April 7, 2019

What Price Patents?

Ask ‘How much does a business patent cost?’ and you’ll get a singularly unhelpful, ‘That depends.’ ‘On what?’ you ask. Excellent question…. Provisional Patents—They are simple, hold the date patents that function to establish first-to-file status for an invention. Shorter paperwork and less expansive than a regular patent application, as of 2019 the cost of […]

Ask ‘How much does a business patent cost?’ and you’ll get a singularly unhelpful, ‘That depends.’ ‘On what?’ you ask. Excellent question….

Provisional Patents—They are simple, hold the date patents that function to establish first-to-file status for an invention. Shorter paperwork and less expansive than a regular patent application, as of 2019 the cost of a provisional patent is $280, with the cost for a small entity at $140 and a micro-entity at $70.

Utility Patent—This is a step up from provisional. Utility Patents are for “any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof,” including internet patents, according to the USPTO. As of 2019, a utility patent application is $300, $150 for small entities and $75 for a micro entity.

Design Patent—A Design Patent protects “a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.” Think shoes, clothing and the like. Today, the cost of a design patent application is $200, $100 for small entities and $50 for a micro entity.

Plant Patent—used to protect a plant hybrid that is a distinct and new plant variety. The cost of a plant patent application is $300, $150 for small entities and $75 for a micro entity.

Search Me! That’s our clever-ish way of saying, before you apply for a patent you’ll need to search existing patents for conflicts. The USPTO will search for you—for $600. You can search yourself—the USPTO website will walk you through it—much cheaper. Or, the best way—hire a patent attorney and pay the price. Could very well be worth it in the end.

The Seven Keys To Getting A Business Bank Loan

Before the economic crisis of several years ago, getting a business loan from a bank was much easier. Now, not so much. Banks are leery today, but you can improve your odds with these seven important keys:Write a strong business plan. Tell the bank what the business entails, brag on yourself a bit, what your […]

Before the economic crisis of several years ago, getting a business loan from a bank was much easier. Now, not so much. Banks are leery today, but you can improve your odds with these seven important keys:

Write a strong business plan.
Tell the bank what the business entails, brag on yourself a bit, what your short and long term goals are and how you plan to achieve them.

Be clear how you’ll spend the money. Are you buying new equipment? Need to expand? Want operating capital while you wait for payments to come in? This will help the bank decide which type of loan may be best for you.

Ask for the right amount.
Seems like a no brainer but it is definitely not. Don’t ask for too little or too much. Do your homework. Get a tight handle on how much money you really need and why.

Polish your credit report.
Basically, know what your personal and business credit reports reflect about you. Are they accurate? Are there any errors? Talk to the credit reporting agency that applies and get those errors rectified to raise your score.

Find a better bank.
Do your homework and research the best banks for the type of loan you are interested in. You’ll want the bank with the best rates and most flexible approval guidelines. 

Keep good records.
If you don’t keep good records start now. Banks want to see balance sheets, cash flow, income statements. They want to see that you’ll be able to pay them back. So, prove it to them in black and white.

Gosh, Tough Break When it’s okay to break a lease.

Gosh, Tough Break(When it’s okay to break a lease.) It’s not always easy, it’s not always legal to break a lease. First, let’s be legal. When can you legally break a lease? You might be surprised. These are not legal reasons: Need to relocate for a new job, job loss, just bought a new home, newly […]

Gosh, Tough Break
(When it’s okay to break a lease.)

It’s not always easy, it’s not always legal to break a lease. First, let’s be legal. When can you legally break a lease? You might be surprised. These are not legal reasons: 
Need to relocate for a new job, job loss, just bought a new home, newly married, hate the rental property’s location.

Let’s be lawful. You’re perfectly within your rights to terminate a lease without penalty for:

           Property that’s not repaired/maintained,
           Harassment by the landlord,
           Military change of orders
           Victims of domestic violence           
           Apartments that are illegal.

Beyond all those complications, sometimes it’s easiest to simply look over the lease agreement for an early termination clause. If there is one, follow its procedures and voila, a tough break just became easier.

Awards are their own reward.

New tax laws have made it more costly for employers to reward their employees for exemplary service, years on the job or just for being an awesome someone to have in the office. Why? Because all the old standbys are now taxable! Good old-fashioned cash? Taxable. Gift cards, lodging, tickets on the fifty-yard line? Taxable. […]

New tax laws have made it more costly for employers to reward their employees for exemplary service, years on the job or just for being an awesome someone to have in the office. Why? Because all the old standbys are now taxable!

Good old-fashioned cash? Taxable. Gift cards, lodging, tickets on the fifty-yard line? Taxable. Stock in the company? Bonds? Pretty much any non-tangible property you can think of as a reward for achievement? They’re all taxable. Of course, we’re not recommending you forego rewards as a way of doing business. Far from it. What we do recommend going forward is to be sure you know the true cost of your reward and operate accordingly.

Confused? Have questions? Feel free to talk with us about this and any other tax or accounting questions at Go Figure.

Feeling generous? How generous?

Here’s a shocker some employers are completely unaware of: Those of you who are accustomed to providing completely free or partially subsidized transit passes for your employees can no longer deduct that generosity as a business expense. Same goes with free or subsidized van pools, free or subsidized parking. They are no longer deductible business […]

Here’s a shocker some employers are completely unaware of: Those of you who are accustomed to providing completely free or partially subsidized transit passes for your employees can no longer deduct that generosity as a business expense. Same goes with free or subsidized van pools, free or subsidized parking. They are no longer deductible business expenses. In fact, by definition, they are literally gifts given from the kindness of your heart. On the other hand, employees who benefit in those ways from their employer’s generosity are not required to treat it as income.

Confused? Have questions? Feel free to talk with us about this and any other tax or accounting questions at Go Figure.

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