Tag: Need

What You Need to About Small Business Templates #business #continuity


#business templates

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What You Need to About Small Business Templates

There was a time, long ago, when the company opened a new process which was relatively unexplored. When you look back to the colonial times it was not very many businesses. The town Baker was not very competitive because it was probably the only baker around. Fast forward to today, and the small business has become a very big business. Small companies have already started so often that there are many small business templates available when starting a business or perform functions within the company.

There are templates out there today to help a person in the process of launching new businesses. If you look at the franchises available today, many of them are opening every store in a certain way. It help investors to rationalize certain functions and marginal costs. If you do not do something the same way every time you all can do it much faster and often save a lot of money at the same time.

Small shops, where the ownership remains in the hands of large corporations are well known to the following pattern. They are able to benefit even more from the individual store, because the corporation owns a very small store fronts. Many times they ensure the creation of new shop windows and buy in bulk. This saves even more money. Creating a cookie cutter store and perform the same function, and save a lot of time.





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When Do I Need a Business Lawyer for My Small Business? #work #from #home

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When Do I Need a Business Lawyer for My Small Business?

Among the countless worries for entrepreneurs who are starting or are already running a small business is the question of whether they need a business lawyer. The perception is that attorneys charge high rates and many small businesses don’t have much, if any, extra capital with which to pay lawyers. As a result, most small business owners only hire an attorney experienced with business matters when confronted with a serious legal problem (e.g. you’re sued by a customer). However, legal help is a cost of doing business that often saves you money and helps your business in the long run.

While you certainly don’t need an attorney for every step of running your business, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. This article will explain when you can cover legal issues on your own or with minimal attorney assistance and when you will definitely need a business lawyer.

Issues You Can Handle on Your Own

There are certain matters that are fairly straightforward and/or not unduly difficult to learn and therefore do not require the services of an attorney who charges at least $200 per hour. There are enough expenses associated with running a business, why not save yourself a load of money and do it yourself if you can?

The following is a list of some tasks that business owners should consider taking on themselves (with the aid of self-help resources, online and in print):

  • Writing a business plan
  • Researching and picking a name for your business (previously trademarked business names can be researched online)
  • Reserving a domain name for your website
  • Creating a legal partnership agreement, limited liability company (LLC) operating agreement, or shareholder’s agreement (see Choosing a Legal Structure )
  • Applying for an employer identification number (EIN), which you will need for employee tax purposes
  • Applying for any licenses and permits the business requires
  • Interviewing and hiring employees (there are federal and state antidiscrimination laws which regulate the hiring of employees)
  • Submitting necessary IRS forms
  • Documenting LLC meetings
  • Hiring independent contractors and contracting with vendors
  • Creating contracts for use with customers or clients
  • Creating a buy-sell agreement with partners
  • Updating any partnership, LLC, or shareholder’s agreements under which you are currently operating
  • Handling audits initiated by the IRS

The above is not an exhaustive list of legal tasks which small business owners can do on their own. It should be stated that if your business is well-funded or you feel that you need the assistance of an attorney, you can always retain a lawyer to help you with everything listed above.

Issues Where You Will Need a Business Lawyer

Most of the issues outlined above can be handled by any intelligent business owner (if you can run a business, you can certainly fill out IRS forms or fill in boilerplate business forms). There are times, however, when a business faces issues that are too complex, too time consuming, or fraught with liability issues. At that point,the wisest move is to retain a business lawyer.

A few examples include:

  • Former, current, or prospective employees suing on the grounds of discrimination in hiring, firing, or hostile work environment
  • Local, state, or federal government entities filing complaints or investigating your business for violation of any laws.
  • You want to make a special allocation of profits and losses or you want to contribute appreciated property to your partnership or LLC agreement
  • An environmental issue arises and your business is involved (even if your business didn’t cause the environmental problem, you may be penalized)
  • Negotiating for the sale or your company or for the acquisition of another company or its assets

An Ounce of Prevention

While you certainly need to retain an attorney for the serious issues above, your emphasis should be placed on preventing such occurrences in the first place. Prevention does not necessarily involve hiring an attorney, though consulting with one wouldn’t hurt. By the time you or your business is sued, the preventable damage has been done and the only question that remains is how much you’ll be paying in attorney’s fees, court fees, and damages.

