5 Things Small Businesses Should Note
There are five things small business owners need to pay special attention to over the next few months. It is always important to stay on top of changes that could impact your business, and here are give important things to look out for and to stay on top of:
1. Health care. For the small business owners who bought health insurance policies for their employees in 2013, avoiding the new legal requirements, a 10-20% increase may be in store at the time of renewal. They will need to choose plans and note the changes made regarding requirements and coverage of pre-existing conditions. It may be better for employees to get their own government-subsidized health care plans. Those who complied with the law could see 5-10% increases next year. Companies employing 50 to 99 people have until 2016 to make their decisions while companies with less than 50 employees are exempt from having to deal with the situation.
2. Internet security. Small businesses need to improve their internet security, particularly following the Home Depot’s hack experiences. Poor internet security is what tends to make small businesses more likely to be hacked. They need to protect themselves from malware and viruses through the use of protection software. Any computer providing wifi access to customers must ensure it has a separate connection that it uses for the company’s own operations.
3. New technology. As new technology emerges, small businesses need to comply. Mobile payment is increasing in popularity and requires specific devices for its function. To accept Apple Pay, businesses need to be able to accept contactless payments. Credit and debit cards, by the end of 2015, will have embedded chips instead of the current magnetic strips. Businesses will then need new machines to accept those cards. Chip technology isn't exactly new, it has been overseas for quite some time and is an added security measure. Review what chip cards will mean for you and what your new liabilities are as a small business owner.
4. Internet sales tax. Companies may soon be forced to collect sales tax in states where they do not have physical locations. Online, phone, and mail transactions are currently exempt from sales tax, but new legislation following November elections could change this. This change could cost small businesses time and money to collect the tax. Make sure that you review your state and local regulations so that you know what you are responsible for collecting.
5. Tax deductions. Congress may choose to raise the section 179 deduction, which allows small business to deduct up-front instead of depreciating equipment costs. The deduction was set in 2013 to assist in the recession recovery of businesses. It fell from $500,000 in 2013 to $25,000 in 2014. The House wants to set it at $500,000 permanently while the Senate is in opposition. Additionally, the House voted to bring the bonus depreciation back so businesses could deduct up to half their property and equipment costs, but has been opposed by the Senate. Review the changes to business taxes every year and make sure that you stay up to speed on what the new changes are so that you can take full advantage of every deduction available to you.
There are various changes occurring in the business world this fall. Small businesses would be wise to keep on top of what is going on and to prepare themselves for any changes that apply to their businesses.
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