Just this morning, I spent a few minutes answering the question “Was creating a publishing company hard?”
No. It’s not (AND it’s relatively cheap!). Running one is difficult. Creating one is not.
In the Book of Luke, Chapter 14, Jesus talks about a wise man counting the cost before building a tower or going to war. If you do it full-time, like I am, you have to factor in the first few years will more than likely not be as profitable as you would like them to be. Remember to add in health insurance (if you’re not married or your spouse used to rely on your benefits), life insurance — pretty much everything your job subtracts from your paycheck now.
But before you decide to set up shop, consider what it will cost you in start-up. In terms of starting your own company, the first thing you have to able to afford to pay is attention. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is built on the concept that you only pay attention to that which is directly in front of you. Advertising is built on this premise. It’s why lingerie exists. And if it didn’t work, companies would not pay out the nose to maintain such high search engine visibility every month. And Victoria’s Secret would be out of business. But that’s another blog. . .
The resources you need are sometimes buried on the second page, the third page, etc. Research shows that people who do internet searches rarely click on links past the first page. SEO = lingerie, remember?
FACT: You have to pay up to $125 for a Doing Business As filing. When you do a web search for “DBA” or “Doing Business As” filing, there are sites like this one, which charges $125 to file, or this one, which charges you an unspecified amount after you complete the filing process.
TRUTH: Numbers vary, but many filings cost under $40. You can file at your county Superior Court Clerk’s office. You also have to publish an announcement in a local paper that must run for two consecutive weeks. If you’d rather not use your own address, find a “suite” PO Box and use that. Suites are PO Boxes in form but not in name.
FACT: You have to pay for your Federal Employee Identification Number. TRUTH: Not if you go here. There are places that will fill out paperwork for you and charge you for that convenience.
*If you’re establishing a sole proprietorship (just you with no other full-time employees — a good starting point) publishing company, you’ll need to come up with a business name first. Make sure it does not already exist by checking Bowker’s Books In Print. It’s a large book that weighs more than five pounds and costs a couple hundred dollars to buy, but your local library should carry a fairly recent copy. The name should also convey the spectrum of what it is that you intend to do. Great Nation Publishing publishes. We do not sell DVDs. If you want to conduct other business, consider that.
*Get a Suite PO Box (if you don’t want to use your house address). Some businesses won’t ship to PO Boxes, and PO Boxes give the impression that you (or your business) are a scam.
*File a DBA, list your business under your Suite box, register for an FEIN, and then get a business license with your county courthouse (costs vary). Lastly, file for a Sales Tax and Use Certificate (free), which allows you to collect and pay sales tax, and AVOID paying taxes to some vendors. All in all, you’ve spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $220. See! Pretty easy AND cheap.
Author Brian L. Thompson is the president of Great Nation Publishing and author of the Christian fiction thriller The Lost Testament, and The Revelation Gate, due for release on June 7, 2011. You can read more about Brian by visiting his author site.