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Business 202 - How to Take Your Business to the Next Level

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Peter Blatt, J.D. LL.M. and principle of Blatt Financial Group and Blatt Legal, PLC in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, in partnership with SCORE Palm Beach delivered this presentation to small business owners on February 19th, 2012 at Keiser University in West Palm Beach

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Business 202 - How to Take Your Business to the Next Level

  1. 1. Blattfg.com BUSINESS 201How to Take Your Business to the Next Level PRESENTED FOR SCORE PALM BEACH BY PETER BLATT, J.D. LL.M.
  2. 2. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSLLC vs. S Corporation – Similarities Both are pass-through entities Liability protection No shield from torts or accidents Operational ease and profit-sharing
  3. 3. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSThe Limited Liability Company (LLC) Tax Simplicity Simple Governance Flexible Structure Few Limitations
  4. 4. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSThe S-Corporation (Subchapter S of IRSCode) Most popular structure in Florida A C-Corporation that offers tax benefits Limited financial liability for shareholders (owners) Avoids double-taxation
  5. 5. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSSunbiz.org
  6. 6. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSSunbiz.org
  7. 7. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSSunbiz.org
  8. 8. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSSunbiz.org
  9. 9. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSSunbiz.org
  10. 10. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSLegal Agreements In Detail - LLC Articles of Organization • Creates public, legal notice of active organization • Specifies member and managing member’s name, address, and registered agent • Corrections are recorded with amendments
  11. 11. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSLegal Agreements In Detail - LLC Operating Agreements • Specifies rights and responsibilities of members • Creates enforceable agreement between members • Succession planning • Not required; highly advisable to hire counsel
  12. 12. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSLegal Agreements In Detail – S-Corp Articles of Incorporation • Creates public, legal notice of active incorporation • Specifies principle officers and purpose of company, share structure, and registered agent • Corrections are made with Articles of Correction
  13. 13. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSLegal Agreements In Detail – S-Corp Shareholder Agreement • Specifies rights and responsibilities of shareholders • Protects shareholder’s equity and interests • Plans for the future (succession, M&A) • Private document; highly advisable to hire counsel
  14. 14. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSProtections Copyrights – protects original works of authorship (literature, music, artistic, intellectual works) Patents –protections for novel inventions Trademarks – protection for distinguishable marks
  15. 15. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSProtections of Work - Copyrights Exclusive right under U.S. law to protect original works of authorship from being reproduced Granted to created when created General terms: author’s life plus 70 years Work for Hire terms: author’s life plus 95 years
  16. 16. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSProtections of Work - Copyrights “Protection by Creation” Website and blog content and copy that is original
  17. 17. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSProtections of Innovation - Patents Offers protection from unsanctioned “theft” of inventions in exchange for public disclosure Must be novel and “non-obvious” Patent granted through the USPTO Extremely important for inventive companies or individuals
  18. 18. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSApple vs. SamsungSamsung pays $1Bin settlement…Aug 2012!LARGE Patent infringement lawsuitever…ST
  19. 19. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSProtections of a Name - Trademarks Identifies the source of a distinguishable product Service mark identifies that of services Can be a symbol, phrase, design, or combination
  20. 20. Blattfg.com CORPORATE FILINGSCommon Issues Unintentional breach of copyright protection Intentional re-production or re-distribution for profit without consideration (think Napster) Ideas are not copyright-able
  21. 21. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSResources  Florida Dept. of State (Sunbiz.org)  Local Tax Collector (county, city)  Federal Income Tax Filing (IRS.gov)  State Income Tax Filing (N/A for Florida)  USPTO (uspto.gov)  U.S. Copyright Office (Copyright.org)
  22. 22. Blattfg.comCORPORATE FILINGSOpen Discussion
  23. 23. Blattfg.com BEST IDEASMission Statement Simple & sweet Defines a purpose for existence“To bring inspiration and innovation to everyathlete in the world.”
  24. 24. Blattfg.com BEST IDEASMission Statement Simple & sweet Defines a purpose for existence“To bring inspiration and innovation to everyathlete in the world.”
  25. 25. Blattfg.com BEST IDEASCore Values Principles that guide the firm Means by which mission statement is fulfilled Fiduciary | trust | transparency
  26. 26. Blattfg.com BEST IDEASCore Values Principles that guide the firm Means by which mission statement is fulfilled
  27. 27. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESPayroll Taxes (*Florida only – may differ in other states) Employees pay FICA • Social Security • Medicare Employers pay FICA plus • Unemployment tax
