One of the best things we can do to overcome business fears is to make sure our business is set up legally for a successful launch (or relaunch). One restart tip is to set your business up as an LLC for protection.
On this podcast episode, we’ll discuss how to form an LLC, creating trademarks, a bit about copyrights, and a lot about Nellie’s ability to balance it all. Allow me to introduce Nellie Akalp. Nellie Akalp is a serial entrepreneur, small business advocate, speaker, and author.
Through the various “Do-It-Yourself” and “Business-Startup” services she has founded since 1997, she has formed over 200,000 corporations and LLCs for small business owners. Her last company was acquired by Intuit in 2005. Today, she and her husband, Phil, operate CorpNet.com where they help entrepreneurs start a business, incorporate, form an LLC, set up sole proprietorships (DBAs) and maintain a business in compliance with state filing requirements for a new or existing business.
Nellie shares her expert tips with readers at Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Mashable and is a regular guest expert on the Fox Small Business Center. She was named a Top 100 Small Business Influencer in 2012, 2013, and 2014 by Small Business Trends. Nellie has presented a workshop at Small Biz Expo and sat down with members of Girls in Tech, General Assembly, and more to inspire and motivate others to make their business dreams a reality.
How Corpnet was inspired:
She and her husband both attended law school. Back in 1997, Nellie’s husband came up with the idea of taking their law school education and come up with a service that would solve a problem and cater to anyone nationwide by helping them to start a business online at a competitive cost.
Nellie Akalp’s story:
Her husband would post information on the internet about business law, and began to think about starting a competitive business online. They purchased a domain name for $100 and began receiving orders and putting together their marketing and branding. It wasn’t long before their business began growing rapidly.
In 2005, they were given the opportunity to be purchased by a publicly-traded company, for $20 million. At this time she’d had her first set of twins and also had a toddler and decided to focus her energies on them. She also began to realize by 2009 that their passions were in helping entrepreneurs form their businesses. To date, Nellie has formed over 100,000 LLCs.
Filing a DBA or LLC- which is better?
Business owners should consider setting up themselves as an LLC if the business is making a profit for the following reasons:
- liability protection
- tax breaks
For less than $100, you should consider incorporating your business.
The process of creating an LLC:
(Corpnet provides many of these services free of charge)
- Make sure you have a business name and that it is available
- Figure out which state you will set up the LLC
- Have a business address
- Have a registered agent address
- Names, members, or officers of the shareholders of the LLC
- File the appropriate paperwork. (Corpnet will set this up for you.)
How to create a trademark:
- Do a simple name search
- Conduct a trademark search
- If available, do a comprehensive nationwide search
- File the application with the USPTO and pay the filing fees, or go through a reputable filing company (like Corpnet) who will partner with you throughout the entire filing process (and add $145 service fee to Corpnet).
Having a trademark filed will protect you against trademark infringement.
Be careful in the blogging world!
- Copying work and written material and republishing without permission is copyright infringement. Bottom line: don’t do it!
How Nellie Akalp balances family with business:
Nellie keeps a tight leash on her priorities. Spiritually, mentally, and physically, she stays focused on her goals. Her order of priority:
- Taking care of herself spiritually, mentally, and physically.
- Her husbands and kids
- Her team at Corpnet and business
Other life balance tips for business moms:
- Take life day by day
- Keep super organized
- Planning your day
- Get things done (rather than letting things get piled up)
- Stay organized and regimented with your routine and lifestyle.
- Have open communication with your kids at home about teamwork within the home and explain to your children why you’ve chosen your lifestyle of work and how it benefits the entire family.
Please let Nellie Akalp know how you enjoyed the podcast here at Mompreneurs in Heels. You can reach her at Corpnet.com.
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