How To Organize Information For Multiple Personal Businesses


I want to start multiple businesses. For these businesses I would like to have a separate checking account, telephone number, mailing address.

What do you suggest to make this as simple as possible to setup?

For example can you recommend a bank where it is easy to setup multiple checking accounts with debit cards? The best would be to have one login but still be able to access multiple checking accounts.

Further more I would like to have a separate telephone number for each business. Is there a company where it would be easy to get multiple telephone numbers and forward those numbers to my cellphone?

Same with mailing addresses.

Can you offer any help? Thanks!

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asked Jan 6 '11 at 14:32
56 points

3 Answers


Most any bank.

Most any telephone company.

Most any PO Box(s).

And a secure notepad ;)

answered Jan 6 '11 at 14:46
121 points
  • I guess what I am asking for is a recommendation. For example I would prefer a bank that allows for one login and multiple checking accounts. Maybe this is how every bank operates. However, I would like a telephone company that works over the web. I don't want comcast to setup the numbers because if I move I feel it would be a hassle to move the numbers too. I would like a virtual telephone company on the web. – Steve 13 years ago


Regarding the phone numbers - I would create a Google Voice number for each business and set them to all forward to your main number. You can have one number per account - so create an account for each business and manage them from there. You'll also be able to make/accept calls from your machine with nothing but headphones and a built-in mic, and access a log of calls for each number this way.

I use Google Voice for personal calls and highly recommend it, but I'm not familiar with other free VOIP services so I'd do some comparison shopping first. From what I know, however, if I were doing this I'd stay far away from traditional phone companies and plans.

answered Jan 6 '11 at 15:13
Hakan B.
276 points
  • But google voice does not offer 1-800 numbers. Do you think that is important? – Steve 13 years ago
  • It depends on your needs and the image you want to convey for your business. Personally, as a 20-something, I am generally relieved if a business' phone number is not 1-800 as I associate 1-800s with giant, unhelpful corporations, long wait times and poor customer service. That said, if you are anticipating high call volume, I don't know if Google Voice is the best choice. – Hakan B. 13 years ago
  • Google Voice Blows, You can get a real solution that is affordable with a service such as, 1-800 numbers are cheap through Haloo communications, and can be ported at any time. – Frank 13 years ago


If you are going to own multiple businesses, one smart strategy (accounting and liablity wise) is to for a Corporation that owns each business as an S-Corp.

Or you can do an S-corp that owns a bunch of LLC's
The reason for this is it gives you the protection and privacy of a corporation but also gives you a level (at the top) where you can offset incomes and losses and possibly lower your overall tax burden. Plus its good for the parent company to build up its credit and income history, in case 5 years from now you setup a new child business and need to vouch for it in terms of credit for a lease, credit line, etc.

A simpler approach is to:
1. Create a bank account for each business. I would use the same bank.
2. Create a phone number for each business, most hosted PBX services allow multiple numbers and call routing based on number (meaning you only need 1 physical phone per employee)
3. Just get one mail box for the whole thing. Its a pain in the ass to change addresses when you have multiple business. If nobody is going to visit your "office" or mail box, then there is no reason to pay for 2, 3 or 10. One will do .

answered Jan 7 '11 at 03:41
2,079 points
  • S corps and LLCs are pass-through - how does "offestting" do anything to lower tax burden? – Tim J 13 years ago
  • Technically it doesnt lower your tax burden, versus owning a bunch of LLC's and just letting them pop onto your personal income yearly. But the advantages are that you build corporate credit under the main parent corp. Even though they pass through, you file a tax return for your corporation. The numbers on that tax return are where you can make the adjustments from the losses and profits of each llc. This is how i have done it for years. I learned this tactic from a real estate developer who uses his corporate credit for financing of new projects. It simplifies things for the bank – Frank 13 years ago
  • when they only look at the S Corps tax returns. Each property he creates is an LLC. Some get lawsuits, but the liability is only within that LLC even though the income passes up. As you can predict the LLC's dont hold much cash therefore even when they profit, the debt they owe the parent corp leaves them broke. My business is not in threat of lawsuits since my properties are on the web. But this is how i do it, and my CPA seems very satisfied. Have not applied for a loan in years, so i personally cannot vouch for how easy things will be when i have to. – Frank 13 years ago

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