The Ultimate Guide to Vetting a Business Partner

April 23, 2018

By Gerri Detweiler –

Business PartnerAfter surviving several tumultuous business partnerships, Susan Nilon has learned to be more skeptical and cautious. In the past, she admits she was so excited about business possibilities that she “didn’t pay attention to red flags.”

She and her current business partner in a legal research firm, De Novo Law Services, not only have a formal partnership agreement, they’ve taken it one step further. She created an addendum to the agreement “writing out 10 steps on how to survive our partnership,” she says. This document spells out the things that are not normally called out in a contract, like how to handle disputes and what to do when the other partner is not pulling their weight.

Business partnerships can bring together individuals whose complementary skills and experience can help the venture succeed. And sometimes a partner can contribute valuable resources — including money — to help fund the business. But these arrangements can also result in headaches or heartache.  (more…)

Established Bakery Rises to New Heights

April 16, 2018

Success Story Idaho –

Zeppole Bakery, IdahoSince Charles and Alison Alpers purchased Zeppole Bakery in 2006, retail and wholesale business has increased while fostering community involvement and garnering numerous awards, including being honored in 2010 by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce as Boise’s Small Business of the Year.

The company’s continued growth was limited, though, because of inadequate production space and aging equipment – an inefficient set-up that only got worse as sales grew. That’s when the Idaho SBDC’s assistance proved invaluable in securing a loan to move the bakery to a larger facility and update equipment. The SBDC worked closely with Charles and Alison on their business plan, budget, financial projections and loan application.

“They provided invaluable expertise that helped us modernize our equipment, relocate to a larger, more effcient facility and, therefore, continue to grow our business,” says Charles. “I doubt we would have achieved the success we now enjoy without [the SBDC].”  (more…)

6 Business Credit Card Fees You Can Avoid

April 2, 2018

By Jason Steele –

Credit CardIt seems like America has gone crazy with fees. It’s now standard practice in most industries to quote prices that fail to include several mandatory extra charges, often intermingled with government imposed taxes. But in the credit card industry, fees are actually under strict government control. All fees must be clearly disclosed in advance, and card issuers aren’t even allowed to use the fine print.

This makes it easy to avoid most fees when it comes to choosing a business credit card. Here are six business credit card fees you should always avoid:

1. Foreign Transaction Fees

Sometimes, it’s necessary to pay a business credit card fee in order to receive a valuable service. However, many credit cards impose a 3% foreign transaction fee on all charges processed outside of the United States. This means that you could face this charge when making purchases from a foreign supplier, even if the transaction is in U.S. Dollars. Thankfully, there are many small business cards with no foreign transaction fees. For example, all Capital One cards, including the Spark small business cards, have no foreign transaction fees.  (more…)

Common Myths About Labor Law Posting Regulations

March 26, 2018

By ComplyRight –

Posting compliance is a lot more complicated than most people think. In fact, there are common misconceptions about this mandatory government requirement – even though it applies to every U.S. employer. Let’s look at the top three.

Posting Law Myth #1: Ignoring Posting Laws Carries No Risk

ComplyRight eGuide - Posting Regs“Government fines are so small, it’s no big deal if we don’t post.”

“There are no poster police out there … so how would I even get caught?”

It’s not unusual for business owners to underestimate the importance of posting compliance or to think the risk is so minimal it doesn’t really matter. But this could get you in trouble.

First, when it comes to the fines, the amounts are steep — and they can add up significantly if you have violations at multiple locations. On just the federal level, fines can be more than $33,000 per location for posting violations.

On a state and local level, the government posting fines are typically between $100 and $1,000 per violation. (Each posting carries its own fines, because every agency and posting law is different.)  (more…)