize that might not be the best idea to protect your business. So you’re considering converting your Sole Proprietorship to another structure, specifically the S Corporation. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if now is the right time to convert your business structure. 1. Do You Want to Bring on Investors? Maybe you bootstrapped your business, but now you’re ready to take the company to the next level and to do that, you need investors. This is an automatic reason to convert to...

Legal Document

Subscribe to Newsletter

Practical business and financial insights, lessons, perspectives, and know-how brought right to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing!

100% satisfaction guaranteed or we will refund 100% of our service fees with no questions asked!