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the business part - us: llc vs sole proprietor

updated wed 13 aug 08


Shula on mon 11 aug 08

Last week I downloaded the form I need to get a tax number to collect taxes on pots I sell in CA. Sounded simple. When I lived in PA years ago, I had such a number for my photography business. Well, that was then (and there) and this is now (and CA). It seems that I have many decisions to make before I apply. One of them has to do with whether I will establish my business as an LLC or sol proprietor. Yes, there are more choices, but I think they seem like the best at this time, unless you convince me otherwise. ;-)

Before asking the following questions, I did search the archives. There was a discussion in 1998, but I am unable to access the thread. I have logged on and have tried on 3 different times of the day on three different days. I keep getting the same error message:
he archive files could not be accessed, either because the list does not have Web-accessible archives or because they are being updated. If you know that the list has Web archives, please try again in about 30 seconds, and report the problem if it persists for more than a few minutes. The file that could not be opened is 'd:\listserv\archives\upload\8172222169500905.tmp' and the error code was 13.

So now to my questions:
1. What are you using - sole proprietorship, LLC, something else?
2. Why did you choose that?
3. On a slightly different topic - do you use your own name as the name of the business or do you have a studio name that you use and why?

I wish I had taken a course or two in the entrepreneurial area at Wharton when I got my MBA. Instead, I majored in finance. Who would have thought the entrepreneurial courses would have been very useful to me later in life?

Thanks for your help.

in sunny, Desert Hot Springs, California USA
current temp 104 and humidity is 12%
And don't forget that the peak of this year's Perseid Meteor Shower is before dawn tomorrow.

mea rhee on tue 12 aug 08


1 and 2) My choice is to be a sole proprietor, so that I only need to
file one tax return per year. Incorporation is a shield from liability,
but I challenge anyone to find a true example of a potter losing a
pottery-related lawsuit. (If one exists, I'd love to hear about it.) My
accountant doesn't push me to incorporate at all. He trusts me, and I
trust myself, to conduct my businesses responsibly.

3) I chose a separate business name, because it's easier to remember,
spell, pronounce, and market than my own name.

You didn't miss anything at Wharton. I learned how to be self-employed
from the Small Business Administration (for free) and from my trusty
accountant. It boils down to common sense and a responsible attitude,
which can't be learned in school.

Mea Rhee
(my far more interesting business name: Good Elephant Pottery)