Is Texas a Great Place to Start a Business?

Is Texas a Great Place to Start a Business?

One of the first questions that entrepreneurs will have to ask themselves is, “Where should I incorporate my business?” This question is vital to the success of the business as it holds the ability to dictate the volume of paperwork required, the amount of taxes that need to be paid, and the restrictions that will be placed on the business.

The Austin Business Journal has reported that the video-based social media platform, TikTok, has signed a notable size lease to operate in Texas. The company will be joining the likes of Oracle, Hewlett Packard, Deloitte, JP Morgan Chase, and Liberty Mutual. According to the State of Texas, “Texas’s small businesses drive big business dreams. Texas is the leading job creator in the country and has the second-largest state economy. The State has also said “We’re proud to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in Texas.” 

With the strong backing of the government and the buzz of successful businesses, Texas is a great choice of state to start a business in. Companies in Texas benefit from the state’s business-friendly corporate tax laws. These laws have proven attractive to both start-ups and large corporations alike. With several high-profile companies having announced their plans to move to the Lone Star State in the past year, it is no surprise that new businesses want to skip the hassle of relocating and choose to startup in Texas at the onset.

How Texas is Grabbing the Attention of Large Corporations 

The state’s Economic Development and Tourism office had stated that Texas has experienced a “tremendous increase” in the number of companies that were reaching out since the covid-19 pandemic hit– with 237 relocation or expansion projects currently in the works at the time of the announcement. 

Apart from tech giants Oracle and Tesla,  Apple has also announced that it will house its second-largest campus in Texas. This Tech influx has led many to predict that Texas may potentially be on the way to becoming a business hub that could dethrone Silicon Valley.

However, the migration to the Lone Star State is not isolated to just big businesses and the wealthy elite. Since 2020, Texas has added more residents than any other state in the U.S. This comes as California undergoes the opposite experience, with population and job growth having slowed down to a mere trickle.

How Does Texas Benefit Small Businesses

With all the buzz around big corporations making their way to Texas, it might seem overwhelming for a small startup to follow suit. However, Texas is equally, if not more beneficial to smaller businesses. Local governments understand the importance of small businesses for the economy and strive to provide support and resources to help entrepreneurs along their journey.

Starting a Texas LLC is a great way for entrepreneurs to benefit from the superior asset protection of the business structure that when coupled with the tax regulations in Texas can provide lucrative support and security. LLCs are fairly simple business structures to form and maintain, they are also relatively lower in cost and require far less paperwork than corporations.

Final Thoughts

When looking for a state to start a new business, Texas has proven itself as a profitable option. Entrepreneurs that choose to open up shop in the state will join the ranks of the great such as Elon Musk and other CEO’s. Small startups and big corporations alike will find the business climate in Texas conducive to the growth of the company. If the state is able to keep up with its growth, there is no doubt that it will become the pinnacle business district.

 

Remote Work Trends in 2022

Remote Work Trends in 2022

Working remotely wasn’t an option for organizations that could allow employees to conduct their duties outside of the office. Working from home was necessary when cities throughout the world shut down after the pandemic hit.

As life restarts and businesses reopen, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, but many employees who have become accustomed to remote working are left in the dark. Has the world of work been altered forever? Let’s have a look at some of the forecasts for the future of remote work.

Remote Employment Isn’t Going Anywhere

As we adapt to a post-pandemic lifestyle, the first truth that businesses and employees must recognize is that remote work will not go away. While it may not be as prevalent as it was during the peak of the shutdowns, it will remain a common and popular work arrangement.

As our economy changes and the way we work evolves, there’s been a lot of talk about the future of remote employment. Furthermore, there has surely been an increase in remote job searches.

According to a study by SHRM, One-third of workers say they would not want to work for a company that required them to be onsite in a physical office full-time. Organizations that want to attract and keep top talent will need to emphasize remote work, and other employers will be forced to follow suit in order to stay competitive.

Businesses Will Adopt a Hybrid Work Approach

Will businesses abandon their office space in favor of purely remote teams? Not quite, although several well-known corporations have done so. Employers are more inclined to use a more flexible approach, known as the hybrid model.

Rather than forcing employees to choose between working remotely or in an office, a hybrid approach allows people to choose the work location that best suits them, with the understanding that it may change. They can choose to work from home a few days a week or occasionally from the office. It is not rigid and allows for a great deal of flexibility.

