All posts by Nell

Which is better, a Wyoming LLC or a New Mexico LLC?

If you’re looking to decide between forming an LLC in Wyoming and New Mexico. Here is what the Start a Business Hub expert community thinks.

Top answer provided by a business lawyer

I would typically say the “better” state to form a limited liability company (LLC) in would be the state you’re conducting business in.

However, if you are not based in the USA I’ll highlight a few differences between forming an LLC in Wyoming and New Mexico. Please don’t simply rely on internet responses like mine as a substitute for sound legal advice from an attorney though!

  • New Mexico: There is no annual corporate tax for New Mexico LLCs. Likewise, there is no state income tax if the LLC receives no income from within New Mexico. New Mexico provides a ton of privacy for members as it will never ask who owns or manages the LLC.So as long as you use a Registered Agent, you can form a New Mexico LLC and there will be no public record of the ownership in the state database. This can be complicated by having to obtain an EIN or opening a company bank account but on the state level, there is no public database of ownership.Finally, the state fee is only $50. No annual reports or fees are required to be filed with New Mexico either.
  • Wyoming: Filing fees ($100) are a little more than NM. Annual fees are $50 (compared to 0 for NM). The annual requirements include maintaining a Wyoming Registered Agent and filing your Annual Report.

So the general advice here is that if you are based in the US, you should probably set up your LLC in whichever state you live in. However, if you don’t live in the US or want to compare between these two states specifically, it looks like New Mexico is the cheaper and more private way to form your LLC than in Wyoming.

Let’s look at some more answers from our community of experts here at Start a Business Hub.

New Mexico has a state income tax that would apply to any LLC registered in the state and a franchise tax that applies to an LLC making a corporate election. Wyoming does not have an income tax and only charges a flat annual fee for an LLC registered in the state. Even though you are not residing in a state opening an LLC in any state typically gives you nexus with that state and means that you personally and the business are subject to all state level taxes in that state.

If you don’t have any profit, then New Mexico’s annual minimum fee is slightly less than Wyoming’s, but it you do make a profit, then Wyoming is probably a better choice from a tax perspective.

No matter what the possible tax impact is the “better” state to register an LLC in is the one where you the member actually resides and works.

Wray Rives

If you are a foreigner, I would definitely say New Mexico is much better, not because of the income tax exemption both estates give you, but because a New Mexico does not require you file an annual report, and you don’t report who owns the LLC, that gives you an extra layer of privacy. Nonetheless, you would have to disclose the ownership of your LLC to the IRS when you request the EIN.

If you reside in or are national in a country that the United States has no information exchange treaty, then disclosing the ownership of the LLC to the IRS might not be a privacy problem.

Jean Clark

The limited liability protections of each state are reasonably similar.

The tax impact of where you form your LLC is not generally relevant. On an operating LLC you are taxed in the state you are doing business in, not the state you formed the entity in. Thus the state of formation is irrelevant for tax purposes.

New Mexico does have a state income and franchise tax, but it is for corporations, not LLCs. An LLC being taxed as a partnership has no state income or franchise tax in New Mexico. These would only apply if you elected to be taxed as a corporation and were doing business in New Mexico. There are no ongoing annual fees applicable to LLCs in New Mexico.

Steven Schlagel

Hopefully, this article has given you the information you need to decide on forming an LLC in either New Mexico or Wyoming.

Where are Articles of Organization Filed?

Knowing where articles of organization are filed helps you get one step closer to actually getting your LLC incorporated. This is exactly why we have provided an in-depth article below.

So where are articles of organization filed? 

Articles of organization are filed with the Secretary of State’s office, in the state where you intend to form your new LLC. This can either be done in person, online or through the mail.

It should be noted, though, that some states have different requirements in this regard. We go over these nuances and other equally important aspects of identifying where articles of organization should be filed in the sections below.

Where are Articles of Organization Filed?

State-wise Differences in Articles of Organization

As mentioned above, articles of organization are ideally filed with the Secretary of State’s office in whatever state you desire to have your LLC formed in.

Depending on the states, sometimes you will be able to locate the appropriate forms for filing the articles of organization easily on the Secretary of State’s website.

Most states also offer in-person and mail-in options, while some are carried out with a different office or government agency entirely. Examples of the latter are Florida, Arizona, and New Jersey.

It is also worth noting that some states do not refer to “articles of organization” — the document required for the appropriate registration of an LLC – as “articles of organization.” They instead refer to them as “certificate of formation”, or “certificate of organization”, among others.

However, regardless of the phrase they choose to go by, the principle behind these documents remains the same – they are required to officially register your company and help you become a full-fledged limited liability company.

Personal Filing

Filing articles of organization can be a tedious task for some people, in certain cases. As mentioned earlier, carrying out this process in some states is a lot easier than in others, thanks to the difference in availability and requirements.

This is why, generally, there are two broad paths you can choose to follow when filing your articles of organization – these are personal filing, and making use of a third-party service.

Personal filing involves going through the steps mentioned above all on your own. The advantage here, obviously, is that you get to save up on associated costs that come with hiring a third party.

The drawback, though, is that you may end up being exhausted by the process, or worse, make costly mistakes thanks to a lack of prior experience.

Outsourced Filing

The next available option, and the best choice in the scheme of things, is to make use of a third-party service. Luckily, there are a good number of LLC filing services out there who basically take the stress out of your hand and go through the entire process on your behalf.

They carry out the name availability search, paperwork processes, and offer professional guidance which greatly limits the possibility of errors.

In the end, whichever option you choose to go by is all dependent on you, but given the ease and guarantee that comes with going with a filing service, and the relative affordability of the prices, we strongly advise that you go with this option.

Important Information Provided in Articles of Organization

Information required in articles of organization varies by state. Generally, though, the requirements almost follow a similar pattern with certain entries guaranteed to be mandatory. Below are some of this mandatory information:

Company Name

The very first, and of course most important, entry in articles of organization is the name of the company itself. To choose a name you must first carry out an availability search to ensure that your desired name is indeed available.

The chosen name must also end with an LLC designation, among which are “LLC”, “Limited Liability Company”, or “L.L.C.”

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose spells out what your purpose is for creating a limited liability company. This doesn’t necessarily need to be overly descriptive, and sometimes going with a short, generic description is the norm.

Duration

The duration of your LLC can either be perpetual or short-term. Perpetual LLCs last, well, perpetually, while short-term LLCs can ask for a specific amount of time, depending on your duration of choice.

It is also worth noting that many states do not even require a specific duration.

Registered Agent

Another required entry is the registered agent information, where you specify the name and address of your designated registered agent.

The job of a registered agent is to receive important legal documents on behalf of your LLC.

Your registered agent can be a third-party individual or an LLC member. Some filing companies also offer registered agent services.

Management

This field requires you to state how your LLC will be managed. Generally, it can either be managed by a manager or group of managers or managed by members who share the responsibility.

Primary Place of Business

Lastly, another common information required in articles of organizations is the primary location of your business.

For those who run their company from home, you can simply choose to list your home address as the principal place of business.

FAQ

Do You Need Articles of Organization for an LLC?

Yes, absolutely. There can never be a certified LLC without articles of organization. This, along with the operating agreement and other documents, will form the basis of your company’s legal standing with the states.

Why Do I Need Articles of Organization?

The very first reason why articles of organization are important is that, well, the official establishment of your limited liability company can not be possible without them.

Apart from this, however, there are also certain benefits to be acquired from them. These include:

  • Tax Benefits: Depending on state and other nuances, filing articles of organization may help you enjoy some tax benefits and maximize your tax returns.
  • Legitimization: Thanks to the fact that your business is now a legitimate LLC, you can also enjoy some indirectly related benefits such as higher authority and higher customer trust.
  • Rights and Liabilities – Articles of organization can also help your LLC take the first steps in setting the rights of each member, and shielding the individuals from liabilities they may have been subjected to as a sole proprietor of a business.

Do Articles of Organization Show Ownership?

As mentioned above, depending on the state, some articles of organization are expected to outline ownership and structure of the LLC. Generally, this can either be managed by a manager or by a group of managers, or by a member-managed strategy, i.e. managed by members who share the responsibility.

Is Certificate of Organization the Same as Articles of Organization?

