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Creenan & Baczkowski, PC Law Blog

Monday, March 1, 2021

Important Upcoming Compliance Deadlines for Your Business

Busy small business owners have many tasks on their plates: A significant one is staying on top of important tax and filing deadlines. These important dates may vary depending upon the business’ structure. Here are some of the most critical deadlines business owners may need to meet over the next few months.

Federal tax deadlines

  • September 16, 2019 is the extension deadline for partnerships and S corporations to file their income tax returns. It is also the deadline for third-quarter estimated tax payments if you are a self-employed individual or have substantial non-wage income.
    Read more . . .

Monday, February 22, 2021

When Should You Use a Stay Bonus Agreement?

Do you have certain key employees who help make your family business a success? Keeping those employees may be essential to a successful transition of ownership and management to your children or another new owner when you retire or pass away. A “stay bonus” (also called a retention bonus) is a strategy that is frequently used by large companies during mergers and acquisitions but can also be used to facilitate a smooth transfer of small family businesses to the next generation or to new owners.

What Is a Stay Bonus Agreement?

A stay bonus agreement is a contract between the business and a key employee providing that the employee will not leave the company for a specified period of time after a particular triggering event, for example, the death of the business owner. At the end of that period, the key employee will receive a bonus. The amount of the stay bonus could increase over time: The longer the employee stays, the larger the bonus will be.
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Monday, February 15, 2021

Ban the Box: What Employers Need to Know

Thirty-three states and 150 municipalities and counties have enacted “ban-the-box” laws precluding employers from including questions about criminal history on employment applications. In many of these states, ban-the-box statutes apply only to public employers, but 13 states (including some of the most highly populated, such as California and Illinois) and 18 municipalities and counties have applied them to most or all private employers as well. These laws have gained substantial bipartisan support, and more states and localities (and possibly the federal government) will likely enact ban-the-box statutes in the coming months and years. As a result, employers need to understand what these laws require—and what they do not.

What Is Required?

Ban-the-box laws prevent employers from including questions about a prospective employee’s criminal history on their initial employment application.
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Monday, February 8, 2021

DIY Legal: The Hidden Costs for Businesses

Information is instantaneously available due to the rise of the internet. Additionally, many services that were not available in the past, including do-it-yourself (DIY) legal forms also exist. As a result, it is tempting to think that the forms provided by these DIY services can be a low-cost substitute for the services of an attorney. The reality is business owners need to be aware that using these one-size-fits-all forms may end up costing your business much more than they save.  We know that it may seem self-serving for an attorney to warn of the dangers of using DIY legal forms, but the risks are genuine, and we want you to make an informed decision when weighing your options.
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Monday, February 1, 2021

Commercial Space: Should You Lease or Buy?

The location of your small business is an important factor in whether it succeeds or fails. Accessibility to customers, vendors, and employees, proximity to competitors, and zoning restrictions are just a few of the factors you have likely considered. Once you have determined the best location for your business, the next question is whether to lease or buy your commercial space. Several issues should be weighed before making this important decision.

  1. What makes financial sense for your business?

    Buying a commercial property is likely to require a substantial down payment—from 10% to 40% of the value of the property.
    Read more . . .

Monday, January 25, 2021

Sales Tax: What You Need to Know

Many small business owners contend with collecting, reporting, and paying sales tax. Although there is currently no federal sales tax, 45 states, and many localities, as well as the District of Columbia,  have a sales tax. Different taxing authorities have their own regulations, tax rates, exemptions, and deadlines, which can be quite confusing, especially for entrepreneurs who have just started a new business. There are several key points to keep in mind.

Is your product or service subject to sales tax?

Unless your business is located in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, or Oregon, which do not have a state sales tax, it is important to find out which products or services are subject to sales tax in your state.
Read more . . .

Monday, January 18, 2021

Attention Small Business Owners: New Overtime Rule Issued by the Department of Labor

At the end of September, the Department of Labor issued a new overtime pay rule that will take effect on January 1, 2020. According to the Department of Labor, the new rule will make 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay. It is important for small businesses with employees to be aware of the changes to avoid violating the rule by misclassifying their employees, which could result in the payment of back overtime, civil or criminal penalties, and damages.

The Basics

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay employees overtime pay (1 ½ times their regular hourly rate) for hours worked exceeding 40 hours in a workweek unless the employees are exempt because they are (1) paid a salary (2) of at least a minimum amount and (3) meet certain tests regarding their job duties.
Read more . . .

Monday, January 11, 2021

What You Need to Know about Business Opportunity Laws

If you are interested in starting a new business, you may be attracted by “out of the box” business opportunities offered by sellers that promise immediate success. Some of these schemes have rightly earned a bad reputation, for example, false promises that you will make thousands of dollars per week simply by stuffing envelopes. Other business opportunities are legitimate but federal and state laws have been enacted to protect purchasers from being misled.

What Is a Business Opportunity?

The definition of a business opportunity is spelled out in the Federal Trade Commission’s Business Opportunity Rule (FTC Rule), which applies in all 50 states. In addition, about half of the states have their own business opportunity laws.
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Monday, January 4, 2021

What Records Do Small Businesses Need to Keep for Taxes?

Tax season is just around the corner, so now is a great time to make sure that you are retaining all the documentation you need to back up the income, deductions, and credits listed on your small business’s tax return. Keeping the proper records is not optional—it is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Recordkeeping System

The IRS does not require a specific type of recordkeeping system. Rather, you must simply use one that clearly shows your income and expenses. Although the type of business you own affects the types of records you need to retain for taxes, in general, you should keep records (either hard copies or electronically) summarizing your business transactions.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The COVID-19 Relief Bill: What Business Owners Need to Know Heading into 2021

The COVID-19 Relief Bill: What Business Owners Need to Know Heading into 2021


On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R.

Read more . . .

Monday, December 28, 2020

Important Considerations for Purchasing a Business

Among those who desire to own their own business, many attempt to build a company from scratch. That, however, is not the only available option. Purchasing a company that is already in existence is a valid alternative. If you are interested in potentially acquiring a business instead of starting one from the ground up, there are several vital questions to answer.


  • Do you want to purchase an independent business or a franchise? One decision you must make is whether you wish to buy a franchise or an independent company.
    Read more . . .

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