An inside look at starting your own business.
By Majed Farah, Contributing Writer
What is an LLC? What does it do? Why do I need it? Where do I get one? An LLC is a Limited Liability Company that you can start your business under that protects you and your personal assets. An LLC keeps the business and the personal aspects of your life separate that adds a layer of security for your personal assets in the case of legal matters arising. The entire process of running your business is based on risk assessment and risk management, and liability is what you need to have in mind at all times.
When you apply for an LLC in the state of South Carolina, your first step is to visit the Secretary Of State website (sos.sc.gov) where you can search and apply to start your business. You will search for your business name first to make sure the name is available. If the name is available, you can move forward with the application process. You can always hire a lawyer to do this step for you which can take longer and will cost more, but this step can all be done online and will take you very little time and cost you $110. Upon filing the Articles of Incorporation documentation, you will receive the Certificate of Existence.
The next step following the creation of your LLC you must file for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as federal ID number or Tax ID Number (TIN). The EIN number is very important you will need it to open your bank account, to be able to hire employees, and reporting taxes. You can apply for the EIN at irs.gov for free or your CPA can apply for it.
Depending on your local government body and the type of business your operating, there are a few more steps to take. If you’re in the retail segment, you must obtain your retail license and your sales tax information. If you’re in the service segment certain licensing applies depending on the business your operating. Do your research and have all the proper paperwork ready before you jump in and you end up hitting a road block that can stall your efforts. Your preparedness will translate into success.
Next month we will discuss banking and how to structure your accounts. We will also discuss insurance and the benefits of obtaining the correct insurance package for your business.
About the Author: Majed Farah operates Jake’s Vape Shop in Pelzer and leases commercial and residential properties through Farah Enterprises based out of Simpsonville. He studied business at the Davenport University in Michigan and moved to Upstate South Carolina in 2005. Farah owns and leases several commercial properties in Woodruff. He’s worked many jobs over the course of his career, from janitor to cookie maker to entrepreneur, all in the pursuit of learning what types of business he liked. Throughout the course of his column, Farah will touch on the right tools you need to create and structure a business to be successful.