Yes, generally certificates of organization refer to the same thing as articles of organization. The only difference here is that some states refer to this document as a certificate of organization while others refer to it as “articles of organization.” In the end, though, they all mean the same thing.

How do I Get a Copy of My Articles of Organization in CT?

If you happened to file your Connecticut Articles of Organization online, you will receive an email copy of your approved certificate. If you happened to file through mail, however, you will not get an email copy, but may receive your certificate by filing a fax request, or by downloading and completing a request form here, and preparing a check of $55 payable to the “Secretary of State”.
Your mail request should be forward to the address below:

Business Services Division
CT Secretary of State
PO BOX 150470
Hartford, CT 06115-0460

Please note that since the year 2017, articles of organization in Connecticut are now referred to as “Certificate of Organization.”

What are Filed Articles of Organization?

Articles of organization are documents that provide important information about a limited liability company (LLC). An article of organization is considered filed when all the appropriate fields have been filled and documents approved by the state.

This involves not only locating the appropriate bodies with which the articles are to be filed, and deciding which filing option you prefer, but also actually filling out the required information and submitting it to the state for review and, hopefully, confirmation.

Articles of organization are considered successful when all of these steps have been fulfilled and finally approved by the State.

Summary

Articles of Organization are filed with the appropriate states in which your business is going to operate, specifically with the secretary of state’s office. Some states, however, operate as an exception to this rule and have their articles of organization filed either with a different office or agency entirely.

To make these steps easier, you may choose to outsource your filing to any one of the LLC filing services out there. These are companies whose sole function is to help you through the sometimes cumbersome journey of establishing your company and registering as a legal entity with the appropriate bodies.

Of course, you can also choose to go at it alone, depending on how knowledgeable you are on the matter. Regardless of which you choose to go with, though, you will be required to provide information such as business name, place of principal operation, management,  statement of purpose (for some state), duration (if you’re not going to be operating perpetually), and finally, a registered agent to receive important tax documents on your behalf.

Lastly, there are a host of benefits that come with successfully filing your articles of organization, and this includes business authority, tax benefits, and protection from certain liabilities.

What is an LLC?

A Limited Liability Company, or an LLC, is the simplest business structure in the United States. Forming an LLC is easy, and brings lots of benefits. When you compare an LLC to an S Corporation or a C Corporation you will find that LLC’s structure is quite flexible.

As its name suggests, LLC gives you protection from personal liability. This means your personal assets are protected in the case that your business goes into legal hardship and ends up in a courtroom.

When you decide to form an LLC, your business will become its own legal entity.

The company will be responsible for lawsuits and debts, not the owners. While forming an LLC you can pick between being a “single-member LLC” or “multi-member LLC”, meaning you have either one owner or multiple owners, respectively.

Advantages of an LLC

There are many advantages of forming an LLC, for example:

Pass-through taxes

The profits of an LLC go directly to its members. These profits are then reported on their own individual tax returns. With this all of the profits gets taxed once. There is no need to file a corporate tax return. However, if in your case it is more beneficial to be taxed as a corporation, then LLCs gives you that flexibility as well. Contrary to a C Corporation where profits are subject to “double taxation”, first they are taxed at the corporation level, and then taxed again when the owner report them in their personal tax return.

Asset Protection

One of the biggest benefits of an LLC is that your assets are always protected as long as there is no criminal activity, including fraud. The members of an LLC are not responsible for debts and obligations, including lawsuits.

LLC Residency Requirement

Members of an LLC are not required to be United States citizens or permanent residents.

Simple and Flexible

LLCs are very easy to form. Paperwork is minimal as well. In comparison to C-Corporations and S-Corporations where they need to assign formal roles, hold annual meetings, and record company minutes. An LLC can be structured in several ways, it can be single or multi-member. LLCs can be managed directly by their members or by managers who members appoint. When electing to have a multi-member structure, make sure you draft an operating agreement. An operating agreement will protect all the members from legal disputes.

Credibility

Forming your own LLC gives you credibility as a serious business owner.

Business Loans

Once you start an LLC you can create bank accounts and build up credit under the LLC and have access to get loans to start or fund your business.

Disadvantages of an LLC

As with everything, there are some disadvantages to an LLC.

  • You cannot become a public company and get listed in the stock market. This will prevent you from issuing shares or obtain funding via Venture Capital investors.
  • Depending on where you form your LLC it can be treated differently. Regulations change from state to state.
  • Profits from an LLC can be subject to self-employment tax.

Types of LLC

There are three types of LLCs you should be aware of:

Domestic LLC

Most likely every time someone mentions LLC they mean “Domestic LLC”, this means that the LLC is doing business in the state it was formed under. Most LLCs are formed in the state where the members are located, for example, if you are forming an LLC in Florida, why would you form an LLC in New York? It doesn’t make much sense in the beginning, however as your business grows you might want to expand into other states in which you might open an office or hire employees, in that case, then you need to form a “foreign LLC” in the other state.

Foreign LLC

When an already formed LLC decides to expand into another state and conduct business, then you need to register your LLC as a “foreign LLC” in the new state. From our example above, you’d set up your LLC as a foreign LLC in New York. Remember you can always check how to form an LLC in your state here.

Professional LLC

If you are doing a professional service such as a legal practice, or medical services then you’d need to form your LLC as a “Professional LLC”. In this case some members of the organization needs to have special license to proof their professional qualification. Always talk to an attorney when opening a professional LLC, there are some special regulations that you need to be aware of, for example, professional LLC cannot pass the limitation of personal liability in case of professional malpractice claims.

How to Form an LLC (Limited Liability Company):

After you pick your state:

  1. Complete the ‘Articles of Organization’ forms.
  2. Choose a registered agent
  3. Mail the form along with the mandatory State Filing Fee to your state’s Secretary of State Office.
  4. Get an EIN by filling out the form and mailing it to the IRS.

What is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is a third party in your state who will become responsible and designated to receive notices, correspondence, and other official matters, including government notifications, tax forms, a notice of lawsuits on behalf of your LLC. Business entities are required to have a registered agent, some states might not have this requirement, but regardless you should consider having one.

Do I Need a Registered Agent?

Yes, most likely. Nowadays lots of newly formed LLC don’t have physical addresses, if this is the case then you need to select a registered agent who can receive documents. Basically, the state needs to know who the point of contact is. Keep in mind, PO boxes are not allowed.

What If I Don’t Designate a Registered Agent?

There are penalties involved if you don’t register an agent, including fines, inability to enter legal contracts, etc. As usual, check with your attorney for any further questions.

Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?

Yes, however, it is recommended to use a third party, this way you can leave the office or go on vacation without having to worry about who is going to receive the documents.

What Does a Registered Agent Do?

The registered agent will accept all tax and legal documents on behalf of your company. The registered agent can be a member of your LLC, including yourself.

Any Benefits of Having a Registered Agent?

Peace of mind is one, also in case of legal mishap you won’t need to go through the embarrassment of being served in front of your clients. Also, if moving the physical location of your office, for example, you don’t need to file extra paperwork to change your address.

Washington Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

We’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to Washington business entity search for anyone who does not find their way around the Washington Secretary of State’s website. After reading our guide, you’ll know how to perform both basic and advanced business searches and how to get access to required information about business entities on record with the state of Washington.

From the business entity search, you can find out the principal office address, the name of the registered agent, whether the business is active or not, the inactive date, and much more. You can also use the search to access filing history and download PDFs of the available documents (initial report, annual report, statement of change, and others).

Without further ado, let’s start with the Washington business entity search!

Do you need your LLC forming quickly? Form your new business using ZenBusiness instead. They will do your Washington business entity search, file all the paperwork, and make sure it’s 100% accurate! Save yourself HOURS of painful forms and get your LLC formed quickly and easily.

Open the Washington Secretary of State’s website, and select Corporations – Corporations Home from the main menu at the top of the page. Find the Business Search button on the middle of the page or follow this link to access the Business Search immediately.

Step 1

You can perform Corporation Search by business name or UBI. Click on the corresponding search box, and enter your search terms. Above the search box, you can select whether you want to search for business entities whose name contains or begins with the search terms you entered, or if you’re looking for an exact match. Use these options to narrow the search results. When searching by UBI, you must enter the exact number. Click Search.