  28. 28. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESPayroll Taxes (*Florida only – may differ in other states) Employer Compliance • Withhold employee FICA • ADA, discrimination laws, Fair Pay Act, minimum wage If applicable… • Wage garnishment • Worker’s compensation
  29. 29. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESPayroll Taxes Employer collects W-4 and I-9 FICA – 6.25% to $113.7k Medicare – 1.45% Federal withholding
  30. 30. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESPayroll Taxes File tax liability (monthly) Payroll form 941 (quarterly) Payroll form 940 (annually) UCT-6 (unemployment) Annual state reporting Occupational licensing
  31. 31. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Minimum Wage (FL) - $7.25/hour Overtime – 1.5x regular wage Defines “hours worked” FLSA poster required to be hung Employee recordkeeping Child labor prohibited
  32. 32. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESEmployee Filings
  33. 33. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESRecruitment and Hiring THINK like a Fortune 500 company… • Job descriptions – specific and detailed • Employee handbook – policies and procedures • Definitions of Exempt/Non-exempt • Probationary period • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) • Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
  34. 34. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESRecruitment and Hiring THINK like a Fortune 500 company… • Personnel files and performance reviews • Standards of conduct (dress, behavior) • Typical work day (lunch, breaks, activates) • Benefits and Services (PTO, military leave) • Wage, salary, and pay procedures • At-will employment termination
  35. 35. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESResources  US Small Business Assoc. (SBA.gov)  US Dept. of Labor (DOL.gov)  IRS Tax Info (IRS.gov/Businesses)  Florida Dept. of Revenue (DOR.MyFlorida.com)
  36. 36. Blattfg.com EMPLOYEESOpen Discussion
  37. 37. Blattfg.com OFFICESRent vs. Own Expense versus investment Small commitment versus large capital outlay Uninterrupted operations versus maintenanceIn short, it’s all about your situation andyour needs.
  38. 38. Blattfg.com OFFICESLocation, location, location… Spend time on market and consumer data • Demographics and socio-economics • Distance from competitors and to value-added Parking, space, and lease requirements Commercial vs. residential zoning
  39. 39. Blattfg.com OFFICESCommon Issues with Leases Have competent counsel review lease Perform public records searches Pay attention to tenant responsibilities Negotiation favorable assignment provisions
  40. 40. Blattfg.comSoftware ACCOUNTING
  41. 41. Blattfg.com ACCOUNTINGCommon Reports Profit & Loss Income Tax Summary Balance Sheet Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable Full Income Statement Cash Flow Statement
  42. 42. Blattfg.com ACCOUNTINGTax Prep Software
  43. 43. Blattfg.com ACCOUNTINGTurbo-Tax (preferred) First, important to have a competent CPA Prepares returns for C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, PA, Sole Props and virtually every other entity Web-based Files forms with the IRS and state online
  44. 44. Blattfg.com ACCOUNTINGOpen Discussion
  45. 45. Blattfg.com CONTRACTSReview and Implement Sales contracts Vendor contracts Partnership agreements Lease agreements Employment contracts
  46. 46. Blattfg.com CONTRACTSLook for… Specific language of responsibilities of parties Compare to compliance issues in your industry Consideration between parties Beware of obvious duplicate contracts Read your whole contract Hire competent counsel to review your contracts!
  47. 47. Blattfg.com CONTRACTSResources  Peter Blatt, J.D. LL.M. and Blatt Legal (561) 625- 0900  Uniform Commercial Code (FloridaUCC)  Dunn & Bradsheet (MyCredit.DNB.com)  Better Business Bureau (BBB.com)  Personal Credit Reporting (Equifax.com)
  48. 48. Blattfg.com CONTRACTSOpen Discussion
  49. 49. Blattfg.comMARKETING METHODSHow do I get my product out to a wideraudience? PR – written as a news story, submitted via wire Workshops Mailings Referral Programs
  50. 50. Blattfg.comMARKETING METHODSPress and Public Relations Well-written (follow the standard) News-worthy Get it in the right hands
  51. 51. Blattfg.comMARKETING METHODSPress and Public Relations Well-written (follow the standard) News-worthy Get it in the right handsAre YOU the leader in your field?
  52. 52. Blattfg.comMARKETING METHODSWorkshops Generate leads and new business Impress with presence Offer FREE consultation if service-based Offer FREE samples if product-based Get creative!
  53. 53. Blattfg.comMARKETING METHODSMailing Hard mailing – still effective! • Providers include RME, InfoUSA • Promote events, entice and inspire Email marketing  Consistent, promotional message  Message of expertise  Providers include MailChimp
  54. 54. Blattfg.comMARKETING METHODSReferrals Build referrals by doing good business Join and attend networking groups Consider “referral-required” events ASK for referrals!
  55. 55. Blattfg.comMARKETING METHODSCompliance Industry and trade specific Join your industry’s trade group to stay up to date Be aware of Federal, State and Local levels Big fines and penalties for indiscretion Hire competent counsel!
  56. 56. Blattfg.comMARKETING METHODSOpen Discussion
  57. 57. Blattfg.comPLANNING FOR BAD THINGS Death of a partner Divorce of a partner Disability of a partner Buy/Sell Agreement!
  58. 58. Blattfg.comPLANNING ON RETIREMENTRetirement Planning for Business Owners Different types of plans for different goals • Defined Benefit Plans (DBP) • Self-funded IRAs • Section 79 Plan • 401K Plan
  59. 59. Blattfg.comPLANNING ON RETIREMENTSaving for Retirement Contribute monthly COLA/Inflation
  60. 60. Blattfg.comPLANNING ON RETIREMENTCashing Out Selling your business Planning your estate/trust
  61. 61. Blattfg.comPLANNING ON RETIREMENTOpen Discussion

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