Samantha Miller

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Tips for Starting a Business From Home

Posted by Samantha Miller on Oct 15, 2019 2:22:13 PM

start a business from homeMany successful businesses originally started out of a home office. Mary Kay and Apple are 2 well known companies that originally started inside a home office or garage. In recent years, starting a business from home has become a growing trend. Shows like "Shark Tank" have highlight individuals who start a businesses from home, but the show also highlights how important the correct planning actually is to gaining success.

Home businesses present plenty of benefits, but there are also pitfalls that can quickly turn a home business sour if not carefully avoided. We've collected 5 tips that will make starting your business from home a success!

  • Know Your Market. Researching and understanding the business industry you are attempting to enter is the first step to success. Your research phase will help you form your business to best suit you, your audience, and your financial means. Many businesses fail due to poor planning or a poor understanding of the desired market. Networking is another great way to do your research. Connect with business owners within your desired industry to gain a better understanding of what you will be facing when you start a business from home. 
  • Incorporate Your Business. Incorporating your business is a crucial part of achieving success. This process designates the business as a separate entity from yourself. Through incorporation, you designate your business as a corporation or an LLC, and you can protect your personal assets, increase tax savings, and start raise capital. 
  • Create a Business Plan. A business plan is a great way to gain an understanding of whether or not the business you have chosen will be successful. Follow a business plan outline and carefully work through each step. Creating this business plan before you start a business from home will help you better understand your business model, goals, and finances before a problem arises. 
  • Hire a Professional for Taxation & Business Regulations. Understand the taxation rules and self-employment regulations at both national and state levels. Seek out a professional accountant to gain a better understanding of what paperwork you need to file and how this potential business will affect your taxes and tax bracket. Being educated and informed is half the battle. 
  • Set Up The Space. When you decide to start a business from home you have to be ready to delegate a work space. A garage, a home office, or even a basement or attic, are perfectly acceptable spaces to start a business. Set up the area for business purposes and business purposes only. This space has to be able to accommodate the business you are planning, so be mindful of equipment and resource needs before deciding on a space.

Making the decision to start a business from home can be incredibly rewarding and lucrative, if planning has been thorough and complete. If you decide to start a business from home in 2013, we hope these tips will help you along the way! 

Raise Capital With Stock

Topics: Tips & Tricks, Start a Business From Home, Year End Business Reminders, end of year small business tips

4 Small Business Website Tips

Posted by Samantha Miller on May 14, 2019 10:24:10 AM

small business website

If online advertising is a part of your small business plan, you may also want to consider building a website that will delivers what your clients need. With the continuously growing availability of website creators, you are now able to create a website that will compare to even your biggest competitor. While creating your website, it is important to consistently keep your customer in mind, while making sure you deliver a clear message and serve a clear purpose. To help you get started, keep these 4 factors in mind while building your small business website.

Display Your Contact Info

One of the most important aspects of your website is displaying your contact information. Make sure that at least one form of communication is visible on every page. Your homepage should highlight these forms of communication and you may even want to consider using a chat to answer client’s quick questions. Also be sure to include links to your social media on all pages.

Update Your Content

Make sure that any content you have on your website is up to date. This includes descriptions, fees, requirements, and anything pertinent to order placement. Having accurate content allows your customers to obtain a clear understanding of what to expect when using your services.

Including educational content regarding your industry is also a great way to gain visitors. An easy way to provide educational content is by creating a blog. If you don’t have time to write your own content, try a content service provider like Zerys.

Adapt For Mobile Optimization

Make sure that your website can be viewed on smart phones and tablets. Many people do plenty of research and shopping via these devices. If your website is not optimized for mobile viewing, a potential customer may leave, causing the loss of a sale. Mashable has provided a great article detailing the importance of mobile optimization that you can view here

Collect Visitor Information

One great way to collect potential lead contact information is by offering a weekly or month newsletter. This gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with potential clients without being to forward with a sales pitch. You can include new products, price changes, employee updates, or industry news. Always include the option for the clients to opt out of these emails.

Another option is having a landing page offering the chance to download a whitepaper or an eBook. Collecting their email allows you to track why they came to your website and helps you set up a sales funnel to follow up on their decision or purchase.

We hope that these 4 tips make your small business website design a little bit easier. If you need help finding resources, take a look at our Small Business Resource Center. Inside, you’ll find companies that we trust to help small business and entrepreneurs succeed.

