Corporate Record Management Tips for Businesses in California

Running a business in Orange County, California is not an easy task. There are many things that you need to do. In order to avoid problems, you need to manage your records properly. A lot of business people do not prioritize corporate record management, as they find the task too tedious. Here are a few tips on how to make record management a lot easier:

1. Business Expenses & Personal Expenses Should be Kept Separate

 Many businesspeople have difficulty differentiating between which expenses are from the business, and which are from personal expenditures. For example, some businesses  have only one vehicle, which they use for both personal and business purposes. Sometimes, it might become tricky to identify which of the expenses related the use of the car are under business purposes and which are for personal use. In order to do this properly, your company should have a clear definition of what qualifies as a legitimate business expense, and what does not. Your corporate records should reflect this properly.  A corporate attorney in Orange County can help you with this categorization.

2. Document All Business Expenses Properly

What most businesspeople do to keep track of their business expenses is make a list of purchases. Sometimes, they rely on the list of purchases on their credit card statements (if they use credit cards). Sometimes, it’s enough to do that, but if you want to be completely organized, you’ll need more than just a list. Specifically, you must collect receipts.

Every time you make a purchase for your business, ask for a receipt. It doesn’t matter if you are making a small or large purchase, make it a habit to ask for a receipt no matter what. Even small expenses can add up, and you need to document these in your corporate records in California. Whether you are using your credit card, issuing a check, or paying cash, always make sure to get the receipt for your business related expense.

Moreover, don’t just collect receipts, label them. It is important to label receipts, because some businesses give receipts that have nothing on them except the date that you made the purchase and the amount it cost you. When keeping corporate records in CA, you need more detail than this. Label your receipts with what specific item you purchased, and even for what purpose you purchased it. Every time you get a receipt, label it and then include it in your business records.

3. Your Business in California Should Have a Separate Bank Account

It is imperative that you have a separate bank account for your corporation in California if you want to have good business record management. Although the fees for a business bank account are way higher than those of a personal bank account, it is a worthy investment. Having a business bank account helps keep your personal and business expenses separate. You must make sure that all your business revenues are deposited in the business bank account. Moreover, all business related expenses must be withdrawn only from your business bank account.

4. Have a Corporate Lawyer in Orange County, CA Help You

Corporate attorneys in California can help you keep your corporate records in check. They can also help you in many other aspects of your business, such as legal issues. A corporate lawyer can efficiently manage your corporate records, so that you can avoid unnecessary problems in the future.

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Business Entities: Limited Liability Company, S Corporation and C Corporation

There are many important decisions that businesspeople need to make in order to ensure the success of their companies. Among those important decisions is choosing the right legal structure for their business. The choice they make will determine the taxes they pay, the documents they need to file, the personal liabilities they’d have to face, etc. Since choosing a business structure is critical to any business, it is imperative that you have a corporate lawyer in Orange County contracted for have legal counsel in these matters.

Two of the most popular legal business structures are Limited Liability Company (LCC), S Corporation (S Corp) and C Corporation (C Corp). You need a corporate lawyer in CA to help you decide which one is best for you, but here are a few pointers to illustrate the difference between each:

What is an LLC? 

A Limited Liability Company, or, LCC, is a combination of a partnership and a corporation. In this type of business entity, there are no shares. The main advantage of this structure is that the liabilities of the owners are limited. The personal assets of the owners are separate from the company’s assets, and therefore cannot be affected if the business runs into financial trouble and/or faces lawsuits.

In terms of taxes, an LCC does not file separate taxes. In cases where there is only one member in an LLC, the company taxes will be filed under the individual member’s tax returns. In cases where there are multiple members, the company will file a partnership tax return. All of the LLC’s income flows through to the owners and is taxed at the personal income category.

S Corporation vs. C Corporation 

An S Corp actually starts off as a C Corp. Then, after undergoing incorporation, the owners submit necessary documents to the IRS in order to be treated as a pass-through business entity. An S Crop, just like a regular corporation, is a company with a set of stockholders who share ownership of the company. The difference is that in an S Corp, the profits, and the losses of the company are passed through to each stockholder’s personal tax statement.

Tax Implications of LLCs and S Corps

When it comes to federal income tax, LLCs and S Corps are both categorized as pass-through business structures. With these kinds of business structures, the companies themselves are not taxed. Instead, the business’s profit and losses are reported on the individual owner’s tax return. It is always best to have a corporate attorney in Orange County, California around so that you can get proper legal counsel when it comes to taxations.

