Five Reasons We’re a Great LegalZoom Alternative

August 20th, 2014 by Matt Knee

You’ve seen their commercials (featuring OJ Simpson’s attorney), but does that really mean LegalZoom is the best choice for starting your small business? Think of it this way: is the huge chain Italian restaurant franchise better than the tiny Italian bistro in your neighborhood–where every dish is prepared by real Italians–just because they advertise on television? We’ll let you decide, but we feel pretty confident that we can do better than the big guys when it comes to starting your company.

First of all, we understand that going into business for yourself can be complicated and even scary. We’re a real small business ourselves, so we’ve been there before. LegalZoom is a huge warehouse of legal services (Wills, Divorces, Bankruptcies, etc.) with only a fraction devoted to small business. Our incorporation and LLC formation service was designed specifically to meet the needs of small business owners.

Now let’s talk about cost. Our basic package starts at just $79 plus your state fee. That’s a lot easier on your wallet than their $149 basic package (as of this date of publication), and ours includes more. Do a side-by-side comparison of what you get with us versus what you get with LegalZoom. Running a business can be expensive. Starting a business doesn’t have to be.

We believe in honesty and won’t hit you with hidden fees or excessive charges, ever. For example, we charge only $45 to obtain your Federal tax ID. LegalZoom will charge you $79.

Personalized service is a benchmark of what we do. During business hours, you will always reach a live person or a quick call back (or response to your email), usually within ten minutes. Every member of our client services team can access your account and tell you the status of your order. We run a small, casual shop where everybody knows each other. LegalZoom, on the other hand, has more than six hundred employees.

Finally, just do some research: search for “Legalzoom complaints” on Google. Do the same for us and see the difference. As a LegalZoom alternative, we offer some of the lowest prices in the industry, fast turnaround and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Useful Post on 1099 Forms

January 8th, 2014 by Chris

Small Business Tends has a useful post up on How and When to Prepare 1099 Forms for Independent Workers.

Our page on Hiring Employees & Processing Payroll is also a great resource for small business owners.

Starting a US Company as a Non-Citizen

December 11th, 2013 by Chris

One of the most common questions that we get at MyNewCompany.com is what is involved in starting a US company as a non-US citizen.  We’ve created a Checklist page on “How to Start a Company in the USA” that can be viewed here: http://www.mynewcompany.com/international.htm that lists all of the steps and procedures for starting a new US company as a non-citizen.

How Long to Keep Business Records

August 29th, 2013 by Matt Knee

Most business owners don’t know how long they should hold on to old records. According to the IRS, here’s how long you should keep those records:

Permanently:

    • general ledgers and journals
    • payroll records, including W-2s, 940s, 941s
    • year-end financial statements
    • tax returns and supporting documents
    • articles of incorporation, bylaws, meeting minutes, etc.
    • retirement plan records
    • mortgages and deeds

10 Years:

  • bank statements and cancelled checks
  • AP & AR documents
  • invoices and billing information (customers and ventors)
  • leases
  • contracts with clients and suppliers

7 years:

  • expense reports
  • employee agreements/contracts/termination records
  • documents related to litigation
  • inventory documentation

3 years:

  • employment applications
  • employee disability and illness benefit records
  • expired insurance policies
  • general correspondence

This information is helpful but our favorite rule of thumb is to “save everything” and keep anything older than a few years in storage. Unless your business deals with mountains of paperwork, that method will be the easiest way to keep it simple and safe.

Action Plan:

  • Organize your documents by the various categories above.
  • Scan copies of the critical documents and place them in a free Dropbox account which will keep your files safe and backed-up “in the cloud” (Free up to 2GB of data)
  • If you are a Corporation or LLC, then also make sure that you are complying with record-keeping, minutes and annual reports. Click here to learn about our ComplianceLock™ service which can automate these tasks.

Founder of MyNewCompany on Forbes.com Live Tuesday

August 5th, 2013 by Matt Knee

I’ll be answering questions about startups, entrepreneurship, and whatever else comes up tomorrow, Tuesday, August 6th at noon PST (3pm EST) on Forbes.com. This is part of the Young Entrepreneur Council‘s (of which I am a member) #MyStartupLab initiative. Join me!