I Think It's About ... PPP Loan Forgiveness

If you received proceeds of a loan under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in 2020, you are probably wondering if, when and how those loan proceeds will be forgiven, and how you should treat them when you file your tax returns.

If you've spoken to your accountant about this, you've probably gotten a response along the lines of "...Read more

Coping With the New PPP Rules

Last week, Congress and the president gave small businesses across the country a belated holiday gift in the form of a new round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

First, some acronyms you need to wrap your brain around. The first two rounds of individual and small business loans and grants were handed out last year under the ...Read more

The Best Small Business Advice for 2021

Normally, at year-end, I do a column on New Year's resolutions for small-business owners, with simple but practical suggestions such as taking your lawyer and accountant to lunch once a year and asking them to name three things you could be doing better.

But 2020 was a year like no other in our lifetime, and I think it's more important to ...Read more

Year-End Tax Planning: Part 2 of 2

When it comes to tax planning this year, there is good news and bad news.

The good news: If your small business was clobbered by the COVID-19 pandemic and government shutdowns, you shouldn't have to pay a lot in taxes for 2020.

The bad news: Sometimes our income tax laws work in crazy ways.

I'm indebted to my good friend John D'Aquila, a ...Read more

Year-End Tax Planning: Part 1 of 2

As we reach the end of the annus horribilis that was 2020, it's hard to even think of another income tax deadline in three to four months.

But as Mark Twain once observed, the only two things you can count on in life are death and taxes.

The good news: If your small business was clobbered by the COVID-19 pandemic and government shutdowns, ...Read more

The Pitfalls of Client Referrals

As a business owner, consultant or professional, you are always asked for referrals to other professionals. My small-business clients frequently ask me for referrals to local accountants, bookkeepers, insurance agents and attorneys with specialized practices (such as patent or immigration law) who do stuff I can't or don't want to do. ...Read more

Business Partners Gone Wild: Case No. 448

"Two years ago, my wife's brother and I decided to start up a local taxi service (it's a small town, well off the radar screens of Uber and Lyft). We set up a limited liability company (LLC) for the business. Because of some credit problems I had in the past, the city wouldn't give us the medallion to operate the taxi service if I was a member...Read more

Business Plans From Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs

Twice a year, I have the honor of being a judge at the Connecticut Business Plan Competition, where students from business schools and undergraduate business programs throughout Connecticut compete for cash prizes and mentoring from leading business experts, in a format very similar to the popular "Shark Tank" television show.

The event has ...Read more

Buying a One-Way Ticket to a Courtroom

"I have a consulting business. Earlier this year, I contracted with a local business to provide management consulting services on a particular project. I normally charge by the hour, but the local business had an excellent reputation, and, frankly, I wanted to give them a good first experience, so I quoted them a flat fee for the project.

"No...Read more

Is It Good? Is It Bad? Who Knows?

There's an old vaudeville comedy routine that goes by the name "That's good. That's bad."

This routine was (at least for my generation) made famous by the late Archie Campbell, a country comedian who performed on "Hee Haw" and other comedy-variety television programs of the 1960s and 1970s (for an audio clip of Campbell's performance, go to ...Read more

Getting Cold Comfort When Joining a Startup

"I'm thinking about joining a new Web-based business where I would be one of three founders. The other two founders came from a previous company that's being liquidated, and the startup is buying the assets of the previous company with the proceeds of a bank loan. The loan money will be used to cash out the other owners of the previous company...Read more

Should You Charge a Flat Fee or an Hourly Rate?

"I run a home organizing business.

"When I do a job for a client, my work is divided into two parts: the first part is the 'design' phase, when I look at the client's home and make recommendations -- including detailed drawings -- as to how they can improve their closets and other storage spaces.

"Once the client approves my designs, the ...Read more



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