Business Basics: Governance Documents

One of the most common questions we get here at MyCorporation about forming a limited liability company or corporation is, “How hard is it to actually run this type of business?” Running an LLC or corporation is very different than running a sole proprietorship, and the government will expect those running the business to adhere to certain rules. governance documentsIt should be noted that the only governance document need for Corporations and LLCs is an Articles of Incorporation or a Certificate of Organization. However, there are other types of governance documents that should be kept and maintained.

Articles of Incorporation and Certificates of Organization

In order to form a corporation, you have to file your articles of incorporation. And in order to form an LLC, you have to file what is normally called a certificate of organization. In both cases, these documents act a sort of birth certificate for the new business entity. They disclose the entity’s name, address, registered agent information, and the information of any managers or owners. A lot of states actually offer a “fill-in-the-blank” type of form on the website of their Secretary of State or department of corporations. However, these forms only meet the minimal requirements for a corporation or LLC as set by the state. They also don’t set the rules for how your company will actually be run. Along with these formation documents, you should consider drafting a set of bylaws or an operating agreement.

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‘Doing Business As’ Names vs. Trademarks

Entrepreneurs are always going to be protective of their business’s name. After all, this is the name under which all of the goodwill and branding they’ve worked so hard to accrue will go. But there is still some confusion about the best way to protect that name. On the one hand, registering a ‘Doing Business As’ name does keep other businesses in your area from using the same name, and for some businesses that’s enough. 'Doing Business As' Names vs. TrademarksWhile a trademark on your business’s name offers a lot more protection, filing a trademark does take more time and money. So we decided to take a look at both DBA names and trademarks, and help explain what the pros and cons of each are.

Doing Business As Names
A DBA name, which is also referred to as a trade name, is just that – a name. It’s a quick and easy way to identify a business or entity, and filing for a DBA name is pretty straightforward. Continue reading

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A Woman Who I Admire

A Woman Who I AdmireBy Benjamin Sweeney

Over half of the people in the world are women. There are so many women who I admire, including my two grandmothers, my teacher, and my aunts. There is one special woman who I admire most. That special woman is my mom, Deborah Sweeney. Some of the reasons I admire my mom include her intelligence, her kindness, her hard work and her great attitude.

My mom is a very smart person. She helps me with my homework when I am having trouble with it. My mom also helps me with my after school class, Kumon. Even though the questions that she helps with are hard, she makes it look easy. My mom also went to great colleges including UC Irvine and Pepperdine and she owns a big company.

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50 States of Incorporation: Utah

incorporate in UtahAs one of the states that comprises the Four Corners (along with Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado), the advantages that come when one decides to incorporate in Utah are plentiful.

Nicknamed the Beehive State, Utah has been nationally ranked within the top three states in the country as the best states for business, according to Forbes. The state’s biggest industries include mining, cattle ranching, salt production, government services, and tourism, the latter of which notably rose after the end of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Major companies including Overstock.com, 1-800 Contacts, Ancestry.com are all headquartered within the state as well and Thumbtack.com gave Utah an A+ in the overall friendliness and ease of starting up a business that Utah provides.

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Experts Weigh In: I’m a Twentysomething Entrepreneur

Experts Weigh In: I'm a Twentysomething EntrepreneurLast week, we took a look at 10 teen entrepreneurs who told us about their experience getting started with their own business. This week we’re talking to our panel of 40 twentysomething entrepreneurs on being fearless, driven, and energized when it comes to running their own businesses and building up their brands!

1. “The best thing about it is that all my friends constantly complain they’re shackled to their desks in jobs they absolutely hate. I get to meet a wide variety of interesting clients on a daily basis and implement my own ideas whenever I want. I work on my own terms, doing what I love. I love what I do every single day -­ you can’t put a price on satisfaction in your work life.”

- Nick Whitmore, 24, Managing Director, contentwriter.co.uk

2. “I think the best part about being an entrepreneur at my age is the opportunity to build my own legacy. I don’t have that complacency or false sense of security other people my age have when you’re getting a fixed salary at the end of the month. There’s a fire under me every morning! I work from home & I’m in control of my own time and I can fully enjoy work and spending time with my baby girl.”

- Ruth Noel-Samaroo, 25, Online Accounting Specialist, Noel Bookkeeping

3. “I’ve been living from my ventures for the past 4 years now, grown one of them to up to 30 employees and loved every moment of it. The thing I like the most about it is the complete freedom you have both in location and the way you schedule your day.”

- Gael Breton, 20s, Co-Founder, Copycog.com, Health Ambition, Authority Hacker

4. “#RAWR: The best part about being an entrepreneur while being in your 20′s is the understanding that you have more time than most current successful entrepreneurs. Time is life’s most important aspect and time can allow you from one day being good, to one day being great!”

- Johnathan Grzybowski, 20s, Marketing Director, Dino Enterprise

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What Goes into an Operating Agreement?

