The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Customer Service Representative Spotlight: Mike Enright
Published on Jul 22, 2013
Read 'Customer Service Representative Spotlight: Mike Enright' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
As a Senior Customer Service Representative with BizFilings, Mike has been assisting customers with their business formation needs since 2005. Mike works with entrepreneurs everyday and provides them with the guidance to all things business. Outside of helping entrepreneurs start their business, Mike is a music buff and an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs and Wisconsin Badgers.
We asked Mike some questions that he often receives from small business owners in hopes of answering some questions our readers may have!
A1: If you’re just thinking about starting your own business, you have probably never heard of this term ‘Registered Agent’ before. Surprising to most, a Registered Agent is required when you incorporate a business or register to transact business in multiple states. The Registered Agent is a good person to have in your corner because he/she is responsible for handling any/all legal documents including your Annual Reports, business statements and other important federal documents. In a nutshell, Registered Agents help make entrepreneurs’ lives easier.Q 1: What is a Registered Agent and do I need one for my business? Q2: What types of legal issues could arise when starting my business? A2: Nobody wants to stay up at night worrying over legal compliance. However, it’s important to keep these regulatory guidelines in mind when starting and managing a business. For one, the location of your business itself comes with legal concerns. The Federal Labor Standards Act, for example, can restrict work at home activities in order to enforce minimum wage laws. Also, there may be zoning regulations that prevent you from opening your business in a residential neighborhood, or may limit the number of employees you’re permitted to have. Also, always be sure that you have a valid, nondiscriminatory business reason for firing an employee, so to not risk a lawsuit. Finally, wage and hour laws, payroll taxes and anti-discrimination laws are all things you’ll need to be mindful of.
Q3: How can I make sure I stay in ‘good business standing’?A3: Business compliance requirements fall into two categories: internal and external.Internal requirements must be documented as part of company records. It may be necessary to present these records when selling the company or in the event of a lawsuit. External requirements are imposed by the state in which your business is incorporated and any state where it is registered to transact business. State compliance requirements often include an annual state filing (annual report) and payment of a corresponding state fee.
Q4: What records should I be sure to keep when managing my business?A4: The level of record keeping/compliance monitoring will vary by business type (C Corp, LLC, S Corp, etc…) If your corporation or LLC is sued and unable to show it met all corporate or LLC formalities and state requirements, your personal assets could become vulnerable. We suggest using your registered agent, if you have one, to provide you with business compliance tools. Internal requirements may be requested by a court if you ever sell a Company or get caught in a lawsuit.
Q5: I own a business that cannot financially sustain itself. How can I dissolve the Company?A5: Company owners must approve the dissolution of the business. With corporations, the shareholders must approve the action; with limited liability companies (LLCs), members grant approval. After shareholders or members have voted for the dissolution, paperwork must be filed with the state in which the business was incorporated. If you would like to transact business in another state, paperwork must be filed there as well. Although you’re ending operations, your tax obligations do not immediately cease. You must formalize the business closing with the IRS as well as your state and local taxing agencies. Finally, you must notify all you Company’s creditors of the organization’s intent to dissolve, and settle all outstanding credit dues. After paying claims, remaining assets may be distributed to company owners in proportion to the share of ownership.
We hope Mike’s guidance will help you when managing a small business!