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Common Legal Mistakes That Businesses in California Make

All businesses in California, whether big or small, make many different kinds of legal mistakes all the time. Some of these mistakes can cause huge losses for the company, and may be difficult to recover from. Learn about the most common legal mistakes that businesses make so that you can avoid them. Read through this article.

Neglecting the Importance of Written Agreements 

All important agreements made in your business should be put into writing. Agreements that were made orally are very difficult to enforce and they leave the company with no recourse for compensation or legal action. Have a corporate attorney prepare your written agreements or contracts so that you are protected from potential problems that may arise out of an agreement.

Failure to Keep Corporate Records Properly 

When corporate records are improperly kept, problems with the IRS may arise and you may difficulty raising equity capital. This can result in personal liability. Small businesses are usually the ones who commit the mistake of not keeping records. It is important to document meetings of the board or directors and stockholders. You must also be able to record stock issuances and document stock transfers. To make sure that corporate records are kept properly, you need to have a corporate lawyer in Orange County contracted.

Getting Involved in Litigation 

You can suffer huge financial constraints with litigation fees. As much as possible, avoid litigation by considering alternative ways of resolving a dispute, such as mediation or arbitration. If the other party is willing to settle over a reasonable offer, consider taking it instead of spending time and resources on litigation. To be safe, it is best to have a business attorney represent your company. A business attorney will not only be there for litigation, but will also give you appropriate legal counsel to avoid lawsuits.

Choosing the Wrong Business Entity for Your Business 

There are businesses that start as a general partnership when they should be a limited liability business entity. Many States establish that partners are jointly liable for debts and obligations in general partnerships. If the business gets into a problem, all investments in the business, as well as your personal assets, are at risk. It is best to have a corporate attorney in Orange County, CA to assist you in choosing the right business entity in order for you company to avoid problems.

Not Having a Corporate Lawyer for the Business 

A corporate lawyer in Orange County is needed by all businesses in California. There are many legal issues that businesses face, and competent legal counsel can help them deal with these legal issues. And if legal problems do arise, corporate attorneys can help these businesses through them. Have a competent business attorney in Orange County, CA contracted to protect your company from potential legal problems in the future.

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Business 101: Incorporating a Business Franchise

The truth is, buying a franchise is one of the fastest ways to start a business, regardless where you are in this country. It is fast because the business immediately gets up and running based on a proven model, good support from the franchisor and an established marketing strategy on how to bring in customers.

It is important to know that along with the benefits of getting a franchise is acquiring the risks that go along with it. In order to protect yourself from the liabilities that come along with becoming a franchise, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Incorporate Your Business as Soon as Possible

Most of the time, franchisors advise their franchisees to incorporate a new business to represent the franchise. This should be done way before the franchisee signs the franchise agreement. In the United States, most franchisors prefer to sign contracts with companies that are already established rather than with sole proprietors. Besides that, incorporating a business early also reduces the franchisee’s liability, as well as increases the credibility of the main franchise company.

2. Make Sure All Locations Are Covered

Some franchisees have multiple units of one franchise business and have them operate at different locations. To avoid legal issues, it is best that a franchisee incorporate his or her company properly. This way, even though the units are in different locations, they form a single corporate entity.

3. Be Aware of the Requirements of the State

Different states have different requirements when it comes to incorporating a business. If your business franchise is in a different state from its parent company, it is important that you check your state’s requirement for business incorporation. Franchisors will not provide this information to you. It is your responsibility to incorporate your business according to the requirements of your current state.

4. Always Be Prepared For The Worst

The reason buying a franchise is one of the easiest ways to start a business is because there is already an established business model to follow when you begin yours. Every new franchise is expectant that their business will be just as successful as its parent company. Although this is sometimes true, keep in mind that not all franchised businesses succeed. There are well-planned businesses that still end up with huge financial losses and even lawsuits. Protect yourself by making sure that your franchise is properly incorporated. When a business incorporates, the law views it as a separate entity from you. If the corporation does get into problems and lawsuits, you can be sure that personal assets are protected.

5. Seek the Assistance of a Corporate Attorney in Orange County

Running a business has many legal implications. In order to protect your business franchise from various legal problems in the future, it is wise to seek the help of an incorporation attorney in California so that you can sure that all the processes involved in incorporating a business are done properly.

