Business Basics: Trade Dress

This week we thought it’d be a good idea to look at one of the most important parts of a product’s branding, its trade dress. You are affected by trade dress every single day, whether you realize it or not. If we describe a white coffee cup with a green circle on it, you’ll know it’s from Starbucks. Or if we show you a bag with a red square and yellow arches, you’ll think McDonalds. Essentially, trade dress is the various characteristics that make up a product’s or package’s appearance. But how do you protect your own trade dress? And does building a brand mean marrying that packaging?

Trade Dress

We bet you still know what company this is.

Why should you build trade dress recognition?
Because your company needs a way to immediately distinguish itself. Your brand embodies all of the goodwill and trust you’ve built into your company, and something as simple as a color, font, or even the shape of your product’s box can evoke all of those feelings within whatever customer is looking at your product. That’s why you want your trade dress to be consistent over all of your properties. Your logo, signage, site, and product packaging should all be built around some common element that inextricably ties your business with your product or service.

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Experts Weigh In: Forming LLCs vs. Corporations

llcs vs corporationsOne of the first decisions every business owner needs to make is what entity to file their business as, and that choice is typically between LLCs vs. Corporations. Really the decision comes down to what fits the needs of the business owner and the business, but there is still discussion on which entity is best. Here at MyCorp, we gathered together a panel of professionals to get their expert advice on LLCs vs. Corporations and which is the best to form for your business. Which side are you on?

1. “Generally speaking, corporate status is preferable. Banks typically don’t view LLCs as favorably during the loan application process and corporations don’t pay taxes on fringe benefits. These include group-term life insurance, medical reimbursement plans, medical insurance premiums, and more.”

- John Boyd, Principal, The Boyd Company, Inc.

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S Corporations: How They are Structured and Taxed

By Greg Lindberg, 1800Accountant.com Writer

Decision-making is a huge part of being an entrepreneur and, eventually, a start-up business owner. One of the decisions you have to make during this often challenging process is to settle on a specific business entity to operate. An S corporation is one option you can go with. 1800Accountant.com, a partner of MyCorporation, recommends understanding the following information about how S corporations are structured and taxed before choosing to set one up.

The term “S corporation” originally took on its name from Subchapter S of Chapter 1 in the federal Internal Revenue Code. In general, an S corporation does not pay federal income taxes at the corporate level. However, this does not mean it is exempt from paying taxes altogether. The difference with this type of business entity is that it elects to have its profits, losses, deductions, credit, and all other activities passed through to the shareholders who are invested in the company. These shareholders must report this financial activity on their personal income tax returns.
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How Proper Safety Measures Can Reduce Workplace Injuries

Employees who work in a manufacturing setting are exposed to many potential hazards. Hand tools, power tools and machinery can all be dangerous if handled incorrectly or if proper safety precautions aren’t followed. It’s your responsibility as an employer or supervisor to maintain a safe work environment and protect your employees from injury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that employers spend approximately $4 billion a month for workers’ compensation costs, but these costs are nothing compared to the human cost of injuries or deaths that could have been prevented, if only the correct safety measures had been taken.
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Business Basics: Professional Corporations

Welcome to our weekly business basics post! This week we decided to explore a specialized legal entity called a professional corporation (PC). Now most of those who know a little bit about corporate law probably know that there are two, main types of corporations – S-Corps, and C-Corps. But in addition to these, there are a few other specialized structures that are important to keep under the belt of a small business, like the professional corporation.

So what is a professional corporation?
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