Step 2

If there are no records that match your search criteria, the table with the results will be empty (there might be a message that says “No Value Found” or a pop-up window with a message “null”).

When there are records, all business entities that match your search criteria will be listed and you’ll be able to see their name, UNI, type, status, principal office address, and the name of the registered agent.

Step 3

For additional information about one of the businesses listed in the search results, click on its business name. The additional business information includes both principal office street and mailing address, jurisdiction, formation/registration, and expiration date, as well as an inactive date if applicable, nature of the business, and period of duration. You can also see the street and mailing address of the registered agent, as well as governors (their title, type, and name).

You can print the information or return to the business search.

Step 4

You can also view Filing History or Name History, click on the corresponding button below. The list of filing documents will include filing number, filing and effective date, and filing type, as well as links to PDF files you can download.

Just like we’ve been researching corporations, you can also use the basic business search to obtain information about a charity, fundraiser, or trust, as well as for a trademark search. You can search for a charity, fundraiser, or trust by registration number, organization name, FEIN number, and UBI number, and for a trademark by registration number, owner’s name, trademark text, or UBI number.

To access the Advanced Business Search, when on the Washington Secretary of State website, Corporations section, click on the Advanced Business Search button next to the Business Search on the middle of the page or simply follow this link. Advanced Business Search uses an array of search criteria you can use to minimize the number of search results.

Step 1

Enter the business name to the appropriate search box. You can select whether you’re looking for a business entity that contains or begins with the selected name, or you’re looking for an exact match. To minimize the search results, you can select the business status and business type from the drop-down list. You can also add the expiration date, as well as date of incorporation/formation/registration (start and end date). Click Search.

Step 2

Review the key information from your search results, or click on the name of one of the business entities to access additional business information, filing history, and name history. If the search results are too wide, you can go back and edit your search criteria.

You can also use the advanced business search to search for business entities by registered agent or governor.

Step 1

Select whether you’re looking for a registered agent or governor, and type the name to the search box below. If searching for the registered agent, you can enter the address to narrow the search results.

Step 2

If there are search results, you’ll get the list with business entity names along with some key information. To view more information, click on the business entity name.

Washington Business Entity Search Recap

After you’ve read this guide, you should know how to use both basic and advanced business search to find information about Washington business entities. The key information you can get from the business entity search includes:

  • Business Name
  • UBI
  • Business Type
  • Principal Office Address
  • Registered Agent Name
  • Status

Once you click on the business name, you’ll access additional business details, such as:

  • Principal Office Street Address
  • Principal Office Mailing Address
  • Jurisdiction
  • Expiration Date
  • Formation/ Registration Date
  • Period of Duration
  • Inactive Date (if applicable)
  • Nature of Business
  • Registered Agent Information (name and address)
  • Governors (title, type, and name)

From this page, you can access filing history and download PDFs of available documents. You can also view the business name history if there’ve been any changes.

If you’ve been thinking about forming a business entity in Washington, you can do all the paperwork by yourself, or you can hire one of the LLC formation services. With the LLC formation service, such as ZenBusiness, you’ll save yourself time and money.

Texas Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Whether you want to see if the name you’ve chosen for your new company in Texas is available or want to access information of a business entity on record with the Texas Secretary of State (SoS), our step-by-step guide to Texas business entity search is here to help you.

Texas Business Entity Search

We’ll show you everything, from submitting a request for an SOSDirect account to name availability search and different search methods you can use to obtain information about a certain business entity in the state of Texas. However, you should know that there are fees for submitting inquiries, filing documents, and ordering copies and certificates. There’s no registration or subscription fee, but a statutorily authorized $1.00 search fee will be waived if an order or filing is submitted on the results of the search.

Let’s start with submitting a request for an SOSDirect account since you’ll need one to perform an inquiry!

Do you need your LLC forming quickly? Form your new business using ZenBusiness instead. They will do your Texas business entity search, file all the paperwork, and make sure it’s 100% accurate! Save yourself HOURS of painful forms and get your LLC formed quickly and easily.

How to Submit a Request for an SOSDirect Account in Texas

If you don’t have an SOSDirect account, and at the moment don’t want to request one, you can use a temporary login form.

Step 1

Fill out the form (you’ll need to provide your name or the name of your business, full address, phone number, and email address). Once you’re done, click on the Continue button below.

Step 2

Select one of the available card types (as a temporary user, you can use only a Credit Card) and enter credit card information exactly like on the card statement. Click Continue.

As a temporary user, you can only perform web inquiries and place orders. You won’t be able to submit filings. To create an SOSDirect account, you should follow this link and click on the request for SOSDirect Account link. Unlike the temporary login form, this will give you full access.

Step 1

Enter either the name of your business or your full name (first and last name are required fields) and click Continue.

Step 2

Enter your full address and set up an alpha-numeric password that meets the requirements. Click Continue.

Step 3

Provide credit card information for verification and security purposes. Click Continue. Once you’ve submitted the SOSDirect account request, you’ll receive your SOSDirect User ID and Password via email (please allow up to one hour for the email to arrive).
If you already have an SOSDirect account, simply proceed to the login page and enter your SOSDirect User ID and Password. Click Submit.

Once you’ve logged into your SOSDirect account, you should click on the Business Organizations tab in the top menu. Select the Name Availability function from the list of available inquiries.

Step 1

Enter the required business entity name to the search box and click on the Search button below.

Step 2

If the name you’ve been looking for is available for use, there’ll be no search results. However, if there are some business entities whose names match the one you entered into the search box, you’ll get a list with all the business entities and some basic information (name (as well as name type and status), filing number, entity type and status).

Step 3

You can click on the filing number of one of the entities on this list to access additional entity details. On this page, you’ll be able to view the formation date, duration, tax ID, address, filing history, and more.

To perform a Texas business entity search, you should use your SOSDirect User ID and password to log into your SOSDirect account.

Step 1

Select one of the available payment methods and add your contact information. You can add the client reference into the provided field if needed.

Step 2

Enter payment details and click Continue.

Step 3

Select the Business Organizations tab from the top menu.

Select one of the available search methods from the list of inquiries and orders.

  • Find – Entity
  • Find – Supplemental
  • Find – Global
  • Find – Assumed name
  • Find – People
  • Find – Registered Agent
  • Filing Number Search
  • FEIN Search
  • TID Search
  • Document Number Search

Step 4

Click on the search box and enter the name or number you want to look up. Click on the Search button below.

Step 5

You’ll get a list of all the entities that match your search criteria. The list will include some key information for each of the businesses. For additional information, click on the filing number of any of the entities.

Texas Business Entity Search Recap

If you’ve carefully read our step-by-step Texas business entity search guide and followed each of the steps, you should know how to submit a request for the SOSDirect account, as well as how to check whether a certain business name is available for use, and how to obtain information for one of the business on record with the Texas SoS.

The information you’ll get from the search results includes:

  • Filing Number
  • Name of the Entity
  • Type of the Entity
  • Status of the Entity
  • Name Type
  • Name Status

As well as the name and title of the person if you performed a business entity search by person name.

When thinking about forming a new business entity, it’s important to perform the name availability search. This will tell you whether the name you want to use is already in use, reserved, or registered by a corporation, LP or LLC filed with the Texas SoS. If the name is available, you can start the formation by yourself or you can hire one of the LLC formation services, such as ZenBusiness, to do it for you.

Rocket Lawyer Review: Are They REALLY Worth The Money?

Rocket Lawyer Review

Don’t have time to read this entire Rocket Lawyer review? Here’s the quick version.

Rocket Lawyer has been serving millions of customers since its inception in 2008. Despite the strong competition, they are very popular and have lots of positive reviews. Not only do they provide LLC formation services, but are a one-stop shop for plenty of other legal services.

If you want help forming your LLC and need legal advice as well, then you should give Rocket Lawyer a look. They have a subscription-based model in which they provide various legal services. We have put together this comprehensive review for your benefit.

Read on to know more about Rocket Lawyer and the legal services which they provide!

Excited about forming your new business? Want to get some legal paperwork out of the way so that you can focus on growing your business? You can get a professional LLC formation service to help you out and leave your calendar free for other things!

