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Turn Up the Volume

Taking a Listen to the Business Side of Being a Musician in California

It’s no secret that people flock to California to fulfill their dreams of becoming a musician. Obviously, having the skill and the passion is a huge (necessary) part of making it big, but what type of business savvy is involved? Have you ever wondered what is required to become a musician? Or that being a musician is a business? Let’s take a look at what you may need to get started. 

As an individual embarks on their chosen journey, a career in music and in the music business, it is essential for them to have a basic understanding of the complexities and formalities associated with operating a legitimate business. You should treat your “musical career” as a full-time occupation in order to prosper and succeed on this journey.

In fact, in order to better protect their personal assets, many musical acts typically create a business entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). These limited liability entities shield the owners from personal liability for any claims arising from any contracts or other arrangements entered into on behalf of the individual through its corporate or LLC entity.

Generally, these individual’s business entities are called a “loan-out company”. These loan-out companies typically enter into a contract with a third-party as part of a loan-out agreement. Ultimately, the corporate entity, not the members of it, is liable for any debts or contractual obligations of the entity and creditors generally cannot recover against each individual’s personal assets. This protects a person’s assets from judgments or outstanding debts.

For example, this is beneficial if you are a member of a four-person musical group and during your live performance, a member spills a drink on the club’s soundboard and destroys it. If the live performance agreement at the venue is solely entered into with the band’s loan-out company (which it should be), the loan-out company will be the only party contractually responsible for the damaged property and each member will not be personally liable for the damage. The venue’s only recourse is to go after the corporate entity (which may not have assets) and, not each individual band member, for payment to fix or replace the broken equipment.

While shielding an individual from personal liability is one of the most important advantages of creating a corporate entity, there are also several other important benefits for an artist’s career. One is that having a separate corporate entity permits the musician to open a corporate bank account in an assumed name. This also facilitates easier tracking of your expenses and permits the deduction, or “writing off”, of relevant properly documented business expenses.

In order to determine a corporate entity’s eligibility for these deductions and not have the Internal Revenue Services (I.R.S.) categorize your musical career as “a hobby” (which disallows the deducting of your losses), the entity must substantiate that they are actually carrying on the business activity (music career) for profit or to attempt a profit. Since most artists do not typically make a profit and end up incurring losses for great spans of time, they may be permitted to deduct these documented losses on their tax returns.

It is also important to organize and document these expense records in case the tax authorities are interested in a more detailed examination of them. Keeping copies of receipts and utilizing a separate credit/debit card solely for entertainment related expenses makes it easier to target the deposits and credits to the corporate account.

Another benefit is that a corporate entity typically is governed by a written contract (an operating agreement for an LLC or a shareholder agreement for a Corporation) that outlines how the entity will operate. This includes an outline of the split of any profits and losses among owners.

Also, it specifies how any management decisions shall be addressed and how additional owners and members can be added (or removed) to an entity. These companies also provide easy management over any artist owned intellectual property (i.e. sound recordings, audio-visual works, photographs, logos) for licensing and distribution purposes as well as any tangible property (e.g., studio recording equipment, instruments, mixers).

Without these outlined procedures, it may be very difficult to make certain career decisions, especially when more than one individual may be involved in these important career choices.

While these business entities provide numerous benefits to its owners, there are potential ways a third-party can “pierce the corporate veil.” That is an attempt to attach an individual’s personal assets and disregard an existing corporate entity’s protection of its owners. Thus, it is essential that the company follows any and all statutory procedures and guidelines, which are different in each state.

It is vital that the entity is utilized for a proper purpose and not just merely as a shield from personal liability. Some of these corporate formalities include the preparation of annual corporate minutes to ensure the corporation is a real functioning entity. Also, careful use of business bank accounts as well as their separation from personal accounts are crucial formalities to follow.

Some labels may even require the creation of a corporate entity to permit accounting and payment by utilizing the entity’s Tax-ID/EIN number as opposed to paying an individual personally. An E.I.N. is an employer identification number and is analogous to the company’s social security number.

