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How to Choose a Franchise

Date: 06/20/2018 | Category: | Author: Jakub Vele

How to Choose a Franchise

Franchising is something that is taking over the market, and it is becoming hot. As per the International Franchise Association, in the U.S., a new franchise is opened every eight minutes as everyone is choosing a franchise as their business option. And due to this, the overall franchise sales in the U.S. currently accounts for more than 40% of the retail sales.

In fact, many small business owners tend to opt for opening a franchise rather than creating a company all from scratch. And with the increase in the number of these small business owners purchasing the franchises, there is also an increase in the number of businesses that are willing to sell franchises with their services and goods. This gives the buyer open opportunities for choosing a franchise as per their desire from the vast numbers.

With all the choices, how does a person choose a franchise that would take them the right way? For this, there isn’t any specific answer that would give you the right choice. But there are some suggestions that can help you remove all the guessing work from the franchise shopping tour that you are about to embark on.

For choosing a franchise that is right for you, use the following tips:

Ask the Franchisor for the copy of the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC)

After you are done choosing a franchise, ensure that you ask the franchisor to give you the UFOC. As per the federal law, the franchisor is obliged to offer you a copy of the franchise disclosure statement as soon as you have become one of their franchises’ prospect.

Even though the document is provided to you after the agreement has been made, you can ask for it ahead of time as well. This would help you understand all the terms before you strike the deal. Get the help of your lawyer to understand and review the document.

After reading the UFOC, if you are still interested, visit the offices of the franchisor

When you are satisfied with the document, visit the franchisor and talk to them. You can visit their office and even spend time with them to understand all about the company. This is something very important as with this process you would be able to understand if you share the same culture and values.

Choosing a franchise doesn’t just involve picking a company, it is more about being the company. Hence, it is vital to know if you want the same things as what the franchisor wants and talking to them is the only way you would both be on the same page or find out if you are on the same page.

Request from the franchisor the entire list of the franchises of the company

After getting the list, make sure that you research to see if the list is the complete one. If the list has a less number of franchisees than the actual number of what you got when you researched it, question it. Call almost every franchisee to learn about the company in detail. Here are some questions that you can ask them to know more:

  • Are the franchisor’s behavior and attitude towards the company the same as when you met him in the beginning?
  • Are they responsive?
  • Do they listen to all your queries?
  • Do you get the proper support from them?
  • Overall, are you happy with the franchisor and the way things are going?

All these questions are important since everything is not just about choosing a franchise, it is about understanding your future and this would give you an idea of how your future with this franchisor would be. Moreover, since speaking about the money matters can be delicate, and instead of asking them how much they make directly, here are some questions that you can ask:

  • Would a person be able to earn well with this franchisor?
  • How much volume of money can probably come in with this business?

Talk to every kind of franchise owner

Despite the number of franchisees that you talk to, ensure that you speak to the franchisee who has many stores and also the one that has just one store. In this case, you are trying to learn if the franchisor is a right person and if the franchisee is treated well by them.

Basically, since you are about to start a store as a single owner, you need to ensure that the franchisor supports you in the right way and pays attention to what you have to say always.

Request for the list of those franchisors who have left the system

Ensure that you get the complete list from the client and then call these people. Ask them the reason for leaving this business and how was the process. This would give you a better idea of all that is going wrong with the franchise and would help you in choosing a franchise that is right for you.

Visit as many franchise stores as you can physically

Walking into any franchise and seeing how they work, would give you an idea and feel of how you would be as an owner. If you are not a person who wants to be involved in a lot of business issues, and the franchise would lead to that, you can at least find it out on time and back off.

As mentioned above, choosing a franchise is not just about sitting at home and letting the profits flow in. It has a lot of work as well, just like any average company. The most successful franchisors are those that have understood that it is a partnership sort of business. Other than that, franchises are more of a give and take that is between a franchisor and franchisee.

And by doing your homework and using the tips mentioned above, you would be able to eliminate any of the guessing work and be sure about what you would be in some years with the partners you are choosing.

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Hawaii Business License

Date: 06/16/2018 | Category: | Author: Jakub Vele

Hawaii Business License

If you have incorporated a business in Hawaii or planning to form a small business in the state then it’s time to apply for a business license. In order to operate your business in Hawaii, business licenses, permits, and other professional licenses have to be obtained. Absence of license or permit to operate a specific business can lead to heavy penalties and in some cases, closure of the business.

It is important to note that a business license in Hawaii pertaining to a specific industry is issued or regulated by agencies related to that industry like food services require license or permits, which are regulated by the State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Sanitation Branch. Similarly, a license to open a firearm store and sell firearms in the county of Hawaii is being regulated by the Department of Finance, Vehicle Registration & Licensing Division.

