Nellie in the News: August 2016

August has come and gone and in just a few days it will be September! That mean’s fall is just around the corner and kids are back in school. With kids back in school, some of you may be getting back to business! We’re standing by ready to help you incorporate a business, form an LLC, file a DBA and more across all 50 states.

This past month was filled with some fantastic articles, speaking engagements and press mentions from our CEO Nellie Akalp. Here are some highlights from August and some upcoming speaking appearances where you can see Nellie in person.

Want Nellie to speak at your next event or share her tips on your podcast? Contact her today

Upcoming Speaking Appearances

Women’s Business Expo by the City of Duarte

Nellie is the featured speaker sharing her insight for other women entrepreneurs.

September 10, 2016

More info: http://bit.ly/2bFLUhQ

Interviews & press Mentions

CIO – 12 Tips for Creating a Must-Read Business Blog http://bit.ly/2aqcTyK

Monster.com – Business Startup Checklist: Steps to Success http://mnstr.me/2b8TuCk

Lifetime Cashflow Podcast – Entrepreneur Nellie Akalp http://apple.co/2b3kI0I

Small Business Trends – Cybercrime Security eBook http://bit.ly/2aP0CE0

Small Business Advocate Radio – Who Owns Your Intellectual Property As An Employee? http://bit.ly/2aUqBIc

Small Business Advocate Radio – Legal Steps Involved when Closing a Business http://bit.ly/2aUrjVX

Successful Meetings – Strategies to Reduce Summer Stress http://bit.ly/2aVNqS0

Temple City Tribune – Duarte Chamber Spearheads Women’s Business Expo http://bit.ly/2bFLUhQ

Expert Contributed Posts

Small Business Trends – Should I File an Intent to Use Trademark Application? http://bit.ly/2akZF97

Huffington Post – 5 Signs You’re Standing in The Way of Your Own Business’ Success http://huff.to/2b8cjGz

Accounting Today – Should You Structure Your Accounting Firm as an LLC, PLLC or PC? http://bit.ly/2aJL4Qe

AllBusiness – Entrepreneurship and Business Depends on Social Unity http://bit.ly/2aUm3lt

Freshbooks – What’s The Best State to Incorporate Your Business In? http://bit.ly/2bHBbs6

GoDaddy – Foreign Qualification Basics If You’re Running a Business in Multiple States http://bit.ly/2bDOfeP

By | August 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

5 Tech Trends Shaking Up Small Business in 2016

In this digital era, small businesses now have access to a wealth of tools they’ve never had access to before.  Even small startups are now able to compete in local and global markets at levels previously limited to enterprise companies. New marketing techniques, payment methods, inventory management tools, and development tools – all of these are being made possible by rapid changes in technology. And small businesses are the ones who are winning. Below are the top five trends you should keep an eye out for during the rest of the year.

EMV Chip Technology

Now that security is at the top of the minds of most consumers, EMV chip technology is gaining popularity as these chips make it difficult for malicious individuals to create fake payment cards. Traditional credit cards use magnetic strips which contain unchanging information. When an attacker gains access to the information, they’re easily able to clone the cards and use it for malicious purposes. EMV chips on the other hand generate codes for each transaction. If an attacker were to gain access to these databases, they wouldn’t be able to use the codes for future purchases.

Since EMV technology is fairly new, most small businesses need to overhaul their credit card processing software and terminals with modern versions which support reading the chips.  

Ecommerce Business

Now that many point of sale (POS) systems have ecommerce support built-in, small businesses are able to leverage the best of both digital and in-store customers, leading to greater sales.  Popup shops for example, enable small businesses to test new revenue streams, engage with customers offline, improve brand awareness, and also educate new customers on product offerings. At the end of the season sales don’t have to stop because your online properties can stay open throughout the year.

Analytics Tools

Business analytics tools are becoming increasingly popular. While they were mostly considered useful for large corporations, small businesses are beginning to realize the value of real-time data and use analytics tools. Why? Because analytics tools help small businesses see what they’re doing wrong, what’s working for them, and how to improve. There are many tools for different aspects of your business such as social media, email, and marketing campaigns. Most popular of these tools is Google Analytics. By allowing all your data to converge on one platform, small businesses can now leverage their new found information to make informed decisions.