Rocket Lawyer is a legal service provider dedicated to helping new businesses get access to affordable legal support, LLC formation service, and a lot more! To know more about their legal services, the packages they offer, and whether you should choose them or not, keep reading!

With all the red tape and legal jargon, taking the DIY route for LLC formation is a hassle. With confusing information available on the internet, you can’t even trust the credibility and reliability of those sources. We don’t want you to waste your precious time and energy!

To make sure that you don’t spend hours searching on the internet for authentic information, we have put together this comprehensive review of a popular LLC formation service provider, Rocket Lawyer.


Rocket Lawyer Pros

Multiple Legal Services

At Rocket Lawyer, you get LLC formation services along with other online legal services. We all know how much lawyers cost and as new startup owners, we can’t always afford their charges.

You can get ongoing legal help from Rocket Lawyer at affordable rates. They have over 20 million customers and have stellar customer feedback. Their membership package includes incorporation services, registered agent services, quick legal answers, easy-to-use contracts, etc.

Access to Legal Forms

 Rocket Lawyer provides access to a huge library of easy-to-use legal forms and documents. Legal papers such as business operating agreements, etc. are also provided by them.

They have an intuitive form builder that helps you create legal documents and contracts.

Online Legal Consultation

You get complimentary legal consultation with experienced lawyers regarding any legal matters. This is a huge plus.  There are several legal services online that provide you the opportunity of speaking with a lawyer over the phone, but a few offer you the ability to send your legal queries and get answers.

The company has many “on-call” lawyers whose sole job is to answer the questions that you post. There are lawyers in various specialties including, intellectual property, legal contracts, business law, etc.

For those of you who don’t have time to spend hours on the phone with the attorney but have a pressing legal matter, this is a huge plus! If you have a membership plan, then you can ask as many questions as you want, free of cost. If you are not a member, then you will have to pay $49.99 for each question!

Excellent Customer Service

Rocket Lawyer has stellar customer service and deserves extra points for its services. You can contact them via phone, email, or live chat. User reviews indicate that the customer representatives are polite, courteous, and well-informed. They have extended customer service hours – Rocket Lawyer customer reps are available for 12 hours, 5 days a week! They don’t try to upsell you but rather offer genuine information about services that you actually need.

7-Day Free Trial

What we like about Rocket Lawyer is the fact that you can use their service for 7 days on a trial basis. If you are not satisfied, you have the option to cancel. Moreover, even if you continue with the membership and in the middle want to opt out, you get a 30-days money-back guarantee.

They will try to resolve your issue, and upon failing to do so, you will get your money back. What adds serious credibility to Rocket Lawyer’s services is the fact that it is a Google Ventures-backed company.

Cons of Rocket Lawyer

Expensive Membership Plans

Since Rocket Lawyer’s packages are comprehensive, they are expensive as well. If you are looking to form an LLC only and don’t need other legal services, then Rocket lawyer is not the choice for you.

No Customer Support on Weekends

As new business owners, it is hard to keep regular hours. Since phone support is available only on weekdays, you can’t contact Rocket Lawyer’s support team if you have any questions on weekends.

Rocket Lawyer LL Service Pricing

Is Rocket Lawyer Excellent Value for Money?

On the whole, Rocket lawyer is a good legal service provider. However, when it comes to LLC formation, they charge slightly more than their competitors and offer fewer features. Therefore, if you are looking for legal services, you will be satisfied with their packages.

However, if LLC formation is your sole goal, then you are bound to be left asking for more. The order process is fairly simple. You have to put in your personal information and then choose the features that you need.

There are two packages offered by Rocket Lawyer:

  1. Premium Member
  2. Non-Member

Non-Member Package 

If you want to form an LLC and don’t want other legal services, you can select this option. They will charge you $99.99 to incorporate your company.

You will get the following services from Rocket Lawyer if you are a non-member and choose their LLC formation services.

  1. Business Name Availability Check
  2. Articles of Organization – Preparation & Filing
  3. Business Operating Agreement
  4. Online Document Storage
  5. Customer Support

Articles of Organization – Preparation and Filing

In order to form your LLC, there are certain documents that you need to file with your state of formation. If you use Rocket lawyer to form your LLC, they will draft the required documents and file them with the desired state as well.

Business Name Availability Check

We all know how much effort you have put into selecting the name of your business. But what if the name you selected has already been taken up by some other entity?

Rocket Lawyer has access to your state of formation’s business database. They will search through the database and check to see if the name you selected is available or not.

Business Operating Agreement

A business operating agreement is a document that lays down rules for the smooth working of your organization. Moreover, it shows the hierarchy of your company as well.

You will get a business operating template from Rocket lawyer, customized according to the requirements of your company.

Document Storage Dashboard

Find it difficult to keep a track of all your documents and keep them in one place? With a Rocket lawyer, you don’t have to worry about this. The electronic copies of your formation papers will be available in online document storage on Rocket Lawyer.

Additionally, they will also mail you the hard copies of all your legal documents. Pretty handy, right?

Customer Support

You will have access to their customer support via email or phone.

Premium Member Package

Rocket Lawyer is basically a legal service provider and they have expert lawyers who are there to assist you. You can avail of all their legal services at a monthly subscription of $39.99. You can try their services for 7 days without paying. After this, you have to pay the monthly subscription fees.

You can cancel your subscription anytime, so there is no risk in trying their free trial offer at least. When it comes to LLC formation, it is free for new members who opt for the premium membership and 25% off for the existing members and any other LLC that you form.

When it comes to the features, there is no difference between those present in the member and non-member packages. The main difference is that you get your hands on various other features.

The features present in their premium member package are:

  1. Legal Documents
  2. Attorney Services
  3. Answers to Legal Queries
  4. 30-minute consultation
  5. Up to 40% discount on hiring a Rocket Lawyer
  6. Free LLC Formation (New Members)
  7. 25% off on Registered Agent Services

Legal Documents

You can create a large variety of legal and business documents with Rocket Lawyer. Moreover, you can sign, download, share, and print these documents whenever you want. With each document you create, you will receive “Document Defense”. Document defense keeps you protected in case any dispute arises with your Rocket Lawyer document. All you have to do is contact Rocket Lawyer and they will handle the rest.

Answers to Legal Queries

If you have any legal queries, you can post your question and a professional lawyer will provide you a solution. For non-members, each question requires almost $50, which is a huge sum! You also get a 30-minute consultation with a lawyer, one-on-one, if you are not satisfied with the written answer.

Discounted Attorney Services

If you need to hire a lawyer from their firm, and you are a premium member, you will get up to a 40% discount. For non-members, no discount is available!

Registered Agent Service

Want to keep your address off public records? You can use the Registered Agent service provided by Rocket Lawyer. They will receive all legal documentation on your behalf and then forward it to you. If you are a premium member, you will get a 25% discount. For a non-member, the charges are $149.99.

Rocket Lawyer Customer Reviews

No matter how good a company and service provider looks on paper, you should never go for it without reading the user reviews and customer feedback. Only when you experience something are you qualified enough to hold an opinion about it.

When it comes to Rocket Lawyer, there are thousands of reviews online by their customers, most of which are positive. Usually, the customers are satisfied with the ease of use as well as the 7-day free trial they get to check out the legal services offered.

The online reviews indicate that the customers appreciate their form builder and the helpful tips they got along the way. Moreover, user reviews indicate that you don’t have to wait for a long time to get in touch with the customer support representative.

One thing that the users didn’t like was that you have to provide your credit card info to access the free trial. Many people forget to unsubscribe, and since you don’t get a notification once the trial is over, and they end up getting charged.

If you don’t want the monthly subscription, then make sure you cancel your account online or contact customer services.

Best Rocket Lawyer Alternative

You landed on this review looking specifically for information about Rocket Lawyer and their LLC formation services, but for us to provide a fair review we also need to make it clear that they may not be the best option, depending on your needs.

They do offer a good service but for a straightforward LLC formation, there are better alternatives. This is why for most entrepreneurs and business owners, we recommend ZenBusiness.

ZenBusiness is the One Brick Court recommended service because their price is incredibly low, the customer support is top-notch, and they include everything you would want when forming your company in a simple package intended to get your company formed fast.

Is Rocket Lawyer Worth It?

