The SBA EIDL Round 2 extended application deadline to 12/31/2021 and introduced the New Targeted EIDL Advance Grants for businesses continuing to suffer from the Covid-19 pandemic. Learn more about the changes to the EIDL program, which businesses can qualify for the EIDL grant and how to apply.
In a previous post, we discussed how a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) company works, its many benefits, and the tax implications you may face if you hire one.
As a recap, a PEO is a service that small or medium-sized businesses may use to outsource some of their human resource, payroll, benefits, taxes, recruiting, and other management tasks. As you might imagine, there are both pros and cons in hiring a PEO.
Here, we’ll discuss the disadvantages of using a PEO, along with the associated costs of a PEO.
In our PEO series, we’ve talked about what a PEO company is and who is the employer in a PEO relationship. Here, we’ll discuss PEO for nonprofits, and whether or not using a PEO for your nonprofit might make sense.
On June 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications to businesses with no more than 500 employees and non-profit organizations operating and suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the pandemic in all of the U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
Independent Contractors, sole-proprietors (with or without employees), gig workers and freelancers are also eligible to apply for the EIDL.
Our PEO series is aimed at addressing the common questions about PEOs, and uncovering some of the lesser-known facts about working with a PEO so that you may make the best choices for your business.
So far, we’ve learned about what a PEO company does. Here, we’ll dive into some muddy waters and decipher who is really the employer in a PEO relationship.
Due to the wide media coverage over the availability of PPP Loans, the subsequent funding drought, and the numerous complexities involved in obtaining these loans, many business owners overlooked a different way to recover employee payroll costs if their business had been mandated to shut down by a governing authority or if their revenue had plummeted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Employee Retention Credit, under the CARES Act Section 2301, offers a viable and alternative way to recover payroll costs for any type of employer, except state and local government entities, regardless of their size.
If you are wondering what a PEO is and whether or not this type of outsourcing may be a good option for your small or medium-sized business, this first article in our series of four posts will help you decide if it’s the right move for you.
In this post, we cover everything you need to know about a PEO company including:
• What’s the meaning of PEO?
• PEO payroll
• PEO benefits
• PEO tax implications, and more.
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Paycheck Protection (Loan) Program (PPL) for small businesses was approved as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This new law is intended to help small business owners in an unprecedented way.
First, while the Paycheck Protection Program Loan will be initially set up by banks and approved by the SBA under section 7 (a), unlike other SBA loan programs, the PPL is guaranteed 100% by the SBA.
Second, if the proceeds of the loan are used by business owners as Congress, the Senate and President Trump intended, the loan will be forgiven.
Doing deals can be expensive. A lot of entrepreneurs want to save money by not hiring an advisor or they don’t know when they should make the investment on an advisor. It’s important to understand the roles of the broker and other advisors, especially legal counsel, and to know when to bring in a professional. Here are some milestones in a deal, and how to know when to hire a business advisor.
In this post we will be addressing how to protect your business name and whether filing for a DBA, registering a trademark or copyright, creating a URL, filing a patent application, and registering your business in your state of operation is appropriate, and most importantly why.
Understanding the differences between the various methods used to protect your intellectual property allows you to be prepared to make the best decisions possible for your new business. By doing so, the fence around your valuable business will be strengthened!
What can be branded? Names of businesses, associated logos, taglines, slogans, names of products, and even product shapes, sounds, smells, and colors can be part of your brand.
There are several types of loans available to business owners — so many, in fact, that the options can seem overwhelming and confusing, especially to smaller business owners without a lot of experience raising capital. This guide will help educate you on the options so you can make a more informed decision about financing your growing business while limiting added risk.
You’ve invested in Search Optimizing your website with better content, meta-code, and Social Media links. Traffic to your site has increased, and you’ve even started to receive more calls and orders. What’s next? The first thing to realize is that SEO is an open-ended process that is never really complete. It comes with victories and setbacks, and you need to be vigilant about the ways in which your web visitors interact with your site.
As businesses grow and develop, so do their intellectual property (IP) assets. And if these businesses are engaging in proper IP management, they are filing trademark and patent applications to protect their IP. However, because of the public nature of both trademark and patent prosecutions, one may get an inkling of their competitors’ business plans if they monitor these application filings. Though not a perfect way to predict the exact nature of your competitors’ future offerings, keeping track of IP filings can be a guide to where your competitors are moving.
Do you have a website? Do you have images on your website? Do you know where those images came from? Truly, do you? If you didn’t create the images yourself or you didn’t license the images from their owner, you are probably violating copyright infringement laws. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t know; innocent infringement is still infringement!
