Here at MyCorp, we love talking about small business, as the sheer variety of small businesses available to start up is simply astounding. There is no, one, ubiquitous small business industry. Retailers, lawyers, restaurateurs, accountants – nearly every profession can be spun into a business!
With that in mind, we’re bringing you the ABCs of Small Business Industry as our latest post series on our blog. Over the next few months, we’ll be looking at the major industries that make up the small business world, taking a look at the different types of businesses, and helping people within these various industries start their own companies.
Without further ado, we present the first in what we hope will be an educational and enjoyable series – A is for Accounting.
What do you need to create your own accounting practice?
First, you need to be licensed. A Certified Public Accountant has to pass a Uniform CPA exam, and you can’t legally offer your services as an accountant without some sort of credentialing. Licensing and certification will also vary state-to-state, so make sure you research what your state requires of an accountant before you open up your practice. If all of your ducks are in a row, opening up your own firm is like opening any other small business. You need a DBA name, and you have to apply for all of your local/state business and operating licenses. You should also have some sort of professional liability insurance, just to protect yourself, and if you hire anyone or bring on a partner, you’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Once all of that is taken care of you’ll have a sole-proprietorship, or a partnership if you have a partner. However, this type of business can leave you personally liable for any debt resulting from lawsuits, debt, or negligence and it’s a good idea to consider forming a separate business entity.
Here at MyCorporation, we’re busy prepping for the end of the year and looking forward to what 2014 will bring for small businesses and entrepreneurs. But while our prep involves helping to file delayed filings or incorporating or forming LLCs for small businesses, we’re curious to see how other companies are closing out 2013. Today, we have 24 small business professionals giving us a look at what they’re working on for their brands and their biggest business tips on how to close out the end of the year!
1. “Make a resolution to focus on one social media platform. Social media is not going away and it’s time for small business to step up.”
- Lisa McTigue, Social Media Expert, LisaMcTigue.com
2. “We are making sure all inventory is in stock and organized, all marketing materials ready to go and short lead press releases being sent to appropriate parties. We look forward to a successful holiday season!”
- Sally Goodgold, Founder, WarmTradition.com
3. “At year end, I always check in with everyone who was interested to hire us during the year but didn’t. Many times companies find “use it or lose it funds” on the books at the end of the year and if you hit the timing right, they may just reopen the conversation where you left off before and have you invoice them in December to get the found money off the books. Then you can start the new year strong with motivated clients who will return your calls fast since they have already paid you!”
- Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder and CEO, Mavens & Moguls
Starting a business is a step by step process – starting with an idea, a business name, and creating a business plan. A business plan includes the purpose of your business and how you will go about marketing or advertising the same. It also includes the expenses, liabilities, assists, budgets, and how your business plans to make a profit and grow. Growth alone is a complicated subject where you have short-term and long-term growth plans based on how well your business is doing. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to address legalities such as licenses, insurance, recruiting employees, etc.
Today, our guest poster Justin Krane offers up a step by step plan on how to stay on top of your taxes and how to avoid putting them off till the last minute. Additionally, you can join Justin and our CEO Deborah for an amazing financial webinar on May 29th at 1PM PST/4PM EST. In this webinar, Justin will teach you how to create high quality goals and the financial strategies to put in place to work towards achieving them. You in? We are! Register by clicking here.
You are trying to back away from them but their stank is just ridic? They have no idea how bad their breath is! Especially when they eat the onion bagel with lox cream cheese! You’ll do anything to avoid their halitosis.
Got me thinking. Do your taxes have bad breath? Your taxes only end up stinking if you put them off till the last minute. It stinks to have no idea how much money you owe the IRS. Give your taxes a breath mint! No more scrambling the last few days before taxes are due. No more tax surprises. No more bad breath.
How you plan your taxes is most likely how you plan your financial life. It’s time to be proactive, not reactive! I want your financial life to be easier for you.
Ok maybe you saw this coming, maybe you had ‘M’ all figured out way back at “E is for Entrepreneur,” but can you blame us? Having pride in your small business is a good thing. And wanting to share a little bit about your business in order to educate and entertain your customers is also a good thing.
So let me take you back to when (‘M’ is for) MyCorp started to become what it is today. Deborah came onto the team in 2004 not by hopping on board as the CEO, but as vice president of legal and business affairs. Not until 2009 did Deb purchase the devision, becoming the CEO of MyCorporation.
No one will argue with this little piggybank – money plus money is more money. In fact, that’s the best part of paying taxes – It means you’ve made money! But did you know the type of entity you select can affect your taxes?
As we mentioned last Friday, we’re doing a series on four tax considerations that may help you pick the best business type for you and help your business become more tax efficient. The considerations are: Continue reading
As retirement plan sponsors, small businesses assume many responsibilities regarding their employees’ path to retirement, often acting as fiduciaries. Over the next year, any employer offering such plans faces new regulations from the Department of Labor. The rules, known as 408(b) (2), were originally scheduled to go into effect this past July, but have been postponed until April 1, 2012. The rules aim at providing greater transparency to the retirement industry as a whole, through documenting the fees participants pay brokers and retirement plan contractors for managing their accounts.
Retirement plans can be a burden to small business owners. This is due to the fact that upon becoming a plan sponsor, owners become a plan fiduciary and therefore must act in the sole interest of their participants. Owners cannot make a profit off of retirement plans. Any gains must be reimbursed to the plan.
It’s incredibly easy to get overwhelmed when creating a business plan. For starters, you need one regardless of any business you plan on creating- they’re an mandatory element to making the process flow in an organized and professional manner. You’re selling your new product or service to an audience that doesn’t know anything about what you have to offer, so you have to keep the presentation fresh and interesting. But wait, there’s more. Financially speaking, you need to also include a wide range of information for investors to look at for your new start-up. Necessary information will include 3-5 years of projected financial statements, an exit strategy, and an advertising and marketing plan among many others. If you don’t have all of this information, it will deeply affect how much lenders will provide your business, if they even decide to fund it at all. Continue reading
Separating your small business from its competitors is crucial, especially in the current economy. Learning how to successfully brand your business will help you achieve this goal. However, with so many new forms of social media, creating a strategy can be difficult. Consider the following questions and answers to learn branding tips that will help you navigate the sea of online communication and effectively develop a branding strategy.
In case the first five tax deductions weren’t enough (and let’s face it, you can never have too many tax deductions!), here are five more deductions that can save you a lot of money come tax time.
6. Professional Fees and Classes Deductions. You may have already known that you can deduct certain office equipment, your home office supplies, and health insurance, but did you know that you can also deduct many of the other costs of having a job? Any professional fees that you pay to continue in your career are deductible on your tax return, as well as much of the costs of attending classes, seminars, and training sessions. Subscriptions to professional journals, newspapers, and books are also included as tax deductions. Finally, don’t forget any membership fees you pay to trade organizations, professional groups, or chambers of commerce! All of these things will earn you quite a large deduction on your tax return as long as you keep track of what you spend and save your receipts. Continue reading