My friend and I are about to launch our website in 6 weeks.
We do not have a company registered yet.
We are working on full time jobs and plan to set up a company once our website launches and kind of gains some market.
Question is - Can we apply for tech conferences like SXSW, Web 2.o NYC etc to present our website?
I mean, will this question come up that -
- have you registed the company?
- Do you have an office?
Or will we be disqualified just because we have a website that has launched but no office or even company registered?
If you are in business it is virtually always a good idea to promote your business; unless of course you are hoping all your customers will go away so you can shut the doors.
It is never too early to promote your business. If for some reason a conference has rules about who can present formally that might exclude for some reason, get creative.
For example consider what Foursquare was able to do for $5.99 at SXSW in 2010:
Walking by the Austin convention center, I saw a group of peopleRead more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5721/Foursquare-s-5-99-SXSW-Booth.aspx#ixzz1p5uZ8Ofg
huddled near one of the doors. As I got closer, I saw people were
playing the game four square, then I got even closer and saw they were
playing it with one of the founders of Foursquare, Dennis Crowley.
This game of four square had people lined up to play and everyone
walking by was talking about it. This is the type of buzz companies
invest a lot of money to achieve. The total investment for Foursquare?
Around $5.99 for a box of sidewalk chalk.
At South By South West, some companies spend hundreds of thousands of
dollars in marketing to reach attendees. Foursquare, the hottest
social network on the Web, spent $5.99.
First of all, you guys need a contract between yourselves, I would bet that one does not exist, if it does then you're on the right track. Something that spells out the equity share and the responsibilities of each participant as well as other details as to what would happen to assets if the partnership is dissolved as well as what you will do with the money your start up should generate.
Then, yes you should create a company, you could go Inc, or LLC, but you should have something that spells out who the owners are. This will protect you and your personal assets. I'm not sure where you are located but here in the state of Virginia its $125 to start a LLC which requires very little paperwork and you can do it yourself. If you want to actually incorporate with an Inc. then that will require a S or C corporation which are generally more expensive and might require the assistance of an attorney plus the meeting minutes need to be filed once a year I think for a meeting with the share holders.
If it were me I would just create a LLC, but, you need to have something in writing with your partner first before you create this new entity.
Best to ya,
Tim - VA