What Is The Difference Between An LLC and a Corporation

What Is The Difference Between An LLC and a Corporation

As part of the process of forming a company, small business owners must decide upon the structure they want their company to be formed as. Two of the most common structures, particularly in Texas, that owners opt for are limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations.

Given the importance of small businesses to the American economy (they employ over 47% of the private workforce), it is vital for small businesses to understand these two structures. Thus, this article will explore some of the associated advantages and disadvantages of these two entity types as well as the optimal times to lean towards one or the other. 

Shared Characteristics

There is an area in which LLCs and corporations overlap, and they share the same characteristics. The most clear example of this is the protection they both extend to personal assets (aka limited liability protection). This ensures that the personal assets of a business owner are protected if their business is sued by the nature of the LLC and corporation entity’s structure.

Furthermore, another shared characteristic is the exclusivity LLCs and corporations provide their owners with for the name of the business. This luxury is not afforded to businesses structured as sole proprietorships or general partnerships, so they are unable to stop other companies from taking their name.

LLC Advantages

Easier to Form

For the most part, it will be quicker for a new business to form as an LLC than as a corporation. This is for a number of reasons, namely the fact that the prospective business owner is not required to provide as much information in order to form an LLC than a corporation. There are also fewer steps too.

As an illustration, corporations are obligated to draft bylaws, nominate board members and hold board meetings, as well as distribute stock, whereas LLCs are not required to do any of this.

Greater Flexibility

A key reason to choose LLCs over corporations is the increased flexibility of the former; owners have much more control over how they want to run their business whilst corporations are frustratingly restricted by a number of regulations. Some areas in which this flexibility will be felt most are the business management structure and ownership responsibility options that corporations, put simply, just don’t have.

Tax Benefits

The flexibility of LLCs also extends to taxation, and the ability of this business structure to choose the way in which they want to be taxed. Standard LLCs are subject to pass-through taxation, though they can also opt to be taxed in an analogous way to corporations (either as a C or S corp).

Image Credit: Incorporation Guru

Corporation Advantages

There are some advantages to forming as a corporation too. Firstly, LLCs can struggle to attract investment and venture capital from third parties due to the fact that they cannot supply stock, which investors and venture capitalists generally both prefer. Thus, for those aiming to draw in some investment or capital, it is preferable to form as a corporation.

Another important reasons some companies prefer the corporation business structure is its antiquity. The corporation (as a business structure) is hundreds of years old, meaning such businesses get to benefit from legalities that are more established, which is not the case for the much more modern LLC structure.

Final Thoughts

All things considered, it’s understandable why one might be confused as to the difference between LLCs and corporations due to the number of similarities that they share. That being said, they also have a number of key differences that mark out advantages and disadvantages of both structures.

If you are looking to form your business as either of these, please refer to the following resource for the best options in Texas.

How To Ensure The Best Possible Start For a Small Business In Texas

How To Ensure The Best Possible Start For a Small Business In Texas

Between March 2019 and March 2020 69,430 small businesses opened in Texas and 60,952 small businesses closed. This statistic demonstrates the difficulty of successfully operating a small business. Starting a business is a daunting task and anything which can make success even a little bit easier is always welcome. That is why this article will outline several steps which any business can undertake to ensure the best possible start it can have. 

Pick A Business Name 

While this may seem like a small and superfluous task, it is actually very important for the success of your business. A good business name will set your business apart from the competition. Your business’s name will also be the foundation of your business’s brand which is extremely important in the current business environment. Good branding can be the difference between success and failure and it all starts with a name. 

Incorporate An LLC

One of the best ways to establish any business is to incorporate an LLC. An LLC is a limited liability company. This is a business entity which provides limited liability protection to the business owner. This means that if the business goes into debt or goes bankrupt, creditors cannot expropriate the assets of the business owner. Similarly if the business owner goes bankrupt in a personal capacity creditors cannot expropriate business assets. To get a head start on LLC formation in Texas consult this website for help.

