Business Situation

Helen Wheels saved enough money to buy a piece of property in the coastal city of Wilmington, NC. The property is zoned for residential and light commercial, and is located within a mile of the beach. Helen has had a life-long dream of becoming a business owner near the ocean. She was finally able to get approved for both a mortgage loan and a business loan by her bank, so she began construction of her new home and her new business, a mini-storage company called She Stores All Yours Down By the Seashore.

In the business plan that Helen provided to her banker, she had mapped out her ideas for running the company, including statistics she had collected about mini-storage companies in the region that served as a comparison for her own estimated revenues and expenses. Despite her banker’s concern about Helen’s lack of experience in this sort of business, Helen was able to convince the financier that her extensive supervisory experience in the circus business had prepared her well for handling the challenges, not to mention dealing with freaks.

Helen’s vocational vision was simple: to earn a comfortable livelihood by providing a clean, secure storage facility for folks who had too much stuff or just wanted to hide something. A couple of years back, she had spoken with an acquaintance in the town where she used to live, a person who owned and operated the mini-storage where Helen used to keep her excess stuff. Helen wanted to find out what was involved in starting and maintaining such an enterprise.

The owner of Big Bubba’s Burger Hut and Backyard Barn was very helpful in filling her in on the steps to take in completing all of the legal paperwork for setting up a storage facility, and he even shared the secret recipe for his world-famous Bubba Belly Buster Burger. So, armed with Big Bubba’s sage advice, Helen went to the Wilmington courthouse to get the ball rolling in establishing her new miniature empire. When the clerk asked Helen what form of business she wanted to establish, Helen told her that it was going to be one of those little mini-storages like you see all fenced in beside the road.

The clerk tried to clarify that she meant to ask how was the business to be set up: as a partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, corporation, S corporation, or a sole proprietorship. Helen stared blankly at the clerk and said, “Big Bubba never mentioned anything about that, Sugar! ” The clerk, with a knowing grin, recommended that Helen go see Harry Mason, the attorney down the street at Dewey, Cheatham, ; Howe, to learn more about her choices and possibly get some useful advice.

Helen knocked on the law office door and was greeted by Brittney Aquilera, Harry Mason’s paralegal assistant and part-time yoga instructor. Brittney kindly invited Helen to wait a moment while she checked Mr. Mason’s schedule, and she soon returned with the good news that Harry’s 2 o’clock with the manicurist/dentist had been suddenly canceled, due to the very disappointing but easily fixable failing grade of the salon/clinic by the Sanitation Inspector, Ida Cleanem. Helen was seated in Mr.

Mason’s conference room and after only a brief wait was introduced to the most influential litigator in all of southeastern North Carolina. Once Helen had described her situation and told Harry how excited she was to be so close to finally realizing her dream, but then suddenly having her world come crashing down because of not knowing whether her business should be set up as a partnership or a sole propria-something-or-other. Harry calmed her fears by assuring her that by answering a couple questions, she could help him recommend to her the best choice for her to make.

Harry asked Helen if there were anyone else working with her in paying for the company, making the decisions, or who might someday take over the company from Helen. She answered that it was just her by herself, after the accident when Jimbo got struck by lightning while climbing the power line pole to see if that loud noise was something the neighbors were doing. Sliding a little closer to Helen, Harry then asked her whether she would mind risking her own money and possessions for the sake of the business.

To this Helen answered that all she had left in this world was that business and she was going to make this dream come true, one way or the other. Based on Helen’s responses, Mr. Mason recommended that she use the cheapest and simplest way of starting a business, by structuring it as a sole proprietorship and applying for a business license. Helen agreed, but then was a little concerned that Harry had asked about her willingness to risk it all for the mini-storage.

Harry then explained to Helen that it just made good business sense to take out an insurance policy, for such things as people getting hurt on your property, or people hurting your property. After giving Helen a business license application form, the counselor gave Helen the business card for the insurance agent in the building next door. Helen thanked Harry and walked down to the office of Bo Doggy Gordon, Jr. , in the First Southern National Indemnity ; Casualty and Holistic Scalp Massage Building.