What startup tax deductions can your business take in 2018? This post covers the types of startup business expenses and discusses which may be deductible.
What business owners should know about annual meeting minutes for corporations. What are they, who must have them, and how do you create them?
Are sales in a seasonal slump? There's no need to worry! Here are five marketing ideas to grow your business during slow times.
Finish 2018 right with all of your business compliance requirements in order. This end of year business checklist will help.
What Is the “Corporate Veil”? When a company is formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation, it is regarded as its own legal entity. Therefore, the business—rather than its owners—is held accountable for its debts and legal responsibilities. “Corporate veil” (also called a “corporate shield”) is a business term that refers to the legal distinction between an LLC or corporation and its owner(s). It is the legal separation established by keeping a company’s activities, assets. and liabilities independent from those of the business owner(s). Is it Necessary? The corporate veil, when kept intact, helps protect a [...]
If you’re starting a retail business (whether online or at a brick and mortar location), you’ll want to apply for a reseller license. A reseller license certifies you don’t have to pay sales tax when buying products on a wholesale basis for the purpose of reselling them to customers. In some states, a reseller license might alternately be called a reseller permit, resale license, resale certificate, sales tax permit, or some other term. Regardless of its name, its purpose is to identify your company as a reseller. Reseller License and Sales Tax In the United States, a business [...]
Before forming an LLC, many entrepreneurs ask about the standard LLC tax rate to see if this form of entity is a solid option for their new business. This is an excellent question and one that can be best answered by exploring what an LLC is and how it is taxed. The LLC (limited liability company) business entity type is one of the most popular selected by small business owners. It shields the owner’s personal assets from the liabilities of the business and may result in some tax savings to boot. The LLC is an entity formed according [...]
Entrepreneurs who want to sell their products through Amazon’s marketplace face many of the same opportunities and challenges as brick-and-mortar stores. Naturally, they have a lot of questions about launching and running an online business. It’s exciting to think of the possibilities but often daunting to figure out where to start, what to do, and where to turn for help and direction. One of the things these business owners want to know is, “Do I need a business license to sell on Amazon?” Regardless of whether an Amazon seller has formed an LLC or corporation or is operating [...]
Picnics, fireworks, sparklers, and red, white, and blue-themed decorations every Fourth of July. Many of us pull out all the stops to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S.A — and rightly so! We have a lot to be thankful for. As my family celebrates this holiday, I thought about how fortunate we are to be small business owners. In a way, every day is Independence Day for entrepreneurs who have taken charge of their own destinies. So what better time than this week to take pause to reflect on your freedom as a small business [...]
Trademark vs. service mark? What's the difference? Both are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to distinguish a brand's products and services from those of other businesses. Trademarks distinguish a company's products, whereas a service mark relates to the services a company provides. Both fall under the category of intellectual property. Why Apply for a Trademark or Service Mark? When you're building a brand, it's important to differentiate yourself from your competition. Moreover, the last thing you want is for another company to hijack your company name or logo and confuse customers about with whom [...]
School’s out! Chances are your kids are celebrating right now because weeks of summer vacation beckon. But, if you’re starting a business or running a business, and you have school-aged children, you’re likely feeling a little conflicted. Entrepreneurs like you and me struggle a bit in the summer—trying to balance our desire to be great business owners—and great parents. While I love (and truthfully look forward to) having my kids at home during the summer months, I confess it’s getting increasingly harder to keep them occupied while I’m hard at work. I know this is a struggle we all face—how [...]
Why You Might Need to Process a Fictitious Name Registration As a small business owner, it’s important to able to pivot quickly if the marketplace isn’t buying what you sell. That was a lesson I learned immediately after I started my business in 2008. Initially, our business planned to connect small and midsized business owners with companies that wanted to market to them. But did I mention it was 2008? As the economy crashed, big companies cut their budgets and the costly services we’d planned to sell were a no go. We had to start over, including using fictitious [...]
What is an LLC Statement of Information? No matter which state your Limited Liability Company is located in, you will need to file documentation with the Secretary of State to establish your company and keep it legally compliant. A Statement of Information is one of the standard reporting requirements that many LLCs across the United States must adhere to. A state may require a Statement of Information as an "Initial Report," due shortly after registering a business. Moreover, many states mandate LLCs to submit a Statement of Information (also sometimes called an "Annual Report") each year, every other [...]
Whether you are running a two-man grocery shop or a fifty strong supermarket, small businesses can readily become a victim of personal injury claims. Very few personal injury claims are legitimate. Most are born out of greed. As a result, workers or customers may sue a business for millions, even if the case is trivial. Unfortunately, a personal injury claim not only makes your business suffer financially but also ruins your reputation resulting in long-term consequences. Though a personal injury claim can threaten your business, there are ways to prevent it from happening. However, sometimes when preventive measures [...]
Every now and then a trademark application case hits the headlines that makes you cringe at its arrogance (Apple’s fight to stop any sort of apple symbol being used in a logo) or just makes you laugh (Taylor Swift attempting to trademark the phrase “this sick beat”). And then there’s the outright scary—Facebook wanting to stop any business name from using the word “face.” These are extreme examples, but because brand recognition plays such a vital role in today’s business world, companies have become very aggressive when it comes to protecting their names and identities. So, what are [...]
It seems like you just got your business taxes handled for 2017, and now you must start worrying about 2018 taxes. That’s because the tax reforms signed into law last December under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will most definitely affect your business taxes—and possibly your company’s legal structure as well. And you might be wondering how to avoid a hit like that in the future. Maybe it’s time to change your business legal structure. If you’re self-employed and operating as a sole proprietor, I suggest exploring if a change in legal structure might provide some tax relief [...]
Are you distancing yourself from relationships, feeling a loss of personal accomplishment or just overall suffering from emotional exhaustion? You could be on the dangerous road to CPA burnout. Whether your accounting firm is just starting out or growing by leaps and bounds, running your own business can be extremely stressful. You may never have imagined that your entrepreneurial dream could turn into an entrepreneurial nightmare, but CPA burnout is real. Running your own CPA business means being all things to all aspects of your business. Not only are you the boss (the buck does stop with you), [...]
In the past, it seemed pivotal that an entrepreneur have a brick and mortar or office location for their business. If they were unable to afford or secure one, many people would abandon their business dreams altogether. Luckily, this has changed, as more and more entrepreneurs are opening or moving their businesses to their home. In fact, there are as many as 38 million home businesses across the U.S.! Although there are many perks of running a home business, such as having a flexible schedule and improved work/life balance, one of the most notable is that you can [...]
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you frequently get the urge to change the way you do things and replace them with new systems and fresh ideas. After all, spring is the time for new beginnings, and your accounting firm operations could probably use a bit of a refresh. As you well know, your operations are the crucial activities of your business, from sales and accounting to marketing and customer service. It’s important for all parts of your operations to balance and support each other. Keep reading to learn how to optimize your accounting firm operations and boost your [...]
Freelancing. It’s hard work! I see mixed responses on the faces of people when I tell them that I earn money as a freelance writer. Most people appear impressed and assume that I jet around the world from assignment to assignment. But the truth is, it’s a real job that takes a lot of effort. From marketing my own services to delivering content to clients, I own the process from start to finish. It’s a big responsibility. I often have new freelancers ask me how I’ve made a living in this crazy industry. It really is a lot [...]