Even Small Business Owners Have Assets To Protect

Unfortunately, asset protection is often ignored or lost in the long list of things to do when starting or building your business. This mistake can cost you and your family when you least expect it.

What’s Involved in Protecting Your Assets?

Asset protection planning is a simple concept. First you catalogue all of your personal and business assets, such as bank and brokerage accounts, personal property and real estate, etc. Next you identify possible financial threats and then you insulate yourself from threats using a combination of different legal entities (trusts, corporations, limited liability companies, etc.) and insurance.

Properly done, this will help protect your current and future assets from loss due to the hazards of everyday life, such as lawsuits, business failures, and creditor claims.

To create an asset protection plan, you’ll need to review your potential exposure to financial loss, assess the different types of protection available, evaluate potential tax issues involved and analyze your ongoing personal financial needs, such as qualifying for mortgages and easily accessing assets when required. You should work with competent financial and legal advisors who are familiar with asset protection strategies.

Small Business Owners Beware

As a small business owner, there are several areas that warrant your concern. The first is to take financial liability issues into account when you choose the type of legal structure within which you’ll run your business (corporation, limited liability company, etc.). Once established, take care to follow the legal requirements of the entity you choose, so that you don’t jeopardize your personal assets. Some examples of this are not mixing business and personal expenses, not treating your business bank accounts as personal piggybanks, keeping necessary records, having the proper corporate officers and establishing a Board of Directors in corporations.

Personal guarantees are another common source of financial exposure. Lenders, landlords and leasing companies often ask for a personal guarantee from the owner of a small business. This means exactly what it says; you are providing a personal guarantee of repayment. If your business can’t make the payments the creditor can and will go after you and your personal assets.

Many entrepreneurs use personal credit cards and credit lines to get started. This may give you the credit you need, but it is ultimately a personal obligation. So if your business doesn’t have the cash flow to pay the bill, you’ll have to deal with these credit balances yourself. And the hefty finance charges can add up fast. Use extreme caution when leveraging personal credit for business use.

And then there is insurance. Small businesses often underinsure to keep overhead expenses low. This is risky. Losses do happen and they can quickly put an under-protected company out of business or hamper it severely. Be realistic when evaluating the type (liability, property, malpractice, etc.) and the amount of insurance you carry.

Be Safe, Not Sorry – Protect Your Assets

Depending on your individual situation, there are a variety of asset protection tools from which to choose ranging from the relatively straightforward, such as insurance, to the extremely complex involving off-shore trusts and multiple legal entities.

Seek the advice of business advisors and attorneys who specialize in this area. It is an investment in your financial security. Once you are on the wrong side of a lawsuit, it is too late to protect your assets.

A Review Of The Paypal Payment Processor

PayPal, owned by eBay, is one of the oldest online payment solutions. While anyone can get an account for free, it also includes merchant accounts to give you the ability to process payments online. Services are available to customers in well over 100 countries, making it the ideal solution for those with a global business.

Merchant Services

PayPal’s merchant services include the following:

Website Payments Standard: This simple solution includes easy HTML you can install on your website. Choose a buy now, add to cart, donate, or buy gift certificate button. It is already integrated into all third-party shopping cart systems, or you can get a shopping cart directly from the site if you don’t have one. Their Virtual Terminal feature allows you to accept payments via phone, fax, mail or in-person. Also supports recurring or subscription payments. This option also allows you to automatically calculate sales tax and shipping, as well as print out postage. When you’re done for the month, download your data to your accounting software such as Quick Books.

Website Payments Pro: All the features of standard, plus a built in shipping center to allow you to print packing slips, Express Checkout for those who already have a PayPal account, risk protection, and more.

Email Payments: You don’t even need a website to use this feature. Send an email payment request to anyone with an email address in 190 countries and they can pay you directly through email. You can generate QuickBooks or Outlook invoices to send to your client. Fast processing and includes the shipping center feature as well as many others.

Payflow Gateway: There are two versions to this option. With the Pro option you can let customers make payments without ever leaving your site. Powerful reports and management tools included with PayPal manager. You must have a merchant account to use this option.

Express Checkout: This can be used with other options. Basically, if a customer already has an account with PayPal, they can check out quickly and easily. Customer’s without one can sign up or use another payment option.

International Sales: This is not a service per se, but an area of the site to help you learn more about selling internationally.

Keep in mind though, that PayPal does not allow you to sell leads, it is against their terms of service. Also, PayPal has been known to shut down accounts selling business and multi-level programs without warning, and as a rule release the funds 6 months or later.

How to Sign Up

To open a Premier or Business account with PayPal is easy. Simply go to the website and enter your information. Opening an account and withdrawing money into a US bank account is free. Adding funds if you want to shop are also free. For all other transactions, the fee is 1.9% to 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. Transactions can be from a PayPal Balance, Instant Transfer, eCheck, Credit Card, Debit Card, or Buyer Credit.

You will need to call about opening a merchant account. Some of the services, such as Virtual Terminal and Website Payments Pro, have monthly fees depending on the package you are using. Payflow Gateway has a one-time set up and a monthly fee.

If you are looking for a global solution that will allow your company to reach almost 200 countries, look no further.

How To Save Money On Your Two Wheeler Insurance

Tips to save money on two wheeler insurance

Many people in India own two wheelers. It is compulsory for you to buy a two-wheeler insurance policy if you own a bike or a scooter. But can you reduce the insurance expenses? Sure you can! Just follow these tips and you will see a difference.

Avoid making smaller claims: Before you make a claim, see how much the bill amount is. If it is a small amount, pay it yourself. Making numerous small claims will unnecessarily bring down your NCB to zero which will overall lead to a loss.

Attach anti-theft devices: A car insurance plan offers protection against theft and other dangers to the car. So if the car is found to be safe and less susceptible to thefts and break-ins, the insurer will offer a discount on the premium. Therefore look to install some anti-theft devices to the car to not only keep it safe but also to reduce your insurance costs.

Be a good driver and earn No-claim bonus: Driving carefully will reduce the chances of your car getting into mishaps. This will reduce the need to make claims and you will earn NCB. The NCB will in-turn pull down your insurance premium costs.

Renew two-wheeler insurance before expiry: Do not wait for the two wheeler insurance policy to expire before you renew it. If you have a lapsed policy, you may need to pay some fees and fines to get a new plan. So always try to renew the policy on time to save money.

Buy online: It is known fact that insurance bought online is cheaper. So buy a two wheeler insurance plan online and save a considerable amount of money.

Choose the right kind of cover: If you have a two wheeler that you use occasionally or is almost on its way out, opt for a third party cover. If however your bike is used daily and is a valuable vehicle, go for a comprehensive plan. Knowing which cover you need will help you save money.

Deductibles: Every two wheeler insurance plan has a deductible component. This means that as the policyholder, you will have to pay certain amount at the time of a claim and the insurance provider will pay the rest. A high deductible will lower your premium costs and vice versa. If you are confident of your driving skills and feel you won’t need too many claims, opt for a higher deductible. This will help you save money on your two wheeler insurance plan.

Compare: Last but not the least, you most definitely need to compare the available car insurance plans to get the best deal at the best rate. This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save money on your bike insurance plan. Compare when you buy a new plan or renew an existing one.