Tax Tips for New Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

New ecommerce entrepreneurs can find them confused and confounded by the tax and accounting requirements of their venture. And thats a shame: If someones spotted a great new category and successfully built a web presence, heck, that someone shouldnt find themselves bogged down with the accounting minutia. The entrepreneur should focus on increasing traffic, expanding margins, and growing cash profits.

With that in mind, I offer up the following tax and accounting tips:

Tip #1: Dont Incorporate

A true corporationwhether a C corporation or an S corporationsaddles your business with more complicated tax accounting and a bunch of state filing requirements. You dont want to deal with this redtapeor at least not until youre profitable.

Instead, operate your business as a sole proprietorship. If youre concerned about legal liability protection, note that you can setup a one-owner limited liability company, or LLC. A one owner LLC is treated as a sole proprietorship for income tax purposes.

Tip #2: Start Your Business Before Making Investments

Expenditures you make before youre actually in business-in other words, before youve got a business license and before youre selling or trying to sell your stuffarent very deductible.

Specifically, you can probably deduct the first $5,000 of these expenses. But any amounts in excess of the $5,000 must be amortized over the next fifteen years.

What this means is that you want to start your business before you start spending money on advertising, training, web development, accountants and lawyers and so on.

Tip #3: Automate Your Bookkeeping & Accounting

By lawand some people dont know thisyoure required to maintain an accounting system that lets you clearly measure your income. As a practical matter, this means you need to use a product like Quicken or QuickBooks.

But you ought to go one better than simply using desktop accounting software. Make sure that youre taking advantage of online banking and bill payment features which integrate your accounting system with your banking. As much as is possible, for example, you want to be able to move money from PayPal to your bank to QuickBooks simply by typing a few keys or clicking your mouse a few times.

Tip #4: Hire a Payroll Service Before Hiring Employees

Many successful ecommerce business owners can run their operations without employees. And if thats true for you, hey, congratulations. If and when you do need employees, however, dont try to handle the payroll yourself. Oursource the payroll to one of the large payroll service bureaus like ADP, Payroll, or QuickBooks.

These services are expensive. Figure $1000 to $2000 per year. But the services let you avoid the bookkeeping nightmare called payroll and prevent you from getting into payroll tax trouble.

Tip #5: Consider S Corporation Status After Youre Profitable

Ive written and talked much about how S corporations save taxpayers money and how the right way to set up an S corporation is first create a limited liability company and then ask the IRS to treat the LLC as an S corporation for tax purposes.

Wide Spread Loan Modification Abuse Avoid Becoming a Victim

With so many people facing foreclosure today, thousands of loan modification companies have emerged offering a financial lifeline. Unfortunately, most demand big upfront fees, are not sufficiently educated in the industry to actually help, and may hurt by wasting valuable time and effort, or many companies (about 75%) are in the business to scam people. As stated by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan–If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments, or if you are facing foreclosure, stay away from anyone who says that they will save your home for money upfront-.

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Loss Mitigation Specialist C. Thompson Sr (Nationwide Assistance, Clermont, FLA), has determined several tale tale signs of scamming by these companies:

Charges a huge upfront fee- the purpose of the fee is to contact the lender to ask for a loan modification. But, if turned down, only half the fee or none of the fee is returned. In these cases, there should be a money back guarantee.

Will not explain the purpose of the fee- all services should be explained and all questions answered.

Is not interested in your circumstances- may not have your best interest at heart.

Does not stop the foreclosure proceedings during the negotiation.

Will accept the first proposal from the lender, which may not suit your circumstances.

A virtual company-no real office- may not be a real company.

Too good to be true- promises a fantastic interest rate or/and an exact principle reduction amount, without consulting the lender. No promises can be made without negtiating with the lender.

No approval process-An approval process should be the first step in the modification process, before a fee is paid. The process should not include credit qualification, and approval should not be made on the first phone call.

Not a member of the Better Business Bureau.-they are not a leader in the industry.

Fortunately, you can avoid these scams. There are other avenues to pursue if you need assistance with your urgent mortgage problems. Consider a non-profit agency that will assist you without charging a fee, or a real estate licensee and an attorney who will work and allow payment after the work is completed. You can also obtain free advice and consultation for your refinance, loan modification and foreclosure needs through several government agencies:

Hope NOW –

FHA –

California Department of Real Estate –

Making Home Affordable-

The information presented above applies to home refinancing and loan modification abuse. However, if you are seriously looking to improve your finances in general, visit to find out more.

Modest Business Franchise Ideas

Today’s world is very volatile and filled with trials and uncertainties. There are only so many ways of making money and many of these are fast getting saturated. Everywhere, people are looking for new and ingenious ways of earning money. People want to have their own business, but do not want to make a big investment. In such cases, it is good to look for a business idea which does not require too much initial investment. There are many websites which offer budget business Franchises for Sale. The ideas on these sites offer a wide range of businesses from pet grooming to babysitting to tutoring to caring for the elderly.

