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Incorporating? Hire an Attorney to Help

June 03, 1997|KAREN E. KLEIN

Q: I am a self-employed interior designer who wishes to go from a sole proprietorship to a corporation. How does one begin this process? Can I do it myself? Should I try to set up the corporation in Delaware to avoid the $800 California fee?

--Edward Gilpin,

West Hollywood


A: First off, if you are going to do business in California, you need to incorporate in this state. So the bad news is the $800 fee can't be avoided.

As far as setting up the corporation yourself, you could do it using a computer software program as long as you have an uncomplicated situation. However, I always recommend hiring an attorney to help, as you will probably save time and money doing it the right way the first time. Using professional help will also assure you that what you have done is the best thing for your valuable company.

For one thing, you need advice about what kind of corporation to form and whether you really need to incorporate or not. A limited liability company is an alternative to incorporating.

To get more information on incorporating, contact the Los Angeles office of the secretary of state at 300 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 or call (213) 897-3062.

--Arthur Montrose, small business counselor, SCORE, Glendale


Q: I am in the process of starting an egg farm on 20 acres of land. I have done most of the research involved and have managed this type of operation outside the country for four years. Where can I find a business consultant who specializes in agriculture feasibility studies?

--Mowell G. Obonyano, Norwalk


A: Individuals interested in starting agricultural enterprises can get help and advice from the University of California Cooperative Extension at 21150 Box Springs Road, Moreno Valley, CA 92557. I am the area poultry farm advisor and can be reached at (909) 683-6491, Ext. 226.

Certainly, 20 acres is sufficient land space for a poultry facility. Before you invest in materials or equipment, however, you should make sure that the zoning of your property is consistent with poultry land use. It will have to be designated agricultural, and it may need a further designation for poultry.

The global market for eggs is very tight, and unless you plan to target one of the niche markets, like cage-free or fertile eggs, you will have to take market share away from another producer. Since you must make capital outlays for equipment and birds, you will be at an economic disadvantage compared with established producers.

Another point to realize as you get into this business is that the profit margin is very slim, especially this year, but it fluctuates quite a bit from year to year, depending on supply and demand.

--Douglas Kuney, area poultry farm advisor, southern region,

University of California

Cooperative Extension


If you have a question about how to start or operate a small business, please mail it to Karen E. Klein in care of the Los Angeles Times, 1333 S. Mayflower Ave., Suite 100, Monrovia, CA 91016 or e-mail it to Include your name, address and telephone number. The column is designed to answer questions of general interest. It should not be construed as legal advice.

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