Topics: Business Maintenance, Start a Business From Home, Marketing

State Basics: Forming a Business in Arizona

Posted by Samantha Miller on Mar 26, 2014 12:51:00 PM

dreamstimefree 232115 resized 600When forming a business in Arizona, you’ll want to be mindful of certain requirements and potential restrictions. You will have the option to form a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company. Before you make your decisions, it’s best to understand the difference between the two, and how Arizona will treat your business formation.


Corporations will be required to have a name that is entirely distinguishable from any other business registered in the State of Arizona. The name of your business must also include a corporate identifier. For corporations, you can use “Association, Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Limited” or any abbreviations of those corporate identifiers.

Arizona does not require that you list a specific business purpose on your Certificate of Incorporation. They do require that you list at least one director on your Certificate of Incorporation. The State of Arizona does require publishing.

Limited Liability Companies

When forming an LLC an Arizona, your company name must also be different and distinguishable from any other registered authorized Arizona business entity or any reserved names on record. You’ll need to include a corporate identifier. LLCs can use “Limited Liability Company, Limited Company” or any abbreviation of these words.

LLCs are not required to list a specific purpose on your Certificate of Formation and are also not required to list members on their formation documents.

Both Corporations and Limited Liability Companies may have varying annual requirements. To keep up with Arizona’s requirements, we recommend visiting their Secretary of State website, or giving us a call.

If you’re a small business looking to get started in Arizona, The Arizona Commerce Authority is a great resource where you can learn about programs that can help you get your business up and running. Arizona businesses also recommend Arizona’s SBDC Maricopa County Colleagues division. 

If you're ready to form a business in Arizona, we offer incorporation and registered agent services. Either click below or call 800.421.2661 to get started!


Form in Arizona!

Topics: Corporation Creation, Limited Liability Companies, Arizona

State Basics: Forming a Business in Alaska

Posted by Samantha Miller on Mar 21, 2014 8:34:00 AM

alaska resized 600This week, we’ll be covering the basics of forming a business in Alaska.

Like many states, Alaska requires that your corporation or limited liability company name be different from any registered business on file. Corporations and limited liability companies must also have a corporate name identifier. These identifiers include, “Corporation, Incorporated, Inc., and Corp.” For LLCs, you can use “Limited Liability Company or LLC.”

If you’re forming a corporation, Alaska does require that you list a specific business purpose on your Certificate of Incorporation. This means that you’ll have to provide a purpose for the general business you’ll be conducting. Alaska will require that you list one or more directors on the document. You must also be at least 19 years of age to form your business. Alaska’s standard number of shares is 1000, at no par value.

Limited Liability Companies are not required to list a specific purpose on their Articles of Formation. They do require that you list one or members on your document, and have an age requirement of 19 years or older.

Alaska may have annual filing requirements, often known as annual reports, for both corporations and limited liability companies. The filings may be due on a specific day or during a specific time and can cost varying amounts. For update annual requirement information, you can visit Alaska Secretary of State’s website.

If you want to learn more about current businesses in Alaska, take a look at Alaska Business Monthly.

Is your small business registered in Alaska? If we are acting as your registered agent, you can be featured in our Small Business Spotlight. Just comment your name and your company's name below!

Topics: State Specific Information, Limited Liability Companies, Corporations, Alaska

Tips to Make Business Travel a Breeze

Posted by Samantha Miller on Mar 15, 2014 12:57:00 PM

dreamstimefree 130755Business travel can often be a perk of your job, but the events leading up to your departure can sometimes cause stress. In order to help you have a fully enjoyable experience, we’ve compiled this list of business travel tips and tricks to keep you on top of your game.


  • Book your flight and hotel room well in advance. Take into consideration which airlines and hotels have the best frequent customer programs. Forbes rated Delta, Jetblue, and Virgin America as the top airlines for business travel in 2014. 

  • Organize your transportation. If you’re planning on using a rental car, confirm your reservation. If you’re going to rely on public transportation or taxis, take note of their schedules. Taxi Magic is available in 60 US cities. It helps you with fare estimates, pick up scheduling, and taxi tracking.

  • Create an itinerary so you’ll know when and where your meetings are. 

  • Make sure you have proper travel documents, including your ID and passport. To be safe, make a copy to keep with you.


  • Review the area where you’ll be staying. Take note of any restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops, or attractions nearby. A great app to help you with this is Yelp

  • Check your destination’s weather to make sure you’re packing the right items.

  • If you’re going out of the country, you may want consider checking your cell phone costs with your provider.

