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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Introducing MyBizWiz – Our New Entity Choice Wizard!

MyBizWiz, MyCorp’s new business entity wizard, was created to help answer one of our customers’ most commonly asked questions; ‘What type of business entity should I form?’ There are plenty of different factors that need to be considered before making that final plunge. How many people run the business? What sort business is it? Do you have personal assets you’d like to protect?

Introducing MyBizWiz - Our New Entity Choice Wizard!

In order to help new small business owners navigate the often confusing world of legal business entities, MyCorporation chose to build the new MyBizWiz tool. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions about your business, and our entity-choosing wizard will tell you what type of business entity would suit you best. It also gives you a general description of that entity and runs down the basic benefits behind it.

To get started, just click here and answer a few questions. There are no obligations, and we don’t ask for any personal information – MyBizWiz is here to help you choose the best type of business entity for your company!

We’re happy happy to answer any questions you might have about MyBizWiz -give us a call at 1 (877) 692-6772!

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50 States of Incorporation: North Dakota

North Dakota is easily one of America’s most intriguing states. It was fairly unaffected by the Great Recession, and has one of the lowest unemployment rates of any state. North Dakota is also the only state with a state-run bank, the Bank of North Dakota , and a state-run flour mill, the North Dakota Mill and Elevator, which is also the largest flour mill in the USA.  incorporate in North Dakota Both of these institutions are carryovers of the Nonpartisan League, a populist political party that did so well in North Dakota that it gave the state a three-party system before eventually merging with the Democrats. North Dakota is also the reason we have a National Park system – its natural beauty inspired Theodore Roosevelt to champion conservation.

North Dakota’s excellent economy makes it a prime state to start a business. So just what do you have to do to start a company in the state? And how do you form a limited liability company or incorporate in North Dakota?

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50 States of Incorporation: North Carolina

Incorporate in North CarolinaThis week in our 50 states series we’re on the road to incorporate in North Carolina, also known as the Tar Heel State. North Carolina is home to the company headquarters of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Pepsi-Cola and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

In the last 50 years or so, North Carolina has transitioned from an economy focused on tobacco, textiles, and furniture crafting, to an economy focused on engineering, energy, biotechnology, and finance sectors. With those transitions, the state has found great start-up success!

According to the Forbes Best States For Business list, North Carolina ranks at #4 of the 50 states to start a business in – right up in the top 5 states! This high ranking can be attributed to its similarly high rankings in labor supply, environment, and growth prospects. Thumbtack.com also gave the state high marks with a steady B+, with high grades in ease of starting a business, health and safety, employment and labor, zoning, and training/networking programs.

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Member-Managed LLCs Versus Manager-Managed LLCs

Traditionally, Limited Liability Companies are treated like partnerships. Two or more people get together, found a company, form an LLC, and then start running the business. But there’s more than one way to run an LLC. Member-Managed and Manager-Managed Limited Liability Companies are run very similarly, but there are also some key differences that anyone looking to form an LLC should know.Limited Liability Company

Member-Managed LLCs

Member-Managed LLCs are, by far, the more common choice. Each member of the limited liability company is treated as equal to every other member, and everyone shares responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the LLC. Continue reading

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5 Things Entrepreneurs Need To Know Before Starting Up A Small Business

5 Things Entrepreneurs Need To Know Before Starting Up A Small Business Are you a potential entrepreneur considering venturing into starting up your own business? If so, it’s important that you start familiarizing yourself with information on how to succeed in the current business climate right now. Operating a small business requires you to possess the necessary skills to plan and manage the business efficiently and a vision that seeks to grow from nothing to something substantial after a period of time. Here are the top 5 things an entrepreneur needs to know before starting up a small business.

1. A perfect business plan is indispensable.

A business plan is the foundation of any successful company today. It serves to chart out the goals of the business as well as the possible ways of achieving them and acts as a blueprint that outlines the road to the future of any business. It’s also a necessity when seeking financial help to set up your business, hiring future employees, and keeping track on how you run your business once it’s operational.

