Five Things to Ask for When You Can’t Get More Money

Ripped DollarThe first thing everyone wants is more money.  I don’t want to discourage anyone from asking outright for a larger salary or an increased hourly rate.  After all, I have never heard of anyone reneging on an initial offer just because a contractor or an employee asks for more money.

If the other party is not willing to talk about more money, don’t despair.  There are other things you can ask for that can be almost as good as a larger paycheck.

Here are five things to consider asking for:

1)   More Vacation Time – This is an obvious ask and doesn’t require any additional, up-front finances from the company.

2)   Professional Development and Education – Ask the company to cover you for the time and cost to take a class that interests you.  Knowing more about a topic usually makes you better at your job.  This could be anything from a public speaking seminar to computer programming classes to Spanish lessons.  If you are in New York City check out Smartt Talk, General Assembly, or Brooklyn Brainery to get some inspiration.

3)   Transportation or Travel Expenses – Your employer could offer to cover the cost of your daily commute or reimburse you for business travel.

4)   Special Provisions – The beauty of this is that it can be ANYTHING.  Picture your ideal job – Do you wish you could travel more or less? Do you want a nicer office? A company car? Something else that those lucky people at Google get?  Propose the wild idea and see how the other party responds.

5)   A Scheduled Time to Re-Visit the Issue – If you aren’t completely satisfied, ask the company to give you a date in three or six months to discuss your negotiating points again. Regular and more frequent meetings mean more face time with the people that matter and more opportunities to talk up your skills and hard work.

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised when asking for more at a year-end review?  I would love to hear how the negotiations went!

What’s Up With Delaware?

Over the past few years I have worked with a lot of people who want to start LLCs, not-for-profits and incorporations.  Even before we meet, I can guarantee that one of the first things I hear will be: “My friend/relative/acquaintance told me I should file in Delaware because it will be cheaper because of taxes.”

I don’t know who this person is that is spreading these rumors, but I wish he or she would stop.

The truth is that for most businesses filing in Delaware does not save any money. Instead, you should form your business (and file the appropriate papers) in the state where you will actually be running  your business.  Before you buy in to the Delaware hype, consider where your offices will be, where you will be opening your shop or where the majority of your clients will be based.

 Why? 

Your home state (you know, the one where you will actually be operating your business from) will want to see documentation that you are registered to do business THERE .  If you are doing business in New York (for example), meaning opening a bank account, interacting with customers, signing a lease or seeking a license, the State of New York wants you to be registered there (and other states feel similarly).

Only now that you have formed your business in Delaware (and paid Delaware all the filing fees) you now have to register as a “foreign corporation” in order to operate in your home state.  To register as a foreign corporation you will often have to pay the EXACT same amount of money as if you had just formed the company in your home state.  So essentially your business ends up paying the State of Delaware AND your home state.

So how can start-ups save money?

Believe it or not, the most cost-effective choice for most small start-ups is to register their company where they will be doing business.

The idea that you can save money by registering in Delaware is a MYTH! In short, get all the facts before you jump on the Delaware bandwagon.

I hope you find this useful and that it saves you money. I know a lot of people who wish they would have known about this before registering (and paying in Delaware AND then again in their home state).

Starting Small – The Differences Between a Sole Proprietorship and a Single LLC

One of the first choices an entrepreneur has to make when she decides to start a business is choosing which business entity is right for her.  If she is opening a business by herself (meaning without any additional partners or business owners) then she has four options to choose from:  a sole proprietor, a single LLC (or PLLC), an “S” corporation or a “C” corporation.  Because starting a corporation involves greater paperwork and cost, solo business owners with limited funds and resources often choose between a sole proprietorship and a Single LLC (or PLLC).

These two choices are similar, and in both cases the entity is taxed as an individual, but it is important to be aware of the differences when deciding if one of these options is right for you.

What are the differences between these two options?

Paperwork and Fees

Sole Proprietors do not have to fill out any paperwork or pay any fees to begin doing business under the name of the individual business owner.  The business owner can simply hang a shingle outside her door and begin operating.  Individuals doing this should, of course, be aware if there are any licensing requirements for the type of business they are undertaking.

To form a Single LLC the individual business owner must file with the Secretary of State, publish notice in two newspapers, and pay a fee to the State of New York.

Liability

In the case of a Sole Proprietorship, both the business and personal assets of the individual owner are exposed and could be accessed in order to pay off outstanding business debts.  In other words, the sole proprietorship offers no protection of the business owner’s assets.

The personal assets of the owner of a Single LLC are protected in commercial matters, and only the assets of the LLC are exposed to commercial liability.

Liquidation/Merger of the Business

A Sole Proprietor may simply cease doing business and does not need to alert the government.

The owner of a Single LLC must terminate the LLC by filing a notice with the State in order to dissolve the entity.

Being aware of the differences between these two common choices allows a solo entrepreneur seeking to start a small business the power to decide what is right for her organization.