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Small Businesses

SIMA Financial Group > Small Businesses (Page 17)

What is the ‘Age 26’ Requirement Under the ACA?

Law Requires Certain Employers to Offer Dependent Coverage Until Age 26 Under the Affordable Care Act, when a plan covers dependents, it must continue to make the coverage available until a child reaches the age of 26, even if the young adult has been offered coverage through his or her own employer, is married, no longer lives with his or her parents, is not a dependent on a parent's tax return, or is no longer a student. There is no federal requirement compelling a plan or issuer to offer dependent coverage. However, applicable large employers may be liable for a "pay or...

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Ensuring a peaceful succession with a buy-sell agreement

A buy-sell agreement is a critical component of succession planning for many businesses. It sets the terms and conditions under which an owner’s business interest can be sold to another owner (or owners) should an unexpected tragedy or turn of events occurs. It also establishes the method for determining the price of the interest. This may sound cut and dried. And a properly conceived, well-written buy-sell agreement should be — it is, after all, a legal document. But there’s a human side to these arrangements as well. And it’s one that you shouldn’t underestimate. Turmoil and conflicts A business owner’s unexpected death or...

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Protect Your Organization This Hurricane Season

Tips on Preparing Your Business for a Natural Disaster With the start of peak Atlantic hurricane season this month comes the risk of losing essential business records, files, and other materials to floods or damaging winds. To reduce your damage costs and hasten your return to normal business operations, follow the following tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Confirm your insurance:  Review the details of your flood and other hazard insurance policies, paying close attention to which items are covered and under what conditions. If you have questions, contact your insurance agent. Back up essential files:  Regularly back up important electronic files...

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Top 3 Emerging Benefits

Use Popular Benefits to Lure Top Talent Benefits are a key factor in attracting and holding onto the best and brightest people for your organization. To make sure you're keeping up with the competition, consider offering these emerging popular benefits to your employees. Telemedicine and On-Site Clinics: Millennials demand and value convenience, in health care as in all else. Adding a telemedicine service to your health plan allows employees to consult with medical professionals remotely via video services like Skype. Even more convenient is placing a health care clinic at the worksite, another benefit some employers are starting to offer. Student Loan Assistance:...

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Fine-tuning your company’s compensation strategy

As a business evolves, so must its compensation strategy. Hopefully, your company is growing — perhaps adding employees or promoting staff members who are key to your success. But other things can spur the need to fine-tune your compensation strategy as well, such as economic changes or the rise of an intense competitor. A goal for many businesses is to provide equitable compensation. Do your research One aspect of equitable compensation is external equity; in other words, making sure compensation is in alignment with industry or regional norms. The U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics have a wealth of...

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USCIS Releases Updated Form I-9 Handbook for Employers

Provides Guidance on Completing and Retaining Form I-9 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released an updated M-274, Handbook for Employers, which provides guidance for complying with the requirements of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Updated Handbook Among other things, the updated handbook provides information and answers on the following topics: Completing Form I-9; Retaining Form I-9; Unlawful discrimination and penalties for prohibited practices; and Acceptable documents for verifying employment authorization and identity.   Click here to access the updated handbook....

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Listening to your customers by tracking lost sales

“Sorry, we don’t carry that item.” Or perhaps, “No, that’s not part of our service package.” How many times a year do your salespeople utter these words or ones like them? The specific number is critical because, if you don’t know it, you could be losing out on profit potential. Although you have to focus on your strengths and not get too far afield, your customers may be crying out for a new product or service. And among the best ways to hear them is to track lost sales data and decipher the message. 3 steps to success A successful lost sales tracking...

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Make sure your company is prepared for any disaster

What could stop your company from operating for a day, a month or a year? A flood or fire? Perhaps a key supplier shuts down temporarily or permanently. Or maybe a hacker or technical problem crashes your website or you suddenly lose power. Whatever the potential cause might be, every business needs a disaster recovery plan. Distinctive threats Get started by brainstorming as many scenarios as possible that could devastate your business. The operative word there is “your.” Every company faces distinctive threats related to its size, location(s), and products or services. There are some constants to consider, however. Seek out alternative suppliers...

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DOL Seeks Input on Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Exemptions

Employers Can Submit Comments through September 25, 2017 The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published a request for information (RFI) seeking input on its 2016 final rule which adjusted the salary thresholds for executive, administrative, and professional employees to be exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. What Was in the 2016 Final Rule? The 2016 final rule updated the federal minimum wage and overtime pay exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees by: Raising the salary threshold from $455 a week to $913 per week (or $47,476 annually) for a full-year worker; Setting the highly compensated employee total annual compensation level...

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Why business owners should regularly upgrade their accounting software

Many business owners buy accounting software and, even if the installation goes well, eventually grow frustrated when they don’t get the return on investment they’d expected. There’s a simple reason for this: Stuff changes. Technological improvements are occurring at a breakneck speed. So yesterday’s cutting-edge system can quickly become today’s sluggishly performing albatross. And this isn’t the only reason to regularly upgrade your accounting software. Here are two more to consider. 1. Cleaning up You’ve probably heard that old tech adage, “garbage in, garbage out.” The “garbage” referred to is bad data. If inaccurate or garbled information goes into your system, the reports...

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