Single-member limited liability companies are very common in Michigan. Most small business owners operate under this type of business entity. Some are even able to navigate the confusing system that the State of Michigan has set up on their own and been able to file their articles of organization and become a registered limited liability company or LLC with the State. So your personal assets are protected now, right?
Ummmm… Maybe. Look here is the deal: A creditor’s attorney is going look for any hole in your business entities shield and try and expose it, and because of that if all you have done is filed a document with the State and paid a filing fee, he is not just say, “Oh well, I guess there is no way this business owner is personally liable” and move on. So what do you need to do to close up those holes? Here are a few DO’s, DON’T’s, and RECOMMENDATIONS.
Crowdfunding isn’t a revolutionary concept. The idea that a lot of people can pool their resources to make something happen has been around for years. After economic disasters in the early 1900’s many securities laws became very restrictive in the idea that would protect the general public. This has forced people that want to pool resources to get creative with how they do that. Nearly a century later, the world has changed and we are finally seeing those previously restrictive laws are loosening a bit.
On December 30, 2013 Governor Rick Snyder signed the Michigan Invest Locally Exemption (MILE) into law. While this went relatively under the radar for most people, this law puts Michigan on the forefront of the crowdfunding revolution. This new tool for your business to use, while unfamiliar, should definitely be something you look into.
For obvious reasons we are big proponents of businesses hiring and forging a relationship with a business law firm that can support their business. Over recent months though it has come to our attention that not all business attorney’s support their business clients as they should. It has led us to ask you, does your business attorney help promote your business’ growth or does he get in your way?
Before we get too far ahead in this conversation, this is not meant as a criticism of any attorney. Every attorney that is licensed in the State of Michigan takes an oath to zealously represent every one of their clients and some have a different views on what that zealous representation entails. It is important to interview your business attorney even after you have been with them for a while to ensure their representation of you is what you want it to be. Now with that out of the way on to the important stuff.
The dirty secret about non-profits is slowly seeping into the West Michigan community: non-profits need to be run like businesses. The changing economy and less discretionary income for individuals to donate has left many non-profit organizations struggling to make ends meet. But non-profits don’t make anything, don’t sell anything, and don’t really have owners that make money. They provide education, religion and services to those that need help. So what is the deal with them having to be run like a traditional business?
Let’s get one thing out on the table: these are non-profit corporations. Despite the distinction, at their heart these entities are corporations. They just have a different look to them. Businesses provide services in exchange for income. Non-profits are no different. They derive income in order to benefit individuals or other non-profits. Just because there is someone other than an owner benefiting from the income derived by the non-profit does not mean that a non-profit is that much different than a traditional business.
Every small business owner loves the idea of expanding their business. Whether they are increasing operations, expanding to a new location or just taking on larger orders, expanding is directly associated with success. While these times can be very exciting and gratifying, there needs to be some considerations before plowing forward with your business’ plans to get bigger.
New Holland Brewery has scaled back its plans to expand from just its Holland location to a second spot in Downtown Grand Rapids. Michigan’s third largest microbrewery is delaying the move because they want to find the right situation before pulling the trigger. New Holland president Brett VanderKamp said that finding the right location and the state’s liquor code, which specifies that microbreweries producing more than 30,000 barrels per year are limited in the number of taprooms they can have, are the two biggest factors. New Holland’s current location is currently trying to complete an expansion and it will be right about that 30,000 barrel mark once complete.
Startups and new businesses often need some financial assistance. Great ideas and the individuals that drive those ideas don’t always have the financial ability to create these businesses that could be the next big thing that can potentially create hundreds of jobs. In order to create a new avenue for these new businesses to raise capital, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was created to allow for crowdfunding. With this new development one of the big concerns is potential fraud.
The JOBS Act was signed into law a year ago and the SEC is months late on releasing the rules to allow crowdfunding sources to go live. Trying to ensure that fraud is limited as much as possible seems to be one of the hang-ups. Many experts believe that investing through this forum will self-regulate itself.
Craft brewing is a growing trend that appears to have no ceiling on it. Many home brewers take painstaking steps to create some tasty concoctions. Out of this popular hobby there has been a large influx in people that are taking their hobby to the next level and turning it into a business.
Grand Rapids was named Beer City USA last year and that is in addition to the great number of other West Michigan cities that have seen craft breweries pop up. Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. joined the fray when it announced that it will be moving into the Noble Building in Muskegon, Michigan earlier this week. Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. plans on beginning its construction within the next month and is hoping to be open for business before the end of the year.
You are a great boss. Your employees love you and your business is growing faster than you thought possible. Your office is fun and your workers get excited to contribute their talents every day. At least that is what you are trying to create. We all want to be the best boss ever. Being a small business owner or entrepreneur you want to create a work environment with an excellent work-life balance for your employees but that can be easier said than done.
In recent news, Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, announced that company was discontinuing its telecommuting policy and workers would be required to come in every day. This seems to be contrary to the trend that sees employers offering telecommuting options, flexible hours, in-office recreation options, retreats, happy hours and more. But before you jump on this wave of being the greatest boss of all time, there are a few things you should take note of.