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Texting: LLC vs Sole Proprietor

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Texting: LLC vs Sole Proprietor

When deciding how to launch your small business, the conversation of LLC vs sole proprietor likely comes up in many arenas. From startup costs and taxes, to liability and access to capital, there are pros and cons to both avenues. Taxes as well as startup costs also vary by location. Business texting for LLCs vs sole proprietors is also a little different.

Whether you want to share appointment confirmations and reminders, use QR codes for faster check-in experiences, or promote a big event, it’s important to understand that state regulations, compliance, and even carriers will play a role in adding this channel to your plan.

We sat down with VirtualPBX Chief Product Officer, Linh England, to discuss some basic questions around business texting for both sole proprietors and LLCs. 

Q & A graphic for texting LLC vs sole proprietor
VirtualPBX Chief Product Officer Linh England

Linh England
Chief Product Officer

At VirtualPBX, Linh England is the head of product operations. Her role bridges products and operations, overseeing implementation, streamlining internal processes, and ensuring our customers have a seamless experience. This involves close collaboration with sales, support, CX, operations, and product management teams to ensure seamless product adoption and efficient operations.

Texting LLC vs Sole Proprietor texting facts

Q: When it comes to small businesses, what do owners need to consider when exploring the use of business texting?

ANSWER: Small business owners should first assess customer preferences for communication. Understanding relevant legal regulations like the FCC’s TCPA and Europe’s GDPR is crucial. Choosing a suitable platform, maintaining professionalism, establishing clear opt-in and opt-out processes, and ensuring integration with existing tools are key. Evaluating costs and ROI, and training staff for effective use, will help leverage texting for enhanced customer engagement and operational efficiency.

Q: Tell me about the registration process. How many steps? What do fees look like? How much can I expect to pay?

ANSWER: The SMS registration process involves several verification steps, which vary by provider. With VirtualPBX, the registration process is straightforward and supportive, ensuring compliance and effective use of services. For LLCs and sole proprietors alike, the steps are tailored to that business type. A key step for both is business verification, in addition to defining SMS campaign use cases, confirming customer opt-ins, and implementing opt-out protocols for some. With VirtualText, our VirtualPBX business texting platform, the registration fee is $99. This includes full service with specialist guidance and a money-back guarantee if registration is denied, ensuring no financial risk.

Q: Are there any differences to consider for sole proprietors vs. LLCs when it comes to business texting?

ANSWER: Sole proprietors often operate under their personal name, with registration typically involving only the verification of their business identity. They may use personal phone numbers for business texting, and fewer formal requirements, but compliance with TCPA and CTIA guidelines is still required. LLCs are registered entities with specific requirements and structured processes for managing compliance beyond brand verification. LLCs usually use dedicated business phone numbers and have more formalized systems for handling opt-in/opt-out processes and regulatory compliance.

Q: Do different carriers have different restrictions or conditions to consider?

ANSWER: Regardless of your status of an LLC or sole proprietor, different carriers still have unique restrictions and conditions for business texting. From message limits, content, and frequency, to different fee structures and consent processes, carrier conditions will play a role in your planning. Carriers can also implement filters for messages they deem as spam or those that violate their terms of service.

Q: Can I send business text messages from different numbers? Can I send them from my business number or not disclose the number I’m using?

ANSWER: Yes, you can send business text messages from different numbers. However, using a dedicated business number is generally recommended to maintain a professional image and ensures consistency. Sending messages from a personal cell number is typically not recommended as it can blur the line between personal and business identities.

Q: If I’m a sole proprietor wanting to include business texting, do I still need an EIN?

ANSWER: No, as a sole proprietor, you do not need to provide an EIN. Our SMS registration process for sole proprietors is simplified, allowing you to register and start texting within 24 hours. This streamlined process enables quick integration of business texting into your communication plan.

Q: If I decide I want to use business texting today, how long will it take to get set up and ready to text?

ANSWER: Once the registration process has been submitted for review, it can take anywhere from 3 to 7 business days for small businesses and within 24 hours for sole proprietors if all required information is provided.

Q: Is there anything else a sole proprietor or LLC should know or consider before moving forward with business texting communication?

ANSWER: Sole proprietors and LLCs should ensure compliance with TCPA and CTIA guidelines, avoid spam, and establish clear opt-in/opt-out processes. We recommend using a dedicated business number for professionalism, balancing message frequency, and ensuring your customer data is secure. For detailed guidance on SMS registration, compliance, and setup, dive into our webinar series.

At VirtualPBX we work hard to help both LLCs and sole proprietors launch into new services like business texting. We step you through registration and compliance and provide continued education and resources to guide your messaging and strategy. You can even sign up for our texting toolkit for helpful tips and tricks to ensure maximum success for your business through business texting.

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