Our monthly roundup of top stories:

10 Ways to Borrow Money

Do you have big plans for 2017, such as starting a new line, hiring additional employees, or expanding to another location? If you need capital to make your vision a reality, borrowing may be a good option... 
Here are 10 places to look for loans, and the upside and downside of each type of borrowing.

Tax Safe Harbors for Small Businesses

There are a number of so-called safe harbors that businesses can use to simplify their tax lives. Unfortunately, understanding these safe harbors can be anything but simple. Here's a roundup of the safe harbors of particular interest to small businesses, and what they mean to you.

Earned Income Tax Credit and Your Business 

There's a perception that the earned income tax credit (EITC) is a giveaway and it is only for the working poor. January 27, 2017, was EITC Awareness Day, so it's a good time to understand this tax credit and how it fits into your business.

5 Useless Things to Stop Wasting Your Money On

CNBC had an article on this topic geared to consumers. This prompted me to consider the same topic for small business owners. Because I know how hard small business owners work, I believe strongly in frugality.  

Here are some of the ways you can stop wasting money.

Under Budget, Ahead of Schedule
These are the words that President Trump said at the opening of Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. this past October. Regardless of your political views, from a business perspective this sentiment is a theme for success. Here are some areas in which you can exceed set goals in order to be successful
The Other Audits for Employers

We all know about dreaded IRS audits, which disrupt business and cost money in professional fees even if there's no change in returns under examination.  But the IRS isn't the only government examiner small businesses need to fear. Here are some other types of audits that the federal government is conducting now.

To Hire or Not to Hire: That Is the Question

The job market is heating up and according to a recent NFIB report, there was a 15% uptick in the number of small businesses that planned to increase employment. With that said, there are a growing number of firms that are one-person operations. They don't have employees, yet they seem to thrive. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the number of one-person manufacturers has soared in recent years, with an estimated 350,000 such firms in 2014. The following focuses on one-person companies, but the reasons can apply as well to small employer firms thinking of hiring this year.
Small Business, ADA, and Lawsuits

Just do a search for these terms strung together - small business, ADA, lawsuits - and you'll learn about "vexatious lawsuits." CBS's 60 Minutes ran a piece on them in December 2016, calling them "drive-by lawsuits." Another label: predatory lawsuits. These are legal actions brought for minor infractions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with the intention of getting the defendant - small business owners in particular - to settle because it's too expensive to fight the action in court.

J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2017

I'm proud to say it's the 23rd year of the original publication, and it's all new for 2016 returns and year-round tax planning. As had been my practice, I've written my own book review to explain the purpose of the book, what's new, and what's ahead -- find it here.

Tax season is here! Get the expert help you need now. 

10 Tax and Budgeting Moves to Start the New Year Off Right

While the prospect of comprehensive tax reform looms large, there are some actions that you can take now that will help you and your business do well under current or new tax rules. In addition, law changes and other factors may influence actions you need to take now. Here are 10 ideas.
High Hopes for Tax Reform: What It Means for Small Businesses

President Trump promised tax reform, and Congress is poised to deliver on that promise. The final package will likely be the product of much debate, compromise, and tweaking. Small business owners should follow the process and stay up-to-date with SBE Council's work in this area (sign up for Small Business Insider weekly enews) to better plan for the coming year, and beyond. Here are some of the key points under consideration that would impact small businesses.
Hear My Recent Radio Conversations with Featured Guests:

Jeff Tennery, CEO and Founder of Moonlighting, as we discuss the gig economy and the mobile marketplace

Bill Dunkelberg, Chief Economist for the NFIB, highlighting the post-election surge in business optimism and the importance of small business and the economic recovery. 
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February, 2017 | Copyright Ā© Big Ideas for Small Business, Inc.