For example, by the time a prospective employee files a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination based in part upon questions posed at the job interview, all you can do is hire an attorney to defend the lawsuit. If, on the other hand, you had done your own research on anti-discrimination laws, or you had consulted an attorney beforehand, you would have known not to inquire as to whether the applicant was pregnant or planned on becoming pregnant. The small effort at the beginning of the process would save you an enormous headache later.

To prevent unnecessary attorney costs at the inception of your business as well as tremendous costs after a lawsuit has been filed, you might consider a consultation arrangement with an attorney. Such an arrangement would entail you doing most of the legwork of research and the attorney providing legal review or guidance.

For example, you might use self help and online sources to create a contract with a vendor and ask an attorney to simply review and offer suggestions. Or from the previous example, you might research types of questions to ask during an interview and then send the list to an attorney for his or her approval. This way, you prevent the potential headache later and the cost to you is minimal because you’ve already done most of the work and the attorney simply reviews the document.

Find the Right Attorney for Your Business Needs

You won’t need a lawyer for each and every legal issue that comes up in your business. But when you do, it’s good to know where to find the right one. Check FindLaw’s legal directory for a business and commercial law attorney near you.


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What You Need to Know About Stock Markets Today #at #home #business #ideas


#financial markets today

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What You Need to Know About Stock Markets Today

By Anne Kates Smith | October 2010

Thanks to electronic trading, the stock market is wilder than ever.

Editor’s Note: We are re-featuring this guide to understanding the markets in light of the announcement on February 15 that the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange has agreed to merge with Deutsche Boerse. The merger would create the world’s largest operator of financial markets. Deutsche Boerse shareholders would own 60% of the merged company; NYSE Euronext shareholders, 40%. The text below has been updated since publication in the October 2010 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and the data is as of February 16, 2011.

1. There’s no “there” there. You may picture a bustling exchange, where commerce begins and ends with the clang of a bell. But the “stock market” is an increasingly fragmented collection of more than 50 trading platforms, almost all electronic, with various protocols, rules and oversight.

2. The Big Board has shrunk. Images of the New York Stock Exchange still dominate business-news broadcasts. But, in fact, just 34% of the trading volume in stocks listed on the NYSE actually occurs on the exchange, down from 79% in 2005. Nasdaq, the first electronic exchange, accounts for about one-fifth of all U.S. stock trading. Newer exchanges, such as Direct Edge, in Jersey City, N.J. and BATS Exchange, in Kansas City, Mo. each account for about 10% of trading volume. About 30% of U.S. trading volume takes place off exchanges.

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3. ECNs are the new matchmakers. Electronic communication networks match up buy and sell orders at specified prices for institutional investors and brokers. This is where “after-hours” trading occurs. In addition, hundreds of broker-dealers execute trades internally, filling orders out of their own inventory.

4. Some trades are shrouded in mystery. You’ve heard of dark stars. Now there are dark pools — private networks, sponsored by securities firms, where professionals trade without displaying price quotes to the public beforehand. Such dark pools account for more than 10% of stock-trading volume. The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to make dark pools more transparent to avoid a two-tier market that denies the public important pricing information.

5. You’re sure to get the best price — most days. According to an SEC rule, your trade is supposed to be routed to the platform with the best price at that moment. But when some venues aren’t functioning as normal, exchanges may override the rule. The rule didn’t apply during the “flash crash” of May 2010, when an intentional slowdown on the NYSE caused orders to be routed elsewhere, at lower prices.

