Small private equity firms may get registration extension: SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission appears ready to extend a transition period for some private equity firms and other investment advisers required to register with the agency under provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The changes have been the cause of much worry and harried preparation among advisers, particularly smaller and mid-sized private-equity firms subject to new requirements under the legislation.

SEC Associate Director Robert Plaze told Reuters the transition period would likely be extended, but stressed the agency had not yet acted.

He was reiterating comments contained in an April 8 letter made public on the agency’s website. The letter was addressed to David Massey, the deputy securities administrator for the state of North Carolina and president of the North American Securities Administrators Association.

“We anticipate that the Commission will complete its implementing rulemaking by July 21, 2011 in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, but expect in connection therewith that the Commission will consider providing additional time for investment advisers affected by these provisions to come into compliance,” Plaze wrote.

10 questions to find the right bank for your business

– Mary Goodman and Rich Russakoff are co-founders of Bottom Line Up Enterprises. This article originally appeared on The Money Dept. column for BNET. The views expressed are their own. –

Finding the right bank for your business is not all that different from finding the right mechanic for your car, or the right surgeon for an operation. You need some objective information first.

The best way to determine whether or not to consider a particular bank is to find out the answers to the following 10 questions. Use them as your starting point, but know that you should dig deeper if you can.

Managing elephant-sized social media blunders

Global brand strategist Jonathan Salem Baskin can’t help but scratch his head over the rationale behind the controversial social media dispatch from GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons. The flamboyant CEO sparked a backlash recently when he posted a video link to his elephant shoot in Kenya Zimbabwe.

Baskin offers the following advice on how small businesses can prevent or manage social media blunders.

Q: Are social media posts pertaining to a business owner’s non-business doings relevant to consumers?

The right way to do home office deductions

– Stephanie Rabiner is a contributor to FindLaw’s Free Enterprise blog. FindLaw is a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

Some people believe that home office deductions are akin to begging the IRS to audit your taxes. While this can be true in some situations, home office tax deductions, if done properly, are completely legal and can provide a big payoff.

So if you work from home, consider the following tips. Home office tax deduction rules are a bit tricky, but with a little forethought and attention to detail, you should be just fine.

Treasury hosts conference to help startups find capital

Continuing its push to provide small companies with resources necessary for growth, the Obama Administration on Tuesday is hosting an all-day conference in Washington designed to decode the difficult process of raising capital.

Replete with heavy hitters, the speakers include Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; SBA Administrator Karen Mills; Scott Case, co-founder of Priceline and head of the government’s newly formed entrepreneurship advocacy group StartUp America Partnership; and Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

The conference — “Access to Capital: Fostering Growth and Innovation for Small Companies” — aims to explore methods of securing investment at each stage of expansion, from the early stages through IPO or buyout.

Mix it up: Trends and fads in email marketing

– Melanie Attia is the product marketing manager for Campaigner email marketing. The views expressed are her own. –

In business, there are fads and there are trends. While fads help pay the bills in the short-term, a good small business understands the longer-term viability of its products and services that will be for sale in the seasons to come.

The same holds true for marketing. It’s essential for growth and these days marketing trends continue to shift from offline to online programs.

Small business seen emerging from “foxhole”

An improved economic outlook has many small business owners looking to grow now to gain a leg up on their competition.

Nearly half (47 percent) of the owners polled in a recent survey by office equipment maker Brother International Corp said they were willing to spend rather than stockpile cash reserves – an increase of 11 percent over 2010, when they were still facing recessionary pressures.

“They know they can’t stand pat, they can’t stay in the foxhole,” said John Wandishin, vice president of marketing for Brother. “When the clouds start moving and the sun starts coming out, how are they going to be positioned?”

What entrepreneurs can learn from Justin Bieber

– Mark Suster is a former serial entrepreneur and a partner at Los Angeles-based venture capital firm GRP Partners. This article originally appeared on TechCrunch and on Suster’s blog “Both Sides of the Table”. The views expressed are his own. –

I know what you’re thinking – link bait title, right? Wrong. I stand 100 percent behind my assertions in this post: Justin Bieber is unbelievably entrepreneurial and most of you will never know it, because he serves a target demographic that doesn’t include you.

I promise you can learn from him. I’m also betting that in 10 years he’ll be a mainstream talent rather than a pre-teen girl wonder.

5 small business tax writeoffs for 2010

Jason Beahm is a contributor to FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared on FindLaw’s Free Enterprise blog. –

Small businesses can always use a few good tax writeoffs. So we recently came up with 5 tax writeoffs for 2010. Let’s jump right in:

Create jobs, get a deduction

If you hired new workers between Feb. 3, and Dec. 31, 2010, that didn’t merely replace people who left and who had been unemployed for more than 60 days, you can save 6.2 percent of your payroll tax. You can also get another $1,000 business tax credit in 2011 if you keep the new employees for 52 weeks or longer.

You’re getting audited – now what?

– Charley Moore is the founder and chairman of Rocket Lawyer Incorporated. He advises both early stage companies, large enterprises and their investors on strategic partnering and corporate development strategy. The views expressed are his own. –

Getting a letter from the IRS is enough to instill fear and trepidation in the minds of many small business owners. Opening the envelope to reveal a tax audit notice can be the thing of nightmares. After the panic attack subsides, there are things you can and should do to prepare for a tax audit. It doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds, as long as you take it step by step.

1. Find out specifically why your return is being audited.

While the IRS is supposed to tell you why your return was selected, if they don’t, it’s up to you to ask. Your taxes can be audited for a variety of reasons: