Tag: small

How to File a Beneficial Ownership Report for Your Small Business | CO

 Woman working at a desk on a laptop in a modern-concept office with a red brick wall and greenery.

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), aimed at combating illicit financial activity, went into effect on January 1, 2024. — Getty Images/Tom Werner

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), aimed at combating illicit financial activity, went into effect on January 1, 2024. Under the act, small businesses across the United States need to file beneficial ownership information reports, also known as corporate transparency reports.

Here’s everything small business owners need to know about filing a corporate transparency report.

[Read More: What Every Small Business Needs to Know About the Corporate Transparency Act]

What to know about beneficial ownership information reporting

The CTA was developed to increase transparency in business ownership and curtail the use of anonymous shell corporations for tax fraud, money laundering, and other illegal financial activity. Under this act, all businesses that fall under the definition of a reporting company must file a beneficial ownership information report (BOIR) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

A reporting company is any privately held company, whether domestic or foreign, registered to conduct business in the U.S. Publicly traded companies do not fall under the CTA, as they are subject to their own reporting requirements.

A beneficial owner is any individual who owns or controls at least 25% of an organization, or directly or indirectly exercises substantial control in any of the following roles:

  • They serve as a senior officer, such as a president, CEO, or general counsel.
  • They have the authority to appoint or remove senior officers, board members, or other similar roles.
  • They make important decisions concerning the company’s business, finances, and/or structure.

[Read More: How to Prevent Bank Fraud and Protect Your Business Account]

Reporting requirements for small businesses

Eligible small businesses will need to report the following information about their companies:

  • The full legal name of
Read More ...

Seattle Restored gets financial boost to help small business owners

Seattle Restored was launched in 2022 and works to activate vacant spaces with artwork and pop-up shops.

SEATTLE — A program aimed at helping Downtown Seattle recover just got a boost in funding.

Seattle Restored launched in 2022 and works to occupy the city’s vacant spaces with small businesses. The program activates vacant spaces with artwork and pop-up shops. They have activated 31 pop-up shops so far, including Mixed Pantry in Belltown.

“We started out as a pop up retail store in January 2023,” said Takeshi Kunimune, the owner of Mixed Pantry.

Takeshi Kunimune, who goes by Tak, said before the store opened as a pop-up, the building was just sitting empty.

Vacant buildings and storefronts have been a common sight in Seattle since 2020. 

“This is, you know, right after the pandemic. So, the streets were kind of sparse and everything around here was pretty closed too,” said Kunimune.

When the store was a pop-up, Kunimune paid nothing to be able to have his store in the space. Seattle Restored pays the building owner a below market rate for the once vacant space.

But Mixed Pantry is no longer a pop-up shop. Kunimune just signed a five-year lease to be a more permanent part of the Belltown community.

“It’s been a great opportunity for me to learn and just be able to share all these different Asian community cultures with everybody,” said Kunimune.

In 2024, Seattle Restored hopes to help more of their pop-up shop business owners sign long-term leases. They will now be able to support more businesses in doing this because Seattle Restored just received $200,000 from JP Morgan Chase. This is their first private investment.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said the investment “reflects an endorsement of the ingenuity of local entrepreneurs, and a shared commitment to

Read More ...

Best Printers for Small Business of 2024: Expert Picked

Print speed: If your business relies heavily on a printer and you have multiple employees who will use it, choose one with a fast print speed. Solid printers print at around 25-30 ppm, and really fast ones can churn out pages at more than 50 ppm. Some niche printers, like sublimation printers, print much slower than that. Most businesses that don’t rely heavily on a printer will be able to get by just fine with a printer that can print at around 25 ppm.

Print quality and resolution: If you print lots of images and photos, choose a printer with a resolution of at least 1000 dpi. If you only print occasionally, all of the printers on this list can do that perfectly fine.

Connectivity and network compatibility: Most modern printers support Wi-Fi connectivity, but some only connect to a network through an Ethernet cable. If Wi-Fi is important to you, you may be able to buy a network adapter for printers that don’t have it. Some printers also work through USB or MicroSD, which can be handy for photography-focused businesses. “Ease of access is key for both employees and your tech team. Ideally, you want a device that can be paired with a cloud-based printing so after the software is loaded, your employees can print from anywhere and even install new printers on their own without waiting for the support team,” said Nathan Marshall IT Director at Prompt.

Multifunction capabilities: Most consumer-level printers support scanning, copying, and even faxing, and the same is true of many business-focused printers. Not all businesses need these features, and there are plenty of printers that will only print. But if you think you might need scanning or copying functionality, it’s worth buying a printer

Read More ...

Eight in ten small businesses taking positive steps to strengthen their enterprises in 2024

morris jo 400

Eight in ten small business owners (81%) are planning to develop their companies in 2024. New research from Novuna Business Finance shows that over a third (33%) are focusing on new initiatives to increase income, whilst a fifth (20%) are looking to reduce their fixed costs.

