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Tessmer Tips / 15.11.2015

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, we continue with our Tessmer Tips for Veterans.   The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA), is a federal law that provides protections for military members as they enter active duty. It covers issues such as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, automobile leases, life insurance, health insurance and income tax payments.  The law was first passed in 1918 and most recently rewritten and expanded in 2003.  It offers an umbrella of...

Tessmer Tips / 06.11.2015

Determine how you will handle collection matters.  Every business has to deal with outstanding accounts receivables; know your legal rights and formulate a firm policy for collections and practices. Hire a professional accountant, preferably one who knows your type of industry.  Your accountant can give you advice on deductions, payroll, taxes, etc. that will keep you legal and off the IRS radar.   Consider retaining an attorney.  While most small business startups do not need one, having a trusted counsel can bring peace of mind.  You will have someone to call if any problems arise with contracts, employee issues, customer complaints, etc....

Tessmer Tips / 05.11.2015

A business owner should put all agreements in writing.  Even if not legally required, it's wise to put almost everything in writing, because oral agreements can be difficult or impossible to prove. This includes leases or rental agreements, storage agreements, contracts for services (such as consulting or electrical work), purchase orders or contracts for goods worth more than a couple hundred dollars, offer letters of employment, and employment policies. Get in the habit of getting and giving receipts for all goods, services, and deposits, regardless of how much....

Tessmer Tips / 04.11.2015

When you open your business, research any trademarks.  Don't get two years into your business and then find that you have to change the name of a popular product or even your entire company because someone has realized you are using a variant of their name and wants to sue you.  Do a federal or state trademark search on any proposed names for your company or products.   If a proposed name is being used as a trademark, change it if your use of the name would confuse customers or if the name is already famous.   Select the right employment structure for...

Tessmer Tips / 03.11.2015

When running your own business, keep your personal funds separate from your business funds.  Open a separate bank account for your business.  Any payments made to you by the business should be made as a check written on the business account and deposited to your personal account, just like an employer was paying you.  Never take cash out of the business account for personal expenses.   As a small business owner, you will want to insure yourself and your assets.  You may be required to carry liability insurance to protect yourself in the event of injury to a client or customer. Some...

Tessmer Tips / 01.11.2015

Are you an entrepreneur with a dream?  If you are considering starting your own business, there are legalities to consider.  For the next two weeks, we will discuss some of the points you may want to think about before you hang that “OPEN” sign.   Before you start your business, decide on an ownership structure.  Ownership structures legally establish a company as an official business. Common structures, such as partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations provide business owners with legal protection. An appropriate business structure not only offers certain tax benefits, but it also provides business owners with personal protection against lawsuits...