Setting up an LLC: Fun for you and fun for me!

“Curiouser and curiouser.”

Setting up an LLC: Fun for you and fun for me!

The first L stands for Literary.

The second L stands for Love.

The C stands for Congratulate me! I’m an LLC! Congrats, says you, so what exactly does that mean? Well, in a nutshell it means that “Literary Wonderland” is now a legally recognized company in the state of <fill in where I am located here>. Literary Wonderland specializes in freelance writing and editorial services. The state recognizes this and any future company that tries to take the name “Literary Wonderland” for similar services is SOL. Sorry Charlie, you snooze you lose. But don’t give up just because I have the ultimate company name. Here are some FAQ’s for going forward with your own righteous entity!

WHY DO I NEED AN LLC?
Good question. If you are planning on branching out on your own and doing a lot of freelancing now or in the future, and if you want to register an original company name with the powers that be, AND if you want to be write off certain purchases that are necessities in your trade, an LLC is the way to go. Sure you can freelance on your own without the added worry of a fancy shmancy company name, but if you want to go the extra mile and make yourself more than just the average Joe looking for work, a company name, web presence, and LLC says to the world: Look at me! I’m serious and I’ve got skills! Holla! And then hire!

HOW DO I GET AN LLC?
It is actually very simple to set up an LLC online. In fact, all I did was to google “setting up an LLC” and a plethora of articles pop up. Duh. Anyone can figure that part out. Then, after you’ve read up on different avenues you can take—you can hire an attorney to set one up for you but why throw your money away?—you can easily find your Secretary of State’s Office website and follow some relatively moron-proof step-by-step instructions to form your limited liability corporation.

DOES IT COST AN ARM AND A LEG TO GET AN LLC?
Easy answer: no.
More detailed answer: Registering your company with the state is not going to bankrupt you by any means. However, if you are currently in a tough situation, it may mean cutting back on something else this month. Do you really need those $6 Starbuck coffees every morning?
My answer: In my situation, it cost $125 to register “Literary Wonderland” as an LLC. I thought that was fair. Then, I tacked on another $50 to get an official sealed certificate so I can frame it and smile at it when I’m feeling low. But you certainly don’t need to do that if you’d rather not. Once you pay the initial fee (which varies from state to state, but not by much), you receive PDFs that include your official company identification number for tax purposes.

IS THAT ALL?
Yup. On the state level, that’ll do ya. Keep in mind though that after you register your LLC with the state, you will then have to also register on the federal level. This is also extraordinarily easy to do and it is FREE. Praise the Lord!

DO I ABSOLUTELY NEED TO REGISTER WITH THE FEDS?
Yes. Like I said though, it’s easy and free. What’s your damage? Are you living off the grid somewhere, holed up in a bomb shelter with a cult and an arsenal just waiting for doomsday? Well if that’s the case brother, you’re biggest concern probably isn’t going to be starting your own freelance writing company. Please, rethink your life. Let the women and children go.

YOU’RE RIGHT, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING! THANK YOU, LITERARY WONDERLAND! I’M GOING TO START MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!
Well now that’s just super. Glad to hear it. But don’t thank me. Thank the LLC.

-LW

At Any Rate – A Freshman Freelancer’s Opening Numbers

I played around with a freelance calculator today. It popped out the results I suppose I expected. It’s not easy bein’ green. You gotta work in order to be.

In Lynn Wasnak‘s helpful piece, How Much Should I Charge, she states “smart full-time freelance writers and editors annually gross $35,000 and up—sometimes up into the $150,000-200,000 range.” Granted, the article and pay chart that followed were based on the cost of living in 2005-2006*. Has that much changed in six years? I don’t suppose here in 2012, many freelancer writers are making over two-hundred grand. If you are, God bless you and keep up the good work! For the rest of us though, what are we looking at? What is a number that we are comfortable with, a number that will represent for us, not just a means of paying the mortgage, electricity, hot water and food but also with the all too vital feeling of self worth and satisfaction that we, as a species, so desperately need. How could you ever put a price on that?

I’m speaking rhetorically quite a bit here, of course. We each have our individual lifestyles to maintain. To each his own (and hers). Coming from a newbie’s perspective, I can tell you that I’d be happy with no less than a cool thirty million a year.

And the crowd goes wild with laughter!

Did you like that one? Ppbbtthh.

At any rate… <interjection: I just found this entry’s title> I am sure that learning about your billable hours and hourly rates is a learning process just as everything else. One thing’s for certain though: this new gig’s got class.

LW

*I am now realizing that there is a 2011 pay rate calculator on Waznak’s site. D’oh!

Bringing Literary Wonderland to Life with Gilday Creative

Perhaps (and probably) the only folks reading this blog right now are the good people at Gilday Creative. GC is a company that designs and creates brands, logos, and “intuitive websites” in a way that “doesn’t break the bank.” If you are looking for a fun and fresh look for your online presence, check ‘em out.

At this moment, I cannot give a full critique of their services as they are hard at work creating my own site. But based on their portfolio, I expect I will be very pleased with the finished product. Also, so far, they have been very attentive to my needling questions and are quick to respond to my various concerns about my pending start-up. In essence, they are listening.

Gotta love the creative process.

Cheers!