U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Business
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-23-2014, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,925 posts, read 6,280,790 times
Reputation: 9286

Advertisements

I wrote here a few months ago regarding buying a dog walking business from my friend and many of you were clear that I shouldn't pay her more than meal or two. Good for you and good for me for listening to you!

She casually recommended me to few clients and I casually mentioned on facebook that I was taking a few of her clients which has casually given me steady part-time work between here and the new year. I might easily have earned a couple grand by 2015 by all this casualness.

Now I need to get legitimized.

I have a name picked out, I have priced my menu of services and my husband is going to build me a fabulous and fancy website.

What do I do about fees, licensing and taxes? Federal taxes? Local and state? Business licensing... is that a municipal or state thing or possibly both (I went to our city website, clicked on a link and it sent me to the state of WA)? There was something mentioned about paying taxes on a quarterly basis... will I get something in the mail for that? From what I understand most other pet sitters in my area are LLC and when I was at the bank, the teller said that it will help with taxes. I was just thinking that it means that liability would be against my company and not my personal assets. Is this corrrect?
Anything else I should be made aware or consider?

TIA!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-23-2014, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,103 posts, read 25,201,275 times
Reputation: 34897
Starting a Dog Walking Business in California | Nolo.com

Here you go.

You want a LLC. It transfers the liability from you and your assets to the corporations assets
You can do a sole proprietor if it's just you but that puts the liability on you
My suggestion is to get good insurance and do a sole proprietor to start. Incorporating costs a bit more. To start you probably don't wanna go nuts in costs. You can always incorporate later if you must.

You need to project your income and pay ahead quarterly taxes on projected income
Best to get a Federal Tax ID number for the corp.
You will probably need a state license as the dog walker
You will need a city license for the business
Isn't starting your own business fun
Good luck
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2014, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,925 posts, read 6,280,790 times
Reputation: 9286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
[url=http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/starting-dog-walking-business-california.html]
Isn't starting your own business fun
Good luck


No it's not. This was one reason why I didn't want to buy the business from my friend.... it was too much for me to consider at the moment. But when a client put a $400 check in my hands today it made me feel a little more motivated. I also think it's important for me to go through the steps on my own. Learning by experience.

Thank you for laying down the steps very clearly for me. I really, really appreciate it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2014, 07:34 AM
 
Location: All Over
4,004 posts, read 5,093,620 times
Reputation: 3123
As far as LLC vs Scorp with your type and size of business LLC will be the best and easiest route. An LLC has tax benefits as well as protects you personally from liability. One thing I would caution you to ask an expert about. If you're doing petsitting in your home, if something happens to a pet in your home and your sued even though you have an LLC because your doing it out of your residence they may be able to tie your home into a lawsuit and there goes that protection so that may be somethiing you want to look into. One possible way to protect yourself would be put your home in a trust. Another thing to consider some states consider a single member LLC to have the same protections as a partnership while others don't so there may be a benefit to putting your husband on the LLC as well.

As far as licenses and such you may want to check with your city and county and see if there's any special licenses needed or if it's just a standard business license. Also does yourcity have any ordinances about running a business out of your home?

As for taxes when you get an LLC you'll get an EIN/TIN number which is your tax identification number for your company in addition to your social.

People can be crazy about their pets and something as simple as someones dog scratching their own face could send someone into a crazy tailspin blaming you so I would make sure you have good insurance and I would recommend getting bonded as well.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2014, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,925 posts, read 6,280,790 times
Reputation: 9286
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlemagic View Post
As far as LLC vs Scorp with your type and size of business LLC will be the best and easiest route. An LLC has tax benefits as well as protects you personally from liability. One thing I would caution you to ask an expert about. If you're doing petsitting in your home, if something happens to a pet in your home and your sued even though you have an LLC because your doing it out of your residence they may be able to tie your home into a lawsuit and there goes that protection so that may be somethiing you want to look into. One possible way to protect yourself would be put your home in a trust. Another thing to consider some states consider a single member LLC to have the same protections as a partnership while others don't so there may be a benefit to putting your husband on the LLC as well.

As far as licenses and such you may want to check with your city and county and see if there's any special licenses needed or if it's just a standard business license. Also does yourcity have any ordinances about running a business out of your home?

As for taxes when you get an LLC you'll get an EIN/TIN number which is your tax identification number for your company in addition to your social.

