Business Start-Up Legalities

 

As the saying goes, nothing is done until the paperwork is complete

A lot of people jump into starting a business without giving much thought to the business start-up legalities. This can become a problem. While each country, state, city or province has its own rules, there are some basics to consider. It’s important to at least know where to look for the information.

business-type


Decide the Type of Business Entity

Starting a sole proprietorship is the simplest, and no paperwork needs to be filed that is special. However, if you want to start any other type of business entity such as an LLC or Inc., you will need to file special paperwork. There are websites today that will help you file the paperwork if you don’t want to hire an attorney. However, it is highly recommended that you hire a business attorney in your area to handle these issues.

Choose a Business Name

If you’re not using your own name as part of your business name, you’ll need to find out if the name you want to use is available. Depending on the type of business entity you choose, such as sole proprietorship or LLC, there are different rules regarding business names. You may need to file a DBA (doing business as) in order to conduct business using that name. If you have a corporation and you want several different businesses under the corporation, you’ll need to file several DBAs.

Obtain a Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) (USA)

Even if you have no intentions of ever hiring employees, this is something that is important. You can do it right on line and you don’t even need to have a business license yet to do it. In fact, you should do this prior to getting a business license so that this number can be on your business license. Use this number instead of your social security number anytime you do business with anyone. It’s safer because you can avoid the problems with identity theft, and in some cases it is required to have this number to be seen as a real business.

Get a Business License

Each country, state, province and city has its own rules regarding business licensure. Most cities and counties require even a home business to be licensed. In some cases you will need state licensure. The best place to find out what you need is to go down to your local court house and ask or look up the search terms, “Getting a business license in Your City, State”. It’s usually a very simple process which requires a small fee.

You will need to renew this license each year. Depending on your type of business, you may need other permits and licenses to be legal. You can go to your local SCORE office for more information and help.

Open a Business Bank Account

Depending on your type of business, you may only need a separate personal account. Business accounts can be expensive. But, you do need to open a separate account. In many cases if you don’t have a business account you won’t be able to get a merchant account enabling you to take credit cards. If you plan to use PayPal, check the current rules and terms of service to ensure that you can be compliant. You will need your EIN and your business license to open a business bank account.

These are just a few of the legalities of opening a business. Depending upon your type of business, it may be more or less complicated. However, don’t ever shy away from making sure the paperwork is done, and done right, when embarking on business ownership. Doing it right from the start will ensure your continued success.

 

Three Elements of a Mobile Responsive Website

responsive-web-desginCreating specific mobile versions of your website has been deemed a necessity, but did you know that you can create one responsive website instead? Today, the ability for your website design to adjust and adapt to the user is imperative for success. With over 300 million computers and mobile devices being used to view online content, it is just smart business to become more responsive.

At the heart of responsive web design is the ability for your website to change to fit the device the user chooses for viewing the site. The code will make it respond appropriately to the size of screen the user is viewing the site with, as well as the browser choice. This allows the content to move around to be viewed in the most optimum way.

Whether the user is using a widescreen desktop monitor, a small laptop, a tablet or a mobile phone, the responsive website looks exactly right for each instance. No need to code a site for different viewers – you create one responsive site for all devices.

There are three important elements to consider when creating responsive websites:

1. Design for the mobile device first – Mobile devices are outselling PCs, so it just makes sense to change how we all think of website design and focus on mobile devices first. Get rid of extraneous design and focus where you should: on the content.

2. Optimize the organization of your content – Move items around, make important sections bigger, and use fewer columns in your site. Place the focus on whether the user can read and use the content you’ve provided. The user’s experience is paramount and the site will look good regardless of which device they use to reach your site.

3. Keep interaction a primary focus – Most people who view content with a mobile device are not viewing your content to see how great your design elements are. They’re just trying to read the content, the review, the directions, or something they’re linking directly to via another site. Ensure that they get to see that particular content when linking to your site and they don’t have to worry about your fabulous flash slide show on entry, or your huge menu. Let them go directly to the content they want to read.

Using CSS, fluid grids, scalable fonts, thoughtful navigation and clean design elements can make your website more responsive to all users’ devices. How your site looks will depend on the user’s pixels, screen size, font choices, and more, and not on your choice of how big your headers or banners should be. What’s important today is making it easy for the user to view and use your content no matter what device they use. Otherwise they may leave your site in frustration, causing you to possibly miss out on that sale.

While creating responsive mobile designed websites may seem complicated and difficult, the truth is that this is the direction the future is taking us. In fact, the future is here now that mobile devices are outselling personal computers.

If you use WordPress to build your sites, there are already many mobile responsive themes as well as plug-ins to help you design and develop your mobile responsive site easily and quickly.

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