Ever thought of becoming a notary? Here are the steps necessary to becoming one in Colorado. Notaries are regulated by the Colorado Secretary of State, so first click here to go the website. You will find a checklist of documents you will need before you can register with the Secretary of State.
- An affirmation signed by you in front of a notary. This form is provided on the website.
- Copy of an ID card, such as a driver’s license.
- Non-U.S. citizens must supply a permanent resident card or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.
- Training certificate from a state-approved trainer, issued in the last six months.
- Exam certificate.
To qualify to become a notary you must:
- Be a Colorado resident.
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be able to read and write the English language.
- Have Colorado addresses and telephone numbers for business and residence.
- Never have had a notary commission revoked.
- Never have been convicted of a felony or in the past five years, a misdemeanor involving dishonesty.
The Secretary of State offers online training and certification free through its e-learning notary training course, found here. You will be required to set up an account. Once you’ve enrolled, you can begin studying the free materials. You will find six modules to study. The estimated time of completion is a little over two hours. Once you’ve done this, you will be able to print your training certificate. Or you can take the training in a classroom. Click here for that information.
If you don’t want to use the secretary of state’s training class, you can go through an outside vendor. A list of approved training classes can be found here. Some of these are classroom setting, online, or a combination of the two.
Once you have finished your training, you need to take the exam. You will take that on the Secretary of State’s website, the link to which you can find here. Once you have passed the exam, you will be able to print completion certificate. You will take this and the other documents listed above and upload them to the Secretary of State website. Once you’re at the website, you’ll log in, submit the documents online and then wait for notification by email. Once you’ve received approval via email, you’ll print your commission certificate, obtain an official notary seal and a journal, and you are ready to begin notarizing!
Some of the training class vendors include the notary seal and journal with their course. Otherwise, you can find them at office supply stores like Office Depot.
Accounting is called the language of business and that’s not bad, because it helps you communicate with financial people and business people. In a family law case, accounting knowledge helps you (or your attorney, CPA or financial expert) ask the right questions to protect your legal rights. Formulating the question so that you get to what you actually need to know is sometimes the hardest part of analyzing financial statements. This following is not for someone who is easily overwhelmed by financials. I will be the first to tell you that it is perfectly fine to get an expert to do this for you. But if you are curious and want to be involved in analyzing financials and deciding how to find the right experts, read on.
The following are FACTORS to consider in analyzing a financial statement or the value and profitability of a company. Continue reading “Financial Statements & Divorce: How to Value a Small Business and Protect Your Rights “
Deciding the location and operating conditions of a small business is an
important decision to make. Certain types of small businesses may be operated from home, including those who do work such as graphic designers and consultants, off-site services such as electrical and plumbing, and arts and crafts businesses. Running a business out of the home is cheaper than leasing office space, and home business tax deductions that cover home expenses such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance are generally available. However, small business owners must ensure that they are not violating any local zoning laws by operating a business out of their home.
When operating a business from home is not an option, small business owners typically consider leasing office space. Although the commercial real estate market in most of the country remains a tenant’s market in the wake of the recession, the Denver metropolitan region is a different story, as office space vacancy has decreased for six consecutive years and leasing rates continue to increase (averaging $23.81 per square foot for full-service office leases in Denver mid-2015). Continue reading “Small Business Tips: Factors to Consider When Leasing Office Space”
Creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is an appealing option when starting a business of any size. True to its namesake, an LLC provides its members limited liability in several areas.
First, an LLC protects its members’ personal assets from being used to satisfy the business’ debts. This makes LLCs an attractive investment option as well, as investors are not personally liable for the business’ debts either. Next, LLC members are typically sheltered from litigation if the business is sued. Further, more tax deductions are available to LLCs than to any other business structure, including deductions for health insurance, pension plans, and travel, automobile, entertainment, and medical expenses. Lastly, in contrast to corporations, an LLC avoids double taxation because an LLC’s income is included in the personal income tax returns of its members (unless an LLC elects to be taxed as a corporation). Continue reading “Small Business Tips: How to Start an LLC in Colorado”
When you own growing small business, you’ll likely hit the point where you need to hire help. Then the question becomes whether to hire an independent contractor or an employee.
When deciding between the two options, there are several factors to consider.
Even though Colorado is an employment “at will” state (meaning that either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment arrangement without notice or cause, absent a contract or other binding agreement to the contrary), hiring an employee burdens a small business owner with a greater level of commitment to the individual, more managerial responsibilities, and higher administrative expenses than paying for a contractor’s services. For example, while the legal obligations vary depending on the employee’s status and title, hours worked, and the nature of their work, you will generally have to provide various benefits to the employees hired, such as health insurance, retirement contribution, vacation time, paid time off, workers’ compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance. Further, hiring employees requires you to withhold state and federal taxes, social security, and Medicare from their employee’s paychecks, in addition to keeping detailed payroll records. A small business owner is also obligated to provide employees with proper training and any professional licensing that may be required. Continue reading “Should a Small Business Owner Hire an Independent Contractor or Employee?”