6. There are fewer traffic cops. In the old days, specialists and market makers kept markets liquid by stepping up to buy — or sell — when a stampede of investors headed the other way. Now, not all exchanges require market makers. High-frequency traders, who program computers to profit from minute price discrepancies and can execute trades in milliseconds, were supposed to fill the void. But they don’t have to, despite the fact that they often account for 50% or more of total trading volume.

7. Stoplights are coming. A pilot plan, recently extended until April, calls for stock-by-stock circuit breakers that would be applicable across all trading platforms. The plan currently applies to stocks in Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the Russell 1000 index and certain exchange-traded funds, and calls for a trading pause if the share price changes by 10% within a five-minute period. Since December, market makers in exchange-listed securities have been required to maintain continuous buy and sell quotes within a certain range of a security’s most recent share price, putting an end to occasionally ridiculous quotes, far removed from prevailing prices, that were never meant to be executed.


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What You Need to About Small Business Templates #internet #business #ideas


#business templates

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What You Need to About Small Business Templates

There was a time, long ago, when the company opened a new process which was relatively unexplored. When you look back to the colonial times it was not very many businesses. The town Baker was not very competitive because it was probably the only baker around. Fast forward to today, and the small business has become a very big business. Small companies have already started so often that there are many small business templates available when starting a business or perform functions within the company.

There are templates out there today to help a person in the process of launching new businesses. If you look at the franchises available today, many of them are opening every store in a certain way. It help investors to rationalize certain functions and marginal costs. If you do not do something the same way every time you all can do it much faster and often save a lot of money at the same time.

Small shops, where the ownership remains in the hands of large corporations are well known to the following pattern. They are able to benefit even more from the individual store, because the corporation owns a very small store fronts. Many times they ensure the creation of new shop windows and buy in bulk. This saves even more money. Creating a cookie cutter store and perform the same function, and save a lot of time.





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5 Small Business Magazines You Need to Be Reading #business #card #printing


#small business magazine

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5 Must-Read Magazines for Your Small Business

You may be asking yourself, why am I soliciting print advice from a digital marketing resource center? Well, we at Get Busy Media find value in content that helps small businesses solve problems and grow; regardless of how and in what format this content is packaged. Today we’re going to take you through our five favorite small business magazines and why you, as a business owner, need to be consulting these resources.

Here are our top 5 small business magazines (and their tablet companions) :

1. Inc.

Inc. is the veritable bible for small business owners. If you were stuck on a desert island selling widgets and had only one magazine to consult from, I would recommend Inc hands down. This magazine is chock-full of amazing statistics, case studies, interviews and reviews about small business owners and startups who have found success and why. Too many young readers today are inundated with stories of successful tech startups. Rest assured that Inc. will provide you with a wide variety of successful small business stories. They will provide you with stories of why learning to tell jokes is good for business to a who’s who of crowdfunding platforms and which ones small businesses should leverage depending on their specific needs.

  • Get Real by Jason Fried – co-founder of 37 Signals (software company that created Basecamp) and author of Rework pens this column that normally appears between pages 35 and 40
  • Crunching the Numbers – I love the charts and graphs that are included in this section. For instance, did you know that the cities that experienced the greatest increase in the number of jobs at companies with fewer than 100 employees from August 10 to August 11 were Orlando, Atlanta and Greensboro, North Carolina (who would have guessed these cities?)
  • Tech Trends­­ – John Brandon does a great job with this column. He reviews all the latest gadgets and new technology that make your life as a small business owner easier.

iPad app: Appears that as of February, 2012 Inc. does not have an iPad app based on my extensive searches in the App. store that returned no results for this magazine.

2. Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur magazine is a must have for anyone looking to start a small business. Entrepreneur’s target is more narrowly focused than Inc’s but that’s what makes it so great. Within this magazine you will find every pain point imaginable to starting and running a profitable business (economy, work/life balance issues, co-founder discord, death of a co-founder, production issues, supply chain problems, to name just a few). You will find articles ranging from how a 14-year old kid started his own candle company based on manly scents (fresh cut grass, steak and wood chips, to name a few) to how two guys pivoted and turned their failing lifestyle website into a flash deals site and made a profit in the first month.

