How to Obtain Your DBA (Doing Business As) or FIC (Fictitious Business Name)

DBA,or doing business as, is a legal term that is used when your business is operating under a fictitious business name instead of the owner’s name. For example, “The Gap” is a fictitious business name because the name of the business does not include the names of the store owners. Because it is impossible to know who is actually responsible for the business from a fictitious business name, the government requires you to file a DBA statement in the interests of consumer protection. It’s different in every state, but in the state of California, not only do you have...

Customer Stories – Cheap Anniversary Gift Return

With every store, you’ll inevitably attract a certain class of customers that will only shop in your bargain bin. These people will skip all of your nicer merchandise and go straight for the cheapest stuff that you carry in your store. Often times, these people will also ask for a further discount as well on top of the already heavily reduced price. We had one of these customers purchase the cheapest item in our store for $6.50 the other week. Quite frankly, the set of handkerchiefs he chose were kind of ugly. They were not...

5 Things to Look For When Sizing Up Competitors

Unless you are selling products that you invented yourself, chances are that you’ll have direct competitors in your space. If you don’t think you have any, then chances are your market is so small that you’re probably not seeing much demand for your products anyways. It’s important to keep track of your competition on a regular basis to see how your store sizes up. It’s also important to check the web periodically to see if new competitors have popped up. With our store, we perform thorough web searches on our key product lines at least once...

Customer Stories – Wedding Day Disaster

This particular customer from the east coast purchased some wedding handkerchiefs from our online store about 10 days in advance and had them delivered directly to her wedding venue. The one mistake she made however was that she addressed the package to her maid of honor instead of either herself or the wedding planner. As a result, the people at the wedding venue had no idea who the handkerchiefs belonged to and the package got lost at the wedding venue itself. So the day of the wedding, we received a bunch of calls. Since, we are on the...

Customer Stories – Exploiting Chinese Labor

Every now and then, we get a customer that drives us totally insane. While it isn’t fun to deal with these customers, working with these difficult people make for great stories to tell our friends. This particular customer that I’m writing about was a very headstrong lady that gave us a really hard time about our products. Customer: “Yes, I’m interested in your linen towels. Where are they from?” Me: “Many of our products are from Asia. These particular towels are made in China.” Customer: “Hmm, China huh? Do you happen to know whether these towels were created...

How to Deduct Your Home Office on Your Taxes

In order to deduct your home office, your business must follow the following rules. Your home must be your principal place of business. This means is that you conduct all of your business related activities in your home and you have no other set locations where you do business You must have a special area sectioned off for your business. This might be a separate room or the garage. Anywhere that you store inventory or products counts as well. You must actually conduct business at home and use the dedicated space solely for business. This one sounds like a no...

How to Deduct Equipment and Supplies on Your Taxes

The biggest advantage for small businesses is a little Internal Revenue Code known as Section 179. Section 179 allows small businesses to deduct up to 108k (Note: This number changes every year.) of assets completely every year. What this means is that you can deduct up to this amount in business equipment, computers, furniture etc… without having to worry about depreciation or other tax calculations. Of course, section 179 comes with a few requirements that must be met. Purchases must be used mostly for business The official rule is that the asset that you are deducting must be used...

How to Deduct Entertainment and Meals on Your Taxes

Deducting entertainment and meals is often a gray area that people take advantage of. My general rule of thumb is that as long as you don’t abuse the tax code, you should be fine. I use what I call the “bullshit” code. If I can tell my wife with a straight face that a particular expense was used for business purposes, and my wife doesn’t think its BS, its usually good enough for me. Officially though, anything you expense must obey the following rules. The entertainment expense must be reasonable and accepted in your field of business – For...
css.php