Your Many Term Life Insurance Decisions

When buying term life insurance you need to have on your thinking cap. In other words, decisions will need to be made. And every decision that is on your plate is an important one. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake when buying a term life insurance policy. This will result in problems now and in the future. If you buy exactly what you want and need you will not have anything to worry about.

The first decision, and maybe the most important, is how much term life insurance you want to buy. Do you need a $100k policy? How about a one million dollar policy? As you can see, there are many options and you have to choose the coverage you are most comfortable with. Keep in mind that the more coverage you buy the more money you are going to pay every month for the policy.

Another decision is how long your term life insurance will cover you. You may opt for a 10 year term life insurance policy, but somebody else may want coverage for 20 years. This is up to you, and should be based on your personal/family situation. Some people only want coverage until their children are out of college. How many years would you need for this to happen?

Finally, don’t be afraid to speak with many term life insurance companies. The more you receive quotes from the better off you are going to be. Some consumers receive quotes they get from LifeInsuranceAgency.com from at least five companies before making a final decision.

Even though there are a lot of decisions to make when buying term life insurance you should not have any problem finding the right policy.

Insurance For Your Motorcycle

An open road. A beautiful landscape out in front of you. Your gas tank is full and the wind is at your back. This scenario is why millions of people around the world enjoy motorcycles as not only a means of transportation, but as a hobby as well.

The scenario pictured above does not have to be spoiled by the not so fun idea of finding the right coverage for your bike. If anything, it should put your mind at ease knowing that you don’t have to worry should your motorcycle or someone’s personal property be damaged.

Some insurance companies sell motorcycle specific policies while others offer the coverage as part of your auto policy. You should check your options when shopping for motorcycle insurance. Many insurance providers give discounts for bundling a bike on your current policy. That translates to more money for gas!

The very first thing you should do is get familiar with the laws in your particular state. Most require at least liability, but there is some difference between what certain states require to be within the law when it comes to motorcycles. You can find information about your state by contacting your state’s department of insurance.

Types of Motorcycle Coverage

Even though you may be familiar with the following terms, we’ll take another look to make sure that you are familiar with the various types of coverage. They are similar to the terms you go over with auto insurance policies.

Liability

Liability will cover bodily injury and any damage to someone else’s property. You will be left with the financial burden of your own injuries and damage to your property if this is the only coverage you have.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist

If you are involved in an accident and the other party involved does not have insurance, or does not have enough, this coverage will protect you from medical bills, lost wages, and sometimes property damages.

Collision

Collision coverage will cover damage to your ride if you wreck your bike. Most insurance companies will cover the book value of your bike. You just have to choose the deductible you are comfortable with.

Comprehensive

This type of coverage will pay for the loss or damage of your motorcycle due to many factors beyond your control. Once again, you will be paid the book value and you must choose a deductible that you are comfortable with.

Factors That May Affect Your Rates

Type of Motorcycle

A sport bike will likely cost you more to insure than a cruiser. A sport bike is considered more risky to insure because of the high performance. Your inusurer will take a look at the engine size when determining your rates.

Intended Use

If you are lucky enough to live where you can and plan on using your motorcycle as your daily driver year round, be ready for a higher premium. Many insurers will cut your rates if you agree not to ride during the winter months.

Storage

If you plan on leaving the bike out in the elements or just throwing a tarp over it, be prepared to pay a higher premium. It will be cheaper on your insurance rates to have it stored indoors in a garage or storage facility.

Last But Not Least, Your Driving Record

Just like your auto insurance policy, you will have to pay a higher premium if you have violations and/or accidents on your record. Keep a clean record and you will be rewarded with lower rates. There are sometimes discounts available for completing safe riding courses.

Home Based Business: Your Ultimate Tax Shelter

Starting and operating your own home based business is
the ultimate tax shelter.

Although this article has been written from a Canadian
income tax perspective, the principles should be
practical in other tax jurisdictions.

1. Non-Deductible Personal Living Expenses

All of us have expenses that we incur in everyday
living.

Either you rent an apartment or house or you own your
residence. Utilities, insurance, rent, mortgage
interest, property taxes, and maintenance and repairs
are typical costs of operating your home.

Likely, you have a vehicle which also consumes large
amounts of cash.

Add to this, dining out, entertainment, gifts,
alcoholic beverages, office supplies, telephone and
many other expenditures, and you have a significant
cash outflow.

In most cases, as an employee, retired person,
investor, student, or homemaker, few of these
expenses are tax-deductible to you.

This means that you must earn a considerable income,
pay your income taxes first, and then use what is
left to pay all your expenses.

Some employees may be able to write-off some of
their employment related expenses, if such are
required by their contract of employment. However,
even in this situation, the tax deductions are very
limited.

2. Your Own Home Based Business Means Tax Deductions

Now consider the situation where you decide to start
your own home based business.

Suddenly, many of your everyday expenses are now being
used for business purposes and are now tax-deductible.

If you use one quarter of your home exclusively for
business use, you will be able to deduct (or write-off)
one quarter of all related occupancy costs. These
expenses may include maintenance and repairs (that are
not capital in nature), rent, mortgage interest, house
or apartment insurance, power, heat, water, and
property taxes.

As well, your vehicle expenses used for business
purposes are another tax write-off. If you use your
car ninety percent for business purposes, you can
deduct ninety percent of your vehicle insurance, gas
and oil, maintenance and repairs, car washes, license
and registration, auto club, loan interest (within
certain limits), and other costs from your income.
You may also write-off one hundred percent of your
business related parking. Capital Cost Allownance
(C.C.A.) on your vehicle is also allowed for income tax
purposes; depreciation is the accounting term for this
tax deduction.

The Canadian government also allows as a deduction,
fifty percent of your business related entertainment
expenses.

Also tax-deductible are business related telephone
expenses, Internet access, office supplies, travel,
books, memberships, and a host of other expenditures.

3. Income Splitting with Your Home Based Business

If you have a high paying job, you will pay higher
taxes because the rates of tax increase as your income
does.

With your own business, you can pay reasonable wages to
your spouse and children. In this way, you can legally
divert income taxed at your higher rate to your family
members that are in a lower tax bracket.

This tax saving technique is called income splitting.
It is another good reason why your own home based
business is the ultimate tax shelter.

4. Even a Part-Time Home Based Business Works

Even if you have a full-time job, running a part-time
business can be advantageous.

Of course, you must actually run a real, moneymaking
business. Any attempts to write unprofitable hobbies
off will ultimately fail with the taxation authorities.

If you earned eight thousand dollars during the year
from your part-time business and were able to deduct
eight thousand dollars in car expenses, home office
expenses, entertainment costs, office supplies, and
other business related expenditures, you would have a
net business income of nil. You would pay no tax on
this additional income.

