Thursday, May 27, 2010

Starting your Own Company

You don't need to file lots of paperwork to create your own company. You don't need an office, employees, or even the wits to create an LLC. In fact, you don't need to create an "LLC" or INC." Chances are, this company is you and you only, which means it is a sole proprietary, a self-owned company. If this is true, you don't need to register your business (see my post on taxes coming soon). Of course, your business is named after you unless you file as a DBA, which is a sole proprietor business with a fictitious name. In my case, I created a DBA called 'Blue World Publications.' Looking online how to register my DBA, I figured it would cost an additional $50 for legal zoom to do it for me and made my choice: the time-saving choice. Paying the $50 extra gave me the freedom to not research the matter, not risk failure in filling something out, and above all else, time to work on other things.

Your business is what you make of it. If you make large profits and want to hire people, you can worry about that later since it probably won't happen while you are developing your first book. Of the many things to accomplish with your business, it would be wise to think (if not accomplish) the following:

Name Your Business and Set it Up
You should pick a name that is unique without being complex. What is easier to remember: "APPLE" or "XENEPHONETICS?" Your name shouldn't exist elsewhere (either in the book world or anywhere else; you don't want to be sued or forced to give up your name). Another bonus to a unique name is that it will be website ready (website URL isn't owned by anyone yet). Once you have a name - register it! (see getting an address below). There is a 95% chance you will want to register a DBA, so look up your city's legal registration requirements and determine if you can do this on your own, otherwise visit legalzoom.com and determine if their services are worth the cost.

Make a Website
Make sure a web URL exists that works for your business name. I created Blue World Publications in February of 2010. For the website I bought two URL addresses: blueworldpublications.com is the main site, and if you so happen to type in blueworldbooks.com, you will automatically be redirected. Be sure that if there are any variations people may confuse you are covered. To start, you don't need much information up right away, but it's vital that it is 100% complete 4-6 months out from your publication date (more posts on website content to come).

Get an Address
Will you be running this business out of your house? If you want to do this, are you legally able to? It may be problematic if you are renting, it's also easier to separate your company and personal life with a mailbox. Consider getting a mailbox for your business. There is also a convenience of receiving packages and shipments at a mailbox when you are not home and everything will always be delivered. Make sure you look into what works best for you. Do you want a USPS box or a UPS box? Or maybe even an independent mail center box? I chose a UPS box for several reasons, which made-up for the fact it costs twice as much per year over a post office box: it is very close to me (within walking distance) and my mailbox is not technically a 'mailbox.' Anything can be delivered there AND on my business address, the location is not a PO BOX, it's an actual address, making my business that much more prestigious (just don't tell anyone...shhhhhh).

There are countless things to worry about and do. Just don't worry! These three big accomplishments can be knocked out right away and are important to do early on. If you need a great resource for a timeline, make sure you read THE SELF-PUBLISHING MANUAL for a thorough timeline.

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