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Beware of the “Top 20 Costly Mistakes" Even One Could Cost You Your Business
We've talked to literally hundreds of business owners over the years. If there's one thing we've learned beyond the shadow of a doubt from those who have been sued, needlessly poured money down bottomless tax or expense holes, or whose businesses have failed, it's this:
NOT ONE was excited over the few bucks they saved by using a low cost incorporator -- or worse, flying solo -- to incorporate or establish an LLC for their business.
Years and untold dollars later, they sorely regret the hard work, stress, and many, many lost hours of time with family and friends -- consumed instead by lawyers, bankers, accountants and creditors, while picking up the pieces of the wreckage from a devastating lawsuit or bankruptcy.
All those losses could have been prevented by proper planning with the right company to support them. All those losses were the indirect, and sometimes direct result of “penny-wise, pound foolish” thinking. They've learned (the hard way) the value of having a company like NCP to be at their side, constantly guarding against missteps and roadblocks.
We hear the same basic horror stories told over and over again. And while we'd never say “we told you so,” we've learned from them as well. Let us share with you the 20 most common mistakes they've made, both before and after their entity formation:
10 Costly Mistakes Before Entity Formation:
1. Forming an LLC and NOT knowing how it's taxed (Are you a single or multi-member LLC? Will you be disregarded for tax purposes, taxed as a partnership, a C-, or an S-corporation?)
2. Forming an LLC for real estate and NOT knowing which is best. Is the property investor vs. dealer? (Make the wrong choice, and be doomed to a life of unnecessary taxes.)
3. Forming an LLC and having it managed by Members instead of Managers (A sure way to lose flexibility and control)
4. Forming an S corporation and NOT knowing the shareholder rules (Imagine discovering years later that you've violated an S corporation shareholder rule -- and that you now owe years of expensive C corporation back taxes.)
5. Forming an S corporation when your company anticipates future value (There must be a better approach… and indeed, there is!)
6. Forming a C corporation to take advantage of fringe benefits when your business doesn't fit the C corporation model. (Can you spell nightmare?)
7. Forming an entity in Nevada and NOT knowing when to foreign register, and for what reasons. (“Can't you just get a mailbox?”)
8. Forming an entity and hiring independent contactors and employees WITHOUT knowing the rules. (It makes a difference as to which states you'll need to foreign register.)
9. Forming an LLC taxed as a partnership WITHOUT having an “official” partner . (Maybe the IRS won't notice…)
10. Selecting an inexperienced or disreputable company to help you form your entity. (There's no excuse for not checking references with the BBB, local professional organizations and testimonials.)
10 Costly Mistakes After Entity Formation:
1. NOT completing corporate AND LLC formalities (Yes, LLCs should have them too!)
2. NOT completing the LLC operating agreement (Unless you've got a lemonade stand, it's essential)
3. NOT properly capitalizing the entity, and especially not being crystal clear with partners about your capitalization (A disaster waiting to happen!)
4. Putting LLC Members on payroll vs guaranteed payments (Do you know the advantages?)
5. Forming an LLC taxed as an S corporation and having the incorrect operating agreement (A subtle, but effective nuance that must be handled properly.)
6. NOT completing a buy sell agreement for the partners (Again, being crystal clear will save your sanity.)
7. Falling behind on employee payroll taxes to the IRS and your state (This will cost your business dearly -- at best .)
8. NOT meeting with your CPA to set up a chart of accounts (Running your business off a checking account balance is a fast track to bankruptcy.)
9. Registering your domain name to your operating entity (This may account for 70% or more of your lead generation-a huge asset at risk.)
10. NOT obtaining the proper business licenses (Being out of compliance can punch gaping holes in your bottom line.)
We at NCP pride ourselves on conscientious, well-informed expertise to help you avoid these costly mistakes. We take the time with you to ensure that we understand every relevant aspect of your company, and diligently do our homework so that you're fully prepared for whatever the business world throws at you. Remember, you get what you pay for!
Don't wait until January to get started! Incorporate before the end of the year and get a head start on tracking your Schedule C for 2007. Waiting until the last minute is a sure way to show up on the IRS 's radar!
Be sure to ask about Nevada Corporate Planners' vast array of business development services, designed to help run your business more efficiently and put more money back in your pocket!
About the Author: Be sure to ask about Nevada Corporate Planners' vast array of business development services, designed to help run your business more efficiently and put more money back in your pocket! Visit us at http://nvinc.com.