Now comes the million-dollar question: Is Rocket Lawyer LLC worth your money? There are a few things you need to look at before you arrive at the answer. Are you looking for an LLC formation service only? Do you want a complete package with varying legal services for your company?

If you simply want to form your LLC, then you shouldn’t use Rocket Lawyer. There are many other LLC formation services out there with features and affordable rates. A few of them offer free LLC formation services and most of them provide free registered agent services for a whole year.

If these are the things that are important for you, then Rocket Lawyer is not the option for you. For an entrepreneur and a new business owner, there are other options like ZenBusiness that are better.

Overall Value

As far as the prices are concerned for LLC formation, Rocket Lawyer is expensive as compared to its competitors. As a new business owner, you can easily receive better services at less rates.

However, if you are looking for a compact legal package, and you can’t afford a lawyer, then Rocket Lawyer is a service you can use. With its monthly subscription, you get valuable discounts along with free legal document templates.

Before jumping in and signing up, check the services and features you are getting and see if they are required by your business or not.

Customer Reviews

Rocket Lawyer has been around for a long time. Since its inception, it has served millions of customers. In the beginning, they only offered online legal services. Slowly, they expanded their service and now Rocket Lawyer provides a lot of services from incorporating a business to getting help on legal issues.

Their customers have provided stellar reviews for them. However, there are a few reviews complaining that they don’t get a notification when their trial period is up and they get charged.

Customer Support

You will be satisfied with the customer support you receive from them via phone, email, or live chat. Their operating hours are 9 am to 9 pm (ET) from Monday to Friday. The call gets through to the customer service very quickly and their customer representatives are friendly and well-informed.

If you send an email to them, you will get a response from them within 24 hours. They do have a live chat option but that is not exactly a live chat, but rather a searchable FAQ. After you type in a few keywords regarding the issue that you are having, you will be matched with the related questions and their answers.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use and placing an order, it is something that depends on your perspective. There are no tiered packages like other services, but they do have a few add-ons which you can choose while signing up for their services.

Turnaround Time

The turnaround time varies from state to state. To get an estimated time, you will have to go through the order form and reach the page where you select the option to expedite your order or not.

It would have been nice if you didn’t have to go through so many steps before finding out the turnaround time in your state.

Bottom Line: If you are interested in getting legal services along with LLC formation services, then Rocket Lawyer is a good option for you. If that is not the case, and all you want is to incorporate your company, then there are plenty of other formation services that offer better packages and features.

Rocket Lawyer FAQs

Are the documents I create on Rocket Lawyer enforceable?

Yes, the documents that you create on Rocket Lawyer are legally binding. When you finish providing your required information, you will get a customized legal document as per your situation and in accordance with the laws of your state.

You will also get a legal checklist regarding the next steps to make the document that you have created enforceable in your state. These steps will vary from signing to finding witnesses to filing the documents.

When will I get the legal documents that I create on Rocket Lawyer?

Any documents that you create on Rocket Lawyer are available immediately. You can print, share, or download them as per your needs.

Is my information secure on Rocket Lawyer’s website?

Yes. Your personal information along with the documents that you create are secure on Rocket Lawyer’s website. They use Secure Socket Layers (SSL) for data transfer which creates a tunnel secured by AES encryption.

Moreover, they have designed various policies to ensure that no one gains unauthorized access to your private information.

Can I cancel my membership?

Yes. You can cancel your membership any time you want from the website or by getting in touch with their customer representatives.

Is Rocket Lawyer legit?

Yes, Rocket Lawyer is a legit company who has been providing high-quality services since 2008. With over 20 million customers, and impressive feedback and rating, you can rest assured they are not a fraud.

Are there any discounts on Rocket Lawyer?

Yes, there are discounts on their services such as 25% off on registered agent services and up to 40% off when you hire a lawyer. However, these discounts can only be availed if you are a premium member.

Is there a refund policy at Rocket Lawyer?

Yes. Rocket Lawyer does have a refund policy. If you are not satisfied with their services, you can ask for a refund within 30 days of your purchase.

How do I get in touch with Rocket Lawyer?

You can contact them through phone, email, or live chat. They have extended customer service hours and are available from 9 am to 9 pm (ET) from Monday to Friday. You can email them as well and they will get back to you within 24 hours.
Q. Does Rocket Lawyer share my information with third parties?

No. Rocket Lawyer doesn’t share any information that you provide with anyone else.

Rocket Lawyer Review: Conclusion

With over 20 million customers, it is hard to find an online legal service provider that can compete with the experience level of Rocket Lawyer. When you sign up for their monthly subscription, you get a lot of additional features such as legal documents, legal help from professional lawyers, etc.

If you don’t want legal services and are looking to incorporate your company at affordable rates, then you should look at options other than Rocket Lawyer.

Rocket Lawyer is the best bet for businesses who are looking for on-going legal advice. With a simple order process and quality customer feedback, you should try out their 7-day trial period to get a feel before you make a decision.

How to Start an Etsy Business

How to Start an Etsy Business

Have you ever wondered how to start an Etsy business? We’ll you’re not alone, quite a lot of people have wondered the same thing, and while some found huge success in it, sadly some didn’t. We have put together this comprehensive guide in starting an Etsy business below.

So how does one start an Etsy business? 

First of all, you have to visit the Etsy website, set up your shop and customize its appearances according to your taste, upload your products, pay the listing fee, select your desired pricing, optimize your keywords, and then of course begin marketing to prospective buyers.

You also have to take care of legal aspects and begin to figure out how to scale. We take a look at all of these more deeply below.

Step 1: Plan Your Business

Etsy business, just like any other business out there, requires a very deep level of planning before you can even dream of attaining success.

Sure, the business is quite profitable and has a lot of ready demand. Still, going into it blindly without proper planning and acclimatization spells more doom for your business than otherwise, especially if you don’t have any prior experience.

So what are the things you have to get familiar with, and what do you have to plan exactly? First of all, you have to get familiar with the costs of doing business, and then the revenue you expect from it.

These are basically what determines whether or not you go ahead with the business in the first place. We discuss more on cost planning for an Etsy business below.

What are the Opening Costs of Getting a Business Going on Etsy?

One of the most appealing aspects of starting an Etsy business is the fact that you don’t need much to start. All you need is a working internet connection and your shop preferences at the back of your mind.

In terms of actual costs, setting up your Etsy shop is free. You will, however, have to pay a paltry 20 cents listing fee, which will keep your item on display for four months, after which you pay another 20 cents for another 4-month renewal.

Etsy also takes 3.5% of the selling price of items sold. There may also be fees deducted to process withdrawals, depending on which payment processing method you choose to go with.

Basically, though, setting up a shop is free, and other fees involved are generally highly reasonable.

What are the Recurring Costs?

As mentioned above, once you’ve paid your 20 cents to set up a listing on Etsy, you have a chance to cancel the listing after four months or pay another 20 cents to keep your product listed.

Another recurring cost that may be incurred as an Etsy seller is the cost of actually making your desired product. This, of course, is entirely dependent on whatever product (s) you choose to market on Etsy.

And then you also have to consider the cost of branding, marketing, promotion, packaging, and so on, which, again, is totally up to you. As far as the platform Itself is concerned, however, 20 cents for four months is all you have to pay upfront.

Step 2: Market Plans

Market planning on Etsy is not like your typical brick-and-mortar setup. Selling on a marketplace like Etsy means you will have to pay attention to things such as keyword optimization, social media marketing, and other methods which you would not necessarily have to pay much attention to with a brick and mortar store.

We discuss more on carving out successful plans for your Etsy business below.

Who is Your Target Market?

Your target market in an Etsy business is simple – Etsy users and other people who you know will be interested in your handmade products. How to reach these people, though, is a whole different question entirely.

Thanks to the fact that you sell on Etsy, with good keyword optimization, you will have the advantage of being able to reach a niche audience already on the platform. But, if you’re going to take your business to the next level, you also have to think past just marketing on Etsy alone.

You have to consider reaching out to people on social media platforms, running paid advertisements, and even running occasional discount sales.

How Exactly Does a Business Make Money on Etsy?

A business makes money on Etsy by selling handmade items, vintage goods, and craft supplies. You set up your own customized store on Etsy and customers who are interested in your product find you through the platform and make their purchases.

The platform takes a percentage and you get the bulk of the money for the sales.

