We are building our marketplace's MVP and are wondering if we need to register the company before we launch it. Our question arises on the fact that selling through our MVP would imply the receipt of payments and the corresponding legal responsibilities with the users.
It would be painful to register the company now, because its not cheap and we haven't validated our business model yet.
We would be glad to hear your suggestions and make a call later on.
I do not believe you should incorporate your company yet as there is a chance you will scrap the idea or iterate on the assumptions after analysis. I suggest you run your initial testing on a very minimal MVP to see if there is interest. I would go further in saying that you should not even allow people to pay only have them click on the payment option because at that point you know that it would be a conversion. The ONLY thing you are proving with an MVP is validation of an idea. Only make the mousetrap front end and see if you can drive users to where you want and stop. Even if you frustrate some people, it was worth it as you now know for sure people will buy or do what it is you wanted. Schedule a call with me to find out more. God knows I have done this enough times.
MVP is a product development methodology - fail fast, fail forward and be agile to customer changes. It is not be confused with a legal entity formation.
If it is a market place, the MVP would still be able to do a transaction. Do you want to tie any liability issues coming from the transaction, or the parties involved to you ?
Company formation is so damn cheap now that you should not be even thinking twice. I would say register it.
MVP is for the product , not for business. If you want to translate the lean approach to business, it would be a lean business. Don't have a company accountant, loyar, hr person etc .. you can use on-demand services.
But you still need to have the corporate functions in a lean way. Say you get $500 in sales. It is still taxable and needs to part of someones book.
You don't have to register a company
- If there is no $ or liability involved
- If you are not raising money now
- If it is just a Proof of concept
If you are launching (even it is MVP), it is better to launch with a trim version of a company (LLC atleast). If it is a B2B market place then the parties / vendors will not work with an individual, you need a company then..
I have had situation in the past, where the company field was mandatory and I had to fake it many many times...
Hey, if you need any kind of help related to technology, feel free to chat. - My expertise are in Solution Delivery, Project management, Technology management, Product architecture, Technology advisory.
You are approaching this bass-ackwards. Incorporation is never the goal or a milestone. It's a means to a certain end.
You should not be asking yourself, "are we big enough to incorporate?" Your question should be "What am I trying to accomplish and is incorporation going to help me get there?"
Is your goal to look cool because you have a registered company? Do you have investors knocking on your door hoping to buy shares in your business? Are you trying to shield yourself from some liability that is inherent in your product? Are you looking for a better tax structure for your business?
Until you know WHY you are even contemplating incorporation, you can't answer when is the right time to do it.
This is all very fact specific. Feel free to request a call if you want to discuss