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Anti-Spam Stuff

New Blog Post from Teresa Renee, Designed to Connect www.designedtoconnect.com

 

Keep Calm and Carry On

(Until June 30, 2017)

On July 1, 2014 the new Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) comes in to affect.  In speaking with some small business owners this seems to be causing panic.  Some believe that they have to receive consent from everyone on the list again and some believe that sending out emails to their list after July 1, 2014 could put them in violation with the laws.  Some business owners have talked that they need to dump their email lists entirely and starting over.  However there is no need to take such drastic measures, at least not yet.

Here are the important points you need to know:

  1. There are two types of consent- express and implied.  The new laws affect implied consent.  Examples of implied consent are someone handing you a business card and you add it to your email list without them specifically asking you to do so, using the connections from your social media lists (such as Linkedin) to send out emails.  Examples of expressed consent include someone opting into your newsletter on your website or filling out a form in your store that expresses that they wish to join your mailing list.
  2. In order to confirm expressed consent you need to be able to show:
  3. Your emails whether expressed or implied must all include an unsubscribe mechanism and provide identification information.  If you are not already doing so, you must begin complying with this right away.
    1. How consent was obtained writing, orally, opt in on the website, etc.
    2. when it was obtained,
    3. why it was obtained, and
    4. the manner in which it was obtained.
  1. If you are able to prove a-d in point 2 above for your entire email list you do not need to do anything as expressed consent does not expire until the sender withdraws consent (opts out).  If you are using an email software such as Constant Contact and your obtained your entire email list through an opt in button on your website you should be able to prove this information.
  2. If you are unable to prove a-d in point 2 you may be in a situation where you have implied consent and you will need to begin converting your list over to expressed consent.  There is a 36 month transition period.  You may take advantage of this transitional period to seek expressed consent, therefore you do not need to dump your implied consent email list until June 30, 2017.

Disclaimer:

The CASL overview provided here is incomplete and does not constitute legal advice.

 

Further information on CASL go to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/h_00050.html#Commercial

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The Butterfly Approach

I loved this article as it reinforces how entrepreneurs need to think differently, develop new skills and not get lured into thinking they should have their life remain the same as it always was.  Embrace change for the wondrous opportunities it provides for growth and expanded wisdom.  To be an effective entrepreneur we need to think and act differently…we need to transform, to change, to release our inner butterfly and leave the caterpillar behind.

 

Becoming a Professional Butterfly
by Nido Qubein

When corporate leaders decide to re-engineer the corporation, they don’t just set out to improve the present system. They set out to create an entirely new system. When you set out to re-engineer your life, you’re not just improving your present circumstances. You’re creating a whole new set of circumstances, in keeping with your vision of what life should be. Harvard Business Review compares it with the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

“A butterfly is not more caterpillar or a better or improved caterpillar; a butterfly is a different creature,” note authors Tracy Goss, Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos.

Becoming the butterfly you want to be means putting the old circumstances in the past and concentrating all your resources on creating the new ones. This can be risky and scary. You’re leaving the comfort and security of the old cocoon and accepting the challenges and uncertainties of a free environment. It’s natural to want to leave the path open for a return to the old ways if the new ways don’t work out. But if you leave the path open, you’re quite likely to retrace it.

 

A butterfly, of course, cannot return to its cocoon. The moment it makes its way to the outside and flutters its wings, it is committed to a new type of existence. Its life as a butterfly is not just a matter of what it does. It is also a matter of what it is. You can shut off the path to retreat by transforming yourself into something you never were before.

The process of education can be transforming. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. wrote that when a mind stretches to embrace a new idea, it “never shrinks back to its original dimensions.” There is a qualitative difference between an educated person and an uneducated person, a worker and a professional, just as there is a qualitative difference between a butterfly and a caterpillar.

The worker mentality sees a job as a necessary evil that has to be endured until quitting time sets you free to pursue your real life. Professionals see their careers as rewarding components of their real lives. They learn to integrate their careers and their personal lives so that one meshes with and supports the other.

