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Answers to small business questions in Maryland

Although most small businesses do not need to incorporate to operate, there may be advantages to doing so. For instance, it may be easier to get a loan from a bank or gain access to tax breaks after a business incorporates. While incorporating is not a difficult process, it is one that needs to be done correctly. Incorporating generally involves submitting the proper paperwork and paying a fee to the state where the company wishes to incorporate. For companies that operate in one state, it is best to incorporate in the state where the company operates. However, a business may have an opportunity to incorporate in any state if it operates in multiple states. Those who wish to run their company as a partnership do not need to incorporate. However, in most cases, it is a good idea to create a formal partnership agreement. Spouses who run a company together…

Understanding different business plans

As many business owners know, the type of business plan one uses is determined largely by the target audience and the venture type. The length of the plan, its details and the mode of presentation are considerations a business owner may use in an effort to ensure success. There are four types of business plans, and each may be used for different purposes. For instance, a long, detailed plan may be unsuitable for an overview destined to be quickly downloaded and reviewed. Conversely, an investor may require more detail. A shortened version of a standard business plan covers the material but limits itself to highlights. The presentation plan is another way to convey the project's highlights with the addition of supporting graphics. It is important to use visually appealing, organized graphics and to add comments that augment what is displayed. Engaging the viewer and making room for questions supports this…

Buyout agreements in Maryland

Buy-sell agreements, which are also called buyout agreements, are used in business structures with multiple shareholders as a means of passing shares from one shareholder to another. Depending on the size of the company and the type of corporation, buyout agreements may be more limiting or restrictive. These business planning agreements generally go into effect when events, such as the death of a shareholder, occur. The purpose of the agreement is to protect other shareholders from complications and to deal with the disbursement of assets held by the departing shareholder. Broadly speaking, the events that may trigger a shareholder agreement include death, divorce, retirement, personal bankruptcy, incapacitation or disability, and termination of employment with a company. They determine a wide range of details, including whether the company must buy out the shareholder's stock, who may buy it, how to measure its value and how payment will be made. One of…

Registering a trademark for a new business

Many entrepreneurs involved in a business start-up may pride themselves on attending to the myriad details of running a new venture. One thing that even the most conscientious entrepreneurs might overlook during business formation is the registering of a trademark. Having a registered trademark can help a start-up business increase its profile, gain clients or customers and prevent competitors from unfairly taking business away from a start-up company. A trademark can be anything that members of the public associate with a specific business entity. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has registered trademarks for music, words and phrases, and scents. These trademarks are used on packaging, letterhead and other communication and advertising. The USPTO receives hundreds of thousands of trademark filings each year and registers less than two-thirds of these filings. They may decide not to register a trademark for a new business for several reasons. A trademark may not…

Pros and cons of buying an existing business

Purchasing an existing business is an option for Maryland residents who would like to become business owners. Before going ahead with the purchase of an existing business, however, it is important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of purchasing an established venture. Although there are many advantages of buying a business that has already gone through its startup phase, the disadvantages could give some potential buyers pause for thought. The obvious advantage of purchasing an existing business is the fact that startup costs will be significantly reduced. An existing business may already have inventory, a trained staff and a loyal customer base. If the business is profitable, the new business owner might also gain immediate access to cash flow that can be used for any improvements they would like to make to the business. In some cases, a downside of purchasing an existing business is the high cost. A business…

What is the process to start a new business in Maryland?

Coming Up With Business Plan and Structure The first step in establishing any business is coming up with a business plan and structure. The prospective owner of the new business should consider what type of business is ideal for the market and find out as much information about that type of business as possible. After deciding on the type of business, the owner should decide the structure of the business, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Register a Business in Maryland The next step involves registering the business, which requires a name and location. Checking with local and county zoning requirements is an important part of the location selection process because violations can be expensive. Once the name and location are ready, the business owner can use the Maryland Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal to register a business trade name, form a business entity and establish a…

How do I start a business in Maryland?

Establishing a new business in Maryland can be both thrilling and intimidating. Proper planning, though, can make the undertaking relatively straightforward. The major steps in the creation of a new business entity are the selection of the business structure, business registration, name selection and application for business license. The four common entity options are a limited liability company, partnership, corporation and sole proprietorship. The latter is generally the simplest but may not offer some of the advantages open to the other entity types. A business attorney could help interested parties decide among the options by explaining the various advantages and disadvantages of each. New Maryland businesses are registered with the Department of Assessments and Taxation. In choosing a name for the entity, it is first necessary to determine whether the name conflicts with a business that already exists. Name conflicts may result in trademark disputes down the line. A business…

Exelon may acquire Pepco in 2015

Residents in Maryland may be affected by the proposed merger between Exelon and Pepco Holdings that was filed on Aug. 19. The $6.9 billion acquisition must be approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission and other state regulators before it can be finalized. Company executives claim the acquisition will improve the economic environment for the Pepco service areas located throughout the Eastern Shore and nearby Washington, D.C. An executive with Pepco stated that she expects the deal to be approved by the second or third quarter of 2015. Baltimore Gas & Electric, an Exelon subsidiary, is not expected to be affected by the new acquisition. Pepco executives also maintained that there would not be any rate changes as a direct result of the merger. Between Potomac Electric Power servicing the Maryland-D.C. area, as well as Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power & Light servicing New Jersey, Pepco has approximately two…

Strategies for selling a business

Maryland businesses owners and residents may be aware of the recent trend towards acquisition of companies at all levels. Mergers and purchases are increasingly common from very small to very large businesses as companies take advantage of growth trends in the economy to buy up other companies. Because of these trends, business prices are currently 30 percent higher than they were in 2011. Many small business owners might wonder about the process of selling a company to another business. It is essential to prepare correctly for the sale, which might include an accurate assessment of the company, and it is also important to create an exit strategy that provides for certain considerations, including how taxes might be levied on potential profits from the sale. When preparing for the sale, it might be important to evaluate the business and discuss whether the current ownership wishes to remain involved in the corporation.…