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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Small business startup....

As of recently I have been doing alot of reading into starting up a small side job business. Starting out as a sole proprietor ship, then eventually to an LLC or more. I have been reading alot on Illinois Revenue and think I have a good grasp of what is involved in setting up a very basic business, but I want to make sure that I am 100% legit in the eyes of Uncle Sam.

My main questions are:

1. To be properly set up to do business in IL with business license/federal or state tax id, do I have to consult a lawyer or accountant first or simply fill out a few forms?

2. Come tax time, if i am still a sole proprietor, do I claim the income made from my business the same way as if I had collected a paycheck from my main job?

If it matters what type of business I am looking at opening up, I am looking at buying/selling car audio equipment/installation parts/accessories, auto/motorcycle performance parts, and whatever else I come across I like . I do alot of audio/security on the side as it is, might as well make it a formal business!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 06:27 PM
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Your questions are to vague. Which leads me to believe you should just go ahead and talk to an accountant.

You could start up an LLC for about $700, having an accountant file all the paperwork, so it's not as hard as you may think. However, LLC's do not offer the veil of security that most people seem to think. Your best bet is to be properly registered to do business and carry the appropriate amount of insurance for the business you are in.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 07:03 PM
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Do as much as you can by yourself, At this point I believe the accountant is much more important than the attorney. He will surely have a good answer for you on#2. Write off's are excellent when starting up especially if you are working from home.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 09:42 PM
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Your best best, as a new entrepreneur, given what you've shared is to set up an S Corp first. 1) it's easy and cheap. An accountant can do it for just a couple hundred bucks. 2) Huge tax benefits. For the first couple years you will undoubtedly show a loss, mainly because your expense will exceed your income and that = huge refund if you're paying taxes through another job. 3) Write off's galore... portion of your mortgage/rent, utilities, gas, vehicle expenses, lunches for clients, etc., etc.

For example, on item #3 you simply create a lease between yourself and your 'company' for a portion of the space the business is occupying in your residence, let's say if you're paying $600/mo in rent, the 'company' pays $250 to sublet from you... and because the 'company' isn't making enough money to pay you, 'you' write it off as a loss, or show it as outstanding debt which you then pass off on your taxes... it's simple and legal. You'll only get about 3-4 years of that though before the gov expects you to start making money. If after that time you're still not, you shut it down and start up another venture.

I've started multiple business over the last ten years and presently have both a C Corp and an S Corp, mainly because both offer distinct advantages over the other and having both allows me to maximize my ability to work the system legitimately.

My accountant is a CPA and former IRS auditor, and everything is completely above board, but it's not all that hard to work the system.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 09:51 PM
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It depends on what type of buisness you are running. Is you buinsess asset based, or service. Will be require insurance for your services, is there any danger of law suits against you? for example, if you are selling holiday cards you are much less likely to get sued than say renting power equipment. Based on your buisness you either want an LLC, s-corp, or C corp. you want to protect your personal assets. Check out smallbiz.com, call them, they are very helpful. You can set up everything for less than a few hundred bucks!

For tax purposes, your best bet is to make yourself an employee of the company and pay yourself a salary. If you are planning on messing with cars and bikes, there may be a decent chance to get sued if something goes wrong, i would make sure if the company gets sued, they cannot come after your personal assets like you home, car, personal belongings. As far as taxes go, my accountant charges me less than $300 and takes care of 2 small buinsesses and our personal taxes
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmay! View Post
Your best best, as a new entrepreneur, given what you've shared is to set up an S Corp first. 1) it's easy and cheap. An accountant can do it for just a couple hundred bucks. 2) Huge tax benefits. For the first couple years you will undoubtedly show a loss, mainly because your expense will exceed your income and that = huge refund if you're paying taxes through another job. 3) Write off's galore... portion of your mortgage/rent, utilities, gas, vehicle expenses, lunches for clients, etc., etc.

For example, on item #3 you simply create a lease between yourself and your 'company' for a portion of the space the business is occupying in your residence, let's say if you're paying $600/mo in rent, the 'company' pays $250 to sublet from you... and because the 'company' isn't making enough money to pay you, 'you' write it off as a loss, or show it as outstanding debt which you then pass off on your taxes... it's simple and legal. You'll only get about 3-4 years of that though before the gov expects you to start making money. If after that time you're still not, you shut it down and start up another venture.

I've started multiple business over the last ten years and presently have both a C Corp and an S Corp, mainly because both offer distinct advantages over the other and having both allows me to maximize my ability to work the system legitimately.

