If you are a regular Sarah Fit reader, then you already know that I recently made it official by forming Sarah Fit, LLC. While it’s perfectly fine to operate your business as a sole proprietor, I chose to make it official. This is an exciting time for me and I would not be here if it were not for all of you my readers. However as I sit here to write this post today, I’m wondering to myself, “Why exactly did I form a company?”
I’m sharing my story since I know many of you also have your own blogs and may have thought about forming a company, so I hope this post helps you decide what your next (if any) step should be.
I wanted to form a company because I thought it would help reduce the amount of taxes I was paying. I also thought it would help my business appear more official on paper. Most importantly, I knew that forming a company would provide myself protection. But later my CPA (tax adviser) asked, “What are you protecting?” I’ll talk about that shortly.
I decided to form my company through BizFilings.com. I was finally contacted by a personal incorporation specialist about 2 weeks after first reaching out given it was the end of summer, employees on vacation and a busy schedule on my end. When April, the specialist called, she first asked me first what type of company I wanted to form. To be honest, I thought we were going to talk about which ones were best. She directed me to BizFilings.com for more information on the difference between entities. My options were between Liability Company (LLC) or and Incorporation. I decided to call April back so that I could do some research on my own. If I were to have gone to a lawyer, they would have walked me through my options. It would have been more expensive but if you are DIY-type person, a lawyer may not be necessary. Next she asked what I wanted my name to be. I chose Sarah Fit, LLC.
I called April back and she asked me where I wanted to incorporate my company. Since I went to the University of Delaware, I’m aware many people incorporate there since it is inexpensive. I argued that since most of my business is operated throughout the US, I didn’t think it was mandatory I file in Massachusetts. April said that most people do file in their own state, because even if I incorporate in Delaware, I will still have to file taxes in MA and pay their $500 filing fee. Yes, Massachusetts has one of the highest fees! I immediately was overwhelmed, and again, had to call April back. If you live in Nevada or Delaware, you are lucky! You have small business friendly states.
This is when I wish I had actually spoken to a lawyer or CPA. April again, directed me back to the website of BizFilings.com for more details but didn’t offer much advice except for the fact that most people she had worked with usually filed in the state where they lived.
I called April back after researching online for a few days and chose to form my company in Massachusetts. The rest was pretty easy. April was quick to get back to me but I wish I had done more research before my talks with her began. Everything was done swiftly, took little time on my end, besides the research, and Sarah Fit, LLC was born!
About a week later, I met with a CPA to get my taxes organized as a freelancer. She told me that she has clients who make millions and never incorporate. She was surprised that I had done so. I told her that basically, I formed my own company to cover my butt and hope to increase revenue. People who form companies have protection over their personal assets, they are not personally liable. If you were to breach a contract, you could be sued for your assets. If you had a company, the company would be sued but your personal assets would go untouched. Since I am not a home owner nor do I own any expensive cars or large investments currently, I don’t really have any assets and therefore having protection over something I do have is not exactly necessary.
So I have a company. I have a government issued tax id to use as well, instead of just my social security number. I have not formally started my company yet but have the paperwork to prove it. In March, I’ll have to pay MA $500 to file my earnings report even though I will not have started it yet. That sucks to think about.
To conclude this post, as a blogger you can operate as a sole proprietor forever. Just get a good accountant to help with taxes.
Why incorporate? If you have a business partner, you want to hire employees, you own a home and other pricey assets, maybe you have kids to provide for… there are many good reasons! I enjoyed my experience with BizFilings.com and if you know what you want, they are a great company to use. If you are not sure what you want or need, you may want to seek the advice of a lawyer and accountant. I am giving professional advice but wanted to share my experience so you do not have to waste your money creating a company that you do not necessarily need to form.
Question For My Readers: Did you formally incorporate your business as a blogger? Are you happy you did and did you file in the state you live in?
Service provided by BizFilings.com were complimentary in return for an honest review, which I think I gave above.
