Russ Cook & Associates, PC

Business choices are many and always have consequences

A core tenet of the free market system is that the more choices consumers have the better. Of course, having too many choices can be a bad thing. How many of us, especially in this age of ever-expanding access to information, find ourselves confronted with choice overload? There are so many options for nearly everything that it can be hard to make any decisions at all, and be happy with them afterward.

There certainly is no shortage of decisions to make for someone starting a new business. Once you come up with the idea, you have to write a business plan. To flesh it, set goals and objectives and make projections requires making assumptions and choosing between a wide range of variables. And then there are taxes and liability questions, answers to which should influence what structure the business should take.

Current challenges in structure choice

There are varieties of forms new businesses can take. The right one for you depends on your particular circumstances. In some situations, a limited liability company might be ideal. Will you have partners or be a sole proprietor? The answer raises questions about how to distribute debt liability and returns on investment. Certainly, you will want to minimize your tax liability, and the structure you use now could have long-term effects on profits.

Unfortunately, the tax environment is one of the greatest unknowns right now. Reducing taxes is something that holds widespread appeal. Indeed, at least one survey of small-business operators lists that as the key issue for this important set of players in the U.S. economy. And while the plan for tax reform unveiled by the Trump administration holds the hope of tax relief for small businesses, many realize the final product could look significantly different.

In the face of uncertainty, it is reasonable that prospective business owners might be asking, as the 1982 song by The Clash does, "Should I stay or should I go?" To answer that question and many others, work with an experienced attorney.

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