Is your small business prepared for the upcoming switch to EMV debit and credit cards? The deadline is October 1, 2015, and all businesses (whether small or large) will be required to have EMV compliant point-of-sale terminals in place to accept the new cards. If you do not, your business (rather than the bank) will be liable for fraudulent debit or credit card transactions that occur at your establishment. What is it?
EMV (which stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa) is a ne
Employees and independent contractors are not the same. As a small business owner, it is important to understand the differences between the two and to know which to hire under certain circumstances. What’s The Difference?
• control their own work and how it’s completed.
• supply their own equipment, materials, and tools.
• are hired to perform short-term, temporary work.
• conduct work that is considered non-integral to the business. Employees:
A trade secret is any confidential piece of information that provides your small business a competitive advantage over rivals. As such, it is extremely important to safeguard this information. In this post, we discuss different types of trade secrets, what trade secrets entail, and how to best protect your company’s trade secrets. Trade secrets include any formula, recipe, device, idea, process, or pattern used exclusively by your company. For example, trade secrets include t
As a small business, your logo is your main identifying mark. It portrays what you stand for as a company; is one of the first things that comes to mind when customers think of your brand; and when used effectively, can be leveraged to create loyalty and to promote the positive attributes of your business. In this post, we discuss the different types of logos that exist; the important factors that comprise a logo; and the steps required in creating a logo that is both effecti
This week, the Iowa Western Small Business Development Center staff spent time in Iowa City watching its Venture School kick-off. Iowa Western Community College is hosting its own Venture School cohort in March, and as we observe the event, shadow the participants, and learn about their business ideas here in Iowa City, the concept of value proposition is one of utmost importance. The reality is, small business success or failure depends heavily on value proposition. The fact
As a small business, you likely hired the help of independent contractors, lawyers, and other outside services throughout 2014. Despite the “non-employee” status of these individuals, you still must report this paid-out income to the IRS through the issuance of 1099s. Many types of 1099 forms exist, but the most commonly used is the 1099-MISC. We discuss the 1099-MISC requirements below, and walk you through the steps to prepare, issue, and file your corresponding paperwork.