Small Business Guide

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  • 11
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  • 2,113
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Course Description

Starting and operating a business is a minefield of rules and regulations. The regulations set in the moment you decide to start your own business. You need to get licenses and permits from the authorities. There are restrictions on the type of business you can operate in a neighborhood. Tax and employee regulations are perhaps the most strictly enforced regulations. Non-compliance can even lead to cancellation of the business license and at times, imprisonment.

This course will guide you on the main requirements of the regulations so that a business can develop a strategy for compliance. This course will also provide guides on how to protect the intellectual property of the business , the types of insurance a business must generally have in place, and sources of funding.

Every business has its own assets. You must know how to protect the assets of your business, such as: registering the intellectual property right of the business with the appropriate authorities; insuring the business against losses; growing your business with funding. Find out what you need to know so that you can focus on making your business successful.
Registration of a Business Name

Starting and operating a business involves many issues. For example, the business owner must comply with many regulations: federal, state, and local. Lack of compliance can result in penalties and sometimes even imprisonment. Permits and licenses must be obtained before the business can start functioning.
In addition, the business structure is very important. Some business structures afford greater protection in the form of limited liability for the owners. Some offer tax benefits, while others offer easier access to financing. The business owner must take all steps necessary to protect the assets of the business and know how to raise the necessary financing. He or she must be aware that all business income is taxed at one stage or another.
Once the business starts growing, it will need to hire employees. When a business starts hiring employees, there is another set of regulations with which it must comply.

The first thing you need to do after you decide to start your own business is to choose a name. The name must be unique to your business. People must be able to identify your business by its name. Every business is known by its name. Your business name is one of the most important assets of your business. You can name your business after yourself, but if you operate your business under a name other than your true name, you must register that business name with the county clerk or secretary of state's office as a "doing business as" (DBA) or fictitious name.

If you are doing business as a sole proprietor or partnership, unless the business contains your full legal name, and full names of all partners in case of a partnership, with no additions, the business name generally is considered a fictitious name. Corporations and limited liability companies all have fictitious names. 

Some states do not require you to register your business name. However, if registration is required in your state and you fail to register your business name, you could be in trouble. You will need the registration to open a bank account in the name of the business and to enter into contracts using your business name. Generally speaking, you must register within one or two months from the date you start your business.

The first step to registering your business name is filing a statement on a prescribed form in the county where you are doing business under the fictitious name. The form will be available at the county clerk's office. Some states require that you publish the statement in a local newspaper. Some states charge a registration fee. 

Before your name is registered, the county clerk will check the records to determine whether the name you want to use is already registered in another company's name. If it is indeed registered in another company's name, you will be required to use another name.

Some advantages of registering your business name are the following.

  • Being able to use it to conduct business with vendors and financial institutions.
  • Assuring that all the business's official records are associated with the business name.
  • Being able to take legal action under the business name.

State law governs business name registration. Therefore, if you trade in more than one state, you must register your business name in each state that requires registration.

The main reason why states require registration of business names is to enable members of the public to find out who is operating under a business name. Registration of business names also ensures that no two businesses operate under the same or similar business names, which can create confusion.

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  • 6 Months to Complete
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    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (1,191 votes)

    Lesson 1. Registration of Business Name

    Starting and operating a business involves many issues. The business owner must comply with many regulations, federal, state and local. Lack of compliance can result in penalties and sometimes even imprisonment. 11 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Review Article: Guide to Start a Business
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 1: Registration of Business Name

    Lesson 2. Business Structures

    Business structure is the way a business is organized, owned, and managed. The laws governing the business and its operations will depend on its structure. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 2: Business Structures

    Lesson 3. Sole Proprietorship and Partnerships

    Establishing a sole proprietorship is cheap, relatively uncomplicated,and easy; and it does not require any legal paperwork to be filed with the state or federal government. Once declared open, the business is up and running. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 3: Sole Proprietorship and Partnerships

    Lesson 4. Corporation

    Incorporation means the forming of a new corporation. In the United States, it is often referred to by its abbreviation, "Inc." A corporation is a legal entity created through the laws of its state of incorporation. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 4: Corporation

    Lesson 5. Limited Liability Company

    A limited liability company, commonly called an "LLC," is a legal form of business company offering limited liability to its owners. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Review Article: How to Form a Limited Liability Company
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 5: Limited Liability Company

    Lesson 6. Licenses and Permits

    Once you have decided on starting your business, you will have to get the necessary permits and licenses from the relevant government authorities. The permits and licenses vary among jurisdictions. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 6: Licenses and Permits

    Lesson 7. Intellectual Property

    Intellectual property means property of the mind or the intellect. Intellectual property is an important asset of your business. It is protected through law and can be owned, bequeathed, sold, or bought. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 7: Intellectual Property

    Lesson 8. Taxes

    All businesses have to pay federal income tax. Some states also impose income tax on businesses. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 8 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 8: Taxes

    Lesson 9. Employees

    Employees are an important asset. Hiring and managing employees involves many legal issues. A business with employees must comply with certain federal and state laws. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 9 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 9: Employees

    Lesson 10. Insurance

    As in life, nothing is certain in a business. There are many risks, some foreseeable and some unforeseeable. A business must insure itself against such risks. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 10 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 10: Insurance

    Lesson 11. Finance. Grants, Loans, and Venture Capital

    Financing is very important for any business. No business can survive without financing. There are different ways in which a business can raise financing. 60 Total Points
    • Lesson 11 Video
    • Take Poll: How would you rate this course?
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 11: Finance – Grants, Loans, Venture Capital
    • Complete: The Final Exam
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Summarize registration of business name.
    • Summarize business structures.
    • Summarize sole proprietorship and partnerships.
    • Define corporation.
    • Define limited liability company.
    • Describe licenses and permits.
    • Summarize intellectual property.
    • Summarize taxes.
    • Describe hiring employees.
    • Describe insurance requirements and types.
    • Summarize finance options, including grants, loans, and venture capital, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

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    Course Title: Small Business Guide
    Course Number: 8900100
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.7 / 5 Stars (1,191 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: Professional Development (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 0.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Instructor: John Chouinard
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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