My accountant is a CPA and former IRS auditor, and everything is completely above board, but it's not all that hard to work the system.
My understanding is that if you do use part of your house for the business it must be dedicated to the business only. You can't have a playroom for the kids that you use for your other business as well.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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I no doubt would like to offer installation of the components that I would sell, but that probably wouldn't happen until a while after I had things going.

Timmay!/Monster231, care to PM me the name/numbers of the people you work with for potential referal business
post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 11:43 PM
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Boostn,

You can PM me any questions and I'll try to help. I'm an accountant.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 12:40 AM
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Another thing to look into. Make sure you can run a business out of your home in your area.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:00 AM
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First of all, good luck with the business.

About setting up the business and paying taxes etc., go find an accountant or attorney who knows what they are doing and pay them. You're way off on a few things and your time is probably worth more working on the actual business than it is researching law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmay! View Post
Your best best, as a new entrepreneur, given what you've shared is to set up an S Corp first. 1) it's easy and cheap. An accountant can do it for just a couple hundred bucks. 2) Huge tax benefits. For the first couple years you will undoubtedly show a loss, mainly because your expense will exceed your income and that = huge refund if you're paying taxes through another job. 3) Write off's galore... portion of your mortgage/rent, utilities, gas, vehicle expenses, lunches for clients, etc., etc.

For example, on item #3 you simply create a lease between yourself and your 'company' for a portion of the space the business is occupying in your residence, let's say if you're paying $600/mo in rent, the 'company' pays $250 to sublet from you... and because the 'company' isn't making enough money to pay you, 'you' write it off as a loss, or show it as outstanding debt which you then pass off on your taxes... it's simple and legal. You'll only get about 3-4 years of that though before the gov expects you to start making money. If after that time you're still not, you shut it down and start up another venture.

I've started multiple business over the last ten years and presently have both a C Corp and an S Corp, mainly because both offer distinct advantages over the other and having both allows me to maximize my ability to work the system legitimately.

My accountant is a CPA and former IRS auditor, and everything is completely above board, but it's not all that hard to work the system.
What ever you do, don't listen to this ^^^ person. His statements are very misleading and in some cases flat out wrong. We can all do whatever the hell we want with our taxes, but we won't necessarily get away with it every time.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone care to recomend a good accountant in the NW burbs? Are there accountants that specialize in this type of business or can most accountants handle this?
post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcaarider View Post
My understanding is that if you do use part of your house for the business it must be dedicated to the business only. You can't have a playroom for the kids that you use for your other business as well.
+1

Though I do have an accounting degree it has been some time since I had to study that crap and prefer oil and grease over pencils and ledgers now. Before you start doing stuff check with an accountant on how to set things up and the tax implications of all this as well. Last I knew if you tried that it must be a dedicated area of the home and will permanently be deducted on the basis of the home, meaning you can't double dip and deduct all your property taxes on your personal income as well. I believe when the home is sold then the basis is adjusted for that lost square footage also or some crap like that which could mean higher capital gains tax when you ultimately sell the home and don't roll it into new real estate. All I'm saying is that it's important to know what you are doing and if you don't hire a pro. The government doesn't send you a friendly email when you make a mistake on your taxes. They wait 5 years and conduct an audit and ass rape you for that amount plus P&I. A cute little $5000 "bend" of the rules can cost you $50K when they get done.

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 12:07 PM
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I don't know shit about it but that wont stop me from giving advice
I for one believe that in today's age one can do a decent amount on research on line and therefore cut lawyer/accountant fee's. So I would look in to it and spend one day calling guv. and googling shit till no ends before I would pay someone to file those on my behalf. In my opinion government is not half bad in explaining filing procedures.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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^^ good info! I have no problems seeking out a professional, I just want a professional who knows what they are doing lol. I don't think I would claim that a portion of my house is my business, seems like there is all kinds of complications that can come out of that. I'm looking for SIMPLICITY at the moment....
post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostnGTI02 View Post
^^ good info! I have no problems seeking out a professional, I just want a professional who knows what they are doing lol. I don't think I would claim that a portion of my house is my business, seems like there is all kinds of complications that can come out of that. I'm looking for SIMPLICITY at the moment....
I looked into writing off part of my house for my wife's side business, but from what I found, it throws a huge red flag and you can pretty much guarantee an audit. If it's legit, you have nothing to worry about, but like others have said, it's not as easy as saying you use your garage to install some stereo stuff, as you have your personal car parked in there and storing your stuff.

Not worth the risk IMO, but I would definitely consult a professional before swaying one way or the other.

