Small businesses are anxiously following the progress of the 'Marketplace Fairness Act' through the legislative process - it's due to be voted on by the Senate on May 6th and then will go to the House. Basically the bill is going to make all online purchases subject to sales tax no matter what. Essentially if you live in a state with sales tax your purchase will be subject to the sales tax where you live. Currently you only pay sales tax on online purchases if the business in question has a brick-and-mortar location in your state. The new law is a simplification of the current situation but is staunchly opposed by online retailers - and just as staunchly supported by states in dire need of revenue who are annoyed at sites like Amazon and Ebay. It is worth noting that the bill is supported by President Obama but is expected to have a tough time in the House. It is also worth noting that a lot of large brick-and-mortar retailers without large online presences also support the new act.
Rather than weigh in on the pros and cons, we are going to try to stay focused on getting you, the entrepreneur, into a position where this actually matters to you - in other words helping you get your sales to a point where this is a real issue...
We are continuing to build out our series on starting a business - the first three parts (nine articles in all) are up and we should have part four up next week.
- Is it time to start up that startup business?
- The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 1 - Goals, values and Ideas
- The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 1 - Resources for Goals, values and Ideas
- Build a Winning Business Right from the Start
- The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 2 - Defining your business concept
- The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 2 - Resources for Defining your business concept
- Funding, Fraternity, Family - Turning three potential F's for your business into A's
- The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 3 - Ownership, Funding, Family
- The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 3- Resources for Ownership, Funding, Family
And here are some of the best stories from the past week on Advisor - in no particular order.
- How to turn social values into a valuable business
- Small business owners who save better prepared for retirement than most
- Waiting for equity crowdfunding?
- VCs and Entrepreneurs 'failing on'
- 6 Tips for office time management
- Startup Diaries: Lesson one in marketing
- Alter Ego Comics: A web site that rocks
- Warning: Your small business may already have been hacked
If you haven't taken the plunge yet, hopefully some of these articles give you the impetus to start your own business — and if you do, we have tools to help. Besides our domain name, web hosting and ecommerce products, we also have just added an innovative marketing dashboard that you can try for free even if you don't use our other products.
Some other great small business articles from around the web this week.
Here's a free guide to doing business with the government and getting government contracts as an entrepreneur. An Entrepreneur's Guide to Selling to Governments & Corporations.
Sramana Mitra has been offering a great service to startups for a long time - a weekly roundtable where she critiques some pitches from startups and discusses the issues they raise. The next one can be signed up for here and a recap of yesterday's is here.