A final note, every individual must file its own personal federal as well as, possibly, state tax returns for the state they live in; however, an entertainer may have to deal with separate personal state tax issues in several states that they earn income from. Again, please consult an accountant or tax representative regarding the appropriate filings.

This article is not intended as legal advice, as an attorney and/or an accountant specializing in the field should be consulted.

Applying for a Business Loan with an EIN Number

So what is involved when you are applying for EIN funding /a business loan with an EIN number? Using an Employer Identification Number, or EIN number, can only legally be done as a business entity. Using an EIN in place of a social security number on a personal credit application is a crime. However, legitimate businesses with an EIN number and other corporate documents, such as a license and state incorporation, can apply for loans and credit cards. In some cases, however, the owner’s social security number may still be required.

When you are applying with us for your business loan, provide your EIN number along with the company information, such as the year it started and the nature of the business.

Decide if your loan needs also include credit cards. If so, these are fairly easy to obtain using an EIN number and other business information. Start with office supply stores, such as Staples, and then move on to department stores, gas stations and major credit cards.

With the opportunities for small businesses booming, why wait another moment. What is keeping you down? Financial restraints have been a complaint for many of the dreamers, limiting themselves to their immediate funds. There is an alternative. If you have the dreams and decent credit, Small Business Loans , No Doc Loans , and EIN Number Funding are available to you. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge you need and the resources available to make your dream a reality. Give us a call – we have the education and the perspective to help you obtain the loans you need for your small business. Visit our website or give us a call to find out what financial backing is available to make your business soar!

Unsecured Finances has over 10 years in the consulting business! We specialized in educating and assisting clients on acquiring Unsecured Business Loans and Start-Up Business Specialty Loans including; Unsecured No Documentation (No-Doc Stated Income) Loans, Unsecured Business Loans, and Unsecured Start-Up Business Loans and Lines of Credit from $10,000 to $500,000 without Assets.

Apply on our website to find out if you qualify, or call today for a free consultation: 1-888-294-2584

Clicking In; Starting a Web Design Small Business

Brand Design is incredibly popular these days, and it’s no wonder that with the growing amount of businesses – both brick and mortar, as well as online businesses – there is a corresponding need for all types of designers to step up to the plate. There is no better time to get into this field, but what does the typical day look like for a web designer? What do you need to get your web design business started?

As a web designer, your day will be split between interacting with colleagues and clients and crafting quality sites for your customers. While the specifics of each day vary, most days you will:

  • Read and answer emails
  • Host meetings with prospective clients to discuss their needs
  • Meet with current clients to provide updates on projects, collaborate, and get a feel for their feelings on pitched ideas
  • Manage your own projects, as well as oversee your team’s projects
  • Map out websites
  • Source images
  • Put out fires within the company (e.g. identify and fix issues when a site goes down)

As with every business, there will also be administrative duties to attend to. While your business grows, you’ll probably want to take a more active role in these tasks. However, as you start to realize success, entrusting a responsible team member with these duties can be both cost-effective and managerially responsible. With your schedule freed up, you’re allowed more time to focus on building your business.

Costs Involved

Many web design entrepreneurs choose to start out operating from a home office. Without the startup and operating costs associated with renting or purchasing office space, you’ll save a significant amount of money. With this portion of your budget freed up, you can re-invest in your business through education, web design tools, and marketing.

Below is a list of basics you’ll need to get started:

  • Computer/laptop
  • Monitors
  • Software
  • Marketing materials – website, brochures, and business cards
  • Attorney and/or CPA to help ensure you have a solid business plan and that it’s carried out smoothly
  • Insurance

Once you’re ready to start your web design business, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:

STEP 1: Plan your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are:

  • What are the initial costs?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How long it will take you to break even?
  • What will you name your business?
  • Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.

STEP 2. Form a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your security guard company is sued.