With around nine in ten small businesses (89%) saying that they still feel the pressures from the cost-of-living crisis, there is an emphasis on increasing business income and sales this year across all sectors. Small businesses in the media and marketing sector were the most likely to say they are looking at new ways to improve their income and sales (52%), followed by small businesses in retail (42%) and IT and telecoms (40%).

Nationally, the top five initiatives small business owners are focusing on to secure growth include:

  • Increasing new business income/ sales – 33%
  • Reducing fixed costs – 20%
  • Diversifying the business, offering new service lines/ products – 18%
  • Planning ahead with business budgeting – 18%
  • Building up financial reserves – 17%

Across the UK, small businesses in the North East of England are the most likely to be prioritising particular strategies to strengthen their enterprise (89%), followed by small businesses in London (86%), and the South East (84%).

Small businesses in manufacturing and construction looking ahead

More than eight in ten (83%) small businesses in the manufacturing sector are looking to strengthen their enterprise this year, with one in five (21%) planning to diversify by offering new service lines or products to their consumers. A further 14% are planning to expand into new geographical markets.

Similarly, more than three in four small businesses (76%) in the construction sector are looking to grow this year, one in five (20%) are planning ahead by focusing on their business

Read More ...

What Beneficial Ownership Information reporting means to small business owners.

There is a new reporting requirement that small business owners need to know about. As of January 1, 2024 tens of millions of small businesses will need to file a beneficial ownership information (BOI) report with a branch of the U.S. Department of Treasury called the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (better known as FinCEN). A failure to comply can result in a company and the individuals responsible for the non-compliance being subject to hefty civil and criminal fines and even possible jail time.

If you haven’t heard about BOI reporting yet, or heard about it but don’t know the details, please keep reading. We’ll provide you with some of the facts you need to figure out if you need to file a BOI report, and if so, what that means for your small business and the people who own or control it. This information is taken from the federal law that mandates the filing of this report (the Corporate Transparency Act), the official Rule written by FinCEN, and some of the statements made by FinCEN about BOI reporting.

Does my small business have to file this report?

If you formed a corporation (S corp or C corp) or a limited liability company (LLC), a BOI report will have to be filed unless your corporation or LLC qualifies for an exemption (more on exemptions later). Corporations and LLCs are the only business entity types specifically referred to in the Rule. However, entities other than corporations and LLCs may also have to file. The key is whether you had to file a document with the secretary of state or a similar office to create your company. And while not addressed in the Rule, FinCEN has commented that it believes sole proprietorships and most general partnerships would not have to file a report

Read More ...

3 small business financial trends for 2024

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners are constantly dealing with unique challenges on a number of fronts. Understanding the source of the issues as well as potential solutions can help you address challenges in ways that best leverage your company’s resources. And in 2024, the challenges may not be as intense as in recent years. Here are three financial trends to be mindful (but not fearful) of:

1. Wobbling demand

Consumer spending, which represents the majority of U.S. economic activity, is giving what NBC News called “mixed signals” to retailers, many of which curbed hiring during the 2023 holiday season compared to past years. MarketWatch reported that consumer spending “was not as strong as it first appeared,” as seen in revisions to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Gross Domestic Product estimate in which consumer spending was lowered. According to the BEA, consumer spending slowed to +0.2% in October 2023, down from +0.7% the month prior.

Shop special offers

Find out about offers on the latest Samsung technology.


see deals

Speak to a solutions expert

Get expert advice from a solutions consultant.


Talk to an expert

What can small businesses do to manage wobbling demand?

  • Expand your market footprint. If you currently serve one city or town, consider expanding to neighboring locales. If your business solely serves consumers, consider providing an offering for small businesses or small offices with a similar profile to your existing customers.
  • Rev up your marketing game. If your customers love you, capture their feedback in writing, audio, or video, and add these glowing customer testimonials to your online or social media campaigns. Lean into authenticity and burnish your business persona to the extent you and your employees feel comfortable.
  • Use PR. If your business has a
Read More ...

28 Business Card Examples – Small Business Trends

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

When it comes to business cards, there’s a vast world of choices and business card examples to inspire your creativity. You can choose a standard design, often appreciated for its professional and timeless appearance, or get creative and make your own unique statement piece.

Whether you decide to stick with the basics or add extra details, textures, or colors that resonate with your brand, there’s no shortage of ways to make your card stand out from the crowd.

In this guide, we’ll explore 28 examples of amazing designs for business cards, showcasing a variety of styles that suit different professions and personal tastes.

Why Business Cards are So Important

Professional business cards serve as a pivotal tool in the corporate and entrepreneurial world. They are essential for making a good first impression, a small yet impactful gesture when meeting someone for the first time.

In an era where networking is key, these cards act as a bridge for keeping in touch with clients, potential partners, and even prospective employers.

A well-designed card isn’t just about aesthetics; it communicates a clear message about who you are, your role, what services or products you offer, and most importantly, how one can reach you.

Think of it as a mini-billboard in your pocket; while compact, it effectively advertises and reinforces your professional brand in the mind of the holder.

In a world overflowing with digital communications, a tangible business card still holds significant weight, standing as a testament to your professional identity.

READ MORE: Places That Make Business Cards

business card examples

What to Include on a Business Card

A business card is more than just your contact information. It’s a tangible representation of your brand and your professional

Read More ...

How Much do Small Businesses Spend on Advertising?

Small businesses are spending more on their marketing budget numbers. In fact, advertising expenses have gone up almost 4% in 2023 from the previous two years. Deloitte reports advertising budgets will make up about 13.6% of the total for these enterprises this year.

What is The Average Marketing Budget for a Small Business?

The average marketing budget for a small business varies depending on the industry, the size of the business, and the marketing goals. However, a good rule of thumb is to spend between 7% and 10% of your gross revenue on marketing. According to Salesforce, B2C companies should spend 15% of their revenue on campaigns. Hubspot reports the average spend for a business was 8.7% of total revenue last year.

For example, a small business with $1 million in annual revenue could have a marketing budget of $70,000 to $100,000. This budget could be used to cover a variety of marketing expenses, such as:

  • Advertising: This includes paid advertising on channels such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Content marketing: This includes creating and distributing blog posts, articles, e-books, and other content that attracts and engages potential customers.
  • Public relations: This includes generating positive media coverage for your business.
  • Events and trade shows: This includes attending and exhibiting at industry events and trade shows.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): This involves optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

The specific marketing channels that you use will depend on your target market and your marketing goals. However, by investing in a solid marketing budget, you can reach more customers, generate more leads, and grow your business.

Here are some additional tips for creating a small business marketing budget:

  • Start by setting your marketing goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing
Read More ...

The Cool Way One Small Business Uses Credit Card Rewards

Delta Cockins in Paris

Betabrand, a crowdfunded clothing retailer, uses its business credit card rewards to send employees on international trips. Inventory manager Delta Cockins, above, got to travel to Paris in April through the company program.

To paraphrase Derek Zoolander, there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good at running a small business. Put your operating costs on a business credit card with a high rewards rate, and you could quickly rack up enough points or miles to finance a vacation for a deserving employee.

That’s what managers at Betabrand, a crowdfunded online clothing retailer, realized last year. So they thought, why not?

“It was the company saying, ‘How do we retain and reward employees?’ ” says James Tagliani, Betabrand’s head of finance. In January, the company started its Flyaway program, which sends an employee on a trip each month using the previous month’s credit card rewards. Employees have journeyed to Ireland, Japan, France, Iceland and, most recently, New York City.

The program has been a hit in the workplace. It’s also put Betabrand, a 60-employee San Francisco startup, on the map as a functional fashion destination and a fun place to work.

If your small business is booming, and you want to get more out of your credit cards, here’s how you can follow Betabrand’s example.

FEATURED

 

Featured card placement may be affected by compensation agreements with our partners, but these partnerships in no way affect our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners.

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card
Chase

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating 
Read More ...

Best small business printers of 2023

When it comes to running an efficient company, the best small business printers are essential. 

From monochrome models to all-in-ones that print, scan, copy, and fax, there are a lot of printers on the market for a lot of different users, making it a challenge identifying the best printer for small businesses, home offices, and everyday office use. 

Our team of expert reviewers have put the best printers for business to the test. We’ve tested hundreds of different printers for the home, the office, and even on the go. So, after pairing these models with the best business computers and best business monitors, we analyzed printing speed, evaluated output quality, compared designs, and totalled up the running costs. 

As part of our in-depth testing, we’ve gone hands-on with features like the automatic document feeder (ADF) and auto-duplex mode. We even checked paper tray capacity and connectivity options for maximum productivity. 

Best small business printer overall

Canon MAXIFY GX4020 header image

(Image credit: Future)

Media friendly MegaTank offers true flexibility

Specifications

Category: All-in-One inkjet printer

Print speed: 18ppm (mono)

Paper capacity: 250 + 100 sheets

Paper size: A4

Reasons to buy

+

High ink/paper capacity  

+

Prints on card

+

Lots of inbox ink

+

Three paper trays 

Reasons to avoid

Expensive

Not fast  

No USB Host port  

No NFC 

There’s a lot to like about the Canon MAXIFY GX4020/GX4050/GX4060. From its robust, yet compact design to its vivid print quality, Canon has hit the sweet spot with this mid-priced MegaTank printer. It’s not as fast as a laser and it lacks a couple of premium features such as duplex scanning and a USB Host port, but it has everything else that a small business or home office might need. There’s plenty of room for paper and ink with a 250-sheet main

Read More ...