  • Lead Gen ­– Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs.com and Co-Author of Content Rules authors this column that speaks to the power of great content and how to reach your customers through online content.
  • Linked – Chris Brogan. Founder of Human Business Works and co-author of Trust Agents is one of the preeminent experts in relationship and digital marketing. If you have enough time to read only one column in this magazine each month, read his.

iPad app: This app needs some work. When you zoom in to read on the iPad, the text becomes difficult to read. The abundance of ads on this app is also bothersome and takes away from the overall experience.

Cost. Free (comes with Entrepreneur print subscription)

3. Fast Company

Of the three magazines we have reviewed thus far, Fast Company is certainly the edgiest and hippest. To be honest, there’s a reason why this publication is #3 on the list behind Inc and Entrepreneur. A salient example for those who like sports, is that Fast Company is to ESPN The Magazine what Inc. is to Sports Illustrated. SI is the preeminent resource in sports journalism in the United States, much as Inc. is widely regarded as the benchmark for publications for small businesses and startups. ESPN the Magazine on the other hand is flashy, heavy on images and graphics and appeals to a hipper, younger generation than Sports Illustrated. By no means is this a bad thing, but I felt that I should use this example to illustrate the difference between Fast Company and their approach versus Inc.’s approach.

One aspect of Fast Company that I enjoy much more than the previous two publications on this list is their long form feature stories. Fast Company’s featured stories tend to be much more content-rich and just plain longer in general than its counterparts. I love that I can sit down and read one of these stories and am captivated for 20 minutes.

  • Tech Edge­ – authored by Farhad Manjoo, this column is very similar to Tech Trends in Inc. just with a little more irreverence.

iPad app: Appears that as of February, 2012 Fast Company does not have an iPad app based on my extensive searches in the App. store that returned no results for this magazine.

4. Wired

Wired is an incredible magazine. I don’t care who you are, this magazine is always, always visually stunning and filled with incredible content about science and technology. There is no doubt in my mind that Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired. sits down with all departments within the company to ensure that design, content and layout all flow and play nice together. While this magazine tends to be very science and tech heavy, there are amazing pieces of information here that are applicable to small businesses, especially those who are progressive and technology-oriented.

  • Dear Mr. Know-it-all – this is an awesome column where Mr. Know it All fields questions from those looking to navigate their issues in the 21st century. Some questions may surprise you, but you’ll find the answers even more interesting.
  • Test – they test everything from Universal remotes to solar charges to ultrabooks – very neat column.

iPad app – amazing layout (which is par for the course for Wired) but loading the iPad edition by my count takes between 6 and 8 minutes (depending on the length of the issue), which in my opinion is tired not wired.

Cost. Free (comes with Wired print subscription)

5. Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek is obviously a behemoth in the business and financial news sector. While this periodical isn’t tailored specifically for small businesses and startups, there’s a ton of information you can cull from Bloomberg. The great thing about Bloomberg is that it’s laid out in a format that is easy-to-read and digestible. A few sections I particularly enjoy are the Technology and Companies and Industries sections. Both contain information that is pertinent for small businesses.

iPad app – I haven’t played around much with the app on my iPad but from my limited experience, this seems like another great app for the iPad

Cost. Free (comes with Bloomberg print subscription)

What do you think of my list of the top small business magazines? Who did I miss? Do you disagree with any of my choices? We would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.

About Jim Armstrong

Jim Armstrong is the Co-Founder of Get Busy Media and a paid search specialist. Since 2008, Jim has built his knowledge around emerging media and leveraged several experiences to develop a keen understanding of internet marketing. His core competencies include search marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing and online reputation management. Jim currently works for Google, as an account manager. When not diving headfirst into his next project, Jim enjoys spending time with his family, fishing and writing. Jim on Google+

Comments

I love Forbes online and have followed some of their contributors in particular.


