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Ask Entrepreneur

Ask Entrepreneur

Where Should I Register My Online Business?

I live in the U.S., but I am starting an online business in Brazil and I will be selling Brazilian products through my site. There will be no shipping from the U.S since all the products are in Brazil. However, I am creating the website here in the U.S. Do I need to register the business here in the U.S., in Brazil or in both?
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How Do I Choose a Merchant Provider?

As a new business, I'm having trouble choosing a merchant provider. Could you explain how to determine which credit card processor is best for me?
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Should I Hire Contract or Full-Time Employees?

I am a self-employed LLC that provides compliance consulting services on a contract basis. These contracts are usually set for 12 months. Since I am concerned with keeping new employees employed past the contract period, should I hire employees on a contract basis rather than as full-time hires?
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What Is the Limitation on Refund Claims?

I help companies in the U.S. to source goods from other countries. My manufacturer delivered a shipment nine months ago, and the buyer has now sent a claim for $30,000 for bad goods. Is this claim valid after so many months?
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Can I Add Not-for-Profit Outreach to My Existing Business?

I run benefits for local individuals in my community, and I would really like to put a name on this charity work and use my for-profit company as a permanent sponsor. Can I do this and still be legal or do I have to file a 401(c)3?
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Do I Need an LLC to Start Up a New Online Business?

I am going to be a wholesaler of tropical fish, corals and things of that nature. I just purchased the domain for the website that I am building. Do I need to obtain an LLC?
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Can an Employer Dismiss an Employee Who Was Arrested?

We have an employee who was arrested for drug possession, can we take him off the schedule, even if he got out on bond and is able to work? We are a health-care facility.
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What Can I Expense When Running a Business Out of My Home?

What can I expense when running a business out of my home? For example, can I expense rent?
Ready for Anything

How Can I Save Time on Social-Media Marketing?

I recently attended a social media seminar and the speaker suggested spending a few hours a day working on social media. How, as small-business owners, are we to spend a few hours working on social media? I wish I had that much time. I recently stumbled across Hootsuite, but can you offer any other ideas to save time?
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What Is the Best Way to Create a Successful Social-Media Marketing Campaign?

I am starting a website, but want to properly prepare by implementing a social-media marketing campaign. I have a good deal of experience in marketing, but would like to know: What would be the steps that you would suggest for a successful social media and general marketing plan? Also, I know that there are many books on this topic. Is there a specific book that you would recommend the most?
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How Can My Company Get the Exposure It Deserves?

In 2010 I founded a company that develops front-of-house software, quality assurance reviews and mobile apps for the hospitality industry. We are privately funded with several national accounts, and our apps are available in the Apple and Droid stores. But press covering this space never mentions us. Competitors such as OpenTable have much more visibility. How can my company get the exposure it deserves?
Starting a Business

What Do I Need to Start a Consulting Business?

I'm looking into launching a consulting company for people who want to start businesses themselves or who have failing businesses and need help. I would not do the actual consulting, but will match the client with a consultant that I would contract out. I want to be available in most major cities in the U.S. What legal and tax hoops would I have to jump through to accomplish this?
Technology

Should My Website and Online Store Be Connected?

I run a small apparel business. We have a website and an online store. Our website has information about our brand, products, lookbooks, videos, news, contact info, etc. Our online store is strictly a storefront for customers to buy our products. Would having a fully-integrated website and webstore result in higher sales figures? Is it worth it? What’s your advice?
Growth Strategies

Do I Need Liability Insurance?

My friend and I are trying to start a construction cleanup business. We're wondering: do we have to get liability insurance if we are the only ones working? Are there any other legal factors we should consider?

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