|Small Business Information|
Is Your Business Legally Prepared?
It is imperative to have your business legally prepared. How you ask? You need to have a business license, a home occupation license, if running your business from home, a city or county license, (depending on what State you live) plus you need to register your business as fictious if you are not using your name as a business. For instance, If John Doe has a business name as John Doe's Grooming Parlor, a fictious name isn't necessary.
When opening a business in your residence, additional information is required. Some businesses require more than a city license to be fully licensed. Please check with your local city & state office for detailed information.
While it is my understanding that there are many businesses who are operating "under the table", so to speak, I highly advise against this practice. If you are just interested in selling a few things out of your home, don't worry about this section, as you should not have any form of tax liability for selling your own belongings. However, if you start a business to make some money, you need to look at the legal aspects of running a business. Eventually, those who operate under the table will be caught.
If you are running an internet business it is not as anonymous as some people may believe. Keep in mind, the government designed the Internet in the first place! They know how it works! Legalize it and you will sleep better at night!
It really is simple. This is not as complicated as you think, so don't worry! I know I fussed and fretted over this for a good while and when I actually went "legal", I kicked myself because the process was so simple.
Follow the steps below to get you started:
1. Determine the type of home business you want to start. Sole Proprietorship, Partnership or Corporation.
* A Sole Proprietorship is the least costly and least complicated way to set up your business. Remember that a Sole Proprietorship is totally dependent upon your ability to work and have good ideas for growth. There is no other person in the business to rely on.
* A Partnership happens when two or more entrepreneurs form a company. Legal fees for setting up such an arrangement are usually more costly than those required for a Sole Proprietorship and less costly than a Corporation. The up side of a Partnership is more capital for growth and more ideas for how to grow the business. The downside is getting rid of a bad partner.
* A Corporation is the most complicated and most costly of the three options. The ongoing accounting, legal, and tax reporting obligations of a Corporation are much more complicated than for the other two options. Corporations have boards, shareholders, and shared responsibility for the business. It is necessary to keep everyone informed of decisions, the company's financial status, and a host of other actions.
It is wise to seek the advise of an attorney in the beginning of your work-from-home situation in order to avoid serious problems later on. An attorney will guide your decision about what legal form your company should take.
2. If using a fictious name for the business, it must be registered first with the state. Call your city & state office to find out their phone number. Usually, you can do this online. Visit their site and fill out a fictious name form. A fee may or may not apply.
3. Is your home located in the city? Some states like Florida require a county license if your busines isn't located in the city. If not sure, contact your local jurisdiction office for licensinig information.
4. Complete the home occupation application and the business license application. You may download the forms from your city hall website. Call your city hall office to find out their website address and fees.
5. Forward your applications and fees to your city hall office either by mail or by visiting the office. They will usually accept cash, checks, debit cards, VISA, MasterCard or American Express credit cards. Again, check with your local city hall office.
If you visit in person with your applications and appropriate fees, you will get your business licenses the same day. However, if you do all of this by mail, you would need to wait at least 2 to 3 weeks to receive your licenses. Either way, you are on the right track.
Sonia Colon is owner of a successful online specialty giftstore "Jimson Products".
Visit: http://www.jimsonproducts.com for a wonderful display.
Get Your Own FREE Mall: http://www.telebay.com/shopping1/mall.html
A Day in the Life of a Self Employed Professional
It's Monday morning and Connie the Consultant sits in her executive office chair overseeing her business empire. Her desk is strewn with half finished projects, several weeks worth of to do lists (none of them completed), scribbled post it notes, and a permission slip for her daughter's field trip to the Planetarium that should have been turned in last week. Somewhere, buried deep in the rubble is Connie's business plan. The last time she saw it was during the Clinton Administration.
Franchise Company Operations Manual Sample Outline
Many companies wish to expand and a few wish to use franchising as a method of expansion. Not a bad idea, but one must consider the importance of the fine details. One book I recommend you read is the "E-Myth" by Gerber it is available at all the usual places. You see when going from a small business to a franchise company it is important to make sure you take out all the mistakes you have made in the past in building your small business and insure that your future franchisees never make those mistakes themselves. After all they need not go thru the rigorous minefields and brick walls you had to in order to be successful. Especially considering you will most likely be charging them a substantial upfront franchise fee.
Franchise Buyers from Hell
I ran a franchise company for many years, a car wash franchise, and we use to get the most ridiculous franchise buyers who thought they wanted a franchise. It seems we had to deal with these Kookoo birds because they have consumer rights and the Federal Trade Commission, which looks over franchising goes out of their way to let these consumers get away with these tall tales.
