Small Business Liaison

SBL's primary function is to assist all small businesses (and local involved departments) in delivering goods and services to the community. SBL will have a primary focus on overcoming barriers and providing paths to resources in: business education, working capital, and equal opportunity.

Tasks the SBL may be inclined to carry out include but are not limited to:

Bookkeeping startup and management systems guidance
Sourcing business loans OR relief in times of economic turmoil (ex: covid-19 relief)
Worksheets to help with tax implications
Tax check-ups: payroll taxes, quarterly filings, and unemployment insurance stay current
In person meetings with local banks and lenders to establish and foster relationships
Assistance with incorporation (articles and legal filings)
Assistance with local marketing
Efforts to foster equal opportunities for Women and Persons of Color
Networking assistance to fast track local relationships
Zoning and city law checklist
Contact info sheets/services for city departments to aid with permits and registrations
(and more)

See below for a comprehensive guide to opening a business the right way and please contact your Small Business Liaison today to make a plan for success!


So you want to Open a Business in Augusta...

Here is more information on which business type may be right for you, use this guide to make sure you understand the steps to opening your small business while protecting yourself from surprises in the future!

           -Remember, if you get frustrated, we are here to help!

Business types
The IRS recognizes five types of businesses: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation and limited liability company or LLC.


Sole proprietorship:
A sole proprietorship is considered one of the easiest types of businesses to start. Unlike corporations or LLC’s, you don’t have to register with the state. However, you must acquire appropriate permits and licenses to operate legally, and you are personally liable for debts, lawsuits, or taxes your company accrues.
PROS:
-Full decision-making authority
-Easy to set up (No state registry necessary)
-Free to start (Other fees apply, but you won’t pay the $1000 average cost of starting an LLC)
-Simple tax filing
-Low tax rates
-Balance sheets not required by the IRS
-Full control over revenue
CONS:
-Personal assets are at risk
-Increased personal liability for lawsuits
-Business bankruptcy means personal bankruptcy
-Difficulty raising capital
-Self-employment tax
-Many banks require businesses to incorporate before they’ll lend money
-Perceived lack of professionalism

Start YOUR Augusta Sole Proprietorship:
-CONTACT SBL to initiate the process of opt in oversight on any level and choose a name
Research and apply for local and national Permit requirements here https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-permits#section-header-0
These Permits might include:
A health department permit for preparing or serving food
A federal license for transporting animals
A health and safety training for opening a daycare
A certification exam to become a financial advisor
A zoning permit to operate your business from home
Registration with the state tax authority if you have employees or collect sales tax

Open a business bank account
Attain Insurance (SBL will discuss and find local providers)
Pay your taxes
As a sole proprietor, you’ll pay income tax on all income your business nets. File your sole proprietorship incomes taxes by using Schedule C on your Form 1040 and adding the income or losses your business incurred to the other income you record. You can use any business losses to offset other sources of income, like a salary from your day job or a spouse. But be careful not to step into “hobby business” territory with the IRS. You must prove your business is not a hobby in order to lower your taxes. When your business becomes profitable, it might be time to file for corporate status or become an S corporation. Remember, because you’re self-employed, your paychecks don’t have proper withholdings taken out at the time you’re paid. Instead, you can expect to pay quarterly estimated tax payments, and cover the difference or receive a refund for any shortage or overage come tax season. Because of this, you should be setting aside money from each paycheck to cover those quarterly and annual expenses.

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Partnership
A legal form of business operation between two or more individuals who share management and profits. The federal government recognizes several types of partnerships. The two most common are general and limited partnerships.

Pros and Cons of a partnership:

PROS:
-Extra set of hands and additional knowledge
-Less paperwork, less formal initially
-No Corporate tax return necessary
-Combined ownership and operational control
-Control and access of profits

CONS:
-Less independence
-Divided Profits
-Potential for personality conflict
-Potential for lack of separation from partnership
-Individual tax burdens
-Limits on business development and relief from the government
-UNLIMITED Liability

Considerations:
How will the ownership interest be shared? It's not necessary, for example, for two owners to equally share ownership and authority. However, if you decide to do it, make sure the proportion is stated clearly in the agreement.
How will decisions be made? It's a good idea to establish voting rights in case a major disagreement arises. When just two partners own the business 50-50, there's the possibility of a deadlock. To avoid this, some businesses provide in advance for a third partner, a trusted associate who may own only 1 percent of the business but whose vote can break a tie.
When one partner withdraws, how will the purchase price be determined? One possibility is to agree on a neutral third party, such as your banker or accountant, to find an appraiser to determine the price of the partnership interest.
If a partner withdraws from the partnership, when will the money be paid? Depending on the partnership agreement, you can agree that the money be paid over three, five or 10 years, with interest. You don't want to be hit with a cash-flow crisis if the entire price has to be paid on the spot on one lump sum.
Start YOUR Augusta Partnership!
CONTACT SBL to initiate the process of opt in oversight on any level and choose a name
Decide partnership type: A General partnership has one type of partner, and all participate in the day-to-day decisions and the way their partnership share works are the same.
A Limited partnership has both general partners and limited partners.
A Limited Liability Partnership allows all partners to be shielded from liability for normal partnership activities.
Create a Partnership agreement: with or without the use of a lawyer, a partnership becomes much harder to dissolve after this agreement is in place. This is a good place to specify exit strategies, share values and exit payment policy
Open a business bank account
Research and apply for local and national Permit requirements here

