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Taxes are compound interest in reverse:
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Postpone, shift or change the nature of the tax:
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If you are starting a business but don’t know where to start, start with the business plan. Now, I know that for a lot of business owners and aspiring business owners, making a business plan can be one of the toughest parts of starting a business. But this is exactly what the business plan is for; it is meant for those juices to start flowing in your head and to get you thinking about every detail of your business, so when you do start it you know exactly where you are going. Your business plan does not have to be a static thing; it changes. Your business plan should forecast about 3 to 5 years out, but along the way you may need to make changes and modify that business plan. And that’s okay. Here are a few of the most important items that you want to put in your business plan:
1. The Executive Summary. An executive summary is especially important if you are going to be seeking investors or a business loan to help finance your business. An executive summary should highlight the best ideas and the most important aspects of your business. For example, what makes your business unique, why is your business is going to succeed, and obviously a summary of what your business idea is. And it should really be just the most important parts of your business plan, that way if someone has just 30 seconds to read over your business plan, they can scan the executive summary and get the gist of what your business is about.
2. The Industry Analysis. This Industry Analysis will show what the market looks like in your business’s industry, who your competitors are and their strengths and weaknesses, who your target audience is and their demographic, as well as who exactly you are going to be aiming for with your business.
3. The Marketing Analysis. Your business plan should also include a Marketing Analysis. The Marketing Analysis should describe how you plan on marketing your business and the types of marketing channels you are going to use, as well as any unique or special ideas you have for marketing your business.
4. The Operations Plan. Your business plan should also include an Operations Plan, which includes information as to what type of personnel you are planning on hiring and some of the processes you will need to follow in the execution of your business. The Operations Plan is also a good place to include some of the milestones or goals you are hoping to accomplish.
5. The Financial Plan. Finally, you will want to include a Financial Plan that highlights what your budget is going to look like: how much money you are starting with and how much money you think you’ll need just to get the business going. Try to budget out what your business is going to need, make some financial projections for your business, including what you think you can make within a given amount of time and what you expect to bring in and spend. Also include information on pricing, i.e., how you are going to price your products or services and how that pricing compares to some of your competitors’ pricing.
6. Form 2553 (S Corp). This is the IRS form that needs to be filed if you want your small business to elect to be taxed as an S Corporation. Whether or not you need to file form 2553 is going to depend on whether it would make sense for you tax-wise to elect to be taxed as an S Corp.
7. Insurance (General Liability, Workers Comp, etc.). Every small business is going to need some type(s) of insurance. The type of insurance your small business will need also depends on what type of business you are operating.
8. Initial Resolution/Consent. Although this isn’t necessary (at least in Colorado) for all small businesses, it is usually a good idea to have an Initial Resolution or Initial Consent to Action when starting a small business in order to demonstrate that your business has adopted certain documents, like it’s Operating Agreement or Articles of Organization, and that you as the business owner have resolved to operate your business in accordance with those documents.
9. Operating Agreement or By-Laws. Every LLC needs an Operating Agreement. Let me say that again in case you missed it: every LLC needs an Operating Agreement. Even if it is not required by statute (Colorado does not require it), it is still a vital internal document for your small business to have. An Operating Agreement is the internal document where the owner or owners (aka the members) agree on how the business is going to be operated, i.e., type and nature of business; what the business is going to do; how members are going to get paid; how distributions are going to be made; what will happen in the event of disagreement between the members; etc. All of this information is set forth in the Operating Agreement. The By-Laws of a corporation serve basically the same purpose as the Operating Agreement of an LLC.
9a. Form SS-4 (Federal Tax ID). IRS Form SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number is the form that you file with the IRS to get a Federal Tax ID number (aka EIN or Employer Identification Number) for your small business.
9b. Articles of Organization (or Articles of Incorporation). Every single LLC in existence must have Articles of Organization. I can say this with complete certainty because you will need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State in order to create your LLC. Bottom line: if you did not file Articles of Organization, then you don’t have an LLC. Similarly, every corporation in existence must have Articles of Incorporation. The Articles of Organization or Incorporation are what brings the LLC or corporation into a legal existence. Without them, your small business, whether it is a corporation or an LLC, does not legally exist.
9c. Licenses. Specifically, Tax Licenses, Business Licenses, and Other Licenses. Honestly, they are all equally important and depend largely on the nature of your small business.
10. Agreements. Whether they are service agreements, independent contractor agreements, subcontractor agreements, etc., most small businesses are going to need some sort of an agreement in place to operate safely (in the legal sense) and effectively. The type of small business you have will determine the types of agreements you will need to have in place. For example, as an attorney, I have a service agreement (called an Engagement Letter) with each and every client that makes it clear what I am going to be doing for the client, my fees, how the client can expect to be billed, what I expect or need from the client, my policies that affect the client, what happens if there is a disagreement between us, and so on and so forth. Most, if not all, small businesses that provide a service to their customers should, at a minimum, at least have a similar type of service agreement with their clients. It protects both the small business and the client.
