Business ownership questions - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Business ownership questions

I am doing some research for my mom, and she wants to know if it is possible to own a very large business, like a multi-million dollar world wide business, with out anyone knowing you own it. (Its for a book she is writing, dont worry, no shady or illegal stuff here.)

Would there be a way for someone to find out you own that business? Would it be very hard?

Could you own, say, a large drug firm, then at the same time, own the lawfirms who represent the people filling suit against you?

Oh, and if you have a company working with genetics and cloning, does it have to be made known to any government officials what you are doing?

I know these are kind of complicated questions, but I cant figure out where to find the answers online, and so far every attorney I have talked to said they would charge me alot of money to find the answers.

Well, Thanks!!

/Sky
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 02:18 PM
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I don't know the specifics, but I know the guy that owns a couple of strip clubs (and SoundBar, Y Bar, and L8 in the city) is pissing off the state because they can't prove he actually owns them. ...they want to take away his liquor licenses etc.

In short, he made the purchase agreement, and bought the place in cash - all except for the last $10K. Since the deal was not completed in full as drawn out on the contract - he is not legally considered the owner (on paper). That's an oversimplified version of the actual story - but you get the idea. There are ways to keep your name off things, yet be the boss.

...I think that's all still in court somewhere. He's a shady fucka!

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 02:37 PM
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"No One" knowing is kind of a huge assumption. Records are public and there are ways to find out who business licenses are registered too and such. Tax returns are also public. Will anyone care or check? A few will but you can be relatively anonomous as long as your company stays private, no matter how much money it makes. However, the more money you make the more people will try to hunt you down to do business with you. Once it goes public everything is an open book.

Hope that helps

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 02:42 PM
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there is always ways to hide it.

consult a business lawyer, and pay em for the detailed answers.



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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseys
there is always ways to hide it.

consult a business lawyer, and pay em for the detailed answers.

How come I got this feeling that if she asked the opposite question you would be saying there is "always" a way to find out who owns it.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 02:46 PM
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cause there is also.

just gotta pay those who know how to do it.



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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseys
cause there is also.

just gotta pay those who know how to do it.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 09:32 AM
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Simplest way would be to own the business under a pseudonym. I take it you'd want something more clever than that, though.

I have heard that the most popular way to do this for smaller businesses is to set up a whole chain of paper corporations. The idea is that you've got XYZ Inc., which is actually operating, and is a subsidiary of TUV, Inc., which is a paper corporation. That is, it lives in a file cabinet somewhere, and doesn't do anything but own XYZ Inc. TUV is owned by another paper corporation, RST Inc., which is owned by PQR Inc., and so on and so forth, until finally there's a corporation owned by some person (Joe Mobster, say).

The idea is that, in order for anyone to trace the ownership of XYZ back to Joe Mobster, they've got to get through all the intermediate corporations first. One benefit is that, while they're working on getting records from TUV, Inc., Joe can get busy dissolving PQR, Inc. and covering his trail.

Downside is that, nowadays, the IRS (and various other agencies, too) want to know if your corporation is majority-owned by any one or two people, so the chain is a matter of public record and is a little easier to track down than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Here's a variation that gets around it, though: set up a cloud of 200 or so paper corporations. Have each of them buy stock in each other, and have our protagonist/antagonist own stock in each of them, but not enough to set off any alarms. Still not untraceable (and, truly, I doubt anything really is), but very, very hard to work through.

That's question one. To keep things quick, here's short guesses as to the others:

Question two: yes, in principle you could, but I think most law firms are partnerships and not fully corporations, so it's difficult to own one (or part of one) and not have it be public knowledge.

Question three: no idea, but I don't think so, as long as you're not running afoul of the FDA (by selling medicines, cloning equipment, etc.) or applying for government money.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 02:02 PM
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You can make it difficult, but as the saying goes nothing is guaranteed except for death and taxes.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 04:16 PM
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Read the book King Con Steven J Cannell.

Real good example of Morrands idea




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