My New Kentucky Home-Based Business

Rivervine LLC is now officially headquartered in the city of Ashland, Kentucky. Well, not totally official yet, but it’s on its way and highly likely as long as I play nice and make sure I order my hot dogs with sauce and slaw.

I’m author Gwen Alyce Clayton and I own and operate Rivervine Publishing and Rivervine Professional Business Writing Services. Both businesses are under the umbrella of Rivervine LLC. Today, I’m going to walk you through the steps I went through to do it.

First, a quick disclaimer: I am not a business attorney and this video is not meant to be legal advice. I am just telling you what I did to start my business, Rivervine LLC. Now, let’s begin.

  1. The first step is to pick a name. Of course, I went with Rivervine because that’s the name I’ve been using since I first established mt first business in California in 2012. I have since done business in Colorado, Indiana and now Kentucky. It’s the name of the fictional city from my paranormal novels, which I self-publish.

    When I formed my business,  I needed a name that wasn’t already in use by someone else, or close to something someone else had. It also couldn’t be something that might be mistaken for a government entity or some other official-sounding name. To help me with my quest, I went to the Kentucky SOS Business Name Search. Link:

Ideally, I would have chosen a name with a domain name that I could register, but rivervine dot com was already taken, even though it is not in use (it’s the name of some housing subdivision somewhere). Also, gwenclayton dot come was also taken, so my url is gwenclaytonwrites dot com. But my business name is Rivervine.

  • Tax ID. I had to register with the IRS for an Employer Identification Number. Even though I’m a solopreneur with no employees, the EIN is also my Tax ID number and used to file my business taxes. Link:

  • Register with the Secretary of State. I chose Limited Liability Company as my business entity type because I’m not big enough to be an S-Corp or C-Corp, but I wanted more legal protections than a sole proprietorship. I don’t have any partners, so I don’t need a partnership.

    I was able to register my LLC online through the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal but I had to snail mail my Certificate of Assumed Name, which is the Kentucky term for DBA, for Rivervine Professional Business Writing Services and Rivervine Publishing. I also bought an ASN for plain ol’ Rivervine just to be safe. Link:
  • Bank Account. It is not a good idea to comingle personal expenses with business expenses. So it’s best to set up a separate checking account for business. It used only for business expenses and business purchases. In the event I make enough money to pay myself a wage or salary, I can make a withdrawal with a note saying “services rendered” or something.

    I always use a local bank. After the bailouts of 2008, I pledged to go with small, local banks and they’ve always done right by me. This time, I went with Kentucky Farmers Bank because they had the most 5-star reviews on Google for the local banks in my area. Link to Kentucky Farmers Bank:

  • City Business License. My first check was to the City of Ashland for a Business Privilege License. It’s $100 a year, so I’m really going to need to hustle to make my little independently published book business/freelance copy writing and journalism business pay for itself, but at least now I’m official and ready to get to work. Link:

    I filed my application yesterday, so now it goes through the planning and code enforcement departments to make sure I comply with all applicable regulations. They’re usually concerned with things like signage out front (that’s a big no-no in a residential zone) or customers visiting my site (another no-no). I’m just working out of a spare room in my house. If I need to meet customers, I can go to the Pour House or the Library or the Edge Business Center. My clients don’t need to drive on residential roadways or park on the street, stuff like that. I’m not going to be making noise or causing a nuisance for my neighbors. I should be okay.

  • County license. If I were outside the city limits, but still in the unincorporated area of Boyd County, or if I did business in the unincorporated area of Boyd County, I would need to complete the Occupational License Questionnaire from the Boyd County Fiscal Court. That also costs $100. Link:

I already had a website, Facebook page, YouTube channel, Amazon KDP Select account, PayPal, and LinkedIn page, so those have all been updated. I never set up business pages in Instagram or Twitter because I just never got much engagement on those platforms so I didn’t think it was worth it, but drop me a note in the comments below if you think I should. Also, what other platforms should I be on?

The whole process is pretty easy. It doesn’t seem like it when you go to the various government websites because there’s so much verbiage that doesn’t pertain to a solopreneur, but I hope I’ve been able to distill it down a little for others who are looking to start similar adventures.

And of course, I’m praying I covered all my bases. I can just picture one of my elected officials saying, “Uh, Gwen, you forgot …”

If that happens, I promise I’ll make an amended video.

Anyway, if you yourself are a solopreneur good luck! Remember, if you need written material, such as your About section, blogs, brochures, newsletters, or any other content, Rivervine Professional Business Writing Services can help you. My contact information is in the description below.

Thanks so much for watching. Until next Tuesday, Nice Driveway!

About Gwen:

I’m author Gwen Alyce Clayton and you’ve been watching the Rivervine YouTube channel. If you found this video interesting or entertaining, please give it a thumbs up, and be sure to subscribe. Every Tuesday evening I post news, features and commentary that build my own Rivervine utopia. If you’d like to financially support my work, you can subscribe to my Patreon account at patreon dot com slash rivervine. My paranormal fiction books are available on Amazon.





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Published by Gwen Clayton

Gwen Clayton is a freelance writer living in Ashland, Kentucky. She is the former editor of the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, and has written for numerous other publications since 1986. Her first book, the paranormal thriller "Fermata Cellars," was published in 2016, and her Bible-inspired short story, "Purr: A story of love, lions and a Hebrew named Daniel," was released in 2019. She recently finished writing, "Zinfandel’s Grimoire," which is the sequel to 'Fermata;' that book is in the editing and design phase of publication. Her current works in progress include the third book in the Rivervine Trilogy, tentatively titled, "Comatis Unveiled," and the nonfiction, "Dragon's Poker Table: A rocker chick's breast cancer journey." Her books are independently published under the imprint, Rivervine LLC. In addition to writing books, Clayton contracts as a copywriter for local, small businesses.

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