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.

 

10 Common Link-Building Mistakes

link-building-snpBuilding incoming links to your website is a common off-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategy used by most webmasters and online marketers. The point of link building is to build up your authority to the search engines so that you can get more traffic to your website. But the problem with link building is that enthusiastic business owners use erroneous and misguided efforts to build up links that cause more harm than good.

Common mistakes in link building are:
1. Not using keywords in links: When you build up internal links on your website, it is important to use keywords in your anchor text, navigation text, and in any contextual links to other items within your website or even that link to outside websites. However, ensure that the keywords are not forced and are natural and make the content readable.
2. Signing up for too many social networks: If you’re not going to use the social network and the social network is not frequented by your target audience, there is no point in singing up. Getting links from inactive profiles will downgrade you with Google search. Sign up with social networks that you will use, and that your target audience uses.
3. Signing up for random bookmarking sites – Be sure that any bookmarking site that you sign up for is creditable and used by your target audience. Don’t just follow a list and sign up for them all or use them all. Be targeted in your use of these resources.

4. Avoiding “nofollow” links :We definitely want “dofollow” links, but avoiding posting and participating in places that have “nofollow” links is not a good idea because then you seem too practiced in your participation. Both types of links send traffic to your site; one just prefers bots to humans. You want humans to your site so do not avoid “nofollow” links.
5. Not getting rid of the blogroll: The links on the side of your blog, and the “blogroll” specifically, need to be eliminated. This is because by linking out to anyone you’re automatically recommending them, and thus giving away some of your traffic. It’s fine to do this, but link within your blog posts and text to people and products you recommend instead.
6. Putting too many links in the footer: All links are not created equal, and search engines in particular see links in footers as unequal to links within the text of your website or blog. Footer links should be used only for navigation to help the human, not for search engine page rank. Too many links in the footer can also make a page have too many links. It is recommended not to have more than 100 links on any given page.
7. Not following commenting etiquette: When you comment on another person’s forum, blog post, or article, it is important to follow basic rules. These include making a valuable comment, not just saying “good job” but really contributing to the discussion with a thought-out comment, and not putting links inside your comment. Comments should not be seen as self-serving in nature.
8. Trading links with others: While it can be difficult to say no to people who ask to trade links, it is imperative that every link that goes out of your website be of value to your customers and to you. If someone has a good product you can recommend that is not in competition with your products, ask for an affiliate link.
9. Using auto-approved directories: All links to your site are not created equal, and auto directories are bad ideas because there is no human being checking to see if the site is legitimate. Therefore your website and business could be lumped in with a bunch of spammy websites that are just trash. Why would you want to do that? Choose a directory that humans monitor, and which is relevant to your target audience.
10. Using random article directories: Article marketing is not dead, but it has changed. What is most important now is quality, relevant content that links back to your website in a natural way. Try guest blog posting, and posting only on relevant magazine like places that provides content, products and services to your target audience.
By paying attention to these ten link-building mistakes, you’ll be able to create a link-building campaign that really works to build traffic to your site in a good way. After all, you don’t want tons of traffic; you want massive, relevant traffic that consists of people who want your products and services. They way to accomplish that is by being aggressively picky about where your links go.

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