STEP 3. Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

STEP 4. Open a business bank account

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

STEP 5. Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

STEP 6. Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

STEP 7. Get Business Insurance

Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.

STEP 8. Define your brand.

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

STEP 9. Establish your Web Presence

A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.

STEP 10. Obtain Funding

With the opportunities for small businesses booming, why wait another moment. What is keeping you down? Financial restraints have been a complaint for many of the dreamers, limiting themselves to their immediate funds. There is an alternative. If you have the dreams and decent credit, Small Business Loans , No Doc Loans , and EIN Number Funding are available to you. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge you need and the resources available to make your dream a reality. Give us a call – we have the education and the perspective to help you obtain the loans you need for your small business. Visit our website or give us a call to find out what financial backing is available to make your business soar!

Applying for a Business Loan with an EIN Number

So what is involved when you are applying for EIN funding /a business loan with an EIN number? Using an Employer Identification Number, or EIN number, can only legally be done as a business entity. Using an EIN in place of a social security number on a personal credit application is a crime. However, legitimate businesses with an EIN number and other corporate documents, such as a license and state incorporation, can apply for loans and credit cards. In some cases, however, the owner’s social security number may still be required.

When you are applying with us for your business loan, provide your EIN number along with the company information, such as the year it started and the nature of the business.

Decide if your loan needs also include credit cards. If so, these are fairly easy to obtain using an EIN number and other business information. Start with office supply stores, such as Staples, and then move on to department stores, gas stations and major credit cards.

Unsecured Finances has over 10 years in the consulting business! We specialized in educating and assisting clients on acquiring Unsecured Business Loans and Start-Up Business Specialty Loans including; Unsecured No Documentation (No-Doc Stated Income) Loans, Unsecured Business Loans, and Unsecured Start-Up Business Loans and Lines of Credit from $10,000 to $500,000 without Assets.

Apply on our website to find out if you qualify, or call today for a free consultation: 1-888-294-2584

Easy as Pie; Starting a Catering Small Business in California

It’s a delicious idea, to start a business where you are creating and serving food to the masses! However, while you may have all the food experience you need, make certain to read up on all the state or even city-specific rules and regulations for starting a business in the food industry. Lucrative as it may be, there are many sensitive regulations put on food service as a whole, and we have done some digging to help you get started.

Where to Cook or Bake

Home Kitchen

In California, you are able to register your home kitchen to make certain types of food. Here is a list of the approved types of food you can create and serve as a catering business, from the comfort of your own home:

  • Baked goods without custard, cream, or meat fillings (including breads, biscuits, churros, cookies, pastries, and tortillas)
  • Dry baking mixes
  • Candy, such as toffee or nut brittle
  • Dried fruit
  • Chocolate-covered nonperishable foods, such as nuts and dried fruit
  • Fruit pies, fruit empanadas, and fruit tamales
  • Granola, cereals, and trail mixes
  • Herb blends and dried mole paste
  • Honey and sweet sorghum syrup
  • Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with the standard described in Part 150 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations
  • Nut mixes and nut butters
  • Dried pasta
  • Popcorn
  • Vinegar and mustard
  • Roasted coffee and dried tea, and
  • Waffle cones and pizelles.

Keep in mind, these are the most popular types of foods requested to make from your own kitchen as a catering service. If you are curious to learn what else you could cook from your kitchen, check out the complete list of California approved foods by visiting the California Department of Public Health.

What is Your Business Structure

Many home-based food businesses are intended to be small. California restricts cottage food businesses to an individual operator with no more than one full-time employee. The state also limits the amount of money a home-based food business can earn each year.

If your business is very small, running it as a sole proprietorship may be the only economically viable option. Keep in mind, however, that as a sole proprietor, you are personally responsible for every aspect of the business – from paying taxes to absorbing the risks of a lawsuit if your food products cause illness or injury to a customer. If you operate as a sole proprietor, you should purchase liability insurance to protect your personal assets.

