Posts tagged with "start up"

sara sandman, 360 MAGAZINE, business, tech, illustration

Expert Tips on How to Start a Business with Your Spouse

Starting a business with your spouse, whether it’s a restaurant, real estate agency, consulting firm, tech startup or other type of company, can be a wonderful adventure to share together as a couple.

But there are challenges that go with running a business with your spouse. If you want to avoid some of the potential personal and financial risks of entrepreneurship, and make the most of the upside, it’s important to plan ahead and work as a team. 

Here are a few key tips and strategies to keep in mind when starting a business with your spouse.

Decide on Your Choice of Business Structure

One of the first decisions you should make is choosing your business entity structure to incorporate your business and make your business “official” in the eyes of the law.

There are several options for a choice of business entity, depending on your goals and what type of business you want to run. One of the most popular entity types is the limited liability company (LLC), which can help potentially protect your personal assets in case of a lawsuit against the business. If you have big growth goals for your business and potentially want to go public with an Initial Public Offering, a C Corporation might be a better choice.

Whether you set up an LLC, S Corporation, C Corporation or Partnership, it’s important to create a registered business entity for your company. This will help you get a business bank account, build business credit and potentially protect your personal finances from some of the worst-case scenarios of being in business.

Will You Be Co-Owners?

As part of setting up your official business entity, you need to be ready to clarify the ownership responsibilities of the two of you as spouses. Is this a business that one spouse is mostly going to be in charge of and the other is serving in more of a support role? Or are you both equal business partners? Will one spouse be an employee of the company, or will both spouses be listed as co-owners of the company?

There are certain paperwork complexities and tax implications that depend on whether both spouses are listed as co-owners of the company. For example, if one spouse is listed as the owner and the other spouse is an employee, the employee spouse might have to pay taxes at a higher rate on their income from the company, compared to what they would owe if they could treat their income as qualifying pass-through business income (which, depending on your income and business type, might qualify for a 20% tax deduction).

There is no single “right answer” for every situation, but talk with your tax advisor before you start a business with your spouse. It might be advantageous for tax purposes to both be listed as owners of the company.

Separate Your Business and Personal Finances

Once you have your business entity established, it’s time to get your official Employer ID Number from the IRS and get set up with a business bank account, including a checking account, savings account and business credit card.

Keep your business finances totally separate from your personal finances. Don’t pay for business expenses with your personal money, or vice versa. This will help you stay in compliance with the law and maximize your business tax deductions.

Create a Shared Vision and Strategic Plan

Make sure both of you have a shared strategic vision for what you want your business to be. Create a business plan. Work together on a mission statement, business name, business tagline and logo. Everything that represents your business should represent both of you; you’re a team, and your business should reflect that.

Clarify Your Roles and Responsibilities

Make sure you both understand what your specific “jobs” are in running the business. Is one of you going to be the “face” of the company who’s out making sales and meeting customers, while the other works behind the scenes? Is one of you the Chief Technology Officer and the other is the Chief Operating Officer? Play to your strengths and be prepared to wear many hats.

Establish Work-Life Boundaries and Balance

Make sure you agree upon what business hours are, and when you can turn off your phones and laptops. Make time to go out for dinner and take vacations and talk about life, not just work. You’re not just business partners, you’re still a couple in love.
Running a business with your spouse should hopefully make your life feel bigger and better. Working hard together and investing in your shared future can help your love grow. 

About Dustin Ray

Dustin Ray leads business development and growth initiatives at Incfile, a national incorporation service company specializing in business formation and small business services. Founded in 2004, Incfile makes it possible to start a business with a $0 formation + state fee and has assisted in the formation of more than 250,000 corporations and LLCs.

Dress for Success x New Leaders

Dress for Success Worldwide announces the addition of two talented leaders to the Dress for Success Board of Directors- Chief Executive Officer of M Booth, Dale Bornstein, and Chief Operating Officer at Etsy, Linda Findley Kozlowski. These powerful women join an already impressive roster of board members, offering new perspectives and an array of skill sets derived from more than 25 years of experience in public relations and international marketing industries.

