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mmmmeat
07-24-2011, 12:53 PM
Anyone ever use legalzoom.com, to set up your LLC?

In light of my upcoming layoff, I wanna jump into the BBQ biz dream I've had this past year, and talking with a few small business owners (not food related) said this would be a good first step in the process, along with getting city permits, and specific bank acct for business. THEN after all paper work is set with the business as its own entity, start getting equipment so that it will be business expense.

So asking y'all does my plan sound....sound? And did legal zoom treat ya right?

Thanks, kevin

Learnin Querve
07-24-2011, 08:30 PM
Since you're an aspiring BBQ caterer, I can give you one good reason to take your business to a local attorney instead of going the do it yourself route...

Contacts.

An attorneys' business is very much dependent on how many contacts/clients they have. You want a shot at having some of his contacts/clients becoming your contacts/clients.

Figure out a way to have your lawyer taste at least some of your prospective offerings. Bring in lunch, make a sample platter, give him or her a reason to recommend you to their friends and clients. More business for you is potentially more business for them.

I bartered a ceramic tile installation for legal services once.

Same goes for the accountant you're going to be needing in the near future...

Just my opinion,

Chris

ssbbqguy
07-24-2011, 09:20 PM
I was going to suggest using local talent also. It's usually not liked to ala cart your work, meaning get your inc. or llc. etc. for less on the net and then go to the local for only their help. It makes sense to me to build that relationship from the beginning. If it does have additional benefits, great. But I would worry more about starting on firm legal ground first. Jmho. Steve.

mmmmeat
07-24-2011, 09:34 PM
well the legalzoom route is in front of me and affordable, via my own research, and some other friends who've "gone the long way" via local attorney, not very affordable like to the tune of 1000 more than the internet's way, w/o having a real job ( come friday) i dont have extra to throw a lawyer's way.

i do fully appreciate the advice, but i dont think the contacts i could potentially make via a local guy will be worth the extra cost, as this is not at all a saturated ( with BBQ) market, i can count on 2 fingers the number of BBQ places i have ever seen here...

azken
07-24-2011, 09:48 PM
well the legalzoom route is in front of me and affordable, via my own research, and some other friends who've "gone the long way" via local attorney, not very affordable like to the tune of 1000 more than the internet's way, w/o having a real job ( come friday) i dont have extra to throw a lawyer's way.

i do fully appreciate the advice, but i dont think the contacts i could potentially make via a local guy will be worth the extra cost, as this is not at all a saturated ( with BBQ) market, i can count on 2 fingers the number of BBQ places i have ever seen here...

I can fully appreciate your situation and your thinking but I couldn't help but wondering why the other two BBQ went out of business. I mean this kindly, but rather than being concerned with the legal issues at this point, would your aspirations being better served by coming up with a sound business plan? Your business plan could just become your road map to success.

mmmmeat
07-24-2011, 09:54 PM
they havent gone out of business, one opened up a month ago... and is pretty bad service wise, check that out here (http://fromthemouthofkstewart.blogspot.com/2011/07/brushfire-bbq-suncanyon-inn.html#links) and the other is runnin out of a dirty old RV... so i dont forsee them lasting long. like a friend who is helping with this said

" they planned not to fail... but in doing so they failed to plan" which i have been doin this whole past year. planning, planning and planning, but now that the job is coming to an end... im goin to jump in with both feet ( cuz the job market here is so far in the tanks i might as well)

so all in all tis a gamble, but only live once, and if i dont jump, the lingering questions in my head, will always be, " would i have made it? will i have had fun doin it?" etc

azken
07-24-2011, 10:35 PM
I sincerely wish you the best!!

mmmmeat
07-24-2011, 10:59 PM
I sincerely wish you the best!!

thank you kind sir!! i do appreciate it!!!

landarc
07-25-2011, 12:00 AM
I have a question, and, bearing in mind, I am in CA and not AZ, do you really need to be an LLC? What are the real advantages and disadvantages of being an LLC in the food business? Does AZ law recognize a corporate shield for a closely held LLC in liability cases? Are there advantaged, given those answers, to being a LLC as opposed to a simple C-Corporation? Actually, I know many of these answers as a landscape architect in California, but, you may want to ask these question of yourself in Arizona, as I am pretty sure the laws are different.