  • Download the WiFi Finder app to help you locate wireless spots when you’ve reached your destination


  • Invest in a lightweight, easy-to-move carry on. Checking bags will cost you time and on some airlines, money. 

  • Plan your wardrobe. Taking neutral colors that work well together will give you more outfit options without over packing. Make sure you take a pair of shoes that will be comfortable for any leisure time you may have. 

  • Consider placement. If you keep things you’ll want during the flight in outside compartments on your bag, it will be easier to reach. Purchasing a cord organizer can save you time if you’re traveling with many devices.

  • Take backups. Having a backup cell phone charger can come in handy if you misplace your own. 

  • If you must check a bag, make sure you take a carryon with essential items, including a change of clothes.

We hope that these travel tips help you breeze through your next business trip. If you have any tips that help you when traveling for work, please share them below!

Topics: Tips & Tricks, Business Maintenance

State Basics: Forming a Business in Alabama

Posted by Samantha Miller on Mar 5, 2014 3:25:00 PM

 describe the image Each week, we’ll be providing you with basic information on forming a corporation or limited liability company in a specific state. Today, we’ll get started with Alabama.

Forming a corporation or a limited liability company in Alabama can take a considerable amount of time longer than other states. If this is where you are conducting, we recommend you for in Alabama, despite the time it may take. 

Before beginning your initial filing document, you may be required to obtain a Certificate of Name Reservation from the State of Alabama. This filing will be sent to the judge of probate, who then forwards the filing to the Alabama Secretary of State.

Alabama requires that you include a corporate name identifier in your company’s name. Corporate identifiers for corporations include “Corporation, Incorporated, Inc., and Corp.” For LLCs, corporate identifiers include “Limited Liability Company or LLC.” Alabama also requires that your business name be distinguishable from any other registered or authorized Alabama business identity.

Alabama does not require that a specific purpose be listed on your formation document for both corporations and limited liability companies.  For corporations, Alabama requires that you have one or more Directors listed on your formation document, but does not require you to list any officers. For a Limited Liability Company’s formation document, Alabama requires that one or more managers or members be listed.

Keep in mind that Alabama may have annual filing requirements for both corporations and LLCs. These filings may be due on a certain date and may cost varying amounts. To be sure that you’re receiving up to date annual requirement information, you can check the Alabama Secretary of State website. You receive further information regarding these filings by calling 800.421.2661.

Alabama Business News is a great site if you’re interested in keeping up with business developments and your potential competition! 

Get Started in Alabama

Topics: LLC Creation, Corporation Creation, State Basics, Alabama

Delaware Corporation Annual Franchise Tax Update

Posted by Samantha Miller on Feb 26, 2014 2:21:00 PM

describe the imageThe Annual Franchise Tax for Delaware Corporations is due Saturday, March 1, 2014. Any payments received after Saturday, March 1 will be subject to a late fee, as assesed by the State of Delaware. 

In order to help you file your Annual Report on time, American Incorporators Ltd. will be staying open until 6 PM EST through February 28. 

The State of Delaware will be open on Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 8 AM - 4:30 PM. To contact them directly, you can call 302-739-3077. You can pay your Annual Franchise Tax to the State of Delaware online at through the end of the day on March 1.

If you need to pay both your Registered Agent fee and your Annual Franchise Tax, you can pay here until 11 PM EST on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Only use this link if you need to pay both fees.

We will not be available by online chat during any time between 5:30 PM February 28 and 8:30 AM March 3, 2014. Please do not leave any messages regarding your tax in the chat, as we will not be able to answer them until after the tax is due. 

Topics: Business Maintenance, Delaware

Reminder : Delaware Corporation Annual Tax Due March 1

Posted by Samantha Miller on Feb 19, 2014 2:38:00 PM

describe the imageThis reminder is for Delaware Corporations only.

 Your Annual Franchise Tax fee of $150 is due to the State of Delaware on or before March 1, 2014. The fee may be higher depending on your company’s number of shares. This fee is paid in arrears for the preceding year, meaning that in 2014, you are paying your tax for the year of 2013. The fee is required to be paid by all Delaware Corporations regardless of company income.  If your fee is not paid on or before March 1, 2014, a late fee along with a 1.5% monthly interest will be assessed by the State of Delaware and your company may fall out of Good Standing.

