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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Here's the deal. I have many projects I want to develop. These are either software products or services, etc...

    I realize I can't do all of this myself, so I'm beginning to enter into verbal agreements with friends of other skill sets, some new business friends, etc...

    So, I need to get legal with this stuff to help move these projects along. I don't want to have to hire a lawyer, what do you suggest I do?

    Could I just get one of those pre-fab legal software kits? Anyone use stuff like this? http://www.legalkitstore.com/legal/titles/partner.html

    The main question I have is how do you think I should handle the tax implications? Since we're not incorporating, someone has to take the tax hit right? These are 50/50 partnerships. Who's liable if something goes wrong? Should we get a joint bank account? So many questions as I'm clueless.

    Maybe I do need a lawyer. Thx for your suggestions/help.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Steveinid's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    827
    Sounds like what you really need is a CPA.

    I highly recommend a CPA.

  3. #3
    Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    105
    www.nolo.com is a useful place to start.

    Cheers,

    SirenSong

    ==================================================
    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
    ==================================================

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    742
    The first thing you want to do is to protect yourself and your website. Form a separate company (a "C" Corporation) and make sure it is separate and distinct from everything else. If you want to save a few hundred dollars or more, don't hire a lawyer to do it. Do it yourself. You'll also want to incorporate in a state such as Delaware that is corporate friendly. Incorporating in another state could cause problems down the road if you get sued.

    Once you're incorporated and you're the President, keep one thing in mind to stay out of trouble. Anything you say as an Officer of the company is a legally binding agreement, so don't start making commitments out the whazoo because you see what you consider to be opportunities.

    I don't know the specific laws in Ohio, but you don't have to do a partnership. I generally view partnerships as bad because while both parties share in the profits, they both share in all liabilities also. If your partner turns out to be a jerk and gets sued, you get sued (and screwed) also. You're responsible for half of his/her liabilities.

    Instead, incorporate and enter into a joint venture, stating in a contract who does what, who gets what, who pays for what, etc. Make sure the venture has a termination and renewal date. You don't want to find out 15 years from now that the other party is doing something that your're liable for because the joint venture had no termination date. By incorporating and doing the joint venture you're protecting yourself. The company that's formed through the joint venture could be sued, and since your company is part of the venture, it could be liable also. But if you're company doesn't have any value, the liability stops there. Your personal property, website, other businesses, etc are still free of liability.

    The most important thing for you to do is get a lawyer. Shop around on the phone and find a newer lawyer that will give you a free hour of consultation. But don't screw around with the guy. When it's time for contracts, etc, funnel them through him for review.

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