Don`t miss this important point! Although these tax
deductions are actual, legitimate business expenses,
these are expenditures you would probably have made
anyway, whether you had a business or not.

Thus, by rearranging your affairs to start and operate
a home based business, you have been able to convert
non-deductible personal expenditures into legally
deductible business expenses. You have successfully
sheltered your income from tax and have split your
income with family members in lower tax brackets.

How To Incorporate And Create Your Own Business

Setting up your own business is not that difficult and it is really not necessary to pay someone to do it for you if you are relatively computer literate and savvy. However, before proceeding, there is something you should know about incorporating; the most significant reason to incorporate is liability. If you own a store on a strip mall and a customer could walk in the front door, slip and fall, injure themselves and wind up with mountainous medical bills then yes, you have a liability issue and you need to be incorporated. But what if you are just inputting medical records on your home computer? Where is your liability? If you wanted to, you could get errors and omissions insurance for any inputting mistakes you might make. In that situation there really is no liability issue. With that said, there are other reasons you may want to incorporate. Many businesses do not want to enter into contracts for services or material with an individual, rather they want to deal with other businesses. You may be in a situation where the company you work for will not deal directly with you but they will sign a contract with your business. Then you need to be incorporated. You may have financial backing lined up for a venture but the backers will not fund a person, only a business. Then you need to be incorporated. There are other reasons to incorporate, but the fundamental issue you face is the fact that your tax situation becomes much more complicated and expensive after you have incorporated. And that complication and expense can be justified only if you do it correctly: if you incorporate correctly and conduct your business in the “proper fashion.” The problem you face is summed up in the term “pierce the corporate veil.” Here is what happens; you incorporate, you conduct your business in the “proper fashion,” you do everything correctly, as far as you can tell, and then the unthinkable happens and a liability event occurs. The liability event is significant enough that lawyers become involved and the whole thing winds up in the courts. During the proceedings, the defense attorneys will try to “pierce the corporate veil.” They will force you to prove that you conducted your business affairs in the proper, legal fashion by demanding to see 1) your Employer Identification Number (EIN) assignment letter from the IRS, 2) your Articles of Incorporation (or Articles of Organization if you are a Limited Liability Company – LLC), 3) your Form 2553 election to be considered a small business corporation by the IRS, 4) the IRS’ letter approving that election, 5) all of your business tax returns, for each year the business existed, showing compensation of officers, 6) your personal tax returns for those same years showing inclusion of that business income, 7) all of your filed, state-required, yearly annual reports, 8) your county and municipal tax receipt numbers or tax registration numbers or certificates proving that you are legally registered to conduct your business at your location and 9) last but not least, your business checking account showing that all of the income from the business was deposited in to that account and all of the business expenses were withdrawn from that account.

If you fail any one of these tests, or cannot provide one or more of these documents, the defense lawyers will have done their job; they can then declare that your business is not legitimate, you did not conduct your business in the “proper fashion,” the “veil” of business liability protection has been “pierced” and you are now personally liable for all of those mountainous medical expenses. That is what you face. So you have to make a decision; since you are going to go down the incorporation path, do you want to do it correctly or not? After spending all of that extra money and suffering all of that extra complication in order to be incorporated, do you want to do the job correctly or not? Sure, you will probably never need to prove it, but you have to spend the money anyway so why not do it as best as you can? If nothing else, just to know that you could prove yourself to a higher authority like a court of law.

Let’s rank business categories from a tax point of view. The easiest is a Schedule C for Self-Employment Income, included right along with your tax return when you have a business. When your self-employment income is high enough, a Schedule SE is generated automatically to pay your Social Security and Medicare taxes. You do not even need an EIN. By far it is the easiest and least complicated. And a note about tax years; it is best to have a calendar year tax year. Fiscal tax years should be used only if there is an over-riding business reason. The vast majority of the tax preparation profession is geared up for calendar year tax payers and businesses, so staying in that cycle is beneficial from a business-support point of view. Second, you could just get a fictitious name from your State’s Division or Department of Corporations website. You cannot protect a fictitious name, someone could come along and incorporate using that name, and force you to stop using it, but you could still conduct a fictitious name business on a Schedule C. Fictitious names usually expire and have to be renewed in three to four years.

Then we get to true incorporation with Articles of Organization for an LLC. You can file your Articles with the state but if you do not limit your liability at the federal level, you did only half the job. The IRS considers an LLC to be a “disregarded entity.” An LLC is not one of the recognized business entities in the eyes of the IRS. But the IRS does recognize an S-Corporation or “Small Corporation” (although the “S” does not stand for “Small”). And liability is limited (provided you do everything correctly) at the federal level when you are an S-Corp. The way to do this is to file a Form 2553 “Election by a Small Business Corporation,” see more at the step below.

Then there are Articles of Incorporation for a corporation. A not-for-profit corporation and partnerships are not considered here. This set of instructions is written for the single individual who has a need or desire to form a business entity, typically single-owner. A Form 2553 is again required for a state-registered corporation to protect from liability at the federal level.

Above that is a C-Corporation, which requires further classification at the federal level. All the big businesses are C-Corporations and incorporating to that level is well beyond the scope of what is written here.

The assumption here is that you are forming an LLC or small corporation and you do not know what to do first. The following list should NOT be considered complete, but it is a good way to start. No warranty is stated or implied, use this list and set of instructions at your own risk and remember, the list of how to do things in the “proper business manner” is endless.

Step #1: Establish a separate business checking account with a debit card. It is preferable to get a personal checking account in your name and use it strictly for the business. Later, if the balance in the account ever gets large enough to exceed the required minimum balance, you can convert it into a business account. Seed the checking account with $500. Avoid your normal financial institution, go somewhere else: a bank with a good website. More about the business checking account later.

Step #2: Pick a name for your business; consider being an LLC and if you do, be sure to add LLC at the end of your business name. Be mindful of your punctuation – use a comma before the LLC or not, but once you do, be consistent. The way to start the process to make your business name official is to visit your state’s Division or Department of Corporations website. In Florida it is www dot sunbiz dot org; each state will have a different Universal Resource Locator (URL) but each state website will have a way to look up or search by business name. Look up your candidate business name and see if it is taken or not. If it is, keep trying variations of the business name that you like until you find one that is not taken. Then, DO NOT do anything else in that website. Record the business name (like in a small text file), bail out of that website and then go to the IRS’ website, www dot irs dot gov and get your EIN for your chosen, unused business name.

