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How do I start a business in Ohio?

Ohio entrepreneurs who intend to start their own businesses may wonder how to begin the process. Creating a business can seem confusing, because many things must be completed before the company can operate. A basic overview might help business owners avoid getting overwhelmed.

First, the owner chooses a type of business formation. For an limited liability company or corporation, it is necessary to register the entity with the Ohio Secretary of State. Sole Proprietorships or partnerships do not register. It is important to also determine whether permits or licenses will be needed to operate the business. Then, the owner will need to obtain an employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service. A bank account in the company's name helps ensure availability of funds to start the business. Next, the owner must contact the Ohio Department of Taxation to register.

How to write a complete business plan

Perspective business owners in Ohio who want to achieve success begin by drawing up a comprehensive business plan. Successful business planning works to provide the owner with marketing, profitability and assessment tools to measure the business's financial growth. The business plan should be thorough and detailed, and an effective business plan carries several parts, such as an introduction, an outline of the company's marketing and financial arrangement, a detailed outline of the business operations and a conclusion.

The introduction should include a complete description of the particular company including the legal structure and ownership of the company. It should further outline the owner's experience and abilities and explain what makes the company stand out among its competitors. The marketing section of the business plan should provide an outline of the company's goods and services including a clear method of advertising and marketing of those goods and services, information about the consumers that will benefit from them and pricing strategies.

Tips for developing a 1st quarter business plan

Ohio businesses that are on a calendar fiscal year may be getting ready to wrap up 2014 and start planning for the first quarter of 2015. According to a recent article, there are five items to keep in mind as one develops ideas for a successful 2015.

One step involves identifying specific goals, such as revenue targets. When forming these targets, it is better to be specific. By including monthly sales goals in a plan, a business owner may be able to extrapolate weekly targets, which may help determine marketing strategies. Another step is to do an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This helps every owner stay on top of what is going on in his or her business environment and eliminates the potential for unpleasant surprises down the road.

Ohio billboards lead company to bring suit

An Ohio man is the subject of a lawsuit leveled in July by a Texas company that operates gas wells within the state. The company, Buckeye Brine, says that the billboards that the man has put up are defamatory. The billboards make references to the Biblical book of Revelations and include statements about water pollution that will kill 'many man" as a result. The billboards say that the injection well process is poisoning the water. Ohio is one of the few states that permits drilling operators to dispose of waste water by injecting it back into the wells that are produced by the drilling process.

The company says that the wells are safe and that the man's messages are defamatory. The complaint states that the use of the word 'death" has no basis in fact and represents a malicious attack against the drilling operator. It also states that there is no evidence that any aquifers in Ohio have been contaminated by the injection process. The man who paid for the billboards says that his remarks are protected speech and that the complaint by Buckeye Brine misrepresents his statements.

Business planning advice for Ohio business owners

A business owner can face many important decision as the business grows and starts to become profitable. One of the best ways to make an important decision is to prioritize it among all the various decisions that need to be made. Next, it is worthwhile to analyze what has been done about it and then take care of those decisions in the order that they have been prioritized.

One of the most important issues for a business owner to consider is what happens to the money that the business makes? If the owner dies, who gets the business and the money that it makes? Is there an exit plan and an estate plan to maximize the company's value and the amount that can be passed on? As making money and growing long-term wealth are two of the key reasons to start a business, those are important issues to address.

Why contracts and agreements should be notarized

One simple, yet effective, way that Ohio businesses can avoid contract disputes is to have all contracts and agreements notarized. This may seem like an unnecessary and time-consuming step, especially if a notary public is difficult to locate. However, a business owner who has had the legitimacy of a contract challenged because the signatures were challenged will most likely consider such a step to be mandatory in the future.

Unlike the past, modern law requires contracts and agreements to be notarized only in a few special cases, such as real estate deeds. In those cases, a notary public who is commissioned by a governmental authority to witness signatures will provide a guarantee that the signatures are genuine. Even when the law does not require signatures to be notarized, there are several instances where it makes sense to do so.

When to update a business plan

Business owners in Ohio may periodically need to review their business plans and ensure that they are current. A business plan is not simply a document that is written to secure funding for a business in its early days. It can serve a business owner throughout the life of the business by providing a foundation that can be reviewed and updated according to the business's changing needs. Business planning should be an ongoing task.

There are a number of reasons both positive and negative to update a business plan. Even negative events that trigger a business plan review can be viewed as challenges that may ultimately take a business to the next level. Having a product copied by a competitor, the departure of a key staff member or a change in relationship with a major vendor could trigger a review of the business plan. Changes in competitor tactics, regulations or the economy are also situations that signal a need for a review.

Small business loans slowing while economy recovers

As many Ohio business owners might know, bank loans may be available to them, but the number of small businesses that seek loans has dropped. This may reflect a less-than-hopeful opinion of the market, or it may indicate a level of prudence amongst small business owners.

According to a representative of a large banking lender, the economy's rebound means that banks have more money to lend and that rates for lenders are still low. Bank representatives say that they want to lend start-up money or money to enhance existing businesses. Borrowers can search for loans at the best rates for their needs.

Xerox agrees to complete work on Medicaid payment system

Ohio residents may be interested to learn about a breach of contract dispute that was just resolved between Xerox and the Montana Department of Health and Human Services. As of July 18, the state agency has confirmed that Xerox is no longer in breach of contract, and the company has begun cooperating with the planning of a $70-million-dollar project to create a payment handling system.

Right now, Montana DHS is using a payment system that is over 30 years old and is not able to interpret the complexity of new payment rules and regulations. According to the newly revised work plan, Xerox has agreed to create a new payment system that will be designed to last 20 years, called the Medicaid Management and Information System.

Developer looking to build new apartments in Avenue District

Pending approval from the Cleveland City Planning Commission, Zaremba Inc. plans to build 108 new apartment units in downtown. The nine-building development project would create 59 one-bedroom apartments and 49 two-bedroom apartments in the Avenue District. The units would range in size from 600 to 1,100 square feet and include a mix of townhouse-style homes and flats. Seventy-seven new parking spaces would also be included in the real estate development project.

An apartment broker for Marcus & Millichap questioned the feasibility of Zaremba's development plans. He commented that the Superior Avenue location has always been questionable because it is somewhat isolated. In 2007, a development project in the Avenue District that was meant to become a several-block neighborhood only sold five condos before going into foreclosure.

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