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All this legal tape and bureaucracy is really an impediment to a young startup, especially if you're trying to bootstrap. I was personally hit with the california LLC fee of $800 a year (was three years behind) and one day I logged into my Silicon Valley bank account and saw $3,300 withdrawn by CA Franchise Tax Board. Not the happiest day of startup life.



That California business AMT ("franchise tax" of $800 a year, even if your business earns $0, or negative dollars, even if your business is a nonprofit) is a small business assassination program. I moved to California unaware of it, and was unable to migrate my non-profit to help fellow combat veterans with civilian reintegration, because the AMT was around my operating budget for the year. That's not a lot, but I can tell you that combat veterans have come to me asking for help, and I am unable to provide assistance except from my own pocket. California is infuriating.


"small business assassination program"...

Thank you. Thats exactly what I would classify it as. Drown the startup in a bathtub (using a bit of Grover Norquist rhetorical flourish there). I am just not bright enough to see what the upside of this fee is, especially in CA which I thought was a business/startup friendly state.


The "upside" of the fee is nothing more than feeding the voracious appetite of the state of California. The explanation for this AMT franchise tax literally uses the phrase "for the privilege of doing business in California". The state tax board knows what it's doing, and it doesn't care, because the truth is that loads of people want to start a business in California or run a business from within California as a resident, and have no other choice but to pay the AMT franchise tax (even if the business is incorporated in Nevada or Delaware, if most of the business occurs in the state of California, the tax man still cometh).

It is greed. Plain and simple.




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