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New Business Adventure - wait, stop -How do you fill out the paperwork?

Periodic Contributor

New Business Adventure - wait, stop -How do you fill out the paperwork?

Thank you for taking a minute or three to read this. 
My wife and I left our 40-hour day-in and day-out job in February 2022. We became contract workers and work at our pace while traveling. We are wanting to apply for a business license in South Dakota where we are now domiciled in. The downside is we are not well educated and need help making sure what we are putting on paper is what needs to be there. I dislike filling out something, just to be asked to fix this and then that, and oh yea you should do this first.


Need help with:
Registered Agent - Is this political?
Articles Organization - You want to name who what?
Operating agreement - it's a husband and wife company, like marriage, what agreement?

Obtain EIN - that's easy, tell irs you want a number for a business

Annual Reports - we are not asking the government for money, we are not in the red...

This is just to start, is there anyone that has done this and can give two uneducated rednecks advice?

Not applicable

(1 comment) Congrats on starting a business @TexNolan . Luv your advice @LesL269823 . I hope you will let us know how it all turns out. Thanks, Nicole 🙂

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Periodic Contributor

yes Nicole, when we get the business name going, we will. 

Trusted Contributor

State to state the differences are vast, this sounds like you are trying to register a LLC? Professional help may cost a whole lot less than you might think Here in NC, we had a CPA do  a LLC Application for $75. (About 15 mins of his time), then had a $200 state filing fee (initial +  annual $200), Again this is NC. Then with the LLC established, it was a separate process to register with the state dept. of revenue regarding sales tax collections (even though we don't collect sales tax) and finally a local municipal business permit. 

Periodic Contributor

Thank you that helps. I really didn't want to do a CPA, but if that helps us get things rolling we will.

Trusted Contributor

Most likely, a CPA relationship will be a future benefit when it comes to tax time.

My advice, find a tax preparer that happens to be a CPA instead of finding a CPA that also will do taxes. If you want to file electronically, as of last year, I could not find any free option for forms or filing when you include Schedule C for business.
Of course, you can always do the forms yourself and mail them in for the cost of a stamp or two.

That said, a CPA might also advise the best business structure for being 1099 independent contractors and a business license may not even be required in your state.

Periodic Contributor

For some yes, a CPA is a good person to have in your wheelhouse. However, they cost more than what they are used for.

A CPA is a general term, just like a Lawyer. They must know so much more than what a client would use them for but they charge for all of their knowledge, which is understandable. 
A Bookkeeper will keep your books and make sure everything is done in an organized fashion. Most of the time they will be more organized than a CPA and yet cost a lot less. 
A Tax Accountant will take the books and search for every penny he can make/save for you. They study one thing and only one thing making them very knowledgeable about that one thing "Taxes." 
So after you hire three people to do the jobs needed, that would entail each person being on their toes to make sure their specific job is done correctly. 
The bookkeeper will be the longest employed and actually cost the least since it is usually only a part-time position. A CPA and Tax Accountant will be needed once a year and very short time. 

For the business license, we are already doing the job and no a license is not needed. But I would like to LLC and put both (Wife and I) under one name. Plus it looks prettier (wife says, LoL). 

Thank you for your input, and yes this may be the one time we need a CPA.

Trusted Contributor

Sounds like you plan on a much larger enterprise than two owner LLC for yourselves as independent contractors. 


Your should be able to get your help with how to navigate your state filing forms from any number of "Freebie" sources if that works for you. Again, we are in NC, but our Secretary of State office has a lot of available resources to help a business get things going.


Are you networking with any local profession organizations in your line of work, SBA, your bank or a local chamber of commerce?  


Have you looked at any of the AARP videos for starting a business? There are several. 

Periodic Contributor

I was not aware of AARP having videos, would love to know where they are. 

Our business has us traveling across America and we are only in SD four or fewer times a year. SD is where we are domiciled but we are hardly ever there. 

We are RV Transporters and deliver RVs across the country. We sold our property and signed up with RV Escapees for a virtual mailbox in SD. This way our License and Insurance are based in South Dakota. We will get a virtual mailbox for the business in the same place. 
Our plus is that we get to see all over America. We deliver an RV, and then take our time going to pick up the next RV and venture to cities, state parks National Parks and so much more. Our down side is that we are on the move a lot and don't have the resources to just ask a local person for help on this.  So yes we are looking into asking a CPA but at the same time making sure we get someone that doesn't over charge since we don't want one on retainer or a monthly service. 
I hope this answers some questions. We already have a YouTube Channel showing us doing this. #DTNLivingLife

Trusted Contributor

Sounds like you are very excited and what a great business where the concept rings loud, If you enjoy what you do, it isn't "work".


A few of the AARP videos are at:

Three Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Business 

Daymond John’s Tips for Starting a Business 


Hopefully, watching these will suggest other similar, but you can also use the search that shows on each page.


First "professional" we met with, was not a CPA but a local independent Tax Service in a retail storefront. He had good local referals. He had a canned business start up package for $300 including all kinds of extras like document holders, certificate frames, even business cards. Problem was, he insisted we form as a "S Corp".  He said the S Corp gas us the most future options. It seemed to lack personal service as he never really got into what our future plans were. On to the next. 


Found a CPA that worked from home, He had recently relocated to our area just a few years before. His credentials checked out. He was growing his client list, I already knew of a few of them. He was actively looking for start up office space. Met with him, he took the time to understand our plan. We moved forward with him, he advised us on the structure of our LLC. Charged us $75 for the 15 minutes of actual consulting he did beyond. This was another meeting after the initial interview.  Since we did not give him power of attorney we still had to file the incorporation papers ourselves under his guidance. He did our taxes two years after that. $250 each year. He told us next year would be $600. Following year was covid, we did our own, since they were pretty much rinse and repeat. I think Turbo Tax for business was about $200 for software and a lot of headache in the household.  Found a new local CPA, Father son team that has been working great. $250 for annual returns and no charge for mid year meetings. 


It was 2018 we changed from simple sole proprietor to LLC due to the Supreme Court decision of 2018 expanding internet sales tax collections nationally. Remember those good old days we could buy through the mail and not pay the seller sales tax?


Our current business was started back in 2006 to fit retirement lifestyle. So, change is a constant. 

Periodic Contributor

Thank you for the videos, and the suggestions. I appreciate the insight on the CPA that is helpful. We have talked to three different CPAs and four Bookkeepers. Because our books lack too many things that we were not aware of, we have found a firm with Bookkeepers, CPAs, Tax Accountants, and more. They will help straighten our books then they are willing to work with the bookkeeper we decide even if not in their company. 

Our thoughts/goal is to have a bookkeeper, which usually cost about $200 to $400 a month, and then a Tax accountant twice a year (hopefully less than $300 a year), and a CPA when needed. The main thing about a bookkeeper is they keep the books and all financial knowledge of our business so we can focus on other aspects. They give weekly or monthly reports and alert us of "rut rows" when they occur. 

Thanks once again on the videos, watching them with my wife now... 

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