Request An EIN 

An EIN is an employee identification number and it functions like a social security number for a business. This is required to open a business bank account which is highly recommended. It is also the first step in the process of developing business credit. An EIN will also be useful for tax purposes as it is necessary when filing tax withholdings for employees as well as filing for other forms of tax. 

Ensure You Have The Correct Licenses And Permits 

This will not necessarily apply to every small business as Texas does not require any general business licenses. However, depending on the type of business which you are operating the state may require you to acquire a license or a permit to operate. These usually have a small administrative fee attached to them. In the case that you do require a permit or a license it is mandatory to acquire them in order to operate legally. 

Make Sure You Meet The Business Employer Requirements 

These requirements will vary from business to business and will also depend upon whether your company has employees or not. It is recommended to consult a business lawyer if you are unsure about which state requirements you need to meet as this varies based on your business. You may be required or highly recommended to take out certain forms of business insurance including: general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance and business property insurance. These forms of insurance can protect you from lawsuits as well as an unforeseen event which could compromise your business. 

Get A Business Bank Account 

This is the best way to separate your personal finances from your business finances. As previously mentioned it is also the first step toward building business credit which is incredibly valuable for your business. You can also use your business bank account to start a business credit card which you can use for your business expenses as well as for developing your business’s credit score. 

Final Thoughts 

Included in this article are many valuable pieces of advice for how to best start a small business in Texas. While every business is different there are also certain commonalities which every business shares and this advice can help your business succeed. An LLC, good business credit and compliance with state laws will aid your business tremendously put your business on the path to success. 

Forgotten Marketing Methods That You Shouldn’t Overlook

Forgotten Marketing Methods That You Shouldn’t Overlook

Though we live in the digital age, don’t assume traditional marketing is dead. Granted, certain traditional methods are declining, but many others are thriving and helping small businesses build their brands.

The first step to any impactful marketing strategy is to zero in on your target audience, which you can do by conducting market research and asking consumers how they heard about your company. Know your audience, invest in good branding, and choose your marketing methods, and you will have the essentials for creating a stellar marketing campaign!

Below, The DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce covers some of the forgotten marketing methods that can help your company flourish. Some of them can prove effective on their own, while others pair nicely with digital methods.

Direct Mail   

Not too long ago, more and more people were frowning upon direct mail and tossing it immediately in the trash. But the creativity, personalization, and targeting capabilities have caused direct mail to make a comeback.

For many consumers, direct mail is easier to understand than online materials, and it is an excellent way to elicit brand recall and faster consumer response while allowing you to target your key demographics.

Flyers and Brochures

If you are offering special discounts and offers to your customers, flyers and brochures are still the most effective methods to use. Similar to handing out business cards in person, giving out flyers and brochures to people is a more connective and interactive way of promoting your brand than directing people to your website or social media pages. If you run a brick-and-mortar establishment, using these materials can prove especially beneficial.

Signage and Billboards

Signage is thriving in the marketing world. These days, you can see impactful images on shop-fronts, malls, and buildings.

And the same goes with billboards. If you want to get your brand in front of commuters, investing in a highway billboard will do the trick. As with all the other methods in this list, you can even direct your consumers to your website to increase traffic when using signage and billboards.

Human Interaction

Nothing is more powerful than employing human interaction in your marketing strategy. At the end of the day, people are used to traditional marketing like face-to-face interaction.

Whether you are speaking with someone in person or they see your company’s signage, flyers, or billboard, the experience will evoke a sensation and a lasting memory. Think of ways you can meet new people and provide tangible connections to your brand.

Giveaways

Customers love freebies, and giveaways for everything from store swag to contests can make a dent in your marketing efforts. Stock up on stickers, notepads, pens, totes and tumblers, and hand them out when customers spend a certain amount.

