Marketplace Fairness? Starting a Business? Small Business Reading for May 3, 2013

    By owenl | Small Business


    The Marketplace

    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.

    And here are some of the best stories from the past week on Advisor - in no particular order.

    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 solutions, 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.

    The ULTIMATE startup cheat sheet

    Have a great week, watch the bottom line and let us know in the comments if any of this was especially useful or if you have any advice you'd like to share. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

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