Proper business skills are an absolute necessity in today’s competitive economy, and the Cobb Law Group is frequently asked some of the essential characteristics of a well-run business. The principles which we espouse are true whether you are a start-up company or an established business seeking to improve your market share, image and professionalism.
Tip #1: Keep things separated: Georgia allows many different types of businesses including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies. Regardless of the size of your business, we urge clients to form a distinct, legal entity for your business rather than operate as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership. A Georgia corporation (perhaps an S-corporation) or a Georgia limited liability company (“LLC”) are generally great options. There are many reasons why we recommend forming a corporation or LLC, some of the most important reasons include:
- limited professional liability
- limited personal liability
- tax advantages
Again, keep your business entity and your personal life distinct. If you do not separate your personal finances from your business finances, you could become personally liable for your business debts!
Some clients are afraid that the costs to form the new business are too expensive. The Cobb Law Group offers Georgia incorporation packages and Georgia LLC formations online through our virtual law firm at very affordable rates. Click here for more information.
Tip #2: Open professional bank accounts: Most businesses need a minimum of two business accounts–an operating account and a payroll account. By separating these two accounts, you’ll help make sure that your tax obligations are met.
Tip #3: Run your business like a business: There are innumerable tools online, in books, and magazines that help your business grow; take the time to read and understand basic management, accounting, and marketing concepts. Then, perhaps most importantly, IMPLEMENT these principles. Do not take short cuts; consult with your lawyer to draft or review your business contracts, make certain that your invoices contain the proper terms, professionally print your materials and make certain that your customer and you sign the proper documentation; if the contract changes, invest the time to obtain and sign a written change-order. Send your invoices in a regular and timely fashion. Finally, and this is important: discuss your own compensation with your tax advisor as the method or payment you receive from your own business may have different tax consequences.
This is a general information article and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. The content above has been edited for conciseness and additional relevant points are omitted for space constraints. Readers are encouraged to seek counsel from a construction lawyer for advice on a particular circumstance.