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Author Topic: How many of you are actual Businesses?  (Read 9245 times)

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Offline Rob

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How many of you are actual Businesses?
« on: May 06, 2010, 09:01:04 PM »
Remedial Comics became Remedial Comics, LLC today as my articles of organization were accepted by the State of Connecticut and I, along with my art partner are now part of a "business entity."

The main reason this happened is because more and more states are becoming desperate for cash to fill their badly in the red coffers and they are going after conventions as a cheap source of easy income by forcing vendors there (even if they are on;y there once a year and only selling small, cheap items) to buy a five year tax collection permit and collect state sales tax on everything sold.

And to get a state sales tax collection permit you have to be a company... and to be a company you have to pay the filing fee... that ate the cat that killed the rat that lived in the house that Jack built.

At least, that's the way it's going in CT.

And more and more of you may find that these steps become necessary if you want to attend conventions at all. Connecticon for example won't even allow you to register for the Artist Alley without the Tax Collection Permit number as part of your membership registration.

So I'm wondering... how many of you have gone through this and are already companies and how many of you are planning on going through it soon?

Offline Gibson

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 02:23:08 AM »
Gibson Twist has been a legal entity in Canada for many years, but now that I'm in the US I have to go through the entire process again. It's an odd time to bring this up since we've been talking about how we want to set it up for the past couple days. Honestly, everyone should do this regardless of whether you need to for conventions. For one thing, it's far easier to build and maintain credit as a business than as a person. For another, the tax benefits are decent.

Offline TTallan

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 05:14:13 PM »
The longer I can avoid the extra paperwork, the better. Helikon Comics was my registered business 10+ years ago. Yes, there are benefits, but I really, really, let me say again really, hated keeping track of collecting and paying GST. When I need to do this again, I am hiring someone to be my accountant.  :P

Offline Gibson

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 06:10:46 PM »
True, GST is a pain in the ass, I have no rebuttal for that. Still, when I was doing freelance writing, I did a lot of my work at the local pub and wrote off half of the expense. I would have written off the pot too, but my dealer wouldn't give me a receipt. Go figure.

Offline ran

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2010, 05:21:58 PM »
I'm wondering if I should wait until after the switch-over to HST in Ontario. That's coming up pretty soon. I wonder how it will affect everything. =/

Offline Gibson

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2010, 02:26:20 AM »
I knew a couple business owners pre- and post-HST switch in the Maritimes, and from the amount of effort they went through adapting their taxes, I'd say if you can, wait.

Offline Gar

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2010, 06:56:04 AM »
I would have written off the pot too, but my dealer wouldn't give me a receipt. Go figure.

Ah, the hidden business expense. Should have put that in your article on writing, Gibs  ;)

Offline Cary

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 03:18:56 PM »
I chose the "sole proprietorship" route myself over LLC simply because it seemed more expedient and fit my needs better. The LLC was a lot more paperwork, and while yes if I get sued I could be more personally responsible than I would be with an LLC, I feel that's pretty unlikely at least in the comics business. If I was making movies or something of that nature then yeah, but come on, what are you gonna get by suing me anyway? I've got an X-box with 3 year old games, some ratty comics and some questionable lettuce in the fridge. If you want that lettuce, you're welcome to it. :)

But yeah I have noticed a lot of conventions won't let you sell anything if you don't have a tax ID number and the appropriate documentation, so that's really what forced my hand on the whole business thing. My ex wife ran my first studio COMPLETELY illegal at every step of the game and still may have to answer for all that, but I figured I'd not go that route. Something about arguing with the tax people who ALREADY know your account number seems...futile.

Anyway, as business things go I like it. I have noticed several offers of credit which I've thus far declined. Maybe someday, but that day is not today. I paid my first round of sales tax this season which was...kinda cool. Annoying that I have to mess with it, and a nightmare if you don't have the forms they send you, but still it's kinda cool having sales from which to pay taxes, you know? We'll see how I feel about that in a few years tho!

Offline Kate

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2010, 05:27:41 AM »
I know this is an old thread but I figured I'd throw in my two cents. Shapeshifter Studios has been an LLC for a couple years now. I ended up needing to form it for my other source of income (filming/video editing) and extended it to take care of my webcomic. I also felt that, since I was entering into a contract with R. Talsorian, I'd much rather have the extra protection an LLC affords me (not that I anticipate any sort of legal trouble with RTG, but nonetheless).

You know what grinds my gears about CT? I don't know if other states do this, but: Business Entity Tax. Ah, we care about small businesses, let us hit them with a 250 dollar flat tax every year. The first year I signed up to become an LLC, I had been 'in business' for a month (December) and had not exchanged any sort of money under the name and they STILL made me pay it. Still foaming at the mouth over that one.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2010, 05:40:02 AM by Kate »

Offline Rob

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2010, 06:58:22 AM »
Yeah CT really get's you coming and going. I can't stand this state.  :P

Offline operationremie

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2010, 02:04:40 PM »
connecticut just sucks in general. i think it's the worst state ever. i can't wait to get out of here

Offline mcfadyn

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2010, 02:12:55 PM »
What's all this 'LLC' stuff people are talking about?  As for the thread, Jay and I don't make any money on the comic.  People keep asking us (since our traffic has climbed lately) why we don't do ads or something.  We just have issues with ads and as an unwritten rule, don't care to have them on the site.  I guess that was off topic... but meh..
Sometimes, you have to take a step back and access the fact that you're a moron.  What?  Well you ARE.

Offline Rob

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2010, 07:05:05 PM »
LLC = Limited Liability Corporation.

You can wikipedia it but it tends to mean different things on the specifics from state to state.

It allows you to insulate yourself and your personal assets from anything the "corporation" or its other members might do. For example my personal finances are a mess right now because I've been out of work for so long but all my creditors could do send me a court order telling me (since I'm the principle member and therefore it's up to me to file the quarterly reports and dole out assets) that I have to surrender any profits meant for me to them. They can't hurt any other members and they can't do anything to the company itself.

That's the limited liability part.

And since Remedial Comics is just a big ol' money hole right now there's nothing for them to get from there anyway.

But it also works the other way.

Lets say for example I make a comic that blatantly states that you are some kind of criminal or something and even though I have no proof it costs you your job. You can sue Remedial Comics as the publisher, and since you lost your job showing damages won't be tough.

But since Remedial Comics is the publisher I personally would be insulated from any liability. You could only go after company assets... and at this point I don't think you'd really want them.

Like I said, it's mostly legal mumbo jumbo and it differs from state to state but the only reason I did it at all is because States in general are desperate for money... to the point that they are sending investigators to Cons to make sure everyone has a peddlers license or a sales tax collection permit. And to get a license or a tax collection permit... yep... you have to be a company. It's a really shitty way of squeezing really small businesses for whatever the states can get them for.

Offline mcfadyn

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2010, 02:57:21 AM »
Ah, yeah, I understand.  It's a way to make yourself a business entity so that, let's say you get sued, they sue the COMPANY rather than you the person.  Do I have that right?
Sometimes, you have to take a step back and access the fact that you're a moron.  What?  Well you ARE.

Offline Rob

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Re: How many of you are actual Businesses?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2010, 10:33:29 AM »
It's a bit more complicated than that but that's the gist of it yeah.