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50 States of Incorporation: New Mexico

This week we’re covering the Land of Enchantment – New Mexico! Though admitted to the union in 1912, New Mexico has, for centuries, been home to the native Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache people. With the fourth-largest native population in the United States, New Mexico continues to be an important center of Native American culture. This culture, along with New Mexico’s stunning natural beauty, are the two of the main drivers of one the state’s biggest industries – tourism.

Along with tourism, New Mexico has a rich deposit of fossil fuel and natural gas, and is home to multiple military bases. In fact, federal spending is one of the biggest sources of revenue for New Mexico. The government of New Mexico is always looking for ways to help small businesses grow, and there are loads of tax incentives available to entrepreneurs in the state! But what does it take to start a small business there? How do you form an LLC or incorporate in New Mexico? And are there any special rules you should be aware of?Incorporate in New Mexico

What is needed to start your small business in New Mexico?

Anyone that does business in New Mexico has to register with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, and be issued a CRS Identification number. Your CRS number is used to collect and pay tax on gross receipts. In addition to registering, all new small businesses should apply for a ‘Doing Business As’ name with the Secretary of State’s office so that they can advertise, collect checks, and open a bank account under their business’s name. If you’d like, we are happy to run a free DBA name search on your behalf!

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The Importance of Negotiation Tactics When Starting a Small Business

The Importance of Negotiation Tactics When Starting a Small BusinessPeople decide to start businesses for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because they have a particular skill that lends itself to their business. An example of this is someone who is mechanically inclined and decides to open an automobile repair shop, or somebody who is a computer whiz and decides to build and fix computers for a living. It’s a great idea to start a business based on your existing skills, but sometimes entrepreneurs won’t take into account the additional skills that are necessary to run a business. Areas like bookkeeping and accounting, tech support and cleaning can all be outsourced to other companies or independent contractors, but there are also skills that are necessary to effectively run a business that all entrepreneurs should always be working on improving.

One of the biggest skills entrepreneurs need is the ability to negotiate effectively. Every entrepreneur should focus on improving their negotiation skills. Some business owners really don’t like to negotiate, they’re worried about the outcome of negotiations, or they simply lack the ability to negotiate.

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6 Unlikely Industries Entrepreneurs Can Go Green In

6 Unlikely Industries Entrepreneurs Can Go Green InIn an age where climate change is one of the first things mentioned in political campaigns and global warming updates are plastered all over the news, people have grown infinitely more aware of the environment. This shift toward an eco-friendly lifestyle has opened up a slew of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to change the planet and capitalize on the green scene.

Starting a business as a benefit corporation and being completely transparent about your environmental performance could pay dividends, not only for the environment but for your business’s bottom line. According to a 2013 Nielsen study, 50 percent of global consumers surveyed are willing to pay more for services and goods that give back to society.

Better still, there are opportunities available in every industry to start a green business. Eco-friendly companies are no longer limited to organic farms or natural product lines. You can even leverage your expertise in a career you’re passionate about and turn it into a green endeavor with a few simple changes. Check out these ideas for starting a green company in an ordinary, everyday field.

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Business Basics: Corporate Seals

Corporate seals are a remnant of the middle ages, back when official documents were legitimized by a hot wax imprint of a seal or crest. The practice of ‘sealing’ documents kept on throughout the centuries, though the hot-wax method eventually gave way to rubber stamps and paper seals. Today, corporate law still allows for the use of corporate seals, though they are no longer as important as they once were. This week in business basics we answer a few of the most commonly questions we receive about corporate seals, and let you know if you should get one for your own corporation. Corporate Seal

What is a corporate seal?

A corporate seal is essentially a signature for your business. When you incorporate, you turn your business into its own, legal entity. Since a corporation cannot sign anything, a corporate seal is used to mark legal and official documentation. These days, most corporate seals are either rubber stamps or steel embossers, and are normally designed to fall apart if tampered with to help avoid fraud.

Do I need a corporate seal?

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