How to become legitimate? How do I monetize my talent? How do I take what I know to make a living?
Before we continue I want to make it clear, I’m not a lawyer, I have just been there and done that. So take anything you read here as what it is and not professional legal advice. Go talk to an attorney, and an accountant before you do anything.
There are two ways to be legitimate, a DBA or Doing Business As, or an LLC. I do not like the DBA option. It leaves way to many avenues for liability, and also does not really allow you to grow or as readily get access to commercial financial Products.
So that leaves the LLC option, so how do I get one? The easiest way is to use a registered agent. A registered agent is a service that handles filings and compliance and allows you to operate your business in whatever state you want no matter where you are. The choice of state is important you’ll need to do some research here. My registered agent of choice is northwestregisteredagent.com. They’re a top team, all of them are easy to deal with. Most importantly, when there are problems on your side or their side they fix them. The last important part on LLCs. You do have to pay extra it, but make sure you get the certificate of good standing. Some banks require one to get you an account. It is better to have and not need, than need and not have in this case.
The next step is a bank account, once you have your LLC done, download your documents from your registered agent and go to a bank. Your choice of bank is a long subject you need to go around and shop for one that you like and has good terms. Some things I look for is whether I like my point of contact or not. That is most important, things are gonna happen can you work with this person to make your business work.
Finally, you will need a website, webhosting and a domain name, while I know many people reading this are technical people they can skip this section. For the non nerds, the two technical elements you need for a website are a domain name, and a web hosting plan. The domain name is handled by a registrar, the web hosting plan is handled by a web host. Many services combine both, but make sure whether you use wix or not, keep your own registrar. Many web hosts and consultants will hold your domain name hostage to force you to stay with them. My registrar is namecheap.com. They are unobtrusive, like northwestregisteredagent.com, they do their jobs and keep out of the way. I will write more about building your website in a future article.
Well there you have it three easy steps (not really) but the basics needed to get your company from side hustle to legitimacy. Please remember research everything, and check it again. Good luck!!!!