Looking to get advice from others who have done so or haven't but are overflowing with a variety of useful knowledge about matters of business, taxes, and stuff like that (I'm looking at you, Tom). Here's my situation: my primary source of income is travelling all over LA County fixing office's computers and networks as a sub-contractor for this asshole who does almost nothing to pretend to be a legitimate business except for having a really ugly website, paying for Google AdWords placements, having a big yellow pages ad, and... actually no, that's about it. He doesn't even rent out office space, I pretty much just work out of my house and meet up with him in person once or twice a week to hand in checks and get paid. It's an annoying company to work for because I get no health insurance or mileage reimbursement but I make a high percentage of all the profit I bring in, so in theory I make really good money until you factor in car expenses, not to mention the high costs of illegally purchasing all the medications I need. The thought of starting my own company and doing the same work for the same costs but making 100 percent of the profit instead has naturally crossed my mind from time to time, but I've always been too lazy and have a savings account for appearances only.

Despite my laziness, recently I've started getting requests from quite a few offices that have no relationship with my employer (naturally I had to sign a pretty strict non-compete agreement when I started working for this guy stating that I can't poach his clients) to do their IT, the most recent one being a big enough job--somewhere between 5-10 grand just for the initial setup--that I think it might be time I actually form a company to handle my side clients.

So, wiser, older people who understand this stuff, what do you recommend I do and what can you tell me that I'm probably not already thinking about?

There's the question of being a sole proprietor vs. an LLC (I'm leaning towards LLC since it would protect me from being sued personally in the unlikely event that I ever ruined a client's life and also because as a person I have fucking terrible credit but as a new company I could probably finally get a credit card again which is kinda critical as being able to purchase 2000 dollars worth of equipment immediately can be kinda crucial in my line of work). Anybody got any insight into which would be best considering that the growth of this company will probably have to be done very gradually since I need to build up a larger client base and save some money before I can actually completely split from my day job.

Anyone out there whose work makes them acquainted with whatever new business loans/grants/whatever-just-gimme-some-goverment-money-things I might be eligible for? Does Mr. Obama have some program that will just give me a bunch of money for no good reason?

Does anyone have a copy of that book in the infomercials with that guy in the Riddler jacket?

You get the idea. Explain real life to me, older people. Thanks.