Today, a significant portion of livestock, poultry and other crops are being raised under production contracts, also known as grower agreements. Contracting has changed the shape of American agriculture. In the future, you may consider signing a contract to raise a crop under detailed specifications or to care for livestock or poultry owned by someone else.
USDA cannot tell you whether or not to sign a production contract. Each farmer and every farm business is different and there are many different types of contracts available. Making the important decision to enter a production contract should only be made after you consider how contracting may affect the future of your farm business. Continue reading
Changes to the state minimum wage
The minimum wage in 2017 is $11 per hour.
- The minimum wage applies to all jobs, including agriculture.
- Employers must pay employees age 16 and older at least $11 per hour in 2017. WAC 296-126-020(app.leg.wa.gov).
- Employers are allowed to pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to employees under age 16. WAC 296-126-020 (app.leg.wa.gov). For 2017, this rate is $9.35 per hour.
- Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac currently have higher minimum wage rates. The local rate applies if it is higher than the state minimum wage rate.
- The initiative does not change overtime pay requirements.
The initiative sets future minimum wage rates Continue reading
One way to grow your business is by reaching out to strategic partners who offer complementary products or services or who otherwise can work with you to the mutual advantage of both your businesses. Strategic partnerships can expand your market reach and help you achieve more sales. But giving another business intimate knowledge about your company’s inner workings may make you a bit uneasy. There’s some inherent risk involved in sharing confidential information and intellectual property (IP).
According to Marc Goldberg, a SCORE mentor with business startup and management expertise, “It is very easy to steal your ideas or even your unique approach to customer fulfillment. Very quickly you could generate a competitor by sharing information with the wrong people.”
For that reason, you need to take measures to protect your ideas, information, and innovations from theft. Continue reading
Tell the SBA your story.
Now through Oct. 16 at www.sba.gov/ReducingRegs, the SBA is collecting comments from small businesses to help the agency identify unnecessary or ineffective rules and regulations that stifle business growth.
“As I travel the country meeting with small business owners, I hear over and over again about the volume of regulations they must comply with and how difficult it is to manage the burden,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “So I’ve appointed a taskforce here at SBA to help identify SBA regulations that need to be changed or eliminated. Your feedback will help SBA do its part to identify which SBA regulations may be impeding small business economic growth, innovation and job creation.”
The Federal Register notice posted earlier this month is in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13777 which aims to ease the burdens placed on America’s small businesses. Under this Executive Order all federal agencies are required to designate a Regulatory Reform Officer and develop a process of evaluating their existing regulations and determine which ones should be repealed, replaced or modified.
Visit www.sba.gov/ReducingRegs for more information and to post your comments.
Although the simplicity and affordability of running a business as a sole proprietorship may have attractive perks, there are reasons why you might benefit from forming an LLC (limited liability company) or corporation instead.
How can you recognize that a change may be in order? Continue reading