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What You Need to About Small Business Templates #business #listings


#business templates

#

What You Need to About Small Business Templates

There was a time, long ago, when the company opened a new process which was relatively unexplored. When you look back to the colonial times it was not very many businesses. The town Baker was not very competitive because it was probably the only baker around. Fast forward to today, and the small business has become a very big business. Small companies have already started so often that there are many small business templates available when starting a business or perform functions within the company.

There are templates out there today to help a person in the process of launching new businesses. If you look at the franchises available today, many of them are opening every store in a certain way. It help investors to rationalize certain functions and marginal costs. If you do not do something the same way every time you all can do it much faster and often save a lot of money at the same time.

Small shops, where the ownership remains in the hands of large corporations are well known to the following pattern. They are able to benefit even more from the individual store, because the corporation owns a very small store fronts. Many times they ensure the creation of new shop windows and buy in bulk. This saves even more money. Creating a cookie cutter store and perform the same function, and save a lot of time.





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How to Become a Social Worker #what #degrees #do #you #need #to #become #a

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How to Become a Social Worker: Education and Career Roadmap

Should I Become a Social Worker?

People interested in helping others work through difficult life situations may want to consider a career in social work. Social workers provide direct services or clinical counseling to help clients assess and change harmful or unhealthy situations. They work in a variety of settings including nursing homes, hospitals, private practices, schools, and community mental health clinics. Caseloads may be heavy, causing stress and long work hours for many social workers. However, social workers can rest assured knowing their services are having tangible benefits for their clients.

In addition, a Masters in Social Work (MSW) is a very versatile degree which can be used as a stepping stool for other career tracks including public health and policy. Most entry-level positions require a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). An MSW is necessary for other positions, including that of clinical social worker. All states have associated licensure or certification requirements. The following table describes some of the typical qualifications necessary for this career.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child Care Management
  • Child Care Services
  • Child Development
  • Community Organization and Advocacy
  • Family and Community Services
  • Family Systems
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Social Work
  • Youth Services

$59,100 (Median annual salary for social workers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job postings by employers (August 2012)

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

BSW programs prepare graduates for direct-service positions, such as mental health assistant or caseworker. Coursework includes social welfare policy, social work methods, applied research, child welfare, and social work for the aged. All BSW programs contain an internship or supervised fieldwork component, providing students the opportunity to develop practical skills in areas important to the profession, such as understanding group dynamics, interviewing, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Success Tip

  • Develop strong communication skills. Social workers must develop productive and healthy relationships with their clients and co-workers in order to work effectively. While in school, students can take advantage of internships and supervised fieldwork to learn how to interact with a variety of clients.

Step 2: Consider a Master’s Degree

An MSW can be undertaken with any undergraduate degree, though some programs may require certain prerequisite coursework in related areas, such as psychology and sociology, for applicants not holding a BSW. The MSW is required to become a clinical social worker or to work in schools or the healthcare system. These degree programs typically take two years to complete (though some programs offer more flexible 3 and 4-year degree plans) and prepare students for advanced practice in their specialties.

Students in these programs have a variety of concentrations and specialties to choose from, including mental health, families and children, global practice, older adults and families, and behavioral and physical health. Students may expand on professional components of social work, such as clinical assessment, caseload management, and leadership skills. Completion of an internship or supervised practice is required of all MSW students.

Success Tip

  • Gain experience in a high-demand specialty. According to the BLS, social workers in healthcare, mental health, substance abuse, children, families, and schools are expected to have the most favorable opportunities for employment. Working in these areas, even with a BSW, can provide the necessary experience through which to develop a specialty.

Step 3: Become Licensed

According to the BLS, all states have licensure or certification requirements for becoming a social worker. Licenses for non-clinical social workers are usually optional; rules vary for each state and can be found through the Association of Social Work Boards. State licensing requirements for clinical social workers typically involve 3,000 hours or two years of clinical experience along with completion of the MSW.