As a result, many companies are pursuing a hybrid strategy, with companies such as Ford and Spotify already implementing it. Nine out of ten executives see a hybrid approach as the way forward. Employees appear to agree, with many indicating they’d prefer employers embrace a more flexible working model following the pandemic.

The Number of Digital Nomads Will Increase

While remote work may conjure images of working from a home office or even the couch, many professionals have higher aspirations. Widespread and long-term lockdowns have sparked wanderlust, which led to an increase in the number of people who identify as digital nomads, people who travel and work remotely from various locations regularly.

You may not be able to video call your remote team from the comfort of your own home in the post-COVID era. One coworker may connect from a Vermont wood cabin, while another may connect from a coffee shop in Spain. This flexibility has led to an increase in remote work jobs and occupations such as software developers, writers, web developers, data scientists, digital marketers, and more,

Businesses Will Spend Money on the Correct Tools and Training

Working from home isn’t a fad. Companies that previously viewed it as a temporary stumbling block are now understanding that it is something they must embrace on a long-term basis.

When employees claim they’re unhappy at work because of outdated technology, it all starts with ensuring that their teams have the proper tools to communicate and cooperate effortlessly, both asynchronously and in real-time.

We’re sure we’ll see companies abandon clunky workarounds and inefficient processes in favor of setting up tech-savvy systems that are remote-friendly, from project management platforms and goal dashboards to instant messaging tools and virtual meeting solutions.

Businesses will also invest time and money in training managers and leaders in charge of distributed teams and departments. Employees can attend coding bootcamps to learn skills that will help them perform their jobs more effectively.

Leaders will need the right tools and knowledge to handle remote onboarding and then successfully manage, inspire, and monitor their direct reports as remote work becomes the norm.

What Does the Future of Work Have in Store for Us?

Unless you have a crystal ball, predicting what’s coming down the pike is tough. After all, most of us are unlikely to have seen the huge curve balls that have been thrown our way during the last year or two.

However, studies and expert projections indicate a future in which the focus is on what work is done, rather than where or when it is done. That isn’t only a change in logistics. It’s a cultural shift for many firms that will prioritize results over hours, employee productivity over whereabouts.

Article by: Elizabeth Mackenzie / Founder and CEO / https://www.globalprassociates.com

 

7 VA Loan Tips for Veterans

7 VA Loan Tips for Veterans

Homebuying Process: Getting Approved for VA Loan

One standout benefit of serving in the military, National Guard, or Reserves is your qualification to apply for a VA mortgage. Administered through a broad range of lending institutions, VA loans are guaranteed by the federal government. That’s why they usually feature lower interest rates and more flexible qualification standards. Many service members buy their homes through the VA with no money down. Overall, lenders consider VA loans less risky than conventional private mortgages.

To be eligible for a VA loan, you need to be an active or former member of the military. In general, you must have been honorably discharged, although there are rare exceptions to that rule. Additionally, surviving spouses of veterans can also apply for a VA loan unless they have been remarried. Depending on when you served and why you were discharged, there are service benchmarks you must meet in terms of time served. But to be clear just because you qualify to apply for a VA mortgage, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to secure one. Here are several tips for increasing your chances of being approved to take advantage of this useful benefit.

Don’t Let the Paperwork Get to You

Applying for any mortgage can be confusing and time-consuming. But VA loans come with an additional layer of complexity. Anything involving the government comes with red tape, right? First, you’ll need to secure a Certificate of Eligibility to be approved for a VA loan, which involves gathering a little more documentation than you would need to apply for a conventional loan. But you don’t need to have a certificate to begin the VA loan application process. In fact, most lenders will be glad to assist you in getting one. Remember that lenders want your business. And a good one will bend over backwards to get it.

Your New Home Must Be Eligible, Too

Here’s why working with a VA loan-savvy realtor can be a tremendous boon. The last thing you want to do is spend lots of time trying to purchase a property that won’t qualify for a mortgage in the end. The government doesn’t want to invest in properties that have major defects and neither do you. They’ve established a set of Minimum Property Requirements for homes purchased under the VA loan program. Your realtor or lender can explain these to you and help you steer clear of properties that don’t stack up to VA standards.

