Author Topic: The joy of self employment  (Read 5293 times)

Ana R.P

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
The joy of self employment
« on: November 09, 2016, 01:03:48 AM »
Hi everyone!

This is my first post, i look forward to interact with this wonderful community!

There is something that has been intriguing me since i read this post in the MMM blog. If i understand correctly, he talks about how he created a business, and under that business he performed different activities like make coffins, fix computers or advice people.

My question is: how is it possible to perform such a wide array of activities under one business? The information i can find seems to indicate that fostering so many different activities could bring all sorts of trouble. Is that so? Or is it very common to find that peculiar business model?

Can anyone here please clarify? That is something i would be very interested in applying if it can be done.

Thank you!

MarciaB

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Oregon
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 07:21:18 PM »
Ana R.P. where are you from?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27104
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 03:14:20 AM »
Ana R.P. where are you from?

+1.  It very much depends on what laws (local, state, federal, etc.) apply to you--your question is pretty general to answer for everywhere.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5306
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2016, 06:40:14 AM »
Why would you need to do one business? If it's troublesome, start multiple businesses?

kendallf

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 976
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2016, 08:33:17 AM »
A general answer: in much of the US, you can start a business and do a variety of jobs without issue.  The exceptions come mostly in areas which require passing licensing tests to assure proficiency (construction trades, professional engineers, medicine, and the like). 

You can start one business and build coffins, assemble home networks, and consult (consulting is vague enough to cover a multitude of jobs!).

Ana R.P

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 12:08:50 AM »
Ana R.P. where are you from?

+1.  It very much depends on what laws (local, state, federal, etc.) apply to you--your question is pretty general to answer for everywhere.
Ana R.P. where are you from?

I live in Seattle, WA!

A general answer: in much of the US, you can start a business and do a variety of jobs without issue.  The exceptions come mostly in areas which require passing licensing tests to assure proficiency (construction trades, professional engineers, medicine, and the like). 

You can start one business and build coffins, assemble home networks, and consult (consulting is vague enough to cover a multitude of jobs!).

To register a business i am required to specify activity. In my case that would be several things that i do as a freelancer in the language field (translation, teaching, etc), a blog I write, and also manual crafts I sell on Etsy and similar... I do several activities like that, but nothing involving medicine, construction or other qualification-mandatory things. Can I register an LLC and have everything happening under it? It would simplify many things for me! But how do I specify my activity? Sounds equally diverse as making coffins, fixing computers and advising people, so maybe there is a way?

So that would be registering myself as a freelancer under an LLC and having my company activity description be sort of general and non specific? Is it possible to have a business registered with something like "language services, consulting and crafts" ?

Thank you all for the answers, I am very excited to make this happen if it is possible!!

Ana
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 12:16:27 AM by Ana R.P »

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5306
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2016, 07:04:01 AM »
I would just specify a broad activity, and not worry if my business branched into other activities as the market dictated. If I really needed something in writing, I might try to slide by with something slimy like "Bringing value to investors by capitalizing upon and investing in diverse marketing trends."  Which would be pretty true, without stifling what I could do with a business.

csdreaming

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • Location: Southern California, USA
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2016, 01:34:39 PM »
In WA some activities are taxed differently than others. See your P&O tax.

ShortInSeattle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2016, 01:41:02 PM »
I've looked into this, and it can get complicated when different activities are subject to different taxes, or when you want to get professional insurance for your business but the insurance is category-specific. You can build an LLC holding company that owns multiple businesses, but then you are paying multiple licensing and legal fees.

An LLC provides liability protection because you are separating "the business" as a distinct entity from you as a person. If an LLC becomes a grab-bag of anything you might do for money, there is no distinctness and the protections may not hold.

You can ask a lawyer for an official answer. My online research (when I was curious about this question) indicated that it would be very difficult to do something like this.

Ah! Business....

sencha

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: The joy of self employment
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 04:06:59 PM »
I looked into this for Canada, and my understanding is that it wouldn't likely hold up in court if you were doing all of these activities concurrently, but I'm not sure that was what MMM was doing. I understand that to be deemed as separate from your person, the corporation would require a separate bank account and it's own set of books. Incurring business expenses also seems to be highly relevant, so in that case the computer repair business could run into trouble if you are deemed to be delivering a professional service, but the coffin business could be more defensible as it would require materials, other labour, delivery services etc.... Additionally, I understand that for the corporation to be defensible, it needs to be adequately capitalized for the business to be done with it, and all profits and losses shouldn't be directly transferred to a sole owner.