Entrepreneurship: Quarterly Sales Taxes, Y Combinator's Startup School, and TechWeek Chicago

Its been a while since I've written a blog post, but here's a summary of some things I wanted to share. 

2 Things About Taxes

Today is June 20th. I just got done e-filing for New York State quarterly sales taxes. As in the words of Benjamin Franklin, "In this world, nothing can be certain, except for death and taxes." 

Did you know that if you sell products online, you have to file to be an "agent of the state" to collect sales tax? When you become an "agent of the state," you have to report to the state every 3 months on your gross sales and pay sales taxes. Tax reporting changes after the first year and depends on your gross revenue. 

1. The Amazon Rule

In reference to Amazon.com-duh! Businesses used to pay taxes if they had a physical presence/retail location in that state. Now that you can sell anywhere online, if you have "nexus" in that location, you must charge sales taxes.

2. Nexus 

I had to look up this term. There was Biology definition, which actually made a lot of sense and tied in with the tax definition. A "nexus" essentially means that if you have some sort of representation/affiliation in that state, then you have to pay taxes. 

They count "click thrus," so I'm going to go ahead and tell you that if you sell to someone in so said state that charges taxes, then you need to charge/pay sales taxes.

Here's a link to the government site about it if you want to learn more: http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-cents/sales-tax-101-small-business-owners-and-online-

Sales-Tax-Fairness-Map-May2014.001-001-3.jpg

Y Combinator had its first Startup School in NYC this week. 

I showed up at the Best Buy Theatre wondering why they picked Time Square because it was super packed with tourist, then saw a huge line of boys. 

1. Where are all the girls? This was the complete opposite of YC Female Founders. 

Maybe only the guys were targeted for the event or is NYC just a place for guys to start companies? 

2. Please tip the bartender if the drinks are free!

This is a common courtesy, but if haven't been doing this, you need to start. 

3. I liked Shana from High Line Venture Partners

Read the BI article on it: http://www.businessinsider.com/shana-fishers-advice-for-entrepreneurs-2014-6

  • Single Founders: Sometimes having one Founder works. This applied to me, so I like it! 
  • If you can afford the time, then use it to make a perfect product. The world is super competitive now. Make sure you do good work. 
  • The SCARF Method

4. Inspirational stories. 

Everyone likes stories of the underdog that overcomes huge challenges to make it home. I'm referencing Homeward Bound. I love dogs. 

  • Instacart: Bought every item from each store and photographed it because they couldn't get access to the grocery store's product catalog digitally. Sometimes doing things that don't scale initially is a huge advantage. You learn a lot and then try to scale. 
  • Watsi: Had people working in secret at their day jobs. Ignore the legal implications, and focus on the inspiring story of 7 people having a day job and working on building Watsi on the side. Watsi is the first non-profit that YC has sponsored. 
  • The Muse: This is YC's poster child for female founders. They always include The Muse in all their talks. I think it's great marketing :) Even when publishing was a boring avenue, they were still able to raise money for it after a lot of people told them NO. 

TechWeek Chicago

Is my "Small Business" techy enough? 

I told a friend I was going to compete in TechWeek Chicago, and he wasn't sure if Finding Ferdinand was "Tech" enough. 

1. Everything is Tech today. 

It's hard to be a new company nowadays if you don't have some element of tech. 

2. I'm having fun brainstorming for this. 

Come and hang out with me next week in Chicago! I have few expo passes to handout. If you're in the area and would like to check out the scene, let me know! 

Check out the details here: http://techweek.com/chicago/