Any small business owners out there?

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by 4095fanatic, May 5, 2008.

  1. Need to keep the specifics confidential, but I can say that I will be forming a "security/consulting" company shortly. I have several highly experienced partners lined up, and we're looking at filling a gap in the market with great potential. Anyone here have any experience in starting up a small business? SBA/SCORE/etc. has been of great help, but would appreciate some personal experiences too. I ran a sole proprietorship a while ago, but now I'm looking at moving to incorporation/LLC. Funding looks like its secured, but I'm also looking into SBA loans, grants, etc. Any suggestions/advice?
     
  2. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    4,752
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    Business,
    you need some kind of 'operations of professional standards' , 'Standard operation and procedures', 'advanced operations and procedures manuals', 'employee manuals' and 'Outlines' and 'specialty manuals' ...PM me if you need something iron clad to CYA (Cover Your Agency). You looking into getting incorperated? I want to buy some stock now when it's just getting started, What's your Stock Market Symbol going to be?!

    Grants are easily attainable, but only if you know the grants are out there. Writing for grant is easily done, my geometry teacher in high school let us help her write a "budget adjustment", She pitched the "budget adjustment" to the school board on behalf of the math department, and they simply said "No additional funding is availible due to the 240- TI-84+ Silver edition calculators we had to purchase last month." a valid reason. Then 2 weeks later a grant savy english teacher told her about a math oriented grant that was still open for submissioins.
    My teacher changed a few words (from School Board to Appropriate grant person) and we got it!
     

  3. Like I said, not sure... I'm exploring incorporating, but I'm not sure as of now that's the best way to raise money. Might be better holding off until there will be a greater public interest. I'll keep everyone up to date, though; is this gets off the ground, I think it's going to be huge.
     
  4. AndrewST

    AndrewST Guest

    You do not need public interest to become incorporated. You want that if you every decide to do an Initial Public Offering(IPO). You will just have to split the interest of the company among the parties starting it. You will also need to hold monthly "meetings" with your business attorney and have Meeting Minutes kept on file for these meetings. One of the advantages of being Inc. is if it goes south you can walk away and not lose personal assets, unless you did something illegal.

    I wouldn't set it up as a sole proprietorship, as whoever is the sole proprietor gets shafted personally if the company goes south.

    There are a ton of grants out there that you can get to start up a company, you just need to hunt them down and write to them.

    From personal experience make sure that everyone has their share of the funding available and document EVERYTHING! The last thing you want is an alligator for a partner. Someone who managed to obtain a share of the company without actually putting in his share to start it. If that happens it is very difficult to get rid of them, extremely difficult to get rid of them actually.

    You will want to have the attorney draw up the formal business plan, have it lay out who is the CEO, CFO, Coffee Boy, whatever titles you are giving to people. Open up a business account, and hire a REALLY good CPA. Not a friend of a friend who knows a guy CPA that does it out of his house. Hire an established CPA with a long track record, someone who is going to be able to handle your quarterly taxes, payroll, things like that. Without keeping double books and screwing you over with the IRS and other Feds.

    Did I mention document everything and have a good attorney representing the company? Good!

    Financial software? QuickBooks Pro is pretty good, full function and a lot of CPA's like it. You can find better and more expensive but my family has used it to run its companies for years and they are decent sized companies and it works well.

    Most importantly, DO NOT RUSH IT! Make sure that you mind your P's & Q's, Dot every i and cross every t before you make the move and start everything. You do not want to get screwed out of your time, energy, and money. Also plan for a few good fights with your business partners as things will be rough for a few years at best! Since we are talking about the business partners, background check the hell out of them. Unless you have know them since childhood, do it! Last thing you need is a guy with a shady past with say, the IRS, coming into partnership with you...that would end very ugly.

    Good luck...

    One more thing...

    Get a great attorney and CPA!
     
  5. Thankfully, my main partner is a lawyer, so we have that base covered :).
     
  6. AndrewST

    AndrewST Guest

    Higher another one, trust me on this. A 3rd party unbiased lawyer is the only way to go. Nothing personal against your main partner but money can change people. The last thing you want is to come across a small clause he was able to write into the contract that you didn't notice before that gives him some sort of control over the rest.
     
  7. True... sort of. This whole company's founding principle is trust. If I can't trust my partner, why should I even bother? Plus that's more $$$... long story... but very good point. Will take it under consideration.
     
  8. condition1

    condition1 Member

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    I don't know much about the grants, but there is a lot out there.
    for me, I just went to the state attny general with 'articles of incorporation' in hand, filed them for $50, and was done. Then got a FEIN from feds and files papers with fed to become an s-corp, which separates me as an individual from the company. I do suggest a reliable accountant if more than one person can handle money/sign checks, whatever. I don't worry about it cause I'm only one guy. becoming a publicly traded company is a very big deal. The reason I incorporated was to shelter myself from losing money to taxes. Self employment tax is about 1/3 of the income and it drops to about 22-25% if you run an actual business. I don't know fully what security/consulting means exactly, but there are all kinds of licenses you'll need for that line of work. Lots of red tape and, here it comes...liability. I hate to say I agree, but if your partner is a lawyer, you need to get another to review all contracts and policies. I do believe that almost all lawyers are snakes. necessary, but be careful.
     
  9. AndrewST

    AndrewST Guest

    Almost every company that is founded is founded on the fact that you trust the person you are starting it with. In order to put your financial future in the hands of someone else you have to trust them. However that doesn't mean you don't want to be safe about it, again it isn't personal against the main partner as you are protecting all parties including himself.

    I can say from personal experience that paying a little more money for a third party unbiased attorney can/will save you a lot more money than he costs in the end. Besides you aren't going after a highly paid top dollar A List Celebrity attorney that costs $600 an hour. :D
     
  10. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    More money in the SHORT term, it could be your whole livelyhood in the long-term.

    Trusting people is all well and good, but covering your ass is priceless.

    Take it from someone who's seen people get burned by people they loved and trusted, time and time again. Let your buddy write up the paperwork, and pay an independent attorney a couple hundred bucks to make sure it's legit.

    If your friend is a good friend, and a good attorney, he won't be offended.