Inventory Management Software

Inventory management is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face because they often don’t have the ability to dedicate individuals to handle the tasks. This often results in wasted stock and lost goods. Fortunately, modern inventory management software makes it easier than ever for small business to keep track of inventory simply by scanning barcodes and then having the data digitally logged into their systems.

Mobile Applications

Although they used to be limited to larger companies, many small businesses are beginning to launch their own mobile apps. Tools such as the Microsoft PowerApps tool are making it easy for virtually anyone to create their own apps regardless of technical expertise. In many cases the advanced technologies behind applications are enabling businesses to embed click-to-call voice and video communications capabilities within their code. This means you can seamlessly integrate video chat into your apps as a new way to communicate with your customers and enhance the overall experience.

Looking Ahead

Although all these trends are fairly notable, this list is far from comprehensive. Technology is always evolving and there’s so much innovation going on that it’s impossible to list everything here. The best way to keep pace with these shifts and changes is to ensure you’re always open to learning new things. By reading up on industry trends and having the flexibility to try new things within your business, you’ll be able to make the most of the modern systems out there.

With the latest technology tools in place, it’s a good time to revisit your business structure. Call CorpNet.com today for a free business consultation to incorporate a business, form an LLC, file a DBA and more! 888.449.2638

Charles Costa is a writer and marketing analyst for Fit Small Business and other publications. He focuses on helping companies grow, one word at a time. His areas of expertise include software, hardware, biotech, finance and general technology. You can learn more about him at CharlesCosta.net.

Image: Adobe Stock

Registering Your Business Name: Three Ways To Get It Done

What’s in a name? More than you might realize when it comes to choosing one for your business!

Aside from the obvious must haves of grabbing customers’ attention and being memorable, a business name must also be available to use—and protected.

Selecting a name for your company is only the first step in the process. You also have to determine that no one else is already using the name by performing a name search.  Then register your business name, so you can legally use it and so other businesses don’t try to claim it as their own.

Imagine if you’re operating under the business name of “Sylvia’s Salon” and someone a few blocks away opens its doors as “Sylvia’s Salon.” That would confuse customers. It could also end up hurting your reputation if someone were to write a bad review of your company when they were actually referring to an experience they had at the other Sylvia’s Salon.

Three Options For Registering Your Business Name

How you register your business name will largely depend on your business’s legal structure.

1. Securing Your Business Name By Forming an LLC, S-Corporation, or C-Corporation

When creating a formal business structure for your company, you take care of your business name registration in the process. And by forming an LLC or registering as an S-Corporation or C-Corporation, you also gain certain liability protection and potential tax benefits.

Submitting articles of incorporation or articles of organization (sometimes called “certificate of organization”) to your state automatically registers your business name within that state. Prior to approving your name, a search is done to ensure it’s not already being used by another business in the state.

2. File A Fictitious Business Name

If you’re a sole proprietor, you can very simply claim and protect your name by registering a fictitious business name with your state or the city/county clerk. This is known as filing a DBA (Doing Business As).

The fee for filing a DBA is typically nominal. So you’re sure no one else has rights to the name, you’ll want to do a name search before filing. Many banks require a DBA before they’ll open a business bank account for an entrepreneur. Depending on the state you’re registering in, you might also be required to publish a notice in a local newspaper and/or a local legal publication to inform the community that you’ve filed your business name.

If you’re using a business name that includes both your first and last name (such as Sylvia Benton’s Salon), you can use the name without filing a DBA. Other names need to be filed as DBAs.

3. Trademark Your Name

Registering your business name as a trademark (or service mark if you sell services) provides the most protection against the threat of others using your name to sell similar products and services. Federal trademark registration will safeguard your name nationally rather than only within your state.

To register for a federal trademark, you must submit an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office and pay the applicable fee. As with the other options for registering your business name, make sure you do a trademark search before filing to verify your name isn’t already in use.

Your business name is far more than “just a name.” It lays the foundation for your company’s identity and professional reputation. As with any registration or filing that has legal ramifications, you’ll want to cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s when registering your business name.

Not sure of the process or don’t have the time to take care of it on your own? Save yourself the hassle! Contact CorpNet today for a free business consultation and we can help you register your business name!

Image: Adobe Stock

CorpNet Reviews & Inc. 5000 Announcement

We are thrilled to announce that CorpNet.com has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list for the second year in a row!

