small business

Best practices in equipment financing

02.9.2018
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Many small businesses rely on equipment financing contracts and equipment leases to obtain office equipment or tools of the trade. Equipment financing and/or leasing helps businesses meet their equipment needs right away, but there are risks involved. Here are our top 5 tips for managing risk:

1. Don’t stop making payments under a lease or financing contract.

Equipment should always be inspected before the contract is signed. Most equipment leases and financing contracts contain, at the least, a clause indicating that the purchaser/lessee has had the opportunity to thoroughly inspect the equipment. Many contracts require […]

Statewide minimum wage increase

11.20.2017
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Minnesota employers take note: Minimum wage will increase statewide as of January 1, 2018. There are two rates: a large-business rate and a small-business rate. If your annual gross revenue (not net revenue) is $500,000 or more, you’ll need to pay the large-business rate of $9.65/hr. If your annual gross revenue is lower, you’ll need to pay the small-business rate of $7.87/hr.

State law requires employers to display a minimum-wage poster in their workplace. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has an updated poster available for […]

Employee vs. Independent Contractor: Worker Classification Rules

10.5.2017
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Many businesses try to hire “independent contractors” by issuing IRS Form 1099 and signing independent-contractor agreements. Unfortunately, these steps don’t guarantee that workers are legitimate subcontractors or independent contractors. Instead, federal and state guidelines generally focus on the worker’s job duties in order to determine the appropriate classification.

Each state can create additional rules and regulations pertaining to worker classification. Check with your state labor department for clarification on state-specific rules. However, the federal government’s guidelines, described below, generally provide enough clarity to determine proper worker classification.

Federal guidelines 1: IRS

The IRS […]

5 clauses that should be in every landscaping contract

“Will you look at my contracts and make sure they are good?” Our attorneys hear this frequently from contractors. So what does a good contract look like?

First, every contract is different. What works for some industries may not work in others. That said, several basic items should be addressed in every landscape installation contract.

Scope of Work. What will you be doing for the customer? What type of project is it? Be specific. The scope of work for each contract should be different and apply specifically to that customer and project. Let’s use a patio as […]