Steps to incorporate a business in Philadelphia (or elsewhere)

Last month, I described the process of dissolving the Technically Media general partnership, so I wanted to close the loop by quickly sharing our process for incorporation.

Mostly, this was a lesson in paying for a lawyer — doing it (mostly) right is worth paying. But I also wanted to share a few lessons I learned and some resources I used.

Why we decided to incorporate: (a) I expressed concern that as a new homeowner, I wanted greater protection from liability for our work (like liable or breach of contract concerns), and, as an added benefit, (b) we wanted to be W2 employees of our company, for the credit value of guaranteed payments. Moving forward, we also recognized (c) the benefit for the possibility of hiring employees.

Find the steps and resources below.

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How to migrate a WordPress.com blog to your own WordPress hosting

I’ve done this enough times to figure out how to do it without screwing everything up.

Suppose you start a project on a free WordPress.com, and, as it grows, you want to move it to a self-hosted platform version of WordPress, like I did with this site and NEast Philly and my thesis and others.

So, in case you need to do the same, here are the steps:

    1. From the Tools option in the WordPress.com sidebar, choose to Export.
    2. Download the XML Export file, being mindful that all fields in the drop down menus are chosen, so you are downloading everything.
    3. Open in Wordpad and change your file extensions with a Search and Replace. i.e. So, in the XML file from my thesis site, I replaced ‘phillypolitics.wordpress.com/’ with ‘thesis.christopherwink.com/’, meaning that the links would then associate
    4. *Make sure permalinks are the same from your WordPress.com to your new site.
    5. From the Tools option in your new self-hosted WordPress platform, choose to Import.
    6. Browse and choose to Upload the XML file that you downloaded from your WordPress.com and then edited in Wordpad.
    7. **Easy-to-miss step** Upon selecting your XML file, under ‘Import Attachments’ be certain to check off the box next to ‘Download and import file attachments’ so that your photos and other uploaded media will be transferred to this new database. (I’ve missed this step before to much frustration).
    8. Delete the old jawn — Take down the old WordPress.com or, if you want to transition some search engine love, you can block the WordPress.com from being picked up by search engines but keep it alive for old links with a post pushing to the new site and eventually delete.
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      How to choose a credit card for my small business

      Over at Technically Media, I had a bear of a problem for a few days trying to figure out how we could get a company credit card.

      We had no credit. We were a new business. Plus, there were three of us, and we wanted all to have equal footing. What was more, I struggled to find good, meaningful information about credit cards online, instead I found spam.

      I took to social media and was repeatedly recommended American Express and other cards that had credit limits that precluded our new business.

      I did a little reading — tried BillShrink, this BusinessWeek story and a Business.com option — but in the end, I went to the bank where we have our business account.

      In the end, all three of us became guarantors — putting our personal credit on the line — to get a business credit card with a small starting balance. We’ll be able to wean off of our personal reliance, I’m told, and continue to build business credit, which is our goal.

      Number of Views:7335

      How to dissolve a partnership and what to do next

      The three of us who founded Technically Philly dissolved our partnership at the end of last year. But it was good news.

      Moving away from the general partnership we launched in early¬† 2009, we’ve incorporated as an S-Corporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for better protection against liability, losses and for better treatment by the federal government (though, as I understand it, if we were to ever sell this thing, it’s a less desirable designation).

      That means we closed a bank account, tossed out our partnership agreement in lieu of an operation agreement and started anew of sorts. In our case, dissolving our partnership coincided with our new, dusted off business plan for Technically Media Inc., our parent publishing consultancy that oversees TP.

      I put considerable thought into the organization of our business so as to make this inevitable step forward as painless as possible. For others it might be obvious, but if it isn’t for you, below I share some lessons and the steps we took.

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      How do I choose a payroll services company for my business

      When I am unsure about something, I tend to over-indulge in the research.

      So, when my two colleagues and I decided that, despite our size, we thought it was worth the cost of hiring a payroll services company to withhold taxes for Technically Media from the very start, I knew I’d be indulging.

      In the end, we went with a Center City Philadelphia representative from payroll services giant Paychex.

      Let me tell you a bit about the process, in case you have a small business that might want to outsource that work as we have.

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      Number of Views:17826

      PC users: How to use MS Paint for quick, easy screenshot selections

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      Anyone publishing to the Web needs to accept the importance of a catchy image, graphic or photo.

      The color can spruce up a site — bringing in word-resistent readers and making something simple seem more design friendly — and affect readership.

      But many average PC users out there blogging — or even those just looking to share captures from their screen — struggle with an effective way, particularly if they aren’t skilled in graphic imaging or have the requisite software.

      Thankfully, MS Paint and other similar basic graphics software prove powerful tools, even with their bare-boned application options.

      Mac users can utilize Command-shift-4 to take a selected screen shot (or Cmd-shift-3 for a copy of the entire screen), but for PC users there are a few extra steps if you want to make a selected screenshot. Below, at the behest of a friend, I share the simple steps.
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      Number of Views:13741