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business formation & planning Archives

Sources of new business financing

One of the biggest challenges faced by California entrepreneurs is securing the capital they need to fund a new business venture. Traditional banks adhere to strict underwriting standards and will generally want to see an established track record before they lend money, which means that many entrepreneurs turn to friends, family members and alternative lenders for the cash they need.

What to know about LLCs

Businesses that are formed in California are likely able to structure themselves as a limited liability company, or LLC. This may be possible whether the company has a single member or multiple members. Members can include individuals, other LLCs and corporations in both the United States and throughout the world. By default, single-member LLCs are considered disregarded entities while those with two members are classified as partnerships. However, an LLC can choose how it would like to be taxed by filing Form 8832.

Creating a successful startup company in California

Even when a great idea is at the heart of a business concept, success isn't likely to come overnight in California. Plus, there is no guarantee any business will succeed. That being said, there are some steps that startup owners may be able to take to increase their odds of seeing a pleasing return on investment.

Pitfalls of financing new businesses with personal credit cards

Building a good credit rating for a new business often challenges entrepreneurs in California. Lenders are reluctant to finance new businesses, and an entrepreneur might feel the need to tap into personal credit to launch a venture or keep it going in the early years. Although using personal credit might lead to success, it enhances the risk for entrepreneurs because their personal bank accounts and property could become vulnerable to business debts.

What to know about starting a new company

Many people in California and throughout the country have thought about the possibility of leaving their jobs in favor of starting their own companies. However, it is important to have a plan prior to making the transition from employee to employer. The first step in the process is to do as much research as possible into the product or service that the company will offer. Furthermore, it is a good idea to understand who the competition is and who the company's target customer will be.

Clearbanc uses data to fund e-commerce startups

Entrepreneurs in California may be interested in the new financing company Clearbanc, which has designed a fast alternative to venture capital funding. Clearbanc provides between $10,000 and $10 million to qualifying applicants to fund online marketing efforts. The company then collects fees starting at 5 percent from monthly top-line revenue until funding is repaid. In contrast to VC funding, this arrangement does not require entrepreneurs to give up equity. A founder of Clearbanc also highlighted the company's data-based approach, which eliminates the biases often inherent in convincing VC investors to provide money.

Experts fear venture capital bubble

Venture capital firms in California and around the world invested $160 billion in startup companies in 2008. That figure is almost triple what it was just a decade ago, and many observers are worried that an unsustainable investment bubble is forming. The amount of money being invested has also risen sharply. Venture capital deals worth more than $100 million doubled in number between 2017 and 2018, and there is a growing feeling in the sector that many investors are ignoring business fundamentals and backing ideas merely because they promise revolutionary change.

What to ask before starting a business

In recent years, it has become easier to start a business for $5,000 or less. While the barrier to entry to become an entrepreneur has been lowered, it is still important to ask several financial questions prior to starting a company. For instance, prospective business owners in California should ask themselves if they are going to sell a product or service. Generally, businesses that sell products take more money to get off of the ground.

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