Week 10 of 13: Company Formation

The name is settled.
My startup project is now called PreScouter. My classmates might remember a differing working title; but that name is entirely forgettable. The project has also moved on from the original business idea of a micro-consulting type service to something else. The service I'm launching is something like a trade publication, but much more personalized.

The first question anyone will likely have is why I'm naming the service "PreScouter". Surely IntraCaps is circa-1999 style? Surely this trademark protection on this thing is not strong enough? The answer is pretty simple:
  • A good portion of the business's target customers will have "scout" in their job title. Others portions will specifically have this in their job description. The name is meaningful for the target customer.
  • The name is also more memorable than others I considered. I tested a few names. I cited a list of possible names to some drunken friends, while we were on a night out. They remembered this name more than others.
  • Finding an unregistered dot com name these days is hard. Since I'm boot-strapping, I don't want to spend money on a name someone else has already registered. This name was free.
At the start of the week, the paperwork got started for forming the company. I've been working on this with a SBOC team from Northwestern's law school. Rushing around the areas neighboring Northwestern's downtown campus, we arranged money orders and got everything together to form the company legally as an LLC. It's a milestone - PreScouter LLC will come into existence as soon as the state finishes processing the paperwork.

Ultimately, the most important issue on the legal front was whether we would form as an LLC or Incorporate.I am not looking for investment, at least until I have a few customers. Consequently, the LLC restrictions are not significant. If/when I do seek investment, I will just file the paperwork to change over to a Corporation. The LLC structure also allows for pass-through of taxes and avoids double taxation.

Moving the technical infrastructure forward, we now also have prescouter.com set up and ready to host the final product, when it is ready. While we were initially targeting EngineYard as the deployment platform, we'll now likely hold-off until we have a customer or two. This is so we can conserve cash. Just as many startups do these days, we're also using Google Apps to provision email from the prescouter domain.

As we head to the end of the Summer, it's good to see some of pieces coming together.