Also, Kevin, you know that I am pulling for you and want you to succeed, but, I sure hope the advisers you have understand the actual and detailed difference between creating plans and creating a business plan. I think you might want to contact the local Small Business Administration office and see what they can tell you.

mmmmeat
07-25-2011, 12:28 AM
I have a question, and, bearing in mind, I am in CA and not AZ, do you really need to be an LLC? What are the real advantages and disadvantages of being an LLC in the food business? Does AZ law recognize a corporate shield for a closely held LLC in liability cases? Are there advantaged, given those answers, to being a LLC as opposed to a simple C-Corporation? Actually, I know many of these answers as a landscape architect in California, but, you may want to ask these question of yourself in Arizona, as I am pretty sure the laws are different.

Also, Kevin, you know that I am pulling for you and want you to succeed, but, I sure hope the advisers you have understand the actual and detailed difference between creating plans and creating a business plan. I think you might want to contact the local Small Business Administration office and see what they can tell you.

Thanks BOB, those are questions I'll take with me when I go back to the sba folks.

My reasoning for wanting the llc, is the separation of me and the business. that layer of protection that it gives me, without all the bs of a full on corp. Less taxes than a corp etc.

I don't want the sole propreitorship cuz its all on me somethin goes bad, they hit me hard. Llc comes into play again say on my way to a venue and I get in a wreck....llc steps up to protect my personal assets.

(is that how it works out in commiefornia?)

Trucky1008
07-25-2011, 07:35 AM
I used LegalZoom in April to get my LLC. It took about 3 weeks for the State of NE to process the paper work and cost about 1/3 the price of using an attorney. I'm very satistifed.

bigsapper
07-25-2011, 07:48 AM
I'd at least register and pose your questions here...
http://community.lawyers.com/forums/

The theory that an LLC protects you personally isn't an absolute. Research a term "piercing the corporate veil".

Good luck.

smokinmikes
07-25-2011, 07:54 AM
I happen to be in the same position you are in. I was laid off almost 2 years ago and the job market sucks here. So I figure I can set on my ace and go broke waiting on a job to come through or be active about it and do something I've always done...except get paid for it. You can file an LLC yourself. Check out the Secretary of State's website for your state. I was advised by my accountant to form an LLC as opposed to a corp. He said due to recent legal rulings regarding a single person LLC, be sure to have it in two names. It can be in your and your wifes name or whatever. That's what I did. The only fee is a filing fee of $125.

Dale in GA
07-25-2011, 12:42 PM
I used LegalZoom in April to get my LLC. It took about 3 weeks for the State of NE to process the paper work and cost about 1/3 the price of using an attorney. I'm very satistifed.

If you are taking the DIY route you might also consider http://www.nolo.com/. They are the original legal DIY shop, many of their forms are available at bookstores and the like.

Good luck !!!

Pelkster
07-27-2011, 09:25 PM
The theory that an LLC protects you personally isn't an absolute. Research a term "piercing the corporate veil".


The way it was taught to em in Business Law class last semester, Piercing the corporate Veil only applies if an officer of the company acts negligently and causes harm to the company and its shareholders. In the case given about getting into an accident, this wouldn't apply.

Here is an excellent explanation of what the term means and how it applies.

http://www.expertlaw.com/library/business/corporate_veil.html

Hope that helps.

landarc
07-27-2011, 09:35 PM
It does vary and any corporate veil can be 'pierced' in the event of negligence. Personal assets are harder to attach to a settlement is a LLC or C-Corp are in place. But, there are specific circumstances that any of these things can go wrong. Even more so it the corporation is owned by one entity (say a husband and wife). When we looked at going to an LLC (one of my old partners got legal advice on a forum or some sort, geez...) what we were told was that while it was better and worse in terms of legal requriements, it did bring the spouses assets into full play in the event there is a legal settlement with a party or the government. Did I mention that a LLC will not protect you in the event of a tax law violation? I digress...

There are benefits going either way, and there are drawbacks either way, my advice is to get insurace and to also get a rider that protects your assets in the event there is a mishap. BTW, we nearly lost a lawsuit, based upon an auto accident in which a partner killed two kids in a car accident. The girl was drunk and blew a .12, her brother was .10, they were 15 and 12 and we nearly lost. The law is one thing, getting sued is another. Insurance companies have the best attorneys, you want to get them on your side.

My recommendation, get the following regardless of your corporate status.

$1,000,000 rider on your homeowners insurance
$1,000,000 on your truck and rig
$500,000 on your business

It will probably cost you $2000 a year, but, it protects the heck out of you and your spouse.

mmmmeat
07-27-2011, 09:46 PM
Insurance will be a big issue, that I want for sure.

Posted from my fancy android fone!!

JS-TX
08-05-2011, 03:28 PM
Good luck on your new venture, please keep us posted on your experiences. Hopefully there won't be a flood of people looking for work within the next couple years with this damn economy and all.