blog category

How to Write a Business Plan

Maryland Business Plan LawyerIf you’re thinking about starting a business and have some time off for the holiday season, now’s the time to start putting your ideas on paper. December is National Write a Business Plan Month, and entrepreneurs who sort out their plans this month can start the new year feeling organized and confident that they’re ready to launch their new business. Why You Need a Business Plan Entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic, big-idea people, but sometimes they need help nailing down the details that will help them achieve their vision. That’s the point of a business plan. One good method for getting started on a business plan is to take a look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, known as a SWOT analysis. For example, a restaurateur may be a marvelous chef (strength), but have no knowledge of how to market a business (weakness). Identifying weaknesses in advance can help…

6 Ways to Increase Your Business Credit Score

Business Credit Score - Load ApprovedIn the first few years after opening a small business, many entrepreneurs find they need additional resources to stay afloat. A small loan or buying additional equipment on credit may help businesses weather the lean startup period. But without a good business credit score, entrepreneurs may have trouble getting that kind of help, or finding favorable interest rates. Following are six tips for building and maintaining a healthy business credit score. Separate personal and business finances. Owners should ensure their own bank accounts and finances are separate from the business’s. If one or more business owners should develop a poor credit rating or need to file for personal bankruptcy, that could harm the business, if finances aren’t separate. Get a company credit card. Many financial experts advise young people to use credit cards in order to build a favorable credit rating, and the same advice holds true for businesses. Get…

The Importance of Shareholder & Buy/Sell Agreements

Shareholder AgreementMany people dream of owning their own business and being their own boss, but often, that dream is hard to achieve without some sort of collaboration. That’s why aspiring entrepreneurs may choose to team up with friends or family to launch a business. Those ventures can be successful, but without adequate planning, they can also lead to strain on personal relationships and other negative consequences. Shareholder and buy/sell agreements are essential legal documents for small businesses, especially when friends and family are involved. A verbal promise or a handshake isn’t adequate protection for one’s interests. Individual priorities may change over time, and business partners – no matter how much they trust each other – should always prepare for worst-case scenarios. Buy/Sell Agreements Here’s a hypothetical scenario: Three friends open a restaurant together, with a verbal agreement that they’ll split the profits evenly among themselves. But after a few years, one…