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    Archive for the 'FAQ' Category

    Posted by Bernie Dietz
    Categories: FAQ

    Has the name of your company changed? Or perhaps you have signed a lease for new office space and have a new address? Whatever the reason, often you will need to update the State of Virginia on changes to your business. Primarily, this means notifying the State Corporation Commission and the Virginia Department of Taxation. So how is this done?

    To notify the Virginia Department of Taxation of changes to your company name, address, or other things, you can update your online account or file Form R-3 – http://www.tax.virginia.gov/content/report-changes-your-business

    To notify the State Corporation Commission of changes to your address, the process depends on whether you are operating as a corporation or an LLC. For corporation, you can update your principal office address on your annual report form. Don’t want to wait until it’s time for your annual report? Request an annual report form directly from the State Corporation Commission and file it, regardless of timing.

    If you’re operating as an LLC, you can file a Statement of Change of Principal Office address through the SCC eFile system or request the form and file by mail.


    Posted: January 4th, 2016 at 4:49 pm | | Email Post |
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    Posted by Bernie Dietz
    Categories: FAQ

    You’re a Virginia business owner and have decided that it’s a good idea to test applicants, employees, or both for evidence of illegal drug use.  You have looked into the cost of having all of these tests done and have seen that it will be quite an expense.  So the next logical question is: can I have my applicants and/or employees pay the cost of their drug testing?  Or can I have them pay in the event they don’t pass the test, or they quit within a set period of time.  The answer to all of these questions and scenarios is, generally and unfortunately, “No*.”  Virginia law prohibits employers from passing on the cost of any medical examination, including drug testing, to employees.  Your company could face a fine for every violation of this law.

    If you’re thinking of instituting a drug testing program in your company, you want to be sure that it doesn’t inadvertently cause more problems for you then it solves.  You should have two documents created for your situation by a lawyer that understands this area of the law: (1) a drug testing policy that you can provide to each of your applicants and employees and that describes in detail the process; and (2) a consent form for each applicant and employee to sign that shows their consent to the testing.  I can prepare these documents for your company on a flat fee basis.  If you would like my help putting these together for your company, just contact me.

    * Laws change.  This answer is accurate as of the time written but you should always check the current state of the law before making a decision or taking any action.


    Posted: March 12th, 2014 at 1:46 pm | | Email Post |
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    Posted by Bernie Dietz
    Categories: FAQ

    If your company has made the S corp. tax election then it’s that important time of year: the deadline for filing your annual 1120S tax return with the IRS is fast approaching.  This S corp. tax return is due by March 15th each year (for 2014, it’s due March 17th because March 15th is a Saturday).

    Even though all of your profits of your S corp. pass through to the owners and no tax is due at the entity level, you are still required to file a tax return (the 1120S) each year to report how you did.  This form tells the IRS how much gross revenue your S corp. generated during the prior calendar year, how much expenses were, and the amount of money that was distributed to the owners or held back in the S corp. (either way, the owners will pay income tax on this amount).

    The most important thing to note about the deadline for the S corp tax return is that there is a stiff penalty for late filing: the penalty is $195 for each month or part of a month (up to 12 months) the return is late or does not include the required information, multiplied by the total number of persons who were owners of the S corp. during any part of the S corp’s tax year for which the return is due.  This is due even though no tax was due with the return!  And if you forgot to file the 1120S on time, then it is likely that you won’t remember until the IRS sends you a written reminder, which normally takes up to 6 months from the due date ($195 x # of owners x 6 = yikes!).

    So be sure to get that 1120S in to the Internal Revenue Service on time.


    Posted: March 5th, 2014 at 4:42 pm | | Email Post |
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    Posted by Bernie Dietz
    Categories: FAQ

    When you’re operating your business there’s almost a limitless amount of different numbers, ratios, percentages, and measurements available to you (assuming you keep good books and records, which you should of course).  Gross revenue, net revenue, total costs, percentage annual growth, total number of customers, etc. etc. etc.  But at the end of the day, for all businesses, sooner or later, there is only one number that really matters: profit.

    I define profit as simply the amount of money that remains for the owners after all of the expenses of the business have been paid.  If you don’t have a positive number for your profit then it doesn’t really matter what your gross revenue is (you can bring in a million dollars a day but if it costs you two million dollars a day to do so, you won’t be in business long) or what your customer growth rate is (a fast growth rate when you lose money on each customer is just accelerating towards bankruptcy), or anything else.  The fact is that if you can’t generate a profit before you run out of your available capital then you only have two options: (1) raise more capital, either through investments or loans, or (2) shut it down.  So while certain metrics and number trends may be exciting, don’t forget to keep your eye on the one number that matters. And make sure you’re always taking steps to improve it.  It’s what will allow you to stay in business and thrive.


    Posted: February 13th, 2014 at 4:43 pm | | Email Post |
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