How to File your Business as an LLC in South Carolina

How to File your Business as an LLC in South Carolina

Starting a business will require pertinent documents and requirements that need to be filed right before your launch. Almost all states have the exact requirements and procedures when establishing an LLC. Like any other state, South Carolina is a potential place to begin your business venture, and in case you’re interested, you need to follow the process below to obtain all the essentials in building your LLC.

1. Choose your LLC name.

Since there are lots of companies in South Carolina, you need to distinguish your brand from them. You can do it by coming up with a unique LLC or company name for your business transactions. Make sure to add the LLC representation at the end of your name to comply with the state’s rule regarding trading names.

2. Assign a registered agent.

The state is always open to new entrepreneurs, but you need to be ready with a registered agent as this is one of the requirements. Your registered agent or resident agent should be residing in the state and have physical and PO box addresses. Your agent will be the receiver of the legal documents from the state and will be the bridge between your business and the government. You cannot establish your LLC without having an appointed registered agent.

3. Submit Articles of Organization.

Establishing an LLC will require you to file for Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State. This is a document where information such as your LLC name, address, members, type of management, shareholders, complete details of the registered agent, and signature is declared. It has a filing fee of $110, and you can either file it via postal mail or online.

4. Organize an operating agreement.

After filing your Articles of Organization, the next thing you need to prepare is the operating agreement. It isn’t compulsory, but the state is advising every business owner to prepare one. This is because it can provide another level of security to your business. This document typically includes the obligations, duties, and responsibilities of each member of the LLC. Likewise, it could serve as proof that your business is a separate entity.

5. Get your EIN.

If your LLC is composed of two or more members or plans to add employees in the future, an EIN is required. You can obtain your Employer Identification Number by applying at the IRS website. This is also important in filing or declaring your tax information.

Forming your LLC is such an exciting and proud thing to do. Although processing requirements might seem a little bit awry, it doesn’t mean that it would feel that way the whole journey. Likewise, going into a business venture will demand time and effort from you, and you should start this commitment in filing and organizing your business. Besides, you do not want to run your business illegally and lose all your investments in a blink of an eye just because you neglect to comply with the state requirements.

Grow Your Trucking Business With Freight Factoring.

Grow Your Trucking Business With Freight Factoring.

What is freight factoring? Do you urgently need money for transportation services and the freight bills are unpaid? Is it advantageous to use freight factoring and what are its drawbacks? What are the qualities of the best freight factoring companies?

Freight factoring.

This is when a business that deals with the transportation of loads sells its invoice to a factoring company. The factoring company takes a percentage of the invoice as their fee and the remaining amount is paid to the carrier. Different companies have different timelines for payment. Cash flow problems can force you to halt your trucking business and this will lead to great losses. A good credit score does not affect your chances of being funded since payment is dependent on the customer’s information. Freight factoring allows your business to get the necessary cash for:

  • Paying drivers in advance.
  • Fuel.
  • Insurance.
  • Repair and maintenance.

Reasons why freight factoring is right for you.

  1. The patterns of the cash flow don’t affect you.
  2. You can get unlimited cash and the amount grows with your business.
  3. Your credit line is not dictated by previous funding.
  4. Cash is made available to you on the same day.
  5. Approval depends on customers’ creditworthiness hence bad credit is not an issue.
  6. Fuel card programs and fuel advances are available.

Factoring process.

  • You delivered a load for a client who takes some time to pay back. You need money for driver’s pay, fuel, and other expenses but the cash flow is bad. You find a freight factoring company to offer a financial solution.
  • You scan, upload and submit your invoice to the factoring company.
  • The factoring company receives the invoice and processes it. Depending on the factoring fee charged, the amount deposited in your account varies.
  • The factoring company deals with invoicing, billing, and collection of debt from your customers.

Qualities of the best factoring companies.

  1. Industry knowledge.

They should know how the trucking industry operates and have experience in the management of receivables from companies like yours.

  1. Quality customer service.

The customer service representatives should have a vast knowledge of the industry and have experience working with companies in the same financial situation.