Get Familiar with Acceptable Use and Occupancy Guidelines

VA loans aren’t made for every type of property. Loans are only written for primary residences. Your new home can be a Colonial, a condo, a manufactured home, or anywhere in between but you have to live there. You can even take out a loan to build a home from scratch. But vacation homes and investment properties aren’t eligible for VA financing. In addition, the VA sets time limits around occupancy. Generally, you must move into your home within 60 days of closing. If you’re currently deployed, that rule can be challenging. A spouse can substitute for a deployed service member to meet the occupancy date, but single people may have a harder time fulfilling the requirement. It can be done, though.

Your Credit Does Counts

One important advantage VA loans have over traditional mortgages is that VA borrowers are subject to more lenient financial qualifications. Officially, there is no credit score bar you have to clear before you can be approved for a VA mortgage. But having good-to-excellent credit can help you secure a larger loan and/or a better interest rate.

Even a quarter-point difference in the interest rate you’re offered can amount to thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. That’s why getting your credit in the best possible shape before you apply for a loan is essential. Download a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus to see where you stand. Then do whatever credit repair that needs to be done. Make sure all of your credit accounts are current—and stay that way—while you’re applying for a mortgage. Close any accounts that you’re no longer using. If you find any negative remarks on your report that aren’t legitimate, dispute them. Fixing mistakes on your credit report can take some time. So be sure you attend to your credit well in advance of submitting a loan application.

Remember to Get Pre-Qualified Before You Start House Hunting

Today’s real estate market is very competitive. Nowadays, home sellers are inundated with offers and 43% accept one within a week of listing their homes. Sellers aren’t interested in wasting time and want to talk to serious buyers only. Prequalifying for a loan through one or more lenders—that is, securing a letter that states how much money a lender would be likely to loan you and at what interest rate—is one way to show home sellers that it’s worth their time to work with you. Many home sellers won’t even entertain offers from buyers who aren’t prequalified.

Getting prequalified also can help you set home price parameters for yourself and hone in on properties you can reasonably afford. It’s easy to do. And it won’t affect your credit score, even if you prequalify with more than one lender. As someone who has served our country, you’re entitled to the rewards a VA mortgage can provide. And you’re entitled to great service from the professionals you work with during the home buying process.

Article by: Genesis Walker / Money.com

After the Military: What Comes Next?

After the Military: What Comes Next?

At the American Veterans Chamber, we know just how daunting the transition to civilian life can be. You’ve dedicated years to serving your country, but the experience and skills you’ve acquired aren’t always appreciated by the civilian world. How can you translate your military experience into civilian success? Here are a few ways that newly-separated veterans can find a path forward after military service.

Education

Going back to school is a great way to find direction and build skills for the civilian world. Veterans can take advantage of GI Bill programs which, as Military.com notes, provide up to 36 months of education benefits. Like other nontraditional students, most military veterans choose career-oriented degrees like business management, information technology, engineering, and nursing.

Worried about spending four years out of the workforce while earning your degree? If the idea of starting from scratch doesn’t appeal to you, consider an online college. Online schools emphasize competency-based learning over seat-time. This lets students with prior experience earn credentials faster, saving both time and money.

Employment

A career offers a sense of purpose and accomplishment after separating from the military, but where do your skills fit in the civilian world? Goodwill points out that veterans have more to offer the civilian workforce than you might realize. Employers value military veterans for their soft skills like leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork. Some MOS skills directly translate to a civilian career as well.

Healthcare, information technology, public administration, and defense contracting are among the most popular career paths for military veterans. These professions let veterans channel skills acquired in the military into a new, rewarding career. Starting your own business is yet another option, one that allows you to put your skillset to work as an entrepreneur. One of the first steps is deciding how to structure your operation. Many small business owners choose to form as a limited liability company (LLC) because of the protection of personal assets.

Still not sure where to take your career after military service? Visit CareerOneStop for self-assessments, career guides, and other helpful resources for your job search.

Retirement

While some servicemembers transition after a few years, others spend their entire careers in the military. Leaving the military after decades of service can be a culture shock. What will you do with all of your time?

The first thing to do is evaluate your military retirement benefits including retirement pay, healthcare benefits, and the Survivor Benefit Plan. Will your retirement pay match your income needs or will you need to work after retiring?

