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Choices, Choices, Choices: What’s My Next Step?

by Kimberly on August 3, 2010 · 1 comment

I have a problem.

It’s not a major or “unsolve-able” problem…just something I’m trying to think through and figure out. Maybe you can help?

Here’s the situation:

My husband and I currently have two business we’ve incorporated and run through the state of Colorado: Neurosong Music Therapy (my music therapy practice) and Beyond the Notes (his music education software company).

Now that we live in Missouri, I’m trying to figure out the best way (if any) to restructure our businesses. Here are some things I’m considering:

  1. Combining the two. You can legally have one business entity, then do a “Doing Business As” (or DBA) for the second. It’s almost like having one business with two branches–for us a music therapy branch (Neurosong) and a music ed branch (Beyond the Notes). So legally and financially, everything runs through a single business, though on the outside you have two branches with separate products, services, websites, advertising materials, etc.
  2. Switching to an LLC. Currently, both our business are incorporated. But when we did this, I think our attorney at the time didn’t know much about LLCs, so he didn’t recommend it to us. However, since then I’ve seen lots of company choose the LLC option. I’ve also done some reading, and it seems that for a small family run business (like ours), it may be a better option. So I need to decide whether to leave the businesses as they are, or re-file and re-structure both (or one?) of them to an LLC.
  3. Moving to MO. We could keep our businesses in Colorado. There are plenty of businesses that are incorporated and legally run in one state when the owner/manager lives in another state. The plus side of this is that we can leave everything just as it is (well, not everything–I think to pay myself a salary, I’d still have to set up some accounts in Missouri. Need to look into that more). But I think I’d need to have a mailing address in Colorado–and would need to figure out how to get the mail from Colorado to Missouri.

So I’m putting this out there mainly to ask for your help. If you have any suggestions or advice for me, please leave a comment below! I would be incredibly grateful 😀

And I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to do.

P.S. I mentioned last week that I am one of the speakers at the 1st Annual International Creative Arts Therapies Teleconference! I’ve looked over the website and the speaker line-up is diverse and interesting: everything from how to use social media to connect with the art therapy community to building women’s self-esteem to using expressive arts to help those dealing with cancer. If you’re interested in checking it out, click the pretty pink link below:


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jennifer Sokira August 3, 2010 at 11:37 am

Hi Kimberly,
If you decide to move both businesses to Missouri, you might save significant money in registration fees if you transfer both businesses under one LLC. I know that each state has different fees etc. which can get pretty high. For sure an accountant might have good advice about this, as there might be other pros and cons regarding employees, salaries, etc. There is also always the option of incorporating in another state all together, I was recently chatting with a MT colleague about how many companies incorporate in Delaware. Good luck, I’m looking forward to hearing about your process! -Jen

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