Step #3: At the IRS website, type “apply for EIN” in the top search window and click on SEARCH. Click on the top choice; “Employer ID Numbers (EINs)” and then on “Apply for an EIN Online.” Follow the instructions and apply for an EIN using the business name you recorded in Step #2. It is free to acquire an EIN. IMPORTANT – at the end of the process there will be a letter generated by the IRS computer that lists your business name and its assigned EIN. BE SURE TO SAVE THE PDF FILE OF THAT LETTER. You can also record the EIN but the letter is important because it links the EIN with the business name as filed with the federal government.

Step #4: Go back to your state’s Division or Department of Corporations website and follow the instructions to create a new LLC or corporation. Timing – do it all in one evening. Use the business name from Step #2. IMPORTANT – USE THE EIN FROM STEP #3 FOR ALL ID NUMBERS – NEVER USE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER – SSN. The business records on a state’s Division of Corporations website are public knowledge, discoverable on the web, so your SSN should NEVER appear there. ALWAYS use your EIN. And use your business checking account from Step #1 to pay the fee to register your business name.

Step #5: Acquire a county tax registration or tax receipt number (otherwise known as a business license or an occupational license or a business occupational license). Businesses are categorized and there may be different requirements per category. Investigate your county website. Google the full name of your county appended with the words “tax collector,” “occupational license application,” “business license,” “business tax” and “businesses.” Click on the hyperlinks provided by Google and take some time drilling around each website to see what is offered. You may be able to find and download the business application, print it, fill it out and mail it in. Do not expect an online application process; the signed application may require notarizing and being mailed in, but the yearly renewals can usually be done online. And acquiring a tax receipt / registration number from the county you live in is only half the battle; you may also need a tax receipt / registration number from your municipality (city, town, village) where you live, check your municipality’s website. More on counties and municipalities below.

Step #6: Go back to the IRS website, download the PDF version of Form 2553, fill it in, save it, print it, sign it and mail it in. Use the date of your Articles of Organization / Incorporation as the date you started doing business. Form 2553 should be filled out, signed and mailed within two months and fifteen days from the date you started doing business.

Step #7: Enroll in EFTPS – Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. You can pay all of your federal taxes online nowadays. The EFTPS website does not receive the same support as the IRS’ website and it shows because enrollment using Internet Explorer (IE) 9 does not work; after inputting my information on the Step 2 “Enroll” screen, a blank “Review” screen always came up. Re-entering the information produced the same error. Phone tech support verified that they had a problem with IE 9. They suggested using Mozilla Firefox. On the EFTPS home page, it says that they support IE for Windows and Mozilla Firefox. I dislike having two different browsers installed on my computer. Many people do not mind at all, even prefer having more than one available to them. It is a matter of personal preference. But I can move around in IE just a little bit faster than I can in other browsers and that is enough for me. I even like IE 9 because it has more streamlined download functionality and more multi-webpage versatility per window. So it is distressing that the government cannot handle the latest Microsoft product and with reluctance I went to www dot cnet dot com and downloaded and installed Mozilla Firefox. Sure enough, EFTPS enrollment completed without a problem using Mozilla Firefox. IMPORTANT – at the Step 4 “Complete” screen there is a large “Download PDF” button directly below a “Print” button. BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD AND SAVE THE PDF FILE. It contains your eighteen-digit long enrollment number. Within seven days you will receive in the mail your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and instructions on how to obtain a password to use EFTPS dot gov. Before you ask why please know that you have not “paid yourself a paycheck” until you have paid ALL of your required income taxes.

You are probably asking why? What good does enrolling with EFTPS do me? Here is what happens. At tax time, the “books” of the business have to be balanced. If there is net business income after expenses and that income is not reflected as cash in the business checking account, then typically, one or more distributions were taken. Money was taken out of the business. Happens all the time. As part of balancing the books for tax purposes, the final distribution amount can be accounted for and that final distribution amount does wind up on the Schedule K-1’s flowing out to the business officers. And I am here to tell you that if that distribution does show up on the Schedule K-1 and the Schedule K-1 is included as income on each officer’s personal tax return, then you bet by golly that those officers will pay federal income taxes on it. But who did they not pay? They did NOT pay their Social Security and Medicare taxes. This problem is pervasive and endemic. At last year’s IRS Nationwide Tax Forum in July in Orlando, at the “Pitfalls of Subchapter S-Corps” seminar, the speaker said that for the last year they had data (probably 2009), 35,000 single-owner S-Corps filed business tax returns with income over $100,000 and did not pay themselves any compensation. At that forum it was also mentioned that just two weeks previous, the wording in a bill before Congress to empower the IRS to go after those S-Corps who are not paying officer compensation was gutted. So those S-Corps escaped for another year. But do not think that will last for long. Congress will eventually plug that loophole. In order to be completely legal, you have to “pay yourself a paycheck” each pay period by deciding how much you can take from the business, go to the EFTPS website, login and pay your Federal Insurance Corporation of America – FICA – taxes – Social Security and Medicare. You can also ‘withhold’ your federal estimated tax payments each pay period or wait and pay them at the required due dates of the 15th of April, June, September and January of the following year.

Timing the creation of your business is important. Most first-time business owners have no clue about Step #6 above. It is not until tax time that the issue comes up. For that reason and to establish the business as soon as possible by filing both a federal and state business tax return, it is best to create your business late in the year; a good starting date is 01 DEC. You can get your checking account setup ahead of that date, and even check the availability of your candidate business name on your state, county and municipal websites, but do not pull the trigger until 01 DEC. Be mindful of your time constraint – as soon as you have found the business name you want, acquire the EIN and then file your state Articles of Incorporation / Organization, preferably all within the same evening from your home computer; and remember, you have to pay for it online that evening so your checking account has to have already been setup. Granted, it is unlikely that someone will also find your preferred business name and incorporate under it before you do, but why take the chance? Minimize the amount of time between filing for your EIN and filing your Articles with the state. Also, if you can do it, if you can arrange it, try to setup some serious income-producing activities for December; try to maximize your potential for profit in December. The flip side of that is to minimize your business expenses for December; you have no choice but to spend the fees listed here in order to establish your business, but try to make those fees your only expenses for the month, if you can. Schedule other required business expense activities before 01 DEC, if you can. If you do this, then you stand a much better chance of showing a net profit for the year (by taking advantage of the “short” first tax year of business). And the reason why has everything to do with showing a profit in your first year of business and the tax benefits available to you in subsequent, net-loss years, if they happen. The IRS will not let you continue to conduct a failing business venture that incurs significant losses every single year. Having an initial, non-loss year of business may help dissuade them from pulling the plug during your lean years and disallowing all of those prior year business loss deductions. When that happens, the tax bill is so large that you will be forced to mortgage your home or declare bankruptcy. As bad as all that is, the primal reason to show a profit is to exercise your ability to pay your FICA taxes. This sounds bizarre because no one else recognizes it, but it all has to do with Social Security, see below. And you will be able to show a net profit only if you have set it all up correctly at the end of the year. It is unlikely or unheard of that someone starts a business correctly, please remember that; if you failed at one or more of these steps, you are one of many who have done so. It is an extraordinary event, to create a business from a position of strength, by showing a profit in its first year.