  1. Credit analysis and risk assessment.

The best factoring company checks the payment and credit histories of potential customers and monitors the financial strength of current customers. This helps business owners to know the viability and strength of their customers.

  1. Account receivable management.

The best factoring companies have a specialist on account receivable to contact the customer and ask for payment.

  1. Communication and reporting.

Communication is important to maintain a good business relationship. The best factoring company should have representatives to:

  • answer the phone.
  • respond to emails.
  • provide reports for online transactions of your accounts.
  1. Intagibles.

Check for online reviews and references from clients when searching for the best factoring company.

Types of factoring.

  • Resource.

The borrower gets low advance rates, low factoring fees, and takes responsibility in case the client fails to pay the factoring company on time. Your company buys back the invoice.

  • Non-recourse.

The factoring fee and advance rates are high and the borrower is not responsible if the customer fails to pay the debt on time. The charges are higher to cover risks.

Pros.

  1. You receive funds on the same day.
  2. The invoice is used as collateral hence bad credit history is not a problem. It is best for a start-up business with limited credit history for seeking funding.
  3. Cash in hand enables you to grow your business faster. This is because lack of money can make you turn down new business.
  4. The factoring company collects the debt from customers. This allows the trucking company to continue with the normal business operation without a gap in the cash flow.

Cons.

  1. For approval, you must have quality customers.
  2. The invoice should be payable within 90 days or less.
  3. The clients are notified of the change in payment address.
  4. The rates are higher compared to traditional bank loans.
  5. The costs of future deals increases if the customer fails to pay.

Conclusion.

Freight factoring ensures immediate cash flow allowing your business to grow further. This helps you to pay your drivers and repair the truck, meaning the business can go on as usual. Recourse and non-recourse are the two types of factoring. Freight factoring has several advantages and a few drawbacks that you should look into, to know if it’s the right path for your business. It is important to choose the best factoring company by considering the qualities mentioned above.

What Small Business Owners Need to Know During the COVID-19 Pandemic

What Small Business Owners Need to Know During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

The rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the world has changed everything we know about operating businesses, large corporations and small startups alike. As the economies of several countries have essentially shut down, you as a business owner must prepare for a tumultuous period ahead. Ensure that you and your business will emerge on the other side of this pandemic by gaining a thorough understanding of the CARES Act and securing your 401(k).

What to Know About the CARES Act

Weeks ago, on March 27th, the U.S. federal government passed the CARES Act, or the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. This bill is intended to help businesses and individuals endure the economic insecurity caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This package amounts to $2 trillion and is the largest bill to have ever been passed in the country. Within the relief package is $350 billion specifically meant for assisting small businesses negatively impacted by the crisis. Below are some basic elements of the bill:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Perhaps one of the most pressing issues you’re facing at the moment is retaining your employees. To help you to avoid having to lay off your workers, the PPP offers a special emergency loan (sourced now by an expanded network of lenders) that will be forgiven under the condition that it is used to maintain payroll, mortgage, rent, and utilities through the month of June. Eligible businesses include:
    • Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees
    • 501(c)(3) non-profits with fewer than 500 employees
    • Veteran organizations
    • Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 between February 15-June 30, 2020.
  • Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Low-interest loans are available up to $2 million to help businesses re-stabilize during the sudden, massive loss of revenue. This existing assistance program has been expanded to accommodate more small businesses, including those that are smaller than $200,000. Eligible businesses include:
    • Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees
    • Non-profits
    • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), tribal businesses, and cooperatives with less than 500 employees

The federal government is also relaxing standards on taxation of small businesses in the following ways:

  • Taxpayers are now being allowed three additional months to file and pay taxes. Instead of the annual April 15thdeadline, businesses (and individuals) can now file taxes as late as July 15, 2020.
  • Businesses are eligible to receive a refundable 50% tax credit wages paid between March 13-December 31, 2020. Wages can be up to $10,000 per employee.

