Whether an entrepreneur, small business owner, stay-at-home mom, or a father: have you ever noticed you don’t notice something until it is presented to you? I like to consider myself a supporter of women’s advancement and leadership (especially because I am a woman and a business owner). Yet, I realized when reading this article I am just as guilty of contributing to the stereotype of the “working woman”.
When you think of a “working woman” what image comes to mind? For me it’s a business suit, a briefcase, and sensible heels. I don’t think first of a doctor, or a Soldier (even though I was one), or a painter. This article, and the art coming to Getty Images through a link with LeanIn.org will be helpful for all of us.
Owning or managing a business carries with it several liabilities and potential risks. Most businesses focus on the aspects of property damage, fire hazards, employee safety, and other prominent causes of lawsuits and loss. A silent threat that is often ignored, or taken for granted, is discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The liability for these cases can be just as costly to the business as if there were a fire or other damaging incident.
One of the many freedoms that is savored by the American people is the right to not be discriminated against. Discrimination can come in a number of forms and the scope is being widened in response to public outcry. A case in point – in July 2013, discrimination against Spanish speaking employees found its way into a legal battle which is playing out in New Mexico.
As an employer, you are placed in a sensitive position when you…
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As I begin this adventure of trying to start my own business, I’m finding that my general disorganized approach just hasn’t been cutting it. I’ve had to re-think my entire approach to this process and how to maintain any semblance of balance with the demands of a full-time “real job” and a family with two young daughters. So to ensure that I keep my sanity with so many moving pieces, here are the 5 things that I’ve found really helpful when trying to launch a small business:
1. Make a Plan:
As some wise sage once said, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” I actually believe this is true and it’s a lesson that unfortunately I’ve had to learn the hard way. Too often, I’ve taken a leap before glancing down to see if there are rocks below and I end up getting hurt. If you really…
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Reblog day! Here is a great update on provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are going to be in effect soon. This is from the tax/accounting perspective for your small business.
The changes brought to the health care regulatory environment by the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are the most fundamental since the creation and implementation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960’s. As such, all parties involved in the delivery of health care services in the U.S. – patients, providers, insurers, and employers – have new rights and responsibilities. The most significant provisions affecting employers which have already begun the phase-in process or which will be implemented beginning January 1, 2015 include:
- Applicable large employers must offer minimum essential health insurance to full-time employees or face a substantial penalty beginning January 1, 2015
- Certain employers are required to implement automatic enrollment procedures for new employees
- Forms W-2 issued by employers must include information on the aggregate cost of applicable employer sponsored health coverage
- A tax credit is available to small employers who purchase health insurance…
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As a new business owner, it is very easy to undervalue yourself and the services you offer. Whether due to lack of market research or in effort to build a client base, you may bid extremely low on projects and find yourself working for close to nothing. The good news is, your fees are not set in stone, and you are able to adjust your pricing from one client to the next.
Following are three signs you’re undercharging for your services:
- Your (potential) client asks, “Why are you charging so little?” Yes, this is an obvious indicator, however it happened to us. Because we initially started our business to earn a little bit of extra income, we did not charge full asking value. We went in low with our proposals and captured a lot of attention.
- You’re treated as an employee rather than an expert. You started your business because…
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If your business is, or will be, something other than a sole proprietorship you will need to list a Registered Agent or Statutory Agent with Secretary of State in the jurisdiction(s) in which that are organized or conduct business.
The Registered Agent provides the public with an address (not a P.O. Box) where there are persons available, during normal business hours, to accept legal service of process for the business in the event they are being sued or otherwise involved in legal action. Additionally the Registered Agent is where the state government(s) send all official documents and notices required each year for tax and legal purposes. The Registered Agent will help facilitate compliance and filing when necessary, and help ensure that the business entity remains “Active” or in “Good Standing” in each jurisdiction. There is generally a fee associated with this Registered Agent relationship at about $200 a year and higher.
So do you need one? Some states allow for the Registered Agent to be an individual at the place of business. However, it can be difficult or burdensome for a business owner to keep track of legislative changes and report or filing due dates for multiple jurisdictions. Failure to do so will result in the business entity to become in “default” or “suspended” status. This will effect the entity’s ability to conduct business, enter into contracts, bring or defend against legal action as well as incur fees and penalties with the Secretary of State.
So while using a commercial Registered Agent could save you some money initially, not designating someone with the ability to ensure compliance for your entity could have costly consequences.
Below is a list of commonly used Registered Agents that cover multiple Jurisdictions:
Here is a great story about a family using their skills to help fill a void in an existing market. What ideas do you have that you haven’t taken action on yet?