Our business reached a 49% growth in the last three years ranking us #4856 on the list. See our Inc. 5000 profile here with more details: http://bit.ly/1TqIwLn

We take great pride in being a small business that helps other small business owners succeed. Being recognized on this prestigious list in 2015 and again 2016 shows that we are working as hard as ever and that we are a trusted resource to help you start, grow and maintain your business.

We’re thankful for our wonderful clients who take the time to share their experience with our service online. Here are some recent 5-star reviews on Trustpilot:

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Looking to incorporate a business, form an LLC, file a DBA or more? Call us today for a free business consultation. We look forward to helping your business flourish!

By | August 18th, 2016|CorpNet Reviews, Events & Announcements|0 Comments

How a Small Business Can Avoid Being Audited

It’s true that the odds of being audited are fairly low – under 1%.  Yet this may not last long.  The IRS has been changing some of its procedures – such as allowing agents to conduct audits via mail — and has also been increasing its hiring.

Besides, the agency tends to focus more on smaller businesses.  Why?  The assumption is that the recordkeeping is not as disciplined and business owners may be doing their own tax preparation, which could increase the risk of getting things wrong.

When it comes to audits, though, there is one important thing to keep in mind:  the selection process is mostly done by a massive computer, which crunches huge amounts of data to find missing income and inconsistencies.  All this is put into something called a DIFF (Discriminate Income Function) score.  The higher it is, the higher is the chances the IRS will pick you.

No doubt, an audit is often a stressful experience as well as time-consuming and expensive (yes, the kinds of things that can be poisonous for a business). And if you lose to the IRS, the outcome could be devastating.

So what are some of the ways to help avoid the prospects of an audit?  Well, there is nothing you can do that is full-proof (hey, we are dealing with the IRS here!)  But there are some strategies that should help out:

Know The “Hot Buttons”:  There are certain types of deductions and credits that raise questions, especially with the IRS computer.  Often alarm bells go off when there are large amounts of items that appear to be personal, such as entertainment, meals and travel.  But there are other deductions that can trigger scrutiny like casualty losses, health expenses and bad debt losses.

Now this does not mean you should avoid these.  But rather you need to make sure you document the expenses and have a business purpose for each.  This is where having a solid cloud accounting system – like QuickBooks or Xero – can be a godsend.

Something else:  If there is a large amount of a certain type of deduction, then you might want to attach a statement that explains it and also provide copies of supporting documents (like receipts and checks).  This may be enough to stop an audit when someone from the IRS reviews your return.

Don’t Miss Deadlines:  A great way to help increase the odds of an audit is to not file your tax return.  In fact, the penalties can be onerous.  So even if you cannot pay your tax, you still should file your return.  Period.

Report Your Income:  I know there are times when it seems like it would be impossible for the IRS to know if a payment was for business or not.  But keep in mind that the agency has spent years developing systems to detect unreported income.

Avoid Round Numbers:  Yes, it seems the IRS computer will take this into account.  Let’s face it, there would be understandable skepticism if you put $2,000 for meals and entertainment.  It simply looks too contrived.

Self-Prepared Returns:  Granted, applications like TurboTax are excellent.  They use sophisticated analytics to check for errors and even provide you with the chances of an audit.

But software is never full-proof.  If you provide the wrong information, then you may be get the attention of the IRS.

Instead, if your return has been prepared by a tax professional, then this should give the agency less confidence in pursuing an audit.

Hobby or Business:  If your business looses money year after year, then the IRS will likely target you.  The reason is that the agency may consider your operation a hobby, not a business.  If this situation, you may have a large tax bill as you will lose plenty of deductions.

Then what do you have to do to be considered a business?  First of all, the IRS will presume this if you report a profit for three out of the five past years, then you should have no problem.  But if not, then you will need to provide convincing proof that your operation is not really just a way to reduce income from other sources.  And this can be pretty tough to do.

Incorporate:  The audit rate for those who file Schedule C’s is much higher than the average (at over 2%).  Because of this, you might want to consider incorporating, such converting your business to an LLC, S Corporation or C Corporation.