If the headline of this piece makes you nod in agreement, you’ll be surprised by what we have to say. Have you noticed, for example, that some of the most successful websites today, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Images offer infinite scrolling? The truth is, the last time people had any difficulty scrolling was before the turn of the century, and the idea that websites should keep their information “above the fold” is an outdated myth.
My business partner, the author Jack Beauregard, and I recently had breakfast with Lorraine McGregor from Vancouver, BC Canada. Lorraine is the author of books on Exit Planning and Entrepreneurship, as well as an experienced business consultant. We were all discussing why so many business owners were delaying (the inevitable) transition planning from their businesses.
Unfortunately, owning a business does not make someone an expert in financing. The lenders are the ones who know the ins and outs of rates and terms and documents. To even out the playing field, it is important for a small business owner to ask the right questions and consider the following factors when deciding whether to refinance:
Managing the people side of a growing business is often just as difficult as managing operational challenges. From finding top talent to establishing and building a company culture, the human side of a business is a constant work in progress.
As businesses grow, one consideration leaders must wrestle with has to do with what is the best organizational structure. How many layers will the business have? At what point are other leadership roles outside of the CEO required? Answering these questions is essential if the business wants to continue to grow.
The world of “social media” has become a confusing crowd of personal and business pages, almost too many to name. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, not to mention Instagram, Tumblr, Yelp, and more. When online articles talk about the Top 10 and Top 15 Social Networking Sites, you know you’re in trouble. Who has the time? So here we are to tell you about Google Plus, aka “Google+,” and to encourage you to establish and use a Google Plus business page. Why invest your time in this social platform over some of the others? Well, the fact that it’s from Google should provide your first clue.
Business Valuation Experts come in many forms, and for a business owner it can be very difficult understanding the various designations. More importantly, when the business owner is in need of a valuation, understanding exactly what type of expertise is necessary and ultimately who to hire can become a daunting task.
If you are considering getting a patent, you should be familiar with the items that must be included in a patent application. Below is a detailed outline of the material you will need to prepare to patent your new invention.
Many small business owners borrow money to start and grow their business. And is often the case those same business owners find themselves hitting credit limits established by banks and other lenders causing enormous growing pains for the business. Simply stated, running out of business capital when you’re growing a business is difficult at best.
Debt Service Coverage Ratio compliance often is required or necessitated by covenants in a bank loan agreement. A bank loan covenant regarding the debt service coverage ratio will specify the amount of income a business and/or its guarantor must generate relative to the debt principal and interest payments on an annual basis to remain in compliance with the covenant. The business owner, or his or her CFO or Controller, should monitor this ratio carefully on a monthly basis so the covenant is not unintentionally broken.
One of the many questions asked by entrepreneurs as they plan for the sale of their business is related to the Adjusted EBITDA definition.
When people come to talk with me about patenting their inventive idea, inevitably this question arises: “How long will it take to get a patent?” When I tell them it will probably take close to three years, their jaws drop in surprise. “Really, it’s going to take that long?!??!!?!” YEP.
Most individuals who consider themselves entrepreneurs believe they must start their own business to earn the title. However, what some do not realize is that the entrepreneurial spirit can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, not the least of which is purchasing an existing business. The following is a list of advantages for buying a business over starting one from scratch.
Today, web technologies like WordPress, Drupal, DotNetNuke, and Joomla allow website owners to make their own updates. No longer are you dependent on a webmaster to fit your changes into their schedule, and you’re not going to get a $100 bill for fixing a typo or updating a phone number either.
People often overlook the attitude of the buyer and how greatly it can affect the outcome of the deal. Confidence is key.
As markets recover post-recession, business owners are presented with growth opportunities. However, a business owner may not have access to the capital needed to execute on a growth strategy. Where does a business owner turn?
Many entrepreneurs faced with the demands on cash of a growing business are tempted to sell equity to outside investors, or perhaps give away stock to retain a valuable employee. Diluting your stake in this way may solve the immediate problem, but it can have unforeseen consequences when the business eventually is sold. Stockholders’ personal circumstances evolve in different ways over the lifetime of a company, and whatever the original intention everyone may not be on the same page when you are ready to sell.
If you’ve grown a valuable business, there is no doubt your employees are a big part of your success. You also know that hiring, training, and managing a great team of productive employees is a difficult task. And keeping your best employees is yet another accomplishment! But the painful truth is your competition would be very pleased to hire away your best employees.
