Line One
On the Homefront
Separating business and marriage

By Karen Sboto
OOIDA Member

When Buddy and I started Aegis Transportation, one of the decisions that we had to make was whether to incorporate. Many readers have asked me about the process and what it entails. Only a lawyer can answer those questions. What I can share is how it has made things easier for me.

Having a corporation has made us very disciplined. Because I have to file taxes quarterly, I use that as a deadline to have all of my accounting up to date. Every three months Buddy has to give me all expense receipts before they have a chance to fade on his dashboard or have something spilled on them.

When a customer pays us, it goes directly into the corporation. Buddy receives a weekly wage and benefits – the corporation gets health insurance at a corporate group rate. It is much easier to budget that way, and because he is an employee, we pay our taxes quarterly. There are no big surprises at the end of the tax year, just a refund.

Having a company that is its own entity makes it somehow psychologically easier to keep business and personal expenses separate. Buddy and I have a corporation credit card that is an entirely different color so that we don’t charge our groceries to the company.

The last, and to me, the most important reason to incorporate is the separation of business and marriage. Buddy and I work for Aegis Transportation Inc. In business, we are accountable to the company – not to each other. While this may be a mere mental barrier, it keeps our personality and love for each other out of the business. We do things a certain way and to a certain schedule because those are the rules of our corporation, not because Buddy or I demand it that way.

I remember sitting in our lawyer’s office when he gave us our corporate book. It is heavy, solid and black – a little like our first truck. Inside is a lot of legalese, with our signatures and a corporate seal. Like our marriage license, it is a document of partnership between Buddy and me.

It sits on my desk as a reminder to keep things tight, separate and on time.

Karen Sboto married into the trucking industry four years ago. She and her husband, Buddy Blanton, operate Aegis Transportation, which they started three years ago. Together they have three children under the age of eight. They are OOIDA members and live in Wilmington, NC. You may reach Karen at ksboto@hotmail.com.

Editor’s note: Only a savvy lawyer or accountant can advise you on whether to incorporate. There is a cost factor involved in incorporating and some concerns on corporate taxes that you must pay to some states for being incorporated. FYI, Karen and Buddy have an “S Corporation.”