Tax Law Doesn’t Alter Definitions of Independent Contractor

Employee vs contractorBy Finance New Mexico

The new tax law passed by Congress in December 2017 aims to lower taxes for everyone, but proponents cite its overwhelming benefits to businesses. Under the new law, companies — including sole proprietors and workers in the gig economy — can deduct 20 percent of their revenue from taxable income.

This provision alone could disrupt formal relationships between employers and workers, increasing the number of people who define themselves as independent contractors. Continue reading

Familiarity Doesn’t Have To Breed Contempt in Intimate Business Partnerships

Intimate partnershipsBy Finance New Mexico

One advantage of running a small business with family or friends is that the principals know and are committed to one another and the success of their enterprise. But intimate partnerships also have potential relationship-based perils, some of which could cause work-force demoralization, legal problems and even failure.

The trick to making a small venture succeed is to acknowledge these risks from the start and institute processes to contain or minimize them. Continue reading

WESST Wraps Banner Year; New Programs Expected in 2018

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Dineland

Dineland Protection Services Inc., photo courtesy Chris Hunter, WESST

WESST, the statewide nonprofit best known for consulting and training programs that support entrepreneurs and small businesses, hit a milestone in 2017: It made its largest loan ever. WESST loaned $150,000 to Dinéland Protection Services Inc. of Fruitland to help the company launch the security services it provides to the Navajo coal mine on the Navajo Nation.

While the bulk of WESST’s services focus on one-on-one consulting and deep-dive business workshops, WESST also wants to make sure its clients have the funds needed to grow their businesses. Kim Blueher, vice president of lending at WESST, said the loan program is about 10 percent of the overall services they offer, but it makes a significant impact. Continue reading

Farmington Manufacturer Seeks Quality-Management Goal With Help From MEP

PESCO truck

Courtesy photo

By Sandy Nelson and Taura Costidis for Finance New Mexico

Brothers Kyle and Jim Rhodes have big ambitions for the family business they’ve owned since 1970. It’s not enough that their Farmington company Process Equipment & Service Company Inc. (PESCO) has a solid reputation as a manufacturer of natural gas and oil production equipment and that the company continues to grow even as gas prices rise and fall, employing more than 300 people and serving national and international customers. Continue reading

Local Businesses Need Support Every Day of the Year

Shop LocalBy Finance New Mexico

Small Business Saturday came and went with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but persuading budget-conscious consumers to shop locally is not just a one-day effort. If they hope to compete with national chains and internet-based rivals, small businesses need a year-round strategy that highlights how their products or services are superior to what a national or multinational corporation can deliver. Continue reading

Businesses Unsettled by DACA Uncertainty

DACA stamp

Photo credit: beebright / 123RF Stock Photo

By Finance New Mexico

Barring congressional intervention, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is ending, and DACA recipients — or “Dreamers” — are subject to deportation when their work permits expire if they didn’t get an extension before the Oct. 5 deadline.

The demise of the program has created uncertainty among employers who are required to fire DACA recipients the day after their permits expire but risk discrimination charges if they act too soon to terminate — or even identify — DACA recipients on their payrolls. Continue reading

Building a Business Reputation Starts With Basics

Customer serviceBy Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

A common complaint of people who hire specialists or tradespeople to provide a service is that the person didn’t show up as promised or didn’t even return a phone call. Sometimes all it takes to build a client base is to treat prospective customers with the basic decency you would use in personal relationships that matter to you. Continue reading

Home Is Where the Startup Is

Home-based businessBy Finance New Mexico

The blueprint for starting a home-based enterprise in New Mexico can be a simple sketch or a complicated technical drawing. It all depends on the business type and location.

Common to all businesses is the need to pick a structure, secure a Combined Reporting System number, register with the city or county, obtain required permits or certifications and decide whether to hire employees and interact with customers or to work alone as an independent contractor. Continue reading

State’s Gross Receipts Tax: It’s Complicated

New Mexico Gross Receipts TaxBy Finance New Mexico

New Mexico’s gross receipts tax is admittedly confusing, but the state still expects businesses to follow the law and pay what they owe from the sale of property or services.

In a nutshell, GRT is a substitute for the traditional sales tax that shoppers in other states pay when they make a purchase. In New Mexico, the seller pays the tax on the sales price of a product or service even if the seller doesn’t collect it from the buyer — and even if the buyer lives out of state. Continue reading

Annual Review Yields Stronger JTIP Program

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

JTIP recipient Insight Lighting

JTIP recipient Insight Lighting; photo Jane Phillips photography

The Job Training Incentive Program, the economic development tool better known as JTIP, is responsible for creating 10,000 New Mexico jobs since 2011, according to the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD).

Since 1972, JTIP has been providing incentives for qualifying employers who are expanding or relocating in the state. Incentives include money for on-the-job training for up to six months and reimbursement of up to 75 percent of an approved employee’s wages and training costs at an approved New Mexico public education institution. Continue reading