The White House announced $2 billion in public and private resources to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. In the spirit of open and participatory government, we also announced the Startup America Policy Challenge. We're calling on entrepreneurs and the broader public to share their ideas on how to accelerate entrepreneurial innovation in the areas of healthcare, energy and education. Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer, kicked off the challenge in a post on Quora and asked a few questions to get the dialogue going.
Read Aneesh's post below and participate in the challenge by sharing your ideas on Quora:
Startup America is President Obama’s initiative to celebrate, promote, and inspire high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. We’re working to expand access to private sector capital, accelerate the time it takes to get technologies from lab-to-market, and promote mentorship and entrepreneurship education.
With so many different companies out there today, having a solid marketing strategy is 100% essential. Without an effective small business marketing strategy, your company will not be capable of bringing in new business. Why? No one will know your business exists! If you have not yet created a marketing strategy, take the step to create a marketing plan today!
What will a marketing plan do for your business?
Build awareness of your business.This will help more people know about your company and the services it provides.
How your company should be structured is one of the first decisions you will have to make as a business owner? This decision is important, because the type of business you create determines the types of applications you’ll need to submit. You should also research liability implications for personal investments you make into your business, as well as the taxes you will need to pay.
It’s important to understand each business type and select the one that is best suited for your situation and objectives. Keep in mind that you may need to contact several federal agencies, as well as your state business entity registration office. In making a choice, you will want to take into account the following:
When you’re running a business, you don’t need to be a tax expert, too. But you do need some tax basics. IRS Small Business Advantage gives you the information you need to stay tax compliant so your business can thrive.
Choosing a Tax Professional
With your new responsibilities, you may decide to hire a professional tax preparer to assist with your taxes. Enrolled agents, tax attorneys, and certified public accountants have training and expertise in federal taxes. When selecting a tax professional, ask a few questions to see if he/she offers what you are looking for:
Experience: Does the tax professional have experience in working with similar size and type businesses? Is the professional familiar with your particular line of business?
Services: Does the tax professional offer electronic filing—the safest and most efficient way to file your tax returns?
Price: What does the tax professional charge for services? If the IRS examines your return, what is the tax professional’s policy on assisting you? Is the tax professional authorized to practice before the IRS?
Qualifications: New regulations require all paid tax return preparers to register with the IRS and obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Ensure that the tax professional you choose has a PTIN.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN is also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity. Employers with employees, business partnerships, and corporations and other types of organizations, must obtain an EIN from the IRS. The EIN is also known as an Employer Tax ID and Form SS-4.
You are required to have an EIN if you answer “yes” to any of the following six questions:
Do you have employees?
Do you operate your business as either a corporation or partnership?
Do you file any of these tax returns: employment, excise, or alcohol, tobacco and firearms?
Do you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
Do you have a Keogh plan?
Are you involved with any of the following types of organizations?