Business Cards

9 Replies

Hello everyone on biggerpockets how are you? Well I hope this makes sense and hope its not a dumb question but I am just starting out as a real estate investor. If I get business cards and lets say for example I name my company ABC investing. Before I get those business cards do I need to have an LLC. or INC. or sometime of corporation before I can say my company name is ABC investing? Please help me out I am lost.

I could be wrong but I believe as long as you don't incorporate your company you would be considered a sole proprietor. 

Does this make sense? 

You can put anything you want on your business cards, but why would you want to buy cards with a name that you may not end up using?

First, check to see if the name is available for a website. Go to GoDaddy.com to see if the website with your name is available. Then, if it is, check with your Secretary of State to see if the business name is available. (You can do this online.)

Once you have reserved the name for a website and with your state, get your business cards, not the other way around.

Originally posted by @Steve Yoo :

I could be wrong but I believe as long as you don't incorporate your company you would be considered a sole proprietor. 

Does this make sense? 

 I'm sorry I don't understand. Please explain. god bless

Originally posted by @Karen Rittenhouse :

You can put anything you want on your business cards, but why would you want to buy cards with a name that you may not end up using?

First, check to see if the name is available for a website. Go to GoDaddy.com to see if the website with your name is available. Then, if it is, check with your Secretary of State to see if the business name is available. (You can do this online.)

Once you have reserved the name for a website and with your state, get your business cards, not the other way around.

 Karen thank you so much for that advice I will do that now. God bless.

@James Sotipalalit hi James - you could but I think it's premature. Nothing wrong with coming up with a clever name and double checking to see if that name is already taken or incorporated and stealing the website domain. If you have the luck, by all means do that, but, in the interim just get a Doing Business As (DBA) License. Atleast then you can do business in your proposed name that you can later incorporate. When running a start up, it's good to do it on a shoe string budget I have learned. Up to you though! Good luck.

Originally posted by @Christopher Leon :

James Sotipalalit hi James - you could but I think it's premature. Nothing wrong with coming up with a clever name and double checking to see if that name is already taken or incorporated and stealing the website domain. If you have the luck, by all means do that, but, in the interim just get a Doing Business As (DBA) License. Atleast then you can do business in your proposed name that you can later incorporate. When running a start up, it's good to do it on a shoe string budget I have learned. Up to you though! Good luck.

Thanks for this and how do you get a DBA license and what your saying is I can run my real estate investing business without actually having a corporation name in the beginning correct?

It probably varies from state to state, but in my state there are city commissioner's offices and county commissioner's offices.  It's likely the same place you'd pay property taxes.  Worst case scenario, just call the local chamber of commerce and they should be able to direct you to the correct place.

A business license usually costs something each year, but not too much.  In my area it starts at 50.00/year.

Just to clarify what some were saying, I believe what they meant is, let's say you come up with a name you want to use, like ABC Investing. Initially, you'd just use ABC Investing and later, if you register an LLC for example, it would be ABC Investing, LLC.

Your business license would say something like James Sotipalalit doing business as ABC Investing.

From a legal perspective, if you register a company called ABC Investing and don't have an LLC or corporation, you're considered a sole proprietor. In other words, the business is not a separate entity. When it comes to taxes, you wouldn't file separate taxes for the business. If someone sued your business, they'd just be suing you. Many LLCs are considered this way too as far as the IRS is concerned (called a disregarded entity), usually when it's just you in the business. As far as legal protection with an LLC, it's best to talk to an attorney. I'm not sure how much protection an LLC would provide if the IRS doesn't view it as a separate entity.

Please note:  this isn't legal advice, so don't take it as that.  Just trying to share my experience. :)

Originally posted by @James Sotipalalit :
Originally posted by @Christopher Leon:

James Sotipalalit hi James - you could but I think it's premature. Nothing wrong with coming up with a clever name and double checking to see if that name is already taken or incorporated and stealing the website domain. If you have the luck, by all means do that, but, in the interim just get a Doing Business As (DBA) License. Atleast then you can do business in your proposed name that you can later incorporate. When running a start up, it's good to do it on a shoe string budget I have learned. Up to you though! Good luck.

Thanks for this and how do you get a DBA license and what your saying is I can run my real estate investing business without actually having a corporation name in the beginning correct?

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I think some others may have answered this already, but to get a DBA, it does vary state to state. In my state, you have to file for one at the county office, and then you have to publicize it in the county newspaper for 3 wks straight. Once you do this, they send you your license or certificate really and that grants you the ability to do business as XYZ co. Instead of your name. You can then open a bank account in your company name, accept checks paid to the company name, market yourself as that company name, etc. depending on what kind of investing your doing, you may want to speak to your attorney for your own protection. I operate as a DBA for my buy and hold properties. Attorneys do not agree with this - they say you HAVE to do an LLC at minimum, but, that's hogwash. I don't get sued. I do business correctly and I stay out of trouble - simple & plain.

@Christopher Leon:

Thanks for sharing how you have your buy & holds set up. I agree, you don't need an LLC. I don't have any entity set up yet but am considering registering a DBA name so I can remove my personal name. fyi, I manage my own (2) properties. I want to use the DBA name just for the property mgmt piece but rental income is filed on my personal returns (currently). I was curious if I may ask about filing taxes. How do you do the DBA part in terms of self employment tax? If you manage your own properties, you really aren't making any money for that part right? Or does it depend on if you have a bank account in the dba name which is getting the rental income and thus, need to pay self employment tax (medicare and social security tax)? Hope that makes sense what I'm asking. I'm wondering how much more will it cost me in terms of taxes if I use a DBA name for the PM piece? Thanks.

lora

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