How to Write a Business Report for English Learners
By Kenneth Beare. English as 2nd Language Expert
Kenneth is an ESL teacher, trainer, and content developer. He provides consulting services for English language learning projects through Englishfeed. You can follow Kenneth on Twitter. on his Google profile: Kenneth Beare. or on Facebook to stay up to date on his latest English learning materials.
Updated July 28, 2015.
If you would like to learn how to write a business report in English follow these tips and use the example report as a template on which to base your own business report. First of all, business reports provide important information for management that is timely and factual. English learners writing business reports need to make sure that the language is precise and concise. The writing style used for business reports should present information without strong opinions, but rather as direct and accurately as possible.
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Linking language should be used to connect ideas and sections of the business report. This example business report presents the four essentials that every business report should include:
Terms of reference refer to the terms on which the business report is written.
The procedure describe the method that was used to collect data for the report.
The findings describe the data or other important information the report produced.
Conclusions are drawn on the findings which provide reasons for recommendations.
The recommendations are specific suggestions made based on the conclusions of the report.
Read the short example business report and follow the tips below. Teachers can print this examples for use in class in lessons using sound teaching writing strategies .
Reports: Example Report
Margaret Anderson, Director of Personnel has requested this report on employee benefits satisfaction. The report was to be submitted to her by 28 June.
A representative selection of 15% of all employees were interviewed in the period between April 1st and April 15th concerning:
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- Overall satisfaction with our current benefits package
- Problems encountered when dealing with the personnel department
- Suggestions for the improvement of communication policies
- Problems encountered when dealing with our HMO
- Employees were generally satisfied with the current benefits package.
- Some problems were encountered when requesting vacation due to what is perceived as long approval waiting periods.
- Older employees repeatedly had problems with HMO prescription drugs procedures.
- Employees between the ages of 22 and 30 report few problems with HMO.
- Most employees complain about the lack of dental insurance in our benefits package.
- The most common suggestion for improvement was for the ability to process benefits requests online.
- Older employees, those over 50, are having serious problems with our HMO s ability to provide prescription drugs.
- Our benefits request system needs to be revised as most complaints concerning in-house processing.
- Improvements need to take place in personnel department response time.
- Information technology improvements should be considered as employees become more technologically savvy.
- Meet with HMO representatives to discuss the serious nature of complaints concerning prescription drug benefits for older employees.
- Give priority to vacation request response time as employees need faster approval in order to be able to plan their vacations.
- Take no special actions for the benefits package of younger employees.
- Discuss the possibility of adding an online benefits requests system to our company Intranet.
Important Points to Remember
- A report is divided into four areas:
- Terms of Reference – This section gives background information on the reason for the report. It usually includes the person requesting the report.
- Procedure – The procedure provides the exact steps taken and methods used for the report.
- Findings – The findings point out discoveries made during the course of the report investigation.
- Conclusions – The conclusions provide logical conclusions based on the findings.
- Recommendations – The recommendations state actions that the writer of the report feels need to be taken based on the findings and conclusions.
- Reports should be concise and factual. Opinions are given in the conclusions section. However, these opinions should be based on facts presented in the findings .
- Use simple tenses (usually the present simple) to express facts.
- Use the imperative form (Discuss the possibility. Give priority. etc.) in the recommendations section as these apply to the company as a whole.
Continue learning about other types of business documents using these resources:
HOW TO BUILD BUSINESS CREDIT & IMPROVE CREDIT RATING
Building Business Credit
Business credit scores help lenders, suppliers and other creditors quickly evaluate whether a business will pay its bills on time. Get your Experian Credit Score report today.
How to Improve Your Business Credit Score
Credit scores are complex statistical models for predicting credit risk. While there is no guaranteed way to improve a business credit score, here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your business credit report reflects the best scores possible for your situation.
- Check your business credit report regularly and verify that the information in it is accurate and up-to-date.
- Establish business credit with companies that report trades. Remember, not all business creditors report their trade information.
- Pay your creditors on time. Historical payment behavior with previous creditors plays a major role in calculating your business credit score.
Building Business Credit: How Business Credit Scores are Calculated
Business credit scores range from 0 to 100, with 0 representing a high risk and 100 representing a low risk. Scores are based on a number of factors contained in your business credit report.