These Permits might include:
A health department permit for preparing or serving food
A federal license for transporting animals
A health and safety training for opening a daycare
A certification exam to become a financial advisor
A zoning permit to operate your business from home
Registration with the state tax authority if you have employees or collect sales tax. (see below)
Register to pay federal taxes with the EFTPS payment system. This registration applies to the paying of employment taxes if you have employees.
Register with https://www.ksrevenue.org/ (KS department of revenue). This applies to state taxes of paid employees
Register with https://www.dol.ks.gov/ (KS Department of Labor). This applies to unemployment insurance you may be required to carry through the state to cover unemployment benefits future employees may claim.
Attain Insurance (contact SBL if you would like to meet helpful local professionals)

***You may not need an attorney to do the registrations with your state and get the EIN. But, having an attorney help you with the partnership agreement is encouraged. You may be able to do the first draft and have an attorney look it over. An attorney will help you make sure the agreement complies with your state's laws and will prevent mistakes and missed sections that come back to you later as issues. Contact your SBL to be introduced to a qualified and helpful local attorney.


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Corporation:
A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. 1 Corporations enjoy most of the rights and responsibilities that individuals possess: they can enter contracts, loan and borrow money, sue and be sued, hire employees, own assets, and pay taxes.

Pros and Cons of business Corporations:

PROS:
-Owner protection from legal liability
-Stock and stock options (for investors and owners )
-Clearly defined power structure
-Ability to have investors

CONS:
-Time and cost of incorporation
-Corporate formalities
-High tax liability (Fed and State taxes)
-More State and Federal oversight

Consideration: Speaking to a business lawyer before deciding which type is right for you is very beneficial when understanding how to structure your business.

Start YOUR Augusta Corporation:
CONTACT SBL to initiate the process of opt in oversight on any level
Choose a name (and find out if it is available and not trademarked) here https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/choose-your-business-name
Appoint Directors (President, vice President, CEO etc.) and write and FILE your Articles of Incorporation here https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/register-your-business
Write corporate bylaws: This can be done with the help of an attorney along with your Articles of Incorporation
Draft a shareholders agreement and hold your Initial Board of Directors meeting
Issue stock (shares) in the company structure and once approved seek certificates if necessary
Research and apply for local and national Permit requirements here

These Permits might include:
A health department permit for preparing or serving food
A federal license for transporting animals
A health and safety training for opening a daycare
A certification exam to become a financial advisor
A zoning permit to operate your business from home
Registration with the state tax authority if you have employees or collect sales tax.
(see below)
Open a business bank account (this MUST be completed in this order, you will not be able to get a corp. Bank account without: Corporate resolution, Articles of Incorporation, minutes of the initial shareholders meeting, and shareholders agreement.
Register to pay federal taxes with the EFTPS payment system. This registration applies to the paying of employment taxes if you have employees.
Register with https://www.ksrevenue.org/ (KS department of revenue). This applies to state taxes of paid employees
Register with https://www.dol.ks.gov/ (KS Department of Labor). This applies to unemployment insurance you may be required to carry through the state to cover unemployment benefits future employees may claim.
Attain Insurance (contact SBL if you would like to meet helpful local professionals)

***You may not need an attorney to do the registrations with your state and get the EIN. But, having an attorney help you with the partnership agreement is encouraged. You may be able to do the first draft and have an attorney look it over. An attorney will help you make sure the agreement complies with your state's laws and will prevent mistakes and missed sections that come back to you later as issues. Contact your SBL to be introduced to a qualified and helpful local attorney.

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S-Corporation

An S corporation, also known as an S subchapter, refers to a type of corporation that meets specific Internal Revenue Code requirements. The requirements give a corporation with 100 shareholders or less the benefit of incorporation while being taxed as a partnership.

There are several conditions that S corporations have to follow. These conditions have been established by the IRS. Some of the conditions are as follows:
The number of shareholders that an S corporation has must be 100 or below.
A S corporation can only issue a single class of stock
None of a S corporation's shareholders can be non-resident aliens.
Corporations and partnerships cannot be the shareholders of an S corporation.
The S corporation is not permitted to participate in specific lines of business, such as providing certain financial services or insurance.

