Is there any reason to register my business if I am not operating yet?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by S&JW, Apr 27, 2013.

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  1. S&JW

    S&JW
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    Hi all, 1st post on here.

    I have several questions but I'll start with the most important one. Business partner and I have an interest in starting a business, a retail cart that specifically sells upper quality confections. I have scanned the area and anticipate great success BUT due to current finances we are not running it yet. I have the designed logo, business name, business plan (15 pages, nothing big), and the passion for it.

    So, with that said, absolutely nothing has been set-up or registered: no business name has been reserved, no business accounts, no wholesale supplier relations, no CPA/accountant or whoever, no LLC partnership, no tax ID#, nothing really. (I don't even know how to open a business account...that's another story!)

    I don't know if I should do these things without knowing when to open/start? I'm just a bit nervous that I'm gonna stumble into a fee that is tax/etc related if I were to establish everything, even though I didn't start selling anything having no expenses or income. Should I just start signing forms and just get it over with, regardless of whether I open a month later or a year later? How much (ballpark) does the whole 9 yards cost and how long does the process take? (I'm just a little cart, so I'm assuming not much for either...). I live in NJ btw if this helps.

    Thank You in advance!
     
  2. ProfitClinic

    ProfitClinic
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    As a long-time business owner, author and academic, I can tell you this:

    1. Most business-related laws and regulations are intended to do similar things, no matter where you live and work.
    2. If you have a business name or trademark you want to use, the sooner you get it registered, the less risk there is that it will be taken by someone else.
    3. Taxes don't usually apply until you actually generate sales revenue.
    4. There will be some fees and charges that apply, depending on what kind of business structure you choose.
    5. There has never been a time when information and help are so easily available, or at so little cost.
    The Scottish mountaineer and author, W. H. Murray*, had this to say about commitment…

    “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

    “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”​

    The German philosopher and playwrite, Goethe, wrote…

    “Enough words have been exchanged;
    now at last let me see some deeds!” (Goethe, Faust I)​

    (* The final paragraph of Murray’s quotation is often attributed, inaccurately, to Goethe. There is no known evidence to prove its origin.)

    The incomparable William Shakespeare captured the situation eloquently in these two masterful observations…

    “There is a tide in the affairs of men,
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat;
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    Or lose our ventures.”

    Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene III

    “Our doubts are traitors
    And make us lose the good we oft might win
    By fearing to attempt.”

    Measure for Measure, Act I, Scene IV

    My own father used to teach us, as children…

    “Begin — the rest is easy!”

    You may find some useful insights, ideas and information on getting started in my own book, “Don’t Go Into Small Business Until You Read This Book!” It can be read, free, at http://profitclinic.com/dontgo/.
     
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    #2 ProfitClinic, Apr 27, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  3. Fergal

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    I'd like to believe that, but I'm not sure that I really do. Is there anything you can tell me that would convince me?
     
  4. S&JW

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    Thanks for bulletpoints 2-4!
     
  5. ProfitClinic

    ProfitClinic
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    Hi Fergal, :)

    I have to say that what Murray asserts has definitely been my own experience, repeatedly. There does seem to be some kind of synergy that springs up around a concerted, practical commitment to succeed in a venture.

    I've found all kinds of resources, contacts, connections and support gravitating toward whatever I'm attempting that simply never appeared whenever I was hesitant, nervous or timid about whatever I was attempting. But when I made a full-blown commitment to its success, even after initial setbacks and discouragements, those things would suddenly, and inexplicably, begin falling into place.

    An example: I made a commitment to my two "middle" daughters (I have four daughters, now aged 43, 33, 31 and 24) to mount a professional production of a pantomime I'd written when my eldest kids were 5 and 3, back in 1974-5. When I crunched the numbers, I needed more than half a million dollars in funding, and a children's superstar for the leading male role. Everyone I discussed it with was negative about my chances of success. So I shelved my plans — until my two little girls began a campaign of subtle emotional blackmail to get me to resurrect them.

    After a couple of days of equivocating, I finally bit the bullet and determined to go for broke.

    Within 48 hours I had all the investors I needed (they networked to come up with more investors from my original three), I had Australia's #1 male children's television host (a former rock'n'roll legend) signed up for the lead role, and everything else I needed to bring the project to fruition.

    It was the hit of the Christmas/New Year holiday season, got rave reviews from the critics, more press and media attention than “Cats”, which opened a month earlier, and audience surveys showed that the median audience member saw the production 3, 4 or more times during our three week season. (One group of about a dozen kids got themselves part-time jobs so they could attend every performance, sitting in the front row.)

    The ONLY change in circumstances was my level of determination and commitment.

    This sort of scenario has played out dozens of times for me, in all kinds of situations, including business.

    Another example:

    In 1996 I had plans to present a series of 2-day marketing and advertising workshops for small business owners, but I needed to promote them heavily in order to fill them. At the time, I had just come through a horror stretch of business disasters and losses resulting from an ill-advised partnership, so I didn't have the kind of promotional budget to mount such a campaign. But I needed a spectacular success for my own self-esteem and mental/emotional well-being (not to mention financial survival), so I sat down and worked out a strategy to make it all happen, and quickly. Then I made the commitment to myself to go all out to ensure its success.

    I wrote a book — actually taken from a series of articles I'd written for small business magazines over the previous few years — and I created a promotional strategy around it. I would present a series of low cost, 3-hour seminars about how to avoid the boobytraps that sink 90% of all small businesses, and how to set up your business for success in marketing, as a lead-in to my planned workshops. My new softcover book would be included in the admission price of $30 (the printing cost was less than $2 each). It was valued at $20 at the time, so the value offered was high.

