STARTING A WEBSITE OR BLOG​
Below are my main tutorials on makeawebsitehub.com that will show you exactly how to get your own website or blog up-and-running in less than 30 minutes.

 

DOMAINS AND WEB HOSTING​
These articles and pages were all put together to help people learn more about web hosting and domain names.

 

WEBSITE PLATFORMS​
Not sure on which platform to use for building your website or blog? These articles might help you find the right one for you.
  • WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal: There are many content management systems to use for a new website. Here’s a breakdown of the Pros and Cons of the three most popular options.
  • Top Blogging Sites: I’ve reviewed and compared most of the big blogging platforms such as WordPress, Weebly,Ghost and more…
  • Best eCommerce Builders: A run down of the latest eCommerce website builders such as Shopify, Volusion and BigCommerce
  • Shopify vs. WordPress: Shopify is easy to use, but WordPress offers more flexibility. Which one should you choose, and why?
  • Best Website Builders: If you don’t want to build your own website from scratch there are a whole host of website builders now on the market. I have used my own money to sign up and review them all.
  • Weebly vs Wix vs Squarespace vs WordPress: I give a run down of the pros and cons of each of these 4 popular website and blogging platforms.

 

WORDPRESS TUTORIALS​
WordPress is my number 1 choice for building a website or blog, so over the years I’ve written quite a few tutorials on how you can get the most out of it.
MAKING MONEY ONLINE​
Once you have built your website or blog you might want to learn how to make money off of it.
WEB DESIGN RESOURCES​
I have compiled a list of some of my go to posts for people interested in learning more about web design.
  • Free Web Design Cheat Sheets: a range of cheat sheets I have created over the past 3 years to help bloggers, designers and developers.
  • Free Web Design Tools: I’ve created a whole range of free to use tools for web designers and web developers. They can all be found on this page.
  • How to Become a Web Developer: a quick overview of great resources to learn how to become a web developer and get your first web development jobs.
  • Best Text Editors Comparison: a comparison of all the text editors out there.
  • Best Web Design Software: a list of the web design software and tools I recommend and use myself.
  • Learning to Code for Free: I’ve compiled a list of free resources for learning where to code for free, from MOOCs to cool websites and eBooks. This is a great resource to get you started.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES​
  • Best Social Media Management Tools: if you are managing multiple social media accounts you will want to check this list of handy tools.
  • Social Image Sizes Cheat Sheet: each of the social networking sites have their own optimum image dimensions, this cheat sheet puts them all in one place for you.
  • List of Social Media Sites: a list of social networking sites that you might want to check out for meeting new people or getting traffic to your website.
  • Best times to Post on Social Media: I’ve compiled a list of the optimum times of day to post on the different social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

 

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Need and Importance
The Internal Revenue Service requires businesses to have an EIN under certain circumstances. If the business has employees, is a corporate entity or partnership or must file a tax return for employment taxes, excise, alcohol, tobacco or firearms, then the business needs an EIN. Banks may require the business to have an EIN if the company wants to open a business account. Bank of America, for example, requires businesses to bring EINs and copies of the business formation documents to open an account. In some instances, sole proprietorships may not need an EIN to open a checking account, but it is a good idea to apply for one and to use it for the business.

Separating Assets
A business checking account is a useful way for business owners to separate business assets and affairs from personal assets and affairs. Failure to maintain separate bank accounts could expose the owner to personal liability, even in a corporate setting, especially if the owner is not treating the business like a separate entity. While sole proprietorships are not treated as separate entities from the business owner, a separate business account may help the company differentiate between expenses, which can be useful come tax season.

Choose Your Business Structure

The business structure you choose will have legal and tax implications. Learn about the different types of business structures and find the one best suited for your business.