- Number of trade experiences
- Outstanding balances
- Payment habits
- Credit utilization
- Trends over time
- Public record recency, frequency and dollar amount
- Demographics such as years on file, Standard Industrial Classification codes and business size
Build business credit and improve your business credit rating.
Experian requires minimum information to generate a score. So if a business doesn’t meet these requirements, a score is not generated. Minimum information is at least one tradeline and/or one demographic element.
#import export business
If you wish YOU CAN WIN
So you want to sell to the world? Thanks to the Internet, setting up an import/export business can be ridiculously simple and very profitable.
• Pick a product to import or export.
When it comes to importing and exporting, you cannot be all things to all customers. Decide on something and stick with it.
You have two viable reasons for choosing a product to import or export: you know it will sell or you like it. Hopefully, you can meet both criteria.
• Find the right market.
You’ve selected a product, now you must look for someplace to sell it! Do the homework and research the market beforehand to locate the best potential foreign market for your product or service. Use import export data to check market trends. These resources are helpful for determining where in the world products and services are moving to and from, and why and how to get in on the action.
• Source a supplier. Check here
- Finalize the relationship and seal the deal
If you are an importer, you must seal the deal before your goods will be shipped to you. If you are an exporter, you must agree with the buyer and provide the goods upon receiving the money.
After signing an agreement with the supplier or manufacturer (as drawn by your attorney ), you will be granted the right to import the goods into your country or export from your country; as one of their designated import / export partners. The manufacturer will pay you the specific commission quoted to the distributors on top of the price of the goods. And you will be given catalogs and samples for your use in distribution.
#hot shot business
How to Start a Hot Shot Trucking Business
If you own a small rig and are looking for a way to bring in more income, learning how to start a hot shot trucking business may be the answer.
Hot Shot Trucking
The term “hot shot trucking” is applied to truckers who drive rigs smaller than the standard semi-truck and trailer. It also refers to moving less than a truckload or LTL. Unlike hauling conventional cargo that can be scheduled regularly, hot shot cargo is often time sensitive in nature. Hot shot loads vary and will depend on the type of rig you operate. Items hauled cmay include things like a trailer full of urgently needed parts, hauling fresh flowers, or something as small as delivering one envelop for a same day delivery.
How to Start a Hot Shot Trucking Business
If you’re seriously thinking of starting a hot shot trucking business, before you buy your rig think through what type of hauling and deliveries you want to make. Another consideration will be whether or not you plan to build your own customer base as an owner operator. This takes time, and time is money when it comes to hauling loads, especially when you have truck payments to make. If you already have connections to get you started, though, you can build your hot shot trucking business into an independent and profitable venture.
The quicker route to getting your business going is to lease your services or sign on with a trucking company looking for hot shot truckers. This option not only takes the pressure off for finding loads to haul, but it also removes the responsibility of paperwork and billing from your shoulders. Typically the trucking company finds the loads to haul for a fee. Generally this arrangement puts about 75% of the freight charge into the pocket of the trucker, and the other 25% goes to the trucking company.
To sign on with a trucking company, you’ll have to get in touch with the terminal manager to learn what steps need to be taken to submit your application. To get accepted, you’ll have to pass a drug test and a DOT physical.
LTL Job Resources
If you decide you want to operate independently as an owner operator, the Internet provides resources to help truckers secure less than a load hauling jobs. This short list of resources can be used to initiate you to the world of hot shot trucking job banks, how to navigate them and to learn what they have to offer.
- FindFreightLoads.com. This site conveniently lists jobs by state, so whether you want to drive loads locally, or state-to-state, options exist. Truckers can also register and be added to the pool of available drivers.
- uShip. This site provides thousands of hot shot job possibilities. Truckers bid for the chance to haul specific loads. Registration is free and the forum boards open an avenue of communication with other hot shot truckers.
- TruckDriverJobs.co m. This resource provides all kinds of trucking opportunities including expediate, hot shot trucking and LTL.