Workers wait for someone to tell them what to do and how to do it, and they let others worry about whether the way they’re told to do it is the right way. They may concentrate on performing their assigned tasks well, but won’t worry about what happens outside their own areas.

Professionals take responsibility for their own success and for the success of the organizations to which they belong. They see themselves as partners in prosperity with the organization, and see the organization’s ups and downs as their own. They are constantly looking for things that they personally can do to contribute to organizational success.

Professionals are usually perceived as good because they go the extra mile to be good. They keep up with the latest developments in their field, and share their knowledge with others. They communicate confidence, dressing and grooming themselves for success and always conscious of the importance of image.

 

To achieve this type of professionalism, you must set a high standard for yourself and never allow yourself to fall below that standard.

 

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How Do I Pay Less Tax?

How do I pay less tax (legally)? 

Now that the year has closed and we are reflecting on our businesses in preparation for our tax return, some may start to feel that dull ache in their stomach begin to grow.  But paying tax is a good thing [it means you made a profit].  However, there are ways to make a healthy income and pay less tax.   I’m sure you have heard of the word “Incorporation”.

Let’s look at the Pros and Cons to determine if this is something that would benefit you:

Pros

  • Liability – Having a separate legal entity ensures creditors or legal actions go against your corporation and its assets, not your personal assets. (There are exceptions, such as personally guaranteed loans, government tax obligations and payroll deductions, among others.)
  • Personal Income – You can choose the most tax-efficient way to pay yourself, including dividends, salary, bonus or a combination. You can even use dividends as a way to split income with your spouse if he or she is a shareholder in your Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC).
  • Tax Shelter – If you don’t need all business earnings for personal income, you can leave them in the business, deferring personal taxes on withdrawals and possibly enjoying an approximately 15-per-cent preferred tax assessment on the first $500,000 of profit in CCPCs. Personal rates start at 20% and can be 46% or more.
  • Spread the Wealth – Your business has tax flexibility from which you may personally benefit. If you sell shares in your CCPC, capital gains could be tax-free up to $750,000.
  • Flexibility – the rules for sole proprietors are fairly rigid.  Incorporated companies have many more options open to them for tax planning and also attracting investors.

Cons

  • Incorporating costs money. You can do it on your own, technically, but it’s more advisable to get the help of a lawyer and an accountant.  It’s just as expensive to “fix” your articles of incorporation as it is to do them right the first time.
  • Incorporated entities must file more paperwork, such as separate tax returns, an annual return, one-time articles of incorporation and notifications of share sales, moves or changes of directors.
  • Losses in an incorporated company can’t be personally claimed. A failed startup can only be “written off” personally to the amount you had invested, not the accumulated negative earnings.

Filing fees and professional fees for an incorporation can range from $800 to $2,800, so the cost itself maybe be prohibitive for some.  If you are starting a business, with low liability and legal risks, and are likely to incur losses at first, postponing incorporation may make sense, primarily for the cost savings and tax advantages.  As your business grows, the need to incorporate may become greater. So revisit the business case for incorporating periodically.

As for the accounting side, as long as you remain a sole proprietorship, all your profits will be taxed as personal income, which could involve tax rates potentially as high as 46 per cent.  If you run an incorporated business at a loss and then shut it down, you can’t claim the business’s losses personally – they are gone. All you can claim personally is money you lent or invested in the business as stock or loans, whereas, in a sole proprietorship, you may be able to claim the full amount of your business losses against other income.

So, when is it time to incorporate? The answer is: It depends. To start looking at it seriously the very general rule I share with my clients is “When your business starts to make a profit of more than you need for your personal monthly expenses”.

 

Mike Widdis
www.upsideaccounting.ca

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Blog Content Coming Soon

Check out our new look!

It’s been in the works throughout the summer and now we can finally debut our new website designed to better suit your needs and showcase our services.

This News section of the site will feature regular blog posts of interest to entrepreneurs and you can expect some excellent content from successful guest bloggers working in our community.

Be sure to like our Facebook page to receive timely updates, links to business-related articles, and to be notified about the latest blog posts.

Let us know what you think of the new format in the comment section!

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