Friday, May 06, 2005
Paperless Office Update
Delaware Intercorp, Inc., is going paperless!
If you stacked up all of our customer documents here in the Delaware office, the stack would be over 20' tall. We need more storage space. So we reached into the virtual filing cabinet for what we need.
As of March First, Delaware Intercorp, Inc., has been largely paperless. We are storing images of all the persistent documents we maintain. Now our filing capacity is virtually infinite.
It will take some time to scan all of our old documents into the new system and we will have to maintain some files for our Document Custodian service. But the bulk of our routine documents are now stored on our server, backed up by the minute and backed up off site daily.
Delaware Intercorp has solved a storage problem while also reducing our expenses for paper and reducing waste. It is a good feeling to do well, while doing good.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
How the New Bankruptcy Law Could Effect Small Business Entities
Last month, after years of debating, President Bush signed into law the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. What does this mean for your small business?
Experts seem to feel that this is a win/lose situation for business and entrepreneurs.
I found an article on in the small business section of FORTUNE online by Louise Witt that discusses this very issue.
In the win column we have the following:
- Small business owners will find it easier to collect debts from other businesses that have filed for bankruptcy protection.
Under the old laws, small business owners that provided goods or services to a company that went belly-up were often considered unsecured creditors, which put them at the back of the line when it came to being reimbursed.
- Small business owners will find it easier to collect debts from consumers.
The new law will make it harder for individuals to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, and instead will require consumer to file for Chapter 13 which requires them to participate in a payment plan over a 5 year period.
The bottom line that as a small business owner if you are a creditor, you are more likely to not be left holding the bag, and the new law is something to applaud. In the lose column you have to consider this:
- Businesses will face tougher rules when filing for bankruptcy themselves
The law's new small-business provisions have additional paperwork and reporting requirements, making an already difficult situation more burdensome.
- Sole proprietors may be forced to file bankruptcy protection as an individual
Under the new law, a Judge may consider if most of the debit is personal rather than business related. This on top of the fact that a sole proprietor does not enjoy the same separation of personal assets from business debts as an incorporated entity spells trouble.
Ultimately, if as a small business you are a debtor seeking bankruptcy protection, it could be harder to reorganize under Chapter 11 and work our payment plans. Instead, they may be forced into Chapter 7 where their assets can be sold off to pay creditors.
So, the million dollar question- Are the new bankruptcy laws good new or bad news for small businesses?
I guess it depends on which hat you are wearing at the time- creditor or debtor.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
An End to Delaware's Gross Receipts Tax?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with gross receipts tax, the tax is currently imposed on businesses that receive over $600,000 from goods sold or services rendered. Since the tax exemption is so high, many small businesses are unaffected.
According to the article in the News Journal, 85 percent of the tax collected is paid by only 800 of the State's 45,000 companies.
For the second year in a row, Rep. Deborah Hudson, R-Fairthorne, is trying to reduce and eventually eliminate the gross receipts tax. She has introducted legislation that will increase the gross receipts tax exemption to $840,000, costing the State about $51 million per year in revenue.
So why implement a plan to reduce the States revenues by so much?
To make Delaware a more competitive State for larger corporations. If they can benefit from less taxes as well as the other good qualities Delaware has to offer, they will in turn bring more money and jobs to our fair State.
Russell also looks at this issue in his blog.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Challenges Facing Small Businesses Today
HP recently released a survey asking small businesses what they see as their biggest challenges. Their answer? Basic business issues. Eighty percent of those surveyed indicated operational issues as their biggest challenge. Customer and employee relations ranked second and third at forty-four percent and forty-three percent respectively.
What else are the small business owners concerned about? Their community. Most small business owners are highly involved in their local community. They show their support by making donations to local charities, volunteering with organizations, and using other local businesses when possible.
399 small business owners with less than 100 employees took part in the survey conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc.
Time Warner Reports Security Breach of Employee Data
Not to be outdone by the other recent high profile cases, media giant Time Warner Inc., reported Monday that data on 600,000 former and current employees has been lost.
This time, the data which was stored on computer back-up tapes, wasn't hacked in cyberspace by some computer wizard rather it was literally lost in transit to an outside data storage company.
It's an all too familiar story- if personal data isn't being stolen, it is being flat out lost. It seems that we are on the verge of an epidemic, which is probably why Reuters reports that the Secret Service is investigating the latest incident.
You can bet that there will be more stories coming down from Capitol Hill this week about the need for Congress to act quickly to protect personal data.