• Our technology business is growing rapidly and experiencing tremendous success. Can we be considered for one of the Governor’s Technology Awards?  

Innovative businesses with products or services that represent unique applications of technology are great nominees for the Technology Company of the Year or the Rising Star of the Year Awards. The Technology Company of the Year Award recognizes a business with sustained growth that is driven by the technological component of their business operations and that demonstrates meaningful involvement in the life of their community. The Rising Star of the Year Award honors a new venture that is experiencing strong growth, positioning themselves for success in the technology sector, and investing in their local community. For an example of this year’s nomination requirements visit the Technology Council website.

  • My business has been around for several years and we are doing well, but it seems that we should be attracting more customers. How can I get help with development of a marketing strategy that will allow us to increase traffic and revenue?

There are several organizations in north Louisiana that help with marketing strategy development at different stages of the business life cycle. You can find the organizations that are suited to your needs and conveniently located to you by visiting the Online Network for Entrepreneurs (ONE).

There is also help available through the state’s Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program. This program can help pay for your marketing services and it may be used for other professional consulting needs – computerized accounting, website development, legal services, and even engineering. Essentially, this program may assist with any type of professional service that is needed to support business growth or expansion and that is not considered a normal part of operations. For example, the program would help to set up and train on the QuickBooks accounting system, but not for filing a tax return or preparing monthly financial statements. The program could help with development of a website but will not pay for the web hosting services or ongoing maintenance of the site. It could help pay for the design of images for a billboard campaign but not the actual production cost. There are many marketing activities which could be eligible. You can find more information by visiting LED’s Small and Emerging Business webpage or by contacting the LA Tech TBDC at tbdc@latech.edu.

  • I have a question about W-? form. We have to pay an industry contractor about $3,000. Which W-? form shall I request from him W-4 or W-9, and what shall I do with the form after he gives it to me?

If I understand your question correctly, you will need to obtain a W-9 from the contractor. A copy of this form may be downloaded from the IRS website, W9 Form. This form provides the taxpayer identification number for individuals or organizations that do work for you. Usually, contractors will be responsible for paying the taxes that may be due on payments/revenue received from you. When the W-9 is completed by the vendor/subcontractor, they will indicate whether taxes need to be withheld for the work they perform for you (in the Part II Certification section of the W-9). Instructions regarding the W-9 may be found at the IRS website, W9 Instructions. In the event that you pay the contractor $600 or more for services they provide, you will be responsible for submitting a 1099 to report that income to the IRS. This form is also found at the IRS website: 1099 Form, 1099 Instructions. For now, I expect the W-9 is all that you need to obtain from the contractor. You may also want to include a notation in the written contract between your company and the contractor regarding the responsibility for payment of taxes. Some contracts include the following statement: “Contractor hereby agrees that the responsibility for payment of taxes from the funds thus received under this agreement shall be said Contractor’s obligation and identified under tax identification number (insert contractor’s tax payer number).”

  • Thank you for the detailed explanations. There is something which is still not clear to me. You said I need just W-9 for now, and in the next paragraph you said we have to submit 1099 to IRS if we pay more than $600. We are going to pay $3,000. Does it mean I have to do both: request W-9 and report 1099 to IRS? How do I submit 1099? Just fill it out and mail it IRS?

The 1099 is usually sent to the contractor during January of the year following the payment. So, if you pay $3,000 to the contractor during the 2008 calendar year, a 1099 will probably be sent to the contractor during January of 2009. This is usually handled by the bookkeeper for the business or the accountant that does the year end tax returns for the business. You should consult with the person or firm that handles your bookkeeping and accounting activities to be sure that proper procedures are followed and adequate documentation obtained.