Buying Your Truck
If you don’t already own a rig and your want to start a hot shot trucking business, it is best to buy a used truck to get started. Buying used over new will save you thousands in start up costs. Sites like TruckerToTrucker.com offer a large inventory of previously owned hot shot trucks. However, a word of caution must be extended with buying a used truck. Take the time to research manufacturers and models. Learn what’s dependable and look for a truck that can be flexible in regards to what type of load it can carry. The most common features for trucks used in hot shot trucking include:
- Dual tire
- Tandem axle
- 24,000 lb gross weight rating
Disadvantages to Hot Shot Trucking
Figuring out how to start a hot shot trucking business isn’t too hard. It’s building the business and keeping up the chaotic pace that’s difficult. Hot shot hauling is demanding, and generally doesn’t allow for breaks between pick-up and delivery because of the time sensitive nature of the cargo. This kind of schedule can take its toll on truckers physically, mentally and can create a challenging life on the home front. Before you start your hot shot trucking business, be sure your family understands the demands it will make on family life.
#starting your own business
Get my 5-day email funnel that generated $400,000 from a single launch
How To Start Your Own Business
Starting your own business is one of the most powerful ways to take control of your life and make extra money month after month. You can start with just a few hours a week. And best of all, you get to choose your hours, pick projects you find exciting, and meet interesting people. With the help of the step-by-step systems you’ll find here, you can start getting clients faster and boost your earnings when you want to.
I’ll even show you how to build enough steady income that you can quit your day job, if you want to.
I’ve covered how to make more money elsewhere on this site. Right here, I’m revealing the advanced strategies behind launching a successful business that gives you the freedom to share your skills with the world and create something people will pay you for, even when you aren’t working.
These are the same techniques I’ve spent over a decade and a million dollars refining. I’ve gathered over 1,000,000 data points while creating 15 different products that cost anywhere between the price of a latte to over $12,000… and I’ve helped over 1,000 students launch their own businesses, too.
You’ll learn the systems, strategies, and shortcuts I only dreamed of having when I started out… so you can launch faster and earn more.
Of course, all the business-building knowledge in the world isn’t very helpful unless you have the right psychological mindset and tools. That’s why I’ve invited some of the world’s leading experts on time management, productivity, and work/life balance to share their best secrets with you.
Now the #1 requested IWT topic of all time :
How to start an online business
I want to show you the truth about starting a successful online business. Unlike unscrupulous marketers whose entire business is creating ebooks about creating ebooks, I’ve spent years teaching over 100,000 readers how to live a rich life automate their finances and get out of debt. find their Dream Jobs, negotiate better salaries. and finish tasks they’ve put off for years .
Why do my students keep coming back? Why do they buy at a rate 1,235% higher than prospects? And how do I still have a refund rate much lower than the industry standard, despite a generous money-back policy? I’ll share how I do it — and how you can, too .
It’s easy to get stuck with a low-profit business that sucks your time and money. I’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes I’ve made.
Want to know exactly what’s the best kind of online business to start? I could give you a bunch of theory, principles, and a long history of the relative pros and cons of each. Or I could just tell you the answer:
When I launched my first product, I thought I had to beg people to buy it. The funny thing is, it was a $4.95 ebook.
Now, I’ve had to turn people away from $4,000+ courses, and someone even hacked into my sales page to buy a course before I opened it to the public.
What the hell? How did I go from $4.95 to successfully launching a $12,000 flagship course that people lined up to join?
I’ll reveal the critical decisions and strategies I used to get to where I am now.
If you wanted to learn how to start an online business, would you want to learn from someone who’s sold 1 or 2 products about selling products, then kept milking that cow for years… or would you want to learn from someone who’s sold over 15 different products ranging from $4.95 to $12,000 ?
When you’re the same as everyone else, you’re a commodity. And that means crummy pay, long hours, and bad customers. You do NOT want to compete against everyone in the world.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, a woman, a life coach, a stylist, an analytics guru, or a language tutor. Whether you’re trying to get a date or start an online business, if you’re the same as everyone, you’re doomed.
This is where the concept of ZIGGING and ZAGGING comes in. Where others zig, you zag .
I’ll show you how to stand out, so people will see that your product is unique and be happy to pay you more.
Do you have a friend who constantly asks you for advice, but then always makes excuses for not following through?
Have you ever heard this:
- “Why doesn’t she ever call me back?” (Perhaps it’s because you make yourself way too available and desperation oozes off you.)
