When it comes to starting a business, there’s often some confusion about the process of business name registration. How are trade names and trademarks different? Does a trade name afford any legal branding protection? Can your trade name be the same as your trademark? Simply put, a trade name is the official name under which a company does business. It is also known as a “doing business as” name, assumed name, or fictitious name. A trade name does not afford any brand name protection or provide you with unlimited rights for...
Whether you’re starting a business from home or looking to move into a home office, it’s important not to overlook the fact that your business is still subject to license and permit laws. Why? One of the main reasons any business owner is required to carry a license is so that revenue can be tracked for taxation purposes. Businesses that sell taxable goods or services also need a sales tax license or permit. Licenses and permits are also used to protect the public and are required in federally regulated industries (aviation,...
Identity theft is on the rise. Impacting more than 10 million consumers each year, it also costs businesses an estimated $221 billion annually. To help combat this threat, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has just implemented new regulations designed to help prevent identity theft, known as The Red Flags Rule. If you are a small business that provides products and services to your customers and bills them later, there’s a good chance you need to comply with these new requirements. Read on to determine if the Rule applies to you and how...
Being the Chief Everything Officer is okay for some, but if you’ve got plans for growth or simply need an extra pair of hands, what are the best staffing options for your business? Taking on full-time employees can be a risk. What if your growth strategy doesn’t go as planned and you’re left with payroll and other employee expenses to cover? Should you hire independent contractors or outsource key functions? Here are some staffing options that you might want to consider, as well as some insights on the tax and legal...
Looking to hire an intern this summer? More and more businesses are planning on it. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers plan on hiring 8.5 percent more college students in 2012 for summer internships than they did last year. Internship programs are a smart recruitment strategy for small businesses, allowing you to nurture and feed your full-time hiring efforts. A separate study by NACE found that nearly 90 percent of students who took part in internships said they would accept an offer of a full-...
Starting a business? Confused about the planning, legal and regulatory steps you should follow? Did you know that home-based businesses are required to hold permits to operate legally in most states? What about incorporation? Many new businesses assume they need to incorporate or become an LLC from the get-go – but the truth is, more than 70 percent of small businesses are owned by un-incorporated sole proprietors (although even this group is required to register their businesses). So, variables aside, there are still some fundamental...
Businesses move all the time. If a move is in the cards for your business, what should you do? Maybe you’re expanding and are out of capacity at your current location, or maybe a move is for personal reasons. Maybe you want relocate to a state that is more favorable to small businesses, such a state without any income taxes. Moving a business raises many questions, particularly questions about legal and regulatory matters. In fact, some of the most common questions posted by small business owners to the SBA.gov Community are...
Want to take your restaurant on the road? Interested in starting a food-service business that affords lower overhead costs than a bricks and mortar restaurant? Starting a mobile food concession business has its advantages – the rent is cheaper, staff overhead is lower, and you can move to follow the profits. But it also has its challenges – weather, vehicle breakdowns, and seasonality, to name a few. And don’t forget, starting a business or expanding into new markets, particularly with on-board food, means you’ll also...
Looking to drum up business with a call campaign? Want to reach out to your customers and prospects by phone? Before you dial, you should be aware of the government’s Do Not Call rules. Most of us probably have a loose interpretation of Do Not Call rules and requirements, assuming that as long as “an existing business relationship” exists between the telemarketer and the consumer, then it’s okay to call. But consider these questions: Which customers do you really have an “existing relationship” with and...
Entrepreneurial couples are very common – the Wall Street Journal says a third of family businesses are husband and wife teams – and they represent a dynamic force in the small business world. These partnerships can be immensely positive experiences and provide the foundation for a convenient and cost-effective business venture, especially if the marriage is sound in the first place. The flip side, however, can be disastrous. So what’s the key to success? According to this article in “Reference for Business,”...
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