Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation Business Services, Inc. (“MyCorporation.com”). She has extensive experience in the startup and industry as she has been involved in the formation of hundreds of thousands of MyCorporation.com’s customers. Ms. Sweeney joined MyCorporation in 2003 after serving as outside general counsel for five years. She received her JD and MBA from Pepperdine University and is a member of the American Bar Association
Sramana: Deborah, let’s go back to where your story begins. Tell me about where you grew up and what kind of background you come from.
Deborah Sweeney: I grew up in Los Angeles and have one brother. We are a very close-knit family. I met my husband in law school and now live about 12 miles from my hometown. I haven’t moved far from my family, and they still help me with my business today. I went to college at UC Irvine and then went and earned my law and business degrees from Pepperdine. I did a joint JD/MBA program.
Sramana: What did you do after law school?
Deborah Sweeney: I worked at a law firm focusing on intellectual property, patents, and trademark law. I became a partner of a Los Angeles–based law firm where my client base was online businesses. One of my clients from that time is the company that I now own. Initially I was the outside general counsel for MyCorporation, and after having two children I went in-house and became general counsel for the company. Within six months of my joining MyCorporation we were in buyout discussions with Intuit, and they ultimately acquired our small business. The owners of the company then left, and I became the general manager of the division under Intuit.
Sramana: Is the MyCorporation still held by Intuit today?
Deborah Sweeney: No. The company was acquired in 2004 and by 2009 Intuit was going through cutbacks and layoffs. Our division had significant reductions in force, so I presented the idea that our division would be better run as a partner of Intuit rather than a subsidiary. Intuit agreed completely and recognized that it was difficult to run a $10 million division under such a large organization. At that point I bought the company from Intuit in October 2009.
Sramana: Tell me more about what MyCorporation does and what services you provide.
Deborah Sweeney: Officially we support small businesses and entrepreneurs who are looking to incorporate and form LLCs in any state in the United States. My position is that we do far more than just LLC structures; we help small businesses in many aspects related to the startup process. We have partnerships with Intuit and Network Solutions so we can put together business bundles for small businesses to help them get started.
We stay with businesses throughout their life cycle by helping them file reports, reminding them of upcoming deadlines, and essentially becoming a repository for them. When they need their documents for purposes such as going across borders or opening a new bank account, we are there for them with the paperwork they need
Sramana: What is MyCorporation’s revenue model?
Deborah Sweeney: Our core revenue comes from two different areas. One is from the basic incorporation services, which remains static. During the economic downturn we remained stable, and we are now looking to grow as the economy picks up. The second component of our revenue model is relative to ongoing filings such as annual report filings or registered agent services.
There is another small revenue component of our business. We offer additional beneficial services and partnerships such as QuickBooks and domain names. This really provides minimal revenue generation. It is more about how we offer differentiated value to our customers.