Businesses that are eligible for this aid include those whose operations were either partially or totally suspended due to COVID-19 and/or whose gross receipts were reduced by more than 50% compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

How You Can Protect Yourself and Your Business

Your 401(k) is essential to the assurance of stability in your future. Many business owners, especially those who have not yet had the opportunity to establish a solid 401(k) plan, have been hesitant to continue investing in such a plan due to the economic insecurity caused by the coronavirus. Although it may seem like the safer option, avoiding the development of a reliable 401(k) plan can put you and your employees at even greater risk.

There are numerous options available at affordable prices for the security of small businesses. Get in touch with an administrator today to get your plan started and protect your business’ future.

Do You Need Commercial Insurance?

Do You Need Commercial Insurance?

It’s not always clear whether a business needs commercial insurance. However, without the right insurance, a business can suffer. This is because there might be times when you need to make a claim. For example, if your premises are flooded, vandalized, or your business is interrupted.

This article will help you to understand whether you need to take out commercial insurance and what the insurance could cover.

Owning Real Estate

If your business owns real estate or any property it can be beneficial to you if you have commercial insurance. This is because the insurance could offer your property in addition to your business equipment or products some protection.

You need to make sure that all of your property is protected. It does not matter how large or small the property is or how old it is. You need to make sure that you have the required insurance.

In addition to this, some mortgage providers also insist that you have this type of insurance. Some mortgage providers will not offer you a mortgage if you do not have commercial insurance. This is because you will be deemed too much of a risk.

If You Are Concerned About Liability

If you operate a business that can be prone to liability lawsuits, having commercial insurance can help to protect you. This is because some insurance policies come with separate liability insurance. This means you will have a bit more protection if you are involved in an industry that sees a lot of lawsuits.

Please note, not all insurance providers will offer you this option. This is why it makes sense for you to look for a provider that does. Knowing that you’re protected can ensure you can get on with the day-to-day running of your business. There is a real potential for you to lose thousands of dollars if a lawsuit does not run in your favor. This is why it makes sense for you to have insurance that pays out.

Business Interruption

If there is a chance that your business could be interrupted, you should take out commercial insurance. This is because there is always the potential for you to lose a lot of money. Let’s imagine that your business is flooded and you have to close it for the time being. Not only will you lose money but you will have to pay for all of the repairs.

Some insurance providers also offer business interruption insurance. This will ensure that you continue to receive a sum of money that should cover your business costs.

If you would like to run your business correctly, you need to make sure you have the right insurance. Please think about your real estate, whether you could be held liable by customers, or if you are covered if your business is interrupted. This will ensure you don’t have to pay to get yourself out of a mess. It will also keep you on the right side of mortgage companies and even the law.

How To Keep Your Patients Coming back

How To Keep Your Patients Coming back

We are all aware that patients can switch healthcare providers within a few years. In some cases, they may do this even if they are happy with the care you provide. The good news is there are a few things you can do to ensure they stick around forever.

Communication is Key

One of the best things you can do is to keep communicating with your patients. This is vital if you would like to keep your patients coming back. You should also make sure that the communication remains throughout their time with you. This is irrespective of how long they have been with you. Many healthcare providers communicate with their patients quite a lot when they first join them. However, it can tend to fizzle out after a while. This leaves the patient feeling slightly disconnected from you, albeit unintentionally.

Keep Reaching Out

Keep reaching out to your patients even if they don’t have an appointment with you. You could, for example, send them health tips or even a few rewards from time to time. These options will encourage your patients to feel engaged with you and as if they matter. You don’t have to offer any incredible incentives or keep bombarding your patients with health tips. However, a little every now and then can help.

Send Appointment Reminders

A relatively simple way for you to retain your patients is by sending appointment reminders. There are a lot of healthcare reminder systems out there that work very well. Your patients, for example, will receive a reminder 24-48 hours before their appointment. The reminder can detail the time of the appointment and who they are seeing. This can ensure fewer appointments are missed.

Keeping Waiting Times Down

No-one wants to be kept waiting for more than 10-20 minutes for their appointment. While it’s not always easy to ensure all appointments are on time. Consider bringing more staff in if you can. This will ensure your patients are less likely to feel frustrated. In addition to this, you should consider offering last-minute appointments to those who need to be seen with little notice.