People can be crazy about their pets and something as simple as someones dog scratching their own face could send someone into a crazy tailspin blaming you so I would make sure you have good insurance and I would recommend getting bonded as well.
Thank you for this considerate reply. Typically you don't see pet sitters in my neighborhood offer pet sitting in their own home because they, themselves are pet owners. My friend provided some care to her real estate agent's dogs in her home when something went wrong while he was away and she has been caring for another dog who's owner is in the hospital until she gets a double lung transplant (she'll be going home with the owner's mom tonight as a more permanent arrangement). My friend doesn't own pets. She also only works in our neighborhood (as will I) and working with neighbors is a little different than working with someone you don't already know. I think that's why I've been able to relatively jump in so easily. A new client requesting services yesterday said herself, "oh, I recognnize your name from facebook so I know you're involved".


That said, an affluent community will understand how to sue the hell out of someone if they so choose. I have no excuse, but every reason to be as business savvy as my clients. Getting bonded and insured is my priority once I'm squared away on taxes. I don't have quite as much as most up here, but I could still lose plenty.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2014, 04:32 PM
 
Location: All Over
4,004 posts, read 5,093,620 times
Reputation: 3123
As far as the boarding in home probably safer just to stay away from it period however it wouldn't be bad if you maybe had a select few clients who you had a good rapport with you could offer it to friends and people you know but maybe don't offer that service out to the general public. Being in your home you'd probably be limited by how many pets you could take at any given time anyway but that would probably be a good way to run it. I know there's a lot to do starting a new business so I'd highly suggest checking out Fiverr website for things like graphic design, building a facebook page or twitter page, business card design, etc. Jobs that someone you hire on craigslist will charge you like $150 for you can get done for $5 and if you deal with people with good reviews its typically pretty good work as well, well worth the money.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2014, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,925 posts, read 6,280,790 times
Reputation: 9286
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlemagic View Post
As far as the boarding in home probably safer just to stay away from it period however it wouldn't be bad if you maybe had a select few clients who you had a good rapport with you could offer it to friends and people you know but maybe don't offer that service out to the general public. Being in your home you'd probably be limited by how many pets you could take at any given time anyway but that would probably be a good way to run it. I know there's a lot to do starting a new business so I'd highly suggest checking out Fiverr website for things like graphic design, building a facebook page or twitter page, business card design, etc. Jobs that someone you hire on craigslist will charge you like $150 for you can get done for $5 and if you deal with people with good reviews its typically pretty good work as well, well worth the money.
I've spent a number of hours researching online and at Barnes & Noble today and I've got some great insight.

#1) From reading the website of another pet sitter in my neighborhood I learned that it's in the HOA by-laws that you can't pet sit in your own home. I would probably do it for extraordinary cases like my friend has done, but I like that it's pretty cut and dry and residents will general not have that expectation of me.

#2) This is going to take time to figure out and set up. I am in a learning curve and it's unreasonable to expect I'd have this all worked out before I start, but it's still making me anxious.... because.......

#3) I just got another client this afternoon... everyday dog walking. I have a guaranteed monthly income of $300 + pet sitting and I'm completely not set up with taxes, license, bonding or insurance yet... I haven't worked out my availability or anything.... it's learning as I go. Yikes.

#4) But how often do you get this kind of success for not doing much at all? I'm very grateful and obviously it speaks volumes about the demand for services here
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2014, 07:50 PM
 
5,048 posts, read 7,960,463 times
Reputation: 4166
Wait till summer vacations roll around! And seasonal family vacations.

Look into the ins and outs of having someone help out. Ours had her mom, also excellent with pets, help out. Worked great.

Consider feeding if you don't already. And administering meds?

Do you have college professors in your area? Ours used to leave for two months and the pet sitter took over.

You could also branch into plant watering, taking in mail and packages, turning lights on and off, checking for any security breach. All at increasing rates, of course.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2014, 07:51 PM
 
5,048 posts, read 7,960,463 times
Reputation: 4166
Have you figured a plan for a suddenly sick dog/injured dog?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2014, 08:06 PM
 
587 posts, read 786,277 times
Reputation: 807
I would contact SCORE in your area or some other organization that helps small business owners. Google SBDC + Your State -- there should be a PDF listing all of the business resources in your state. There are often people who can walk you through this whole process, step by step, for free. Taking a small business owner class can also be a great way to get free advice from lawyers and accountants, specific to your situation and area. Your cooperative extension may be another good resource.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Business

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:03 AM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top