Tagged “Business”

Notes on Shutting Down an S-Corp

A little over a year ago I described how I have my businesses set up in My Miniature Corporate Empire. Between then and now quite a few things have changed, the biggest being that I'm now employed by egghead, which had previously been my primary consulting client.

Over the past few months it's become very clear to me that this W-2 gig is better in every practical way than how I had been operating. There's no management overhead and far less worry about whether the next paycheck is going to happen. The management overhead is still there, however, because the businesses still exist. They're still sucking down energy and occupying mindshare that could better be used for, oh I dunno, chilling with my family.

Therefore, I'm shutting them down. My remaining consulting client will switch me to 1099 status and the publishing business just keeps going with less overhead.

This post is a checklist of things that I have to do to shut down my two Michigan LLC S-corps. It may not entirely apply to yours, or there may be other steps that you need to take. Consulting with your accountant if this is something you're thinking of doing.

Why your SaaS application should support SAML

Your SaaS application should support SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) if you're at all interested in big fat contracts from large enterprise customers. And why is that?

One word: money. Large enterprise customers pay quite a lot of money for services that help them do their work with a minimum of fuss. They want to do as little management of your service as they can possibly get away with, preferrably zero. If you can't make that happen, but your competitor can, guess who's not getting that big fat contract.

Adventures in Stock Picking

About a year and a half ago I started buying shares in individual public companies rather than buying shares of index funds. I did this because I thought it was fascinating and because I thought I could do a good job, at least matching the performance of the market as a whole. This week I decided to end the experiment and go back to index funds.

This is part a chronicle of my brief journey and part my reasoning for both starting and ending the experiment.

My Miniature Corporate Empire

This post is mostly for posterity so I don't forget why and when I did this stuff. If you find small-scale business stuff interesting you'll like it.

When I initially published my first book Mastering Modern Payments in 2013 I just did it myself, with no business backing it. I had a separate personal checking account where the Stripe deposits ended up, I deducted business expenses, and everything was peachy. Then I got a not-insignificant consulting gig and I decided it was time to get a bit more professional.

New Book: Handle Your Business

Let's say you do some consulting work once in awhile. You do some work, people pay you, everyone's happy.

Now, let's say you want to make a living with consulting, like I did a year ago. What do you need to know? How do you set up an effective, legitimate business around your work?

Organizing Your Consulting Business

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book Handle Your Business - the Succinct Guide to Money and Finance for the Self-Employed. Enter your email at the bottom for updates, early access, and a coupon when the book launches.

A business is a legal fiction. It only exists in so far as we and the courts believe it to. It's an entity made of pure thought, even more so than a computer program. When you write a computer program you're causing the computer to take physical actions. When you form a business, you're literally willing a new thing into existence.

This may seem like a trivial point, but you only get the benefits of a business as long as other people believe it exists. What are those benefits, you ask? There are two big things you get by forming a separate business entity:

  • limited personal liability for the financial liabilities of the company
  • tax incentives

You could just start doing business as yourself. You may have already. You could, in fact, just ignore this whole chapter, and there's nothing really wrong with that. But, you don't get those two things above.

Pay Your Taxes!

"I'm in deep with the IRS."

"We ended up owing $15,000 this year."

"I don't have that kind of money just laying around. How do I file an extension?"

Sound familiar? Maybe you're a freelancer. A consultant. An independent business person. Somehow, some way, you've got money coming in that isn't from a normal everyday W2 job.

One thing's for sure: you have to pay taxes on that.

What is the best modern payment provider?

Your business has to get paid, but how that happens is a complicated question, and the modern payment landscape is vast. How do you pick?

What payment service is the best fit for your business?

This list highlights the biggest modern payment providers in the market, where "modern" includes features like integrated merchant account and gateway services, RESTful APIs, and well maintained SDKs.

You can use this list to help you narrow down the choices for your business.

Five business lessons from an idle game

Over the last few weeks I've been playing an idle game called AdVenture Capitalist. In this game, you play a businessman, running his various businesses from the comfy environs of your plush green lawn (and eventually your moon base). I realized this morning that, perhaps inadvertently, AdCap teaches a few very important lessons for people bootstrapping or starting up a business.