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Nellie in the News: June 2016

nellie in the newsWhat an exciting month June was for the CorpNet team! We’ve been hard at work helping entrepreneurs incorporate a business, form an LLC, file a DBA and more across all 50 states.

Our CEO Nellie Akalp has been keeping just as busy sharing expert tips and advice across many podcasts and blogs. She is a fantastic resource for anyone starting a business so we definitely recommend you follow her on Twitter for the latest tips!

Here are some highlights from June and an upcoming speaking appearance 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

Ellevate Network, Los Angeles

#GirlBoss: Stories from Female Founders

Nellie will join other female entrepreneurs in an enlightening panel discussion sure to inspire others!

July 26, 2016 at 7:00pm in Santa Monica, CA

More info and to register: http://bit.ly/292gDXh

 

Interviews & press Mentions

Small Business Advocate Radio – Tips on How to Name Your Company with Nellie Akalp http://bit.ly/1sNhEtn

Business Building Rockstars Podcast – Interview with Nellie Akalp http://bit.ly/1UlJeUL

Dave Bullis Podcast – Nellie Akalp discusses forming LLCs for film makers http://bit.ly/1sv9Ooe

HostGator – 30 Entrepreneurs Share the Best Advice Their Dad Ever Gave Them http://bit.ly/1OeDVdr

Digital 90210 – Interview with Business Expert Nellie Akalp http://bit.ly/1XVpezN

Business Leaders Radio – Interview with Nellie Akalp http://bit.ly/1rqR7kl

Fit Small Business – How to Create an LLC Operating Agreement http://bit.ly/1UQyWyY

Showcasing Women – The Legal Side of Naming Your Business: Webinar with Nellie Akalp http://bit.ly/1UXt6sN

Tenfold Blog – 32 Time-Saving Tips from Extremely Busy Business Pros http://bit.ly/295RrxN

 

Expert Contributed Posts

Accounting Today – How to Keep Your Accounting Business Compliant http://bit.ly/1RTgbGp

Forbes – Foreign Qualification: What It Takes to Do Business In Another State http://onforb.es/1OeDFev

Huffington Post – Choosing Your Business Name is a Big Deal: How to Do it Right http://huff.to/1UDNm2x

Entrepreneur – 6 Ways to Help Your Kids Start a Business This Summer and Learn About Life http://entm.ag/1ZBVFjE

Secret Entourage – 5 Myths About Registering Your Business http://bit.ly/1UvhRul

Small Business Trends – What is a Trademark? Is Your Business Ready For One? http://bit.ly/1tt9WF3

AllBusiness – 7 Face-to-Face Networking Mistakes That Could Kill Your Professional Image http://bit.ly/2982Krf

                               

By | June 30th, 2016|Nellie in the News, Other|0 Comments

Don’t Sign a Commercial Lease Until You Answer These Questions

Retro vintage style image of a businessman signing a contractWhether you’re preparing to lease your first commercial location or your 10th, it’s critical to ask lots of questions before you sign on the dotted line. Asking key questions at each stage of finding your space will prevent unpleasant surprises such as getting locked into a lease and finding out the building lacks something essential (like air conditioning!).

Before you ever talk to a commercial realtor, ask yourself some questions to determine your needs.

  • How much square footage do you need?
  • Do you want a turnkey space or are you willing to build out the space yourself?
  • Do you need lots of walk-in traffic or proximity to major highways?
  • How much access will you need? Will you be working 9 to 5, or will you and your staff need to get into the building at odd times or on weekends?
  • How much parking will you need for customers and employees?
  • What types of businesses do you want to be near? (If you’re a retailer or restaurant, for instance, complementary businesses can drive traffic.)
  • What amenities do you need? These might include windowed offices, conference rooms, air conditioning/heating, private restrooms, a kitchen/break room or a lobby with security.

When you share these specifics with a realtor, he or she will have a much better chance of finding that perfect location.

You should also do your due diligence when choosing the commercial realtor you want to work with. Before you hire a commercial realtor, ask him or her these questions:

  • How much experience do you have with small businesses? With my industry?
  • Do you specialize in a certain geographic area or a specific type of commercial space?
  • How many clients do you work with at one time?
  • What resources do you use to research the market?

You’ve got your realtor and found what you think is the perfect space. Not so fast! Before you commit, get answers to these questions:

  • What are the traffic numbers? Your real estate agent should be able to share community demographics and car counts for the location.
  • Is the building’s infrastructure (heating and cooling system, electrical, Wi-Fi) adequate for your needs?
  • What is included in the lease payment? Most do not include utilities. You may also have to pay a portion of Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges, building insurance, trash collection and property taxes. Be sure to know exactly what you’ll be responsible for.
  • What is the minimum lease term? Most commercial landlords require a one-year lease, but some require two or three years.
  • Can you expand into adjacent space if needed, or move to a bigger space in the same building or center if one opens up?
  • Can you get a non-compete clause to ensure no direct competitors can open in the same building or center?
  • Will the landlord pay for improvements? These include things like changing the layout, painting or putting down new flooring, or special electrical needs. Most landlords will not pay for this, but some will amortize the costs over the lease term.