  • Sole Proprietorship
    A sole proprietorship is the most basic type of business to establish. You alone own the company and are responsible for its assets and liabilities. Learn more about the sole proprietor structure.
  • Limited Liability Company
    An LLC is designed to provide the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership. Learn more about how LLCs are structured.
  • Cooperative
    People form cooperatives to meet a collective need or to provide a service that benefits all member-owners. Learn more about how cooperatives are structured.
  • Corporation
    A corporation is more complex and generally suggested for larger, established companies with multiple employees. Learn more about how Corporations are structured.
  • Partnership
    There are several different types of partnerships, which depend on the nature of the arrangement and partner responsibility for the business. Learn more about how these are structured.
  • S Corporation
    An S corporation is similar to a C corporation but you are taxed only on the personal level. Learn more about how S corporations are structured.

Choose & Register Your Business

Choosing and registering your business name is a key step to legally operating your business and potentially obtaining financial aid from the government.

  • Choose Your Business Name
    Your business name will frame its identity. There are many factors to choosing your business name. Here are some tips to get started.
  • Register Your Business Name
    After you have selected a name for your business, you will need to register it to comply with the law. Learn more about how to register your business name.
  • Register With State Agencies
    For some businesses, you need to register your business name with state or local government agency. Find out what the requirements are for your state.

Business Licenses & Permits

To run your business legally, there are certain federal and state licenses and permits you will need to obtain. These resources will help you understand the requirements for your small business

  • Federal Licenses & Permits
    Certain businesses, like ones that sell alcohol or firearms, require a federal license or permit. Find out which ones impact your business and how you can comply.
  • State Licenses & Permits
    Some states have requirements for specific businesses. Find out what business licenses and permits you need in your state.

Obtain Your Federal Business Tax ID.

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. You may apply for an EIN in various ways, and now you may apply online.

Also known as the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or the Federal Tax Identification Number, the EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to business entities operating in the United States for the purposes of identification.

Your LLC will need an EIN if you expand and hire employees. Until 2009, single-member LLCs could pay required payroll taxes using the owners’ social security numbers as their EINs. However, since January 2009, single-member LLCs must have a EIN, like most other business structures, for payroll tax purposes.

Apply for a business license.

You will not be able to open a business checking account unless you have a business license. You can get the information you need about licenses and permits from the United States Small Business Administration.

Business Bank Account

As dictated by the Patriot Act, Dodd Frank Act and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumer and business owner/operators must provide certain details and data to corroborate their identities and their business models –

If you’re a sole proprietor, all you need is an Employment Identification Number (EIN), your Social Security number, as well as a driver’s license or passport. some banks allow sole proprietors to open accounts without an EIN

Articles of Incorporation & Banking Resolutions

Are you operating your business as anything other than a sole proprietorship? If so, you’ll need to bring additional documentation to your account opening appointment.

If you form a business as an LLC, limited partnership, corporation or other separate legal entity, to open a bank account you will need the articles of organization or incorporation that you filed with the state, if you are the sole owner…

If you are one of multiple owners, you will also need to bring a resolution from the other owners or board granting you the right to transact financial business for the company in general, or open and control the bank account specifically….

Before setting up the accounts and banking resolutions, you should also decide who will have authority over your business banking. This is called assigning authority.

“Who will be allowed to sign checks, access account information, make changes and make withdrawals”

What are articles of incorporation?

The articles of incorporation, sometimes called a certification of formation or a charter, is a set of documents filed with a government body to legally document the creation of a corporation. This type of document contains general information about the corporation, such as the business’s name and location.
Articles of incorporation can easily be confused with bylaws, which lay out the rules and regulations that govern a corporation and help establish the roles and duties of the company’s directors and officers.

How do I fill out the forms?

The first step in the process is structuring a business as a corporation. The specific documents vary by state, but each will include a number of questions about the business and its owners. The forms are easily found online, but don’t be alarmed if they are called something other than articles of incorporation.

Despite a state-by-state filing, the forms will all ask pretty much the same questions, and will be in a fill-in-the-blank format. The most crucial information that is required will be corporate name, recipient of all legal notices and official mailings, the purpose of the business, the duration of the business, the incorporator, the directors, how many shares of stock can be issued, and how many classes of stock the corporation will be allowed to issue.