How Micro Loans Can Mean Macro Success for Your Business
"Inch by inch, row by row...that's the way my garden grows" was a favorite saying of my grandmother's -- usually when she was trying to teach me something about patience!
Dispute Resolution; Competing With Other Franchisees
If you are in a franchise and have a territory dispute with another franchisee you need to prevent a lawsuit use dispute resolution techniques to resolve the dispute. Competing with other franchisees is a subject that franchisors would prefer not to need to talk about. This is a real problem for some types of franchises. For instance mobile service businesses and home based franchises.
Finance Your Small Business: So Much Money, So Little Time
$37.4 million funded from venture capital today. $86.4 million funded yesterday. $51.4 million funded the day before.
Carwash Franchisor Case Study
There are only a handful of car wash franchises in the world. This might offer some insight on how car wash franchises come into existence. This is a crazy story. It is the history of our company and how we ended up in the Carwash Franchise business. One of our franchisees of our mobile car wash business; The Car Wash Guys, was in Idaho, was the son of a wheat farmer, the areas largest farm family land holder in Idaho's banana belt. About a month before he called us I put up this web site called www.detailguys.com and said what the hell, I will put up a form in case someone wants to buy a franchise for only auto detailing and not mobile car washing we can make a sub franchise out of it. Previously I did a couple of trade shows. The Black Expo and a BizOp/franchise show, great results and really I did not need any leads. But what I learned was their were significant people wanting low-priced franchises. So I put up the website and put a form on it and the very next day I get a lead from Phil the farmer in Idaho, looking for a simple business. He wanted to start a business, but stick more with auto detailing on a mobile bases, which was slightly different than that of our mobile care wash franchise. So he wanted a franchise ID. But heck I was in CA and ID seemed like another World at the time. It was. Things went good, because we made it work and Phil then bought a car wash guys mobile truck and later an auto detailing trailer and hired on some more workets.
Five Break-through Ideas to Immediately Increase Profits and Improve Cash Flow
Too often in business we get trapped into reviewing our sales numbers without analyzing the all important "profit" number. This is commonly referred to as the "bottom-line" of a business. There are various ways you can dramatically impact your profitability.
Local Search and Internet Yellow Pages - A Whole NewVocabulary for Small Businesss
Buyers want both online and local information about where to buy Most small businesses are local in nature, serving people who live nearby. Their customers found them through traditional methods like the Yellow Pages or newspaper ads. So far, the Internet hasn't figured prominently in their marketing efforts. That's about to change, as Local Search methods become more widespread. Even for buyers expecting to spend their money close to home, more and more of them go to the Internet to locate desired products and services. They rely on search engines to find suitable vendors in the fastest, easiest way. Local Search combines the search query word or phrase with specific geographic terms, like city or zip code. That way, search results only include enterprises in that local area. Instead of information about a small enterprise being lost among millions of pages of search results, it shows up in a small pool of local providers. That's good for them, as well as the person looking for what they provide. Small operations can easily be located by a whole new group of buyers Consumers don't simply go to the Yellow Pages when ready to buy - as they once did. Studies show that an astonishing 36% of online searches are conducted to find local businesses. About a quarter of all Internet users already conduct local searches. They'd do even more of it, if the desired small business data were more complete. Local enterprises need to prepare for the impact of changing customer habits. An easy first step is to include your business in Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), along with the printed Yellow Page directory. That puts your enterprise on the radar screen. Learn how your business can make the most of Local Search by visiting http://www.yellowpagesage.com. You'll find reliable advice from experts in Yellow Pages and Local Search so you can get more mileage from your promotional dollars. Start by getting comfortable with search concepts, and improve your odds of being found when people search online for what you offer. You don't even need your own Web site to benefit from Internet Yellow Pages and Local Search. Learn the Relevant Terms Search Engine - method for locating the information available on the Internet; a program that searches Web pages for requested keywords, then returns a list of documents where the query terms were found Google and Yahoo, the major general search engines, have both shifted gears to make Local Search a priority when delivering relevant results. Spider (also called "crawler" or "bot") - goes to every page on every Web site and reads the information so it can be available to searchers; to "crawl" a site it collects and indexes information from it Specialized Search Engines - narrow focus of information crawled and indexed, like medical, business, or shopping sites Keywords - word or phrases used by search engines to locate relevant Web pages; words chosen to improve a site's search engine placement and ranking Search Query - search request, which the search engine compares to the spidered entries, then returns results to the searcher Search Results - compiled list of Web pages that a