- “I hate my job…” (yet you’ve done nothing to change it except complaining)
- “Ugh, I really need to go to the gym” (but instead, these people will continue making excuses, like how they can’t afford the $50 even though they pay that much in late fees every month)
If we’re honest, WE’RE guilty of the exact same thing. I’ve spent a decade studying and testing the best ways to stop sabotaging yourself and start following through.
Here’s the brutal truth. PASSION ISN’T ENOUGH.
You need business systems. I’m talking about repeatable, reliable, automated (or nearly automated) ways of completing key business processes. I couldn’t run I Will Teach without the systems I invented and I definitely wouldn’t have the great work/life balance I enjoy.
IWT has thousands of systems now, but if you took it all away tomorrow, all you really need are these three. I spent years perfecting them, and you can use them right away.
Afraid or launching an online business?
I struggled with the same fears for years … until I discovered the psychological breakthroughs and systems that make it easy and fun to get started.
We’ll deep dive into the 3 major FEARS around starting an online business, so you’ll know how to ignore the critics, focus on doing your very best, and be confident enough to laugh at your own failures and become successful faster.
I’ll show you how you can grow an online business with a tiny email list — or even without a website at all.
You don’t have to have a huge email list or wait until you have 100,000 followers. You can actually start NOW. Once you find the right people, you can build a successful online business with fewer people than you’d ever thought possible .
My students will show you how they launched their online businesses and scaled them up one student even got 5-figures in just a few months, without any email list.
How top performers balance profitable businesses with free time
We all have the same number of hours in the day, but some people top performers seem to get 10x the amount of work done as the rest of us. In these case studies and interviews, you’ll understand how.
Cal is totally dominating his post-doc while maintaining a successful blog. His trick: ruthlessly optimizing his schedule and saying “No” a lot.
Tim Ferriss of the Four Hour Work Week asks me about false starts and success rates.
Erica sold her company for over $1 million at age 26. When she talks, I listen.
I want to introduce you to one of my most influential mentor, whose insights have changed my life. If you’ve ever wondered who I study and learn from, here’s your answer.
I’ve put together a step-by-step guide so you can start launching a profitable online business in your spare time. You’ll see some of my juiciest case studies, strategies, and more insights I’ve spent over $1,000,000 and thousands of hours discovering. Just sign up for my free Insider’s List below, and you’ll hear when my step-by-step program, Zero to Launch, opens for enrollment:
Learn more about Zero to Launch:
How to start a vending machine franchise: Starting a business advice and business ideas #business #email #address
#vending machine business
How to start a vending machine franchise
Vending machines are pretty much part of our everyday lives. Drinks, snacks and all manner of personal goods are dispensed into our waiting grasp at the push of a button. But just because this process involves no human interaction doesn t mean the machine did it all by itself.
A vending franchise is the means to this end and it often proves to be a surprisingly varied career opportunity.
What is it?
The world of vending machine franchises is not large but considering the products on offer, it is significant. Unusually among franchises there are a number that can be run on a part time basis as well as full time so you can largely choose your hours. Although be aware this is not the case with all.
Drinkmaster largely does what it says on the franchise. It provides machine dispensed coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks as well as soft drinks like orange, blackcurrant and so on.
The franchisee s job is to promote the brand to potential customers throughout a designated territory, deliver products and provide customer care. And although it is their job to grow the territory, they have an existing client base from day one.
SSL International is the parent company of Durex vending, which services mainly pubs with condom vending machines. Unlike the others this is only a fulltime franchise but you make your own appointments so is therefore still flexible in terms of hours.
Some technical aptitude is required for the work as you are required to service machines as well as re-stock and collect money. But to really grow the business, you will also need to find new business so a good way with people is also a helpful attribute.
A Vendor supplies bottled Evian and Volvic flavoured water to any public space that might provide a marketplace: schools, leisure centres and so on. This is really a part time franchise at least to start with 10 machines can be serviced in one day. It is ideally suited to people who want an extra income.
Want to run a more profitable business?
More from Startups
Choosing a business name is an important step in the business planning process. Not only should you pick a name that reflects your brand identity, but you also need to ensure it is properly registered and protected for the long term. You should also give a thought to whether it’s web-ready. Is the domain name even available?
Here are some tips to help you pick, register, and protect your business name.