The CorpNet team can help you incorporate or Form an LLC. Call for a free business consultation at 888.449.2638

 Image: Adobe Stock

By | August 16th, 2016|Running A Small Business, Taxes|0 Comments

Email Ethics: What Small Business Owners Can Learn From the Latest Political Scandals

The conversations centered on Hillary Clinton’s email practices and the leaked DNC email messages have probably not escaped your notice. Regardless of political affiliation or viewpoint on the controversies, I think there’s one thing we might all agree on as business owners: It’s important to treat our email communications with care.

We can learn some valuable lessons from the email mistakes and oversights made by individuals in the public’s eye. And we should also think about how we might avoid other sorts of damaging email mishaps.

  • Never badmouth a colleague, vendor, competitor, or client in your email messages. Never EVER assume the only person reading your email will be the one you’ve directly sent it to. If a recipient forwards your email, you never know where it might land. And even if no one forwards it, your sentiments could travel by good old-fashioned word of mouth. That’s not fair to whomever you’re having issue with. A direct, constructive conversation with the person—not a snarky behind-the-back email— will always be the way to go.
  • Be ultra-wary of whom you send anything deemed confidential or proprietary via email. Has the person you’re sharing with agreed to treat the information as such? Is there an agreement in place that could land you in hot water for sharing certain pieces of information? And if you’re not sure whether or not information should be kept close to the vest, find out before you share it with someone else.
  • BEFORE you hit “send,” double-check to make sure you’ve included only the intended recipients in the “To,” “Cc,” and “Bc” fields. This will help you avoid sending confidential information to people you shouldn’t have disclosed it to. Also, if you ignored the advice in the first bullet point above and have vented frustration about someone, double-checking recipients will help you avoid accidentally sending your message to the person you’ve written about. And yes…I know of people to whom this has happened!
  • Avoid Bcing (blind copying) people on email messages. People typically Bc other people in emails when they secretly want to inform those people of what they’ve sent to a “To” recipient. But if a Bc’ed person “replies all,” the gig is up and it can destroy trust and create hard feelings with the direct recipient. Consider keeping others informed by Ccing them instead. That way it’s all out in the open. Or, if you really don’t want the “To” recipient to know you’ve shared your email with someone else, forward it instead. It’s still a bit sneaky, but less risky than a Bc. 
  • Read your email messages out loud to assess tone and clarity. Without the benefit of facial expressions and vocal inflections, email messages can oh so easily become misinterpreted. Always read them out loud to yourself before sending them. That will help you pick up on any hint of harsh attitude that might make recipients feel defensive or angry. It will also enable you to check how clearly you’re communicating. If your email is too long-winded, redundant, or confusing, simplify it so it states what you want to share without making recipients work too hard to understand it.

Whether you’re just starting a business or running an existing one, email is among the most effective, tried-and-true communications tools you’ll have at your disposal. But as these recent political email scandals have demonstrated, none of us should take it for granted. Give your email messages the attention and respect they deserve. Consider the tips I’ve shared, so you don’t fall prey to careless blunders that might hurt your business reputation.

Image: Adobe Stock

6 Ways to Get Better Results From Your Facebook Marketing

Have your Facebook marketing efforts stopped getting the results you want? Facebook is constantly changing, and that means your Facebook marketing strategy has to change, too. Try these six tips to get better results from your Facebook marketing.

  1. Be consistent. Have you ever visited a company’s Facebook page, only to find they haven’t posted in months? It’s important to post regularly on Facebook to maintain your business’s presence. Consistency is more important than quantity: One study found the 100 most successful companies worldwide post, on average, just five to 10 times each week. To maximize your post results, use Page Insights, a free Facebook analytics tool, to see exactly when people engage with your posts the most; then post at those times.
  2. Post photos and videos. Images attract attention. In addition to posting photos or videos from your business, such as pictures of your restaurant’s latest specials or a video demonstrating a new product, share relevant photos or videos from elsewhere around the web. Add brief text to image posts. Shorter text gets more attention—plus, if you keep your text under 140 characters, you can re-use it on Twitter.
  3. Include a call-to-action. The point of Facebook isn’t just to get likes, comments and shares. You want people who see your posts to take an action that leads to a sale—such as visiting your business website, coming into your store or calling your business. In addition to putting a call-to-action in your posts, you can also put a Facebook Call to Action button at the top of your Business Page. There are seven options, including Sign Up, Book Now, Contact Us and Shop Now. Just make sure the hyperlinks in your calls-to-action go to the correct landing page on your website. For example, if your call-to-action is “Book Now,” users should go to a page where they can book an appointment online.
  4. Piggyback on trending topics. Posts related to hot topics of the moment, such as The Olympics or the Academy Awards, generate buzz. Check out the trending topics on the right side of Facebook to get ideas. You can create your own posts about these topics or share others’ posts. Keep them non-controversial to avoid offending potential customers.
  5. Use tags and hashtags. Tag other people or businesses in your posts, and the post will show up in their news feeds so their friends see it. You can also ask customers to tag or check in to your business in their posts—for example, if they post pictures of a meal at your restaurant. Finally, use one or two relevant hashtags to make your post stand out to people interested in that hashtag.
  6. Advertise. If you really want to improve your Facebook results significantly, try advertising. Facebook advertising is extremely affordable for small businesses and allows you to target your audience very narrowly.

