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Most Recent Questions in Money

Which type of bank account do I need as a sole proprietor ?

CAN you use your personal bank account? Yes. There’s no law that says you can't, especially as you're operating as sole proprietor. SHOULD you? Absolutely not. If you're serious about being in... (more)

I have invented a safety edge for swimming pools that can save kids and little dogs from drowning.

You may want to join an inventors club or sit down with a patent attorney to see what you need to do to protect yourself legally, and then contact the top 10 pool designers in your area or in the... (more)

Can a partnership use a partner's family term life insurance policy as a business expense, with the intention of using the policy as a way to buy out the spouse's interest in the business?

Life insurance policies can be an excellent way to protect your interest in the company in the event of the death of one of the partners. Usually, a company will take out the policy on the life of... (more)

How can we fix our cash-flow problem?

It sounds as if you are suffering from planning issues on a number of levels. First off, do you own the building or is it a retrofit? Either way, with your track record, you should be able to work... (more)

Should amortization be deducted from sales for the calculation of gross profit?

I'm used to the term gross margin rather than gross profit. You subtract only the cost of sales, also called direct costs, or unit costs . . . those things that go up and down with sales. Some... (more)

How do I find angel investors for my new green janitorial service? Is there special funding out there?

No doubt there's a lot of investor interest in green businesses these days--and that's good--but it's not as if the procedures to find investment are different for green businesses than any other.... (more)

Should I continue to grow or should I slow down?

This is why I recommend business planning. There should be flesh and bones on your plan to help you with the basic projections, including projected sales, costs of sales, expenses, profits,... (more)

How can I get investors involved in a company that reconditions tractors and trailers?

The standard procedure is to find somebody who's interested in your industry in general, then begin with a two- to five-page summary memo, followed by either nothing at all (dead end, sorry) or an... (more)

What do you do when you can't keep up with the demand for services and can't afford to hire an employee?

In this case, you can gently tell your future son-in-law you were right, and that by raising prices he will be able to do half the work at double the price. Even if he loses some customers on... (more)

I need a bridge loan to meet huge and steady demand, but my credit is a train wreck.

Positioned correctly, this opportunity sounds like a winner. How are you currently positioning this to a potential investor? Or have you? One key is to put your numbers together, make a list of... (more)

Should my mom move out of the restaurant location she's had for more than 10 years because of the expensive lease?

Go back to your current landlord and renegotiate your current lease. A landlord would rather have lower rent than no rent, especially if there is a glut of demand for commercial space (which may or... (more)

My home office was damaged due to a hurricane. Can I run this expense through my business and write it off on my taxes?

It's not clear which expenses you want to run through your business--the cost of repairing a portion of your home? The replacement costs of computer equipment? Something else? Be very careful... (more)

I own a pet-sitting business. Can I charge clients interest if they don't pay within, say, a month?

You cannot charge interest--and expect them to be obligated to pay it--if you have not previously notified your clients that you will do so if payment is late. That's changing the terms of your... (more)

Does having a poor credit rating mean I can never secure financing?

While poor credit may disqualify you from obtaining a bank loan, as a startup with no cash flow, you're unlikely to get bank financing anyway. You'll probably have better luck with an investor... (more)

Is there a rule of thumb for how much debt is acceptable for a startup consulting business?

No, there's no rule of thumb that I'm aware of. However, since most consulting firms require very little capital to launch (a computer, a phone and perhaps a small office if you don't want to... (more)

My husband and I have started a small business. We are not pulling paychecks for ourselves, but trying to cover bills. How can we juggle this and also approach taxes?

How you should approach paying your taxes depends on the form of business, the tax elections you have made, and the locality and state in which you live. You could read books from now until next... (more)

Do you risk all that you have when starting a new business?

One simple way to protect your personal assets is to form a corporation or limited liability company through which you will conduct your daily business. That’s a clear way to separate your personal... (more)

We are selling our business. How do we assign a value to our trademark, logo and intellectual property?

Attaching a dollar value to intangible assets--that is, intellectual property--is not a simple process. Maximizing the value of intellectual property rights involves an understanding of the factors... (more)

Is there an easy formula for valuing a tutoring business so one partner can buy out the other?

Numerous valuation methodologies can be used to determine the value of a business. The problem is that no one methodology is appropriate in all circumstances. The approach to valuation and the... (more)

At what point when growing a small business should you begin to pay yourself?

To start a business, it's a good idea to have at least six months of living expenses set aside (ideally, even more) so you have the time to get your company launched. It usually takes twice as much... (more)
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