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A couple of my players wanted to be able to start a "legitimate" business to use to launder some of the money they make.

These are the specifics they came up with:

A business can be started at any lifestyle higher than squatter. A minimum lifestyle is required. (ie. a hotdog cart only requires a low lifestyle, but a major restaurant may require a high lifestyle).

An initial investment of 20 times the monthly cost of the lifestyle is required for startup (business equity) - this gives your business 20 BEU (Business Equity Units). This allows the business to have such things as displays, tables, registers - all the items necessary for a business to function. This does NOT purchase the entire inventory that the business may have (so you cannot just start up a talismongering shop and then gut all the foci from it - at least not without some nasty creditors hunting you down) - the bulk of the business' inventory is there on credit.

Your business costs 2 BEU each month to continue to function - any losses are subtracted from the business' current equity. If at any time the business' equity falls below 10 BEU the business folds and all investments are lost.

So how do you make money? The Profitability Test - on a monthly basis roll your Business Administration skill (or default to INT) against a base TN (5). Every success gives you 1 BEU to add to your business equity. So yes, this means that you require 2 successes each month to break even. As the owner of a business you can also provide cash infusions to the business to keep it solvent - a BEU can be purchased for the equivalent cost of the lifestyle.

So you don't have time to spend 60 hours a week running a business? That's ok. You have a few options.

1. Every ten hours less than 60 per week you are willing to work modifies the Profitability TN by +1.
2. Hire a manager.

To hire a manager, your business must pay their lifestyle. To simplify things, a manager costs 1 BEU a month. Another benefit is the manager gives you dice to roll for your profitability test. The number of dice is determined by the lifestyle of the manager, 3 dice for low, 4 for middle, 5 for high. You may also roll your own dice but remember, your target number will most likely be modified by the number of hours you didn't work.

Sounds a little harsh? Remember, most businesses fold within the first year. Here's the good part - every time you equal your original business equity, your TN for your Profitability Test is reduced by one (So at 40 BEU, at 60 BEU, etc.) Want a self sustaining business, then remember you will have to put more than just the bare minimum of cash into it.

Need to get some cash out? You can withdraw the equivalent of 1 BEU for every 20 BEU in your business. Doing so increases the target number of your Profitability by 1 for every unit withdrawn and decreases your total equity. If you do not roll any successes on your profitability test that month, your equity is reduced by 3 times the number of BEU's withdrawn as you will have to sell off assets to remain solvent.

Need a lot of extra cash? Sell your business. Base price will be 70% of the equity. Roll 3D6 to determine the number of months it will take to sell. You can reduce this time by reducing your asking price by 5% for every month you are not willing to wait. You can use negotiations to alter this price in the standard way.

Don't have a SIN? Bad luck for you. You will have to have a manager / owner, to whom you will actually be a silent partner. All target numbers are modified by +1. Any time you want to take money out of the business you will have to split 50/50 with your 'partner'. If you sell, they will take a 30% cut. Want to try and cut your 'partner' out - remember that legally they are the owner.

Want to launder some of your money? Invest it in your business. You can launder up to one tenth of your BEU's per month without arousing too much suspicion - but your profitability TN is increased by one for that month's test, as you will have to spend some effort cooking the books with extra expenses. If you have a manager, the TN goes up by an additional +1. If you are operating a business but don't have a SIN, you don't have the TN increase because of the manager (who already knows that not everything is kosher) but you should ask yourself this question; Why are you, an illegal personage, worried about legitimizing your illegally gained currency.

If you are a SINner, you can use the rules for the SINless if you wish to keep your business at arms length.

This was the proposal put forth by my players for perusal. My contention was that they are Shadowrunners, not businessmen. But it does give incentives for spending excessive payouts. And, with the money laundering aspect, it gives a believable reason why a runner might want to start up a business. Other reasons, include a Mr. Johnson meeting place. (for example: You're running a Flower Shop. Mr. J comes in and asks you to create an arrangement for Dr. Smith of Renraku Research and Designs, Seattle Division. For next Thursday...)

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Alternatives?
And, with the money laundering aspect, it gives a believable reason why a runner might want to start up a business.

It sounds cool, but why on earth would shadowrunners bother laundering money?

Shadowrunners get paid under the table for performing illegal activities after being hired incognito by someone that wants plausible deniability. Shadowrunners do not pay taxes. Shadowrunners buy nearly everything but a burrito at the Stuffer Shack illegally, from their ammo to their armor.

I just don't see the point, other than being able to go "hehe, we run a business."

There's also the meta-game issue. If they by some stroke of luck manage to be fairly profitable, why do runs? "Because he likes to go slumming." gets kinda thin after a while.

Just my initial thoughts.
Random Thoughts:

* Need to include a "matrix" business model. Reduce the cost of overhead, but reduce the profitability due to copywrite infringment revenue loss/matrix security costs.

* Most industrial jobs and most grunt service jobs are now 'drone' controlled due to either dangerous conditions, monotonous work, 24/7/365 factory conditions, or jobs that a 'dog-brain' drone can do (sell hot-dogs, paint fences, etc.) For this reason I would assume that most businesses either run drone opperations or they have a business that needs intelligent service (not drones).

-Drone run business would have a substantial larger initial investment, but also a much higher revenue possibility.

-Other non-matrix businesses that do not use drones would probably be either artistic in nature, or specialty stores with elite clientelle.

* You forgot to include additional marketing costs into the model, which should have a large impact on profitability (especially first year).


For runners who want a legitimate business, they will need a decent forged SIN and credentials.. but I think the easiest ones to encorporate into the mix would be:

- Private Invesitgator
- Courier
- Bodyguard
- Instructor

For technical savy:
- Programming
- Vehicle / Technology Repair
- Security systems
- Drone Surviellance / Piloting
- Matrix / Rigger Security

For Magical inclination: (only a few examples)
- Magic Healing
- Magic Warding / Protection
- Sprit Summoning / Spirit Usage (dig a hole with an earth elemental, etc.)
- Magical Security


Most shadowrunner teams will eventually also want a 'gray' level business which they can use to suppliment their normal income..

- A Bar they own, that they can use as a headquarters.

- A Z-zone / Barren flophouse they staff and supply for providing services, selling swag, healing with no questions asked... etc.

Shadowrunner businesses are a great opportunity for additional story arcs. It gives the GM more stuff to interact with the players. Maybe a go-ganger squad decides their bar is now their turf, what will the PCs do? On the up side, being a private investigator could provide the characters with additional police or reporter contacts.

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