Basic Training: B is for Bide Your Time Until You’re Properly Capitalized

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq., owner of Ask The Business Lawyer, is an award-winning business attorney, speaker, and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She saves consulting and professional services companies time, money, and aggravation by serving as their outsourced legal counsel.

Posted on April 22, 2015 in Money & Finance

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It’s only Jan. 2 (there was no WAY I was going to touch the computer yesterday), and already I’ve encountered a prime example of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, or, for those of you Yogi Berra fans, it’s déjà vu all over again.In short, same s**t, different year.

My New Year’s wish for you is that you put a little planning behind your business dreams this year, and make sure you have the financial muscle to back it up. Clear goal + action steps = positive results. It’s not that I mind answering the same questions over and over that has my feathers ruffled (so much for that New Year’s resolution to stay calm and centered!); it’s that people are still trying to start their businesses on the cheap, without the proper planning.

Especially in this economy, folks, EVERY DOLLAR IS PRECIOUS. Eisenhower said it best: When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When you don’t have a plan for putting the building blocks in properly, you’re establishing your business on a very shaky foundation. And if you don’t have the money for proper help, you sure as sugar aren’t going to have it to fend off a lawsuit or fix a problem when things go wrong.

Q.: I want to start a network of blogs that makes money via reviews and affiliate sales as well as creating and selling my own information products. I would love to have an attorney deal with all the paperwork but I just can’t afford it right now. Do I need to register this as a business right now? Is there a simpler way of setting up a business (where can I find a step-by-step guide)?

A.: Here’s the quick and dirty answer. You don’t have to form a business entity to be in business. HOWEVER, if you don’t, you place all your personal assets at risk. No step-by-step guide can give you the targeted guidance you need to choose the entity that’s really right for you. Making the wrong choice can cost you in fees and taxes along the road.

You mention that you can’t afford an attorney–do you even know how much one would cost to help you with (at least) the business formation? If you can’t scrape together the funds to do even this, then you may not have enough to launch your business. As January is about new beginnings, take this month too work out a plan for what you will do, what it will cost, how revenue will come your way, and within what time frame. Otherwise, you’ll be squandering your most valuable (and limited) resource: cash.

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