Operating agreements are one of the most vital, and overlooked, tools in running a limited liability company. We’ve actually covered operating agreements as part of our ‘ABCs of MyCorp’ series, but we never delved into what an operating agreement should actually say. operating agreement As a quick refresher, an operating agreement is essentially a document that defines how the LLC will be run, and the SBA recommends that every LLC draft one. The trouble is that only a couple of states, like Missouri and New York, legally require new LLCs to have an operating agreement. But without the rules, structure, and regulations an operating agreement provides, your LLC could be in serious trouble if partners disagree, a member wants to leave, or if the state starts questioning the validity of your LLC. Operating agreements are also pretty easy to draft and only need to cover a few key areas.

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Entrepreneurs of All Ages (Infographic)

What roles do entrepreneurs play in the future of business? Here at MyCorporation, we’re taking a closer look at entrepreneurs of all ages, especially young entrepreneurs, in our latest infographic as we examine the ages small business owners are when they first get started, their education background, and just how many businesses comprise our current economy.

Entrepreneurs of All Ages

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50 States of Incorporation: Texas

This week we are looking at Texas – the Lone Star State. As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. The state has successfully accommodated changes in the economy and US consumption – though it was originally a cattle state, oil rich land and a strong infrastructure has turned the cowboy state into one of the economically diverse states in the USA. Incorporate in TexasIn their Best States for Business survey, Forbes ranked Texas at #7 with the state’s economic climate in first place and most analysts also expect Texas to see some serious growth in the next few years. If you’ve ever wanted to start a business, Texas is a great place to do it. But how hard is it to start a business, form an LLC, or incorporate in Texas?

What do you need to start a business in Texas?

Surprisingly little! Some states require sole proprietorships, which are the simplest type of business entity, to register before they do business. All Texas requires is that the sole-proprietorship’s owner file an ‘Assumed Name Certificate,’ also known as a ‘Doing Business As’ name, with the County Clerk. Depending on where you plan on doing business, and what sort of business you run, you may also need to file for a business license – the Small Business Administration has a handy tool to help new business owners figure out exactly what they need on that front!

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What is a Foreign Corporation?

The term ‘Foreign Corporation‘ sometimes confuses people. Though it can also refer to a corporation from a different country, when business advisers refer to a Foreign Corporation or LLC, they are usually talking about a domestic company with permission to operate in a state other than the one the company was formed in. This permission is often called a ‘foreign qualification,’ Foreign Corporation and it effectively registers your company with the new state so the state can collect taxes. With it, you can open up another branch of your company, or move your base of operations, without changing states. But why would a business want to do that?

Why would you want a foreign qualification?
There are a few reasons why a business chooses to qualify as a foreign entity in other states. One of the main ones being that the company simply wants to expand its operations – sales could be strong in their home state, and they figure they’ll take a crack at opening another store or office in a neighboring state. Since you need permission to do business in another state, they pursue a foreign qualification. However, some business owners also believe that they may save money on taxes by forming a business in a state like Nevada or Delaware, and then qualifying in the state they actually do business in. There are pros and cons to incorporating in another state, so be sure to weigh your options carefully.

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Celebrate Earth Day with Mycorp’s Best Posts on Benefit Corporations!

Happy Earth Day everyone! This year marks the 44th annual celebration of Earth Day, and we’ve all made a lot of progress towards becoming more environmentally friendly. In fact, according to Reader’s Digest, 1 out of every 3.3 Americans considers themselves environmentally conscious, and 1 out of every 2.3 Americans recycle. Benefit Corporation Though some have considered the environmental movement to be just a fad, it is clear that many more of us are concerned with the impact we have on the environment.

With the arrival and recognition of Benefit Corporations, even corporate law is changing to accommodate our growing environmental and social consciousness! Benefit Corporations are for-profit companies that wish to pursue a social and environmental mission, even if that mission cuts into their profit. We here at MyCorp are huge fans of B-Corporations, and to celebrate Earth Day we thought it’d be fun to take a look back at some of our blog’s most interesting, and informative, Benefit Corporation-related posts.

  • Never heard of a Benefit Corporation? MyCorp released a handy infographic to help explain the background of Benefit Corporations, and why they are such an important new entity.
  • If you’re looking for creative ways to further your environmental mission, our guest blogger Kristina Jackson was kind enough to give us her 7 tips on how to further your green agenda through social media.
  • Trying to figure out if your business can go green? Check out this post by guest writer Clint Robertson on the 6 unlikely industries entrepreneurs can go green in!
  • If a Benefit Corporation sounds like something you are interested in, we can help get you get it set up and running. Our CEO Deborah Sweeney even wrote a post on how to run a Benefit Corporation!
  • Even if you’re not ready to commit to running a Benefit Corporation, you can still work to do your part and reduce your impact on the environment. Our guest blogger Kandace Heller recommended six ways you can reduce your business’s waste.

Have any questions about Benefit Corporations? Thinking about forming your own? Leave a comment below, or give us a call at 1-877-692-6772, and we’ll be happy to help you out!

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