Only a few years ago, choosing a business name meant picking an identity for your start-up that would feature in a fairly narrow range of outlets - your signage, invoice, business card and basic advertising. Today, however, with the huge growth in the availability of diverse marketing tools with which to promote your business - from Web sites to social media networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more - getting your business name right, first time, is more important than ever. The consequences of getting it wrong can...
Doing business with one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the world - the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) - can seem like a daunting business strategy for many small business owners. Many often mistakenly believe that only the "big guns" can really compete for DoD business. The truth is that the government designates a significant amount of procurement contracts to small businesses each year. For example, in fiscal year 2009 (ending Sept 30, 2009) the Department of Defense set aside over 22% of its prime contracts...
Owning and operating a vehicle is expensive at the best of times. If you are a small business owner looking to save some money, using your personal vehicle for business purposes may be an instant cost saving. The IRS classifies 'business use of a car' as travel between two destinations, one of which may include your regular place of business. Whether you are an independent contractor using your car to get to client meetings or you use your vehicle for deliveries, you will need to understand the regulatory ramifications (and benefits) of...
"When does a Business Start Paying Taxes?" may sound like a silly question, with an expected answer of: "When you start making a profit, of course." Not necessarily. There are many dependencies that determine when a new small business owner is liable for their first tax payment. For example, the moment you hire your first employee you must deposit payroll taxes. If you are in the consumer retail business, you must deal with sales tax. Then there are federal and state income taxes, which you must pay once a quarter, and so...
Intellectual Property Explained - Protecting and Selling Your Unique Idea! Accordingto the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's stopfakes.gov Web site, companies that protect their intellectual property drive more economic growth in the U.S. than any other single sector. If you've developed a new product, technology or tool that is entirely your own invention, how do you go about making sure your unique idea stays your unique idea, and most importantly reaps you a profit? First, you'll need to understand the fundamental differences...
Buying a restaurant franchise is a great alternative for entrepreneurs who may be reticent about starting or investing in their own independent restaurant business - especially during a recession. In addition to the training, marketing support, and brand prestige a successful restaurant franchise operation can offer budding entrepreneurs, franchising is also one form of business entrepreneurialism that offers would-be business owners a vast amount of upfront pre-investment advice and guidance from a host of independent experts. So rather than...
Most of us tend to regard occupational safety and health programs as belonging to the realm of human resources or personnel management. And while you have experienced a corporate fire drill or received basic first aid training, it's doubtful that you've ever given much thought to what efforts your employer was required to take, by law, to ensure that you and your colleagues were protected from workplace hazards. The reality is, there is little need to think about the logistics of workplace health and safety - until you become a...
If it is your passion to reap the rewards of your culinary skills by starting an at-home catering or food business, you can find yourself at the center of a very rewarding form of business ownership. In addition to providing the flexibility of a work-from-home business model, it can also offer a low risk entry into the competitive and ever-popular restaurant and food service business industry. And, it will allow you to learn the ropes at your own pace, in the familiar surroundings of your own kitchen! Take Martha Stewart, for example: She...
If you're reading this post then congratulations! It's likely your business is growing so fast that you need some help. The shift in role from being your own boss to being someone's boss can be dramatic and challenging. In addition to learning or re-familiarizing yourself with the basic management principles of delegation, mentoring and team work, you will also face a host of federal and state government regulatory requirements, tax laws, and compensation demands. To help you on your way, the government has broken down achieving...
How do I register my business?' is one of the most commonly asked questions from new small business owners. What most new business owners don't realize is that registering your business isn't simply a matter of taking a trip to your local county offices and you're done. Business registration typically involves several checklist items including registering your business structure, registering to pay taxes, registering to get a permit, and so on. Like all things in business, your best approach is to take things one step at a time...
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