Monthly Solutions for Small Businesses - October Edition

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What is a trade name and if you need one?

A trade name is any name, other than the legal name, under which a business operates. A trade name may be used by an individual, a corporation, or anyone else conducting business in Colorado. For instance, if John Doe does business under "The Best Painting Company That Could", his trade name would be ?The Best Painting Company That Could? unless he has registered a corporation in Colorado called ?The Best Painting Company That Could.?

State and federal law governs trade names. Both common law and statutory law protect trade names in Colorado. Under federal law, a business or individual registers a trade name as a trademark. The Lanham Act usually protects trademarks (there are some additional laws that protect trademarks in regards to importation of goods and other areas).

Information on keeping receipts under $75.

In the 1990s, under the guise of helping business owners, the IRS stated it would no longer require receipts for meal and entertainment purchases under $75. However, if a business owner decides not to keep the receipt, he or she must have a log that includes the date, time, place, amount, who was involved, and the business purpose of the expense. If audited, the IRS may also request substantiating documents verifying the expense, including bank or credit card statements.

If a business owner keeps receipts, he or she should write who was involved and the business purpose on the receipts (and the date, time, place and amount if that is not already on the receipt). Although it is nice to have a log of the expenses and bank and credit card statements, with the receipts it is not absolutely necessary.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Elizabeth Lewis | Attorney Advertising

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