I get asked a lot: does incorporating my business automatically trademark it? The fact is: being incorporated keeps anyone else in your state from using the name, but it doesn’t protect that name in the other 49 states. For that, you need a federal trademark.
A decade ago, when the Internet was still relatively young and people were still playing with the bubble wrap, getting a professional looking website was a challenge. You had to have some technical skill and knowledge of coding. Failing that, you needed a big budget and conversations with website developers. Today, the landscape has shifted considerably. You have so many options you might begin to feel like a kid at the ice cream shop.
No matter how good your business idea, no matter how passionate you are about your new idea, no matter how thorough your marketing plan, there is one factor that can completely put a halt to you starting a business.
We’ve written before extensively about all the benefits of incorporating a business, so I thought I’d take a different approach. Let’s look at some scenarios where being incorporated would help you in your small business.
One thing that makes CorpNet.com unique is that it's run by husband/wife team, Phil and Nellie Akalp. In honor of Valentine's Day, Phil answers a few questions about working with the one he loves. What's the best thing about working with your spouse? Well…we have A LOT more to talk about at dinner and on date night. Although it’s important to separate the stressful part of our work lives from our personal lives, I find it very beneficial to our relationship to share and discuss the exciting and/or creative parts of our business…even during “personal time.” We really “connect” when we are excited about something at work. Thus it’s always a good idea to discuss a new project or idea…but we NEVER discuss accounting, taxes, or legal matters on date night.
When it comes to choosing the right business structure for your business, the LLC is worth consideration. Not only does it make it possible to be a shareholder if you’re not a US citizen, but there’s also no limit to the number of shareholders you can have.
Face it: as an entrepreneur, you often take off more than you can handle. You assume you’re better off doing it all, when, in fact, there are certain tasks that you’ll actually benefit from handing over to someone else.
Whether you’re starting a business completely online, or you’re enhancing your existing brick-and-mortar retail with some ecommerce, you want your efforts selling on the Internet to be a success. The failure rate for ecommerce is crazily high: it’s been quoted around 80%. Most of these failures, like with any business, were due to a simple lack of planning and investment. Lucky for you, you’ve got the inside tip on how to make yours a roaring success.
When you run a business, you don’t always know the best decisions to make. After all, your area of expertise is in one area; you might not be well-versed in finance, marketing, management, or growth strategy. That’s where having an advisor comes in handy. Heck: why stop with just one advisor? Building an advisory panel can give you access to talented people in all the areas of your business that you want help in.
I’m a Senior Document filing expert here at CorpNet.com, and let me tell you: customers frequently come to me because they want to know how to form an LLC. Now, I’m not sure why, but a lot of new small business owners assume that forming an LLC is a complicated thing. It’s not, actually. But it is one of the best things you can do to protect your personal assets and your business.
If you’ve decided to form a corporation, congratulations to you! You’re on the right track to protecting yourself and taking your business more seriously. But the work’s not done yet. One of the steps you’ll need to do in the incorporating process is to appoint a Board of Directors.
Ah, a new year and a fresh start for your business. I’ll admit, sometimes my ideas for CorpNet get a little stale, so I have to look for inspiration to rejuvenate my brain. Here I share five places you, too, can be inspired with creative ingenuity for your brand.
As people -- more specifically as entrepreneurs -- many of us feel obligated to put up a shield to hide what’s really going on. When we’re asked how things are going with our businesses, we’re more inclined to focus on the highlights rather than the brutal truth. That truth might be that we’re working too much and getting sick a lot. Or that business has ground to a halt. Whatever that truth is, we feel it makes us vulnerable, and we feel like that compromises our ability to succeed.
Do you ever find yourself blaming everyone around you when things don’t go the way you want in your business? Maybe it’s “the economy” that kept you from hitting your sales numbers this year. Or your lack of employees that had you in the weeds all year. Whatever your favorite excuse, put the the kibosh on it in 2015. If any of these sound familiar, make a New Year’s resolution to strike them from your vocabulary.
If you’re planning to give your staff, vendors, or your clients gifts this season, think twice before you do. Many businesses make these blunders, which are completely avoidable. Giving an Inappropriate Gift You may not think there’s anything inappropriate about giving a fluffy robe and bath oils to your client or employee — of the opposite sex —but he might raise an eyebrow. If the gift can in any way be construed as inappropriate, avoid it like the plague.