The Internet Won't Read the Fine Print


Like many women, I’m a natural multi-tasker. I run my business, raise my children and juggle many responsibilities throughout the day that get me in to bed after 2 am. But there are times when I must put away my “I can do everything” attitude. I must rely on my team of professionals to help me accomplish tasks that I’m not fully equipped to handle myself.

As an attorney, I see businesses folding everyday because they don’t have the right team of professionals on their side assisting in the growth of their company.  Instead of focusing on their business they were busy being their own accountant, lawyer, publicist or web designer.

My advice to you is to not be the jack of all trades. You may think you are going to save money by doing everything yourself but in the long run you are taking time away from your business. 

If you are just starting out on your business venture and want it to be successful, consult a team of professionals to help you set up the right entity formation and guide you on growing your business.

Incorporate Your Business Correctly

Choosing the correct business formation will eliminate confusion and simplify your business taxes and liabilities. Wading through the many options and trying to understand the taxes and liabilities of each can become laborious and unduly burdensome.  That is why the HOW you incorporate is important. 

There are a plethora of legal document production companies that can be found online to assist you in forming a legal business entity.  While these document production companies make millions on this inexpensive route to entity formation, the small print will always remind you that they are not a law firm, have no legal expertise, cannot advise you, and remind you to consult with a lawyer. You get a business organization without a consultation and without proper advisement. 

Consult with a professional so that you lay the proper legal foundation for your business. If you decided to form your business online still have a professional look over your documents to make sure you formed your business correctly. Protect your business. Protect yourself. 

One of the worst cases I’ve seen was with a man that owned a bodega. He formed his business entity without consulting an attorney. He accidentally signed a lease for his bodega stating that he was liable for the utilities for the entire building! His bodega was in Manhattan, and the cost of the utilities for the entire building was over $4,000 per month. He had formed the wrong entity through an online document production company.  Even when his store went under, he was still held personally liable for all that money.  He AND his wife were in quite a bind.  Only bankruptcy could help. This is a prime example as to why it is extremely important that you consult with professionals in establishing your business entity.

Build Your Power Team

Look back at your business plan and what you defined as your ultimate goals for your business. Make a list of the professionals that can help you get there. Find your power team members through your local Small Business Administration, Chamber of Commerce or ask other small business owners for recommendations.
These professionals will be your power team. They will make sure your business has a strong foundation and opportunity for success. Their years of professional experience and expertise drastically outnumber the amount of time and energy it would take for you to read and apply what you learn from a “do-it-yourself” book.

Don’t be the “do-it-yourself” business owner. Invest in a sound business plan, associate with competent professionals and take that first step to what can be a simple process to building your business.

Nzengha Waseme is principal of Waseme & Associates, a full-service firm on Wall Street practicing transactional and entertainment law. In addition to working with small business owners, the firm services corporate companies as well as nonprofit organizations. You may contact Nzengha (In-zing-uh) Waseme  at  212.757.5800 ext 410.