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Three Signs You’re Undercharging for Your Services

Sutton Creative Studios

Rusty Pennies by puuikibeachAs 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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Do I Need a Registered Agent?

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:

 
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Husband-wife team launch Zoobean to make search for kids books smarter

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?

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When is a good time to start a business?

So True!

LeikHong's Blog

“When is a good time to start a business?”

many people want to start a business, but too many of them just can’t find the right timing. if you’re one of them who still not willing to leave your comfort zone.

below is the info-graph that illustrate every single moment in life seem to be a good moment to start a business (except being dead).

stop giving yourself more excuses and start dive into your passion. if you still don’t know what you like to do? keep searching don’t settle.
you would know when you found it.

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Do I Need a DBA?

So as you are sitting, drinking your coffee and reading the newspaper, you come across the section that contains lists of business names and DBA’s.  What is this you ask? How does a company come to be listed in this publication?  That section of the newspaper is for the publication of Fictitious Business Names or DBA’s.  A Fictitious Business Name, assumed business name, trade name and doing business as (DBA) are names in which a business can operate under a name other than their legal name.  Why would a business need to operate under a DBA?

When to file a DBA

1. You want to use a business name that is different that your own name.  Your name is John Doe and you want to operate your plumbing company as a sole proprietorship, and call it Southwest Plumbing. Since your business name does not contain your name, John Doe,  you would need to file a DBA. In some places you are able to use your name plus the description of your business without having to file the DBA, such as  John Doe Plumbing.

2. You are a corporation, LLC or other legal entity that is entering a new business area not reflected by your current name.  John Doe formed Southwest Plumbing, Inc. as a California Corporation and is operating in southern California.  He is doing well and is ready to expand his business into northern California, Oregon and Washington. The business name Southwest Plumbing, Inc. is not descriptive of  the services he will be providing after his expansion, so he will need to file a (or multiple depending on jurisdictions) DBA so that he can conduct business as West Coast Plumbing, Inc..  His legal entity will still be Southwest Plumbing, Inc. but he will be able to advertise, conduct business and otherwise operate under the name West Coast Plumbing, Inc.; not restricting him to the Southwest region, as indicated by his name.

3. To open a bank account. Sometimes a bank requires a sole proprietor or general partnership to file a DBA to allow the individuals to open a business account.

The DBA is a means by which you announce to the world who is really behind an operating business. This helps mitigate the ability of unscrupulous people hiding behind new business entities and names to avoid taxes and other liabilities. The publications in the newspaper you were reading is the way that the businesses are announced to the public.

How to file a DBA

To file a DBA or Fictitious Business Name, you must complete the appropriate paperwork with the applicable state, county or local agency that handles such filing. Some states or counties require publication in a newspaper as described above, providing public notice. As soon as those requirements are met, you may begin using your DBA.

For assistance with your DBA or Fictitious Business Name contact SBCS.

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Texting in the Workplace and its pros and cons

TekGabber

Texting in the Workplace and it’s pros and consAllowing employees to send and receive text messages in the workplace is a practice that is becoming more common. This practice has its advantages and its disadvantages. Before you make the decision to allow your employees to use text messaging as a form of business communication, you should take a moment to consider what it could entail.

Advantages

Sending a Text For Business purposes is convenient and easy to do. Instead of having to pull up a contacts number, go to a phone, and dial the number, employees can simply use text messaging. It also allows employees to work on the go. If an employee has to run around the office and will be away from his desk phone and email, they can send a text message. Text messages are also advantageous, because they can be sent and received silently. No longer do your workers have to be distracted by…

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Why Caring About Equal Pay Could Save You Money

President Obama declared April 9, 2013 as Equal Pay Day to highlight  the discrimination women currently face in equal wages for equal work. It is said that women make 77 percent of what their male counterparts make, and face discrimination in benefits, wage increases and time off. This Handout [2013_04_11_11_04_27]  from the Lawyer’s Club of San Diego’s Equal Pay Day Luncheon and outlines and summarizes the pay discrepancies.

In an attempt to combat this discrimination The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) was created allowing any employee (male or female) adversely affected by a covered employer’s failure to pay equal wages to employees of different genders performing the same jobs to bring an action against the employer .  More recently, President Obama signed into law the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which expands the time frame in which employees can sue for discriminatory compensation under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

So what does this mean for you as the employer? Why should you be concerned? Well, as the employer you should be aware and sensitive to the salaries, benefits and time off each member of your team receives. It may be easy to even unintentionally overlook an imbalance between similarly-situated genders; and a failure to close whatever gap may exist could be costly.  If a current or former employee brings action for discrimination based on gender under any of the above Acts, it could be tremendously costly and time consuming for you.

In an action under the EPA, a prevailing employee can receive back pay, interest, attorney’s fees and litigation costs. Where the court finds a lack of good faith, an employee can recover  “liquidated damages” by way of doubling the back pay award. This can be extended to three years of doubled back pay when the violation of the EPA is willfull.

For example, in Cooke v. United States, the Plaintiff, a former female Director, who alleged her former employer willfully and in bad faith discriminated against her by paying her less than  similarly-situated https://sbcompliance.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php(all) male Directors. The Plaintiff was awarded a $446,0oo judgment for her lost back pay, lost retirement benefits and the court also extended her damages back three years and doubled the award.

You don’t want your organization to incur a liability and cost such as that. Be aware of any unfair treatment between the genders in your workplace and make other managers and supervisors aware of the risks as well. You should review your employment manuals and procedures to ensure compliance and risk minimization.

For more information: Small Business Compliance Services, Inc.

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