Business Basics: The First Few Steps After Incorporating

We talk a lot about the awesome benefits of incorporating or forming an LLC. We also talk a lot about maintaining a business. But what about that middle ground, when you’ve already incorporated but just barely?shutterstock_141838129

Here are a couple moves you can make as a small business owner who’s recently incorporated:

Protect your intellectual property.

The best way to go about doing this is to invest in a trademark. With an official trademark your business’s brand is fully your own. Once you’ve filed a trademark with the USPTO, no one else can legally use your company’s logo, designs, symbols, phrases, or whatever it is that you want to protect. Continue reading

Business Basics: Reinstatements

Reinstatement is what you have to do to get your business out of an inactive or bad standing with the state. And this time of the year, we’re getting tons of requests and questions about reinstatements from people who let their corporation or limited liability company to lapse, but want to get things rolling again before we get too far into 2015.
Reinstatement Luckily, the reinstatement process is pretty straight-forward, though depending on the reason for the lapse, it can get a little pricey.

How does a company become inactive, or get put in bad standing?
There are a few different ways this can happen. But one of the most common reasons behind a bad-standing is simply the business’s owner forgetting to pay their annual fee. Continue reading

Business Basics: Privately Held Companies

Welcome to the first ‘Business Basics’ of the year! We are starting 2015 off strong by looking at privately held companies. The structure of privately held business is often misunderstood. People wonder what distinguishes a privately held company from a publicly one, or believe that any business run by a non-government entity constitutes a private company. That isn’t the case, and so to clear up any confusion, we’ve answered some of the more commonly asked questions we get about private companies. Privately Held vs Public Company

What is the difference between a privately held company, and a public one?

A privately held company is also known as a ‘closed company,’ because the ownership of the business is closed. In other words, you can’t just decide to buy a chunk of the business off of the market. Continue reading

Business Basics: End of the Year Prep

The end of the year is right around the corner, and every year we hear small business owners panicking about December’s rapidly approaching end, wondering what they have to do to end the year right. Not to worry – ending the year is actually pretty easy, as long as you don’t wait until the last minute to get everything done! So if you haven’t already, start thinking about…
End of Year Prep

Submitting any filings or dissolutions

Some of the most common questions we are asked revolve around the best time to form an LLC or incorporate. And while there are no ironclad answers to those questions, the beginning of the year is normally a good time to send in that paperwork. Deadlines and renewal dates are easier to remember, staying on top of your taxes is simpler, and you can even file your paperwork early and miss the beginning of the year rush if you opt for a delayed filing. Continue reading

Business Basics: Dissolutions

Business Entity ChoiceIn today’s BB segement, we’ll be going over the basics of dissolutions. What they are, why someone would want one, and what to do if you accidentally dissolve when you didn’t want to.

First of all, what is a dissolution?

A dissolution is a formal closure of a business with the state. A corporation or LLC must file articles of dissolution in order to complete the termination of a business. Upon being dissolved, the business will no longer need to file annual reports, pay state fees, taxes, or be seen as active in the eyes of the state.  Continue reading

Business Basics: Reasonable Compensation

This week we are looking at reasonable compensation, a legal necessity for anyone running a Corporation. Reasonable compensation is connected to one of the most fundamental parts of working for a company – getting paid – and yet it’s so widely misunderstood. When you form an Corporation, you create a separate, legal entity that ‘earns’ money. You then pull your wage from those earnings and pay whatever payroll taxes you owe. reasonable compensation

In order to close a loophole wherein those running the corporation could ask for an extremely low salary, pay next to no payroll taxes, and then close the wage gap with distributions, the IRS requires that all corporate officers and executive be paid ‘reasonable compensation.’ But what constitutes reasonable compensation is a little more murky.

Who needs to be concerned with reasonable compensation?

Anyone that is runs, or helps run, a C-Corporation or S-Corporation must be reasonably compensated for their work. Continue reading

Business Basics: 3 Reasons You Need a Delayed Filing For Your Business

small business tax deductionsWhen a business owner files for a delayed filing, he or she is putting their business’s paperwork on hold until a later date. This may not seem entirely productive because, often, getting paperwork to go through the state for you business can be a waiting game, anyway. But a delayed filing can be strategic for the success of your business when used correctly.

Here are three reasons a business may opt for a delayed filing: Continue reading

Business Basics – Estimated Tax Payments

Estimated tax payments are one of the biggest shocks for new business owners. They know that they have to pay taxes, they just don’t realize they have to send in a check four times a year! Most businesses that expect to more than $1,000 – or $500 if the company is incorporated – in taxes have to make estimated payments to the IRS. And, since the next quarterly payment is due on September 15th, we thought it’d be a good idea to do a quick rundown of what estimated tax payments are.

Estimated Tax Payment

What are estimated tax payments?
Exactly what they sound like. These payments are simply what you’d normally owe on your income. However, since you don’t have an employer to withhold and send in what you owe, you have to do it instead.
Continue reading