So I recently got certified and I’m trying to figure out the next steps to get this ball rolling. My question for you guys who already have your business going, would you put your business in a LLC, INC or whatever and why, or why wouldn’t you? What programs is there to use that are simple easy and cost effective?
There used to be an article from InterNachi that discusses this exact subject, but I cannot locate it at this moment.
Perhaps it has been reloctaed to be included within this link: https://www.nachi.org/success.htm
Even if not, it’s still a good place to get started!
I would also suggest speaking to an attorney. Depending on your state there may be advantages/disadvantages to each. The attorney will also help you with setting up your operating agreement/contracts etc. Usually, it is not too expensive and IMO, money well spent.
Good Luck with your business!
I agree with Joseph, and an accountant would help, too.
One of the things I was told if you are the only employee an LLC may not offer any protection of your personal assets in case of a law suit. Because you are the only employee (sole proprieter) the blame all falls on you.
May offer other advantages, I just haven’t gone in that direction yet. Requires double entry bookkeeping according to my tax accountant (I do that anyway to track services and expenses).
Ah, that is not correct Bob. An LLC is not considered a sole proprietorship and does not have the same liabilities.
The above is why spending a little now on an attorney and accountant, etc., is well worth it for down the road.
A chat with your insurance guy my help as well (If he is any good).
Independently-owned LLCs should be aware that if they do not take adequate precautions, they may be liable for the debts of the business. In some cases, when a single-member LLC does not adequately capitalize a business or mixes personal assets with the assets of the LLC, a court will treat the business as a sole proprietorship and strip the owner of limited liability protection. A company is adequately capitalized when it has enough money and assets to independently function as a business. As such, owners of single-member LLCs may want to take extra steps to ensure their business has enough capital to function independently and they adequately maintain a separate and distinct identity from the business.
I think this is what Robert is referring to…
I don’t believe I said an LLC is a sole proprietorship. Obviously they are different. A Limited Liability Company may not offer you any limited liability if you are the only employee. State laws differ and as Larry pointed out you need a lawyer for legal advice.
David said it much better than I.
I think it all depends on the state your business is located in, here in Florida most of your personal property is exempt from legal attachment so here you can just register a trade name and go into business if you are licensed. Other than that, corporations are expensive to open and their accounting is complicated, while initial costs and paperwork for LLC’s are less so.
You were told wrong.
A home inspector forum is not a good place to get business, legal, or accounting advice. Consult with a professional business coach, a lawyer, and an accountant.
Much of what has been said in this discussion is wrong. An LLC is not the same as a sole proprietorship. A corporation is not moe expensive or more complicated than an LLC. Following advice from a home inspector forum is like drinking from a poisoned well.
You know this because you are a lawyer, or you know the person who told me. I suspect neither. You need to read David’s post who said much more concisely what I was trying to say!
In the future if you are going to tell someone they are WRONG you should have something to back it up!
LLC’s so simple a home inspector can do it…
Something we must consider here, which is what a judge is going to consider first and foremost; Why is the OP opening an LLC?
Just like all the deferral attempts to eliminate liability and responsibility HI’s collect, they are using the LLC to avoid prosecution. The LLC is to protect you from the ‘acts of others’, not to create an entity that can not be prosecuted. New HI’s often have little or no capital. They have no one in their employ. Their business can not stand alone as a functional entity with out 100% control by the Inspector. When this is self evident to the Judge, he will simply strip the veil of the LLC and move on to what you did wrong and how much responsibility you will bear. If your LLC does not have sufficient capital to stand up to litigation, it can not be prosecuted, so your next in line.
This is not a black and white thing. Just because you have a contract, inspection agreement, or LLC, the court does not have to accept it. Their first order of business is if your attempt to avoid prosecution is in fact just that.
You can have contracts and LLC’s all day long, but when the time comes, it doesn’t mean it will hold up to litigation. That is to be determined. Everyone seems to have a ‘Limitation of liability’ clause in their inspection agreements. I used to, because my lawyer told me to leave it in, even thought it will never fly in my State. I took it out because clients didn’t like it and I knew the judge would hate it if I tried to pull it off. This stuff can hurt you more than help if the time comes.
Just my opinion…
Of course an ‘opinion’ not rooted in any reality…
It is opinion as there is no assurance you won’t get a judge named Burkeson who lets anything fly…
And you know that more than anyone else on this MB!!
This does not have to be complicated… For the most part, a LLC is to separate your personal assets from that of your business. If you do things right, your personal assets are protected. If you have any assets such as a house, boat, stocks, savings, etc… get LLC. If you don’t, you can just do it using a business certificate registered with your county and or state. LLC also shows others that you’re serious about your business and to some attorneys that it’s more difficult to go after you than if you operate as a sole proprietor. Talk to your accountant/tax attorney to verify this.
PS: There is a reason it’s called “limited liability”. My oldest LLC is 19+ years old.
au contrair my friend here in spacetime NACHI all horses are beaten to death, along with their jockeys.