By David Nilssen, CEO & Co-founder of Guidant Financial
We all have dreams. They start off big when we’re very young. As we grow up, most of us temper our ambitions with a dose of reality and a need to fit in—to do what others do. This is true for aspiring (and frankly existing) entrepreneurs.
First, let me say that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. There is tremendous potential for reward—both material and in personal freedom and satisfaction—but there is risk in entrepreneurship, and a fearful or risk-averse person should not attempt it.
One of the first decisions every business owner needs to make is what entity to file their business as, and that choice is typically between LLCs vs. Corporations. Really the decision comes down to what fits the needs of the business owner and the business, but there is still discussion on which entity is best. Here at MyCorp, we gathered together a panel of professionals to get their expert advice on LLCs vs. Corporations and which is the best to form for your business. Which side are you on?
1. “Generally speaking, corporate status is preferable. Banks typically don’t view LLCs as favorably during the loan application process and corporations don’t pay taxes on fringe benefits. These include group-term life insurance, medical reimbursement plans, medical insurance premiums, and more.”
- John Boyd, Principal, The Boyd Company, Inc.
With all this “B Corp” buzz in the air, it’s time to get one thing straight: the Benefit Corporation and the “B Corp” are not created equal. The terms are often used interchangeably, and it’s not necessarily wrong to say “B Corporation” or “B Corp” to informally describe a Benefit Corporation either. People understandably confuse the two, since both similarly aspire to cement a social or environmental purpose in a company’s mission and corporate governance structure.
But there is still a key difference between the pair: the benefit corporation is a legal entity recognized under a state’s corporate laws, while the “B Corporation” (or B Corp) is a certification conferred upon a company by a certifying organization. A company can be a B Corp without being a Benefit Corporation – and vice versa – but it’s important to know that while these two sound similar enough at first glance, they actually function fairly differently from one another.
Due to the hardships between 2007 and 2010, the banking industry has gone through a number of changes designed to get through the recession. With the economy finally regaining strength and stability, small business owners looking to realize their dreams or expand their horizons are understandably curious about how the banking industry will affect them. The good news is that solid ideas with a strong target audience are still in good standing.
Available Credit Sees Ups and Downs
Because of the recession, most banks felt the need to create a number of newer, stricter regulations, especially involving credit. Up to 2010, little credit was available as banks worked to make sure they could cover their own liabilities. In the intervening years, however, the economy has slowly but steadily become stronger.
It comes as no surprise that thousands of businesses, large and small, have gone bust during the current downtrend in the economy. Literally millions of workers have been made redundant, leaving them on their own to carry on. Some have tried their hand at contracting whilst others put their expertise to work at launching small business enterprises. Those enterprises that survived understood what it takes to start a small business in a bear market. Against all odds, many of these small businesses are flourishing concerns today because they took the time to get the facts straight before launching their company.
So You Have a Vision – Is That Enough?
In my work with more than 4,000 start-up clients over the past twenty five years I have noticed a recurring pattern – many of these new entrepreneurs have set a financial goal they want to achieve their first year in business, but they haven’t committed to writing a detailed description of how they intend to achieve this result.
The process of doing so is known in the business planning process as “marketing planning”. Technology-oriented businesses often title this work as creating “the business model”. Continue reading
Owning your own automotive business is both a rewarding experience with plenty of options available to what your auto business will focus on. You might start up an auto parts store, a repair service, or a “quick oil change” business. No matter what business model you choose to follow, there will be some challenges that must be overcome along the way in order to operate a successful, profitable, and long sustainable business. Continue reading
Most entrepreneurs use one or many forms of small business financing to start a business.
Here are a few helpful ideas for what you can do to set yourself up for success:
- Decide What Type of Business You’ll Open
Small business leaders wear many hats. They do it all — from high-level strategy to opening the mail and taking out the trash. They’re accustomed to being producers and getting things done and done well is all within their nature.
Unfortunately, this spirit of self-reliance can be a major obstacle when it comes to building and managing a team. When you’re used to single-handedly running the ship, it can be difficult to relinquish control to your crew members. But doing so is often the key to taking your business to the next level. Continue reading
Recently, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) passed amid much hoopla about how this legislation would be the stimulus that jumpstarts the economy and enables people like you and me to invest in all of these startups without becoming accredited investors, as was previously required by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Now if you’re a small business owner, the floodgates will open, and you’ll be able to raise tons of money to accelerate your business, right? Probably not. While the SEC is still in its evaluation stage and the actual regulations have not been written, some things are already clear from the text of the JOBS Act bill itself. First, you will only be able to raise a total of $1 million in the course of 12 months, and individual investors will only be able to contribute the greater of $2,000 or 5% of net income if they make less than $100,000 per year or have a net worth of less than $100,000, and they will only be able to contribute the greater of 10% of the net income or net worth of the investor if the investor makes or is worth more than $100,000 and not to exceed $100,000 (see Section 302(a) of the text of the bill for details). So, raising $1,000,000 will require either at least 10 high income/net worth investors or at least 500 lower net worth investors, and probably many more than that.