How to Get a Business License in Hawaii

Where and how do you apply for a Hawaii company license? Are permits required for my business entity? Does the business entity require a single license or multiple permits or licenses? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses or permits? The only way to answer these questions is by understanding the process of business licensing.

There are two steps towards acquiring a business license in the state of Hawaii and they are:

The Industry and Business Operation

This is the first and foremost step towards acquiring a business license that is appropriate for your business. You need to identify the industry relevant to your business. Once you have identified the industry, you need to be clear about what your business entity is offering in terms of service or products. Let’s look at an example to understand this well.

Industry Type: Food Business

  • Food establishment category defines “permanent” establishment like restaurant, caterer, bar, convenience store, or other types of food establishments.
  • There are “Special Event Food Establishments” as well. These are not permanent in nature and can be seen as food sale events like fundraiser event, carnivals, farmers market, and food shows among others.
  • Lastly, there are “vendors” that can be a part of food establishments or special event food establishment. Food vendors include lunch wagons and food trucks.

Business License or Permits

  • Business license in Hawaii is required if you are planning to set up a bar or serve liquor in a food establishment.
  • If you are planning to start a restaurant or become a caterer, you will require a business permit.
  • If you are planning to establish lunch wagons or food trucks then you will be required to obtain a vendor business license as well as a permit to operate as a vendor.

Who issues the License

Who is responsible for issuance of Hawaii company license? What is the annual fee? Do I need to renew it? These are some of the important aspects to consider as licenses pertaining to different industries are issued by different government authorities. It is also important to consider the fact that for some businesses, only permits are required and in some cases, both business license and permits are required. Let’s look at the Food Business example to clearly understand this.

Food Establishments in Hawaii

If you set up a food establishment then it will be regulated by State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Sanitation Branch. A food establishment will not require a business license in Hawaii; instead you will require a permit. The permit application is different for different counties and has to be filed with the sanitation branch of the county you are starting your business in for example:

  • FOOD ESTABLISHMENT – MAUI
    If you are planning to set up a permanent food establishment in Maui then the application has to be submitted at Sanitation Branch, 54 High Street, Room 300, Wailuku, HI 96793.
    The business license or permit fee for a small restaurant would be $200 and that of a large restaurant would be $400.
    The permit has to be renewed each year.
  • FOOD ESTABLISHMENT – KONA
    If you set up a permanent food establishment in Kona then the application has to be submitted at Sanitation Branch, 79-1020 Haukapila Street, Room 115, Kealakekua, HI 96750.
    The Permit fee for a small restaurant would be $200 and that of a large restaurant would be $400.
    The permit has to be renewed each year.

Now, if you were to serve liquor on the premises then you will have to file an application for business license in Hawaii to serve liquor. The liquor license has to be renewed each year on May 31 and the annual fee will depend on the type of outlet, for example: The business license fee for a restaurant that serves wine and beer is $960 and the fee for a restaurant serving all types of alcohol is $1,320.

Once, you have identified the type of business, all you have to do is download the correct business license application and file it online.

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Advantages of Incorporating a Business in Hawaii

Date: 06/15/2018 | Category: | Author: Jakub Vele

Advantages of Incorporating a Business in Hawaii

Hawaii is not just a tourism hotspot but also one of the best destinations for starting a new business. It is interesting to note that there are 128,863 small businesses in Hawaii that have created 3,718 net new jobs leading to the economic growth of the state by 1.3% as compared to 2016. There has been an increase in startup companies in Hawaii and some of the fastest-growing small businesses include Acoustical Drywall Systems, Inc., ActivityRez LLC, Bonterra Renewable Energy & Solar Services, Maui Rental Group LLC, YK Drilling, and Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co., among others.

Business Growth Incentive for New Businesses

As one of the top registered agents in the state, we can help you to register a new business in Hawaii as this will ensure you are able to leverage all types of business gains and state provided incentives and grants. Let’s take a quick look at why Hawaii is the right destination for establishing a business:

Advantage#1: The benefits of Incorporation or LLC formation

Corporation

  • Changes in Ownership: One of the advantages of setting up a Corporation in Hawaii is that changes in ownership are made possible through sale, purchase, and gifting of stock. This can take place without disturbing the ability of the corporation to conduct its business.
  • Independent life: When you register a new business in Hawaii as a Corporation, it will enjoy an independent life. This means that the incapacity or death of a stockholder will not have a negative impact on the business operations.
  • Pass through taxation: If you register a new company in Hawaii as an S corporation then the corporation or firm will not pay any income tax. Instead, the income or loss of the corporation will be passed on to the stockholders.