Manage your Online Reputation

One of the best things you can do in this digital age is to manage and monitor your reputation. Potential patients will look at your website and see how good your reputation is. If your reputation isn’t great think about what you could do to make it better.

When it comes to your social media presence, make sure that all of your posts are positive. Respond to anyone who leaves a comment on your account so they feel valued. This can help you no end and it can help your patients to stay with you.

As you can see, there are a few things you can do to ensure your patients are much more likely to stay with you. While some of these options can take a bit of work, they can make a world of difference.

How to Recognise if You Should Consider Building a Website for Your SME

How to Recognise if You Should Consider Building a Website for Your SME

Let’s face it. Not all small and medium enterprises actually need a website initially. It is not commonly what comes to mind as part of the starting line up if you want to begin a small local diner, bakery, salon, flower shop, travel agency, snack bar and more. However, with the changing times and also the probability of expanding in the near future, building a website is indeed a great idea.

In case you have been thinking about jumping into website building for your SME just recently, this article will help you make a conclusion with regards your decision. Below are a number of factors to take if you should actually consider creating a website for your business.

If your target customers shop or find services online

By the time you are prepared to make a website for your SME, you should have already marked your target market. One of the good reasons to build a website for your business is if you can chase your potential customers through it. Through market research, you will determine if your target audience goes online to shop or avail of certain services.

If you are willing to invest on a website (and possible future updates)

As you know, making a website for your business also requires some investment. Although there are free templates that are also easy to score, you definitely have a lot of sites with the same design as well. Investing on a website won’t cost you a fortune. There are many cheap domain names and web hosting providers that can give you what you need and how you actually want it done. Quality does not always have to be pricey. But you just have to search and examine every prospect provider well enough.

If the demand goes beyond your usual ‘proximity’

You will most likely feel the expansion of your SME when the demand starts to go beyond the normal scope of area that you are catering to. With that, you are also probably getting more orders or projects by now. A website with an order form will definitely help you track and record all these as easy as ABC.

If you have the capacity to deliver your goods/services beyond your initial reach

Before offering your products and services outside the scope of your usual location and building a website to support this expansion, make sure that you already have a means to actually take them to your clients.

If your customer service can handle sudden possible surge on orders and queries

Aside from all the given factors above, another thing to consider is your customer service. Having a website means being reachable most of the time.  Do you have enough capacity to accommodate all orders, requests and queries as the impending surge may come in anytime?

Once you felt most, if not all of these factors approaching, then you must really consider building a website. Until such time, just continue to grow your SME and expand your reach as it progresses. Who knows? You might even achieve global market in the long run.

A New Business’s Guide to SEO Success

A New Business’s Guide to SEO Success

Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a new tactic anymore. Indeed, companies and organizations have been looking for ways to improve their visibility on search engines for over twenty years now. Yet, that doesn’t mean achieving SEO success is easy today. The reality is that the digital landscape is more crowded and competitive than ever. With that in mind, here are four tips that all new business owners should keep in mind when rolling out a new SEO plan:

Identify Relevant Keywords

Though search engines have become more sophisticated with time, keywords still play a massive role in determining user intent and query results. As such, companies need to understand which keywords resonate with their audience. Some may be obvious; others, though, may be specific to an industry. There’s a big difference between regular plastic barricades and jersey barricades, for instance. That’s why conducting in-depth keyword research is essential to eventual SEO progress.

Create Compelling Content

There is no substitute for quality content. At the end of the day, companies that enjoy high rankings on search engine results pages have lots of excellent content on their site. Note, this includes, but is not limited to, blog posts. Yes, blog posts are still a mainstay of most SEO-based strategies. But there’s also something to be said for product or service pages that contain lots of useful information. Also, pillar pages can be an effective way to consolidate a single page around several pertinent keywords.