Where do I submit the form and how much does it cost?

Once the proper documents have been filled out, they can be submitted by mail, in person at the secretary or department of state’s office, or electronically on the secretary or department of state’s website, depending on your state. The fees will also vary depending on the state, but they generally run between $50 and $300.

Other charges may apply at the time of the filing, again, depending on the state.
After all the papers have been filled out and all costs are paid, the secretary of state’s office will review the forms to make sure the name isn’t already in use and that all other information meets the state’s requirements. If everything is correct, the state files the forms, making the business a legal corporation. Investopedia notes that some states offer more favorable regulatory and tax environments and, as a result, attract a greater proportion of firms seeking incorporation.

Where do I find the form?

Every state has a different form, so here are links to each state’s form, which can be filled in online or printed out, completed and sent to the secretary of state’s office.

Alabama
Alaska
Arkansas
Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Expected cash-flow figures

To get your business banking relationship off to a good start, experts suggest providing as much information as possible about expected financial transactions. Think about your anticipated cash flow and possible credit needs before your initial meeting. Will the business collect payments immediately, or will it invoice them? Does your cash flow change with the season?

Banks said to also consider how the business will pay for materials, suppliers, employees and other expenses.

“As you determine the structure of the business and think about the processing of transactions, you will have the ability to provide an estimate of transaction volume for your new business account,

Some banks also offer unsecured revolving lines of credit backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA’s CAPLines program helps business owners meet short-term and working capital needs and can be a great option for newer businesses less than four years old.

Different types of CAPLines

    • Seasonal Line. Loan proceeds can only be used to finance seasonal increases of accounts receivable and inventory (or in some cases associated increased labor costs), but can be revolving or non-revolving.
    • Contract Line. This line finances the direct labor and material cost associated with performing an assignable contract and can be revolving or non-revolving.
    • Builders Line. If you are a small general contractor or builder constructing or renovating commercial or residential buildings, this can finance direct labor and material costs. The building project serves as the collateral and loans can be revolving or non-revolving.
    • Standard Asset-Based Line. This is an asset-based revolving line of credit for businesses unable to meet credit standards associated with long-term credit. It provides financing for cyclical growth, recurring and/or short-term needs. Repayment comes from converting short-term assets into cash, which is used to pay back the lender. Your business can continually draw from this line of credit, based on existing assets. This line is generally used by businesses that provide credit to other businesses.
    • Small Asset-Based Line. This is an asset-based revolving line of credit of up to $200,000. It operates like a standard asset-based line except that some of the stricter servicing requirements are waived, as long as your business can show repayment ability from cash flow for the full amount.

4 Credit Line Tips and Warnings

    • Avoid carrying a constant balance on your credit line. Periodically paying down the debt completely will keep the credit in place and your lender happy.
    • One key factor in obtaining a credit line will be your business cash flow.
    • If your business doesn’t quality for a standard credit line, ask for an “asset-based” line.
    • Remember, the best time to set up a business line of credit is before your business actually needs it.

Six things a credit line can be used for:

  1. Remodel, expand or upgrade your store, offices or other facilities.
  2. Buy new computers, servers, office technology or other equipment.
  3. Purchase extra inventory for upcoming promotions or seasonal spikes.
  4. Launch a new online marketing campaign.
  5. Create a new product prototype, pursue a promising business opportunity.
  6. Cover unexpected expenses.

Choose Your Business Location & Equipment

These resources can help ensure your small business is compliant with leasing terms and zoning ordinances. It also provides information about buying or leasing equipment or buying government surplus.