Before starting this process, it is wise to investigate the county and municipal websites. If the websites do not provide answers to the following questions, pay a visit to the county courthouse and to the town hall or municipal office complex during business hours, wait in line if you have to, and then specifically ask what the fee is to apply for and also renew a business tax receipt / registration number, but most importantly, ask if they have a category for your home-based business. I am assuming that you will be able to conduct your business out of your home and you have to be sure that the county and municipality permit your type of business. A good example of this problem is the Handyman. He knows a lot of clients; they call him to fix windows, doors, plumbing, roof leaks, etc. But in many counties, you have to be a General Contractor to conduct that type of business without oversight. The costs to apply for, study and take the exam, and then renew the license year after year for a General Contractor are prohibitive for the typical, single-owner-operator Handyman business. There are other business types that the county or municipality will not allow to be home-based. There may be zoning issues. Condominiums have their own sets of rules. Checking out the possibility of establishing your business from the ground up (municipality, then county, then state and finally, then the government) is a prudent step before you outlay any money.

Try to do everything you can online to minimize expenses (like fuel costs). Whenever you are acquiring business information online or any online information you want to save, be sure to capture an electronic version of it. There is PDF printer software like PDF995 that loads itself onto your computer just like another printer. Anything you can print to paper you can print to a PDF file, the software just asks you where you want to store the file and what name you want to give it. “Printing to PDF” is bundled with other big-name software you may have on your computer and as a last resort, you can start a blank document file and with your cursor sitting on whatever active window you want to save, you can press ALT-CTRL-PRT SCR to capture that window and then paste it into your document file. Collect the “window capture images” on successive pages of that document file to constitute a record of your activities.

In addition to the above information, please note the following. In Florida, there is a requirement to file a $150 Annual Report by May 1st of each year or else there is an additional $400 penalty. It is likely that many (if not all) other states have similar requirements. And are you ready for this? The Annual Report contains only the name and address of the business, the business agent and the business officers. That is all. Do not think that any kind of financial data is required, because it is not. The best part about registering your email address in your state’s Division of Corporations website is that they will send you automatic reminder emails that your Annual Report is coming due.

You are preparing yourself for an unlikely possibility, but one that you must protect yourself from: the liability event. In its extremely remote occurrence, as part of Legal Proceedings, you will be forced to reveal everything about your business, if you want any hope of defending yourself at all. So when your lawyer asks you to provide all of the documents described here, you will have no choice but to do so, and heaven help you if you do not have them.

It is likely that the first piece of evidence that any defense attorney will ask for is the business checking account. Besides the check register and bank statements, you will have to provide the business accounting summaries or books. There should be a listing showing all of the income and expenses. Far too many business owners are not religious enough about keeping their business finances separate. Far too many treat their business like a personal piggy bank, make indiscriminate withdrawals, and reconciliation at tax time is nearly impossible. An attorney who can put together the fact that the business net profit per the books does not match the income reported on the business tax return will be able to pin more offenses on you, tax offenses, like lodestones around your neck.

Also, about filing Form 2553 after the two month and fifteen day post-starting business filing due date; as long as you successfully transmit a timely filed tax return, by the due date, without extensions, in the year following the year you started business, then, (again,…ahem) as long as you file Form 2553 within six months of the due date of that initial year tax return, then you can seek relief from the due date requirement for a Form 2553 filed late “Pursuant to Revenue Procedure 2004-48” (which should appear above the title of the form). That is a bunch of legalese that means even if you forget to file Form 2553 when you started your business, as long as you file a tax return for that business by the initial due date, then you can file Form 2553 after-the-fact (per Rev Proc 2004-48) within six months of that due date for that initial tax return and the IRS will accept your election to be an S-Corp.

Remember that every year you have to file your business tax return first, and it is due by 15 MAR, not 15 APR. The output of the business tax return (Form 1120S for S-Corp’s) is a Schedule K-1 which has to be included as income or loss on your personal income tax return; that is why the business tax return is due before your personal tax return.

Every year you will be required to have a stockholder meeting (even if you are the only stockholder) and record the meeting minutes. Everything has to be in the minutes: Articles of Incorporation, Form 2553, IRS letter approving it, minutes from all previous meetings, all distributions, all loans, compensation of officers, authorized signers, statement of accounts and everything else business related. A December meeting with your tax professional, included as part of your business / personal / state tax return preparation fee, would be prudent if you can negotiate the extra cost of conducting the meeting and recording the minutes. Put a copy of the minutes with your yearly business tax return client copy.

Be mindful of how your Social Security Retirement Benefits (SSRB) are calculated. Your benefits are calculated using something called the “rule of 40 quarters” or ten years. And those are consecutive quarters we are talking about. Your SSRB are based upon your highest earning forty consecutive quarters. If you are young, having a hole in your rule of 40 quarters is not that big of a deal because you have many more income-producing years left in you. But if you are older, putting that donut in your long string of consecutive working years can seriously reduce the amount you receive in benefits. And do not go off saying that Social Security will not be around when you retire. Of course it will. Congress will make sure of that. It may not have the same benefits as we have today and the retirement ages may not be the same, but it will still be around. If you incorporate and neglect to pay any of your FICA (specifically Social Security) taxes during a specific year, you put that donut in your rule of forty quarters without ever realizing it. When you finally do realize it, it is too late. If you are an employee during the year you start your business on 01 DEC, then you should have withholding for most of the year already and you are not at risk of the donut in your rule of forty quarters. Not even much of a reduction in benefits, since you did not quit your job and start your business until late in the year. But watch out your second year. If there is no officer compensation on your business tax return and a net loss in the second, full-year worth of business, and you have no other income, then you get the donut in your rule of forty quarters, nothing you can do about it. But if you have net business income that second year, and you do not pay your FICA taxes, then you take the donut when you could have avoided it.

This whole story has come full circle back to the beginning for one more piece of advice. Way back at the start you filled out that Form 2553 to elect to be a small corporation. In Part I of that form you have to list the name and address of each business shareholder and in column L their number of shares or percentage of ownership. I strongly recommend that you make yourself the sole owner with 100% of ownership. You may be tempted to enlist others into your enterprise, you may think others bring more to the table, make your business entity more viable, better chance to succeed. Do NOT succumb to that notion. This is a binding, legal document that you are signing and sending to the U.S. Government. There is nothing trivial about it. In the world of business, there needs to be one person in charge, where the final answers and final decisions come from. It is true in politics, it is true in business and it is true in life. You cannot predict with 100% accuracy how your business venture may pan out. It may fail, true, but it may also take off and be one of those countless American business success stories we all hear about. If that happens, one person needs to be empowered to make each of those final decisions and that person is you since it was your idea and you did all the work. Do not dilute your power over your own business by adding someone else’s name to that Form 2553. You do not want to have to worry about getting someone else’s approval to do something you think is necessary for the business.

