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  Post #1 (permalink)   04-05-2010, 03:02 PM
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Hello,

How important are LLCs for your business? How much do they typically cost?

I'm in California and I am searching for a way to get my LLC. I got my DBA at my city offices.

Are there any online websites that make this easy?

Thanks,
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  Post #2 (permalink)   04-05-2010, 06:49 PM
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www.legalzoom.com will tell you how much they are and I think tell you why their important.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   04-05-2010, 10:08 PM
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Have you ever used them before?
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  Post #4 (permalink)   04-05-2010, 10:41 PM
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www.legalzoom.com will tell you how much they are and I think tell you why their important.
Don't use legalzoom. They are a ripoff. They charge 3 times as much as it cost for something you can simply do yourself.

You can register an LLC in your state for about a $50 fee and most states have the form online that you can download and complete and send with payment.
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  Post #5 (permalink)   04-05-2010, 10:55 PM
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California - that's where we were based out of two. You've got some expensive bills to pay if you want to be a California LLC.

There's the $800+ LLC permit, the $600 something else fee, and then there's the company to file all the paperwork. I believe we were in the $2500 range (each year) just for the LLC end of things, and then had the additional taxes based on revenue after that. Then of course our employees are in 7 different states, so there's payroll taxes, articles of incorporation and business licenses in each of those states too. Lots of fun!

We instead shifted everything to a Nevada LLC. This removes us from the California Franchise Fee, and since our staff are outside of California and hte majority of our clients are outside of California, we don't have to pay the additional.

You'll definitely want to sit down with your lawyer and draft the documents and find out which is going to be better (especially when starting out versus being established). There's a lot to think about and a lot of legal holes that you need to plug before someone comes knocking with an audit paper.

Between your accountant and your lawyer, you'll be able to cover all the bases. If you're running a business, I HIGHLY recommend getting an LLC
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  Post #6 (permalink)   04-05-2010, 10:56 PM
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You can register an LLC in your state for about a $50 fee and most states have the form online that you can download and complete and send with payment.
Not in California. There's LOTS of extra surcharges for that state. There's just no way to avoid the initial $800 fee the state charges.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   04-06-2010, 08:13 AM
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California - that's where we were based out of two. You've got some expensive bills to pay if you want to be a California LLC.

There's the $800+ LLC permit, the $600 something else fee, and then there's the company to file all the paperwork. I believe we were in the $2500 range (each year) just for the LLC end of things, and then had the additional taxes based on revenue after that. Then of course our employees are in 7 different states, so there's payroll taxes, articles of incorporation and business licenses in each of those states too. Lots of fun!

We instead shifted everything to a Nevada LLC. This removes us from the California Franchise Fee, and since our staff are outside of California and hte majority of our clients are outside of California, we don't have to pay the additional.

You'll definitely want to sit down with your lawyer and draft the documents and find out which is going to be better (especially when starting out versus being established). There's a lot to think about and a lot of legal holes that you need to plug before someone comes knocking with an audit paper.

Between your accountant and your lawyer, you'll be able to cover all the bases. If you're running a business, I HIGHLY recommend getting an LLC


You know, I was having a great day today. Then I read this post

Well I think thats what I should do. Legalzoom seems to be like godaddy of law. Another friend of mine highly recommended a lawyer. Even though its expensive its way easier.

So with taxes I'll have to pay an additional yearly fee for all these legal documents? (Per Year)
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  Post #8 (permalink)   04-06-2010, 08:32 AM
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Taxes are going to wear you out. Fortunately we have a CPA doing all that for us here, and at my salon, we've hired a bookkeeping firm to help. Just this morning, I mailed out four tax forms and have two electronic tax payments waiting to be called in. California sounds pretty complex - even moreso than we contend with here. Hiring a lawyer is a great first move. Good luck.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   04-06-2010, 09:06 AM
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Basically with California you have the $800 franchise fee. There's an $865 fee if you make more than $250k a year in the business. There's the filing of all the legal documents in the newspapers within "X" days to announce that you'll be conducting business (similar to what you did for your DBA, but an even greater restriction on what newspapers you can print in). There's then the taxes that California will impose for the money that you make in your business along with your normal city tax that your city will impose.

Don't believe the hype that any place can get you a California LLC for less than $800. I know that LegalZoom even says they can do it for under $200, but just be sure that they're covering your business and not going to hit you up in 90 days saying "ok, now it's time to file XYZ - pay another $300". You can START for under $800, but after I think it's 75 days, California requires their $800.

So definitely - an accountant is going to have a better set of ideas for you. I'm not a legal professional, so I can't advise you on your business, I can only speak for what we had to pay when we were operating as a California LLC Business.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   04-06-2010, 10:01 AM
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Wow..I never knew CA was so tough to do business in. That is absolutely crazy. In VA it's around 150, if memory serves me correctly.
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  Post #11 (permalink)   04-06-2010, 11:49 AM
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Not in California. There's LOTS of extra surcharges for that state. There's just no way to avoid the initial $800 fee the state charges.
Wow, that franchise fee is a load of BS! Glad we are not doing business in Cali!

Here in Mich, it's much simpler to incorporate a business.
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  Post #12 (permalink)   04-06-2010, 11:50 AM
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Wow..I never knew CA was so tough to do business in. That is absolutely crazy. In VA it's around 150, if memory serves me correctly.
Here is a PDF from Cali that explains incorporating an LLC in detail:

http://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/misc/1060.pdf
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  Post #13 (permalink)   04-06-2010, 06:38 PM
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Its a really small business. It most likely won't even bring near $10k a year within the next 3 years. Is there some sort of limit where you have to go in and get these documents? (limit like your gross income per year)
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  Post #14 (permalink)   04-07-2010, 10:41 AM
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Its a really small business. It most likely won't even bring near $10k a year within the next 3 years. Is there some sort of limit where you have to go in and get these documents? (limit like your gross income per year)
I'm confused - you're not required to file an LLC. You could be a sole proprietor, an S-Corp or C Corp. Whatever, I'd recommend liability insurance.
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  Post #15 (permalink)   04-07-2010, 11:41 AM
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Yep - an S-Corp may do just what you're looking to do.
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