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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:43 PM
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The most honest and straight forward answer is to speak with an accountant. It will cost you a little extra money in the beginning, but they will get you set up correctly. They will be the best resource in discussing the taxt benefits of each type of business. Spend a little money now and save yourself a lot of money and headaches in the future. I can help put you in contacts in my area, but I cant help you out too much by where you are. PM Me if you want some contact info for some accountants I know.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcaarider View Post
My understanding is that if you do use part of your house for the business it must be dedicated to the business only. You can't have a playroom for the kids that you use for your other business as well.
In theory yes, in reality no. There are millions of home-based businesses and the number increases every year. I suspose if the tax police were to come busting down your door looking for something to nail you on, they might use that, but aside from them gunning for you, it's common practice to apportion a reasonable quantity of space of your dwelling for business purposes, so long as you are in fact running a legitimate business from there.

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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefyInertia View Post
What ever you do, don't listen to this ^^^ person. His statements are very misleading and in some cases flat out wrong. We can all do whatever the hell we want with our taxes, but we won't necessarily get away with it every time.
EDIT: I see by your profile you're a CPA, congratulations. For the last ten years, I have owned and operated numerous businesses, dealing with fortune 500 companies, studios and television networks and there is nothing I have ever done that is not 110% legit and your implication to anything contrary is insulting. Nor would I ever, it's not worth the risk. I have 2 lawyers and 2 CPA's on retainer for my business, so I'm hardly talking out of my ass here. Granted while my statements may be slightly ambiguous due to the lack of information provided by him, it was provided as a general overview, not a roadmap. Could I be of assistance pulling that stick out?

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmay! View Post
In theory yes, in reality no. There are millions of home-based businesses and the number increases every year. I suspose if the tax police were to come busting down your door looking for something to nail you on, they might use that, but aside from them gunning for you, it's common practice to apportion a reasonable quantity of space of your dwelling for business purposes, so long as you are in fact running a legitimate business from there.
Sometimes theory and reality meet and it gets pretty ugly. He should definitely get some professional opinions as to how to go about doing all this. The few hundred you will pay someone who knows what they are doing will save you much more in the long run. You may also network from it and learn a few things also. Can't hurt. If spending a little money initially to steer your ship in the right direction then you are probably on a sinking ship to begin with.

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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmay! View Post
EDIT: I see by your profile you're a CPA, congratulations. For the last ten years, I have owned and operated numerous businesses, dealing with fortune 500 companies, studios and television networks and there is nothing I have ever done that is not 110% legit and your implication to anything contrary is insulting. Nor would I ever, it's not worth the risk. I have 2 lawyers and 2 CPA's on retainer for my business, so I'm hardly talking out of my ass here. Granted while my statements may be slightly ambiguous due to the lack of information provided by him, it was provided as a general overview, not a roadmap. Could I be of assistance pulling that stick out?
Forget the CPA part...I'm a tax consultant. I'm not sure what your resume has to do with tax law? I'll rip your original post apart piece by piece when I get around to it.

about the stick, I thought I was being nice

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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:02 PM
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Sometimes theory and reality meet and it gets pretty ugly. He should definitely get some professional opinions as to how to go about doing all this. The few hundred you will pay someone who knows what they are doing will save you much more in the long run. You may also network from it and learn a few things also. Can't hurt. If spending a little money initially to steer your ship in the right direction then you are probably on a sinking ship to begin with.
Absolutely, I do not believe anyone, myself included has suggested that he do anything on his own without professional guidance. It is far too complicated, and is the reason I pay so much money for our attorneys and accountants. The sole intention of my posts have been to illustrate that starting your own business 1) can be easy and cheap to do and 2) that there are many benefits to starting your own business from a financial standpoint.

Doing something like this without professional guidance is the same thing as playing russian roulette without checking the chambers... it's stupid and asking for trouble.

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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:07 PM
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Forget the CPA part...I'm a tax consultant. I'm not sure what your resume has to do with tax law? I'll rip your original post apart piece by piece when I get around to it.

about the stick, I thought I was being nice
If it will make you feel better to rip it apart, by all means. I could care less as it has no effect on my net worth or success. I do not have, nor need a piece of paper on my wall giving me a fancy title... my background is both personal experience and my years of paying professionals to do it right. All I was trying to illustrate to the nice poster was that it is simple and easy to start a business. Nobody was laying out a roadmap on WHAT to do, simply providing a generic example... and ceratinly no one has ever stated that a) you do not need, nor should have professional guidance in his endeavors... or b) to lie, cheat or steal to try and get ahead. Quite frankly I'm amazed that it could be construed as such. Wow. Has the fire hydrant been sufficiently urinated on yet?