Expand Your Reach

SEO is all about visibility. Still, boosting your own site with on-site SEO methods isn’t the only way to attract more visitors to your company. On the contrary, writing guest posts on sites related to yours can help expand your message and allow it to reach new people. Picking up quality backlinks from respected websites in your field is one of the most efficient ways to propel your site up search-engine rankings. Just be careful not to engage in any black-hat SEO tactics if you pursue a link-building program.

Stay Patient

Choosing a path forward for a new business can be a complex decision. Sometimes, a business leader may not be certain about how to go about implementing an SEO strategy –– or if they should forego SEO entirely in favor of practices like paid advertising. However, it’s important to remember that SEO tactics are a part of a long-term strategy. It might be months before the full effects of SEO efforts are seen or appreciated. So don’t be concerned or discouraged by disappointing returns during the first few weeks of a new SEO strategy. Patience is a virtue that will serve you well here.

What You Need to Know About Small Business Security Camera Solutions

What You Need to Know About Small Business Security Camera Solutions

When most people think about security systems for businesses, they think about cameras capturing images of shoplifters in the act. While they can do this, there’s a lot more you should expect from your security system.

Security systems are an investment that every small business needs. They can help you keep an eye on your business and employees, protect your assets and yes, catch a criminal in the act. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about the solutions that security systems have to offer small businesses.

Keep an Eye on Inventory and Storage Spaces

Most business owners don’t want to think about their employees doing something to hurt the company. Especially in a small business setting, where employees can feel like family, it may feel too paranoid to worry about one of your trusted staff nabbing something from your storeroom. But the reality is that employee theft is a serious problem, costing businesses in the U.S. more than $50 billion a year.

A security system can help you prevent some of those thefts, or at the very least, help catch the crook so that you can let them go and prevent future thefts. When you’re thinking about where to place your security cameras, don’t forget your storerooms or any other areas where you keep inventory.

Monitor Employee Safety

Catching the occasional bad egg is important, but even more important is protecting your loyal and hardworking employees. Security systems in dangerous areas can help you catch dangerous actions or practices. If an accident does occur, you’ll be able to take a look at what really happened. This means being able to make changes to improve safety in the future. If the accident involved employee negligence, that security footage might just come in handy protecting your small business from legal trouble.

Watch Your Cash Flow

If you operate a storefront, the success of your business depends largely on the cash and cards being handed from customer to employee at your cash register or kiosk. So it makes sense that you’ll want to have an eye trained on these areas. Having a security camera on your cash register can help you catch crooks or even notice if your employees are making mistakes.

Protect Your Building Around the Clock

No matter how dedicated you are to your small business, you can’t be on-site 24/7. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to protect your investment around the clock.

A security system allows you to be there for your business day and night, even when you can’t physically be there. However, this only works if you choose a high-quality security system that’s equipped with night vision. Otherwise, the grainy or dark images and videos you get won’t do you much good. An Ultra HD security camera with 4K recording capabilities and remote monitoring is the best way to always keep watch over your small business and catch anything that might go wrong.

Choosing the Right Security System for Your Small Business

A security system is a great investment in the safety of your business. From protecting your business all hours of the day to watching your cash flow, monitoring employee safety and keeping an eye on your inventory, the right security system can help prevent thefts, protect you legally and give you peace of mind that your business is safe.

7 Questions to Ask to Prove if You Really Need that Domain Name in Your Life (or Not)

7 Questions to Ask to Prove if You Really Need that Domain Name in Your Life (or Not)

Once you launch it, you can never easily take it back.

Creating a website is not rocket Science anymore during these recent years. As a matter of fact, there are tutorials and seminars online that can teach you its fundamentals and even beyond it. So it is not a surprise if you are reading this because you want to build your own website, regardless if it is for personal or business use.

So if you are one of the driven ones who want to start expressing themselves or begin an online platform for their brand, start fresh and read through this article first. Below are the seven questions which can help you decide if your desired domain name is the right one for you or your brand.

1. Is it available?

Before you proceed to the rest of the questions, this first one can be considered as the most important. Make sure to check the availability of the domain name that you desire before anything else. To simply put it, if the domain name is already taken, then you cannot use it. Whois can be your aid on this first step.