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Corporate Lawyers Are Needed in Some Legal Issues but Not in Others

In a business, there will be times when an owner will have to decide if he needs to hire a corporate lawyer for a certain business matter or not. A business lawyer can be very helpful in many situations, such as during the process of incorporating a business, creating contracts, and even when you need to be represented in a litigation. But there are also scenarios wherein a business attorney in California is not needed. If you can identify scenarios in which a corporate attorney is not needed, you will find yourself saving your business unnecessary expense.

Each business is unique. There are cases that may need a lawyer in some types of business but may not need one in others. It is important to have an initial consultation with a business attorney, so that the complexity of your company’s needs is accurately evaluated.

Here is a short list of scenarios, in which you will most definitely require the service of a competent corporate lawyer in Orange County, California.

1. Incorporating a Business

When you form a corporation, you will most definitely need have a corporate lawyer in Orange County to help you in the process of incorporation. Actually, you need a business attorney in the process of forming any legal business entity, including a business partnership or a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). The process of forming these legal business entities is a very complex one, and any mistake could cause more problems in the future that you want to avoid. Although the articles of incorporation may be filed without a business attorney, the administrative side (handling the tax and legal requirements of the process incorporation) must be taken care of under competent legal counsel.

2. Filing a Patent

Patents are not only expensive, they are also time consuming. In fact, having a patent approved can sometimes take years. This is the why, in the marketplace, you will find many “patent pending” messages. Patenting is not required for all types of products and services. It usually benefits those who are in the pharmaceutical or biotech industries. If you are not in these types of businesses, seek the counsel of your corporate lawyer in CA, regarding the need to patent your product. Also, ask your business lawyer about the rights you will achieve if you do have your products and services patented.

3. Litigation

Obviously, you will need the help of a competent incorporation attorney when you file or when you face a lawsuit. Lawsuits are not uncommon in the business world. The most common lawsuits are those that involve discrimination, harassment, environmental issues and government investigations for legal violations.

4. Purchasing or Selling a Business

It is wise to seek the counsel of a good corporate lawyer in California in negotiating sale or lease agreements of businesses.

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Small Business – How Trade Show Displays Boost Sales

Big and small businesses need marketing strategies to boost sales and increase their client base. A sound business development plan is needed for any business to succeed. For starters, small businesses can use the internet to promote their product. They can also make use of traditional materials like brochures, flyers, posters, billboards, and the like.

Another effective small business marketing tool is to join trade shows. Trade shows are also called trade fairs and trade exhibitions or expos. Trade shows are usually attended by companies which are related to a particular industry. For example, book companies or publishers organize a trade show to promote and sell their books.

In a book expo, small scale publishers, distributors, schools, and universities are invited. It is held in a spacious venue so that booths can be set up for easy perusal of the books.

Why Involve Your Small Business in Trade Show Exhibits?

In a trade show, a company usually displays its product with the use of visual and graphic display devices intended to communicate to clients the merits of the product. Trade show displays can be in the form of table top displays, banners stands, and the like. The main objective is to encourage clients to buy their product and continue on as a repeat client in the future and to be a walking endorsement for others to see.

For companies and manufacturers involved in the wine industry, they can join trade shows and create attractive trade show displays of their products, be it wine or wine accessories. A visual display of the product can linger in the minds of consumers and may be acted on at present time or in the future.

Small businesses, can widen their client base by joining a trade show. Yes, a website is a form of advertisement, but seeing the product of a wine cellar manufacturer for example (the wine cellar construction, wine racks, and wine cooling systems), can attract more buyers.

Trade show displays can also be ideal for people who do not have the patience to surf for products on the internet. Trade show booth displays are usually manned by a marketer or a sales representative who can explain the product and its merits better.

Once the client understands the product fully, there is a bigger probability of a sale. For example, if a wine collector is not yet decided on buying the right refrigeration system, a graphic trade show display can linger in his mind and may lead to an instant recall in the future when acquisition of the product is decided upon. Wine Cellar International can complement and strengthen its marketing base and potential by participating in trade shows as it emphasizes their presence and excellence.

Trade show displays usually reflect a company’s confidence in the product it is selling. A trade show display that is bland, too simple, or dotted with careless details usually implies or imparts a message of mediocrity and inattention to details.

A wise consumer will rely and patronize companies that offer products and services as good as the trade show displays and the people who speak truthful information. These combined ingredients make a good sale, more often than not, a repeat sale or a snowball effect to other consumers. For owners, involve your small business in trade show exhibits effectively and you’ll reap the benefits!

