The 10-K is one of the most important financial filings required by the SEC. All companies with publicly-traded securities must file one within 90 days of the close of their fiscal year. If you need to conduct in-depth research into a competitor, potential client or strategic partner, the 10-K is a great place to start. They are available for free via EDGAR, the SEC’s online, searchable index of filings.

Go to the article:  How To Read And Interpret A 10-K

State unemployment insurance is an important lifeline for millions of families across the country.  The money to pay for this insurance is provided by employers, and the state governments administer the programs.  Most companies don’t think about state unemployment insurance because they simply outsource the calculation and payment to a third-party provider, typically a payroll processing company.

Go to the article: Protect Your Company Against Unemployment Insurance Increases

In 1912, President William Howard Taft signed into law the Lloyd — La Follette Act which protected civil servants from “unwarranted or abusive removal” and gave employees the right to furnish information to members of Congress without interference. This in effect became the first law to protect whistleblowers in the United States. Since then, numerous laws have been established to protect whistleblowers in both the government and the privates sector in areas as diverse as environmental regulations to taxes.

Go to the article: IRS Makes Reporting Tax Fraud and Errors More Rewarding

The National Federation of Independent Businesses recently published its “Small Business Economic Trends” report for January 2011. Since 1986, this survey captures small business owner perspectives on key areas such as earnings, spending, inventory, sales, and credit. This latest report confirms that small business owners continue to be “in a rut” with little change in their perceptions for 2011.

Go to the article:  A New Streamlined Process for SBA Loans

The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 has been one of many controversial pieces of legislation that have become law this year. Right here on OPEN Forum there were differing opinions on the value and efficacy of the legislation, as you can see here and here. While this debate will continue for some time, business owners need to make decisions on how to take advantage of specific provisions of the law that impact their businesses. Failing to do so may cost you many thousands of dollars or more in potential tax savings.

Go to the article:  Save Taxes With the 5 Year Business Credit Carryback

It’s a common problem faced by businesses that build a good-sized customer base over time.  A customer leaves a deposit, uses your services for a few years then moves on.  They forget to ask for the deposit back and you are focused on getting new business, so returning that deposit doesn’t exactly keep you up at night.  When certain conditions are met, property like this deposit can no longer be held by your business. It must be turned over to the state government.

Go to the article:  States Become More Aggressive with Unclaimed and Abandoned Property

There are few things more annoying than sitting next to a coworker who is continually coughing, sneezing and complaining about how badly they feel. If you are like most people, you might think to yourself “why didn’t they just stay home? That’s what I would do.”  According to a recent study by, the odds are that you wouldn’t stay at home to recuperate.  You would instead be part of the 71 percent of workers who go to work even when they are ill.  Of the 29 percent that do stay home, two-thirds spend the time away from the office working, not recuperating.

Go to the article:  Is Paid Sick Leave a Good Idea?