LLC

  • Limited Liability: As an owner of a Hawaii LLC, you will be able to enjoy limited liability protection quite similar to what a corporation enjoys.
  • Flow through Taxation: An LLC can benefit from the process of flow through taxation that will ensure there are no double taxations.
  • Flexible Profit Distribution: A startup company Hawaii LLC has the benefit of being able to select different ways of distribution of profits unlike a partnership where the distribution is 50-50.
  • No Minutes of meetings: An LLC startup company Hawaii will not be required to maintain any minutes of the meetings or resolutions.

Advantage#2: Hawaii Enterprise Zone Program

The Hawaii Enterprise Zones Partnership Program (EZ) is one of the most beneficial programs directed towards a startup company in Hawaii. The program has been established by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and is considered to be a state-county joint effort. Its primary focus is on increasing business activity, creation of jobs, and job preservation. The greatest benefit that businesses can enjoy through this program is an exemption from general excise taxes on the gross proceeds for a period of 7 years. Businesses can also take advantage of the non-refundable income tax credit that is equal to 80 percent of the tax liability in the first year.

Download information related to Designated Enterprise Zones and Eligible Business Activities

Once you register a new company in Hawaii, there are several other programs that you can benefit from and this includes foreign trade zone programs, HUBZone program or historically underutilized business zone program, workforce training funds for employers, and High Technology Business Investment Tax Credit among others.

Set up your business in Hawaii – Enjoy Strong Growth!

Are there any Disadvantages of Incorporating in Hawaii?

The state of Hawaii provides a long list of benefits and advantages to businesses but are there any disadvantages if you register a new business in Hawaii? The disadvantages are very few and will not impact your business in any way. One of the disadvantages is that you have to pay a higher fee and the time taken to process incorporation is also longer as compared to other forms of organization. The fact is that these are small disadvantages compared to the several benefits that can steer your business towards substantial growth.

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Hawaii LLC and Corporation Registration and Formation

Date: 06/14/2018 | Category: | Author: Jakub Vele

Hawaii LLC and Corporation Registration and Formation

The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism in Hawaii predicts higher economic growth in 2018 and 2019. This growth outlook is based on several factors like the performance of tourism industry in Hawaii, the availability of skilled labor in the state, and tax revenues among others. The Blue Chip Economic Consensus Forecasts report reveals that the real GDP will witness an increase of 2.8 percent in 2018. So, if you are planning to form a Hawaii business then this is probably the best time to do it!

We are one of the top Hawaii registered agents and are familiar with all processes pertaining to the Hawaii State and can provide information and assistance for successful set up of your business!

Let’s take a look at how you can form a Hawaii business LLC or Corporation.

Hawaii LLC Registration and Formation

LLC company formation in Hawaii is governed by Chapter 428 Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. The procedure for registration and formation of LLC is as follows:

Step#1: Maintain a registered agent

According to HI Rev Stat § 428-107 (2010 through Reg Sess), an LLC will be required to maintain a registered agent if you are planning to form a Hawaii business. A registered agent is required for both domestic business entities as well as foreign entities authorized to transact business in the state of Hawaii. We would take this opportunity to share with you the fact that we are one of the top registered agents in the state and have been responsible for over 11,494 businesses set up in Hawaii.

We are in compliance with all regulations in the State of Hawaii.

Step#2: LLC Name Reservation

One of the key requirements of company formation in Hawaii is reservation or registration of a business entity name. A domestic or foreign LLC is required to identify a name, which can be reserved pursuant to HI Rev Stat § 428-105 (2010 through Reg Sess) by submitting an application to Department Of Commerce And Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division. An LLC can reserve its name for a period of 120 days.

Step#3: Articles of Organization and Certificate of Authority

If you are planning to form a Hawaii business LLC then the most important step is to prepare and file the proper documents for a Limited Liability Company. You will be required to file Articles of Organization pursuant to HI Rev Stat § 428-203 for a domestic LLC. If your business entity is a foreign LLC then you will be required to file an “Application for Certificate of Authority” pursuant to HI Rev Stat § 428-1002. The application or documentation for registration of LLC can be filed with Department Of Commerce And Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division, in person or online.

We can file the form on your behalf being your registered agent in the state and provide you with certified copies of the LLC registration.

In case, you have any questions regarding how to form a Hawaii business, feel free to call us at 702-871-8678.

