Starting a business? Confused about whether you need a business license or permit? Virtually every business needs some form of license or permit to operate legally. However, knowing which one you need, however, can be a little tricky. It depends on the type of business you are operating, where it’s located, and what government rules apply. The problem is that many businesses overlook this basic requirement of starting a business often because they simply aren’t aware of what the law requires. This can lead to costly penalties, tax...
Ever wonder if you need to get a lawyer involved in a business matter? A lawyer can help in many business scenarios, from helping with the incorporation process, drawing up contracts and, if necessary, representing you in litigation. But is a lawyer always necessary or are there times when you are better off saving the big bucks and navigating legal processes on your own? Here are some guidelines to help you know which legal business issues you can probably handle independently and when it’s really time to retain a lawyer. Legal Issues...
So you’re starting a business, but what are you going to call it? Choosing a business name is an important step in the business planning process. Not only should you pick a name that reflects your brand identity, but you also need to ensure it’s properly registered and protected for the long term, and give a thought to whether it’s web-ready. Is the domain name even available? So where do you start? Here are some tips to help you pick, register, and protect your business name – online and offline. Pick a Name That...
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: if you’re starting a business you’re going to need general liability insurance. But what does that mean? What protection does it afford? How do you determine your coverage needs? How does it work? Read on. What is General Liability Insurance? Liability insurance (also known as Commercial General Business Liability) protects a company’s assets and pays for obligations – medical costs, for example –incurred if someone gets hurt on...
Interested in getting into the construction business? Now might be the time, with market forecasts (courtesy of IBISWorld) predicting a steady rise in the value of the construction industry over the next five years – 12.5 percent annually for residential construction and 13 percent for private non-residential construction. If you’re interested in starting a construction, home improvement, or contracting business, here are some business and regulatory basics you need to be aware of. 10 Steps to Starting (any) Business Start by...
Looking to realize your dream and open a restaurant business? Now may be just the time to do it. Earlier this year the National Restaurant Association predicted that after a three-year period of negative sales growth, the restaurant business would post positive growth and reach a record $604 billion in sales. Opening a restaurant or food service business requires research, planning, capital (not always as much as you think), business acumen, and perseverance. It also requires a number of legal and regulatory considerations, during both the...
Buying a business is often perceived as a less risky option than starting your own business from scratch, however without proper research, due diligence, and consideration for the key legal steps and potential liabilities involved – it can be a risky path to venture down. For example, has the previous owner been in compliance with tax law? Is the business adequately insured? What are the terms of the seller’s commercial lease? These are just a few of the questions that you need to ask as you pursue the purchase of a business....
Thinking of changing your business structure? There are many reasons why small businesses change the way their business is legally structured –gaining protection against personal liability, seeking a break from excessive bookkeeping, dissolving a partnership, and more. What are your options and what steps should you follow as you change your business structure? Changing from a Sole Proprietor to an LLC Sole proprietorships are one of the most common business structures among small business owners in the U.S. Sole proprietors, however,...
Making the right hiring decisions for your company is critical to your business success. But getting it right isn’t easy. We all know the negative consequences of making the wrong hire – it can lower your team’s morale, hinder productivity, and even impact customer relations. But did you know that the cost of replacing an experienced worker who doesn’t work out can cost 50 percent or more of that individual’s salary, and these costs go up if the employee has specialized skills such as nursing (Source: AARP). There...
Navigating business law and regulations can be a minefield for small business owners, soaking up their time, money and valuable resources. In fact, according to the SBA Office of Advocacy, small firms (fewer than 20 employees) spend substantially more per employee to comply with federal regulations than larger firms do. Many of these costs are tied to tax compliance, environmental regulations, and occupational safety laws. But rarely a day goes by when a small business owner doesn’t need to think about the legal aspects of running a...
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