Drawings are another great way to generate interest. Consider offering a pair of tickets to watch the Houston Astros play the beloved Texas Rangers. With sites like TickPick, you can get affordable seats. You can also offer tickets to a play, concert or dinner

Networking   

One of the most practical ways to increase the number of human interactions is to attend networking events. Persuasive copy on printed materials can go a long way in growing your customer base, but if you really want to generate buzz around your business, look to event marketing. Along with adding clients to your resume, networking will present opportunities to attract top talent and meet potential business partners.

Marketing Tools

The market is full of affordable tools to help you create impactful, traditional marketing materials. Look to design tools for creating a unique logo and laying out your colors and typography. Invest in a quality printer for developing your own flyers and brochures.

Don’t assume that traditional marketing cannot move your company forward, or you could miss out on valuable opportunities. Consider the methods above as you make a plan for implementing traditional marketing for your brand. And always keep an eye out for other ways that small businesses are getting their message out to their target audiences!

 

Step by Step Guide to SEO

Step by Step Guide to SEO

Learning SEO is a great way to drive more traffic to your site. However, many people shy away from SEO as it often seems complicated.
Lucky for you, you’ve found the right post. Here you will learn everything you need to about SEO to help you progress from a novice to a pro.
Let’s begin, shall we?

Understanding SEO

Before we can even start understanding how to use SEO, it is crucial that you first learn what SEO really is.
SEO is all about making your site more visible on search engines. Some of the activities involved in SEO include optimizing content, technical planning, and conducting marketing strategies.
With that information in mind, you are able to progress in your SEO journey. There is no magic formula and it’s all about becoming good at high-impact activities and that direct the most traffic.

Click here to download PDF

Tips and Tricks for Stay-at-Home Moms That Want to Launch a Business

Tips and Tricks for Stay-at-Home Moms That Want to Launch a Business

For many stay-at-home moms, the idea of starting a business seems like a perfect fit. It allows you to generate income while maintaining flexibility, ensuring you can be there for your children.

While launching a company can be a challenge, choosing the right strategy helps. If you aren’t sure how to get the ball rolling, here are some tips and tricks for stay-at-home moms that want to launch a business.

Choosing the Right Business Model

One of the first steps you’ll need to take as a mompreneur is choosing a business model. The structure you go with matters significantly. While setting up a sole proprietorship is usually the easiest way to begin, it isn’t always ideal.

When you prepare to launch, consider forming an LLC to reduce liability, capture tax advantages, maintain flexibility, and reduce paperwork. After reviewing regulations in your state – as they do vary by location – you can avoid hefty lawyer fees by either filing on your own or using a formation service like ZenBusiness.

Balancing Your Business and Childcare Responsibilities

Working at home with kids isn’t always easy. Since you need to balance your business with your childcare responsibilities, using the right approach is essential. If your child is younger, you may be able to set up a place space near your workstation. For example, a playpen near a desk can let you engage with your child between completing work tasks. You could use a similar approach with school-aged children. Place their homework area close to your workspace. That way, you can be together while you each focus on your tasks.

For detail-oriented work, you may need to make arrangements with your spouse or an older child. Ask that they keep an eye on your younger children while you work for a short period, preferably from a home office that can limit distractions. You could also wait until any kids that need more attention are put to bed for the night. While it could mean handling business responsibilities in the evenings or at night, it ensures you can work peacefully while your children receive the care they need.

If your present home is unable to accommodate the space requirements for both work and family, it may be high time to consider a new home. You will find that renting in Fort Worth is fairly straightforward with reasonable rental rates and large inventory. Take a moment to assess your needs (e.g., number of rooms, neighborhood, etc.) and start your search with them in mind, but do be prepared to make compromises, as well.

Make Use of Free Online Tools and Resources

During the early days of your business, finding ways to reduce costs is essential. By taking advantage of free online tools and resources, you can get great solutions at the perfect price.

