In 1999, a well-connected politician called me on the phone, early one morning, instructing me to write down a fax number, starting with area code 202 for Washington, D.C. I knew it was important.
She asked me if I had a company and an Employee Identification Number (EIN) or tax ID number. I said I did. She said, “Write a blues about the 2000 census. Fax it with an invoice for $2,499 on your letterhead to the number I gave you.
One hour later, I sent the CENSUS BLUES to the U.S. Census Bureau to the attention of the person connected to my politician friend. I got paid because I could compose music and I had a corporate EIN.
One of the first documents I give my Speech Communication students is a handout entitled HOW TO START A BUSINESS.
How to start a business
- Choose Your Business Name, Inc. (or LLC) and decide if you will be: (30 minutes)
- For profit
- Non profit
- Product or Service (for profit) or Mission Statement (non-profit)
- Go to www.sunbiz.org to apply for incorporation $78 – 82 (20 minutes)
- For profit must have a president (you)
- Non-profit must have President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Also may have a resident agent, if the officers live in another state.
- Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN or Tax ID #) from www.irs.gov (10 minutes)
- Open a Bank Account (take Certificate of Status + EIN + $100)
- Liability Insurance (optional)
- Order business cards, website, telephone number, and business address (optional or home)
- Set up PayPal, Square, or another method to invoice your customers
- PayPal $150 corporate tax before April 30 each year at www.sunbiz.org
- On May 1st the penalty is $400 for filing your annual report late for a total of $550. So pay by April 30th!
I was in business for two years before I got that call. My company was not making much money. If I got a check for singing, I put it in my business account. I paid the corporate tax and filed a tax return as a sole proprietor most years. My company grew because of the music I recorded and books I published. I got substantial orders from school principals for one or more of my books. In 2007, I incorporated my non-profit organization and became a lecturer, presenter, and producer of several programs. After releasing my two personal CDs in 1995 and 2005, I produced eight compilation CDs of music from members of http://wijsf.org
In 2019, we published the first issue of Musicwoman Magazine. In 2020, we published the second issue and the first issue of Musicman Magazine. In 2021, We published both magazines, individually, and a flip book of both magazines.
There is no doubt in my mind that having a business has been beneficial to me and our 380 members!