Factors to Consider When Naming Your Business
Many businesses start out as freelancers, solo operations, or partnerships. In these cases, it’s easy to fall back on your own name as your business name. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it does make it tougher to present a professional image and build brand awareness.
Here are some points to consider as you choose a name:
- How will your name look? – On the web, as part of a logo, on social media.
- What connotations does it evoke? – Is your name too corporate or not corporate enough? Does it reflect your business philosophy and culture? Does it appeal to your market?
- Is it unique? – Pick a name that hasn’t been claimed by others, online or offline. A quick web search and domain name search (more on this below) will alert you to any existing use.
Check for Trademarks
Trademark infringement can carry a high cost for your business. Before you pick a name, use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to see if a similar name, or variations of it, is trademarked.
If You Intend to Incorporate
If you intend to incorporate your business, you’ll need to contact your state filing office to check whether your intended business name has already been claimed and is in use. If you find a business operating under your proposed name, you may still be able to use it, provided your business and the existing business offer different goods/services or are located in different regions.
Pick a Name That is Web-Ready
In order to claim a website address or URL, your business name needs to be unique and available. It should also be rich in key words that reflect what your business does. To find out if your business name has been claimed online, do a simple web search to see if anyone is already using that name.
Next, check whether a domain name (or web address) is available. You can do this using the WHOIS database of domain names. If it is available, be sure to claim it right away. This guide explains how to register a domain name .
Claim Your Social Media Identity
It’s a good idea to claim your social media name early in the naming process – even if you are not sure which sites you intend to use. A name for your Facebook page can be set up and changed, but you can only claim a vanity URL or custom URL once you’ve got 25 fans or “likes.” This custom URL name must be unique, or un-claimed.
Register Your New Business Name
Registering a business name is a confusing area for new business owners. What does it mean and what are you required to do?
Registering your business name involves a process known as registering a “Doing Business As (DBA)” name or trade name. This process shouldn’t be confused with incorporation and it doesn’t provide trademark protection. Registering your “Doing Business As” name is simply the process of letting your state government know that you are doing business as a name other than your personal name or the legal name of your partnership or corporation. If you are operating under your own name, then you can skip the process.
Learn about the requirements in your state and how to file in this Registering Your Doing Business As Name guide.
Apply for Trademark Protection
A trademark protects words, names, symbols, and logos that distinguish goods and services. Your name is one of your most valuable business assets, so it’s worth protecting. You can file for a trademark for less than $300. Learn how to trademark your business name .
What is business acumen and how do you get it?
September 9, 2013 December 29, 2015
Over the last few weeks I have been developing a twitter strategy for one of my company s clients. They are an online events business and we are helping them with their marketing so I have been learning about hybrid and online events. I already know how to market via social media, I understand the world of events and I can create content fairly easily but prior to. oh I don t know a few weeks ago I knew very little about hybrid events. I would be able to tell you what a hybrid event was but very little else, now I have online event information seeping out of every pore (it isn t very pleasant!)
The reason I can bring myself up to speed so quickly is because I have spent 10 years working as an assistant and I have become very good at developing business acumen! I also hopped from one industry to another so I had to constantly learn how these business were run, the jargon that was used and the different codes of conduct each industry sector had. I had to understand all of this to support my boss effectively.
I think it is so very important for assistants to have good business acumen because without it I don t see how we can support our managers or move up the career ladder.
So what is business acumen?
I really like this definition of business acumen, it is from the Financial Times Lexicon :
In practice, people with business acumen are thought of as having business sense or business smarts . They are able to obtain essential information about a situation, focus on the key objectives, recognise the relevant options available for a solution, select an appropriate course of action and set in motion an implementation plan to get the job done.
So that sounds easy to achieve right? Erm no, I didn t think so either! Developing business acumen takes time, it has to be achieved through learning and training and ultimately it has to be part of your ongoing development plan. Expanding your business acumen has to be constant.
Having strong business sense isn t easy to develop but it is incredibly important for an assistant to have. We support people that have very strong business acumen, they wouldn t be in the position they are in without it! How can we support them if we do not have an understanding of their business, their strategic objectives and the pressures they face on a daily basis? The difficulty is that a lot of organisations don t understand this need and do not offer assistants the opportunity to attend training courses or take time out of their day to build their business acumen. Many bosses do not see the potential in their assistants or the added bonus of having an assistant with a good knowledge of the business and what that means in terms of the extra support they would receive.
