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Creenan & Baczkowski, PC Law Blog

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

How to Start Your Business Year Strong


How to Start Your Business Year Strong

It has been a tough couple of years for many small businesses, but, as the adage goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Small businesses that survived the challenges of 2020 and 2021—the worst pandemic in US history, a nationwide labor shortage, supply chain volatility, and rising inflation—are heading into 2022 with fresh hope. According to a new survey from the US Chamber of Commerce and MetLife, more than 75 percent of small business owners are optimistic about the future of their business.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Getting the Most from Your Hobby


Hobby or Business: What Factors Does the IRS Consider?

There are some activities we engage in outside of work strictly for personal reasons, with no thought of ever profiting from them. You might, for example, enjoy photography, hiking on the weekends, or collecting classic records. There is no monetary gain—and no expectation of making a profit—from these pastimes. You do them simply because you like to do them.

Then there are pastimes that we do not consider to be a job or primary income source but that enable us to earn some additional money.


Read more . . .


Monday, September 20, 2021

Impact of Tax Reform on Small Businesses


Now that it’s tax season, you may be concerned how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, will impact your small business. The reforms represent the most sweeping tax overhaul in 30 years and could have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line—but they may have left you feeling a little confused. Here are some of the most important changes.

Qualified Business Income Deduction

Under the new tax law, many owners of pass-through businesses, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations, may deduct up to 20% of their qualified business income. This new deduction—known as the qualified business income deduction or Section 199A deduction—can be claimed by eligible taxpayers on their 2018 federal income tax returns, lowering their taxable income.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 13, 2021

What Every You Need to Know about IRS Form 1099: Reporting and Requirements


If your business made or received payments to independent contractors and entities (other than compensation to your employees) during the calendar year, it’s likely you must file an information return called a Form 1099 with the IRS. You may also need to send a copy of the form directly to the recipient of the payments. Being aware of and meeting your 1099 reporting obligations is essential to avoid potentially hefty penalties.

Payments Made “in the Course of Trade or Business”

Form 1099 is only required for payments made as part of your trade or business—not payments made, for example, to a landscaper or painter you hired to improve your own home. The catch-all form, Form 1099-MISC for Miscellaneous Income, is one of the most frequently required forms.


Read more . . .


Monday, September 6, 2021

Does an Employee Handbook Create a Contractual Obligation?


Every business with at least one employee should have an employee handbook, sometimes also called an employee manual or code of conduct, setting out the company’s policies and rules and the laws applicable to the employment relationship. It establishes the expectations in the relationship and enables employers to deal with similar situations consistently. Typically, employers do not intend for the handbook to create any obligations that could be enforced by their employees. However, a poorly drafted employee handbook could open the door to contractual liability.

Inadvertent Alteration of At-Will Employment Relationship

The problem that arises most frequently from an imprudently written employee handbook is the unintentional creation of limitations on the at-will employment relationship.


Read more . . .


Monday, August 30, 2021

Record Keeping for Your Business: What's Required?


Whether you are just starting up a new company or have a business that has been in operation for a while, good record keeping is an essential part of running your business. You are responsible for establishing an effective system to store and maintain your business records whether your small business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Some types of records will help you to keep track of business details and plan for your business’s future, but others are required by law. Here are some of the records your business may be legally required to keep.

Employee Records.


Read more . . .


Monday, August 23, 2021

Employment Eligibility Verification: What You Need to Know about the I-9


Immigration isn’t just a hot topic in the news—it has real impact on employers. All employers, including small businesses, are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification for every person they hire to work inside the U.S. for pay or any other type of compensation. Failure to comply could result in severe penalties.
Read more . . .


Monday, August 16, 2021

LLC Operating Agreement: Is a Non-Compete Clause Necessary?


You and several friends start a new business and decide to operate it as a limited liability company (LLC). Now that you’ve completed the  first step—choosing a business entity—it is now important to prepare an operating agreement. The operating agreement is a contract which governs the operations of the LLC and sets forth the arrangements made among the members, including their rights and responsibilities upon the withdrawal of a member.  Although departure from the business may be the last thing on anyone’s mind, it is important to plan ahead. A non-competition, or non-compete, clause can help protect the company from harm inflicted if a former member decides to form a competing business.


Read more . . .


Monday, August 9, 2021

Health Savings Accounts: What Are the Benefits for Businesses?


With the rising cost of health insurance, employers and employees alike are looking for the best ways to save money on medical expenses. One option that can be beneficial to both small business owners and their employees is the health savings account (HSA), which is available when an employee selects a high deductible health plan offered by the employer. 

What Is a Health Savings Account?

When employees choose a high deductible health plan (deductible must be at least $1350 for individuals or $2700 for families) from their employer’s health plan offerings, they can establish a health savings account. The HSA is an employee-owned savings account that employees can use to save money for out-of-pocket medical costs such as doctor visits and prescriptions, as well as to save for medical expenses that will be incurred after retirement. In 2019, the maximum contribution allowed for individuals is $3500 (although those 55 and older can contribute an additional $1000) and the maximum for family coverage is $7000.


Read more . . .


Monday, August 2, 2021

Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Business


Cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses, and small businesses are not immune from the threats posed by cybercriminals. Don’t be complacent because your business is small: Almost half of all cyberattacks in the U.S. are directed at small businesses. In recognition of this serious problem, in August 2018, President Trump signed into law the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act, requiring the federal government to provide resources to assist small businesses in reducing their vulnerability to cyberattacks.
Read more . . .


Saturday, July 31, 2021

SBA Announces PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal


The US Small Business Administration just announce the new PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal. 

The link is here:  https://directforgiveness.
Read more . . .


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