Hawaii Corporation Registration and Formation

If you are planning to form a Corporation in Hawaii then the procedure for registration and formation is as follows:

Step#1: Maintain a Registered Agent

According to HI Rev Stat § 414-61 (2010 through Reg Sess), you will be required to maintain a registered agent if you are planning to form a Hawaii business. A registered agent is required for both domestic business entities as well as foreign corporations authorized to transact business in the state of Hawaii. We would take this opportunity to share with you the fact that we are one of the top registered agents in the state and have been responsible for over 11,494 businesses set up in Hawaii.

We are in compliance with all regulations in the State of Hawaii.

Step#2: Corporate Name Reservation

Whether you form a domestic profit corporation or a foreign corporation, you need to identify a name and reserve it pursuant to §414-51 and §414-52. A key component of company formation in Hawaii, reservation of name will provide the business entity with exclusive rights towards using the domestic or foreign corporate name for business purposes.

Step#3: Articles of Incorporation and Certificate of Authority

If you are planning to form a Corporation in Hawaii then the type of registration form you will require is dependent on whether your business is based in Hawaii or if it is a foreign entity. You will need to file Articles of Incorporation for a domestic Corporation pursuant to HI Rev Stat § 414-32. If it is a foreign business entity then you will have to file an Application for Certificate of Authority pursuant to HI Rev Stat § 414-433. The application or documentation for registration of LLC can be filed with Department Of Commerce And Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division, in person or online.

We can file the form on your behalf being your registered agent in the state and provide you with certified copies of the incorporation.

If you have any questions regarding Hawaii Incorporation or LLC formation, you can simply visit the Hawaii Business formation page.

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Incorporate in Hawaii

Date: 06/12/2018 | Category: | Author: Jakub Vele

Incorporate in Hawaii

Incorporate in Hawaii
When you think of Hawaii, the first thing that comes to the mind is being in one of the most exotic locales in the world. The question is – can you set up a company in Hawaii and sustain stable growth? Yes, you can. Since, this is a tourist destination, the tourism industry in 2017 set a new record with visitors spending $16.78 billion, which is a straight jump of 6.2 percent since 2016. The good news is that several new businesses opened up thus supporting 204,000 jobs. If this is not the place to start a business then where is?

Set up Company in ‘El Paradiso!’

Why Choose Hawaii for Incorporation?

Tourism has definitely opened the industry and also created space for other industries directly or indirectly related to tourism like travel or transportation, food services, accommodation, real estate etc. A 9.7 percent gain in visitors spending in Hawaii in 2017 can be seen in several areas including lodging or accommodation, food and beverage, shopping, and entertainment and recreation, and this is considered as one of the reasons for the rise in number of company incorporations in Hawaii. Here’s a Year over year (YOY) data for small businesses in Hawaii:

  • 2017 – Number of Small Businesses: 128,863 – Employment Created: 271,340 – Growth, Annual Rate: 1.3%
  • 2016 – Number of Small Businesses: 126,600 – Employment Created: 267,796 – Growth, Annual Rate: 0.3%
  • 2015 – Number of Small Businesses: 122,566 – Employment Created: 263,364 – Growth, Annual Rate: 3.8%

Now let’s take a look at some of the salient benefits that are responsible for fuelling growth of small businesses:

Hawaii Enterprise Zone Program

The Enterprise Zones Partnership Program (EZ) established by Hawaii State Legislature is being promoted by Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). If you set up a company in Hawaii that falls in a specific enterprise zone like Kauai County or Honolulu County then the business entity will enjoy tax and other incentives. Businesses can also claim state income tax credits for a period of 7 consecutive years. To become an enterprise zone business, enroll here.

Business Grants and Incentives

One of the advantages of incorporation in Hawaii is that you can avail of or claim a variety of business grants and incentives. One of the most popular program is:

  • Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR): This is a Federal program that can be categorized in three phases. If you set up a company in Hawaii, and are new to SBIR, and if you require funds for business expansion then this is the program that will help you. You can apply for funds through HTDC’s Hawaii SBIR Phase 0 Grant program.

How do you incorporate in Hawaii?