GreveCo Displays and Exhibits is a full service custom display and exhibit manufacturer. Visit their website at http://www.greveco.com/ or call them at (714) 633 5728.

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Expertise Expected from Business Attorneys in Orange County, CA

All small businesses in California need a business attorney. A corporate attorney will assist you in many aspects of your business, from liability issues and lawsuits to advice on copyright and trademark concerns.

There are different kinds of lawyers, depending on their field of expertise. Each lawyer should have an in-depth knowledge of the field that they are involved in. For example, medical negligence solicitors must be knowledgeable about the legalities in the medical field. In the same way, corporate attorneys who involve themselves in business litigation, real estate and corporate law must have the necessary knowledge and skills in fields that are relevant to their practice.

For the good of your business, hire the most competent corporate attorney you can. Read through this article to learn about the necessary skills that your corporate lawyer in Orange County, California should have.

1. Real Estate. 

Not a lot of people know that leases of commercial space (e.g. retail stores, offices, etc.) are often drafted to benefit the owner, and make it appear that they are non-negotiable. A good corporate lawyer will be your advocate by creating a tenant’s addendum. This is a section wherein specific aspects of a rental contract are clarified, or perhaps new rules that were not in the original lease are added, without changing the entire document. A tenant’s addendum will protect both the owner and the tenant.

2. Business Organizations. 

One of the toughest decisions to make when starting a small business in Orange County is what type of legal structure you want your business to be. The type of legal structure you decide on will determine the taxes that you will be paying, the ability of your company to raise money, personal liabilities and the amount of paperwork that you will be required to complete. Having a competent business attorney in California will help the decision making become easier, and lessen the burden of preparing the needed paperwork.

3. Contracts.

Contracts will always be part of any business, whether big or small. You need a corporate lawyer who can competently make a good contract, because a single mistake can cause a lot of financial stresses and liabilities later on.

4. Taxes 

Every small business in Orange County has an accountant as well. The corporate attorney should work hand in hand with the accountant in certain areas (like taxes). Before the company’s accountant prepares federal business tax returns, the corporate lawyer should register your business for state tax identification numbers. The business lawyer should also thoroughly explain to you the consequences of the transactions that you might engage in.

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Business and Corporate Issues in California are Avoidable

Corporate attorneys face many types of issues in a company. There are times that these issues might be consequences of previous decisions made by the business owner and can be detrimental to the entire company. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid these common mistakes in your company:

1. Make Sure All Documents Are Always Kept In Order

It is important that all the necessary documents are prepared as soon as the company is formed. Documents such as partnership agreements, operating agreements, stock certificates, organizational consents and bylaws are often put off by many until these documents are needed. If you want to save time and money later on, prepare these documents as soon as possible. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.

2. Understand All Terms in The Documents You Sign

It is a common mistake to just browse through a document and sign it without truly understanding the pros and cons involved. Also, some people hesitate to ask questions about vague terms in the document before signing it. You can avoid the consequences of a wrongly signed agreement by understanding clearly the terms of each document that you sign.

3. Corporate Attorneys Must Prepare Stockholder Agreements

A wise business owner has a corporate lawyer in Orange County contracted. Have your corporate lawyer prepare a stockholder agreement for you. There are cases wherein a stock holder dies and his or her spouse inherits the shares. In these cases, if a stockholder agreement was not made beforehand, the business owners are forced to do business with the spouse. If the spouse is inexperienced with business or is not a good business partner, you will have a lot of problems.

4. Make Necessary Updates When Making Big Changes

If you are going to change the name or address of your business, make sure that you inform the secretary of state in order to have the necessary updates on what you previously registered. After you’ve notified the secretary of state, check their website and make sure that your company is updated. An updated registration will protect you from many problems.

5. Involve Your Corporate Attorney in Your Decision Making

All problems in a business can be avoided, especially if you are careful and responsible with your decision making. To help you make the right decisions and protect you from many legal problems later on, it is best to involve you corporate lawyer in Orange County every time you need to make a decision.

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Small Business Strategies to Increase Wine Sales

BUSINESS MARKETINGThe objectives of a business can be achieved by careful planning and utilizing the best marketing strategies. The main goal of a business is normally lead by sales generation and expansion.