Step 4: Consider Credentialing

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) offers voluntary credentialing at three levels for MSW-educated social workers. Each credential has varying eligibility requirements that may include specific hours of continuing professional education, clinical social work experience, and professional evaluations from colleagues.

There are also voluntary specialty certifications for both bachelor’s- and master’s- educated social workers in clinical social work, healthcare social work, gerontology, and several other areas, which may improve employment prospects.

Step 5: Maintain Licensure and Credentials

Social work licensure and certification, including specialty certification, must be maintained by completing continuing education courses. Requirements for the number of hours and the types of courses that can be taken vary for each state. By maintaining these credentials, social workers will continue to create career possibilities for employment and ensure that they remain employable.

Next: View Schools


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Arizona Probate Services #arizona,probate,services,do #it #yourself,informal,formal,small #estate,affidavits,paralegals,low #cost,fast,easy,cheap,experienced,legal,papers,probatecourt,phoenix,save,money,filings,court,fees,how #do #i #get #appointed #as #executor,do

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We professionally prepare probate legal documents and help you understand the mandated court process.
OUR MISSION IS TO SAVE YOU TIME, MONEY AND STRESS!
Don’t want, or can’t afford an attorney. you may not need one!
Call us today with your questions — you will be glad you did!
(602) 523-0100

A commonly asked question is: Do I need an attorney for Arizona probate?

The simple answer is no – anyone can file their own documents with the probate court. The right answer is one that only you can answer. Many probate cases are standard and only require an understanding of the court document requirements and the timing of the process. Some probate cases are more complex and you should be represented by legal counsel.

At Arizona Probate Services, we will discuss your situation with you. If we are uncomfortable about preparing the documents for your particular situation, we will recommend you seek legal counsel. We will always be honest and upfront with you. Integrity and a commitment to quality is the foundation of our business.

Then documents are filed with the court when it is appropriate, you administer the estate, and close probate when it is time! With our help, it’s that simple!

Thank you for supporting Arizona Business!

All fees on this website are subject to change without notice.

NOTICE TO CONSUMER
Arizona Probate Services is an Arizona certified legal document preparer, certified by the Arizona Supreme Court. The purpose of a Certified Legal Document Preparer is to provide professionally prepared legal documents and procedural assistance at an affordablecost. A Legal Document Preparer cannot represent you in court. A legal document preparer is not a lawyer, is not employed by a lawyer, and cannot give legal advice, and communications with a legal document preparer are not privileged (meaning we are subject to subpoena).

This website is intended to provide general information about Arizona legal issues and process. However, legal information is not the same as legal advice, which is the application of the law to a specific situation. The information provided on this website is not intended or meant to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation.


Content copyright 2010-2011. Arizona Legal EASE, Inc. All rights reserved.


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11 Grants for Women-Owned Businesses You Need to Know About #small #business #loan


#small business grants

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11 Grants for Women-Owned Businesses You Need to Know About

In 2014, there were close to 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, a 68 percent increase since 1997, according to The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express. This percentage increase exceeded the national average of small business growth by 1.5 times.

It also illustrated what we already know: Women entrepreneurs are having a tremendous impact on the small business landscape nationwide.

Yet to continue to be competitive and grow, these entrepreneurs have to find funding for their ventures. And, alarmingly, women entrepreneurs are increasingly being turned away by banks for small business loans. Thankfully, they still have other options, given the rise of technology-driven financial lending sources — such as online loans, peer-to-peer loans and crowdfunding.

Then there are government grants. While not widely known or used, these grants are another great option for women seeking extra funding for their business ventures. They just take a little more work.

Understanding grants

Business owners often turn to grants because they are not required to pay them back; essentially, you can look at grants as free money, but they come with stipulations. Also, understanding and navigating the grant process can be complex.

First, you have to research and find a grant for which you re eligible. Then, you have to understand the strict application and compliance guidelines you must meet, to be eligible. Third, you have to compete with other businesses for the same pool of money. Fourth, if you re awarded a grant, you must report on how you used it. Finally, you must devote time and energy to the lengthy application process, then wait for approval. In a nutshell, you need to have all of your ducks in a row, up-front and afterward.

