Do I need an LLC, do I need a new bank account, and do I need any permits regarding a shopping delivery service?
Question Details: I'm a college student looking to start a specifically kosher grocery shopping delivery service with some friends. We were wondering if we can start the business without an LLC to get a feel of the market for it, and test out prices, technology and net revenues. Also, if we are being paid online instant payment service would we be able to keep track of the money with the help of an accountant and lay out the money for the grocery trips ourselves? Initially, it will just be the founders completing the deliveries, which is why we wouldn't mind laying it out. Also, are there any certificates or permits we would need from the to start a business in this realm?
1) LLC: not required but strongly recommended, since the cost to create is minimal and it will protect you from most debts or liabilites resulting from the business. The added protection is worth the cost.
2) Separate bank account for the LLC (if you take our advice and set one up): also strongly recommended. Separating business money from personal money will help maintin the integrity of the LLC, so you get the advantage of the liability protection, and will also facilitate taking any business expenses (e.g. gas for deliveries) as a tax deduction.
If you want to front the money for the deliveries, etc. you and the other "member" (term for an LLC owner) can contribute capital to the LLC.
3) Nothing other than registerting your business, which will be taken care of by filing the LLC in your state.