Last night during a few tornado warnings in southern New England, I hopped on the amtrak and came down to NYC for a video shoot.
I grabbed a late dinner from a delicious restaurant called Calista Superfoods. I got a delicious and large salmon filet with a mango dijon sauce. Whoever decided to make a sauce for fish out of dijon mustard and mango is a genius and I need this recipe. It tasted amazing. It came with two sides and brown rice. I chose the spinach with zucchini puree and roasted vegetables. The salmon was the star in this dish. The menu also featured the nutrition info, which I loved and rarely see up in Boston.
I was going to meet Rich from Dick’s Cottons out at the bars to watch the Bruins but since I got in so late, I decided to stay put at the hotel. This morning I got up early for my Tone It Up “Booty Call”. Exercise reduces bloating so I made sure I got up and went for a walk. Normally I would have gone running but for the shoot I just brought my cross trainers. I snapped this picture while crossing the street.
Sometimes, I think I could live in this big city. Other times, I feel like I would be lost. I do love Boston, but NYC has many more opportunities job wise. Maybe one day…
I’m at the video shoot now. Going up the elevator I asked the man getting out on the same floor as me if he was there for the fitness shoot.
“I’m here for the Beyonce shoot, not Beyonce but her company,” he replied.
Pshhh. So sorry for asking. There are model-esque girls with big hair, and loud music next door. I’m going to keep me eyes out for Beyonce, just in case.
Who is your favorite celebrity sighting?
Remember when I wrote that post about losing our “naturally skinny” metality? Well, showing your daughter pain and injections are necessary to win beauty pageants might be one of the top choices of “What Not To Do” as a parent to preserve the naturally skinny mentality. Click the video below to watch the segment from GMA or read the article here.
Not to offend any readers with the name Britney, but is it me or does the fact this girl was 99% likely named after Britney Spears make the mother seem like she doesn’t think things through entirely?
One week from Friday I will be attending my first fitness blog conference, FitBloggin in Baltimore. I’m speaking on a panel about brand relationships with bloggers, how they work, how to secure one for yourself, and how to make a living blogging! There is a lot I’m looking forward to, from learning photography basics to SEO strategies.
So how did I become someone speaking at an event like Fitbloggin?
I was lucky to get in with YouTube when I did. I wanted to be the next Erin Andrews not Lonely Girl but as social media began to take off, I realized I had an audience that I wanted to grow. Like Facebook and Twitter, in the beginning I had visitors but no idea how to monetize them. Then, brands slowly started realizing how influential blogger voices really were. Yes, that’s me below as one of the most watched videos of the day on YouTube back in 2008.
First, YouTube ads began airing on partner uploads. Many partners still to this day earn anywhere from $1-3 CPM (that means they earn $1-3 per 1,000 views). For the top view getters, this means large paychecks. However, it is extremely difficult to break into YouTube nowadays unless you happen to have a ridiculously cute baby and friends who love to forward emails.
Other sites allow you monetize your blog by placing their ads on your site, like Foodbuzz, but unless you write 80% of the time about food, you are sh*t outta luck. You need to be accepted into the program, but don’t worry you can apply as many times as you want. I was not accepted until after my 3rd try.
Forming relationships through social media, like Twitter, may also get you contacted by companies whose products you already love. I’ve been extremely fortunate in this department. In the past year, four of my very own favorite brands have reached out to me to represent their products.
And lastly, thank goodness the fitness community these days seems to have it’s own budding network for bloggers to form relationships with brands. I introduce you to FitFluential. Created by social media mavens, Jennifer Edwards and Kelly Olexa, this new platform is the first of it’s kind helping connect the influencing voices of the fitness blog community with companies that want relationships with them. Their fitting tagline is ” Cultivating mutually beneficial relationships.” I’m not sure why it took so long for a company like this to be started. Obviously I was one of the first to sign up as an influencer and you can too!
With so many blogs out there these days, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd but finding early opportunities is one advantage I’ve been able to capitalize on.
