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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru SharifTK's Avatar
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    Seeking Advice For Business

    Hello all,

    I've done freelance work on the web for over four years now and recently I've decided to settle down with it, and focus completely on creating a business (with hopes to succeed like 2Advanced, and Fantasy Interactive). I really need help on setting up everything, because I want to do it right from the first time.

    I've already found the name, registered my domains, created my logos and even started on the design of the site, which I plan to launch in the new year.

    What exactly do I have to do, to legally register this company and all it's work (and the website) under my name?

    What steps should I take to actually establish this company? I hope to one day be a big design firm where I can actually employ others who share the same desires as I do.

    After completing the website, what steps should I take to get clients and reasonable paid work (to make a living off)? My client base is really zero, I have been absent from this field for a long time to get things settled personally so I have to start fresh. How do I promote my services?

    Thank you for any help.
    SK

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Register an LLC or S-Corp. I don't know if you need any other things locally.

    I would go and buy the Web Design Business Kit here from Sitepoint. Its going to cost you money, but Brendon really goes over the stuff you need to know. Otherwise you can spend a good 6 months to a year reading and asking other web designers questions.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru SharifTK's Avatar
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    What is a LLC and S-corp?
    SK

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict jitenjain's Avatar
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    Hi sharif.

    Checkout http://www.bizfilings.com/ and I am sure it will get you establish your company within the timeframe you have set and will answer all your queries running in your mind.

    Hope this helps
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Check out your local SBA and SCORE chapters. SCORE provides free one-one-one counseling on all aspects of starting a business.

  6. #6
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johntabita
    Check out your local SBA and SCORE chapters. SCORE provides free one-one-one counseling on all aspects of starting a business.
    This is great advice, I would add <same old thing> that you should probably consult with a tax advisor before creating an LLC or Corp.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru SharifTK's Avatar
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    Are there any age requirements to any of these programs?
    SK

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    If you are an entrepreneur, you really don't need to do anything. You just go to work. Your website will probably have your real name on it, so I don't even know if you'd have to fill out a DBA ("doing business as").

    If you eventually employ others, then you are going to have a lot more stuff to deal with. Tax deductions, social security contributions, unemployment insurance, and a whole lot of other stuff. You'd be best to contact your state's department of commerce when you get to that stage. They may have a "kit" to help you with everything you need.

    Of course, you could always hire employees as contractors. Then you wouldn't have to worry about any of that stuff at all!!!

    EDIT:

    You may want to contact the IRS and get a tax ID number for your business. Otherwise you'll have to give everyone your Social Security number so they can pay you.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru SharifTK's Avatar
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    Well honestly, I am not 18 yet. So I am not worried about taxes, will I still need to provide SS number (I can't get a tax id until 18).
    SK

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharifTK
    Well honestly, I am not 18 yet. So I am not worried about taxes, will I still need to provide SS number (I can't get a tax id until 18).
    Even if you are under 18, you still need to pay taxes.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru SharifTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil_Red
    Even if you are under 18, you still need to pay taxes.
    Only if I make more than $10,000 or more, "on the books."
    SK

  12. #12
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharifTK
    Only if I make more than $10,000 or more, "on the books."
    That mentality will lead to problems
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru SharifTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhecker
    That mentality will lead to problems
    LOL I meant like if I am paid in checks and stuff. Cash is another thing
    SK

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharifTK
    Only if I make more than $10,000 or more, "on the books."
    I've never seen a legitimate business payment that didn't require a tax ID number prior to payment. Whenever I needed a check for a vendor I always had to provide their tax ID to the accounts payable department.

    When a business pays another business, they require the tax ID number because it is reported to the IRS. Then the IRS will know how much money you received, even if you don't report it. A business cannot claim a business expense, generally speaking, without a tax ID number to prove they actually paid someone. No reputable business is going to pay you under the table.

    Being under 18 doesn't matter, either. Even little child actors have to pay taxes. Being under 18 will likely prevent you from opening up a bank account on your own, too. Not to mention that you legally can't enter into contracts and a client could screw you out of payment if they found out about your age.

    If you are under 18 I don't know why you'd even be asking what steps you need to take to start a business since you can't legally do it, anyway.

    Don't forget, you've got to pay 12.4% of your income to Social Security up to $90,000 or so.

    Good luck.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru SharifTK's Avatar
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    Well being under 18, I would have to have a parent co-sign contracts so they are still legally binding. But about the tax-id's, I can't do anything until I am 18.
    SK

  16. #16
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    I am not sure if non-us people can register an LLC to form their own company. Can anybody throw light on this pls

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    beley's Avatar
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    I owned my first of several businesses (and had jobs) long before I was 18. You still have to file taxes if you make a certain amount of money. I think it's lower than $10,000/year but am not sure now (it's been a while). Still, that doesn't mean that you should not account for every dollar you earn. Like mentioned above, most companies will want to account for every dollar they spend to get the writeoffs. If they spend it, you better claim it (or the IRS will look harder).

    And about the legalities... you can have your parents sign a contract if its neccessary. They can also help you get a bank account. You can use your SSN in leiu of a Tax-ID number until you're 18. I think you can even get a business license under 18... at least you can here.

    Just don't use the "under 18" to make excuses about not being able to do things... most companies will be willing to work with you regardless of age as long as you are professional.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Guru SharifTK's Avatar
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    If I get a checking account, that doesn't establish credit (since I am under 18)... can I still use it for the business?
    SK

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot chihpih's Avatar
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    i think you need to do a lot of reading and wait until you are 18. this would give you some time to learn a lot of things things that you clearly dont know. it will be tough for you to operate in NYC without knowledge that you lack.
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  20. #20
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharifTK
    If I get a checking account, that doesn't establish credit (since I am under 18)... can I still use it for the business?
    You could, yet. But even when you are over 18, a checking account doesn't really establish credit. It can be used as a trade reference, and will be reported to Chex systems & Choicepoint, but wont increase your actual FICO score..
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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