What is the process of incorporation in Hawaii? What type of documentation is required? These are some of the common questions that you will be confronted with if you are planning to start a new business in the state. The following steps will enable understanding of the entire process:

Business Type

The first step towards incorporation in Hawaii is choosing the type of business you want to form. You can choose to form an LLC or a Corporation. The type of business entity you want to form can be domestic or foreign entity. The forms and fee will be different for each type of entity. Know more

Business Entity Name

One of the most important steps towards incorporation in Hawaii is naming your business entity. You have to start by identifying, searching, reserving, and then registering the business entity name. There are 3 steps towards business name formation and they are:

  • Naming Requirements: A corporate name pursuant to HI Rev Stat § 414-51 (2010 through Reg Sess) should contain the words “corporation”, “incorporated” or abbreviation like “corp.”, and “inc.” The names should be distinguishable from existing names.
  • Business name search: You need to search for a business name that is not in use currently. You can conduct name search here.
  • Name Reservation: Once you have identified business entity name, it is advisable to reserve the name by filing an application with Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs pursuant to HI Rev Stat § 414-52 (2010 through Reg Sess). Name reservations are valid for 120 days.
    Application of Reservation of Name

Choose a Registered Agent

A domestic business entity as well as foreign entity authorized to transact business in the state of Hawaii will have to maintain a registered agent pursuant to HI Rev Stat § 414-61 (2010 through Reg Sess). We are one of the respected registered agents in Hawaii and will be responsible towards initiating incorporation in Hawaii through processing of your “Articles of Incorporation” for domestic corporations and “Certificate of Authority” for foreign corporations.

Articles of Incorporation and Certificate of Authority

You will be required to submit “Articles of Incorporation” if your business is a domestic corporation and a “Certificate of Authority” if it is a foreign business entity. In order to streamline the process of incorporation in Hawaii, we can file documents on your behalf through the online process or through expedited process.

Date Stamped Copies

As a part of the process of company incorporation in Hawaii, we will ensure, you receive date-stamped and filed copies that verifies the state has filed as well as formed your corporation.

What would it cost to set up company in Hawaii?

Costs and Fees associated with Hawaii Incorporation – Check Fees here!

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Georgia Business License

Date: 06/11/2018 | Category: | Author: Jakub Vele

Georgia Business License

Have you considered applying for a business license in Georgia? Well, if you are thinking of setting up an LLC or Corporation in the state of Georgia, then you will require what is known as an operating license. In some states, it is also known as an occupational license and it will ensure you are able to operate your business successfully.

It is important to understand that the Professional Licensing Boards Division serves as administrative support to 41 different licensing boards and these licensing boards are responsible towards issuing licenses depending on the type of business. You can apply for a Georgia company license online or download application forms pertaining to your type of business.

Georgia Business License Requirements

What are the requirements for obtaining a business license in Georgia? Are permits required for my business entity? Does the business entity require a single license or multiple licenses? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses? These are some of the important questions that you might be confronted with and hence, we have created a guide that will help answer some of these questions.

There are two steps towards acquiring a business license in the state of Georgia and they are:

The Industry and Business Operation

Which industry is your business entity a part of? This is an extremely important question that you need to identify as this will help you apply for the correct business license. Along with this, you need to be clear about what your business entity is offering. Let’s look at an example to understand this well.

Industry Type: Food Business

  • You have to identify whether it will be a Food Service or Food Sales business.
  • Food service businesses include restaurants, cafe, catering, pubs, mobile food Service, etc.
  • Food sales establishment include home, mobile kitchen, retail store, or even a shared kitchen

Business Type for Licensing

A business license is required if you are planning to set up a food sales establishment. If you set up a restaurant or a caterer, you will require a business license or a permit depending on the type of restaurant like whether it serves alcoholic beverages or not.

Who issues the License

Who is responsible for issuance of Georgia company license? What is the annual fee? Do I need to renew it? These are some of the important aspects because not one organization or government body issues them. Depending on the type of business, the license would be issued by the governing authority. It is also important to consider the fact that for some businesses, only permits are required and in some cases, both business license and permits are required. Let’s look at the Food Business example to clearly understand this.

Industry Type: Food Business

  • If you set up a food sales establishment then it will be regulated by Georgia Food Act. A business license in Georgia for food sales establishment is issued by the office of Commissioner of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA). You will be required to pay an annual licensing fee and this depends purely on the risk category of your establishment or the products being sold. The fee ranges from $100 to $300. The license renewal takes place annually on July 1.
  • On the other hand, if you are planning to set up a food service establishment like a restaurant or a bar then the license would be issued by different authorities. If you are setting up a restaurant then you will require a business license also known as an “occupational tax registration certificate”. This certificate is issued by Georgia Department of Revenue. If you allow “Consumption on Premises” for alcoholic beverages, then the State of Georgia Consumption on Premise License application has to be filed with Georgia Tax Center. The license fee can vary from $100 to $1,000 depending on what is being served in the food service establishment. The license renewal takes place annually on July 1.

Once, you have identified the type of business, all you have to do is download the correct business license application and file it online.

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