What You Need to Start a Business

Starting a Business

When starting a new business, there are many important decisions to make and many rules and procedures that must be addressed. While there is no single source for every state, the following checklist and steps have been developed to assist you in starting your business.

Choose and Register A Business Name For some people business names come easily, for others finding the right one is a major challenge. I have listed the basic steps to follow in naming a business. There are multiple “rules-of-thumbs” that tend to be contradictory. Some insist that a business name should be descriptive of the business and others suggest that being unique in the best way to be remembered.

Keep in mind that your business name is an important part of your marketing effort. It is a major component of how customers; perceive your business. Your business image is based on this perception. So, it is critical that it reflect the image that you want your customers to have of your business.

My tendency is to go with what your inner voice (gut) says is right for you. You are the one who has to live with this business day and night for a long time to come. So choose something you feel good about. One test might be to think about the name being splashed across a major headline. How does it feel to see the name in print representing your business? If it feels good, go with it.

If all else fails, there are businesses available that will help you determine the right name. If you go this route, look for a good fit for you. You want this to reflect your concept, not someone else’s. Keep in mind this is one of the most important decisions you will make about your business.

As part of naming your business, you may also want to design a logo for your business. If creativity is not your strong suit, there are many businesses out there that can help you. While this may seem excessive, you will never regret the time you have spent on this part of setting up your business. This is the first and most critical part of marketing your business. Do it right and your future marketing will be much easier to plan and implement.

Legal Issues. Picking a name for your business requires much more than just creativity and a working knowledge of your target market. First you will need to decide which business structure you will use, since each structure has its own peculiarities.

Of equal importance, is finding out whether your name or a very similar name is being used by another business, and if so, what rights they may or may not have to use the name in the area where you want to do business. Keep in mind that some businesses only file trademarks within their locality, so it is possible that the same name can be used elsewhere.

Search and Registration. Trade names can be registered through the state Secretary of States offices, and for wider marketplace protection, through the US Patent and Trademark office. Businesses should first use the USPTO’s online system to search all state and federal trademark registers to see if the proposed name is being used.

Domain Names. For many businesses that operate on the Web, trade names are synonymous with domain names. There are many online services available to check if your proposed Domain name is available.

Select a Name and Legal Structure

Sole proprietorship
Partnership
Limited liability corporation
Corporation

Sole Proprietorship in general can be established with little or no formalities. However, it will generally be necessary to obtain one or more local business licenses from the cities and or counties in which you will operate, and in some cases, you might need a state license as well. If you make sales of tangible property at a retail level, you will be required to obtain a sales tax license for the collecting of sales tax.

No separate tax-form filing is required. You simply report that your business financial information on standard tax forms is available for sole proprietorship. Doing business as a sole proprietor is much simpler than operating as any other kind of business legal entity. If you have no employees, you are not required to pay or withhold any employment taxes, withhold any federal or state income tax from wages, or obtain workers’ compensation coverage for yourself.

Partnerships allow the creation of either a general partnership in which all partners are liable for the debts of the business, or a limited partnership, in which only the general partners are liable for debts. It is generally necessary to obtain one or more local business licenses from the cities, counties, and possibly the state in which you will operate.

Partnerships, as entities, are not subject to state income tax. Instead, the income or loss of the partnership, as allocated among the partners, must be reported on the personal income tax returns of each individual partner. However, there might be some local or state annual fees or tax required.

A partnership agreement, for any type of partnership, should spell out in considerable detail all aspects of the partnership. It is recommended that you contact both an attorney and an accountant to discuss all the legal and financial aspects of your partnership agreement and make sure it is all in writing.

Concerning corporations, a business may incorporate without an attorney, but legal advice is highly recommended. The corporate structure is usually complex and more costly to organize. Control depends on stock ownership. Persons with the largest stock ownership control the corporation. All corporations must file articles of incorporation with the business services office in the state you wish to operate in.

Limited liability companies (LLC) are very attractive entities for many small businesses. While offering much of the flexibility plus the flow through tax treatment of a partnership for federal and state income tax purposes, there might be fees and permits required for city, county, and state levels.

With both options, it is recommended that you contact both an attorney and an accountant to discuss all the legal and financial aspects of corporation and LLC. For someone who is just starting out, you might want to be a sole proprietor. This is the easiest and least expensive option to get started with. As your business grows and you hire employees or expand your operation, you should discuss the other options with an attorney and your accountant.

Taxation

All businesses must pay taxes. When you register your business, most states and the federal government will require pertinent forms for compliance. A business start date is very important because you will be required to file income taxes and collect sales tax from that day.

Business Plan

A well-written business plan is the story of how you are going to run your business. It is your opportunity to chart the path where you want to go. Starting a business without a plan is like going on a trip without a map or destination in mind. It might be a fun trip. then again, it might not. Running a business in not a simple jaunt. You need to map and destination already in mind if you are to stay in business. How ever, writing that map and destination for your business does not need to be a complicated process.

Your business plan establishes you checkpoints and goal along with setting a timeline for accomplishing certain objectives. Knowing who the plan is written for will help in making it a better plan.

The essential components of a business plan are:

Executive Summary. A concise overview of the entire plan along with a history of your company
Marketing Analysis. Illustrates your knowledge about the particular industry your business is in, and presents general highlights and conclusions of any marketing research data you have collected.
Company Description. How all of the different elements of your business fit together.
Organization and Management. Your company’s organizational structure; details about the ownership of your company; profiles of your management team; and the qualifications of your board of directors.
Marketing and Sales Strategies. How you are going to attract and service customers.
Service or Product Line. What you are selling?
Funding Request. The amount of funding you will need to start or expand your business.
Financial. The critical financial statements to include in your business plan packet
Appendix. Additional supporting information.

Choosing and Open a Company Bank Account

Once you have established your business name, formed your legal structure, and taken care of all legal tasks, you have to open a bank account for your business. One simple business checking account should be fine. As your business grows, you can discuss other options with your accountant.

Many business owners do not thoroughly consider their needs when selection a bank. Although there are laws and regulations that govern the activities of banks, saving and loans, credit unions and investments firms, not all financial institutions are the same. Each institution establishes its own policies for:

Types of products and services they offer
Criteria for qualifying for a loan
Minimum balances for accounts
Interest rates
Fees

While one bank may specialize in home loans, or auto loans another may focus on commercial loans for businesses. Some banks may only offer basic deposit accounts while others have lock box services, sweep accounts and even online banking.