One Facebook advertising option is to boost your posts, which puts them higher in your audiences News Feed. Just click the Boost Post button to see your options, schedule your Boost and set a budget.

You can also create Facebook ads to do everything from getting viewers to your website to promoting special offers. Use Ad Targeting to target specific demographics based on age, gender, location, special interests and more. Custom Audiences lets you deliver Facebook ads to your existing customers, while Lookalike Audiences allows you to target Facebook users with demographic profiles similar to your existing customers. You can also add call-to-action buttons to ads to really drive sales.

By trying these six tactics and monitoring your Facebook results, you’re sure to improve your engagement and ROI on this important social media channel.

Is your Facebook marketing strategy now back on target? It may be time to consider taking your business to the next level and incorporate or form an LLC. Call CorpNet.com for a free business consultation at 888.449.2638

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+  and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

Image: Adobe Stock


Event Recap – #GirlBoss & #DiversifyLA

One of my all-time favorite things to do as successful serial entrepreneur and the CEO for CorpNet is having the opportunity to share my insight with others. Recently I have had the honor of participating in some amazing and uplifting panel discussions. A few weeks ago it was a candid discussion from awesome #girlbosses for Ellevate Network LA. Last night it was an enlightening talk about diversity in entrepreneurship for Thunderbolt LA called #DiversifyLA.


A few weeks ago on July 26th I was delighted to join a group of amazing female entrepreneurs to share our journey of being a #GirlBoss with Ellevate Network LA. If it’s one thing I love – it’s discussing entrepreneurship with other successful female entrepreneurs!

We were all able to share the highs and lows in our careers which gave insight, laughter and above all, hope, to our audience. I shared my stance that being a woman entrepreneur can have it’s advantages because in general we can be nurturing which works well with team environments. We also can come up with out-of-the-box solutions when faced with an issue instead of making rash decisions.

I got my message across to new and aspiring entrepreneurs that they should find something they’re passionate about, have a vision, have a plan, and be determined to go all in. Starting a business is very fulfilling but it’s not for everyone and I wanted to be clear about the ups and downs that come along with the experience, especially as a #GirlBoss!


On August 2nd I was a guest on the #DiversifyLA panel to talk about how I am an Iranian FullSizeRender-34immigrant and how I approach diversity as an entrepreneur and business owner.

The panel, which was made up of mainly immigrant entrepreneurs, shared similar and different stories from our experiences. We discussed how we approach diversity at our businesses in the hiring process and in general when running a business. For me, it was great to enlighten others on the obstacles and challenges I have faced throughout my journey as an Iranian Immigrant. For example, having English as a second language and also being a woman founder in the tech industry.

It was a fantastic event and evening where I was able to connect with other established entrepreneurs and even some who are just starting out to share our stories.

The most gratifying part of being a guest on these panels has been the amazing feedback and support I got from the audience after each event. It really validates that I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing and where I exactly need to be in this stage of my life.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Call CorpNet.com for a free business consultation and to incorporate or form an LLC!


CorpNet FAQs – Business Licenses


As an online legal document filing service that helps entrepreneurs with an array of startup needs, we get asked a ton of questions from our clients about various topics. We decided to start sourcing these questions and create a new blog post series for our readers, as some of you may be wondering the same thing but haven’t found the answer elsewhere.

Today we are launching our new FAQ series starting on the topic of business licenses. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions on the popular topic followed by answers from our CEO Nellie Akalp. Still have Questions? Feel free to post in the comments below and Nellie will be happy to provide additional insight!

