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Starting a Small Business/Created Website but filed for a Corporation

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Hi,

I began a social deal website which just posts deals online and I get paid through affiliate links. I filed for a corporation online but I started reading online of double taxation and how within 90 days I had to pay extra to file for a initial annual filling. I am wondering if I should just convert to an LLC. Also, I have another issue where my website name is different from my corporation name. I hope to create small companies under one parent company. Do I need to file something online through the state of Georgia to be able to use another name as my website name than my registered corporate name. Also, I don't plan to have any other officers or shareholders except myself for the corporation unless it grows in the future. Thanks so much for your answer on this. I have spent weeks researching on what to do next.

Answer
Carolyn,

It is possible to avoid double taxation in a corporation in a couple of ways.  First, you can elect to be treated as an S corporation which passes through all income, gain, loss, etc to the shareholders.  See What is An S Corporation?  You could also keep the corporation as a regular corporation for tax purposes and avoid double taxation by paying out all the corporation's income as wages.

The drawback to both is the requirement that you pay wages to yourself, which requires extra recordkeeping and employment tax returns.

Converting a corporation to an LLC is probably an attractive alternative.  It is a taxable transaction but since the company is a new startup, it is unlikely that there will actually be any tax due as a result of the liquidation and dissolution of the corporation.

I can't tell you about Georgia law but in most states as long as you disclose the true corporate name somewhere on your site, just having the name of the site being different from the corporation name should not require any filings.  The name of the site is a brand name, just as Time, People and Fortune are brand names of their publisher.  

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David K. Staub

Expertise

I am a business and tax attorney and have spent more than 35 years assisting people in starting a wide variety of businesses. I can answer questions about the basic differences between the various entities available to new businesses, including limited liability companies, corporations, S corporations and partnerships. I can provide guidance in other areas facing start ups, such as hiring employees, signing contracts and obtaining necessary licenses. I can also direct people to sources for answers to specific legal questions which cannot be answered in a forum of this nature.

Experience

I have an extensive practice in the mergers and acquisitions area and have been involved in the tax and legal issues on hundreds of business transactions.

Website
Staub Anderson LLC
Illinois business attorneys

Practice Areas
Business Organizations
-Corporations

-LLCs
-Partnerships

-Joint ventures
Mergers & Acquisitions
-Buying/selling business
Securities Law
Tax Law
Technology Law
-Software licenses
-Development agreements

Trademarks

Organizations
Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago Bar Association (former Chairman of the Corporation & Business Law Committee and former Chairman of the Mergers and Acquisitions Subcommittee; former Executive Committee member, Federal Tax Committee and Chairman of subcommittee on general tax issues); Keystone Foundation (Trustee); Association for Corporate Growth; Midwest Entrepreneur Forum; Midwest Association of Alpha Delta Phi

Publications
Commerce Magazine; YLS Journal; ISBA Section of Taxation Newsletter

Education/Credentials
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1977; University of Illinois, B.S. in Accounting, with highest honors, 1974

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