That why it is important to evaluate your business needs before you select your bank.

Consider some of the things your bank can help you with:

Assist you with the cash management needs of your business.
Offer investments products of varying maturities – overnight to long-term certificates of deposits.
Offer investments of varying risk.
Provide advice about qualifying for the loan that best meets your needs.
Provide special loan programs for small businesses.
Assist you with finding financial information on your industry
Compare financial institutions in order to find the one that will serve your business’s needs and will also provide support and assistance during each stage of your business. Selecting and instituting that you can work with will be especially important as your business grows. Start gathering information to help you make this important decision.
Approach the decision as a long-term investment.
Ask your accountant or lawyer to introduce you to a banker who they are familiar with.
Check your local chamber of commerce.
Look for a complementary personality – someone you can relate to and are comfortable with.
Introduce yourself to the bank manager. If you are looking for a loan, ask to meet the loan officer who will be assigned to you.
Find out how long they have been in their current position.
Tell them about your business and the form of organization so they can tell you what special products and services or restrictions that might apply.
You should not make this decision on pricing alone. But do compare interest rates on deposits accounts and basic consumer loans. Also, look carefully at the fees for services.

It is a good idea to establish a relationship with a banker before you need money. The right banker will be someone that understands the needs of emerging and growing businesses.

Professional Help

There are many ways that someone well versed in their field can assist you with your business. An Accountant can help you with setting up you bookkeeping structure, tax planning and a payroll set-up. Attorneys can help you with your contacts, setting up your business structure and lease reviews. An Insurance Agent can help you with planning the best overall package for your type of business.

Insurance

You should have the proper insurance for all of your equipment and vehicles as required by law or needed. Some jurisdictions may require you to carry business liability insurance. This can be obtained for around $200.00 to $1000.00 per year.

Business Counselors can help you with your business planning, loan applications, and referrals to other professionals. SCORE volunteers and Small Business Development Centers offer some counseling for small businesses.

On reason to contact a professional would be to find out about issues before them become a problem, especially legal or tax issues. Even if you are relatively comfortable with how you have set up your business, having an experienced person look over what you are doing can be helpful.

Points to think about when working with a professional:

Find someone that you can talk to, and feel comfortable with. A competent professional should never be to busy to give their clients the time they need to address their business issues, or return phone calls.
Find out what communication method work best: phone, Fax, e-mail, in person or regular mail.
Ask about billing rates and payment process up front, and what fines and/or penalties that professional is willing to take responsibility for, if they occur.
Before you leave a meeting, review any points that have been agreed upon for services to be provided. Or, further research to be done and the projected completion timetable, including the tasks that you have agreed to complete.
Use a calendar to not these timelines, as well as approaching deadlines for tax filings.
Ask if they will consult with other professionals (in other fields) as needed, and whom they work with already.
If you do not understand something, ask for clarification.

Selecting a Lawyer

Chances are that you will need legal advice right from the inception of your business. There are a number of legal issues where you might need help in your business in addition to getting your company set up properly authorized to conduct business.

Selecting a lawyer to work with your business should be done carefully. A lawyer will be one of your key advisors – you will want to ensure that you are comfortable with him or her and find is easy to exchange ideas. It does you no good if you are intimidated or uncomfortable asking questions, or discussing problems. Sometimes it might be necessary to change attorneys as your business needs change, but this can be an expensive process. Before contracting a lawyer, learn about how lawyers charge for their services so that you approach them with a good sense of what to expect.

Here is a practical approach in selecting a lawyer:

Ask for referrals from people whose opinions you respect and who have worked with attorneys representing small businesses.
Set up interviews with two or three attorneys. There might be a fee involved, but many attorneys will waive the fee for the initial interview.
Keep the interview focused on its purpose that is, determining if you are comfortable and have a rapport with the attorney.
Ask for references for other small business clients and contact them.
After you have interviewed two or three attorneys, you will be prepared to select the right one to help you with your business.

The following questions should help you get started with the interview process:

How have you assisted other small businesses?
Do you have knowledge about my industry or business?
How would you charge me for your services?
What can I do to help reduce you fees?
What do you think in the attorney’s most important job?

An attorney should emphasize protecting small business from legal problems and future litigation. An attorney should be able to help guide your through the maze of regulations that govern the small business. Depending on your situation you may need someone that is an expert at contracts, leases, loan documents, transactions, patents or trademarks. They should be also skilled in communication and negotiations.

Legal Requirements

To operate a business legally one need to meet all the laws for operating a business in your state and local community. In the United States that means the laws of the federal government, state governments of every state in which you do business, and in many locales, even city and/or county laws governing business operation.

All of the US states have business resource offices that provide information on the legal requirements for operating a business in that state. Not that you need to meet the legal requirements for every state in which you will be conducting business. This applies to Internet transactions if you are going to be mailing a product into a particular state. Most states consider that a form of doing business in their state.

For the U.S. government, most businesses are going to need an Employer Identification Number even if they do not have employees. The IRS provides clearly written documentation of what is required in terms of reporting. Not only are there laws and regulations governing the actual registration of the business and the business name, but there may also be licenses and permits needed to operate certain types of business. You can find out more about such regulations from your state business resource offices or the city in which you wish to operate in.

Licenses and Permits

With so many tasks involved in starting a business, it is easy to overlook the important legal requirements associated with registration, permits and licenses.

Federal Requirements – With the exception of Sole Proprietors, most business must apply for an Employer Indemnification Number (EIN) regardless of whether they have employees.
State requirements – While business licensing varies from state to state, if your state requires one, you have to obtain it.
Business Licenses – A state business license is the main document required for tax purpose and conduction other basic functions.
Tax Registration – If the state in which you operate has a state income tax, you will have to register and obtain and employer identification number from you state Department of Revenue or Treasury Department. If you are engaging in retail sales, you will need to obtain a sales tax license.
Trade Name Registration – If your business will only be operated in your local community, registering your company name with the state may be sufficient.

Startup Financing

Finding the right financing that fits a business’ goals is a continuing challenge for almost every small business. For startup businesses this can be one of the biggest hurdles in getting off the ground. Some entrepreneurs can be incredibly creative in finding ways to fund their ideas. Many others work another job as a way to fund their personal business. Most companies, however, find their startup funding in more conventional ways.

The most common sources:

70% Personal Savings
45% Banks and Finance Companies
25% Friends and Relatives
10% Individual Investors
5% Government Loans
1% Venture Capital

Using personal funds is very common, partly because few bank and finance companies will loan to people who will not risk some of their own personal funds. However, in the long run, most businesses will need external funding of some sort.

