Small-Medium Sized Businesses & International Trade

International TradeEnterprises engaged in international trade and cooperation are twice as likely to be successful as those that only operate domestically, according to a study done my HIS Global Insight and DHL Express.

We are becoming a more globalized world, and businesses need to be able to keep up with this trend in order to survive.

“[We] firmly support the view that international trade creates tremendous value for SMEs (small- to medium-sized businesses). It not only opens up new markets for their products and services, but also gives them access to international best practices and innovations,” said DHL Express CEO Ken Allen.

The South Florida Business Journal named the following countries the top trade partners of South Florida:

  1. Brazil – $13,688.3 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012
  2. Colombia – $8,101 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012
  3. Switzerland – $7,539.7 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012
  4. Costa Rica – $6,147.1 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012
  5. Venzuela – $5,494.5 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012

The DHL study revealed that small to medium sized businesses are concerned with the lack of available information on foreign markets, high customs duties, difficulty establishing contracts with different foreign enterprises and the ability to generate an overseas customer base. Here at Boyer Law Firm, our expertise in International Law can guide you through every step of this process.

Sources: South Florida Business Journal

Manufacturing tax affects Exporting and Small Business

Manufacturing taxFlorida Governor Rick Scott plans to eliminate a state sales tax on manufacturing equipment in order to benefit exporting and small businesses in Florida.

Scott noted that other states do not charge sales tax on machinery and said the tax puts Florida at a competitive disadvantage. Currently, equipment purchased for industrial use is only exempt if it will expand a manufacturer’s output by at least 5 percent.

Florida is home to 17,500 manufacturing companies that employ more than 300,000 Floridians. “Building up Florida manufacturing is about building Florida jobs,” said Scott.

Eliminating this tax should benefit the exporting industry and small businesses and provide them with new opportunities. Exporting is a major force in Florida’s economy. There are 15 seaports in the state, and small businesses account for almost 96 percent of the state’s exporting firms and 67 percent of total exports.

If you have questions about your exporting or small business, contact Boyer Law Firm, PL, today.

Source: Florida Small Business Development Center, Manufacturing.net 

 

Venture Capital to Start a Business

Venture capital is the high-risk investment needed to start a business, and venture capitalists, such as angel investors, are investors who are willing to take these risks in order to receive high returns.

The Wall Street Journal points out a flaw in relying on “angel investors” by noting that only 2% of startup companies who applied to the largest angel-capital group attracted enough attention to even be considered.

In reality 90% of entrepreneurs raised their venture capital on their own through personal savings, business partners, family, friends, bank loans, or other means.

Venture CapitalIf you are unable to raise your venture capital through these means, then you need to get investors. The best way to do this is with a solid business plan. Take the television show Shark Tank, for example. The “sharks” ask the person seeking the investment tough questions such as:

–          How much did you sell this past year?
–          What is your profit margin?
–          Where do you see the business going?

If the business owners cannot answer these questions, they will not get an investment. The same is true in the business world. If you can’t answer these questions, then it will be very difficult to find somebody who is willing to invest in your company or idea.

The most professional way to answer such questions is through corporate documents such as a business plan or company bylaws, which should be drafted by a Business Law Attorney. This gives investors confidence in the professionalism and ability of the business to succeed, which will help them achieve their goal of receiving a return on their investment.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Estate Tax Set to Increase in 2013

The current Estate tax – commonly referred to as the death tax – is set to increase on            January 1, 2013.

Currently, the Estate Tax is 35 percent with an exclusion rate of $5,000,000 per individual. In January, the tax is set to climb to 55 percent, and the exclusion rate is set to drop to $1,000,000 per individual.

This significant difference can greatly affect plans in terms of gifting estates, businesses, or assets. Individuals and businesses should take advantage of the current tax rate before it increases.

Small business owners need to be especially aware of this change. Many people believe the Estate tax is only for the extremely wealthy; however, if you have a business that is worth a few million dollars, you will suddenly be in the bracket that is affected by this tax.

Now is the time to plan!

There are options to save you money, but they must be done by the end of the year. It is best to start as early as possible because assessing the value of gifts can take time, and it is expected that appraisers will be increasingly busy as the year quickly comes to a close.

If you need help with retirement or estate planning, contact Boyer Law Firm today!