2. Are there competitors with almost the same domain name?

This question also applies even for personal websites, since there are also a lot of other websites of the same niche that may sound or spell alike. But this is very significant for companies and brands. Sometimes, your almost similar domain names can give away more clients to your competitors, especially of the competing website is already long established in the industry. Whois can also help you with this in order to avoid committing this probable mistake.

3. Is it user-friendly and has a recall?

Keep in mind that your domain name has to be easy to read and pronounce. It would also be so much better if you can make it a witty word play to capture more attention and recall. Write it down, say it out loud, so you will not regret it. Once you have that brilliant idea and you have double checked its availability, register domain name at once.

4. Do people search for it?

It will also help if your domain name has an average search. Utilize the Keyword Planner to find out if users tend to search for that term specifically or something similar to it.

5. Does it speak for the branding that you portray?

As self-explanatory as the question itself, your chosen domain name has to live up to the branding that you want your audience to perceive.

6. How expensive or affordable is it?

Do you badly want it that you need to bid for it? Is it that valuable? These are just some follow up questions under this question. We know how hard it is to decide when cost is involved.

7. Is it really good for the brand or is it just someone else’s preference?

In case you need to spend extra for the domain name you want, you need to think hard and reflect if this is going to be beneficial for the brand. Never go for it just because someone shared a good opinion about the name (unless it is someone valuable to the brand itself).

These questions are just guide to help you decide. After all, choosing a domain name is just the first step. Get ready for more work soon.

5 Reasons Why Thermoplastic Road Markings Are Very Popular

5 Reasons Why Thermoplastic Road Markings Are Very Popular

In recent years, thermoplastic road markings have gained popularity. They have become more preferred thanks because of the many benefits they have compared to their traditional predecessors. It is no wonder that many companies like Geveko Markings have been at the forefront in producing these road markings. But why exactly are they so popular, and what is their use? This article addresses these questions and expounds more on the benefits of thermoplastic road markings.

Understanding Thermoplastic Road Markings

Let us first get to know what thermoplastic road markings are. They are made from synthetic resin, which is mixed with glass beads. The beads help to boost their longevity.  Thermoplastic paint is then added to the resin and beads in the form of solid powder. It is then passed through heat, which helps to melt it down before it can be applied. Color is then added with different pigmentations depending on the type of road markings. So, what makes thermoplastic road marking very popular?

1. Increased Visibility

Thermoplastic road marking is mostly used on pavements and stripes so as to make them visible enough.  On such cases, they act as a guide to drivers and auto operators. Also, thermoplastic markings on pedestrian crosswalks and bike lanes help in preventing/reducing possible collisions and injuries.

2. Easy and fast application

Thermoplastic road marking is generally done under very high temperatures. As a result, the application process is usually quick, thus taking a short duration to complete a project.  Also, thermoplastic paints are perfect for repairs, replacements, and improvement of worn-out road markings.

3. Incredible safety benefits to road users

In every road marking project, the safety of pedestrians and drivers should be paramount. Thermoplastic road markings are made in such a way that they can be highly reflective. As such, every road user can clearly see them even in the dark since they reflect any light. Whenever this feature is used on roads, it greatly enhances the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike. In other cases, the marking can be made in the form of a thick layer in the middle of a road. Drivers and other road users can feel a rumble effect when driving over the marking, thus forced to slow down.

4. Exceptional resistance to skid

Thermoplastic markings are known for their remarkable ability to resist skid after application to surfaces. Vehicles driving over thermoplastic markings experience high traction even when it is raining heavily. It is because of their ability to resist skid that they are used runways, dense traffic areas, and intersections. However, ensure you consult with your pavement contractor before deciding to use thermoplastic applications.

5. They are resilient

Thermoplastic road markings are highly durable and resistant to the weather. They are also highly resistant to gasoline oil. This characteristic makes it easy for them to be used in places of high traffic. They also have top visibility features that make it easy for drivers to c see the road.

In conclusion, thermoplastic markings are highly durable and visible. Companies like Geveko Markings are known to put these marks on the road effectively.