    I decided to bite off more than I thought I could chew to get promotional support, so I approached the marketing manager of News Limited's suburban newspaper network in my city (30+ local papers) with a proposal for News Ltd to advertise the seminars and insert flyers in all of its monthly statements mailed to advertisers for two months, in return for which they'd have sponsorship rights and I'd present a half-day training workshop for their advertising sales reps to help them capitalise on the goodwill — and improved know-how — created by my small business marketing and advertising workshops. I also enlisted several other sponsors to help cover other expenses (venues, catering, equipment hire, printed workbooks, etc), including Microsoft, Australia's second-biggest telco, our State's Small Business Development Corporation and more. They all were featured in advertising, workbooks, etc and at the venues as sponsors. The value of the free advertising alone was more than $300,000.

    In short, more than 22,000 small business owners attended the seminars, around 3,500 attended my workshops, my book became the #1 seller for small businesses in Australia for nearly 5 years and became required reading for business students at universities in 6 countries. I made a healthy 6 figures from the venture in less than two months — with all expenses covered by sponsorships — and never looked back.

    But none of it happened until I made that commitment and took bold action. Success favours the brave, not the timid or doubting. :D

    PS: The book I wrote at the time is the one forum members can view online, free of charge. The link is in my original post in this topic.

    One of the unexpected outcomes of the book and seminars was the number of letters and phone calls I received from people who decided, as a result of their attendance, that they were not yet ready to go into business — and thanking me from saving them from almost certain losses and failure.

    That, in turn, gave me the idea for another successful series of small business workshops for people in the same boat as them, to help them prepare properly — including creating REAL business plans, instead of the usual, phony, sales-pitch-for-funding "business plans", which are NOT business plans at all — they’re actually part of one of the four sub-plans of a REAL business plan. (If anyone tried to use them to actually RUN a small business, they'd sink like a stone. It's no wonder that most of these fakes never get used, instead collecting dust in a bottom drawer.)

    An afterthought…

    Fergal, I'm quite sure that nothing I can tell you will convince you of anything. This is the kind of situation where only direct, personal experience can achieve that kind of conviction.

    It's actually a form of faith, if you will. Not in a religious sense, but it does seem to have practical application in everyday life. I've always told my adult kids — and my former students — that miracles don't create faith. Wrong way 'round… it's faith that creates miracles. Regardless of your personal beliefs, it's hard to deny the results when they happen to you as a direct result of exercising faith in yourself.
     
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    #5 ProfitClinic, Apr 29, 2013
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  6. Fergal

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    Thanks for all of that ProfitClinic, it's a very interesting and inspiring read. I love the two success stories you wrote about in your post. Personally, I've a bit more growing to do, before I achieve that level of faith and commitment.

    Just to clarify, when I asked to be convinced, it wasn't that I doubted you, it's because I want to believe, I can see where you are coming from when you say "This is the kind of situation where only direct, personal experience can achieve that kind of conviction." Do you have any suggestions as to how to get started on that path?

    Thanks again.
     
  7. S&JW

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    ???

    You both obviously don't know how to help me. I asked a few straightforward questions and was bombarded with a bunch of spam--really.

    I don't think this forum thread is about really abstract things, such as "letting the celestial choirs sing to let you find your faith in business". I have no idea where--what the?? How did this thread turn into that?

    Please create another thread to put your faith spreading "spam" because honestly my question hasn't been answered yet. Do I HAVE to go to another web forum to ask for business advice, or something?
     
  8. ProfitClinic

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    Wow... NOW who's making major somersaults in interpretation? You've clearly missed the whole point of the discussion. Not unusual when you obviously feel so emotionally threatened by anything you regard as some kind of red flag that your mind snaps shut on sight. By the way, it's quite common for a stream of consciousness, like a forum discussion, to branch off suddenly into unexpected tangential directions. Please — do yourself a favour, and get a grip!

    In more mundane terms, try the Six Inch Hatpin approach. You'll find it explained here: http://www.profitclinic.com/dontgo/hatpin/

    PS: When the owner of this forum, and a friend, asks me a direct question in the thread, I try to reply as frankly as I can. By opening a new topic, you put it out there for others to contribute. If you don't like the replies, and feel the need to control the direction of the discussion, my advice to you is simple: start your own forum.

    Good luck with that. :eek:
     
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  9. Fergal

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    Sorry you feel that way S&JW. Honestly I'd suggest that you seek professional accountancy advice in relation to your questions. A good accountant will look at your specific circumstances and advise you on the best approach to reduce your tax obligations. If you get the right advisor, he / she will more than cover their fees in what you save on tax.
     
  10. S&JW

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    No good, ProfitClinic. You sound like you have a honorary-post doctorate degree or something based on how you worded your sentences. They reek of academia (not a bad thing, just noticing).

    OK. To translate your most recent response: If I want to spam your forum thread, I can do it and if you don't like it then start your own forum. Oh yes, that sounds very trolling.

    Look, ProfitClinic, I know times are very, very hard: you probably need to influence as many people as you can into believing in your church of business in order to meet your financial goals. But this really wasn't the place to do it (I for sure didn't buy into it, LOL), but based on your extensive demagouging I think you're just too stubborn to understand that. My fingers are tired responding to you -- go BS somebody else, thanks!
     
  11. S&JW

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    Thank you for the info -- yup, a good financial advisor will always get rid of starting business headaches. Will check up on that :)
     
  12. Fergal

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    S&JW you might want to have a look at our forum rules.

    Closing thread, if anyone would like it re-opened, please send me a PM.
     
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