You can create your own company, but why?

Steve Pruneau

I often meet people who want to own their own company. I get that. I wanted my own company too. The problem is, when we’re just starting out, when we’re transitioning from life as an employee to life as a consultant or small business owner / operator, we not only face the challenge of finding customers and serving them, we face corporate administration, employment administration, our own payroll, retirement savings, health insurance.

We assume we must create our own company first, before we find customers and begin serving them. What to do if the customer asks for the order and there’s no business to deliver it? Fair enough. Until now there really hasn’t been an alternative.

Still, finding and serving customers is where the focus needs to be. Not company administration.

When we create a company, we commit ourselves to caring for that company. It’s very existence gives a long list of people an overwhelming urge to demand our time and keep you in line: secretary of state, tax authorities, employment regulators, insurance companies and brokers, banks. And of course all of them are quick to threaten cancellation if we do not comply with their demands for reports, filings, application forms, supporting documentation, audits, fees and deposits.

Yes, you can create your own company and maintain it. But why would you want to? Your success depends on finding and serving customers. After you do that successfully and you want more, then continued success depends on building processes and a team that can replicate what you do. Only then, when there’s some scale to your operation (and it produces value), you may want to separate it as a truly stand-alone entity. But even at that point, you can maintain your company and leave the hard part behind: let someone else be the employer.

How does that work? Free Agent Source is a shared company in the same way that we use shared servers. (Who maintains their own servers any more?) Free Agent Source handles company administration and employment administration for you in the same way that a data center handles server hardware and system administration for you. You are your own business unit within Free Agent Source, same has having your own server within a hosted data center. You’re the boss of that business unit. You get all the profits from it, the value of that business unit is yours and so are your customers. Should you ever decide to separate your business unit from Free Agent Source and roll it into your own company, you can. This is our most fundamental commitment to Free Agents and Entrepreneurs. If we didn’t honor that, no one would trust us.

If you’re still not convinced and want to be Chief Administrative Officer of your own company instead of Business Development Guru and Rainmaker… Here’s a list of what you get to do when you own the whole company.

CORPORATE START-UP TASKS Timing Your Company Free Agent Source
Form your corporation in your state once YES NO
Apply for Federal Tax ID with IRS once YES NO
Apply for State Tax ID with your State once YES NO
Apply for State Tax ID with your State once YES NO
Open a company bank account once YES NO
Apply for general liability insurance once YES NO
Apply for professional liability insurance once YES NO
Create 401k retirement savings plan once YES NO
Apply for workers compensation insurance once – when applicable YES NO
Apply for group health insurance once – when applicable YES NO
Report yourself as employee of your company with State once YES NO
set-up accounting software once YES NO
set-up payroll software once YES NO
CORPORATE ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS Each Year Your Company Free Agent Source
Record and file annual company meeting minutes. Each Year YES NO
Report annual list of company officers to Secretary of State. Each Year YES NO
File corporate tax return with the IRS. Each Year YES NO
Federal Employer Tax
IRS Form 940
Each Year YES NO
File corporate tax return with your State. Each Year YES NO
Renew general liability insurance policy Each Year YES NO
Renew professional liability insurance policy Each Year YES NO
File form 5500 for maintaining 401k retirement savings plan Each Year YES NO
Renew workers compensation insurance policy Each Year – when applicable YES NO
Renew group health insurance policy Each Year – when applicable YES NO
CORPORATE ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS Quarterly Your Company Free Agent Source
Federal Employer Tax
IRS Form 941
Quarterly YES NO
State employer tax forms such as
California EDD form DE9
Quarterly YES NO
CORPORATE ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS Monthly
or Bi-Weekly
Your Company Free Agent Source
Send invoices to clients Monthly
or Bi-Weekly
YES NO
Deposit checks from clients Monthly
or Bi-Weekly
YES NO
Process payroll for yourself Monthly
or Bi-Weekly
YES NO
CORPORATE ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS Weekly Your Company Free Agent Source
Book keeping in accounting system Weekly YES NO

Steve Pruneau leads executives and business owners to solve the gap between variable revenue and a fixed workforce. He is the first consultant at Free Agent Source. As a founder, Steve engages the broader community of corporate clients, entrepreneurs, startups and consultants. He manages company operations and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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