It pays to get as familiar with the platform as you can before starting your Etsy journey. This, along with taking the proper time to set up your shop, can go a long way in determining how successful your business on the platform will be.

How Much Do You Charge Customers?

How much you charge customers on your Etsy shop is all dependent on you. Choosing a perfect pricing strategy is one of the hardest parts of running a craft business,  but once you have the costs of your raw materials in mind, it becomes easier to set a retail price.

It is also highly advisable to do some research on similar stores selling similar products to get an idea of how much the average established market price is.

A general formula most Etsy marketers use to determine their prices involve multiplying the cost of labor and materials by two, to get the wholesale price. And multiplying the wholesale price by two to determine the retail price.

How Much Profit Can an Etsy Business Make

A lot of businesses have been known to have found great success on Etsy. The profit potential is virtually endless and all dependent on you. As mentioned earlier, you could easily be making double, or even quadruple the costs of production on retail sales.

Once you identify the cost of raw materials and set an hourly wage for yourself (to determine Labor costs) you can easily fix your selling price at a level where you make a maximal profit.

What are the Costs of Scaling?

The costs of scaling an Etsy business involve putting in more time, hiring more labor, injecting more funds into marketing, promotion, and other forms of advertisements.

Scaling an Etsy business can either involve diversifying your shop or diverting more resources into the same product(s).

In the end how you scale, and how much you scale, is all up to you.

Now that you’re done with the planning and research aspect, another aspect just as important to focus on is the legal and technical aspects, where you handle all government requirements and compliance regulations for running a business.

Since your business is mostly online, you may choose to run it as a personal affair. But to be more professional, to remove personal liability, and for neater tax filings, it is advisable that you register your business as a legal entity with the appropriate bodies.

Before submitting your articles of organization to the state, however, you have to name your business.

Naming Your Business

The very first aspect to ensuring your company/business becomes recognizable, and the legal, entity is to find a proper name for it. This name, mind you, must also be unique, and as such you will have to carry out a name availability search on your state registration portal to ensure that your desired name hasn’t been taken.

You may also ensure to choose a name that is available for a federal trademark.

Register For Taxes

This is the part where you obtain your employer identification number (EIN) which is a unique number assigned to your business for tax recognition purposes. It is quite easy to get this number on the IRS website.

You should also ensure to check in with the state to get familiar with other state requirements, if any, for tax purposes.

Open a Business Bank Account

The primary purpose of a business bank account is to provide a much-needed degree of separation between your personal finances and your business. This helps you keep track of your spending and income generated, and also goes a long way in giving you a good deal of convenience when filing taxes and evaluating growth.

Step 4: Business Accounting

Having a bank account to separate your finances is one thing. Keeping proper records of your spending and income is another. They are both highly important practices.

In this stage, you have to ensure to keep adequate written records on how your money is earned, from which sources, and of course how it is spent.

Step 5: Permits and Licenses

Here again is where you check in with the appropriate state bodies regarding the needed permits and Licenses necessary for running a yard sign business. Like most regulatory activities in the United States, there seems to be some difference in requirements as you move from state to state.

Failure to obtain these permits may lead to hefty fines or a complete shutdown of your business

Step 6: Business Insurance

Business insurance keeps you safe from unforeseen accidents. While it is an absolute no-brainer for some businesses to get insured, it may not seem so at first for a business that involves selling products on Etsy.

Not getting an insurance policy for your Etsy business, though, is an absolute mistake. Having an extra layer of protection never hurts. And if you happen to perform extensive research and choose an insurance package well-fitting for you, the whole process will end up being super convenient and well worth it.

Step 7: Defining Your Brand

Branding, on a general level, is like a constant supply of oxygen for a business. It helps your business to not only survive, but to thrive on a much deeper level, and what’s more, as your brand becomes stronger and more popular, your business starts to propel itself with minimal effort on your part.

This is why branding is so important, and one of the key elements to starting a business. You earn more trust, more recognition, and most importantly, you stand out from the competition.

Branding an Etsy business

Now that you understand the value of branding, it is natural to wonder whether or not it is so important for an Etsy business. I mean, after all this isn’t a fashion line or anything, right?

Well, I’d like to have you know that branding your Etsy business is just as important as branding a clothing line. From the very moment you set up your shop on Etsy, you should have a logo already, along with a tagline, and signature colors.

All of these are important aspects of branding an Etsy business and go a long way in separating your business from the pack.

Promotion and Marketing

Promoting and marketing your Etsy product starts right from the very moment you put your shop online. It starts with choosing the right, descriptive keywords to identify your products so that they are easier to locate by interested shoppers, and taking captivating product photos that leave them enthralled and wanting more.

Social media and online platforms are other places where you can divert traffic to your Etsy business, and of course, paid advertisements are another option to consider.

Customer Retention

Customer Retention on Etsy is all about providing high-quality products. This not only ensures that you have great reviews and customers who keep coming back, but it will also help propel existing customers to act as marketers on your behalf by referring friends and families to your store.

Once you have good products that are of the highest quality, all you have to do is put in the work at the start, and as time goes on they will practically market themselves and your customer retention will be off the charts.

Online Presence

A key part of marketing nowadays is shifting from focusing solely on offline tactics and propelling your business to an online audience. This, you do by building a strong online presence for your business. And this is where Etsy comes into play.

Luckily Etsy is already your link towards a host of potential customers, but you can take it even farther by creating your own social media pages, from which you can then drive even more traffic to your Etsy page.

Step 8: What is the Growth Potential of an Etsy Business?

The growth potential of an Etsy business, as mentioned earlier, is pretty much limitless. You can go from Etsy to having a nationwide store if you please. So long as you provide high-quality products and are willing to put in the work to get your store moving, there is practically nothing you can’t achieve.

A mistake to be on the lookout for, however, is trying to grow your business too fast. As with all things, patience is key in your Etsy business, and it is much more advisable to put in the time to perfect your product and satisfy existing customers than to rush to appeal to new customers while reducing the quality of your craft in the process.

Who is an Etsy Business Suitable For?

Etsy is suitable for anybody who has a particular affinity for creating handmade and hand-woven objects. Or even anyone with an entrepreneurial mind who happens to have access to people who have a knack for making arts and crafts.

You could simply partner up and form a team where you run the actual online marketing on Etsy and your partner(s) do the handmade creation.

Skills and Experiences

Are there particular skills and experience needed for successfully running an Etsy business? Absolutely not. That’s one of the beauties of this industry, is the fact that pretty much anyone with a sense of organization, creativity, and entrepreneurship can enter into it and run it successfully, with a proper plan and a good deal of research beforehand.

Of course, having prior experience with this kind of creative and online marketing endeavor doesn’t hurt, and will certainly increase your chances compared to people who are just starting out from scratch. Still, it is by no means absolutely necessary.

A Typical Etsy Business Day

A typical Etsy business day involves waking up, logging in to your store, checking out previous sales, looking over the stats so far, and probably updating a few key aspects here and there.

You then proceed to check in on your social pages and other online presence, before retreating back to your workspace and getting some actual physical work done.

Find a Business Mentor

A key to success with any business is to find a business mentor who can help guide you through rough patches and majorly serve as a source of inspiration. Ideally, this should be someone in the same industry as you, who is known not only for charm and charisma but for having actually found success in your desired field.

Build a Team

One of the most important aspects of scaling any business is building a team of experts so that the business can run even more smoothly and reach a lot more people. For the yard sign business, things are no different.

How to Start an Avocado Business

How to Start an Avocado Business

One of the biggest mistakes you can make while starting an avocado business is treating it as if it is, well, just any other business. I’ve come across one too many people who made this mistake, particularly in the avocado industry.

So how do you start a successful avocado business?

The first step of starting a successful avocado business is taking the necessary steps to plan and establish a legal entity. After this, you can begin the technical steps that include securing a location, defining your brand, establishing an online presence, and running efficient promotions.

To ensure more people don’t make these same mistakes, I’ve put together below an in-depth guide on starting and running a successful avocado business.

Step 1: Planning

If there’s one thing all businesses have in common, it is the need for thorough planning before you even go into them. Nine times out of ten, this is usually what determines whether or not a business ends up a failure.