There are plenty of part-time jobs that don’t require starting a second career. Several military-friendly companies like Home Depot, Verizon and UPS have great reputations for pay and work environment.

Resources for Your Military Transition

There’s a lot to think about as you prepare for your military transition. Luckily, there’s also a lot of support available.

The Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, is a mandatory Department of Defense program for transitioning service members. TAP offers guidance on veterans benefits and helps service members choose a career track after service. Service members can supplement TAP with a Transitioning Veterans consultation from Military OneSource.

When it comes to buying a home, several financing options are available for veterans. For one, VA loans for mortgages are available at low interest rates and require no down payment. Like an FHA loan, a VA loan is government backed, which also guarantees no private mortgage insurance is necessary, meaning your overall borrowing amount will be lower.

Other organizations serving transitioning veterans include:

  • AMVETS offers career placement assistance, educational scholarships, and volunteer and networking opportunities for veterans.
  • The American Legion organizes job fairs, hosts career events, and holds workshops for veterans entrepreneurs in addition to other programs.
  • VetJobs is an online job board serving military veterans. VetJobs also publishes tips and resources for veterans starting a new career.

Don’t wait to begin your military transition process. The sooner you prepare for life after military service, the more confident you’ll be stepping into civilian life.

The American Veterans Chamber enhances the professional lives of active duty, transitioning military, and Veterans through business, employment and education. Contact us today for more info, or to join! 972.853.1622

Article by Adams Evans

 

From Combat to Campus

From Combat to Campus

No matter how many active-duty days you have seen, the prospect of going back to school as an adult and a veteran may be one of the most frightening challenges you’ve ever faced. But, it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. The Dallas-Fort Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce wants all of our veterans to succeed. With this in mind, today’s post is aimed at those who wish to go back to school before owning or operating a new business.

It Starts With Strategy

In the military, you learned all about strategy. It’s time to take that training and translate it into your education. Start by gathering as much information as you can about your G.I. Bill and other education benefits. The US Department of Veterans Affairs shares all you need to know about these, along with tips, links, and resources on how to do additional research and manage your education benefits. (If your veteran benefits don’t cover all of your tuition, you may need help funding the balance of your education. You may be eligible for scholarships depending on your hobbies, interests, or nationality)

The next step in your strategic move is to determine what degree to pursue. Many veterans choose law enforcement, but if you prefer to be in a more business-like environment, consider jumping headfirst into your MBA.  Earning your MBA can open up many professional opportunities as you will graduate with skills in research and statistics, marketing, and corporate finance. You may find a new career as anything from a facilities manager to an operations director or GM. You can go to school online as you acclimate to work and family as a civilian.

Going Back

Once you have decided on a degree path, it’s time to develop good study habits. Fortunately, you are already used to keeping a strict schedule and tight regimen. Keep your military training at the front of your mind here, and make sure to set a schedule to ensure that you have adequate time to devote to your studies.

More than just time for study, you have to make time for yourself and for your basic needs. If you start to feel overwhelmed, which is particularly prevalent among those who are also working and raising a family while going back to school, Mental Health America suggests going for a walk or stepping away from your responsibilities for a moment. You can also try and schedule your working hours so that you have time to eat dinner or visit with your family and friends before hitting the books.

Keeping Yourself Well

Although we previously mentioned managing stress, something that many veterans don’t consider is how previous trauma can rear its ugly head when going back to school. Although, on the surface, going back to school seems like a mundane event. The reality is that you can begin to feel the same type of anxiety that you felt during combat, and you have to take care of your mental and physical health. Task & Purpose recommends enrolling with your local VA and being a self-advocate as it pertains to school. Make sure that both the administration and your professors understand that you are a veteran recovering from a physical or emotional injury. Remember, your college can’t discriminate against you based on a disability, but you may be required to show proof of need if you require accommodations, such as additional time to complete assignments.

Going back to school is intimidating, there’s no doubt about that. But, you have faced greater challenges. Earning your degree now may not be easy, but this is one hurdle that will make it much easier to earn an income and care for your family as a civilian.

If you want to start networking now, consider volunteering at the Dallas-Fort Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce. The organization is always looking for people to help with maintenance, videography, graphic design, and other basic business functions. Article by Adam Evans