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Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Southern Alabama, USA
Insane since: Sep 2000

IP logged posted posted 09-28-2001 17:30 Edit Quote

A lot if interesting stuff in this forum. And reading all of this has made me think of
finally doing something (apart from just working for salary at a company).

Some five years too late, perhaps, but I have always been a bad procrastinator.
At least I have the advantage(?) of living in a rather rural area where the IT business is not as fully grown as in other places.

Thanks Doc for the info about the "Self Proprietor" thing. I always assumed that it would cost me hundreds (if not thousands) just to start up a company as far as the legalities goes. Though I must admit I do not feel I know all about how things work yet.
Does anyone know more about company names? Can I choose any name I want? How do I know that noone else have that name already? Would special rules apply if the name includes the name of a State, County or City? I have tried to search some on-line but have not been very lucky so far.

There seems to be thousands of companies called Xxxxxxx Design out there, and instead of just adding myself to this long list, I was thinking of starting things up as a locally based Web Portal which also offers web design. Good or bad idea?

Also, can someone with more experience tell me if this is even possible, I mean to try to start something like this and at the same time having a full time job. I don't mind spending evenings and weekends on this, but it is even a practical possibility to keep up a contact with the customers (prividing I get any) while working on hours like this. I imagine this correspondence would mostly be carried out through e-mail and regular mail.

Maybe I am getting carried away, and any project like this at this time is predestined to fail? But since all I will invest will pretty much be time, I guess that is not so bad. Besides, I might have fun doing it.

Ok, so this is just me rambling. I don't expect anyone to really be able to answer all questions I have, but I'll be happy for any input you might have.

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: the oceanic antipodes
Insane since: Sep 2001

IP logged posted posted 09-28-2001 18:25 Edit Quote

ummmm... on the company side of things, protocol varies slightly from country to country. in New Zealand, you have to reserve your company name with the NZ Companies Office - so they can check that the name isn't already taken - then register with them for a fee of only $125 or so. i don't expect it would be much different in the States, although i have heard of one small business that paid US$6000 for some shyster to register them... THIS SITE might have some useful info..

remember that registering a trademark or a patent is a whole other WAY more expensive story.. as far as running your own business PLEASE trust me when i say if you want to do the bulk of the design work, get somebody else to handle administration (paying bills, collecting debts, answering the phones, filling the rolodex, etc) ... don't make me pull out my i-know-this-from-experience spiel ..

//good luck!!//

Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

Insane since: Sep 2001

IP logged posted posted 09-29-2001 19:18 Edit Quote

For company names your best bet is to get a paralegal to do it. While you can find internet sites that will do those searches for "free" it can be "expensive to be cheap" if they screw up.

As a quick and dirty method to check a potential company name do a google search. If the company
name does not appear chances are very great it has not been taken. check network solutions to see
if a domain has been registered too.

Or use your own name as in "Design by Zox"

I wish you the best. I'm doing exactly the opposite, closing up my one man biz
and going for a job interview Monday.

I was able to make enuf dough to live but I'm getting tired of working behind my putr will no social contact whatsoever until my family gets home cept for the odd meeting with my client face to face rather than
by email...but by all means go for it!

You get total control (well almost) over your schedules and that's pretty hard to beat.

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: buttcrack of the midwest
Insane since: Oct 2000

IP logged posted posted 10-01-2001 07:09 Edit Quote

Call the locl Registrars office and ask how much it is to register a DBA. ( Doing Business As ) . They should be able to tell you if your chosen name is being used. Then check on the domain name.

on the County, city state thing, there`s something you need to do to let people know you`re not actually a gov. office, but if you live in the city, I think there`s no prob.

and that`s as far as my experience goes.

Best of luck to ya.

Why, yes. I was raised by Apes. How did you know ?

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana, USA
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 10-10-2001 04:32 Edit Quote

I'm not sure that the name of the company is the most important thing for you to be worrying about right now. Of course, it can be inconvenient to start using a name and then find you need to change it later. One of the best things to do is to use the name for a while (six months to a year) to see how well it works for you. Make up some letter head, a logo, even some business cards and see how well the name works.

Start by checking if the name has been registered with the state trademark office first. You can also check with the city to see if anyone has registered a dba (doing business as) with them. If you're planning to do interstate marketing, go here to search the US TradeMark database to see if the name has been used.

You can probably take care of registering the name with your own state's trademark office yourself, but, to register with the US PTO you need to find a good intellectual property lawyer in your area. It will cost you about $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 to register the name. Part of US law is that you must have been using the name to sell a product for a period of time before you can register the trademark.

This is a very complicated area and these questions are best answered by a laawyer, but, I have some experience from a business stand point, so let me know if you have any other questions.

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 10-10-2001 05:55 Edit Quote

I don't see what the big deal is here.

If you wish to start a business the easiest way is to simply use your own name. This way you can avoid all sorts of issues. If you wish to begin working as a freelance in the USA it is really easy.

The other way, if you want to register a personal business all you need to do is go to your county clerk and pay a nominal fee of some 27 dollars. You can register your name if it is not already taken. Figuring out if it is already taken can be a pain because most government agencies have not yet made the transition into keeping their business names in a database. This could be changed by now, but I don't think so.

That allows you to register your business as a personal.

If you are wishing to start an actual corporation, then you are in for some problems. This is only reccommended if you might be looking at taking out large loans, or have venture capital coming in and you might possibly need protection from creditors. If you are doing this I would reccomend that you do use a legal aide, because the paper-work is a mess.

But sole-proprietor or partner-ships are the best for small business because you will not need to pay taxes twice.

It is not hard to do.

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana, USA
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 10-10-2001 18:01 Edit Quote

I disgree with you WarMage that, "sole-proprietor or partner-ships are the best for small business because you will not need to pay taxes twice". You actually end up paying more in taxes by being a sole-proprietor.

You can not separate the company's income from your own personal income which means you end up paying at a higher tax rate because of the higher combined income. Also in the US the Federal government charges a "self-employment" tax on top of standard income tax. This can add up to a sizable chunk.

It is easier to start thinking in terms of the company being a separate entity. Then when you are ready to incorporate, it is easier to establish the company as its own corporation.

It is good to have a name for the company and to treat it as a separate entity from your self from the beginning. Just don't get bogged down in trying to decide on a name. Remeber to do the other things that make the company operate while you are deciding on a name.

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: TriCites TN/VA
Insane since: Sep 2000

IP logged posted posted 10-11-2001 03:14 Edit Quote

I just wanted to discourage you from the "portal" concept. Content is incredibly time consuming, and marketing it is doubly so.

I suggest you refine the most professional and creative presentation possible. Just market your presentation (your web site) and really get the message across that you know what you are doing.

I suggest working with competent freelancers to supply the skills you may need for more difficult jobs.

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