Virtual Assistant

In addition to traditional low cost business opportunities like babysitting, pet walking, or personal chef business, one of the leading new age businesses to think about is to be a Virtual Assistant. Many small business owners have too many tasks on their hand and wish to have someone to whom they can delegate. Virtual assistants can be of great help to them. They do everything that office assistants do, without even once meeting their bosses. They work on a contract basis from their household. In addition to basic administrative duties and keeping books, they also deliver specialized services like market research, technological troubleshooting.

Business Consulting/Image consulting

There are many low cost franchise opportunities like SEO solutions firms, or round the corner cafes available to people willing to put in the hard work and sincere efforts and of course part with some much short cash. But if parting with the initial capital is a problem, Business consulting or image consulting is another good opportunity for you. You could offer services like business plan writing, marketing, communications, help with legalities involved and so on. If you plan to offer image consulting services, you could advice on etiquette, fashion, dresses, accessories etc. This is one way of building a business around what interests you and what you are passionate about; all the time without too much of initial investment.

Event planning

Planning an event requires elaborate planning and organizing skills. Events/parties can be fulfilling and profitable if adequate hard work and efforts are involved. The overall success of an event planning business will be based on the experience that the planner brings to the clients. An event planner will have to have certain skills which are imperative to Low Cost business opportunities like this one. Good organization and time management, negotiation and budget management, creativity, public relations and marketing skills are a few of them.

Stop, Collaborate and Engage Small Business Communication Tools for Entrepreneurs to Navigate the Social Media Seas

Oldies but goodies…

The social media landscape has significantly changed the face of small business communication, but it does not mean previous technologies have been rendered useless. “Old” technologies, such as e-mail newsletters, instant messaging and message boards are still active and can still increase productivity (and sales!). Many entrepreneurs already have a strong understanding of these technologies and have probably used them in the past. Consider dusting off that old e-mail newsletter you belong to – you know, the one you haven’t read in 2 years – or do a quick search of what message boards are out there. You may be reminded of and surprised at how useful these seemingly out-of-date services can be.

Some you’ve probably heard of, but may not know the full power of…

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become the platform for business-focused social networking. By setting up a LinkedIn profile, users are able to post their work history and professional profiles for others to see. This tool presents opportunities for generating new business, reconnecting with old colleagues, and finding a job.

While many business users may have a LinkedIn profile, they may overlook the other small business communication tools LinkedIn provides. For example, LinkedIn Groups are a simple way to create an online forum where customers, prospects and industry insiders can exchange ideas. Similar to an e-mail newsletter, the Group allows invited LinkedIn users to interact with one another and for a company to communicate key messages. With some simple work on the front-end to get the group moving, an entrepreneur can then take a back-seat to let the patients run the asylum – while still maintaining his or her position as the group leader.

Wiki

A wiki (rhymes with tricky) is a website that allows users to edit the content that is posted on the page; the trick to wikis is ensuring the edits are accurate. Wikipedia, for example, is an editable online encyclopedia in which users can edit the content. The reason the information remains accurate is Wikipedia has designated individuals to monitor updates.

From a business perspective, a wiki is a great small business communication tool for companies with geographically distributed offices or teams. Users can post a document or other materials on an internal wiki and allow a group to review and edit the material in one place. Beyond the team collaboration, the wiki also helps with “version control,” a problem that occurs when some users do not have the most up-to-date version of a document. Microsoft’s SharePoint offers companies the ability to make internal wikis, as well as discussion boards.

Some small business communication tools you may not have heard of…

Yammer

Yammer is an enterprise microblogging service – think of it as Twitter for internal business communication. The service allows businesses to create their own internal communication channel and limit use to those who have a valid company e-mail address.

Gmac Loan Modification Calculator Find Out Your New Monthly Payment

If you need a GMAC loan modification, you might want to check out a website and see if you qualify. They have a loan modification calculator that will tell you if you qualify and what your new payment would be once approved.

This calculator is based off Obama’s HAM program. It caps your monthly mortgage payment at 31% of your net monthly income. This is accomplished by lowering your interest rate to as low as 2%, extending the terms of your loan and reducing your principal balance. It goes in this order, so usually the payment cap is met before a reduction of principal is necessary.

This is an amazing program for those who qualify. The problem is, less than 300,000 homeowners have received a loan modification under these guidelines out of the millions and millions of homeowners who are in desperate need of one.

Some homeowners call the lenders themselves and some of them even received notices in the mail from their lender saying they were qualified. Once they get on the phone, they soon realize they are denied and are left scratching their heads!

The main reason for this is usually the financial ratios homeowners are giving their lender. You can’t just call your lender without working out your financials first! They will ask you a series of questions and if you do not anwer them correctly, you will be denied for sure. You cannot make too much money or too little either. Your income to expenses have to be just right to get approved for this plan.

Don’t worry, there is help available. Try out the calculator and see if you qualify and what your payment will be. If you want help to get that payment, just fill out the form for a free consultation if you’d like. They will be able to give you a free consultation and tell you how they can help you get approved. There are no upfront fees.

To see if you qualify for a GMAC loan modification, just visit the following links.