If you can afford it, consider choosing a business entity that protects you from personal liability, such as a limited liability company or corporation. These business structures ensure that your food business, not you personally, would be responsible for any damage if someone were sickened or otherwise harmed by your product.

Getting Licenses and Permits

You must get a permit from the county health department to operate a home-based food business in California. You can choose from two types of permits, depending on whether you want to sell products directly to customers or through other local businesses like shops or restaurants.

Class A permit.

You can get a Class A permit if you want to sell only directly to customers within the state of California. With a Class A permit, you can sell at farmers markets, festivals, from your home, or in other ways that allow individuals to purchase products directly from you. To get a Class A permit, you must complete a self-certification checklist, but there will be no physical inspection of your kitchen.

Class B permit.

You need a Class B permit if you want to sell indirectly to customers – for example, through stores, restaurants, or other venues that will sell your products for you. In California, you may not sell indirectly outside of your own county, unless the county where you want to sell has specifically stated that they will allow indirect sales of cottage food products. To get a Class B permit, your kitchen must pass an annual physical inspection.

Required information.

When you apply for a Class A or Class B permit, you will be asked to provide information such as the following:

  • Ingredients or recipes for all of your products
  • A list of sources for your ingredients
  • Copies of labels for each product
  • A description of your packaging
  • A floor plan of your kitchen
  • A list of your equipment, utensils, and food contact surfaces, and
  • A certificate showing you have completed a food processor course approved by the California Department of Public Health.
  • You must also obtain the licenses and permits required of all businesses, such as a local business license and – if your business uses a name other than your own – a fictitious business name registration.

Food Safety

To operate a home-based food business in California, you must complete a California Department of Public Health food processor course within three months of obtaining your cottage food permit. In addition, your business must comply with extensive health and safety rules, including the following:

  • You may not conduct domestic activities in your home kitchen – such as family meal preparation, dishwashing, clothes washing, or entertaining guests – while you are preparing cottage foods.
  • No infants, small children, or pets may be in the kitchen while you are preparing cottage foods.
  • All kitchen equipment and utensils used to prepare cottage food must be kept clean and in good repair.
  • All food contact surfaces and equipment must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before each use.
  • All food preparation and storage areas must be free of rodents and insects.
  • No smoking is allowed in the kitchen during the preparation or processing of cottage foods.
  • No person with a contagious illness may participate in the preparation or packaging of cottage foods.
  • Hands must be properly washed before food preparation or packaging.
  • Water used to prepare cottage foods must be potable. This includes water used for washing hands and equipment as well as water used as an ingredient.

Insurance

There are unique risks associated with food businesses, from food-borne illnesses to foreign objects like glass or plastic in food. These are added to typical business hazards such as fire, theft, or an employee who slips and falls on the job. Don’t assume that your homeowners or renters insurance policy will cover your home business operations; it probably won’t. You must carefully evaluate your existing policies and then contact a qualified insurance agent to purchase the additional insurance you’ll need.

To find a good insurance agent, ask other food-business owners for recommendations. Look for an agent who has experience writing policies for food businesses and make sure all major risks are covered. General commercial liability insurance should cover everything from an employee who is burned by boiling water to a customer who gets sick from eating your food.

If you use a car or truck for deliveries or other business travel, be sure it is also properly insured.

Hiring Employees

In California, other members of your household or your immediate family members may help you with your cottage food business. Beyond that, the law allows you to hire only one full-time employee.

If you decide to hire an employee, you should learn about basic employment law issues such as hiring rules, how to avoid discrimination, and how to handle money matters like taxes and workers compensation.

Funding

With the opportunities for small businesses booming, why wait another moment. What is keeping you down? Financial restraints have been a complaint for many of the dreamers, limiting themselves to their immediate funds. There is an alternative. If you have the dreams and decent credit, Small Business Loans , No Doc Loans , and EIN Number Funding are available to you. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge you need and the resources available to make your dream a reality. Give us a call – we have the education and the perspective to help you obtain the loans you need for your small business. Visit our website or give us a call to find out what financial backing is available to make your business soar!

