California Dreamin’: How the Golden State Can Provide Golden Opportunities for Your Business

California Dreamin’: How the Golden State Can Provide Golden Opportunities for Your BusinessIf you’re an entrepreneur, you know that when setting out on a small business venture, there are many factors you must consider. What will be the size and scale of the company? How will you get initial funding to jump start their project? Who will you choose to partner with?

Perhaps the most significant of all these very fundamental questions is that of location: where will you start your business? The location of your business is the foundation upon which the answers to all of the aforementioned questions are built. “Location, location, location” is the saying so often associated with the real estate industry—and it applies well to business also.

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B Corp Experts Weigh In: Jay Coen Gilbert

Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab Cofounder

When we first started taking a closer look at benefit corporations, we were really building off of the momentum that began with B Lab, the nonprofit that pushes for Benefit Corporation legislation and certifies B Corps. Little did we know, we’d be interviewing Jay Coen Gilbert, one of the three cofounders of B Lab, on our blog! We were so excited, we added a few extra questions in today’s interview where Jay tells us about the benefits forming a B Corp brings to society and the environment, and that for all companies, it’s most important to take the first step and see where you stand.

1. What’s the source of your passion and inspiration that drove you into your leading role in the Benefit Corporation movement?

B Lab’s three cofounders, Bart Houlahan, Andrew Kassoy and I (Jay Coen Gilbert), all share a passion for using market forces to address society’s greatest challenges. We’ve worked in business for most of our careers and hope to harness the amazing talent, passion and resources we’ve seen there to make a better world. Ultimately, we founded B Lab to serve those entrepreneurs who are using business as a force for good.

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The Evolution of an Entity: A Closer Look at Benefit Corporations (Infographic)

Our blog has taken a turn for the Benefit Corporation lately, inspired by the momentum started by B Lab, the founders behind the movement, and this month we’ve created an infographic on how this fairly new entity has been taking the nation by storm. 20 states, along with Washington D.C., have passed Benefit Corporation legislature and our infographic goes in depth to discuss the growth of the B-Corp to come, a look at a few famous companies that you might not know are B-Corps, and a timeline that looks into how long it took states like California, Maryland, and Delaware to enact Benefit Corporation legislation.

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The Skinny on SHOP: The Small Business Health Option Program

Under the new laws, affordable healthcare is right around the corner.

Is it me, or do you feel like all of your business expenses are going up? Rent is higher, payroll fees are up, taxes in California, healthcare costs. These are all fixed costs, meaning that they don’t go down. They stay where they are and that means less money flows to your bottom line.

Check this out. I’ve got a fixed cost for you that could go lower! Like 10-30% lower — now that’s a ballpark.

Your healthcare costs. Yep! Whether you are self employed, a small business with employees, or an individual, you need to know what is coming down the pike on Jan 1, 2014.

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50 States of Incorporation: California

California- the golden state, home to San Francisco, Los Angeles and, of course, MyCorporation! California’s flag is none other than the Historic Bear Flag, its capital is Sacramento, its flower the poppy and its motto: Eureka!

One would think that a place with so much start-up history would be an excellent place to start a business nowadays; however, California is actually not the best place to start a business as it turns out.

California is one of the most expensive states to incorporate in with a flat, corporate tax of 8.84%. Additionally, the state’s tax codes are known to be pretty complicated. Not to mention the large amounts of bureaucracy that a small business has to cut through in order to open.
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Business Basics: Initial and Annual Reports/Statements of Information

Welcome to our weekly Business Basics post! In case you missed last week’s entry to the series, we are dedicating every Tuesday to helping explain the facets and aspects of starting and running a business that typically get overlooked.

Initial and annual reports (also known in some states as Statements of Information), while not particularly glamorous, keep your business in good standing. Plus if you misfile them, or file them late, your corporation or LLC could be slammed with fees, or even dissolution. Two things that you clearly want to avoid. But what are these reports, and what are they supposed to say?
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Last Minute Tax Organization Tips!

With only 11 days left until April 15th arrives, small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere are scrambling to get their federal and state taxes filed and sent along to the IRS with California doing the most scrambling of all. CohnReznick recently reported in one of their company newsletters that for LLCs and Corporations in California that fail to file their tax returns on time, they may wind up paying a $2,000 penalty as issued by the California Franchise Tax Board.

Don’t endanger your overall tax position – take our CEO Deborah’s tips into consideration when it comes to getting your taxes prepped and sent on their way. Best of all, these tips can be applied to the years to come beyond the 2013 tax year and once they’re in place will make filing taxes in the future much easier and more organized.

1) Make sure you have your documents prepared.
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MyCorp Survey Results Revealed!

Last month, we conducted our first ever MyCorp 2012 Survey for Small Business with five quick questions on the state of small businesses in 2012 and beyond with questions that focused on consumer spending, business spending, predicted growth of the business in 2013, the social media outlet you’re looking to establish for your brand, and quite literally the state of your small business – where you’re putting your business out on the map and which states are the most popular to form a small business in!

We tallied up the votes on Constant Contact, conducted the random drawing for our lucky $50 Starbucks gift card winner (congrats to Elizabeth Sneed!), and the results are in from our voters! Continue reading

Thumbtack.com’s Friendliest States for Small Business

Ever wonder what states are the most business friendly? Or which ones have the most transparent steps to creating a registered business?

Thumbtack.com:
Linking local service professionals to potential customers

A quick Google search will reveal a myriad of studies, articles and opinions on that very question. But Thumbtack.com, in partnership with the Kauffman Association, actually interviewed over 6,000 small business owners to see where individual state ranked in terms of business friendliness. And they uncovered some extremely interesting facts. For example, there were substantial difference between how supportive men and women thought certain states were; women entrepreneurs in Iowa were half as likely to rate their state as supportive of them as men were. And small business care almost twice as much about licensing regulations as they do about tax rates when ranking their state! Continue reading

Mega Millions for All!

If you haven’t heard- the 42 state lotto, Mega Millions is over half a billion dollars. Since we’re finishing out tax season we thought it would be good to highlight one last tax post. We’ll discuss the taxes on your lotto winnings, as well as gross income generally.

If you are from New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas, South Dakota, Washington, California, Pennsylvania or Delaware you will win the biggest in tonight’s drawing- winning between 3% and 9% more than if you were from any other state because you won’t have to pay state income taxes. However, all winners must count the winnings as income and are subject to the Federal income tax of 35% (or maybe more depending on your specific situation). Continue reading