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Monday, August 30, 2010
IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2010: Employee vs. Independent Contractor – Seven Tips for Business Owners http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=173423,00.html
Empowering Minority Entrepreneurs and Pequeñas Empresas – Government Resources that Can Help: http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/Empowering-Minority-Entrepreneurs-and-Peque%C3%B1as-Empresas/ba-p/32668?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-082510-_-weekly-_-community
5 Tips for Getting to Know Your Competition and using it to Your Advantage: http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/5-Tips-for-Getting-to-Know-Your-Competition-and-using-it-to-Your/ba-p/32170?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-082510-_-weekly-_-community
What? SBA Loans Offered Through Sam’s Club? You Heard Right! http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Cents/SBA-Loans-Offered-Through-Sam-s-Club-You-Heard-Right/ba-p/32034?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-082510-_-weekly-_-community
5 Future Trends in Business Planning: http://community2.business.gov/t5/The-Industry-Word/5-Future-Trends-in-Business-Planning/ba-p/32648?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-082510-_-weekly-_-community
From IRS-Pre Order the Tax Calendar for Small Businesses and Self-Employed-If you order now, the English version of the 2011 Tax Calendar will be shipped by early November. To order call (800) 829-3676 or go to: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/page/0,,id=82780,00.html
Sunday, August 22, 2010
What would the world be like if there were no lawyers? See video at http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5000547/a_world_without_lawyers/
Business.Gov: 7 Tips for Finding and Hiring the Right Employee – The First Time (from the experts at SCORE) - http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/7-Tips-for-Finding-and-Hiring-the-Right-Employee-The-First-Time/ba-p/31227?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-081810-_-weekly-_-community
Business.Gov: Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? Finding the Right Fit for Your Small Business - http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/Twitter-Facebook-or-LinkedIn-Finding-the-Right-Fit-for-Your/ba-p/31878?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-081810-_-weekly-_-community
Business.Gov: Portal for Minority & Women Owned Businesses - http://www.business.gov/?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-081810-_-weekly-_-internal
Business.Gov: Power User Spotlight: Build a Strong Network - http://community2.business.gov/t5/In-the-Loop/Power-User-Spotlight-Build-a-Strong-Network/ba-p/31231?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-081810-_-weekly-_-community
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Get to the Top! – Tips for Making your Business Web Site More Prominent in an Online Search: http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/Get-to-the-Top-Tips-for-Making-your-Business-Web-Site-More/ba-p/30963?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-081110-_-weekly-_-community
Selling Internationally? 8 Reasons why Export.gov Might Just Be Your New Best Friend: http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/Selling-Internationally-8-Reasons-why-Export-gov-Might-Just-Be/ba-p/30229?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-081110-_-weekly-_-community
Three Proven Tips for Growing New Markets on a Tight Budget (Listen, Engage, Educate): http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/3-Proven-Tips-for-Growing-New-Markets-on-a-Tight-Budget-Listen/ba-p/20579
Idea Exchange: Traditional and New Media Marketing for your Business: http://community2.business.gov/t5/In-the-Loop/Idea-Exchange-Traditional-and-New-Media-Marketing/ba-p/30293?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-081110-_-weekly-_-community
Small Business Marketing-Learn Marketing Basics: http://www.business.gov/manage/marketing/
FTC's Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus28.shtm
The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus61.shtm
"Remove Me" Responses and Responsibilities:
Email Marketers Must Honor "Unsubscribe" Claims - http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/alerts/alt112.shtm
Learn About The Google Tools To Help Run Your Business Better: http://businessforums.verizon.net/t5/Small-Biz-Blog/Learn-About-The-Google-Tools-To-Help-Run-Your-Business-Better/ba-p/232770
Investors Look to Fund Capital-Light Businesses: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217209
Thursday, August 5, 2010
There are typical actions that are taken when closing a business. You must file an annual return for the year you go out of business. If you have employees, you must file the final employment tax returns, in addition to making final federal tax deposits of these taxes. Also attach a statement to your return showing the name of the person keeping the payroll records and the address where those records will be kept.
The annual tax return for a partnership, corporation, S corporation, limited liability company or trust includes check boxes near the top front page just below the entity information. For the tax year in which your business ceases to exist, check the box that indicates this tax return is a final return. If there are Schedule K-1s, repeat the same procedure on the Schedule K-1.
You will also need to file returns to report disposing of business property, reporting the exchange of like-kind property, and/or changing the form of your business. If you do not have a pre-printed envelope in which to send your taxes, refer to the Where To File page for a list of addresses. Below is a list of typical actions to take when closing a business, depending on your type of business structure:
- Make final federal tax deposits
- Electronic Federal Tax Paying System (EFTPS)
- Form 8109-B
- Electronic Federal Tax Paying System (EFTPS)
- File final quarterly or annual employment tax form.
- Issue final wage and withholding information to employees
- Report information from W-2s issued.
- File final tip income and allocated tips information return.
- Report capital gains or losses.
- Report partner's/shareholder's shares.
- File final employee pension/benefit plan.
- Issue payment information to sub-contractors.
- Report information from 1099s issued.
- Report corporate dissolution or liquidation.
- Consider allowing S corporation election to terminate.
- Form 1120S, Instructions (PDF)
- Report business asset sales.