One of the toughest questions is how much capital is enough. A quick model for cash needs suggests determining how much capital is needed for one year of operation. That first year, keep your initial capital separate from your income. That income should be then the initial capital for the second year. Amounts you will need to finance are that initial capital and any growth you want to introduce above and beyond the initial model. Most companies that are successful today have started that simple.

Setting Up Business Operations

Running you business on a day-to-day basis is comprised of many different small decisions. While none of these decisions will make or break your business, they can each make a tremendous difference in how much time you have to get your real work done. An inefficiently designed workspace or the wrong equipment can influence greatly how harried and tired you are completing your primary work.

Given that you have done a thorough job in developing your business plan, you should have a clear idea of what equipment is needed to produce your product or service. To open your doors you need to have some basic managerial procedures in place. These procedures include everything from mail to good organization. Additionally, you need to have backup plans should one of your suppliers all of a sudden goes out of business or double its process. It may not be critical if you run out of paper for your copier, but you will definitely be stresses it is a product that is critical to your selling. Keep a list of alternates in your file. You will not regret it. It would not hurt you to review them a few times a year. You might discover that changes have occurred that make them more attractive and/or possible relationships that could be useful in renegotiating supply relationships with the suppliers you currently have.

Record Keeping System

Record keeping systems are frequently one of the biggest challenges in a small business. Perhaps the problem is that the creative side of running a small business in often at odds with “bean counting” side. Taking time to organize a good system can be tedious and time consuming, but it only takes one visit by the tax auditor to convince business owners that an organized system is useful. Why is record keeping systems important? Because they provide you the basis for all the reports you need to make to governmental agencies, banks, and potential funders, plus they provide you with an overall picture of how your business is doing and where it is headed. Financial statements are a way to track your progress towards goals and provide you with the financial information needed to make decisions as you go along.

Your basic record keeping system should be easy to use, understandable, reliable, accurate and timely. Here are some of the basics a system should include:

Business Journal to organize transactions (receipts, disbursements, sales and purchase).
A Well organized filing system.
Monthly reports on cash flow, accounts receivables, accounts payable, income statements and balance sheet.

Important questions

Why should I keep records? Good records will help you monitor the progress of your business, prepare you financial statements, identify sources of receipts, keep track of deductible expenses, prepare your tax returns and support items reported on tax returns.
What kind of records should I keep? You may choose any record keeping system suited to your business that clearly shows your income. Except in a few cases, the law does not require any special kind of records. However, the business you are in effects the type of records you need to keep for federal tax purpose.
How long should I keep records? The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event of the document records. You must keep your records as long as they may be needed to prove the income or deduction on a tax return.
What is the burden of proof? The responsibility to prove entries, deductions, and statements made on your tax returns is known as the burden of proof. You must be able to prove (substantiate) certain elements of expenses to deduct them. Generally, taxpayers meet their burden of proof by having the information and receipts for the expenses.

Opening Your Doors for Business

You have been over your checklists multiple times and everything seems to be in place. It is time to take the big step and open your doors for business. This is when you discover whether your are a real entrepreneur. What do you do with your time? The choices you make today will set the tone for your business from now on out.

The two biggest obstacles to getting going and keeping going are motivation and organization. Many people have no problem responding when there is a clear task in front of them. When you are starting a business, however, you do not have someone telling you what to do. You are the one making the lists and making certain things to accomplish. And this does not just mean filling customers orders, but taking care of everything.

Self-motivation in not something we are born with. As babies, we are thought in terms of immediate gratification. As business owners, we have to learn in terms of longer-term rewards. If you are going to stay in business, sometimes you have to tolerate doing things that are not fun.

Proper organization is a good way not to get behind and stressed. You have to institute good time management. In order to manage your time well, you need to have a complete list of all that needs to be done. List everything that needs to happen. Continue adding items to the list. For some people it is easier to list all the large tasks, then break them into their component parts. Once you have all these tasks on one list, put them on a calendar. That will give you a “to-do” list to structure each day. As your business grows, the list will change and grow. There is a wide variety of forms, logs and checklists available to help you

Finally, most important, give your health and well-being priority during the stress of opening your doors. Plan time for activities unrelated to your business so you can come to your tasks relaxed and clear-headed. You will not regret it and you will be amazed at what a difference it can make to your bottom line. Investing in yourself can be the hidden ingredient that adds the touch of quality to what you bring to the marketplace. Put that on you list and make certain it gets done!

Items To Be Completed Check If Completed:

Choose and Register a Business Name
Decide on the Legal Form for the Business
Taxation
Business Plan
Choosing and Opening a Bank Account
Professional Help
Selecting a Lawyer
Legal Requirements
Licenses and Permits
Startup Financing
Setting Up Business Operations
Opening You Doors for Business

New Mexico Casinos

New Mexico joined the union in 1912 as the forty-seventh state. The capital of this southwestern state is Santa Fe. Located near Arizona, Colorado and Texas, New Mexico features a population of over 1,800,000 and is best known for its vast outdoor resources, rich Western heritage and Native American culture. New Mexico has everything from volcanoes; the Anasazi ruins, and for conspiracy buffs and fans of the X Files television show there is the International UFO Museum in Roswell. New Mexico is still infamous for the alleged UFO landing at the famous site in Roswell, the subject of many films and television shows.

Of course, along with all of the attractions in New Mexico, there is a wealth of grown-up fun for those interested in trying some of the many New Mexico Casinos throughout the state. From Acoma to Taos, there are more than twenty New Mexico casinos throughout the state. The New Mexico casinos include Native American-owned operations such as Dancing Eagle Casino in Casa Blanca, New Mexico, and the Casino Apache Travel Center in Mescalero. Slot machines are a big draw in New Mexico Casinos, but you can also find table games, and in some cases, horse betting and many other types of gambling.

A good number of the New Mexico casinos offer buffets, free valet parking and many other amenities. Look for New Mexico casinos that are AAA approved and you’ll find the usual AAA perks, especially at New Mexico casinos that offer hotel service. A good number of the New Mexico casinos offer an AARP discount, so if this applies to you be sure to do your homework about where these New Mexico casinos are located, you’ll most likely get your best values here.

The industry in New Mexico casinos is expanding all the time. There are large numbers of new and proposed New Mexico casinos, including a recent deal struck between the Pueblo people of Pojoaque and the Hilton Hotel chain. This deal could result in the largest-ever Pueblo owned casino in New Mexico! Regardless of whether you visit New Mexico to play at a Native American casino or see the sights, you can definitely have a lot of fun doing both on the same trip. A little advanced homework done on New Mexico casinos to see where the best locations are on your journey will make your next trip to the state a very entertaining one. Don’t miss the chance to try the New Mexico casino craze.

Should I Dust Off My Killer Heels?

