By Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation
If you’ve recently made the jump into entrepreneurdom, welcome! If you’ve recently made the jump, and also decided to incorporate your new business, congratulations- you’ve just hugely increased your business’s chances for success! A start-up that is incorporated, despite the hefty amount of paperwork that comes with it, has a much better chance of making it through their first year and beyond in business. But now that you have incorporated your company, or are in the process of doing so, what comes next?
1. You’re a professional business now, so act like it!
Gaining an “Inc.” or “Corp.” at the end of your business name comes with a lot of responsibility. Customers are going to expect a level of professionalism from you that they may not expect from another small business that lacks incorporation status. Incorporating means that you take your business seriously, that you’ve done all the necessary legal paperwork and are ready to go by the book in order to help your business succeed. It also provides a sense of credibility to your customer base, encouraging them to trust in your brand and work with you because you’re established.
2. Keep organized.
Running an incorporated business makes you responsible for a great deal of paperwork. Keep track of all of it! Hold onto everything for tax purposes as well as to keep track of your progress. Something I recommend utilizing is cloud based document storage to keep track of all that paperwork. Keeping everything online will keep it physically off your desk and out of your drawers – but also stored safely in one place that’s easy to access and protect.
3. Don’t sweat the tax audit.
Though it’s good to stay organized and hold onto everything just in case, incorporated businesses typically have a pretty low chance of getting audited. So yay for a smaller chance of dealing with one more thing come tax season! Sole proprietors, on the other hand, may be targeted for audits if they self-prepare their tax returns incorrectly. Look into working alongside a professional to ensure that your return gets prepared without any mistakes included.
4. Pat yourself on the back for protecting your personal assets.
Lastly, breathe easy because by incorporating you are protecting your personal assets. When you incorporate, you are making your business a separate entity from yourself. This means that if your business should ever fall into some debt, your personal assets (like your house or car) won’t be in any danger of getting taken to pay those debts. Instead of you personally owing the money, your business does because of its separation from yourself.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.