Exactly what you’ll need can depend on your business type and goals. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here is a quick list of some options that cover a variety of categories:

Also, don’t overlook the Adobe PDF to Word converter. It’s an easy way to adjust your files, making it an asset. Finally, take steps to establish your business’s online presence. Find out how Blu Dragonfly can assist you.

Plan for the Future

As you get your business moving, you want to remain forward-focused. Along with pursuing your primary goals, you need to consider which skills might serve you well down the line. Then, make a plan to acquire them.

For example, consider setting yourself up for long-term success by heading back to school to get an advanced degree. Online MBA programs give you enough flexibility to maintain school-work-life balance while honing your skills in areas like strategic planning, corporate finance, marketing, and human capital management, making it potentially an excellent fit.

You may also want to join local small business organizations. Along with creating networking opportunities, you’ll likely receive guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs that can help you excel. Many organizations host skill-building workshops, ensuring you can learn what you need to know to make your company a success.

How Women Are Battling The Pandemic

How Women Are Battling The Pandemic

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but women have been disproportionately impacted. Those who are out of work or stay-at-home moms may be looking for an opportunity to earn an income in an online capacity. Fortunately, there are a number of opportunities available. If launching your own business is part of the plan, Blu Dragonfly is the go-to resource for creating a memorable brand that helps you grow your business.

Do What You Know
Many professional women find consulting work is easy to do on a virtual basis. For example, whether you’re an accountant, a customer service representative, a personal coach, or a marketing guru, these are jobs you can often do from the comfort of your own home. Reach out to your existing networks and start making connections via places like LinkedIn, your local chambers of commerce, or Rotary clubs. Let previous colleagues and supervisors know you’re in the market for this type of work and ask for referrals.

Remote Work Opportunities
Many companies have found that a physical space is not necessary in an increasingly online world. As such, many employment job boards offer a variety of remote work options. According to CNBC, while all jobs can’t be done this way, there are many that can. Freelance writing, public relations, tutoring, and even some types of healthcare can be done on a remote basis. If you look for these types of roles, make sure you understand if you’re working as a freelancer or independent contractor, or if you will, in fact, be a full-time employee of the company.

Monetize A Hobby
If you’re an artistic or creative person, there are a number of opportunities to sell your work online. Painters, jewelry makers, clothing designers, and high-level crafters can create a viable income selling on sites like Etsy and Artfire. You can do custom orders, have a storefront where people buy your finished goods, or even put items up for bid on a site like eBay. According to Gathering Dreams, while so much in the world is mass-produced, many people appreciate bespoke one-of-a-kind items, and you may be able to charge top dollar.

Start A Business
After working in an online world, you may find you’re interested in pursuing your own small business opportunity. Once you get your business established, up and running, marketing it will be important to help you stand out. If you’re adding images to your company’s marketing materials or you’re working with a website creator or graphic designer, you may need to compress JPEG files to make them easier to mail. Sometimes this reduces the quality of your images, so consider a tool that allows you to convert JPG to PDF. You can add multiple JPEGs to a PDF so you don’t have to email numerous images.

Implement Self Care Measures
Women are often expected to “do it all,” and the pandemic has been no exception. Whether you’re working in an office or running a small business from home, build in time for self-care. Set regular start and stop times for work, meal prep so you can eat healthier, schedule regular time for exercise so you can sleep better, and do something every day just for you. Whether that’s a 15-minute meditation, a cup of exceptional coffee, or a lunch with friends, allocate “you” time to recharge and revive.

While the pandemic has been difficult for many people, women, in particular, seem to have shouldered the biggest burdens. From teaching kids at home to household responsibilities and work, women are wise to position themselves with numerous viable earning streams. Online could be the way to go.

Blu Dragonfly is a digital creative agency in the Dallas Ft. Worth area that builds brands for business owners looking to take their business to the next level. Visit the site to learn more or reach out for a consultation.

By: Sarah Bull