Finding federal and state grants

Many business owners think that federal grants are just a click away. We have all seen the ads promoting free federal money to start businesses. But this is a huge misconception. While there are federal grants available in the areas of medical research, science, education and technology development, no such grants exist specifically for women-owned businesses. You may find grants that fund projects that empower women, but such funding is often set aside for nonprofit corporations, not for-profit businesses.

When researching grants specifically for a woman-owned business, start at the state level. Most states offer grants for women-owned businesses in some capacity. Each state website has a business section where you can find grant and funding opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses. A good example of this is the business section for the state of New York. which lists incentives and programs for businesses. Check out your state s site to find out what is available for your business.

Another great resource to use in your research is the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The MBDA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that assists minorities and women in establishing and growing their businesses. On its site, you can research grants and access links to state agencies that work with women-owned businesses for funding opportunities. Click here to view all of the state agencies across the country.

Private grants for women

To help in your search, we gathered information on these private grants for women entrepreneurs started:

  1. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program. Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. In 2014, the program awarded $125,000 in grants.
  2. Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants. The grant awards up to $15,000 to advance the development of innovative products inspired by the joys of motherhood. The awardees also receive resources to further develop their products and startup businesses.
  3. FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program. Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $75,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
  4. Idea Caf Small Business Grant. The Idea Caf is a free gateway that hosts different grants on its site. Its current grant is the 16 th Small Business Cash Grant. which awards one $1,000 grand prize to a business with the most innovative idea.
  5. InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge. This business challenge is sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Women s Business Ownership. The challenge awards three winners $30,000 in prize money for businesses that have an impact on the lives of women. However, be aware of the recent fraud news around the SBA .
  6. Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project. Chase and Google have partnered to award $3 million in grants. In 2014, recipients were awarded $150,000 to help take their businesses to the next level. Recipients also received a trip to Google headquarters, a Google Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.
  7. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.
  8. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR). The STTR program reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding to provide funding opportunities in research and development.
  9. Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp (WVEC) Small Business Competition. This competition, organized by Capitol One and Count Me In for Women s Economic Independence. allows participants to present two-minute pitches for a chance to participate in a nine-month business accelerator program.
  10. Wal-Mart Women s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE). As part of a huge Wal-Mart initiative, sourcing opportunities for U.S. and international companies will increase to $40 billion over five years.
  11. Zions Bank — Smart Women Smart Money. This Utah-based bank s grant annually awards $3,000 across six different categories, including business.

Applying for a grant

Once you find a funding opportunity, there are steps required to apply. A few tips to assist you:

  • Make sure that your business is eligible for the grant: Read the grant synopsis guidelines and eligibility requirements.
  • Create a checklist for all of the documents required.
  • Follow the rules. Grant applications can be very technical. It wouldn t hurt to have a second (or even third) set of eyes when reviewing the application to ensure that you have provided all accompanying documents.
  • Start early. Since the application process can be long in some cases, it doesn t hurt to get a jump on things.

If you find the grant application process too daunting or lengthy for your small business, Kabbage is committed to supporting small business loans for women business owners. Because our application process is fully automated and online, we can quickly provide small business loans of up to $100,000. We use simple, meaningful revenue data from your business to approve your business — not elaborate documentation that takes extensive time to gather. To learn more, visit Kabbage.com.


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When Do I Need a Business Lawyer for My Small Business? #business #applications


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When Do I Need a Business Lawyer for My Small Business?

Among the countless worries for entrepreneurs who are starting or are already running a small business is the question of whether they need a business lawyer. The perception is that attorneys charge high rates and many small businesses don’t have much, if any, extra capital with which to pay lawyers. As a result, most small business owners only hire an attorney experienced with business matters when confronted with a serious legal problem (e.g. you’re sued by a customer). However, legal help is a cost of doing business that often saves you money and helps your business in the long run.

