Round-Up: Small Business Accounting Vexes Businesses Large & Home-Based

Legal & Accounting, social media
August 16th, 2009 2 Comments »

A few observations from a week’s browsing around home office, home-based business and telework topics on the Internet.

contractor-accounting-101-sayruok123-via-flickrcreativecommonsThough it’s the bane of many non-bean counters’ lives, finance and accounting are necessary evils of any business. PCMagazine had a great review of some top, free accounting applications. For the record, I use Quickbooks.

Thursday Bram had an interesting piece on Freelance Switch about Freelancers and Proof of Income. Another necessary evil — and challenging situation — when you want that lender to hand over some scratch for a new house or car. Once you’re up and running, income is easier to earn — and show. But for newcomers, it can be challenging indeed.

Social media sites remail all the rage — but perplexing when they go down or get hit by DOS, or Denial Of Service, attacks. Twitter ( ; ) and Facebook were two such victims recently. Threw the twittosphere and FacebookUniverse into, well, a twitter. Things seem better now — until the next attack. Read More »

Protect Your Trademark From Facebook Username Abuse

Guest Column, Legal & Accounting, Marketing & Publicity
June 12th, 2009 No Comments »

If your home office, small or home-based business uses Facebook for business, the social media service”s new customized user-name options raise serious trademark questions.

This might not sound like a big deal — today. And what you’re about to read (should you choose to do so) might seem like social media Sominex. But intellectual property attorneys with Morrison & Foerster believe that Social networking is about to become a bit more complicated — especially for businesses and organizations that post profiles on Facebook.

The following content is from Lynn M. Humphreys and Cathleen E. Stadecker, both attorneys with the firm…

“Starting this weekend – June 13 – Facebook is allowing its members to select customized user names for their profiles.? Instead of the randomly assigned digital number that currently designates a user’s home page, their chosen name will become part of the URL address, making it easier to search not only on the popular networking site but through Google and other major online search engines.

An inspired initiative, to be sure, but Facebook’s move raises some key trademark issues. Read More »

Home Office & Small Business Marketing: Fair Use vs. Thievery

Law / Tax & Zoning, Marketing & Publicity
June 6th, 2009 No Comments »

copyright-by-uncommon-depth-via-flickrYesterday’s post was one I swiped from an RSS feed. Today’s is one I pinched from my email inbox.

Am I thieving other people’s content? No. I asked permission. And received it in kind (and I kept the email replies granting said approval).

Sometimes, people say what we’d like to say in a way that’s more authoritative or poignant than we can ourselves. So we’d like to use their words. We can — if we do so legally…

The thief would say, “It’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.” On the Internet, people may be less forgiving. And my little exercise highlights a thorny issue in the Digital Age: When is use fair game (or “fair use” in copyright parlance)? And when it is simple theft?

Read as digital attorney Mark Grossman discusses the nuance and hard rules about use of others’ content.? The rules may surprise you…

(BTW, the image illustrating this post was used with permission from’s Creative Commons collection. The only caveat: Attribute the work. Gladly. Thank you, Uncommon Depth…)

Why is it that intelligent and well-educated people believe that copyright law doesn’t apply to the Internet and blogs? It might be because copying is so easy to do. Maybe it goes back to the almost utopian and non-commercial origins of the Net. Whatever the reason, it’s a myth… Read More »

Does Your Small / Home Business Web Content Expose You?

Guest Column, Legal & Accounting
March 28th, 2009 No Comments »

Careless with your business Website? Don’t get sued, warns Mark Grossman.

An improperly created website can breed lawsuits. It’s not the place to test the limits of the law. Once you put information out on the Net, it’s there for anybody to see.

It’s the ultimate in unrestricted access. You might create a site for potential customers, but your competitors and enemies get to see it too. A cautious and conservative approach is the way to go. How cautious you need to be will vary depending on several things.

The preventive medicine is a legal audit of your website. Read More »

9 Steps to Stress Free Home Office & Small Biz Flock Online Tax Filing

Legal & Accounting
March 26th, 2009 No Comments »

In today’s? economy, people are turning online to file their taxes rather than spending hundreds of dollars (sometimes thousands) going to their usual accountant.

According to the IRS, 2008 saw more than 86 million Americans file their tax returns electronically – a new record, and this year that number is expected to increase. E-filing is faster and can expedite the filing process at little or no cost.

Whether you work from a home office as an entrepreneur or a teleworker, or run a small business, simplifying tax time can reduce stress. Here’re some tips from the folks at Best Buy’s Geek Squad: Read More »

Home Office Tax Time Beckons: What’re You Gonna Keep?

Law / Tax & Zoning
February 20th, 2009 1 Comment »

SOHO TaxesAs a home-based independent contractor, my CPA always tells me, at tax time, Get what’s yours.

Other say, it’s not what you make. It’s what you keep.

With that in mind, here’s a great piece from BusinessWeek on tax-saving tips. Because if you’re not taking tax deductions that you’re entitled to, you’re watching profits go straight down the drain.

From small business owners to home office workers to the self-employed workers and even office-based independent contractors and teleworkers or telecommuters, we have ample, legitimate business expenses we can write off – TODAY. Read More »

Key Cabinet Posts: Who’s In Your Home Office Administration?

Legal & Accounting, Marketing & Publicity, Soloing, Uncategorized
November 24th, 2008 2 Comments »

Obama Cabinet selections courtesy USAToday, Getty Images & APAs Barack Obama wades through the process of selecting the cabinet posts for his home office, it got me wondering about the cabinet posts for my own home office.

Just as any president cannot be expected to personally oversee the roles of the Treasury, Defense, State and the like, home officers and entrepreneurs must delegate key posts, too.

Why is delegation key? Two reasons, really: First, trying to Do It All distracts the entrepreneur from his or her core mission. If you’re a graphic artist, it’s unlikely that you’re thoroughly astute in the machinations of IT or accounting. Your Core Competency is graphic design. That’s where your money’s made. Anything that draws your attention from that One Mission loses you money.

Second, delegation ensures the business has the brightest minds in key positions. As a writer, I know a bit about graphic design. But I’m no graphic designer. I can noodle with Web work or IT, but I don’t know the latest WordPress applications or how to fight back some virus attack.

So, who holds my Cabinet Posts? Read More »

Six Weeks Out: How Much Home Office Coin You Gonna Keep?

Legal & Accounting
November 17th, 2008 1 Comment »

Would you like to keep more of your freelance or home-business money where it belongs (though not necessarily in your mattress)? This column from home office domainer Owen Frager with Frager Factor explains what any tax-savvy soul needs to know…

When year-end approaches, most of us are busy taking care of last-minute items for the year and preparing for the upcoming year. Remember, procrastination can result in missed opportunities and, in some cases, penalties for missing deadlines. It’s not too late to make financial changes that may save you money on your 2008 tax return. You have a couple of short weeks left to make smart year-end financial moves and do some advance planning for 2009.

Corporate executives working on W-2 aren’t able to capitalize on some of the liberal tax advantages enjoyed by the ranks of the self-employed. And you don’t have to make serious coin to consider your own tax advantages. Rich man or poor man, it’s not what you make that’s important. It’s what you keep…

Read More »

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