If you are not already reading The Huffington Post, you are missing out on some great reads. I am a news junkie and always have been. I like to share the latest health headlines but more often than not, I’d like to add my own favorite anecdote from the 90’s, “Duhhhh.” The HuffPo Health section has some stories like that but more often than not, I find them to be much deeper and thought provoking that the typical study findings recalled.
Jezebel.com is another good read but I’ll tell you why I love that site another day.
The Health section of The Huffington Post is written by professionals in the field. Yes, they often are very opinionated but that’s why HuffPo is great. I like the opinions and sometimes little bit of attitude. Some articles can be classified as a bit “out there”, but more are intriguing and should be given more attention. I draw my own conclusions from the posts I read and often research them further if they concern my lifestyle. I encourage you to do the same.
Here is what you are missing today:
- Sleeping on your back is the best position to maintain perky breasts and prevent wrinkles. (Read the article here)
- May 1st is going to be the first annual “International Barefoot Running Day.” Should you go barefoot? (Funny story about bare feet. My mother is getting remarried soon and her fiance bought “bare foot ties” from Vineyard Vines to go with the beach theme. Blonde Sarah looks at her mom puzzled and asks, “Bear feet? Like Bear Paws? How does that have to do with a beach?” I think I may never say barefeet without thinking of Grizzlies on a beach again.)
- Low carb diets high in fat are linked with Type II Diabetes (File under why is the Dukan Diet helping resurge the low carb vida?)
- And my favorite… When Pets Pass Gas: How to Quell The Embarrassing Smell (Yes, this is seriously an article but I’m convinced pets are like girls who don’t pass gas, men just blame it on them to hide their own embarrassment.)
Recently, I was fortunate enough to take a 10-day vacation to Australia. Prior to my departure, I had never left the North American continent. I didn’t know what to expect down under. Was their fashion stuck in another decade like the 80’s? Were they more eco-conscious than the US? Did they dislike American tourists? Quickly, I would find out.
My travel buddy and I (aka boyfriend) first landed in Brisbane for a short layover. I was amazed at the delicious food out on display at the coffee shops! (Side note: If you travel to Oz, an ice coffee is more of a frappe so beware). I quickly began to ponder that perhaps, Australia was healthier than the US. Fresh sandwiches and salads, I was relieved I may be able to eat better abroad than at home. We would eventually reach out first destination of Melbourne for the first 7 nights of our trip and then Sydney for the last 2.
As our trip continued, I developed an admiration for the healthier culture that seemed second nature to the Australian citizens. Vacations for me, given my occupation, can at times be reason for anxiety. Finding time to exercise, a good path to run on and understanding the preparation of the food I order is stressful for me before I leave. I know this probably unique to other health nut/gym rats like myself but in Australia, my nerves were calmed immediately.
I discovered that the Aussies make sure to have Gluten Free options on most menus. I thought this was interesting since at most only 6% of the population either is gluten intolerant or has celiac disease. Ahead of most American restaurant menus, was this trend part of a fad dieting craze in Oz or a genuine concern for those with health issues?
I was also shocked that packaged candy is not made with High Fructose Corn Syrup. I do not know if this reason is because they have a large sugar industry but even a Kit-Kat is made with real sugar. After a little research I learned sugar is Australia’s 2nd largest export! (Side note: Aussie obesity numbers are less than the US, but their overweight numbers are pretty similar.) They are are also way more on the ball when it comes to being green. From recycling to reusable grocery bags, these “options” in the US are not optional down under.
The Yarra Valley
While staying in Melbourne, we took a day trip to the Yarra Valley for a wine tour. Along the way, I noticed the abundance of farm lands and cows roaming free in large fields. I hoped that most of their farm animals were treated just as well.
The Yarra Valley was breath taking. Views of rolling green hills made for romantic setting, and picturesque day trip. I highly recommend taking the trek. Australians are known for their delicious wine and we were not disappointed.