- Report the sale or exchange of property used in your trade or business.
- Canceling an EIN – Closing Your Account
- Closing a Business
- Contact local and state agencies.
- There may be requirements relating to state and local governments as well. You can use the State and Local Government on the Net to link to the state and/or local government(s) that apply to your business.
- Visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) Web site for a map to help you locate the relevant SBA resources closest to you . The SBA also provides advice on closing a business.
- Closing A Business Video
With Squeeze on Credit, Microlending Blossoms: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/business/smallbusiness/29sbiz.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper
Business Tip: Marketing Your Business Online – to Get the Biggest ROI- http://community2.business.gov/t5/The-Industry-Word/5-Tips-for-Marketing-Your-Business-Online-to-Get-the-Biggest-ROI/ba-p/26693?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072110-_-weekly-_-community
Starting a Trucking Business: http://community2.business.gov/t5/Business-Law-Advisor/Starting-a-Trucking-Business/ba-p/26211?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072110-_-weekly-_-community
From Bus.gov: How to Legally Sell Your Goods at Fairs, Garage Sales, Flea Markets, and Craft Shows - http://community2.business.gov/t5/Business-Law-Advisor/How-to-Legally-Sell-Your-Goods-at-Fairs-Garage-Sales-Flea/ba-p/26883?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072110-_-weekly-_-community
Business Tip: 4 Tips for Giving Your Business Retirement Plan a Check-Up – Before the IRS Does! http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/4-Tips-for-Giving-Your-Business-Retirement-Plan-a-Check-Up/ba-p/26637?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072110-_-weekly-_-community
Location, Location, Location: Where You Run Your Business Matters - http://community2.business.gov/t5/The-Industry-Word/Location-Location-Location-Where-You-Run-Your-Business-Matters/ba-p/27529?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072810-_-weekly-_-community
10 Signs You Need to Revise Your Business Plan - http://community2.business.gov/t5/The-Industry-Word/10-Signs-You-Need-to-Revise-Your-Business-Plan/ba-p/28679?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072810-_-weekly-_-community
Laid Off and Looking to Start Your Own Business? Understand Your Unemployment Benefits First - http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Cents/Laid-Off-and-Looking-to-Start-Your-Own-Business-Understand-Your/ba-p/27723?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072810-_-weekly-_-community
Starting a Travel Business - http://community2.business.gov/t5/Business-Law-Advisor/Starting-a-Travel-Business/ba-p/27613?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072810-_-weekly-_-community
Starting a Home-Based Franchise Business – 6 Steps to Help You Find the Right Opportunity at http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/Starting-a-Home-Based-Franchise-Business-6-Steps-to-Help-You/ba-p/27523?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072810-_-weekly-_-community
Business Tip: Tips for Finding Small Business Friendly Banks at http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/Five-Tips-for-Finding-Small-Business-Friendly-Banks/ba-p/27755?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072810-_-weekly-_-community
Business Tip: Putting the “Social” into Social Media Marketing – Tips for Interacting with your Customers at http://community2.business.gov/t5/Small-Business-Matters/Putting-the-Social-into-Social-Media-Marketing-3-Tips-for/ba-p/28719?cm_mmc=GovDelivery-_-072810-_-weekly-_-community
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The checklist below provides the basic steps you should follow to start a business. This list should not be construed as all-inclusive. Other steps may be appropriate for your specific type of business.
Information about specific industries can be found at the Industries/Professions Web page.
Each state has additional requirements for starting and operating a business. For information regarding state-level requirements for starting a business, please refer to your state's Web site.
Refer also to the Small Business Administration's Checklist for Starting a Business.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Know Your Market by Determining Your SWOT: Guest Blog by Douglas C. Dobson, President, Competition Analysis, LLC
Business is slow. With the economy in recession and unemployment high, most businesses today are struggling to survive, much less to prosper. The time is now – more than ever – to get to “know your market.”
Start by thinking about your present customers. Why have they chosen you to be their supplier or service provider? Have your prices attracted them? How about the quality of your merchandise or service? Who are your competitors? What differentiates the product and service that you provide from that offered by your rivals? There are no easy answers to these important questions, but there is an organized way to think about them called SWOT analysis. Essentially, the exercise is to determine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats faced by your business.
How do you proceed to determine your company’s SWOT? You might begin by conducting a survey of your current customers (and perhaps some former customers that have not bought from you recently). Understand why buyers purchase from you and what you could do better to gain/retain customers. Evaluate the threats from possible substitute products or increased foreign competition. Recognize opportunities that may be presented by possible new product applications. Assess the likelihood of new government regulation (both pro and con). Consider conditions in the labor and materials markets on which you rely. Interview your customer support reps and salesmen. Read the trade press and internet business blogs. Attend meetings and seminars. Go to trade shows and network with others in your industry (but do NOT talk about establishing prices).
Once you have a feel for the right questions to determine your company’s SWOT, you may want to consider working with a business consultant that specializes in marketing strategy and competitive effects analysis. These specialists can often provide in-depth market research and competitive positioning to help your company better know your market – its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats – now and in the not-so-distant future. Whatever course you take, begin your SWOT analysis today for better results tomorrow.Douglas C. Dobson is the President of Competition Analysis, LLC (http://www.competitionanalysisllc.com).