  • Tips for Choosing Your Business Location
    Learn how to find the right location for your small business and what you need to know before you begin your search.
  • Basic Zoning Laws
    Learn about local zoning ordinances and regulations that may apply to your small business.
  • Home-Based Business Zoning Laws
    Home-based businesses may be required to comply with local zoning laws. Find out which ones apply to your small business.
  • Leasing Commercial Space
    Find out what to expect when leasing a commercial office space for your small business.
  • Buying Government Surplus
    Purchasing surplus goods from the government is an easy and affordable way to equip your new and expanding business. Find out how to acquire government surplus for your small business.
  • Leasing Business Equipment
    There are several options available when it comes to acquiring equipment you need for your small business. Find out the benefits of buying or leasing equipment.

Learn About Business Laws

As a small business owner, you are subject to some of the laws and regulations that apply to large corporations. These resources can help you understand which requirements do apply to your business.

  • Advertising & Marketing Law
    Learn the basic rules when it comes to advertising, labeling and marketing your products or services.
  • Employment & Labor Law
    Hiring your first employee or building your business team requires you to comply with a special area of law. This guide will help ensure your small business follows employment and labor laws.
  • Finance Law
    Learn about the financial laws that protect businesses, investors and customers and how you can comply.
  • Intellectual Property Law
    Learn how intellectual property law can protect your business interests and find out how to register a trademark or service mark, file a patent or copyright your work.
  • Online Business Law
    Whether selling on eBay, or operating an e-commerce site, there are several laws that you must comply with such as how and when to collect sales tax. Learn more about laws for online businesses.
  • Privacy Law
    Learn how intellectual property law can protect your business interests and find out how to register a trademark or service mark, file a patent or copyright your work.
  • Environmental Regulations
    Laws to protect the environment could impact your small business. Refer to this guide to find out how to comply with environmental laws.
  • Regulation of Financial Contracts
    If you are conducting business transactions outside of your state, you need to comply with the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Learn more about UCC requirements.
  • Workplace Safety & Health Law
    Learn more about a variety of tools, guides and training materials that can help you comply with occupational safety and health laws.
  • Foreign Workers & Employee Eligibility
    Be sure to understand all laws and regulations about employee eligibility as you prepare to hire employees.
  • Contact a Government Agency
    Need help determining which laws your small business must comply with? These resources can help.

Business Financials

Improve your odds of business success by understanding your financing needs as well as the options that are available to help you start, manage and grow your business.

Finance Your Business

You have a variety of options when it comes to financing your small business. Explore your opportunities that range from traditional loans to grants and bonds.

  • Loans
    You’re going to pay for this great idea of yours. These topics will provide you with everything you’ll need to know about funding.
  • Grants
    Learn what grants are available to your small business.
  • Venture Capital
    Learn about this financing option available to startups and high-growth technology companies.
  • BusinessUSA Financing Tool
    Use our search tool to help you identify what government financing programs may be available to help start or expand your business.

Filing & Paying Taxes

Find out if your business needs to obtain a tax ID and what the benefits and requirements are.

Hire & Retain Employees

Ready to hire employees for your business? Learn about employment and labor laws to make sure your business is in compliance.

  • Hire Your First Employee
    Here are 8 steps to making sure you know the regulatory requirements before you start staffing your business.
  • Hire a Contractor or an Employee?
    Independent contractors and employees are not the same, and it’s important to understand the difference. Knowing this distinction could save you money on taxes and legal fees.
  • Pre-Employment Background Checks
    Before hiring employees, you may want to get more information about candidates to help you make an informed decision. Learn what types of information you can use for background checks.
  • Required Employee Benefits
    Find out what employee benefit plan managers need to know so your small business complies with federal law.
  • Optional Employee Benefits
    Employee benefits play an important role in the lives of employees as well as their families. Find out what benefits you are required by law to provide your employees.
  • Writing Effective Job Descriptions
    Job descriptions ensure employees understand the roles and responsibilities associated with their position. Use this guide to help you write effective job descriptions.
  • Employee Handbooks
    An employee handbook is the most important communication tool between you and your employees. Here is how to write one that properly sets expectations for those who work for your small business.

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