Archive for December 2013

Small business yearend checklist… No. 1: Join or renew membership with Small Business Minnesota.

Join Small Business Minnesota. We are currently offering a “pay what makes the most sense for your business” membership dues. We’ve been there for you all year providing game-changing public advocacy, networking events, resources, the latest small-business news…Now please be there for Small Business Minnesota. The more members, the stronger our community.  Join today.

No. 2: Annual business renewals due Dec. 31. Do it or lose it.

All registered businesses, including nonprofits, must renew their filing each calendar year — for most businesses there is no charge. This can be done by mail or online. Businesses required to file include corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships and nonprofits. Failure to renew will result in dissolution. Do this to reserve or keep your business name, too!

No. 3: Note filing dates for small-business and individual business tax returns.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service begin accepting 2013 business tax returns Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. This includes M4 corporate franchise tax, M8 S-Corporations and M3 Partnership returns. For businesses filing individual income tax returns, the filings begin Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 which also coincides with the Internal Revenue Service’s start date.

No. 4: Note new unemployment tax rate for 2013.

The base unemployment insurance tax rate will drop from 0.5% to 0.1%. The additional 14% assessment employers paid on their total UI tax bill in 2013 will be eliminated.

No. 5: Get your health insurance tax credits for this year and past years.

Health insurance tax credits are one of the biggest missed opportunities for small businesses. These tax credits began in 2010. You may apply for credit retroactively. Starting in 2014, the tax credit covers up to 50 percent of employer-paid premium costs for taxable organizations or 35 percent for tax-exempt organizations. Visit the IRS small-business health insurance tax site for more information.

No. 6: Learn how small businesses can get charitable giving tax deductions.

You may be considering charitable contributions. Learn how picking the right charity and related donations might impact your small business’ tax deductions.

No. 7: Freshen up record-keeping to ensure you receive tax deductions and credits.

There’s no better time to freshen up your books than the beginning of the year. Take another look at your  system to make sure you keep good records of expenses or other items eligible for write offs.
Check out IRS Publication 583

No. 8: Jan. 1 means it’s time to note your odometer.

If you use your personal vehicle for business, you can deduct the cost of business driving but you must have the records to back it up.  Note your odometer at the start of the year and then track your business trips regularly. Hey, there might be an app for that.

No. 9: Look into MNsure.

Open enrollment continues through March, although these dates have frequently been extended. Please check out for more information.
Employer’s Enrollment Guide
Employer notice to employees
Exemptions from the mandate
Qualified Health Plans
Small Business FAQs

No. 10: Email your small business public policy concerns to Small Business Minnesota.

We will be releasing a survey soon. If you have any public policy concerns you would like addressed, email your ideas to Examples: Minimum wage, health insurance, transit services, infrastructure, environmental concerns, education…

No. 11: Send in your 2014 National Small Business Week Awards nomination.

Submit your nomination for the National Small Business Week Awards. Categories include: National Small Business Week award categories include: Small Business Person of the Year Awards, Exporter of the Year, Disaster Recovery, , Federal Procurement Awards, 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award, Development Center Awards. National Small Business Week is celebrated May 12-16, 2014.

No. 12: Explore export assistance for your small business’s goods and services.

Minnesota offers export assistance for small business: trade mission travel, translation or marketing materials , website development and more.

Did we send this Minnesota small business to the big game?

If you watch the Super Bowl, keep an eye on the ads to see if one of our own Minnesota small businesses, Duluth’s Locally Laid Eggs, made it to the game.

MNsure for small business: fast-approaching sign-up dates, changes, resources

MNsure announced that small businesses (with 2-50 FTE employees) now have until Dec. 7 to sign up for coverage through the MNsure marketplace for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Those small businesses without employees need to sign up under an individual plan by Dec. 15, 2013. 

Quick links and more at
Employer’s Enrollment Guide
Employer notice to employees
Exemptions from the mandate
Qualified Health Plans
Small Business FAQs
Federal tax credits for employers with <25 employees.