Today, a tweet caught my attention. The question, posed by Anita Campbell, was whether the existence of services like LegalZoom caused more people to incorporate their small businesses.
The answer is no.
Ms. Campbell links to a story on her own web site that appears to say otherwise. But growth notwithstanding, services very much like LegalZoom have existed for years, are as easy to use, and cost (and have cost) about the same amount. So, once again: no, more people are not incorporating “because of LegalZoom”.
More small businesses are incorporating because it’s the right way to do things. The best business change is one where that change causes something important to happen, and incorporation creates new ways of managing finances, clearer rules for tax deductions, a layer of protection for personal assets that sole proprietors don’t have, and a more professional image.
As our economy changes and an ever-greater number of people are self-employed, a better understanding of “the rules” is a natural progression. That understanding is by no means universal, but it is progressive. Incorporating makes sense. And it’s easy; we’ll even do it for you here at Answer Guy Central!
What the Internet has added to this discussion is greater access to the information behind the idea, and LegalZoom (and others), in sharing this information as part of their long tail marketing plans, are not the cause of anything. They are, however, acting as catalysts for your business change . . . by creating their own.
How are you creating business change?
Thanks for writing about this, Jeff. I only raised Legal Zoom to get conversation going. 🙂
Personally, I feel it’s a combination of factors that is leading to more incorporations.
And of course I have a question for Scott Shane, who wrote that article. The question is whether the term “incorporated” is used in a strict sense, as an “Inc” or whether it is used in a looser sense, as “either Inc or LLC.”
And thanks for stopping by, Anita. I figured as much about why you wrote what you did, and I was really doing very much the same thing . . . opening up the conversation further.
Scott, what about it? Regardless of where/with whom and why people do their incorporations, doesn’t the topic deserve some real details?