The path to business ownership is an exciting journey. As you embark on your journey, you need a few things to successfully reach your destination. First and foremost, you need a good roadmap or GPS to successfully navigate your way.
The SCORE Startup Roadmap, sponsored by FedEx, guides your journey, from your business idea through opening your doors to customers.
Whatever startup route lies ahead of you, the Startup Roadmap provides direction along the way. It will help you chart a course to success, minimizing detours and dead ends so you can get to your goal faster. This Roadmap will take you from the initial step of defining your business idea through your ultimate destination: launching your business. In each chapter, we’ll teach you what you need to do and give you the resources and expertise you need to get it done. Continue reading →
The SBA (Small Business Association) defines a small business as one that is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding 12-months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period. Examples of SBA general size standards include the following:
Manufacturing: Maximum number of employees may range from 500 to 1500, depending on the type of product manufactured.
Wholesaling: Maximum number of employees may not exceed 100.
Services: Annual receipts may not exceed $2.5 to $21.5 million, depending on the particular service being provided.
Retailing: Annual receipts may not exceed $5.0 to $21.5 million, depending on the particular product being provided.
General & Heavy Construction: General construction annual receipts may not exceed $13.5 to $17 million, depending on the type of construction.
Special Trade Construction: Annual receipts may not exceed $7 million.
Agriculture: Annual receipts may not exceed $0.5 to $5.0 million, depending on the agricultural product.
The cost of hiring competent legal representation is often a barrier when applying for a patent or trademark. The Office of Enrollment and Discipline oversees two programs that provide applicants with free options for acquiring intellectual property protection.
Patent Pro Bono Program
The Patent Pro Bono Program is a nationwide network of independently operated academic and nonprofit organizations that endeavor to match volunteer patent practitioners with financially under-resourced inventors seeking patent protection. Inventors and small businesses that meet qualifying criteria, including certain economic and financial thresholds, may be eligible for free income-based legal assistance in preparing and filing a patent application. Patent practitioners may volunteer by applying directly with the regional Patent Pro Bono Program in the state or region in which they practice. The programs are administered locally and each have their own requirements.
The Law School Clinic Certification Program allows applicants to obtain pro bono legal assistance in both patent and trademark matters while allowing law students enrolled in a participating law school’s clinic program to practice intellectual property law before the USPTO under the strict guidance of a law school faculty clinic supervisor. Each school has its own criteria for accepting clients.
From one-person entities to Fortune 500 companies, no business can escape the dreaded task of bookkeeping. While it’s definitely not one of the more glamorous parts of the job, bookkeeping is at the heart of small business success, which means errors can be crippling.
To avoid the financial headaches that come with bookkeeping mismanagement, it’s important first to be aware of the pitfalls that can ensnare you. Continue reading →
If you apply for an SBA loan, your loan won’t be from the SBA, and you won’t make your payments to the agency. Instead, the SBA approves lenders to provide loans to small businesses under their loan programs. Continue reading →
“A library patron who wants to buy vacant land made a one-on-one research appointment to investigate mobile home parks in Kitsap, Mason, Jefferson, and Pierce County. The lack of affordable housing in the area weighed on her and she wanted to use her resources to provide housing for families who are burdened by a high rents or long commutes. We were able to identify all the mobile home parks in Kitsap and its neighboring counties, who their owners are, what their annual sales volume is, and build a geographic heat map that showed their locations relative to one another. She left with handle on potential gaps in the market and a more focused sense of where it makes sense to look for land.” — Carina Wood, Kitsap Regional Library, Silverdale Branch