Cliff Ennico's "Succeeding in Your Business" column offers straightforward small business advice and tips. Ennico is best known for his PBS series "Money Hunt," as well as his weekly program on the internet radio station smartbusiness.com. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, he acts as corporate legal counsel for many up-and-coming companies, and teaches courses in business law and industrial organization at several colleges and institutions. He is also a regular speaker at small business conferences, seminars, and workshops.
Since the beginning of time, business owners have wrestled with the question: "Why are my customers buying?"
Slowly but surely, the courts and government regulators are taking the stand that there is no middle ground between employees and independent contractors.
"I started a service business earlier this year. I formed a limited liability company, and I'm the sole owner.
"Several friends and I are setting up a local charity to help recent college graduates pay off their student loans. We also intend to lobby our state government to pass laws allowing banks to forgive student loans.
When your limited liability company starts attracting investors, you will need to adopt a more formal way for people to own, operate and manage the company.
Ah, summer. A chance to lie on the beach, do some camping or outlet shopping, and ... do some big picture thinking about where your business has been and where it's going.
"My wife and I are planning to start a food truck business, but are confused about all the licenses and permits we will need to operate the truck. Do we need all the same licenses that a regular restaurant would need?"
"My partners and I formed a technology startup last year. We've done a 'friends and family' round of financing and have perfected our product.
"I was downsized from a large corporation a couple of months ago."
Last week, over 200 top-level eBay sellers attended the 12th annual eBay Radio Party and Conference in Las Vegas. This event, sponsored by the eBay Radio podcast, has become the must-attend national meetup for people who sell on eBay.
I was sorry to hear that the reality TV star who was to have been your commencement speaker today had to bow out at the last minute. I was delighted, however, when the Trustees called me an hour ago and asked me to fill in.
The 24/7 media circus surrounding former U.S. Olympian Bruce Jenner's transition from male to female has raised several questions in employers' minds: Do we have transgender employees in our organization? If so, what are our legal obligations to them, if any?