If you have a small business in the wine industry such as a wine shop, restaurant, liquor store, bar or tasting room, it is crucial that you have an effective marketing plan and sales strategies to be able to reap success. Boost your wine sales with simple yet effective small business tips.

 

Small Business Tips – How to Boost Wine Sales  

Customer Service and Training 

In order for small businesses to succeed, customer service must be taken into account. It is one of the major factors that contributes to increase in sales. It is important that your staff or bartenders are well-trained for them to have in-depth knowledge about each type of wine that you have in your commercial wine store and apply strategic techniques in making sales.

This way, they can answer inquiries of customers related to wines and even offer wine recommendations. If you recommended wine which customers enjoy, they are more likely to come back to the store for future purchases.

Wine Tastings  

Wine lovers love to be invited to sample wines in restaurants or wineries. Some may buy wines new to their taste buds but most of them won’t buy those which they haven’t tasted yet.

As often as possible, provide wine tastings to your customers to get them interested in wines featured in your establishment and to also attract new potential customers to your shop. This is one of the small business marketing strategies that will help boost your wine sales.

 

Price 

One of the keys to larger purchases is fair pricing. Others believe that selling their wines with high pricing will increase the chance of larger sales. Make sure that the prices of your wines are the best ones in town.

Proper organization of wine bottles in restaurants or commercial wine cellars contribute a lot to customer convenience. It is ideal to arrange wine bottles in your wine racks according to price rather than type. This makes it easy for customers who want to purchase wine within a price range.

Online Exposure 

Advertising, promoting, and up-selling products online is an ideal marketing strategy for small businesses. If you don’t have a website for your small business, you are missing the opportunity to build online communication with potential customers from many parts of the world. For small wine businesses, the use of social media is considered one of the best small business marketing strategies.

 

Commercial Wine Storage Displays  

COMMERCIAL WINE CELLARHow you display your wines in your wine shop contributes a lot to attracting potential customers to buy your products, so it is essential that you choose a wine cellar expert that will provide you with stunning and functional commercial wine storage displaysWine Cellar International offers wine racking systems that can help you reach sales goals.

Business growth and sales generation is within your reach with the right marketing plan and small business strategies mentioned above.

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Commercial Wine Displays – Small Business Guide

WINE BUSINESSWhen starting a small business with wine as your main product or as part of your items to be sold, there are some things that you need to consider in order for you to sell them effectively.

You have to know and set your goal. If your goal is to sell your wine or be known as the best wine retailer in your area, you have to make an effort to serve your wines at their finest. Sell quality wines to encourage customers to come back to your store again and again.
You must also know how much money you must allocate for wines and wine racks for displaying your wines. If you have a large number of wine bottles to store and you have the right budget, it is recommended to have your own commercial custom wine cellar. Otherwise, you can opt for a wine refrigerator or a wine cabinet.

The next thing that you have to know is your target market. Who are your customers? Are you selling to the upscale group of people or the medium or middle class? You also have to know their needs. What kind of wine do they usually buy? What occasions or seasons demand wine?

Remember that the overall look of your commercial wine store contributes a lot to how you drive customers to buy your products. It is important to determine the theme you want for your store. Know the colors that you have to use for your walls, the interior design of your area, the floor plan of your business establishment, and the type of materials that you will be using.
For commercial wine displays, one may choose metal or wooden wine racks. Metal wine racks create a contemporary look in your commercial wine store. Wine racks made from wood are also great for displaying wines.

Small Business Tips for Creating Commercial Wine Displays

If you want to aim for an upscale group of clients, you also have to do a more upscale design. The design of your wine display would be similar to those that can be found in homes.

The wine rack design must be that of residential wine racks which are usually made of fine wood with intricate designs or carvings. These wine racks are usually designed to contain various kinds of wines to be displayed.

Plan to have shelving areas so as to display a single bottle for a particular type of wine, and underneath it shelves that can store wine horizontally. This is effective so as to let your customers examine the wines carefully before purchasing.

There are also your standard commercial wine racks which do not have much detail in their design. These are commonly made of metal or wood that is very plain in its design so as to blend with the other racks and stands in the store.  There are also some stores that allocate a small wine rack near their counter for those wines on the go or for an impulse buy and not for buying wines on purpose.

I hope these small business ideas can help you in starting your small wine business or in business development. The key is to study. Study the trend within your target market, and once you have discovered what you need to do you are off to achieving a successful business.

Wine Cellar Specialists is an expert in designing and installing commercial wine cellars. Contact them now by clicking here.

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