For most companies, the end of the year is a time when employees and leaders go through the annual review process. This process is designed to rate performance for the year and, if applicable, apply a merit increase. Many companies consider this their performance management system. A true performance management system however is much more involved.
Check out the website of your favorite fast food chain and you will see most have multiple business entity structures noted in the fine print. For a large business, this practice has been commonplace for decades. It involves layering one form of a business entity either alongside or in conjunction with an operating business.
An intellectual property rights owner (licensor) authorizes certain rights to another (licensee) in exchange for an agreed payment in the form of either a fee or a royalty, or some combination of both.
When optimizing your website for search, you might wonder: Am I creating a site for search bots or for real people to use, and is there a difference?
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act there is a distinct difference between an independent contractor and an employee. This difference lies mainly in the way they are paid and the way taxes are withheld. Understanding the difference between them and times when both are appropriate to use can help business owners determine which is best for their situation.
The legal definition of a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods and services. Most commonly we think of names and logos, but marks also include taglines, slogans, and even product shapes, sounds, smells, and colors.
To the business owner with a website, what happens in a Google search is a mystery. Why doesn’t your site show up when you do a search? What’s the magic formula for getting to the top of Google?
Often, business owners ask me one of those “quick questions” – what can I do to maximize the sale price of my business? The answer? Not as simple as you may think. But there are 4 factors that can increase the value of your sale price.
Entering into a new contract is an exciting time for any company. The agreement is signed with the hope that it will grow the business and result in a long, mutually beneficial relationship with the other side. While such optimism is warranted, the importance of entering into a legally sound contract is critical to the protection of your business.
EBIT is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest and Taxes. This is a term Bankers often use as a measure of a business’s earnings from operations. The EBIT reveals operating profitability without non-recurring or unusual income or expenses.
The DBA is often misunderstood, but it can be a valuable way to structure a business and gain some protections of your rights as a business owner. However, you need to make sure you know the limitations of a DBA to protect your intellectual property and trademark rights.
A copyright protects the particular ways by which people expressed themselves. A copyright gives an owner the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute an original creative work.
EBITDA is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization. EBITDA is often used as a measure of a business’s cash flow. Also it is used frequently in many business valuation formulas, depending on the business’s specific industry.
In part 1 of this series, we discussed the various options to incorporate multiple businesses while keeping each business as a separate entity. But what if you want to keep all of your businesses under one roof?
Profitability is directly related to a company’s gross revenue, particularly as it relates to its varied customer types. What does gross revenue mean to your company’s profitability? Everything. Let’s back up to review the concepts we’ve covered in previous posts so we may explore gross revenue further.
Recently I took my nine year old daughter and a carload of her friends to our town’s Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival for an evening of ferris wheels, funnel cakes, and laughter–of course! It was a Friday night after a long week. Truly, I would have benefited from a simple dinner at home to unwind from the week. Sound familiar? However, I intuitively knew that the laughter of those children was most important and desperately needed…so off we went.
One of the most common questions I get from small business owners is, “when do I need an employee handbook?” In a perfect world, an employee handbook would be part of the startup protocol, but that usually isn’t the case. In the midst of building a website, working on business development and actually putting together a sellable product, writing policies and procedures is not top of mind.
In the recent Apple-Samsung case, the jury found that Samsung infringed six of Apple’s patents. While we think of Apple as having such technological superiority, three of the patents that Samsung were found to infringe were design patents. Unlike utility patents which cover any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof; design patents cover any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
The best solution to a problem lies in uncovering what the root cause of the problem really is. So often, this is the case when an entrepreneur is struggling with profitability in their business. Over the past few posts, we have discussed the concepts of how a minimum order policy and Pareto’s Principle applied to the customer/client base can be very powerful to help an entrepreneur improve the value of their business.
Proprietary information such as customer lists and recipes are intellectual property. However they are not formally protected in the same way as are trademarks, copyrights or patents. These and other types of confidential information can only be protected if they are treated as trade secrets.
If you own a business, you want to know that your entrepreneurial efforts will result in making money. However, many entrepreneurs struggle to recognize where they are making money and where they are not!
Most entrepreneurs find themselves extremely reluctant to turn away an order for any reason. The notion of telling a client or customer that their business or order is too small is frightening to even the most seasoned entrepreneur. However, if you don’t want to leave money on the table, and instead desire to make more profit, setting and enforcing a minimum order policy is absolutely necessary!
It takes a special kind of person to start a business: a rare combination of drive, ambition, creativity, tenacity and impatience for action. But even within the community of business experts and entrepreneurs there is a special breed of person known as a “serial entrepreneur.”