One thing I hope the readers of TTHU get out of our project is knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about cool gear and music and videos as well, but at the end of the day, there aren’t many lifestyle sites out there that teach you how to do things or enlighten you to other people’s perspectives. I think it is important to give everyone a hand in life, because a leg up for one is a leg up for many. Over the years I have helped a lot of young startups get their paperwork in order or break down their business idea, and now I too am doing it for the 6th or 7th time. Now, I am not going to tell you every last detail, because frankly I can’t think about that right now, but I will start you off with the basics, and then you can post a comment with any questions you may have and if I know the answer I will be glad to help out.
So, once you have that next big idea you have to pay up. If there’s one thing I have learned from all my years in business, it is everyone wants a piece of your startup capital…especially after you get legal. So, if you don’t want your phone getting blown up by cheesy sales people, quit now and beg your manager at Starbucks to take you back! For those of you who are tougher than that and don’t mind making up fake voices when they call, here is your next move.
Log on to whateverstateyoulivein.gov Since I live in the beautiful state of Utah, this is the example we will use.
Registering a business in Utah, has to be the easiest/cheapest place I have ever done it before; especially after having a business in the least business-friendly state in the union, Massachusetts. Utah has the awesome segment of their website called One Stop that takes you by your hand and simply walks you right through the process, with little question marks along the way to answer anything that might come up. Bravo, webmaster! The registration will ask you a slew of questions ranging from the simple (Name, Address, Social to slightly more difficult questions such as whether or not you want to be a sole-proprietor, LLC, Corporation, LLP, non-profit, etc.) For those of you who don’t know the differences of these, they are vast. In the simplest terms, a sole-proprietor is the easiest/cheapest way to get started, however, it leaves all of your personal assets wide open. In Massachusetts for example it costs $500 to become an LLC plus you have to pay an additional $500 a year to stay one! (FUCK off Taxachusetts!) Now in Utah, the exact same company can be started for $70 with an annual fee of $12. (Yea!) Once you have filled out all of the paperwork (takes about 20mins) and decided on a name, you are almost an official business.
The other part of becoming truly official is getting a business bank account. Sounds scary, but vampires are always drawn to fresh blood so it is actually just as easy as getting a regular bank account. Make sure you read all the fine print because fees can add up. I know my credit union has two options and they are based on transactions, so estimate how many times you will be running checks or making deposits etc., and choose the right account for yourself.
Guess what? You are official. Now don’t fuck it up! There are a million other things that go into starting a business, like taxes, accounting, inventory, leases, websites, employees, etc., but the two things above are all you need to technically startup your future career. Obviously, check all local laws because each location is different, and best of luck in your new venture!