Category Archives: Insurance

Business Structure: Which works best for you?

business ownershipWhen you start a new business, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is how to structure your company. This choice can be critical to the future health of your business. Taking time up front to consider the pros and cons of each possible structure will likely save you many headaches in the future. In certain cases, it can mean the difference between your business’s success or failure.

Below you’ll find the upsides and downsides to some common business structures: Sole Proprietorships, LLCs, C-corporations, and S-corporations.

Sole Proprietorship

Upside:

  • Easy to Form – Sole Proprietorships are the easiest, most common, and least expensive business structure. A person is essentially a walking, talking sole proprietorship in waiting. All you need to do is sell something—a product, a service, anything—and boom … suddenly you’re a sole proprietor. Aside from obtaining any required business licenses, a Sole Proprietorship requires no paperwork and no filing fees.
  • Decision Making – As suggested by the name, you are the sole decision-maker. You run your business the way you want to run your business, and you don’t have to ask permission from anybody.
  • Taxes – The IRS doesn’t view your Sole Proprietorship as a separate tax entity, so there’s no special or additional tax paperwork. You’ll simply file your taxes on the same 1040 form as any other individual.

Downside:

  • Liability – The lack of separation between you and your business leaves you liable for all debts and legal claims against the business. You can even be responsible for your employees’ actions (if you have employees) while they are on the job.
  • Funding – Sole Proprietorships lack a specific structure for raising funds. You have no stock to sell, no set percentages to offer, and banks are often reluctant to offer loans to sole proprietors. Continue reading

Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program.

PFML_Employer_OverviewWashington is soon to be the fifth state to offer paid family and medical leave benefits. All workers will no longer have to choose between caring for their loved ones and making ends meet. They can dedicate their time away from work to be the best caretaker they can be. In return employers have access to an inexpensive benefit, save on payroll costs while the worker is on leave, and reduced employee turnover costs.

Workers can begin taking leave in 2020, but next year employers will have some actions to take.

First, employers need to withhold premiums from paychecks starting with the first check in 2019. These premiums are split between employers and workers. Workers foot most of the bill, but employers with 50 or more employees have a portion to pay also. (Employers with fewer than 50 employees don’t have to pay premiums but are still responsible for collecting and remitting the workers share.) Premiums are paid to the Employment Security Department by employers quarterly, starting in 2019. Learn more about premiums on the Premiums page.  Continue reading

How Can Business Insurance Help Your Small Business?

When you’re starting a small business—or running a growing one—there are so many expenses competing for your limited dollars that it’s easy to ignore business insurance. Spending money to protect against possible risks in the far-off future seems like a waste of your precious capital.

But not having insurance is how many small business owners get into financial trouble—or even go bankrupt.

are you coveredA recent survey by Manta and Insureon reveals just how many entrepreneurs are putting themselves at risk. Fewer than three in 10 small business owners in the survey have a business owner’s policy, the basic business insurance that covers general liability insurance and commercial property insurance to protect you from loss. Even fewer (21 percent) have Errors & Omissions (E&O) or professional liability insurance, 17 percent have workers compensation insurance, 6 percent have business interruption insurance, and only 2 percent have cyberinsurance.

Playing fast and loose with business insurance is a big mistake for many reasons. The increasing frequency of extreme weather events such as floods and wildfires creates additional risk of damage to your business’s property or equipment. Could you afford to replace all your business’s computers if a thief broke in and took them? What would happen if a lawsuit hit your business?
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Tips for Choosing the Right Insurance to Protect Your Business

When you are starting a small business, every dollar counts. One best practice that all small business owners should consider is liability insurance. Most of the information out there about liability insurance comes directly from insurance providers, so it is important to do extensive research to ensure that you are relying on objective information to make business decisions.  Continue reading

Surety Bond Guarantee Program

The SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program helps small and emerging contractors obtain bid, performance and payment bonds. The SBA guarantees up to 90% of a bond issued by a surety company for construction, service, supply and manufacturing contracts. To qualify as a small business an applicant’s annual receipts must meet the NAICS standard.

The Seattle Bond Office handles applications for bond guarantees on behalf of contractors domiciled in nine western states and thirteen southern states.

Learn more here… http://www.sba.gov/surety-bonds

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Ask SCORE: What type of insurance should I have to protect my small business?

No matter what type of business you own, you operate under some degree of risk. Sadly, no business is completely immune to lawsuits. Fortunately, however, a variety of insurance options exist to help protect small businesses.

Among the most common types of small business insurance are…

General Liability Insurance

Also known as commercial general liability insurance, this type typically covers claims associated with accidents or injuries on your property or your clients’ premises. General liability policies offer financial protection in the event of bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, and the cost of defending lawsuits.  Continue reading

Get tips for choosing the right insurance to protect your #smallbiz.

When you are starting a small business, every dollar counts. One best practice that all small business owners should consider is liability insurance. Most of the information out there about liability insurance comes directly from insurance providers, so it is important to do extensive research to ensure that you are relying on objective information to make business decisions.

Continue reading