Never be shy about asking too many questions. Getting the answers now will save you some big headaches later.

If you’ve signed your lease and you’re ready to start a business, call CorpNet anytime for a free business consultation at 888.449.2638. We would love to help you incorporate a business, form an LLC, file a DBA and more across all 50 United States!

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

3 Key Ways to Reduce Costs for Your Small Business

Costs word erased by pencil eraser

As a small-business owner, there’ll be times when you need to boost cash flow while keeping prices competitive. Or maybe you’re just starting a business and are losing more money than expected, but you can’t figure out why.

Even if you’re already frugal, there likely are plenty of ways for your small business to slim down and spend more wisely. Here are some tips from experts on how to cut costs in ways that are productive and responsible.

  1. Track your inventory, then buy in bulk where possible.
    This is an essential first step for new small-business owners, but enterprises of any age can benefit from re-evaluating their inventory. Track your inventory for a year and look at where most of the money goes. This may not seem like it will cut costs on its own, but after a year, you can take a hard look at what the business really needs and find the best deals on those things.Buying in bulk sounds more expensive, but it’s ultimately a big money saver. “No one should ever buy a ream of paper, they should always buy a case of paper,” says Robert Reed, a financial advisor with Partnership Financial LLC who specializes in helping creative professionals manage their businesses. This is because bulk purchases almost always cost less per unit than making multiple small purchases.What if you use a lot of a product, like paper, but not enough to justify buying a whole case? “Find someone else who will split a case,” says Reed, such as a business owner in your office building who has the same needs. You both save money, and now you have a new connection for future sharing opportunities.
  2. Do things yourself and use what’s readily available.
    Michael Sander, a financial planner and senior vice president with The Creative Planners Group who specializes in one- to two-person businesses, is a big advocate of doing things yourself. Don’t pay a bookkeeper hundreds of dollars a month to do the books, Sander says. Instead, “take a QuickBooks tutorial and do the books yourself.” Not only is it a long-term money saver, you’re also developing a valuable skill.You don’t need complicated inventory-tracking software to keep track of business expenses, Reed says. Not only would that cost money, it would take valuable hours to learn how the software works. A generic office software suite, used correctly, can do just fine. “If you can find out a way to get
    [Microsoft Office] to do what you want to do, you don’t have that steep learning curve,” Reed says.
  3. Don’t compromise on important expenses.
    For some expenses, it may cost more long-term if you try to save now. Steven Podnos, a registered investment advisor and principal at Wealth Care LLC, urges business owners to have an emergency fund or buy insurance for their office space or large assets. “A little insurance to cover catastrophes might cause you to spend less in the long run,” Podnos says.Sometimes, spending more now may actually help you save a lot more later. Sander says business owners should take advantage of the Section 179 tax deduction, which allows you to deduct purchases and leases of items such as business vehicles over 6,000 pounds, computers, software and even personal property used for business. While this does mean that you can spend a little extra money and get a lot back on your taxes, Reed says this isn’t an excuse to overbuy. If you need a computer only for word processing and bookkeeping, there’s no reason to buy a top-of-the-line model and write it off just because you can.

Reducing your expenses may not be the easiest or most glamorous way for your business to make more money. But with these tips, you can get your expenses in check.

Veronica Ramirez is a staff writer at NerdWallet, which provides clarity around decisions that help you start or grow your small business. We provide clear unbiased information, entrepreneur-focused advice and tools for small-business loans, tax and legal issues. We also connect you with experts who can answer questions about growing your small business.

Image: Adobe Stock

By | June 9th, 2016|Business Checklists, Business Operations, Other|0 Comments

Why Customers Love Us – CorpNet Reviews

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 2.43.23 PMAnother month, another great set of 5-star CorpNet reviews to showcase our stellar customer service.

Our team has been hard at work helping all kinds of clients with their business startup needs. From assisting someone who accidentally selected the wrong entity to helping an oversees entrepreneur, our team gets the job done so you can focus on what you do best – running your business.

Here is a look at why customers love using CorpNet.com to incorporate, form an LLC, file a DBA and more! Check out all of our reviews on TrustPilot. Are you ready to get your business off the ground? Reach out anytime for a free business consultation.

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How To Structure Multiple Businesses

Beautiful information technology specialist is thinking about optimisation of the business process' structure. Microchip sketch behind the standing person.

Having multiple businesses makes entrepreneurship all the more exciting—and it raises a question CorpNet fields frequently:

How do I structure multiple businesses?

When you have more than one business venture, it may make sense to host them all under a single corporate entity rather than incorporate them separately. If the various businesses complement each other, share similar marketing strategies, and target similar customers (for example, a doggie daycare and mobile pet grooming services), you could host both of the ventures under the same corporate umbrella.

While that might sound complicated at face value, it’s really not a daunting process.

