Earlier this year my good friend Kyle Durand and I put on a joint workshop at WDS called "Ignorance is Not Bliss: 5 things every entrepreneur needs to know about setting up a business to save money, prevent headaches and keep the government off your back." It stemmed from my own clulessness about what business structures I needed to have in place, embarrassment about not having taken care of them yet, and hesitation (and fear) about draining my bank account to hire a lawyer. Kyle, a long-time entrepreneur who has degrees in both law and accounting, has also seen firsthand many clients who fell into avoidable businesses situations before working with him -- glitches at best, total firestorms at worst.
We're sharing the handout from our workshop below, but even better — I'm really excited to host Kyle for a free overview and Q&A session next Thursday at 3pm ET to explain the material and answer your questions. I'll be facilitating, and Kyle will walk us through the most common mistakes new small business owners make, then we'll open things up for live questions at the end (as specific as you want!). You can enroll for the webinar here -- and no worries if you can't make it -- we'll send out the recording afterward.
Getting ready to set-up your own business? Keep reading after the handout for an amazing program by Jeff Unger (a fellow speaker at Mario Schulze's NYC Idea Mensch event) -- his company e-minutes is on a mission to help form 500 corporations -- for free!
Ignorance is Not Bliss (Handout)
5 things every entrepreneur needs to know about setting up a business to save money, prevent headaches and keep the government off your back
This content isn’t nice-to-know -- it’s must-know material that affects everyone who wants to build a business or even just start selling a product. A few key systems around accounting and law can go a long way to keeping more money in your pocket and Uncle Sam off your back.
1. Make it legal: register your business with with the right government agencies
- LegalZoom: http://legalzoom.com
- List of state business registrations: http://1.usa.gov/MEh5KV
- eMinutes offer to set-up 500 businesses for free: http://eminutes.com/entrepreneurs
- Blog post Productive Flourishing - Ignoring Your Business’ Legal Needs Makes You Less Productive: http://bit.ly/LE86UH
2. For finances, don’t mix business with pleasure: track income and expenses separately
- Outright (free online accounting system for small businesses): http://outright.com
- Credit cards - Kyle’s pick: Chase Ink - Business Bold
- Nitty gritty bookkeeping checklist: http://bit.ly/9rE0FC
3. A contract will save the day - and your relationships
- OurDeal (create, send and sign contracts in seconds): http://OurDeal.com
- Elements of a good services contract: http://bit.ly/9Kyd4A
- Do I need a contract? http://bit.ly/ctBU9l
4. Keep the tax man happy (and more money in your pocket)
- Tax Receipts (tax deductions you need to know in layman’s terms): Taxreceipts.com
- Tax reminder system: http://bit.ly/N166Gt
- Tax 101: How to calculate and make estimated tax payments - http://bit.ly/N12owD
5. Stay healthy: get the right health insurance!
- General information and health plans:
- Plans for Freelancers
6. Bonus: Assemble your business posse to earn more money in less time
- Job Description + Task Examples
- VA Services
- U.S. Based: Zirtual.com, ContemporaryVA.com, Prialto.com
- Overseas VAs: VirtualStaffFinder.com, SupremeOutsourcing.com, TasksEveryDay.com, BrickworkIndia.com, AskSunday.com, OnlineJobs.ph (primary service for the Phillipenes)
- Marketplaces: MTurk.com, eLance.com, 99 Designs, TaskRabbit.com, Fiverr.com
- State bar associations: http://bit.ly/MgIDXe
- State CPA associations: http://bit.ly/N15m46
More about the eMinutes Mission to Set-up 500 New Businesses
For nearly twenty years, the lawyers at eMinutes have formed corporations for A-list celebrities, musicians, and athletes. Now, eMinutes has embarked on a mission to form 500 free corporations for first-time entrepreneurs. Free means free. eMinutes is even paying the filing fees.
For first-time entrepreneurs who have not yet formed a corporation, eMinutes will form the company. For entrepreneurs who have already formed a corporation, eMinutes lawyers will review the paperwork, determine whether documents need to be “cleaned up”, and take whatever steps are necessary to restructure the company. All of this will be provided at no charge.
Natalie Sisson's $100 Change Project
Speaking of WDS and people I adore, Natalie Sisson has launched a project called $100 Change, with tons of free resources, interviews, product giveaways and mentoring opportunities for aspiring solopreneurs. Click on the image below to learn more.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments: From existing business-owners, any tips for those just starting out? If you're new to the game, what are your biggest obstacles or questions?