Of the various home based business ideas you’ve come up with, you were able to make your choice and now you’re raring to get started. If so, start right by establishing a legitimate home based business and applying for the necessary permits and licenses.What You Need for StartersThe first thing you need is a permit to do business, and you’ll get this from both your local and state government. You will also need a permit for all signage ads you intend to use, in the event that you’d want to establish your own store at home. Keep in mind that you’ll be paying a fee for every signage so try not to go overboard. A Fire Department permit is always necessary, and it usually entails having your own fire extinguisher – even a small one would do – at home.Choose a FormAre you alone in your plans of establishing a home based business or do you have other people contributing capital or skills to the business? What are your future plans for the business? Both questions are important to answer immediately as they can help you determine the ideal form for your home based business to take.Sole proprietorship is the quickest to set up and enjoys the most number of tax benefits. But of course, sole proprietorship also makes you and only you personally liable for losses incurred and violations committed by your business.Partnership is the next form in the organization ladder. It’s relatively easy to set up and has its own advantages to offer as long as the partners can work in harmony and without violating their partnership agreement. Keep in mind, however, that any home based business owned by a partnership will immediately dissolves if any of the partners dies or leaves the business.Home based businesses can be owned by corporations, too. The incorporation process make take a lot of money, time, and paperwork to accomplish, but it also provides the greatest amount of protection from liabilities for its directors and stockholders.Pick Out NamesMost home based businesses use sole proprietorship as the form of their business. Assuming that you’ll do the same and you intend to use your own name for your business, there won’t be any need for registration then.If, however, you intend to operate your business under another name then that’s something you’ll have to register as required by the Trade Name Registration Act. To avoid making repeated trips for registering your business name, try having several alternatives ready in case your first choice isn’t accepted.Legitimacy is occasionally judged on the mere basis of a business’s name so take care when picking out a name for your home based business. Choosing one that sounds too much like a competitor’s could make people think you’re not averse to using illegal tactics to do business.Choose a name that best represents your business and one that can easily catch people’s attention. Try not to make it too difficult to spell as your business name, in ideal cases, would also be your website’s domain name. Generic names might sound cute at times, but the law generally doesn’t approve its use as a business name.Pay Your TaxesLegitimacy may be established earlier on, but it’s also something you have to consistently prove. One way of doing so is by paying your taxes properly and on time. Customers in general have greater respect for home based businesses managed by diligent taxpayers and they’re quicker to trust such businesses, too.Be meticulous in keeping your books. A home based business is entitled to certain home office benefits as specified by the law but you’ll have to submit documentary proof before your deductions can be approved.Get AccreditedLast but not the least, work hard to obtain a positive rating from the Better Business Bureau; a commendation from the said agency is the best proof you can obtain that yours is indeed a legitimate home based business. You will not be evaluated by the BBB if you don’t ask for it. You also have to pay a small fee for the accreditation and yes, you have to pay even if you don’t like the end result. Aim to have the BBB OnLine Reliability seal on your website and don’t worry, your customers can guarantee that it’s not a fake because they can click on the confirmation link redirecting them to the BBB site.
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Considerations for Baby Boomers Starting a Home-Based Business
About ten thousand Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age every day in the United States. At least two-thirds of these Boomers must generate funds in order to financially survive. Many more simply wish to continue working, even if it is part-time. Many are planning to start a home-based business and are asking themselves, “What type of home-based business should I pursue?” An important aspect of this decision should be a feasible exit strategy that allows transition to full retirement at some point.The obvious way to launch a home-based business is to leverage one’s work experience, contacts and expertise to create an enterprise that can be run from a home office. In most cases, this is the fastest path to success. If you enjoy what you did career-wise, this approach is an easy extension of your prior job. Planning ahead, one can even establish consulting contracts with an employer or his clients. The result can be a smooth transition with minimal cash flow impact.Many Boomers, however, wish to launch a second career in a new arena, such as opening a bed and breakfast or becoming a teacher. This takes more investigation and planning, ideally accomplished well in advance of retirement. There are ample resources on the Internet (much of it free!) to assist with this process.For older Boomers who have found themselves suddenly unemployed, time is usually of the essence. Typically, they are seeking a source of income with little start-up time. Unfortunately, finding another job is difficult for 50-plus Boomers.Many laid-off Boomers compensate by putting up a quick website and trying to leverage their experience into a consultancy business, but soon realize that this road too has a start-up period while clients are procured. Others seek “instant businesses” in the form of established multi-level marketing operations or franchises, only to discover that these too are not “slam dunks.”There is rarely an easy road to riches. Moreover, launching a home-based business is a process that is usually accompanied by anxiety and mounting credit card debt.For those who make a successful transition to operating a home-based business, there is one more important consideration. At some point, they will want to really retire or at least cut back on their involvement in the business. Then, it would be nice to have something that provides ongoing residual or passive income. This goal should be part of the upfront planning in establishing a home-based business. Otherwise, it can be a costly and often devastating afterthought.If a home-based business or franchise establishes a profitable, verifiable revenue stream from contented customers, it can usually be sold. The profits can then be invested for passive income during retirement. Again, the business plan must include this as an ultimate objective and be implemented accordingly. If the business does not generate satisfied return customers, its “good will” value is minimal and finding a buyer or achieving a good sales price will prove difficult.There are other ways to generate passive income from home-based businesses. Membership and subscription-type businesses are good ongoing revenue generators. So are royalties from self-published eBooks. And carefully-screened MLM opportunities can yield continuing income streams as well. So achieving “retirement” may be as simple as transitioning the daily operation to a buyer or someone who is hired to manage it.The lesson is clear. If you create or purchase a business, do so with the objective of creating intrinsic value that makes it possible to sell – or step back from – the operation at some point. An “exit strategy” is an important consideration for any home-based business, and older Baby Boomers should plan for this.