I am a sole proprietor. Do I really need to form an LLC?
An LLC, like corporations and other company structures, is a separate and distinct entity in the eyes of the law. This allows certain rights and protections to that entity. A sole proprietor is not considered a separate entity, and therefore misses out on those protections.
There is no reason not to start an LLC. The structure of an LLC as a company provides your first line of “insurance” – of liability protection. Let’s say you visit a client’s house, have a great meeting that ends in smiles and handshakes, and backing down the driveway, run over the hapless family cat. If the family, so distraught over Fluffy’s unfortunate demise, decides to sue you (the sole proprietor), your personal assets are at risk – your house, your savings account, and your antique teacup collection.
In contrast, as an LLC, your personal assets are isolated from those belonging to the company. If Fluffy’s calamitous tale happened and you had an LLC, the distraught family can access only the assets of the company to pay for poor Timmy’s years of counseling; your personal savings account and teacup collection are protected.
How can you help me?
By hiring us, you get the benefit of the “scars on our backs” - our mistakes, our oversights, our knowledge, our triumphs. We are not interested in being “hired guns” or to squeeze as many pennies as possible. With our clients, we strive to build a trusted advisor relationship in which we provide the tools for you to run your business most effectively.
We want you to feel comfortable picking up the phone and giving us a call, without worrying about how much it is costing you. So we never charge for the initial conversation. After we have a grasp on the scope of the project, we will discuss with you the most beneficial fee structure to ensure you budgeting certainty. Many of our engagements are based on a flat fee structure, and we never include hidden fees.
Our flat fee LLC business formation package includes:
Certificate of Formation from the Secretary of State with the business’s UBI number
State business license
Federal tax ID number
LLC overview letter: “best practices” advice collected from 30 years of assisting and running companies as they launch and grow
Membership Agreement: The great thing about LLC’s is that as opposed to the rigidity of a corporation, LLC’s are governed by agreement. The membership agreement is the primary document that sets the standard for the current and future actions of the company.
Registered agent service for the first year: when starting a company, you are required to have a registered agent. As your registered agent, we receive important legal documents on behalf of a business, including annual reports, license renewal reminders, and notices of litigation. We will act as a liaison between your business and the state, and will file your annual corporate renewal when it is due. After the first year, which is included in the flat fee, we charge $250 per year for this service. We will discuss this option with you at the time of your corporate renewal.
For an additional flat fee, we will prepare a customized package of contracts for use in the day-to-day operation of your business. The standard package comes with customized contracts such as:
Master Services Agreement
Independent Contractor Agreement
Proprietary Information & Inventions Agreement
Can I just form the company on my own?
Sure. But I don’t know many people that recommend it. The contracts and agreements that are available through inexpensive automated services such as Legalzoom attempt to cover such a broad spectrum of potential business occurrences that they must do so in only a rudimentary way. You end up with an official looking document that is primarily irrelevant to your particular business needs. It is much more expensive (in time and money) to retroactively set up a company correctly than it is to do it right the first time. We spend time with you, to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge and confidence to make educated decisions for your business.
What else do you do?
We offer a complete “business-in-a-box” service for new and growing businesses. We know you didn’t start a company so that you can spend the day learning how to imbed a video on Wordpress, research CRM software, and sit on hold with the IRS. And we know it’s not the best use of your time. That’s why we developed FV Launchpad™, everything you need to start and grow your business.
You can pick and choose the services that are applicable, a la cart style, or dive into the 4-course dinner of business formation, in which we completely develop the infrastructure of your company while you focus on the idea- the product- the reason you started the company. Click here to see a short video about FV Launchpad.
We offer a variety of legal and business services to growth-oriented start-ups and emerging companies, including capital raises, growth strategies, “gut checks”, business valuations, and general legal counsel services. We perform these services as your trusted advisor, spending time becoming familiar with you and your business so we can advise with the whole picture in mind. All with a flexible fee structure that suits your budget and needs.
With over 30 years of experience with company exits, our team of lawyers and business advisors are well positioned to assist you with your next business move, whether it is an acquisition, liquidation, or buyout. We can represent you on the legal side, or advise you on the business side. Either way, our goal is to optimize the outcome for you and move forward in the best interests of the company.
What's your story?
We represent entrepreneurs, start-ups and other privately-held emerging and growth companies using primarily fixed fee, retainer-based and other value-billing arrangements that provide peace of mind and budgeting certainty to our clients. Whether you’re a start-up, an existing business or a company evaluating an exit strategy, our unique offering of integrated business and legal services can help your company achieve its goals.