forming a LLC for the podcast?

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yakko
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forming a LLC for the podcast?

Post by yakko » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:16 am

I think SP has mentioned that he's got a LLC for his shows. What are the reasons behind doing this? Any pros or cons? How hard is it to do?

I'm considering doing a LLC for my show now that we've got a decent sized Patreon support going. I am thinking that since everything right now is in my name it would be good to protect myself by moving all the podcast stuff behind a LLC.

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StargatePioneer
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Re: forming a LLC for the podcast?

Post by StargatePioneer » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:01 pm

Legal considerations are why I would consider incorporating. But you'd have to check with a lawyer on what's the best version to protect you best. Also if you are the sole owner a party might be able to come after you personally anyway.

The con would be an extra layer of administrivia and expense. You'll have to pay taxes quarterly and register with several state and federal offices. All of those will come with fees.

Depending on how specific you need to get it could be difficult in your filings. The Articles Of Incorporation and By Laws will be the basis for your company. Too broad and you open yourself up to hassles. Too narrow and they limit what you can do. The last time I did it it took my about 9 months to research and file in various places. But again, please consult a lawyer and a tax specialist first.


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yakko
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Re: forming a LLC for the podcast?

Post by yakko » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:20 pm

Seems like I need to spend more time looking into this. My biggest fear is that right now everything important is under my name. So if something happened to me, the rest of the guys on the show would be in a bind, and if anything legal-wise happened against the podcast, it's just me that's affected.
Another thing that prompted this was just to seem a bit more professional. We were denied media passes to an upcoming convention because we weren't "mainstream media" (yet friggin mainstream USA Today interviewed us for 2 stories!) while just a few months ago they told us we had to apply for the passes to interview their guests. I know the LLC won't do anything to change their minds, but it's pissed us off and we're looking at everything. Right now I've told the guys to apply for media passes for every con or event they go to, just to start building up some references.

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Re: forming a LLC for the podcast?

Post by StargatePioneer » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:56 am

Future-proofing your show is always a consideration. Maybe people have decided to upload their episodes to Archive.org in an attempt to future-proof. But that still doesn't help you with your RSS feed or web hosting, etc.

Odds are, even if you had an LLC and you were faced with legal issues you'd have to shut down. I doubt you'd be able to fight a major lawsuit by someone like the patent troll. There's a reason actions like the patent troll happen - the odds are that they will be able to win the legal fight based on legal expenses alone. It's a gamble for any start-up/small business and a big part of why a large percentage fail. But at least you'd protect your personal income and family. But in the end is it worth it? Are you really doing anything on your show that people could sue you for at that amount?

As far as the "Mainstream media" that's always a tough one. I have doubts that an LLC would be worth it just to get media credentials. Different conventions have different criteria. And sometimes even fringe professional outfits do not qualify for coverage. I suspect this will change over time as podcast themselves become more mainstream. In the meantime keep plugging along at what you do and do what real reporters do. Be on the move, take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves and break a small story or two at each event. Eventually you will be taken seriously.
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