Starting a Business

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon – October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

Two business entities available when starting a business   I believe it’s important to write an article or two about the various business entities that are available to a person starting a business. With the economy remaining in the doldrums, good and experienced employees are still losing jobs. Some of these people will start or buy a business, predominantly due to the fact that there are no available employee-type jobs. Some information about the various business entities available might be of use. The simplest form of business entity is called a sole proprietorship. A sole proprietor reports all of the income and expenses of the sole proprietorship on a Schedule C. This Schedule C becomes a part of the taxpayer’s Federal Form 1040. “Jerry’s Landscaping and Income Tax” would be an example of a sole proprietorship. This business registers its name at the county level and thereby protects that name. If Jerry’s Landscaping and Income Tax goes downtown Grand Rapids and registers that business name with the Kent County Clerk’s office, no one else would be able to confuse the public by operating a business in Kent County under that name. That doesn’t stop someone from operating a business in another county using that name, so the safe thing to do might be to also register the name in the surrounding counties. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, and those situations sometimes end up in the courts. The next less simple type of business entity is called a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). As the name implies, an LLC can potentially remove liability issues from the taxpayer level and encapsulate those liability issues within the LCC. If done properly, potentially only the assets within the LLC are subject to liability claims. I say “potentially” because I’m not an attorney, but my conversations with attorneys have led me in that direction. LLC registration occurs at the State of Michigan level by filing an Articles of Organization form. This gives the taxpayer the right to re-name his business to Jerry’s Landscaping and Income Tax LLC. It also protects this name at the entire state level. No one in Michigan would be able to operate under that name. It wouldn’t stop someone in another state from using […]