So how do we develop business acumen?
There are of course ways around this problem but it does mean that assistants will have to be particularly proactive in developing their own business acumen. Trust me though it is totally worth the effort!
Firstly, is your manager supportive of your training needs? If so, well done! Ask that you attend training courses on the areas that you could improve, for example business finance or process management. If your manager is supportive then build business acumen improvement into your overall development plan and ensure you have an objective based on the wider business such as working on a cross departmental project.
Does your organisation have a graduate programme? If it does then ask to attend their initial training sessions on the industry. I did this when I first started working in insurance. There was so much jargon and codes of conduct, especially when working with Lloyd s of London that I asked to attend an Introduction to Insurance course which was in-house and specifically for the new graduates. I was the only EA on the course but it was so helpful and didn t cost my company a penny.
Does your manager subscribe to business magazines? If they do, this is great because you open their post and can read the magazines before giving it to them! Don t worry I don t think they will be offended that you are reading their magazine they will probably be in total shock that you are taking an interest! Not only does this help with your business knowledge it also gives you something to talk to your boss about, which is great when you don t have a lot in common.
This brings me to a really important point! Read everything. I love Julie Perrin s blog on business acumen for administrative professionals because it really goes into detail on what assistants should be reading and how to actually create the time to read. This is well worth the read, once you ve finished reading my blog obviously! Reading business material does not cost your company anything and I honestly think it helps enormously.
Do you take minutes at meetings? Again this is another fantastic way to increase your business acumen. In a previous role I managed 12 Committees all of which had a special interest in different areas of accountancy. I attended all of the Committee meetings and took all of the minutes. During the meetings I would really listen to what everyone was saying and take notes on anything I didn t understand so that I could research it later. I would also talk to the members during refreshment breaks and read all of the supporting documents along with their regular newsletters. Oh my goodness, by the end of the 4 years I worked in that role my knowledge of accountancy was extraordinary! I once attended a networking event for one of the Committees and talked to a new member for half an hour before he realised I wasn t actually an accountant (thank God!)
Lastly do you attend meetings with your manager? This task will bring you into contact with the company’s decision makers and you will be privy to their conversations and how they come to make decisions. Ensure you listen to these people. If you know why decisions are made in the company then you can start to make choices about your everyday work following the same strategy as the executive team. This will massively increase your knowledge and keep you focussed on improving your business acumen. When it comes to your review you can demonstrate to your manager that not only do you understand the company’s strategy but you are also implementing it into your own work by thinking strategically. This depth of knowledge will be impressive because they might not think you consider the bigger picture.
Understanding the bigger picture, where your boss fits into it and in turn how you can help support their goals is a fundamental requirement of a great assistant. Developing your business acumen will also give you a fantastic foundation and allow you to move up the career ladder and gain a well deserved promotion.
And the ability for both of you to exchange information easily online
makes your being in-house less of a need. Audit-ready books
also enable a company to make more knowledgeable decisions on a time-sensitive basis.
If you are an employee of such a company, you need
to preserve the company. On the grounds that clerk services are
frequently served on an hourly groundwork, people who work snappier will permit you to
#investing in stocks
How to Open a Brokerage Account
NEW YORK (TheStreet ) — There are lots of brokerage firms out there. Each one will likely tell you that it can offer more for your investing dollar than its competitors can. It’s up to you to know what you should look for in a broker and what you need to do to open an account with one.
One of the first questions you’ll want to ask yourself when you start your search for a broker is: “Which brokers will let me open an account?” Some brokers have restrictions that limit who will be able to open an account with them. These restrictions usually boil down to age and money.
If you’re young and interested in investing, keep in mind that in order to open your own brokerage account, you’ll need to be a legal adult (usually 18 years old). If you’re not considered a legal adult yet, you can still invest, but your parents will need to set up a custodial account with your broker.
A custodial account is essentially an account set up for a minor for which the parents bear the legal responsibilities on the minor’s behalf. With a custodial account, you’ll still be able to trade stocks just as you would with your own account, but your parents’ names will be on the account as well.
