Everyone dreams of being their own boss one day. If I was my own boss, I’d give myself lots of vacation days and an air hockey table in the break room, which would be my living room. Basically I just want an air hockey table in my living room. Unfortunately, going into your boss’s office and sitting at her desk and drinking from her coffee mug is not truly being your own boss, and will likely just get you in trouble too. The most realistic way to become your own boss is to start a successful business.
I have had aspirations to start my own business since I was a little kid selling protection to the kids on my street with the lemonade stand. They would pay me a small fee and I would keep their stand safe from lemonade thieves, bullies and other lemonade competition. I later found out that this is called extortion, and is not a great business model. In order to protect myself from falling into similar traps or prison I had to seek out Elliott Stapleton’s guidance to get my business started on the right path.
I was told that the most important parts of starting a business are the goods or services that I want to offer. This was problematic because I had only thought about how I wanted people to give me money, and I skipped the part about what to actually sell. Once I landed on which services to offer, I had to decide how to set up my business. I chose a limited liability company (LLC) for several reasons.
Liability is a word that really gets my attention, especially when my 7th grade basketball coach says I’m a liability and leaves me on the bench. When I think of liability in business I think of money, and more specifically, losing money. In an LLC, each owner is called a member of the LLC and therefore has limited personal liability when it comes to the company’s monetary losses. That way, if your business loses money or owes money, nobody can come take your personal hard-earned air hockey table. However with an LLC the company’s losses can be passed through to a member’s individual tax return! There is nothing like reaping the benefits of failure, such as not having to shower after basketball games because I didn’t sweat sitting on the bench.
If unlike me your company actually earns money, an LLC allows the owners to distribute profits in any way they choose, regardless of capital contributions. These are just a couple of benefits of starting an LLC. The process of starting an LLC is somewhat involved, and is something I will discuss in my next article. For now I have a hankering for some lemonade and a game of air hockey for some reason.
For the next step in starting your own business, read Starting a Business: Part 2.
On several occasions this winter I was able to spend my work commute thinking about how my wife and I really need to get a Last Will and Testament. As I drove into work, the roads covered in snow and ice, dodging cars as they spun past me, I would often ponder what would happen to my daughter if one of the two spare tires I currently have on my car suddenly gave out, sending me crashing into one of the overturned snow-plows littering the side of the streets.
To help ward off anxiety during these death-defying commutes I would also contemplate which job I could get that would allow me to sit at home on days that the road is covered in so much snow that I could be driving on someone’s front lawn and not even realize it. Or even better, contemplating which skill set I possess that could make me rich by posting a video on YouTube so I never have to work again. Obviously driving in snowstorms is not one of these skills.
My wife and I have debated whom we would appoint as guardian for our daughter. My wife believes we should select an individual or married couple from within our own family, but I feel that Oprah Winfrey would make a more suitable provider given her wealth of experience and money. Then I found out the potential guardian should know about our plans, and more importantly, can decline the guardianship. I sent a letter to Oprah to gauge her willingness to raise my daughter, but I have not heard back from her (she’s very busy gaining more wealth!)
Speaking of wealth, not everyone is excellent at keeping track of money or making wise money choices. As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, with a Revocable Living Trust it is possible to designate a guardian for your children and also designate a separate person to manage the money. In my case, I’m fairly certain the guardian we select will be able to manage a checking account with $25 in it.
I have also learned that if we do not designate a guardian, or if Oprah (or whomever we agree on) does not accept the guardianship, anybody can apply! This would leave the court to decide who would be our daughter’s guardian. That means literally anyone, including the creepy guy at the bus stop, or his imaginary friend he is always talking with, could apply for guardianship of my daughter. That is an even scarier prospect than driving in a snowstorm, unless you are driving in a snowstorm with the creepy guy from the bus stop in your passenger seat.
The only way to avoid this scary, uncertain scenario is to decide on a guardian, notify that person, and seal the deal with a Last Will and Testament. And also don’t offer the creepy guy at the bus stop a ride because it is snowing so hard outside.
If you have any questions on the information contained in this blog, see the of Cincinnati attorney, Elliott Stapleton, with CMRS Law, 123 Boggs Lane, Cincinnati, Ohio 45246, or contact him at (513) 334-0099.
Elliott Stapleton Attorney with CMRS Law