Reading that Belinda Earl, the style director of Marks and Spencer, says that women should ditch their uniform power dressing suits in favour of more comfortable attire has made me reflect on my penchant for comfortable footwear, shoes and sandals that enable me to move quickly from one place to the next. Perhaps I’m not so out of touch after all!

Like many ladies, I own a rather lovely collection of stylish footwear; boots, shoes, sandals, but mine are all safely stored away in their original boxes in my closet. I also have many lovely, stylish friends for whom fabulous shoes are an integral part of the way they dress.

Why is it then that for me killer heels are the last thing on my mind, often shoved at the bottom of my handbag to be changed into once I arrive at a venue, but then usually forgotten about until it’s time to go home?

I’m not the only busy person in my group. Many of my friends have family commitments, are self-employed, have various demands on their time. And yet they manage to arrive at a lunchtime or evening date looking super-cool, teetering along on their elegant heels.

I refuse to consider that it’s to do with age either! I’ve not changed my choice of footwear because I’ve hit yet another decade. Neither have I moved into support bandages, baggy cardigans and carpet slippers in a desire descend comfortably into decrepitude.

Perhaps I’m a rebel, refusing to conform to what I feel is the stereotypical business woman image of sharp suits and killer heels. It’s true that since I left the blue-chip business world I’ve not needed to power dress like I used to; I’m not as ‘corporate’.

As a counsellor and hypnotherapist my personal, business and media appointments all require me to be smart, presentable, but not intimidating. With that in mind I always endeavour to look professional, with makeup, jewellery, smart clothes and flat shoes or sandals.

Is it time to analyse my motivation? Do I feel that perhaps my choice of footwear defines me and how I’ll be perceived? Certainly I know that we all make decisions about the people we meet within a matter of seconds, often without fully appreciating the instinctive vetting process that we automatically apply.

We all assess each other’s clothing, stance, attitude, body language as soon as we meet and with that information we determine how we’re going to proceed with the interaction. Is it going to be friendly, cautious, effusive, professional? Of course, this initial assessment is then modified and adapted as the relationship develops and we get to know each other better.

As I often see clients at my home it’s important that I take care to look professional whilst putting people at their ease. Choosing to wear comfortable shoes can feel relaxed and less formal. On the occasions when I run courses or do media work I often have to walk a distance to the centre or studio so comfortable flat shoes are often a practical decision.

Perhaps I need to set out earlier and arrive in good time so that I can start to wear my lovely unworn shoes. Or maybe it’s time to make more of an effort in certain circumstances so that I up my game and look more chic. It’s certainly time to consider dusting off my killer heels!

Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief, with couples experiencing relationship difficulties to improve communications and understanding and with business clients to support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams.

Benefits of Business Directory Listings

When it comes to our business, it’s safe to say that we are always looking for new ways to grow and expand. Using a business directory is just one of these ways that you can expand your business by putting it out there, it’s quick, simple, and easy to get set up.

You might have already thought about other ways to advertise and promote your business and this is good, you should always have more than one way of advertising and promoting. However, if you have not got your website listed on an only business directory then you really should incorporate this into your strategy!

What Is a Business Directory?

To put it quite simply, a business directory is a website that lists the information for many businesses that can be sorted through numerous filters such as type of business, size, location, and much more. These have numerous benefits to a business and this is what we’ll talk about in the next section.

How Can a Directory Help?

Directories really should be utilized if you’re a business owner, here are some of the many benefits that you can expect:

• Increase brand awareness – these directories get a fair amount of traffic and so by listing your business on there you are going to increase brand awareness.
• Increase traffic – As mentioned above, a fair amount of traffic goes through these directory websites, some of which may end up going over to your website!
• It’s easy and inexpensive – Business directories are extremely easy to use and can be done in much less than an hour. Most of them will charge either a monthly fee, a one-off fee, or even be free.

Something to Consider

You should definitely take advantage of online directories if you want to improve your business. However, even though business directories might seem to be one of the easiest and simplest way to promote your business and get customers coming through your doors, this doesn’t always mean that they are the best option.

There are many more channels that you can utilize in order to grow your business, in addition to this one of the worst things that a business can do is rely on just one channel for their traffic and revenue. Business directories might be ideal for you as they are quick and easy, but also make sure to build up other traffic and revenue channels such as social media, SEO, PPC, and more.

Benefits of Document Printing Services

Choosing to have your document printing handled by a professional print shop provides your business with a host of benefits. As a company you are always looking for ways to increase staff productivity while reducing costs, these two things combined help you do good profit margins and enjoy success moving forward.

Taking this into consideration, you will find that taking advantage of document printing services can help you do all these things and so much more. The first thing you will find when choosing this print solution is the convenience that it provides.

Rather than spending time in office and paying high prices for paper and ink, you can find a reputable print shop, send them the information and then collect the finished products within a matter of days.

Another benefit you will find when you choose document printing services is the time you will save. When you choose to do a large print job, no matter what documents you are printing, you need to put someone in charge.

That person needs to make sure there is paper in the printer, that the printer has ink and they need to constantly keep an eye on the process, eliminating any paper jams and problems along the way. This is time that could spent elsewhere, maybe on other important duties which could help your business push forward in a competitive market.

Printing in-house doesn’t mean that you will always enjoy the highest quality products. You need an excellent high quality printer and superior paper to do the same results you can get if you choose a professional print company. This is just one of the many advantages of using a print company for your document printing, and not trying to carry out the task in-house.

Prices are usually affordable when it comes to document printing. Print shops use digital printers which help keep costs down while enabling them to give you fast turnaround times.

When you work out the cost of ink and paper in-house, along with the time taken by one of your employees to complete the task and compare that to the cost charged at a print shop, you will find that you are financially better off going with a print shop in the long run.

Further print shops can give flexibility. They will send you a proof, make sure the product is of high quality and then print the number you have chosen. If you decide to add a couple of hundred extra copies, they can just add that to the print job and still complete the job within a very short period.

You have ability to choose your paper size and quality. Print shops keep reams of different quality paper, so you can choose high quality document printing on the thickness you feel is the right match for you and what will make the best impact on your clients.

It is exceptionally important to bear some factors in mind when choosing document printing services. The first is to find a high quality print shop with years of experience and a solid reputation. Speak to other companies in your local area and do some research to find the best of the best.

Determine price, get a quote from the company beforehand. This can help you make sure the price charged meets your expenditure budget. Chances are you are likely get pleasantly surprised when it comes to prices.

Next make sure the print shop will send you a proof and advice you if there are any quality issues with your document printing before they go ahead.

Data Colour is a Melbourne based print shop with over twenty years’ experience in the industry. The company offers black, white and colour digital and offset printing services using the latest technology and printing equipment. They are focused on attention to detail and high quality, ensuring each job is completed to the customer’s satisfaction