CREATING, FINANCING, AND MARKETING A BUSINESS
PROFESSOR MARILYN FITZPATRICK
FEBRUARY 24, 2012
Professor Marilyn Fitzpatrick
February 24, 2012
Creating, Financing, and Marketing a Business
Identify the pros and cons of the partnership as a form of ownership.
The simplicity and flexibility in creating a partnership may be one of the main advantages of the partnership as a form of business.
The other main attraction to the partnership as a form of business is partnership tax treatment. From a tax standpoint the partnership is as straightforward as the sole proprietorship. There is no tax at the partnership level. All tax ...view middle of the document...
* A partner can enter into legal agreements the other partner is required to uphold.
* In a limited partnership you may bear the lion’s share of responsibility for debts and other obligations.
* And possibly most importantly, partners expect to have a voice and a say in how the business is run.
Discuss funding options for small businesses.
The vast majority of new small businesses are funded with debt financing via financial institutions. If you pass muster, banks can provide you with a loan or line of credit that comes with a repayment schedule and an interest rate. They will look carefully at your company’s cash flow, collateral and the liquidity of your assets. You’ve got to have a sensible, written business plan, and you must know your financial situation inside and out.
There are also numerous state, regional, and minority grant opportunities available. By working together with a government agency on a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), you can also optimize resources and cost-effectively perform research (thus requiring less funding). These programs are designed to help free the innovative fires at small businesses.
While debt funding is most common, there are still tens of thousands of companies financed each year by private or “institutional” investors in exchange for an equity ownership stake. They range from the less sophisticated “friends and family” type, to high net worth private investors known as “angel investors”, all the way up to the sophisticated professional investors called venture capitalist.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY
When you can’t get debt financing consider asking your rich Aunt Harriet for a little help. As a lot of startup funding for many a family-run business, small business financing from friends and family typically comes in small amounts without a lot of hassle or legal expense.
Do you believe in angels? With approximately 250,000 high net worth private investors in the U.S. who funded over 30,000 small companies each year. “Angels” have earned their name by typically being friendly and patient about their investments and by providing their business wisdom and valuable relationships along with their money. They often like to invest in groups, each taking a piece of the deal.
If you’re beyond the startup phase, have initial revenues coming in, a quality team in place, and a clear path to eventually sell the business or go public in an IPO, you could be ready to approach the pros – venture capitalists. Their funding is very time sensitive. Venture capitalists look to get their money and profits out as quickly as possibly. They are a great source if you’re planning for meteoric growth and will require further business financing in the future to achieve it.
If you need to get to market quickly or perhaps short-circuit the “no name, no credibility” game, strategic investors...