Think about it this way: thorough planning, even before actually starting a business, might not be the absolute guarantee of success, but it will definitely ensure that you have a much lower chance of failure.

You’re able to strike out bad ideas and chart out the right course towards success.

Location and Variety

Two of the very first things you have to make a solid plan for before starting an avocado business are the location upon which you intend to grow your avocados, and the variety you would love to cultivate.

Location is dependent highly on climate, soil types, weather, and of course temperature. These also influence the variety of avocado you choose to go with, as some thrive in different environments while some are highly specific to particular climates.

Cost Planning

One of the most important areas of planning, cost planning ensures you get an overall idea of how much you’re going to be spending to run your avocado business successfully.

In such a business as the avocado business, you will not only have to consider how much to spend on your avocado plantation but also on harvesting and marketing.

It is only after going through proper cost planning that you get a solid idea on these things, and get to work on securing the funds before putting them to use.

Revenue Planning

On the other side of cost planning is revenue planning. Having determined how much it’s going to cost you to properly set up your avocado business, the next step is to weigh that against how much you’re going to be making from it.

This not only helps in your overall feasibility studies, it also goes a long way in ensuring that you set proper goals that are not only achievable but scalable in the long run.

How Does an Avocado Business Make Money?

This part is quite simple. An avocado business makes money by growing and selling avocados.

Most avocado farmers are also self marketers. They have their own avocado plantations. They go through the task of planting, caring for the trees, and harvesting.

And after all these steps are complete, they market their harvests themselves and sell for a profit.

This is how a typical avocado business makes money.

Estimated Profit

The avocado business is a really profitable one. Based on location, volume, variety, and a few other factors, the estimated profit from avocado businesses tends to vary.

study, however, found the typical avocado yield to be an estimated 11,000 pounds per acre (2 avocados make a pound) when poorly managed, and 20,000 in a well-run plantation.

Either way, one thing is constant. The avocado industry is still a young, vibrant one. With great planning, production, and marketing, anyone can make a lot of profit.

And most importantly, you can scale.

Step 2: Market Research

Having gotten an idea of the profit to be made, the next step is to go further into how exactly that profit will be made.

Target Market

The first step in market research is to identify your target market. This is easy in this case. As an avocado farmer, your target market, obviously, is avocado consumers.

Depending on the scale, you may either sell your products at a farmer’s market or enter into a contractual agreement with retail businesses or stores that are willing to purchase your harvests.

Step 3: Naming

Another important yet underrated aspect of starting any business is the naming. Especially for a business like an avocado business, many feel the name isn’t as important as a lot of other aspects.

This may have been true in the past, but certainly not anymore. Now branding matters a lot in any business, and the avocado business is no different.

Having a proper name not only comes in handy for branding and marketing, but also for establishing a web presence, and of course when registering your business.

Feel free to make use of the tool below to find out if your desired business domain is available for registration so that you can lock it down before anyone else does.

You should also take it a little further by securing a professional business email from Google’s G Suite. Try it for Free.

There are numerous benefits to registering your business as a legal entity. You remove personal liability, get your tax structure right, and give yourself a great chance of scaling.

In this case, there are a handful of business structures to choose from, including LLCs, DBAs, and Corporations.

Luckily, there are also some good reputable companies whose job it is to help with registering your company with the appropriate bodies.

Check out our in-depth reviews and comparison here for more details on which LLC registration company suits you better.

Step 5: Register For Taxes

Tax compliance is another reason why you should always register your business. Again, luckily, a lot of the companies we reviewed above also help with obtaining EIN for your businesses through the IRS website.

Step 6: Business Bank Account

No matter the business you choose to go into, your personal finances must always be separated from your business. This ensures that you’re safe from liability and are able to keep track of business growth better.

You can also use your business account to build a solid business credit that makes you eligible for an even greater range of financial benefits including business credit cards, better interest rates, and so on.

Step 7: Licensing and Permits

Assuming that you would have done your research in the planning section regarding governmental laws and licensing, this is the point where you actually comply by acquiring all necessary licenses and permits.

Step 8: Insurance

Getting business insurance is not only great for keeping your business safe from unforeseen liabilities, but it is also legally mandated and a no-brainer for any business owner.

The policy you choose to go for is up to you, as there are a lot of options in this regard for business owners.

Step 9: Branding

Now that you’ve gotten your legal steps covered, the next important point to keep in mind is establishing a proper brand. This plays a few key roles: it helps you stand out from the competition, helps you become more memorable to customers, and also helps your business gain the much-needed trust any business needs to survive.

Step 10: Promotion

As mentioned earlier, your outlet as an avocado farmer is either directly through farmer’s markets or striking a partnership with established stores.

Either way, you will have to carry out some sort of promotion at first.

This is another area where having a solid brand helps a lot.

Step 11: Online Presence

Having a solid online presence is without a doubt one of the most effective, and least tedious ways of promoting your avocado business.

Step 12: What are Some Major Aspects of Avocado Farming to Have in Mind?

Registering your business, establishing a brand, and efficient promotions are all important aspects of running a successful avocado business, but one thing just as important as all of these is making sure that your actual farming practices are as great as they can be.

This involves choosing a great location, proper irrigation practices, fertilization, and adequate spacing to reduce competition.

Step 13: Scaling

Finally, like most businesses, a consequence of success in the avocado business is the need to enjoy more success. Once your business starts to really take off and your brand becomes established, the next thing to do is scale.

Growth potential

The avocado business is very scalable. Whether or not you choose to actually scale is all up to you. Either way, you can scale your avocado business by investing in a bigger location, farm equipment, and gears, more fertilizers, and so on.

Building a Team

As you scale you can also decide to hire a team to make the business run even more successfully. The farm helps marketers, web designers, SEO engineers, are some of the positions you should choose to be on the lookout for.

How to Start a Yard Sign Business

How to Start a Yard Sign Business

Are you wondering how to start a yard sign business? Well we did too, and after hours and hours of research and loads of experience, we finally got the full hang of it, and in hopes of passing on the knowledge, we decided to publish this article to help you do the same.

So how do you start a yard sign business?

To start a yard sign business you must first perform extensive market research, after which you move on to other key aspects such as choosing a niche, getting your signs ready, storing your inventory, and of course marketing your business to ensure that you get through to your final customers.

This is merely a general overview, though, and there are still a few more aspects you have to keep in mind to run a successful yard sign business. Keep reading and you’ll become familiar with all of these in no time.

Why You Should Start a Yard Sign Business

Right at the moment, there are a ton of reasons why a yard sign business is one of the best you can enter into with a high peace of mind. First of all, it is one of the few businesses out there that isn’t saturated at all.

If anything, the demand far outweighs the supply, and this leads us to the second point – with over 320 million-plus people living in the United States at this very moment, and all of them with birthdays, anniversaries, and tons of celebrations, you practically cannot go wrong catering to these needs.

And then there’s also the fact that the business is quite easy to get into, affords you the opportunity to work from home, and requires very little amount of stress.

All of these reasons, without a doubt, are why you should definitely consider starting a yard sign business.

Step 1: Planning Your Yard Sign Business – Cost Planning 

A yard sign business, like any other out there, requires a deep level of planning before you can achieve success. Sure, the business is quite unsaturated and teeming with demand. Still, going into it headfirst without proper planning and acclimatization will spell doom for any budding entrepreneur, especially those without prior experience.

So what are the things you have to get familiar with and plan exactly? Well, first of all, you have to get familiar with the costs of doing business – which is basically what determines whether or not you go ahead with the business in the first place. We discuss more on carrying out proper cost planning for your yard sign business below. 

What are the Opening Costs of Getting a Yard Sign Business Going?

The very first aspect of cost planning is to establish the initial cost required to get the business up and running. It is only after this is done that you can then focus on the cost of keeping the business going, i.e the recurring costs.

So how much does it cost to get a yard sign business off the ground? Well, this depends on the supply method you choose to go with. Broadly, this can be classified into three options.

Self Production

The first option you have to consider in your yard sign journey is whether or not you want to make your signs yourself or get your inventory from an already-existing source.

Choosing to make it yourself is not for everyone, though, seeing as first, you have to have the know-how, acquire all the needed materials on your own, and then go through the actual process of making the sign.

The total cost of self-production may range between $1000 and $2000, inclusive of the cost of obtaining a complete starter kit.