search engine delivers in response to a query; the number of items returned is usually overwhelming (in the millions), so searchers only bother to view results on the first pages Relevant Results - the test of a good search is whether the results obtained relate to what the person wanted to find, without a lot of irrelevant links Local Search - combining a geographic term in a search query to locate suitable providers in a specific area Pay per Click (PPC) - method of building traffic whereby site owners bid on search terms (keywords) that link to their site Geographic Terms - specific information about the local area that can be included in a local search: zip code, town, county, geographic region, state Top Ranking - sites shown on the first page(s) of search results Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - fine-tuning keywords and page content so the Web site rates high in search engine results Tags and Titles (on Web Pages) - provide site keywords and information to search engine spiders for indexing a site Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) - directory of business phone numbers and locations in a geographic area, organized by category; searchable data base accessed on the Internet Make your business easy for searchers to find The public is embracing the convenience of searching on the Internet to find information about local businesses. However, their searches for desired information are compromised because so many local enterprises don't show up in the databases as yet. Those that do have an edge in their local market. Climb aboard! Make sure searchers can find you. For little or no money, you can expose your enterprise to the whole world. Whether or not your business has a Web site, you need to provide the information people are looking for in the places that they look for it. Local Search and Internet Yellow Pages open new avenues to buyers ready to spend. Best of all, they support and compliment your traditional methods of finding new business. So you cover all your bases. (c)2004, Lynella Grant
Why Small Businesses Need Both A Logo And An Identity System
Experts urge small business owners to "brand" their business ? to use a logo and a set of consistent marketing materials. But, they rarely go into the reasons behind this advice. Here's a list of some of the benefits to having a professionally designed logo and marketing package:
What Is YOUR Value Proposition?
Every company has a value proposition. That is a statement of their perceived value to their clients. Often a company will have one perception at the executive level, another at the sales level, and even a third one at the client level.
Hard Money Lenders -- No Money Down The Easy Way
Would it help you as a real estate investor to be able to "Close For Cash in Days," even if you're tapped out financially?
Equipment Maintenance Manual for Mobile Cleaning Business Outline
Service Cleaning Businesses must maintain their equipment in order to insure it is ready to go when the company vehicles reach their customer. It does not matter how many service vehicles or employees you have, a manual can save you both time and money. If your equipment is not running correctly you will find yourself in a position of having to make an excuse to a customer. Although if this happens only once you probably will not jeopardize the account, but if it becomes a common occurrence you will be sure that you will lose some accounts and be thought of as inefficient and unreliable. If this happens you can bet that if your competition shows up with a lower price and a few extra promises you will receive your walking papers and become a political casualty of the world of the cleaning business.
Auto Detailers and Competitive Aspects of Automobile Detailing
There are both fixed and mobile detailers. Consumers often will use either or both during the life of their car. Mobile Detailing is nice because they come to you. Fixed site auto detailers often work in a controlled environment and can produce higher quality work. Due to the competitive aspects fixed site detailers generally will offer pick up and drop of services. Due to costs to run an automotive detailing shop the prices are often a little higher and this gives the advantage to the mobile auto-detailing practitioner.
Is Your Business Profitable?
What's your job profitability? Do you know?
The Care and Feeding of Your Small Business
While I was hard at work last week, an everyday drama was playing out in a hospital room in the next town. My niece was working on presenting me with a new great nephew. Tyler James came into the world Thursday afternoon, mother and child are both doing well. Naturally, I am able to discern at this early stage that the child is adorably cute, remarkably bright, and very advanced for his age. Takes after his Great Aunt, I'm sure.
Small Does Not Mean Invisible!
Running a business on the net these days can be like looking up into a clear night sky; it can leave you feeling very small and insignificant.
Deciding Which State To Incorporate Your Small Business In
Once you've decided to incorporate your small business the next step is deciding which state to incorporate in. A common misconception is that businesses must incorporate in their state of operation. You can, in fact, incorporate in any one of the 50 states and the District of Columbia regardless of where your business currently operates.
Entrepreneur to Employer
You make the decision to go into business and for some time work from home or in leased premises and your business starts to grow.
Getting City Contracts; Local Government Contracting
All cities have a purchasing office and/or a procurement officer. They handle all city contracts that are sent out to bid. Usually, to become a small business vendor of the city you must satisfy either some or all of the requirements listed below:
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