Category Archives: SBA

Calling All Inventors: You may qualify for pro bono patent assistance.

What does “pro bono” mean? It’s fancy, law school lingo for “free.” ūüôā

Have you invented the next best thing or process? Do you have an idea that could be monetized into valuable intellectual property?

Protecting your intellectual property is an important part of your business strategy.

As of this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched pro bono legal patent assistance in Washington and Idaho.

This new pro bono program facilitates the placement of under-resourced inventors seeking advice about the patent process with volunteer attorneys who are qualified to practice before the USPTO.

The Washington pro bono patent program is based out of the University of Washington (UW) School of Law. In addition to legal assistance, the UW is also home to the USPTO Patent and Trademark Resource Centerwhere inventors can get free patent research assistance.

For more information on the new UW pro bono patent program, you can email wapatent@uw.edu.

 

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

SBA Surety Bond Changes Will Help Small Contractors

The SBA has noted two important changes to its Surety Bond Guarantee Program that will increase contract opportunities for small contractors, supporting them to grow their business operations. The following changes will become effective on Sept. 20, 2017:

1. The SBA will increase the guarantee percentage ceiling in the Preferred Surety Bond Program from 70 percent to 90 percent. The SBA guarantee will be 90 percent if the original contract amount is $100,000 or less, or if the bond is issued to a small business that is owned and controlled by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, veterans, service disabled veterans, or certified HUBZone and 8(a) businesses. All other guarantees will be 80 percent.

2. The eligible contract amount for the Quick Bond Application (Quick Bond) will increase to $400,000 from $250,000. The Quick Bond is a streamlined application process with reduced paperwork requirements that is used in the Prior Approval Program for smaller contract amounts. SBA review and approval requires minimal time, allowing small businesses to bid on and compete for contracting opportunities without delay.

For more information on the SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program, please visit www.sba.gov/surety-bonds.

5 Key Financial Tips When Starting a Business from Home

By Marco Carbajo

Did you know more than 52% of all small businesses in the U.S. are home based?

According to the Small Business Administration, there are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States, making up 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses.

If you are considering or are in the process of starting a business from home, it’s an exciting and important undertaking. And as with any venture, it’s crucial to take the right steps to set yourself up for success.

Part of making sure you follow the necessary steps when starting a business from home can set the foundation needed to be successful. Here are five key financial tips to follow when starting a business from home.  Continue reading

Are unnecessary rules & regulations impacting your small business?

Federal Register Notice Banner

Tell the SBA your story. You can make a difference in how the SBA does business.

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.

‚ÄúAs 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‚Äôve 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.‚ÄĚ

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.

Are unnecessary policies and rules impacting your small business growth?

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.

‚ÄúAs 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‚Äôve 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.‚ÄĚ

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.

8 things you can do to be taken seriously as a young entrepreneur.

By Caron_Beesley, SBA Contributor

Are you a teenager or in your early 20s? Do you have a great business idea? Perhaps you’re already making headway towards starting your own business.

But how do you get others to believe in you and your business idea?

Here are eight surefire ways that you can be taken seriously as a young entrepreneur:  Continue reading