The Small Business Administration (SBA) and other federal agencies offer information, advice, and guidelines to help small business owners deal with many unique issues. These agencies provide free information and even legal services to advise and represent small business owners throughout the legal process. This article provides a brief overview of their advice and services.
Most small businesses are never covered by the Privacy Act 1988, although some are now. A small business is generally one that has an annual turnover of less than $3m or less. Annual turnover for purposes of this act includes all revenue from all sources. It does not include revenue lost through disbursements to the SBA. This means that the small business advice provided here can be limited to how small businesses are treated under existing legislation.
A small business may need advice about expanding their business. There may need to be protection around emails, computer systems, and records of client contacts. They may also require advice about contracting with suppliers and employees. Some advice is aimed at protecting confidential client information such as credit card numbers and social security numbers. While there is general information that businesses need to know about how to protect their own information, each case is different so it is important to understand each small business’s needs in particular.
One area where many businesses fail to understand advice given is about liability. Many laws make it clear that businesses must have employees. Yet many small business owners believe they are self-employed contractors, so they are not subject to the same taxes. Advice on how to stay within the law on these points is very sound and can be separated into distinct categories of what the business needs and what it should do to stay within the law.
The biggest group of small business advantages comes to the form of tax treatment. Almost all small businesses will be taxed in some way. Whether you receive an income tax refund or pay corporate taxes depends in part on whether you are treated as a sole proprietorship or a partnership. Even though a few small businesses are treated as sole proprietorships, you should always seek independent professional advice. The advantages of being treated as a sole proprietorship are that you are fully liable for your own tax, are exempt from paying taxes of other people, and you can use your personal funds for your own purposes without being taxed. On the other hand, partnerships have advantages that depend largely on whether you are a partnership or not.
One of your small business advantages may be a new strategy. If your business has a unique competitive advantage that no other business in its category has, then this is something to consider carefully. You should develop a competitive strategy as soon as possible. This will help you keep ahead of your competition. However, developing a new strategy can be complex, so you may want to hire an accountant or other experienced professional.
Another advantage is the ability to protect your small business from fraudulent claims. If you use a computer system, then you are at risk from making or receiving a wide variety of sensitive personal information. Many business owners do not consider the possibility that their small business breaches can lead to legal action against them. If you use a secure computer system, then you will be able to protect yourself and your small business from any type of security breach.
Protecting your small business can be done using many of these tools and many more. However, the best way to do this is by following some simple guidelines that include strong passwords, use of expiring password locks, and the use of two-step verification when customers provide sensitive data. By following these guidelines, you will be taking the necessary steps to avoid the loss and misuse of sensitive personal and business information.