A Simple, Straightforward Approach To Hosting More Than One Business Under A Single Corporate Umbrella

What I suggest to most multi-business owners is that they consider forming an LLC, S-Corporation, or C-Corporation as the “holding company.” Then underneath that main “umbrella” corporate structure, they can file the various other ventures as DBAs (“Doing Business As”) that have their own unique business names.

So, say you have three businesses—one interior design consulting service and two separate websites that sell products related to the interior design work—you could form one overarching LLC or corporation named “Jane Smith Enterprises, Inc.” and then file “Illuminating Light Fixtures” and the “Whimsical Window Treatments” for each of your subsidiaries as part of the overall corporate structure, even though they have different names.

This approach offers simplicity while protecting an owner against liability for any of the businesses. It might significantly cut down on your paperwork, too, as you’re filing taxes, etc. for just one entity rather than multiple, entirely separate companies. Also, depending on your tax filing status, structuring under a holding company might also minimize your tax liability. Another bonus: It provides added credibility—that can mean a lot in a highly competitive environment.

To Keep In Mind When Structuring Multiple Businesses As An Umbrella Corporation and DBAs:

  • If you don’t want to, you don’t have to disclose the name of your holding company. If your multiple businesses aren’t closely related to each other, you can do business under each individual business’s name because there’s no legal requirement to disclose the name of your holding LLC or corporation in your marketing messaging.
  • Track financial information in one place. By keeping tabs on your earnings and expenses for your multiple businesses under one corporate structure, you’ll save hours and headaches at tax time.
  • Don’t leave any stones unturned. Think ahead and think strategically about the DBAs you might operate under. Might you do business under other names besides the most obvious ones that come to mind? It’s quite easy to file a separate DBA for the possible variations of your business name. For example, “Whimsical Window Treatments” and “WhimsicalWindowTreatments.com.”

Want to protect your assets, simplify your bookkeeping efforts, and better manage your marketing messaging? By filing an LLC or forming a corporation as a corporate umbrella under which you file multiple DBAs, you can do all of that. Of course, I urge you to do your homework first to make sure it’s the right approach for you. Talk with accounting, legal, and tax professionals who you trust before making a decision. And remember, the CorpNet team is here as a resource to answer your questions and help you through the business formation and registration process. Call for a free business consultation anytime! 888.4449.2638

Photo: Adobe Stock

By | May 17th, 2016|Other|2 Comments

Nellie in the News: April 2016

nellie in the news

Well looks like April showers will bring May flowers this year! Spring has sprung around our office and we can smell the sweet air of summer right around the corner.

We have been busy daily chatting with entrepreneurs who are looking to incorporate or form an LLC for their small business. Some customers love us so much they even shared some great reviews these past few weeks.

Nellie was thrilled to receive the award for Women Business Owner of the Year by NAWBO VC earlier this month and the rest of the month she has been sharing articles and interviews left and right educating small business owners.

Here’s a look back at a successful April 2016!

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

Upcoming Speaking Appearances

Ventura County Professional Women’s Network

Nellie will be the guest speaker at May’s monthly dinner meeting sharing the importance of passion in entrepreneurship. Join her on May 12th at 5:30. More info & tickets: http://bit.ly/1rAhIwl

Interviews & press Mentions

Solopreneur Blog  – Interview with Nellie Akalp http://bit.ly/1qq8Qsj

She Wrote a Book Podcast – Podcast Interview with Nellie Akalp about her Amazon Book http://bit.ly/22piCab

Female Bloggers Association – Interview with Nellie Akalp, CorpNet CEO & Founder http://bit.ly/1XtIrV5

Grant Cardone TV – File This Under “Must Do”: Nellie Akalp on Why You Need to Legalize Your Biz http://bit.ly/1Yyhujx

Huffington Post – Small Business Experts Share Their Worst Influencer Marketing Mistake http://huff.to/1NmDkFP

Entrepreneur – 10 Steps to Establish and Build Credit for Your New Startup http://entm.ag/1T48Nfh

Expert Contributed Posts

Entrepreneur – To Grow Your Business Start Focusing on Your Employees http://entm.ag/1qKoYoX

GoDaddy – 2015 Taxes: All About Filing an Income Tax Extension http://bit.ly/1Xrz2gK

Huffington Post – Four Old School Business Tools That Will Never Go Out of Style http://huff.to/25JDz3R

AllBusiness – Could Your Social Media Policy Land You In Legal Hot Water? http://bit.ly/1RWnEYR

Small Business Trends – Ladies, Are You Thinking About Starting Your Own Business? http://bit.ly/1VdFwlC

Showcasing Women – Work from Home? What you Need to Know Before Tax Time http://bit.ly/1VjSY6t

Mashable – What You Need to Know Before Signing Any Noncompete Agreement http://on.mash.to/1S8i5YJ

Forbes – Slow Paying Clients? 7 Tips to Help You Get Paid Faster http://onforb.es/1SpRc2F

By | April 28th, 2016|Other|0 Comments