Pros and Cons of S-Corp

PROS:
-No Corporate tax for S-Corp
-Reduced taxable gains (retirement or sale of the business)
-Ability to write off start-up losses against personal income
-Liability protection (personal)
CONS:
-limited stock classification
-less attractive to potential investors (pass-through tax setup/limited shareholders)
-Required meetings and minutes to keep corporate status

Start your Augusta S-Corp today:
CONTACT SBL to initiate the process of opt in oversight on any level
Choose a name (and find out if it is available and not trademarked) here https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/choose-your-business-name
Determine stock category: common or preferred
Appoint Directors (President, vice President, CEO etc.) and draft and FILE your Articles of Incorporation here https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/register-your-business
Draft Corporate Bylaws and shareholders agreements
Attain certificate of incorporation (advised to do so with the help of an attorney)
File Election by a Small Business Corporation (Form 2553) with the IRS. https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-2553
File all forms with a registered agent: a person who is designated to receive service of process notices, correspondence from the Secretary of State, and other official government notifications, usually tax forms and notice of lawsuits.
Issue stock (shares) in the company structure and once approved seek certificates if necessary.
Research and apply for local and national Permit requirements here

These Permits might include:
A health department permit for preparing or serving food
A federal license for transporting animals
A health and safety training for opening a daycare
A certification exam to become a financial advisor
A zoning permit to operate your business from home
Registration with the state tax authority if you have employees or collect sales tax.
(see below)
Open a business bank account (this MUST be completed in this order, you will not be able to get a corp. Bank account without: Corporate resolution, Articles of Incorporation, minutes of the initial shareholders meeting, and shareholders agreement.
Register to pay federal taxes with the EFTPS payment system. This registration applies to the paying of employment taxes if you have employees.
Register with https://www.ksrevenue.org/ (KS department of revenue). This applies to state taxes of paid employees
Register with https://www.dol.ks.gov/ (KS Department of Labor). This applies to unemployment insurance you may be required to carry through the state to cover unemployment benefits future employees may claim.
Attain Insurance (contact SBL if you would like to meet helpful local professionals)

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Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure in the United States whereby the owners are not personally liable for the company's debts or liabilities. Limited liability companies are hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation with those of a partnership or sole proprietorship.

Pros and Cons of LLC:
PROS:
-protects you from business liability
-easy to form and maintain
-flexible tax structure
-can have any number of members
-unrestricted pay structure

CONS:
-formulation and annual fees
-self-empoyment and excise tax
-more tax forms
-high potential for owner carried tax burden
-difficult to raise outside capital

Start your Augusta LLC today!
CONTACT SBL to initiate the process of opt in oversight on any level
Obtain a copy of Kansas’ Articles of Incorporation form here https://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/business_services/cf.pdf
Choose a name (and find out if it is available and not trademarked) here https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/choose-your-business-name
Choose a registered agent: a person who is designated to receive service of process notices, correspondence from the Secretary of State, and other official government notifications, usually tax forms and notice of lawsuits.
Prepare an “LLC Operating Agreement”
File necessary forms through registered agent
Mainly the “Articles of Organization” which generally includes:
The name and address of the LLC
The length of its existence, if not perpetual
The name and address of the registered agent
The purpose for which the LLC was formed
Obtain your business license certificate (will be mailed after your registered agent pays and files aforementioned forms)
Register to do business in other states if you plan on engaging in interstate commerce
Research and apply for local and national Permit requirements here

These Permits might include:
A health department permit for preparing or serving food
A federal license for transporting animals
A health and safety training for opening a daycare
A certification exam to become a financial advisor
A zoning permit to operate your business from home
Registration with the state tax authority if you have employees or collect sales tax.
(see below)
Open a business bank account
Register to pay federal taxes with the EFTPS payment system. This registration applies to the paying of employment taxes if you have employees.
Register with https://www.ksrevenue.org/ (KS department of revenue). This applies to state taxes of paid employees
Register with https://www.dol.ks.gov/ (KS Department of Labor). This applies to unemployment insurance you may be required to carry through the state to cover unemployment benefits future employees may claim.
Attain Insurance (contact SBL if you would like to meet helpful local professionals)


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Business Placement Assistance
Contact your SBL for an up to date list of vacant Augusta business rental and for sale properties to fit your exact needs and budget!

Considerations: rear delivery docks/bays, networking and technical needs, Signage requirements and traffic exposure, storage and plumbing specifications.

Need a build out for an ideal retail workspace? Your SBL (or affiliate) can put you in touch with one of our local world class builders to help you design your perfect space from paper to finished product.

Be part of the history
For Downtown Augusta Inc., new construction has a responsibility to be 'of its time,' becoming the physical embodiment of history for future generations. That responsibility is based on respect for what has come before and what will come in the future. We take pride in working hand in hand with new and ongoing construction and renovation in Downtown Augusta (and surrounding) and continuing our stewardship to history.

Don't give up!

Should you find yourself frustrated with the processes of starting a business please rely on Main Street Augusta as a resource.  Whether it is dealing with banks, business planning, taxes, or even building projects, we CAN help.