Another thing you’ll have to think about is the minimum account balance required by your broker. Most brokers require a minimum account balance for the same reason that banks do: They make money by lending your cash out to other customers in exchange for interest. Because it’s expensive for a broker to maintain your account, they have to be sure that you’re bringing in enough incremental revenue to cover the expenses of having you as a customer. As points of reference, minimum balances for online discount brokers are usually between $500 and $1,000.
How to Get a Business License
If you are planning on starting your own business. chances are that you will need some type of license or permit – maybe more than one – to move forward legally. A business license is a permit issued by a government agency that allows business to be conducted in said government’s geographic jurisdiction. By and large, your state or local government will determine which licenses and permits are required to operate in its jurisdiction. Additionally, the federal government requires special licenses for certain industries.
Why Is a Business License Required?
Obtaining a business license is necessary for three main reasons:
- So the government can track taxable revenue
- So consumers are protected in federally regulated industries
- So that you may demonstrate your level of professional expertise
Determining the requirements for your business is the first and most important step.
Identifying License and Permit Requirements
Business licensing requirements are determined by:
- Business activity
- Physical location
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a great resource for determining the licensing requirements in your area. After entering in your local zip code and the type of business you are starting, you are presented with a list of the permits and licenses you will need along with the locations at which you can find the requisite forms.
Before you can apply for a license, you will need to determine your business activity code. which is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). In order to select the proper code, you must determine the activities from which your business will derive the largest percentage of its total receipts, which is defined as the sum of gross receipts or sales plus all other income.
The Internal Revenue Service requires businesses to register to receive a Federal Tax Identification number. also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Your business will need an EIN if you can answer yes to any of the following questions:
- Do (or will) you have employees?
- Do (or will) you operate your business as a corporation or a partnership?
- Do (or will) you file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
- Do (or will) you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
- Do (or will) you have a Keogh plan ?
- Are (or will you be) you involved with any of the following types of organizations?
Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
Real estate mortgage investment conduits
Licenses and Permits
If your business will fall under the regulating eye of a federal agency, you will need to obtain the corresponding federal license or permit. Examples of business activities that may require such licenses include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Firearms, ammunition and explosives,
- Fish and wildlife,
- Mining and drilling
- Nuclear energy
- Radio and Television broadcasting
- Transportation and logistics
Permits can usually be found online, on the website of the entity that regulates the specific regulated activity the business will engage in. For example, if your business is involved in agricultural activities, you can find the necessary applications at the website for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you plan to broadcast your own television or radio program, you can find the necessary application online via the Federal Communications Commission .
It will also be necessary for you to register for applicable tax permits with state and local agencies. For instance, if your business will be selling goods or services, and you are operating in a state which levies an income tax, you will be obligated to obtain a tax license so that the state can track your taxable revenue. Contact the license commissioner in your county or municipality and the office of your state’s Secretary of State to find out the exact requirements that apply to you.
Even sole proprietorships run out of someone’s home are required to obtain business licenses in some areas. These can include:
- General business licenses
- Trade licenses (such as a license to operate a child care service or sell real estate)
- Sales tax permits
- Health and safety permits
- Sign permits
- Zoning permits
Filling Out and Filing the Forms
Once you figure out the licenses and permits you need to legally register your business, you will then need to fill out the necessary forms. These can be obtained from the appropriate federal or state agencies, and they usually can be found online. You may print the forms, fill them out, and mail them back to the agency; however, in many instances you will be able to fill out the forms and submit them online. Regardless, information you can expect to disclose may include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Type of business
- Business address
- Name of business owner
- Contact information
- Federal ID number
- NAICS code
- Number of employees
Expect to pay a filing fee, which can range from around $50 to hundreds of dollars or more, dependent upon the region you are filing in and the types of activities your business will be conducting. Fees are often calculated as a percentage of revenue, with a base minimum for new companies. The time it takes to receive your license can vary from a few days to a few weeks.
Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits for your business is required in order to operate legally. Moreover, the task is not a one-time occurrence. Most licenses and permits will need to be renewed periodically. For example, if you are running a restaurant with a bar, you will need to renew your liquor license once a year.
While this process can seem daunting, being familiar with the steps will go a long way in making the experience as painless as possible.