While you certainly don’t need an attorney for every step of running your business, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. This article will explain when you can cover legal issues on your own or with minimal attorney assistance and when you will definitely need a business lawyer.

Issues You Can Handle on Your Own

There are certain matters that are fairly straightforward and/or not unduly difficult to learn and therefore do not require the services of an attorney who charges at least $200 per hour. There are enough expenses associated with running a business, why not save yourself a load of money and do it yourself if you can?

The following is a list of some tasks that business owners should consider taking on themselves (with the aid of self-help resources, online and in print):

  • Writing a business plan
  • Researching and picking a name for your business (previously trademarked business names can be researched online)
  • Reserving a domain name for your website
  • Creating a legal partnership agreement, limited liability company (LLC) operating agreement, or shareholder’s agreement (see Choosing a Legal Structure )
  • Applying for an employer identification number (EIN), which you will need for employee tax purposes
  • Applying for any licenses and permits the business requires
  • Interviewing and hiring employees (there are federal and state antidiscrimination laws which regulate the hiring of employees)
  • Submitting necessary IRS forms
  • Documenting LLC meetings
  • Hiring independent contractors and contracting with vendors
  • Creating contracts for use with customers or clients
  • Creating a buy-sell agreement with partners
  • Updating any partnership, LLC, or shareholder’s agreements under which you are currently operating
  • Handling audits initiated by the IRS

The above is not an exhaustive list of legal tasks which small business owners can do on their own. It should be stated that if your business is well-funded or you feel that you need the assistance of an attorney, you can always retain a lawyer to help you with everything listed above.

Issues Where You Will Need a Business Lawyer

Most of the issues outlined above can be handled by any intelligent business owner (if you can run a business, you can certainly fill out IRS forms or fill in boilerplate business forms). There are times, however, when a business faces issues that are too complex, too time consuming, or fraught with liability issues. At that point,the wisest move is to retain a business lawyer.

A few examples include:

  • Former, current, or prospective employees suing on the grounds of discrimination in hiring, firing, or hostile work environment
  • Local, state, or federal government entities filing complaints or investigating your business for violation of any laws.
  • You want to make a special allocation of profits and losses or you want to contribute appreciated property to your partnership or LLC agreement
  • An environmental issue arises and your business is involved (even if your business didn’t cause the environmental problem, you may be penalized)
  • Negotiating for the sale or your company or for the acquisition of another company or its assets

An Ounce of Prevention

While you certainly need to retain an attorney for the serious issues above, your emphasis should be placed on preventing such occurrences in the first place. Prevention does not necessarily involve hiring an attorney, though consulting with one wouldn’t hurt. By the time you or your business is sued, the preventable damage has been done and the only question that remains is how much you’ll be paying in attorney’s fees, court fees, and damages.

For example, by the time a prospective employee files a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination based in part upon questions posed at the job interview, all you can do is hire an attorney to defend the lawsuit. If, on the other hand, you had done your own research on anti-discrimination laws, or you had consulted an attorney beforehand, you would have known not to inquire as to whether the applicant was pregnant or planned on becoming pregnant. The small effort at the beginning of the process would save you an enormous headache later.

To prevent unnecessary attorney costs at the inception of your business as well as tremendous costs after a lawsuit has been filed, you might consider a consultation arrangement with an attorney. Such an arrangement would entail you doing most of the legwork of research and the attorney providing legal review or guidance.

For example, you might use self help and online sources to create a contract with a vendor and ask an attorney to simply review and offer suggestions. Or from the previous example, you might research types of questions to ask during an interview and then send the list to an attorney for his or her approval. This way, you prevent the potential headache later and the cost to you is minimal because you’ve already done most of the work and the attorney simply reviews the document.

Find the Right Attorney for Your Business Needs

You won’t need a lawyer for each and every legal issue that comes up in your business. But when you do, it’s good to know where to find the right one. Check FindLaw’s legal directory for a business and commercial law attorney near you.


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