Small Business Questions & Answers

 

  • Ask About Co-Ownership - Part 2

    Posted by Tentative Tenant in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    Can you explain the differences between owning something in joint tenancy and in tenancy by the entirety? And what other ways of owning property are there, if any?

    Tentative Tenant

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  • Ask About Co-Ownership - Part 1

    Posted by Tentative Tenant in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    Can you explain the differences between owning something in joint tenancy and in tenancy by the entirety? And what other ways of owning property are there, if any?

    Tentative Tenant

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  • Ask About Letters of Credit

    Posted by Bothered in Boise in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I recently decided to order a large quantity of small toys which I intend to use as giveaways with the kids' meals at my several snack shops. I discovered that it would be much cheaper to order these in volume directly from a manufacturer in Taiwan rather than buying them from a local supplier.

    But—there's always a but—when I went to finalize the deal, their rep told me I'd need a "letter of credit" to complete the purchase. What in the world is that all about?

    Bothered in Boise

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  • Ask About Business Incubators

    Posted by Cluck N. Gurgle in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I recently heard about something called a "business incubator." Is this for real? It sounds too good to be true. Tell me more about this way to start and grow my business.

    Cluck N. Gurgle

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  • Ask About Due Diligence

    Posted by Curious in California in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    Can you explain what "due diligence" means? It sounds like the name of a rock band to me.

    Curious in California

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  • Ask About Copyrights

    Posted by Puzzled in Portland in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    Thanks for your column on Intellectual Property. I found it very informative. But can you tell me a little more about copyrights? Who has a right to copy my work? What do I have a right to copy?

    Thanks,

    Puzzled in Portland

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  • Ask About Foreign Exchange Risk

    Posted by Nervous Novice in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    Our fairly young small business is branching out by selling our product in other countries. How can we protect ourselves against a loss of profits due to fluctuations in currency exchange rates?

    Thanks,

    Nervous Novice

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  • Ask About Not-For-Profits

    Posted by Doing Good in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I was recently appointed to a not-for-profit organization leadership post, and I want to run this group in a businesslike manner. Can you offer any tips?

    Doing Good

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  • Ask About Franchise Fairs

    Posted by Rookie Researcher in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    There's going to be a franchise opportunity fair in my town next month, and since I'm interested in getting into my own business, I think I'll attend. Do you have any hints on what to look for at this type of event?

    Rookie Researcher

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  • Ask About Bootstrapping

    Posted by Ignorant in Illinois in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    My new small business is experiencing some cash flow problems. I asked a banker friend if he thought I might qualify for a loan, and he said I ought to concentrate on bootstrap financing at this stage. I thanked him and said I'd act on his suggestion immediately, of course. And I will--if you can tell me what bootstrap financing is and where I can get some.

    Ignorant in Illinois

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  • Ask About SBIR/STTR Grants

    Posted by Seeking Support in Start Up | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    How can a small business owner learn about the SBIR/STTR Grant and Contract Program. . .including how to apply for (and hopefully win) this funding?

    Seeking Support

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  • Ask About Record Retention

    Posted by Buried in Burbank in Running A Business | Friday, May 25, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    My office is drowning in paper. File cabinets have long since overflowed. Every cubbyhole is crammed full of documents of every description. No horizontal surface is visible. How long do I have to hang on to all this stuff anyway?

    Thanks,

    Buried in Burbank

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  • Ask About Succession -- Part One

    Posted by Dithering Dad in Running A Business | Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I'm the founder of a pretty good-sized business I built up myself over many, many years. My wife is on my case to retire and let one or more of our kids take over. Any helpful hints on how to do this painlessly?

    Thanks,

    Dithering Dad

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  • Ask About Identity Theft

    Posted by Nervous Nellie in Running A Business | Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I keep hearing horror stories about identity theft. Since I've started my own small home-based business, I fear I'm even more exposed to this kind of problem than I was before. What can I do to minimize this risk? Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.

    Nervous Nellie

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  • Ask About Corporate Dissolutions

    Posted by Dee Funkt in Running A Business | Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I've got a corporation I no longer need. How do I make it go away?

    Thanks,

    Dee Funkt

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  • Ask About Avoiding Court

    Posted by Anxious in Alabama in Running A Business | Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I'm a brand new entrepreneur and I'm worried about the many legal problems I could encounter. Can you give me some tips on how to avoid ending up in court?

    Thanks,

    Anxious in Alabama

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  • Ask About Selling to the Government

    Posted by Looking to Grow in Running A Business | Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    My one-year-old business is located near a military base and a federal prison. How can I get these two major local industries to be my customers?

    Looking to Grow

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  • Ask How To Value a Business

    Posted by Hawaii Bound in Running A Business | Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I'd like to leave it all behind and sail to Lahaina...so I need to know how to value my business to arrive at a sale price. And I'd also like to know what to look for when buying a business someone else has put a value on...just in case I come upon an opportunity in the land of endless summer. Can you help me chart this course?

    Hawaii Bound

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  • Ask About Accountants

    Posted by Skeptical in Skokie in Running A Business | Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    In light of the recent collapse of several major financial institutions, should we believe anything any accountant says from now on?

    Thanks,

    Skeptical in Skokie

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  • Ask About Inland Marine Insurance

    Posted by Landlocked Laborer in Running A Business | Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I called my agent to have him add some new tools to my business policy and he sent me a strange new document. What in the world is Inland Marine insurance?

    Thanks,

    Landlocked Laborer

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