Starting a coaster company, again
Back in April I wrote a post about the administrative side of starting up Coastermatic. As discussed in the comments, there were a few things I was wrong about. Being wrong and starting again is pretty much what this whole startup thing is about though, so hopefully someone out there can learn from our mistakes. In a post last week, Tom mentioned that Coastermatic is going through a bit of puberty - upgrading servers and getting all of our ducks in a row when it comes to the legal stuff. Here’s a few things we’ve learned:
1. We’re moving the LLC to Brooklyn
We first organized Coastermatic LLC in Delaware, as we thought (like many others) that we’d circumvent the publishing requirement. But, we were wrong, especially since we sell a physical product and will have to collect sales tax for our NY state customers. We could have left it in Delaware, but after doing some cost benefit analysis we figure that it’d make more sense (read: cheaper) to start an NY LLC and merge it with the existing. This makes points 1-3 of my last post moot, but so it goes. Also, you can’t just ‘move’ an LLC to NY, you have to make a new one and ‘merge’ it, which costs $200 + $60.
Want to start an LLC in NY? I found this handy guide last week.
2. The publishing requirement is a huge pain
A few people have written about this, and I know that NY Tech Meetup had a petition going to get rid of it, but its still kicking. In Kings County (Brooklyn), you can go in person or mail in 2 copies of the filing receipt for your Articles of Organization plus a self addressed stamped envelope to their office. They will then post you the names of the 2 publications you have to run an ad in. The whole thing is basically a time and money drain, and perhaps is still around only to keep these tiny newspapers alive. I think it’ll cost us around $800, money that we’d much rather spend on promotion.
To save you calling the Kings County Clerk’s office, here’s their address:
Kings County Clerk
360 Adams St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
3. Don’t bother with Legalzoom, cause this stuff is actually piss easy.
If you’re patient with it. You have to read through some silly legal jargon and sit on the phone for a while, but its not worth forking out an extra $300+ to some company for filling a tiny form for you. If you’re starting your own company, doing this stuff is a pain, but its a lot easier than figuring out work life balance or replying to a difficult customer complaint. I also came across Rachel Rodgers, she’s a lawyer (who’s killing it on the unbundling services, video + social media front) and has some good advice for startups.
4. Cloud accounting
Now that we’re a for real deal company, we have to start keeping track of expenses. It’s another task that takes us away from working on the fun parts of Coastermatic, but we’ve hooked up with an accountant and Xero, so hope that it won’t be too much of a financial and time drain.
Despite all of the above necessary evils, Coastermatic is a joy to work on. Tom and I have been lucky enough to work full time on it for the last month or so, and feel like its gaining a some traction. We’ve started to get a bit of press, and have been discovered by the Fancy community. Now go on, go buy yourself some coasters.