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Nellie Akalp on Navigating the Legal Side of Business

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Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Nellie Akalp on Navigating the Legal Side of Business

In this engaging interview, we speak with Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet, a leading company in business formation and legal compliance. Akalp shares insights into the services offered by CorpNet, the evolution of the online legal document filing industry, and the benefits and challenges of forming an LLC. Her expertise illuminates the complexities of state-specific regulations and the importance of staying compliant. This conversation is a must-read for entrepreneurs and professionals navigating the business formation landscape.

CorpNet Primary Services Overview

Can you describe the primary services CorpNet offers for business formation and compliance?

CorpNet.com is a one-stop shop for business formation, corporate compliance, sales and tax registration, and much more. We have streamlined the filing process so entrepreneurs, CPAs, attorneys, and other professionals can easily get a business up and running and keep it in good standing. We offer a full suite of filing services including incorporating a business like an LLC, registering DBAs, registered agent services, BOI reporting, and more recently, we help companies register for sales and payroll tax. Plus, all our services are backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Inspiration Behind Founding CorpNet

What inspired the pivot from your initial company to founding CorpNet?

The initial company that my husband and I started in 1997 offered similar startup services that CorpNet.com provides. However, with the latest technology we have really streamlined the process to make it as easy yet efficient as ever to get these filings processed.

Key Advantages of Forming an LLC

What are the key advantages of forming an LLC, and who should consider this option?

The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a great entity option for so many different business owners. There are many types of LLCs such as single-member LLC, a series LLC, and more. Each has their advantages, so we always recommend doing the proper research to determine which LLC is the best for them and their business situation. Whatever version is chosen, the LLC has great advantages such as liability protection, separation of personal and business assets, potential tax savings, and added credibility.

Simplifying LLC Formation for Entrepreneurs

How does CorpNet simplify the LLC formation process for entrepreneurs?

When an entrepreneur comes to CorpNet.com to form their LLC, we make it as simple as possible. CorpNet is the least complex and costly to form an LLC. Our online application collects necessary information from the business owner and the rest is finalized and processed on our end. Clients and partners are matched with a dedicated account manager who are available for any follow up questions or future filings. CorpNet also offers access to an online portal where all filings, their status and additional information can easily be found anytime.

Common Challenges in LLC Formation

What are the most common challenges new business owners face when forming an LLC, and how does CorpNet address these?

When someone starts a new business, often they are unsure if they should form an LLC or another business entity. It can get overwhelming trying to go through each option and understand what is best for different situations. We have a great tool called the business structure wizard that can help point someone in the right direction.

Navigating State-Specific LLC Regulations

How do state-specific regulations affect LLC formation and how does CorpNet help navigate these differences?

Each state has varying rules, regulations, compliance requirements, and filing fees when it comes to forming an LLC and any other entity. CorpNet helps by staying up to date on every filing across the United States and ensuring the proper information is communicated to and collected from each of our clients and partners.

LLC Ongoing Compliance Requirements

What ongoing compliance requirements should LLC owners be aware of, and how does CorpNet assist in maintaining compliance?

Compliance requirements for Limited Liability Companies vary depending on the state and type of LLC formed. CorpNet.com offers access to a portal called BIZ (Business Information Zone). BIZ notifies users of any compliance filing that will be due, so they can ensure it is taken care of on their end or by hiring CorpNet to file on their behalf. Generally, LLC owners need to be up to date with filings like annual reports, articles of amendments, renewing sales tax licenses and permits or business licenses and permits, among others.

Evolution of Online Legal Document Filing

How has the online legal document filing industry evolved since you started, and what role has CorpNet played in this evolution?

We started our first company in 1997 with a one-page website and basically zero competitors. Today, we have a much more in-depth site, ensuring the utmost ease for our clients and partners. In addition, the market is very saturated with competitors. However, CorpNet has been at the forefront of innovation within the industry, always being the first to offer desired filing services and staying on top of the latest filing requirements for business owners.

Misconceptions About LLC Formation

What are some misconceptions about LLC formation that you frequently encounter?

The most common misconception I come across is when entrepreneurs feel they don’t need to form an LLC or incorporate their business. Instead, they choose to operate as a sole proprietorship. While this is a valid option, it comes with risks. There is zero liability protection, which means their personal assets are at risk. In addition, they could be missing out on potential investors or clients and could be paying more in taxes.

CorpNet’s Differentiation from Competitors

How does CorpNet differentiate itself from other online legal service providers?

CorpNet prides ourselves on our stellar customer service. We go above and beyond for each of our partners and clients, which sets us apart from our larger corporate competitors. We do not outsource call centers or any of our processes. Everything that happens is out of our Westlake Village, CA office and with our remote team who live across the United States.

Future Trends in Business Formation Landscape

Looking forward, what trends or changes do you foresee in the business formation landscape, particularly for LLCs?

The biggest change that is happening now is keeping up with federal compliance requirements. In 2024, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a rule that requires most Corporations and LLCs to file what’s called a BOI report. The Beneficial Ownership Information report identifies the beneficial owners and company applicants of an entity, which will help prevent criminals from laundering or hiding money in the US. Failure to submit this filing can result in hefty fines and penalties, but entrepreneurs can come to CorpNet to get this filing handled so they don’t have to worry.


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Nellie Akalp on Navigating the Legal Side of Business