Business Licenses

Q: What’s the difference between a business license and registering a business? If I already registered my LLC or corporation, do I still need a business license? 

A: Registering your business and getting your business license are two different things – and you most likely will need to do both. Registering a new business with the state (either by forming an LLC, corporation, or filing a DBA) provides a legal foundation for your business. Then, the business license(s) gives you the right to operate your business…similar to how a driver’s license lets you drive a car.

Q: How do I know what kind of business licenses I need? 

A: The specific license and permit requirements vary based on your type of business and your location. As expected, a home contractor or restaurant will have more permit requirements than a web designer. Find your business type on our Business Licenses page to check the specific requirements for your business. If you don’t see your specific business listed, give us a call at 1.888.449.2638 and we’ll help you out.

Q: What are the penalties if I don’t have the right licenses for my business? 

A: You can face fines, and even have your business shut down if you are caught operating without the right licenses/permit paperwork in place.

Q: How much does it cost to get a business license or permit? 

A: Exact costs depend on the license type and your location. Find your business type on our Business Licenses page to view the pricing for your particular business license and location.

Q: What if my business is involved in more than one type of activity or has multiple locations?

A:  Each business location and each business type is subject to licensing requirements, so you most likely will need to get the proper permits/licenses for each location and business activity.

Q: How long does a business license last? 

A: Typically speaking, a business license will last one year (although some locales give you the opportunity to apply for a three-year license). If you sign up for our free B.I.Z. service, we’ll automatically notify you when any licenses are coming up for renewal.

Q. If I change my legal structure, can I keep my old business license? 

A. No. Any change of legal entity (e.g. if you change from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or corporation) requires a new business license. If you change your legal structure, you will need to apply for a new business license for the new entity.

Q. Can I transfer my business license to a new owner? 

A. Typically speaking, you cannot transfer a business license from one owner to another. The new owner of the business will need to apply for their own business and specialty licenses.

Do you need help setting up a business license or have a question about another aspect of starting a business? Call the CorpNet.com team today for a free business consultation at: 888.449.2638

Image: Adobe Stock



Working with your Spouse – 5 Tips to Ensure Success

There are only a few things more rewarding than working with your spouse.  However, starting a business with your life partner while remaining happy and fulfilled can be challenging.

I’ve worked very closely with my husband for over 24 years.  Here are 5 simple tips that can help you strike the right balance and succeed as both marital and business partners.

  1. Respect each other no matter what: We don’t always see eye to eye, but we always respect each other. It’s important for us both to recognize that we each bring our own unique skills, talents and strengths to the business… and to the marriage. to be clear, I do voice my own opinion; no one can ever mistake me for a pushover.  But, I also recognize that there are times when I need to trust in my partner’s discretion and judgment.
  1. Put my ego aside: Whether you’re at home or in the office, it is critical to put your ego aside and do whatever is best for the situation. No good has ever come when I let my pride rear its ugly head during a discussion with someone I love and respect.
  1. Leave business at the office; never discuss work at home:  At times, we have broken this rule.  Every time, without fail, we find our selves in an argument that could have easily been avoided had we merely waited to discuss the issue during office hours.  This simple rule helps us stay healthy and balanced both as individuals and as a couple.  Plus, the children really deserve our undivided attention when we are at home…and even “thinking” about work can be a big distraction from what should be the most rewarding part of our lives …family time.
  1. Stay unified: Whether we are with the children, our family members, or the office staff, we ALWAYS maintain a unified front…regardless of whether we actually agree or not.  Thus, it’s critical to meet regularly and ensure we are rowing the boat in the same direction and in unison.  Two is stronger than one!
  1. Prioritize date night: Date night must always be a priority.  Although we do sometimes discuss work during date night, we confine any business-related discussions to “positive” or “creative” issues at work.  We NEVER discuss money, finances, or each other’s mistakes during date night.

Starting and running a business together is not for every couple. However, if you and your partner can observe a few simple boundaries, you’ll find that running a business with your spouse will greatly draw you closer together and keep you growing in the same direction.  Plus, we ALWAYS have something to talk about.

Love makes everything possible. We have been on this exciting entrepreneurial roller coaster for the past two decades and I can’t wait to see what the next twenty years have in store for us.  I wish you the same or greater success in all of your relationships and business ventures.

Original content by Nellie Akalp on Huffington Post