Franchising

Franchising is a popular business practice for people who wish to go into a business but don’t want to start from scratch and can’t afford to completely buy out an already established company. What they do, instead, is affiliate themselves with a big franchise already well-known in the industry, from which they receive their inventory, as well as enjoy other perks.

The drawback to franchising your yard sign business, though, is the expenses involved. It is a quite expensive affair, with some franchises requiring almost $10,000 to join.

The Middle Way

The third option is to go with a strategy that doesn’t quite involve you doing everything on your own, but also not completely affiliated with a franchise. What you do, instead, is receive your supply from a guaranteed manufacturer, without franchise fees.

The upside to this is that this method is more affordable, more flexible, and you won’t be limited to a particular territory as you would be in franchising. And of course, you don’t have to go at it alone like you would when you self produce.

What are the Recurring Costs?

Now that you’ve understood how much it costs to get your business on the way, the next thing to consider is how much it costs to keep it running. Thankfully with a yard sign business, scaling is quite easy.

Once the inventory is up and running, all you have to do is restock accordingly, or go bigger if you please.

Step 2: Revenue Planning

With revenue planning your main concern is to determine just how much money can be made from running a yard sign business, and well, the answer is a lot. Of course, as it is with all businesses, the amount of money earned is usually relative to how much work you’re willing to put in.

Assuming, though, that you charge about $100 for a 24-hour rental, including delivery, installation, and pick up, and do one installation a day, you could be earning about $2500 a month in gross revenue.

Now imagine doing 5 installations a day. This would amount to about $12,500 a month.

Who Is Your Target Market?

Another factor that determines revenue is your target market. Obviously, with the yard sign business, you have a very wide target market. Pretty much anyone from young to old, male to female, who happens to be in need of a yard sign is your target.

Targeting such a broad range of customers, however, is not usually a good thing. A more advisable method of action is to trim down your audience, and target a niche instead of going broad. This ensures a more concerted effort, a better understanding of the market, and higher conversion.

Choosing a Niche

Choosing a yard sign niche, as mentioned earlier, helps increase your shot at having a more laser-targeted pool of customers to appeal to. The niches available in the yard sign business include celebration yard signs, which could range from anniversaries to birthdays to baby arrivals and graduation ceremonies; special thank you messages; welcome home messages; “for sale” messages; “welcome to your new home” messages, and so on.

How Exactly Does a Yard Sign Business Make Money?

A yard sign business makes money by renting out yard signs to people who need them. This can range from families celebrating a special occasion, or realtors wanting to put a building on lease.

How Much Do You Charge Customers?

Generally, yard sign business owners charge customers about $80 to $125 for 24-hour rentals. The most common, however, is $100. Again, this usually includes the cost of delivery, installation, and pickup.

How Much Profit Can a Yard Sign Business Make

Assuming you charge $100 per rental, your profit will obviously depend on how many installations you’re able to carry out per day. Starting out, it isn’t unusual to get about 5 rentals a week, which equates to $500 per week, $2000 per month, and $24,000 a year.

As you grow, however, the sky is definitely the limit, and it isn’t uncommon to see big yard sign businesses doing up to 30 rentals a week. This, of course, equates to $12000 a week.

The overall profit made, though, is going to be based on your method of production in the first place.

What are the Costs of Scaling?

As you can see above, the reward for scaling a yard sign business can be quite substantial. How do you get to this level, though?

Well, one of the major mistakes business owners make is to scale too fast. You should only attempt to scale your yard sign business once the business starts generating enough to reinvest into bigger inventories and delivery capabilities.

Now that you’re done with the planning and research aspect, another aspect just as important to focus on is the legal and technical aspects, where you handle all government requirements and compliance regulations for running a business.

Here you get to register your business with the state and avoid personal liabilities once you successfully submit your articles or organization. Before this, though, you have to name your business.

Naming Your Business

The very first aspect to ensuring your company/business becomes a recognizable, and the legal, entity is to find a proper name for it. This name, mind you, must also be unique, and as such you will have to carry out a name availability search on your state registration portal to ensure that your desired name hasn’t been taken.

You may also ensure to choose a name that is available for a federal trademark, and with an available web domain for when you choose to launch a website.

Register For Taxes

This is the part where you obtain your employer identification number (EIN), which is a unique number assigned to your business for tax recognition purposes. It is quite easy to get this number on the IRS website.

You should also ensure to check in with the state to get familiar with other state requirements, if any, for tax purposes.

Open a Business Bank Account

The primary purpose of a business bank account is to provide a much-needed degree of separation between your personal finances and your business. This helps you keep track of your spending and income generated, and also goes a long way in giving you a good deal of convenience when filing taxes and evaluating growth.

Step 4: Business Accounting

Having a bank account to separate your finances is one thing. Keeping proper records of your spending and income is another. They are both highly important practices.

In this stage, you have to ensure to keep adequate written records on how your money is earned, from which sources, and of course how it is spent.

Step 5: Permits and Licenses

Here again, is where you check in with the appropriate state bodies regarding the needed permits and Licenses necessary for running a yard sign business. Like most regulatory activities in the United States, there seems to be some difference in requirements as you move from state to state.

Failure to obtain these permits may lead to hefty fines or a complete shutdown of your business.

Step 6: Business Insurance

Getting your business insured is not only great for keeping your business safe from unforeseen liabilities, but it is also a legally mandated practice and a no-brainer for any business owner.

There are quite a number of insurance options out there, and the policy you choose to go with is totally up to you.

In case you’re not very sure which particular package to go with, you can always consult with an expert.

Step 7: Defining Your Brand

Now that your business is up and running, and the legal aspects are all set, the next point of business is to define your brand and reach out to your customers. What’s the purpose of branding, you might ask?

Well, there are probably tons of answers on the internet, the major point of them all, though, is that branding is necessary to give your business a unique identity that leaves a firmer impact on the minds of your customers and prospective customers.

Promotion and Marketing

Promoting your yard sign business should be the next step after all the above are set up. And quite ironically, your first weapon in promoting your yard sign business is, of course, having your own yard sign. After this, you can then move to other innovative methods, among which is creating an online presence.

Online Presence

A key part of marketing nowadays is shifting from focusing solely on offline tactics and propelling your business to an online audience. This you do by building a strong online presence for your business. And with a yard sign business, the rules are no different.

You can either choose to create your own social media pages, or a website, or even both, through which potential customers can get familiar with your work and place their orders.

Customer Retention

Customer retention in a yard sign business is critical, mainly because, thankfully, the business is not a one-off affair. The same people who needed a birthday sign yesterday may end up needing another in the coming month, or a different kind of sign. This is why customer retention is quite important and may end up contributing significantly to your overall revenue.

Step 8: What is the Growth Potential of a Yard Sign Business? 

The growth potential for a yard sign business is pretty limitless. You can start by renting 10 signs a week and find yourself doing ten times that. And if you continue on such a path, and find yourself with the revenue and ability to scale even further, who knows you may grow into a big franchise and help people from all over the country begin their own yard sign business.

Skills and Experience

Are there particular skills and experience needed for successfully running a yard sign business? Absolutely not. That’s one of the beauties of this industry, the fact that pretty much anyone with a sense of organization can enter into it and run it successfully, with a proper plan and a good deal of research beforehand.

Of course, having prior experience with this kind of niche doesn’t hurt. Still, it is by no means absolutely necessary.

A Typical Yard Sign Business Day

A typical yard sign business day involves you being in the comfort of your house, or in whatever space you dedicate to your yard sign business, probably taking inventory or engaging in other activities necessary to keep track of business.

It also involves catering to customers’ needs, running a few promotional and advertisements campaigns, and checking out your online orders if you have any.

Find a Business Mentor 

A key to success with any business is to find a business mentor who can help guide you through rough patches and majorly serve as a source of inspiration. Ideally, this should be someone in the same industry as you, who is known not only for charm and charisma but for having actually found success in your desired field.

Build a Team

One of the most important aspects of scaling any business is building a team of experts so that the business can run even more smoothly and reach a lot more people. For the yard sign business, things are no different.

As you scale you would want to build a team including people who help with delivery, installation, pickups, and even a marketing team, and a team of designers depending on how big you’re willing to grow.