Expanding your business into the federal marketplace can be lucrative, and provide numerous networking and growth opportunities. But winning a Federal contract also means complying with laws and regulations unique to those doing business with the government. Many new contractors, especially small businesses, are unprepared for the rules and regulations they must follow, which can lead to cost errors and potential legal problems. The resources below will help you become familiar with the regulations that apply to most Federal contractors....
Small business certifications are like professional certifications. They document a special capability or status that will help you compete in the marketplace. Unlike permits and licenses, you do not need to obtain certifications to legally operate. However, in order to take advantage of business opportunities, such as government contracts, you may need to obtain some certifications. Federal, state and local governments offer businesses opportunities to sell billions of dollars worth of products and services. Many government agencies...
The Internet has helped many small businesses sell their products overseas. Selling internationally provides numerous opportunities to expand your business, however exporting requires you to become familiar with a new set of laws and regulations that affect your business. There are many resources available to help businesses navigate the international environment of exporting. Choosing to Export Expanding your business to sell products abroad can be very rewarding but is also very risky. If your product has had domestic success, that is a...
Understanding your legal obligations as an employer as well as your employees’ legal rights is key to running a successful business. Read on for guidelines on what the law states about employment hour standards and general best practices.As an employer, there are two guiding pieces of legislation on employment hours that you should familiarize yourself with - the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Both provide guidance for employers on the rules and regulations that govern...
Of the many business entities that owners consider, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and Subchapter S Corporations (S-Corps) are two of the most popular. Although they share the distinction of being 'pass-through' entities in addition to providing liability protection, they do have several differences. An owner must also consider operational ease, administrative requirements, profit-sharing and employment tax implications. Before choosing one or both of these options, determine which features are most important to you and your...
Starting a business involves many critical decisions before hiring your first employee or planning a Grand Opening event. After reading articles and talking with other business owners you may be aware of important decisions to consider for your business like how to finance, which licenses and permits apply to you, and how do you plan to comply with labor and employment laws. These issues are all very important but there is another decision you must make. You must decide whether your new business will be a sole proprietorship, partnership...
Changing a Business Name Experts often say that naming your business is like naming your child. The name you choose will stick as long as you are in business. However, sometimes we end up calling our children by a nickname rather than their birth name. After you are in business for while, you may think about re-naming your business to something that more accurately reflects your mission, product or that appeals to your target audience. Whatever your reasons, changing a business name can be costly, especially if you have been in business...
Deciding to relocate one's business is an important decision for established and expanding businesses. Workforce issues, proximity to customers, targeting new markets, cost, and lack of space are all reasons that could prompt a business to take a look at relocation. Regardless of the reason, the goal of relocating a business is to increase its odds for success in a new environment. Set Your Goals and Objectives The new flashy mini-mall down the street might seem like an ideal location, but is it really the best move for your...
Hiring and managing employees involves complying with a number of labor laws – from discrimination to workplace safety. Business.gov and the U.S. Department of Labor provide a number of online tools and resources to help small business owners understand their requirements and how to comply. Listed below are a few of the most important e-tools available for employers to ensure they are complying with applicable labor and safety laws. Understanding Labor Laws FirstStep Employment Law Advisor provides a short, interactive...
The laws and terminology associated with trade names and trademarks commonly fall victim to misconception and confusion. Often times people have trouble understanding and even acknowledging a difference between the two. Some issues surrounding the topic arise from the overlapping of tradenames and trademarks. While many companies don't seem to have any correlation between their chosen representations, others incorporate at least part of their trade name in their trademark. Some companies, such as Coca-Cola, use their entire name also as a...
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