 

Dale Bornstein

In 2013, after a 25-year career at Ketchum, Dale Bornstein took the reins of M Booth and led the firm’s drive towards integration and expansion, deepening and building new capabilities and recruiting best-in-class talent, resulting in the agency’s most successful period of client acquisition and revenue growth. Dale believes that people who live inspiring lives do inspiring work. This philosophy is at the core of M Booth’s employee-centric culture, where staff are encouraged to pursue their passions and apply that inspiration to driving client success. The firm has doubled in size under her leadership, attracted diverse talent and won every major industry award for both the agency and its clients. Dale has been named to PRWeek’s “Power List” twice over the last two years and the agency has won over 40 industry awards since 2015. She is currently serving a three year term for the Public Relations Council (PRC) where she helps champion the SHEQUALITY

 

Linda Findley Kozlowski

Linda Findley Kozlowski, COO of Etsy, the global marketplace for unique and creative goods, also brings 25 years of experience in operations, strategy, marketing, business development, public relations and customer service. During her time at both public and private companies, she has proven her ability to scale organizations, expand into new markets, introduce products, manage change, improve processes, increase efficiency, and adapt within complex and rapidly changing environments. An accomplished technology, small business and consumer product executive, she has overseen growth initiatives in almost every region of the world including Europe, Asia, Latin America, Russia and India.

 

About Dress for Success:

Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to 160 cities in 30 countries. To date, Dress for Success has helped over 1,000,000 women work towards self-sufficiency. Visit www.dressforsuccess.org to learn more.

Bolder Advocacy

Los Angeles City Ethics Commission Makes the Right Move on Nonprofits

Following the announcement this week by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission that certain nonprofits will not be forced to register as lobbyists under a proposed expansion of city lobbying rules, AFJ ‘s Bolder Advocacy program Director for California, Nona Randois, released the following statement:

“This is great news for smaller charities and for charities that are directly engaged in helping the city’s neediest residents. While more transparency in lobbying is an important goal, it’s equally important that well-intentioned measures aimed at achieving that goal don’t crush the efforts of small nonprofits providing vital services to their communities. Many of those organizations would face enormous obstacles in continuing their work if they were hit with onerous new rules. Bolder Advocacy has worked with a coalition of Los Angeles nonprofits to make the case for exempting certain nonprofits from having to classify themselves as lobbyists, and we hope to see this exemption carried forward in any final version of the rules approved by the City Council.”

As part of a proposed package of lobbying reforms, the Ethics Commission voted to exclude nonprofits with budgets under $2 million, as well as nonprofits that are formed for the purpose of providing food, shelter, and similar services to low-income populations, from having to register as lobbyists and comply with extensive reporting requirements. These organizations will be included as part of the exemption carved out for 501(c)(3) organizations in proposed revisions to the Los Angeles Municipal Lobbying Ordinance.

In a letter to the Ethics Commission, Bolder Advocacy’s Nona Randois and Shyaam Subramanian used the following illustration to explain why key services could be impacted by imposing extensive new requirements on many nonprofits:

“For example, a community-based organization that assists homeless residents may decide not to produce a report outlining the need for more public toilets on Skid Row if it is unsure whether the cost of the report is a lobbying expense, since preparing the report could force the organization to file regular lobbying reports subject to potential civil and criminal penalties for mistakes or late filing. This robs the City of vital input and expertise which otherwise would help the City make decisions that are fair and equitable at a time when so many traditionally disadvantaged groups are being targeted.”

Bolder Advocacy believes that the solution proposed by the Ethics Commission strikes the right balance. The proposal as it is now written avoids a deterrent effect on community-based organizations that advocate on behalf of underrepresented people, but also helps ensure meaningful disclosure of lobbying activities to the public.

Bolder Advocacy promotes active engagement in democratic processes and institutions by giving nonprofits and foundations the confidence to advocate effectively and by protecting their right to do so. Our goal is to demystify and decode advocacy by equipping organizations with knowledge and tools. We help organizations fully understand the rules and become assertive in their right to pursue their policy goals.