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:24 PM
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If it will make you feel better to rip it apart, by all means. I could care less as it has no effect on my net worth or success. I do not have, nor need a piece of paper on my wall giving me a fancy title... my background is both personal experience and my years of paying professionals to do it right. All I was trying to illustrate to the nice poster was that it is simple and easy to start a business. Nobody was laying out a roadmap on WHAT to do, simply providing a generic example... and ceratinly no one has ever stated that a) you do not need, nor should have professional guidance in his endeavors... or b) to lie, cheat or steal to try and get ahead. Quite frankly I'm amazed that it could be construed as such. Wow. Has the fire hydrant been sufficiently urinated on yet?
Somewhere between you posting a bunch of misleading BS and me saying "don't listen to it" you got all butt hurt. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

I have no desire to set YOU straight or type about shit I know all too well without getting paid for it, I just figured (based on your previous responses) that you'd throw a hissy fit if I didn't justify my claims that you're clueless about federal income taxes and should not be listened to.

This is the internet, people have misconmmunications, people spread a lot of BS and sometimes get called out for doing so, get used to it....it's not THAT "amazing".

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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:39 PM
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Absolutely, I do not believe anyone, myself included has suggested that he do anything on his own without professional guidance. It is far too complicated, and is the reason I pay so much money for our attorneys and accountants. The sole intention of my posts have been to illustrate that starting your own business 1) can be easy and cheap to do and 2) that there are many benefits to starting your own business from a financial standpoint.

Doing something like this without professional guidance is the same thing as playing russian roulette without checking the chambers... it's stupid and asking for trouble.
I would definitely agree with all of that.

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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefyInertia View Post
Somewhere between you posting a bunch of misleading BS and me saying "don't listen to it" you got all butt hurt. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

I have no desire to set YOU straight or type about shit I know all too well without getting paid for it, I just figured (based on your previous responses) that you'd throw a hissy fit if I didn't justify my claims that you're clueless about federal income taxes and should not be listened to.

This is the internet, people have misconmmunications, people spread a lot of BS and sometimes get called out for doing so, get used to it....it's not THAT "amazing".
I've been called a lot of things in life, but never clueless. I have no doubt you are the all-knowing expert of "the shit I know all too well". But, even though it's "NOT ALL ABOUT YOU", I'm hardly about to sit here and let you bitch slap my post... you're a fool if you expect otherwise. Disagree, sure... by all means.

Boost: the moral of this story, which if you haven't gleaned by now, would be to seek professional counsel first, then get a second opinion. Accountants and Lawyers are just like Doctors. Just because they have a diploma doesn't mean they're any good at what they do. Talk to parents, friends and business associates to get a referral.

Defy: Given the opportunity I'd be more than happy to buy you a beer... just wouldn't let you within 10 feet of my taxes. As a businessman I'm just not ready, appearently, for you your all-knowing experience.

"The tragedy in life is not what we suffer, it's what we miss."

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Last edited by Timmay!; 08-28-2008 at 01:22 PM.
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmay! View Post
But, even though it's "NOT ALL ABOUT YOU", I'm hardly about to sit here and let you bitch slap my post... you're a fool if you expect otherwise. Disagree, sure... by all means. :
It really seems like you need to check your ego.

I felt the need to steer this guy away from the adivice you gave, plain and simple. I'm not trying to make you look bad or make myself look good. Good lord! No one cares about your business or your accountants or anything like that and none of that is even relevant to the discussion we're having....it proves nothing. As mentioned before, your original post was misleading and in some cases flat out wrong, sue me for feeling the need to point that out to the poor sap! You've proved to the world that you're clueless about federal income tax law; nonetheless, that does not make you a bad business man....I wouldn't go there.

Unless you're going to unsuccessfully attempt to back up your statements with something relevant (federal law, etc.), you really need to DROP IT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmay! View Post
Boost: the moral of this story, which if you haven't gleaned by now, would be to seek professional counsel first, then get a second opinion. Accountants and Lawyers are just like Doctors. Just because they have a diploma doesn't mean they're any good at what they do. Talk to parents, friends and business associates to get a referral.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmay! View Post
Defy: Given the opportunity I'd be more than happy to buy you a beer... just wouldn't let you within 10 feet of my taxes. As a businessman I'm just not ready, appearently, for you your all-knowing experience.


You couldn't afford me anyway!

A superior rider uses superior judgment to avoid situations that require superior skill.

Last edited by DefyInertia; 08-28-2008 at 03:36 PM.
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 03:41 PM
oh my...
 
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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What more can be said? Other than Good Luck Boost, it won't be easy, but you may very well look back upon your endeavors and be glad you did it.

"The tragedy in life is not what we suffer, it's what we miss."

NESBA #921 (I)


www.crashcoalition.org

'03 Gixxer 750
'05 VFR800
'05 745i (E65)
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info all, I will be looking for an accountant shortly
post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 07:32 PM
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