Applying for a Business Loan with an EIN Number

So what is involved when you are applying for EIN funding /a business loan with an EIN number? Using an Employer Identification Number, or EIN number, can only legally be done as a business entity. Using an EIN in place of a social security number on a personal credit application is a crime. However, legitimate businesses with an EIN number and other corporate documents, such as a license and state incorporation, can apply for loans and credit cards. In some cases, however, the owner’s social security number may still be required.

When you are applying with us for your business loan, provide your EIN number along with the company information, such as the year it started and the nature of the business.

Decide if your loan needs also include credit cards. If so, these are fairly easy to obtain using an EIN number and other business information. Start with office supply stores, such as Staples, and then move on to department stores, gas stations and major credit cards.

Unsecured Finances has over 10 years in the consulting business! We specialized in educating and assisting clients on acquiring Unsecured Business Loans and Start-Up Business Specialty Loans including; Unsecured No Documentation (No-Doc Stated Income) Loans, Unsecured Business Loans, and Unsecured Start-Up Business Loans and Lines of Credit from $10,000 to $500,000 without Assets.

Apply on our website to find out if you qualify, or call today for a free consultation: 1-888-294-2584

EIN 411: All About EIN Numbers & How to Apply for a Business Loan


What is an EIN?

A federal employer identification number, or EIN, is a nine-digit number the IRS assigns to businesses for tax filing and reporting purposes. The IRS uses the EIN to identify the taxpayer. EINs must be used by business entities–corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. However, most sole proprietors don’t need to obtain an EIN and can use their Social Security numbers instead. Even so, you may want to obtain an EIN anyway.

For more information about EIN Numbers and whether you need one, visit the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/do-you-need-an-ein

What is Business or EIN Funding and Why Do I Want it?

EIN number funding can be in the form of loans, lines of credit and business credit cards put under the EIN # of your business. It’s a separation of your business and personal credit. The EIN # is the social security number of your business and can get funding under it. It’s useful to separate your personal and business credit and to build your business credit profile up at the same time. Personal credit scores have to be high to guarantee funding on the business side.  The main reason EIN funding is useful is because the debt does not show up on your personal credit report. Clients can have multiple corporations, LLC’s or partnerships and qualify for funding under each of them.

Applying for a Business Loan with an EIN Number

So what is involved when you are applying for EIN funding /a business loan with an EIN number? Using an Employer Identification Number, or EIN number, can only legally be done as a business entity. Using an EIN in place of a social security number on a personal credit application is a crime. However, legitimate businesses with an EIN number and other corporate documents, such as a license and state incorporation, can apply for loans and credit cards. In some cases, however, the owner’s social security number may still be required.

When you are applying with us for your business loan, provide your EIN number along with the company information, such as the year it started and the nature of the business.

Decide if your loan needs also include credit cards. If so, these are fairly easy to obtain using an EIN number and other business information. Start with office supply stores, such as Staples (see Resources), and then move on to department stores, gas stations and major credit cards.

Don’t Wait – Start Now!

With the opportunities for small businesses booming, why wait another moment. What is keeping you down? Financial restraints have been a complaint for many of the dreamers, limiting themselves to their immediate funds. There is an alternative. If you have the dreams and decent credit, Small Business Loans , No Doc Loans , and EIN Number Funding are available to you. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge you need and the resources available to make your dream a reality. Give us a call – we have the education and the perspective to help you obtain the loans you need for your small business. Visit our website or give us a call to find out what financial backing is available to make your business soar!

Unsecured Finances has over 10 years in the consulting business! We specialized in educating and assisting clients on acquiring Unsecured Business Loans and Start-Up Business Specialty Loans including; Unsecured No Documentation (No-Doc Stated Income) Loans, Unsecured Business Loans, and Unsecured Start-Up Business Loans and Lines of Credit from $10,000 to $500,000 without Assets.

Apply on our website to find out if you qualify, or call today for a free consultation: 1-888-294-2584