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Growing a blog isn’t simple. It takes time, patience, and dedication before others would begin to notice your blog. While I can’t offer you a magic formula that would increase your blog’s popularity overnight, I can at least help you to promote your blog and find new readers. Here’s what you’ll need to […]
This column first appeared in the San Antonio Express News and other Hearst Newspapers on February 18, 2019. Dear Mr. Premack: My grandmother while in ICU stated that she wanted all she owned including her house to go to me and my bother in law. This was caught on cell phone video. She was later […]
(a) A debtor whose wages are subject to a withholding order may, at any time, request a review by the Department of the amount garnished, based on materially changed circumstances such as disability, divorce, or catastrophic illness which result in financial hardship.
(b) A debtor requesting such a review under paragraph (a) of this section shall submit the basis for claiming that the current amount of garnishment results in a financial hardship to the debtor, along with supporting documentation. The Secretary shall consider any information submitted in accordance with this part.
(c) If a financial hardship is found, the Secretary shall downwardly adjust, by an amount and for a period of time established by the Secretary, the amount garnished to reflect the debtor‘s financial condition. The Secretary will notify the employer of any adjustments to the amount to be withheld.
After determining which rights were violated (whether unintentional or outright fraud) utilizing a universal standard of principles and ULTRS (universal language for testimony and reports) to determine which duty was triggered, we can begin to rectify the situation.
This leads to two questions: 1. Where does this situation fall on the spectrum of fairness and, depending on where it falls, 2. What does that translate into in terms of specific procedures that must be followed?
Spectrum of Fairness
The court in Baker v. Canada (Minister of Immigration and Citizenship) listed four factors which help determine where on the spectrum of fairness a given decision lands. Note that the “legitimate expectations” of the person challenging the decision is a consideration, but it is considered before the factors listed below. The doctrine of “legitimate expectations” does not affect where the decision lands on the spectrum of fairness. Rather, it tells us some of the specific procedures that must be followed.
i. Nature of the decision being made and the process followed in making it: here, an assessment of how formal or informal the decision at hand is made. The more adjudicative the administrative decision maker’s nature and the process it follows (i.e. a formal decision), the more procedural safeguards necessary. The more operational or administrative (i.e. an informal decision), the less procedural safeguards necessary
ii. Nature of the statutory scheme and the terms of the statute pursuant to which the body operates: here, an assessment of the statutory scheme is made. If no further remedies or appeal are available under the statute, more procedural safeguards are necessary because the first level of the decision must be procedurally fair.
An assessment of the complexity of the decision being challenged is also made. If it is a relatively simple decision, it will fall at the lower end of the spectrum.
iii. Importance of the decision to the affected parties: here, an assessment of how important the outcome of the decision is to the parties affected. Where the decision is important to the affected parties, high procedural safeguards are necessary. For example, in Kane it was held that a high standard of procedural fairness is required when the right to continue in one’s profession/employment is at stake.
iv. Choices made by the decision-maker: here, an assessment of the power given to the administrative decision maker over its own procedures is made. If they have a lot of power, they are under a high procedural obligation and the decision is at the higher end of the spectrum.
Once these factors are considered, we end up with a point on the spectrum. The next question is: how does this translate into specific procedures?
The specific procedures required differs case by case. In Mavi, Justice Binnie stated that we ultimately need a fair process by considering what is relevant in the circumstances. There are general considerations that the court looks to when determining specific procedures:
- The determination of specific procedures is a balance of fairness, efficiency and predictability of the outcome; and
- The people affected by a decision have the opportunity to be heard and considered.
The doctrine of “legitimate expectations” can create specific procedures that must be followed where the administrative decision maker has made a certain representation or promise regarding specific procedures that will be followed.
An oral hearing is not necessarily required under the common law where a statute does not specify whether an oral hearing must be held. In Khan, the court held that, if an administrative decision maker is going to decide adversely against someone’s credibility and that person is affected by a decision of the administrative decision maker, an oral hearing must be held.
The enabling statute may state whether reasons for the decisions are required. An administrative decision maker who is subject to the SPPA must give reasons to the affected parties if they ask for them. At common law, Baker clarified that where a decision has important significance for an individual, where there is a statutory right of appeal or in other circumstances, some form of reasons should be required. In Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses’ Union, the court held that, at the procedural fairness stage, the only consideration is whether there is a duty to provide reasons. The adequacy of reasons is not a relevant consideration at this stage. In Baker, it was held that where some form of reasons are required, there is flexibility as to what those reasons generally look like. The courts are very flexible as to what counts as reasons.
At this stage of the analysis, there is a two step test. Determining what procedures are required after determining where on the spectrum a given decision lands is a contextual analysis.
My next blog entry will focus on procedural obligations arising under the constitution.
Procedural Obligations: Duty to Protect via Title 17 Utilizing a Universal Standard of Principles (Part One) via Anthony’s Blog
In my last blog entry, I discussed procedural obligations arising from statute and soft law. What happens when those documents are silent or ambiguous? When a statute is silent or leaves gaps with respect to procedure, the common law steps in to fill those gaps. The other fundamental principle is that to override the rules […]