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Michigan Women's Marketplace User FAQs
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Michigan Women's Marketplace buy cialis Business FAQs
Starting a New Business
What are the most important questions to ask myself when starting a business?
You need to offer something tangibly valuable that the competition does not offer.
Where can I find a sample business plan?
There are several websites that will give you sample business plans:
Is there a web site where I can find additional answers to business questions?
There are many websites with business information, including:
How do I register my company name and where should it be registered?
For an in-state business, you need to apply for a “Doing Business As” (DBA) through your local Secretary of State office. To find your local Secretary of State, go to http://www.nass.org/ (National Association of Secretaries of State). To find your local State web site, go to www.usa.gov/Agencies/State _and_Territories.shtml.
If you are looking to do business across state lines, your company name can be protected by registering as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov/). Additional information on name registration can be found on www.business.gov/register/business-name/dba.html.
Do I need a Tax ID number for my business?
You only legally need a Tax ID number for your business if you are going to have employees or you are going to contract to do business with the government; otherwise, you can use your social security number for identification. However, there are some advantages to having a Tax ID number if you are planning to purchase in volume. Some suppliers will require it.
To obtain a Tax ID number you need to fill out the IRS form SS-4. You can find this on the IRS web site (http://www.irs.gov/) under “Forms and Publications”. Once you have this your federal ID number, you have to obtain a Tax ID number from the states you are doing business in. Go to http://www.taxsites.com/ to find your state sites.
How do I know what insurance to buy for my business?
The best site to find information on insurance needs is:
Make sure you also visit your state’s office of insurance. State governments regulate the insurance industry and provide a number of services to consumers and small business owners. Buying business insurance is among the best ways to prepare for the unexpected. Without proper protection, misfortunes such as the death of a partner or key employee, embezzlement, a lawsuit, or a natural disaster could spell the end of a thriving operation.
Ranging from indispensable worker’s compensation insurance to the relatively obscure executive kidnapping coverage, insurance is available for nearly any business risk. Considering the multitude of available options, business owners must carefully weigh whether the cost of certain premiums will justify the coverage for a given risk. For a breakdown of additional insurance needs, go to:
What is a copyright?
A copyright is a form of protection for original works of authorship. It covers both published and unpublished works. It protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works – such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Work is under protection from the moment it is created. Registration of a work is voluntary. However, if a work is copy written, it may be beneficial in a court of law. For additional information or to register a copyright, go to http://www.copyright.gov/.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identify and distinguish the source of the goods of one party from those of another.
The name that you select for your company must be distinctive to receive trademark protection. Common words or phrases that are inherently distinctive are not offered trademark protection. For information on trademarks and applying for a trademark, visit the United State Patent and Trademark office at http://www.uspto.gov/.
What is a NAICS code and where can I find my NAICS code?
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. You need this code number to research your industry and also to identify your business industry on your tax returns. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) website is www.census.gov/eos/www/naics.
How do I calculate my own ratios?
To calculate your own ratios, go to www.lib.washington.edu/business/ratios. This site had a fill-in-the-blank template for you to insert your numbers and calculate.
What is the difference between a Cash-Based accounting system and an Accrual-Based accounting system?
In a cash-based accounting system, sales (or cash) are recognized when payment is received and expenses are recognized when the bill is paid. In an accrual-based accounting system, sales are recognized at the time the purchase is made (whether paid or an account receivable) and expenses are recognized when the commitment is made for the purchase (whether the invoice is paid or not).
Cash-based accounting does ot show the true value of the firm because you may have made sales that are not yet paid and, therefore, do not show as an asses; and you may have committed to purchases that have not been paid, which reduces your liability.
The accrual-based system will match your business expenses with income.
Can I get a grant for my for-profit business?
Federal grants, with rare exception, are not available to for-profit businesses. Grants are only available for non-profit businesses or businesses that are serving a population that is unable to pay for a needed service. A business is designed to make a profit for the owner; and, therefore, the risk for running that business should not be subsidized by the buy cialis population.
Where do I go if I have been turned down for a loan from a bank?
Federally-funded micro-loans are available in most states. To help you find loans in your area, go to http://www.business.gov/.
If you are in Southeast Michigan, the Center for Empowerment & Economic Development (CEED) is the micro-lender (http://www.miceed.org/).
Do I need to obtain a license to run my business?
Each jurisdiction has its own unique business licensing requirements. Unless your business is registered by the federal government (www.business.gov/register/licenses-and-permits/federal-licenses.html), most of your licensing requirements are imposed by your state and local governments. Obtaining a license involves filling out a registration form. If you are starting or expanding your business, you will likely need to fill out lots of registration forms. http://www.business.gov/ has conveniently organized resources to help business owners understand the registrations they must typically complete in order to legally operate.
What do I have to know to bid on a government contract?
If you go to http://www.business.gov/, you will find information on how to apply for government contracts in your area.
How to register as a federal contractor:
How to bid on federal government contracts:
How to find state government contracting opportunities in your area:
Where can I get training on government contracting?
Check the SBA online training on government contracting, including Wining Federal Contracts: A Guide for Women Entrepreneurs at www.sba.gov/training/governmentcontracting/index.html
How can I find out what the government is buying?
Go to the Government Wide Acquisition contracts site (www.gsa.gov/gwac) for the priorities this year. And to know what was purchased in the past, go to http://fpds.gov/. to know what is currently being purchased, go to FedBizOpps at http://fbo.gov/.
Who can help with government contracting?
What are the rules for government contracting?
The rules are listed in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). FAR is about 2000 pages long with 52 sections. It is required reading for those working with the government. FAR can be found at http://www.acquisition.gov/FAR. It can be downloaded or ordered from the government. It is not suggested that you print it. HINT: If you study one section a week for one year, you will cover the entire book.
Where can I find information on Employment Laws?
Whether you hire your own employees or independent contractors, you will need to have a solid understanding of federal and state labor laws covering everything from benefits and wages to discrimination and harassment. Go to www.business.gov/business-law/employment for details on employment laws.
Where can I find statistics and market research data?
Where can I get statistics on small businesses?
The best location for small business in the United States is on the Small Business Administration website http://www.sba.gov/. the direct link to research on small business is: http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/?cm_sp=ExternalLink-_-Federal-_-SBA
What is a Value Proposition and do I need one?
Your Value Proposition states why your customers need your product. This, for a government contract is called a Capability Statement. Without a need, there is no incentive for customers to pay; and without sales, you have no business. Therefore, your Value Proposition is the single most important question you have to answer with your business.
How much cash do you need to survive the early years?
You will get this information from your Cash Flow Statement. When you do your projections of cash flow before you open your business, add together the total of the start-up expenses and all the negative numbers that show up on the Net Cash Flow line of your Cash Flow Statement (up to the point they become positive), and you will know the minimum you need to fund or borrow. Add a percentage of sales for any miscellaneous items you may have missed and any unexpected costs (such as a heater breaking down or a water leak). This should give you the amount you need to fund your business. The main rule in business is the same as in life: YOU CANNOT RUN OUT OF CASH!
To determine the possible miscellaneous costs, talk with others in your industry who have already been through the start-up stage. It may be best to talk to those who are not in your direct market area.
Where can I find the tax forms I need for my business?
Go to http://www.irs.gov/ and click on Forms and Publications. They are listed by both number and name.
Where would I find frequently asked questions on the sale of a business?
The Internal Revenue Service is your best source. Go to http://www.irs.gov/faqs/index.html#11