Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Moonshine, Pirates & Paranoia

Yesterday some website was running a promotion that they would make you an LLC free of charge if you just pay the state filing fees. Brian was very excited about this. I told him “psshaw, I can do that! I’m a paralegal remember?” You actually need no legal training to do it, it’s just going to your secretary of state’s website and filling out forms. He wanted to do it through this online company because the special was on Nevada LLCs. Nevada doesn’t require you to have the names of the managers on file with the secretary of state so it is the preferred jurisdiction of shady businesses.

I asked him what he was planning on doing that required that kind of anonymity. His response “I'm going to make it an umbrella corporation for everything evil: gun selling, whisky making, tranny p0rn sites and cute little piglet pictures. You should register merrygoosemother LLC and they can own your blog so if you say anything inflammatory, your LLC will get sued and not us.”

me: why do you need your officers hidden?

Brian: because i don't want protesters!!!

me: what kind of shady things are you planning on doing?

Brian: make moonshine!

and sell guns

and fight piracy in the gulf of Aden!

me: this is wv, that what we DO and no one protests

Fighting piracy in the gulf of Aden was Brian’s brainchild at least six months ago.... long before shipping companies started to see the need for private escorts. Destroyers are just so darn scarce on Ebay right now.

Brian’s same partner in privateering wants us to make whiskey on our farm. He figures we have street cred being located in West Virginia. (or is it dirt road cred?)

He also wants to become a licensed firearms dealer. I NEVER thought I would say this but I actually think it’s a good idea. I think gun dealer licenses are set to become the real estate agent licenses of the early 2000s, everyone can make a few bucks with minimal effort. Ever since the election, guns are flying of the shelves and into the hands of paranoid rednecks. Our local store can not keep assault rifles in stock, they sell in a day and now they have a waiting list. Maybe it would be a business plan for some of you Marylanders as "Fairyland" seems to be an under-served and under-armed market with plenty of paranoid people.

Back to the start up business train of thought.

Brian’s “Free” service wanted $250 for a Tax ID number. Which are available from the IRS for free. I also think that if you are a small business with one location you should incorporate in the state in which you intend to do business. Otherwise you will have to maintain registration with both your state of incorporation and where you actually operate your business. Those annual reports are expensive to file are a pain in the ass, plus you'll need to maintain a registered agent in each state you do business. Maryland is actually the worst state I’ve ever had to file in. They require a complete inventory and valuation of all your assets once a year so they can tax you on them. I’m no expert but if you want to start a small business in Maryland sole proprietorship or a partnership is probably the best option. If you are going to have a partner though always always get the arrangement in writing! None of this is legal advice as I'm not qualified to give it, it's just my own thoughts on the subject.

This is a rambling post so I’ll do a recap on the themes I’m trying to express:

  • Entrepreneurship is good.
  • You can start a business by your own damn self
  • Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be
  • Tax ID numbers are free
  • Gun dealer licenses are the new hotness


Nick Sawyer said...

Interesting...I never would have thought of that...

Gordon said...

This is one of the most amusing posts in a while. How about selling me a snake gun? Maybe .410 or 28ga. I don't want to shoot bigfoot. I just want to shoot snakes and rats.

Lynnis said...

I thought you had a snake gun? Didn't you get a little 28ga shotgun a few years ago for that very purpose?

Gordon said...

Lona disappeared it.

Lynnis said...

I see. Well to be did brandish it at someone.

Gordon said...