One item often overlooked by parties while negotiating or deciding to enter into an Operating Agreement for a limited liability company or (“LLC”) with more than one member is what is often times referred to as a “capital call.” Buried deep in what can be voluminous pages of “legalese” contained in many LLC operating agreements, may lurk a requirement that members of the LLC contribute additional capital to the LLC – that is, more than their original investment . This can be triggered by majority vote, or, if so provided in the Agreement, by demand of a single Managing Member if he or she is given such power. 

Many investors in an LLC assume that once they make their initial capital contribution, they will not be required to contribute more, even if the underlying business is performing badly, unless they specifically agree to do so, or if “everyone” agrees to do so. Many times quite the opposite is true, and the unsuspecting investor could be facing some rather negative consequences. Continue Reading Beware of “Capital Calls” in LLC Operating Agreements

1. How do I deal with problems?

Business is a chain of decisions. A good business person has to be able to make decisions. You don’t always have to be perfect: the teams that make the World Series can win two and lose two, but they then win the critial next game to be at 60% for the season. The same is true in business: mistakes will be made, but you have to be right more than wrong, and on critical issues, you have to be right most of the time. So if you don’t have the ability to deal with problems and make decisions, either pick a partner who does, or work for someone else who has that ability.

2. Am I a good  judge of people?

A good business person starts by selecting the right people. As Jim Collins says in Good to Great, you pick the right people to put on the bus, and then they will tell you what direction the bus should go. If I’m not willing or unable to be very focused on getting others who will work well in my business, then maybe I should see who has a business that I could help if I were on their team.

This goes beyond selecting good employees. It goes to selecting good customers and good vendors. If you have something to sell and only need to sell it to someone once, then maybe customer relations isn’t important. But, most businesses grow based on  long term relationships and referrals. Seek customers who need you as much as you need them.

Seek vendors who want long term relationships, as well, so that as you start out or if things get tough, they will extend accommodations to you to assure your business remains strong and healthy.

3. Am I passionate about what I want to do?

There are hot dog vendors and cupcake makers that are awesomely successful. They are passionate about their products and have developed a "core concept" to make their customers just as passionate. For example, "the best deal on two dogs and a drink in America, for just $4."Continue Reading 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going into Business