If you use American Incorporators as your Registered Agent in the State of Delaware, you will be receiving additional reminders including instructions via e-mail and postal mail. American Incorporators also offers a filing service. If you have any questions about how to pay your tax, would like to use our filing service, or are interested in checking the status of your company, please call 800.421.2661. 

* Ask About Our New Compliance Package Services! *

Topics: Reminders, Delaware

Reminder: We're Moving!

Posted by Samantha Miller on Oct 31, 2013 9:17:00 AM

AIL Move

On November 4, 2013, American Incorporators will be moving into our new offices!

Our last day in our current offices will be on Friday, November 1, 2013. On November 1, we will be open until 12 PM EST. If you have any urgent filings, please contact our office prior to that time. If you are mailing any document to American Incorporators after October 31, 2013, please mail it to our new address.

Our new address will be:

American Incorporators Ltd.
1013 Centre Road . Suite 403-A
Wilmington, DE 19805

Here's a few things to keep in mind during our move:

1. We will update and pay for all necessary filings with the relevant Secretary of State. 

2. This is not your business address. Do not update any of your business mailing addresses, unless you use American Incorporators for Mail Forwarding. If you do not use us for Mail Forwarding, but would like information on how to do so, click here

3. If you are a current Mail Forwarding client, you will receive a separate email that will include any further information or instruction.

4. If you would like a company resolution stating the change of address, please contact us by calling 800.421.2661.

5. Our telephone number will not be changing!

If you have any questions, please contact our office at 800.421.2661 or 302.421.5750. 

Topics: Reminders

5 Tips to Help You Create a Customer Survey

Posted by Samantha Miller on Aug 16, 2013 11:14:00 AM

custserv resized 600It’s important for business owners to be cognizant of how their current and potential customers feel about the services they’re providing. One simple, effective way to maintain an understanding of your customers is through distributing and analyzing customer surveys.  Customer surveys allow you to expand your relationship with customers while discovering ways for your business to improve. If you’ve never written a customer survey before, you may not know where to start. To help you out, we’ve created these 5 tips to help you create a customer survey:

1. Define your goals. Once you have a clear, concise objective, creating your survey will become much easier. Each step of the process will always tie into your initial goal. Find your goal by asking yourself these questions:

What am I trying to learn?

Why am I trying to learn this information?

How will I analyze the results?

A few topics you may want to consider include customer loyalty research, new product development, and customer service reviews.

2. Choose Your Audience

After you’ve identified your objective, this step should be easy. Do you want to hear from current customers? Potential customers? Or a mix of both?

If your survey is going to be based on past experiences with your company, you’d be wasting time and resources if you send it to potential customers. Always keep your goal in mind.

3. Create Your Questions

You should start your survey with a brief introduction and include a simple set of directions. If you plan on using responses as testimonials, include a brief disclaimer explaining so.

Each question should be as specific as possible. Make sure you only ask about one point per question. Varying the format of questions can make the survey seem less monotonous and hold the survey taker’s interest. Always include at least one open-ended question, which will give the customer the chance to share their opinion and offer suggestions.

Conclude the survey by thanking the survey taker. Often, surveys will include incentives as a way of thanking that individual for taking their personal time to help your business, but this is optional.

4. Distribute Your Survey

When distributing your survey, keep your audience in mind. Three main types of surveys are phone surveys, direct mail surveys, and online surveys.

Today, you’ll find many free resources to help distribute your survey online. Some of these websites also include tracking data.  Sites such as Survey Monkey or Survey Builder are great places to start if you’ve never worked with online survey distribution. You can link the surveys on your Facebook page, send it out via Twitter, or include it in an email.

5. Analyze Your Results

Make sure you’ve planned how you’ll interpret and track the data you receive from the surveys. Create a timeframe for when you’d like the survey to start and finish, schedule showing how frequently you’ll check the results.

After the survey has concluded, it is important that you do not ignore your results. Don’t keep them sitting in a spreadsheet. Share them with fellow employees and don’t ignore negative feedback. Hopefully, you’ll be receiving positive feedback, but negative feedback deserves a follow up email or call.

This article from Inc provides insight on how you can make the most of your customer feedback.

We hope this article helps  you create a fantastic customer survey! Surveys will always be a simple way to stay in touch with your customers while learning how your business can grow. If you’d like to read more about surveys, Mashable has created a great article with a few more tips, tricks, and suggestions

As always, please let us know if there's anything you'd like us to address in our blog! Our Incorporation Specialists are always available for assistance by dialing 800.421.2661.

Topics: Tips & Tricks, Start a Business From Home