economic development navigator...
The City of Galva believes that there are two constituent elements necessary for the creation of wealth: Capital and Entrepreneurship. Moreover, we understand that government has a penchant for erecting barriers to entry, limiting the flow of capital, impeding growth and hindering business continuity.
As government tightens the proverbial noose around the neck of free enterprise, it must (if it wishes to sustain itself), invent ever more elaborate schemes for enabling the system it is inexplicably stifling.
Hence, this section of our website is devoted to acquainting those in the process of undertaking, sustaining or expanding an enterprise to incentives, ideas and information calculated to "loosen the noose".
Founded in 1854, the City of Galva is a small but storied municipal corporation that lies midway between Peoria and the Quad Cities. Like many small cities founded before the turn of the last century, Galva was established as a railroad town on what was originally the Military Tract line, later called the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (C.B. & Q.).
The founders, William and James Wiley, were astute enough to recognize that locating along a major avenue of commerce was essential to the prosperity and ultimate survival of their new venture.
Today, the Wiley's business acumen is just as important to the continued existence of Galva as it was in the 1850s.
As the importance of the railroad faded with the appearance of interstate highways, and large airports contributed to the conurbation of America, Galva struggled to live up to its motto: "The City of Go."
Without the dedication of its proud and determined Scandinavian and European populace, Galva was destined to become another casualty of progress.
Fortunately, the City has weathered the economic storm long enough to see the re-emergence of the railroad as a preeminent mode of transportation (Bureau of Transportation Statistics) and wisely takes advantage of its position along the Burlington Northern Main Line, its position along US Route 34, its access to two major interstates and its proximation to two international airports.
Election cycle after election cycle, the citizens of Galva continue to elect pro-business mayors and aldermen. As a result, the City has, over the past decade, welcomed within its corporate limits the branch office of a national wind energy corporation, a foundry, an assisted living center, an inland grain terminal (now the home of a 100 million gallon per year Ethanol plan), a new banking center, a hotel, a regional recycling operation, an additional clinic, a health care management facility, a large equipment repair facility, a powder coating operation and a new banking center to name a few.
Working with our regional partners and economic development associations, the City has facilitated the location of several wind farms in Henry County, thereby taking advantage, once again, of local assets (in this case a natural resource called wind) for an investment in the County of nearly $1 billion U.S.
The BNSF loads Ethanol at the Big River Resources facility in Galva, IL
The City of Galva boasts four distinct seasons. The summer months can produce highs in the upper 80's to lower 90's (on average), while the winter months can be quite cold (with lows in the teens and highs in the thirties).
Fall is particularly pleasant in Galva, with average temperatures in the low thirties on the bottom and in the mid-fifties on the top end.
Spring brings average temperatures in the mid fifties to low seventies.
Average Maximum Temperature: 59 degrees Fahrenheit
Average Minimum Temperature: 38 degrees Fahrenheit
Average Rainfall: 35 inches per year
Average Snowfall: 27 inches per year
Eagle Enterprises Recycling Center in Galva, IL
The City of Galva's COLI is less than both the average national and average Illinois indexes by approximately 19 and 18 points respectively.
Overall, Galva stands at less than 82, which compares favorably with the average Illinois index score of 99 and the national average of 100.
For more on cost of living and other demographic features, visit our demographics page.
Branchfield Casting's foundry building in Galva, IL
Major transportation routes...
Colleges & Universities...
all-feed processing and packaging facility in Galva
The City of Galva participates in the Quad City Region Labor shed study area.
A detailed analysis of the availability and characteristics of workers within our region is maintained and updated by Iowa Workforce Development and the Quad City Development Group (now called "Quad Cities First") with assistance from the Bi-State Regional Commission.
For purposes of the study, Galva falls within "Zone 3."
For the Executive Summary or the full analysis, click the appropriate link in the left sidebar.
Some highlights from the study follow in a Q & A format. Following the answer is the corresponding page number from the analysis.
The City of Galva's current property tax rate is 2.7490 per $100.00 of equalized assessed value.
The City sales tax rate is equivalent to the state rate of 6.25%.
The City does not impose the following taxes:
The following table lists the taxing bodies, their current tax rate, and the percent of the tax each taxing body receives (e.g., the City of Galva currently receives 26.28% of a residents/businesses' tax bill).
Estimating your tax bill...
Use the calculator below to estimate your property tax bill:
Galva's north treatment plant in winter conditions
Water & Sewer Service
The City of Galva provides water and sewer service to residential and business customers.
Currently, the City of Galva has an excess capacity of 400,000 gallons per day (gpd)
Current excess capacity in our sewage treatment plants is as follows:
North Sewage Treatment Plant:
South Sewage Treatment Plant:
Gas & Electric Service
steps to starting a business...
The Illinois Entrepreneurship Network Business Information Center of Illinois (the Center) was created by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to assist startup and existing businesses with:
Much of the information found in this section of our Website can be found in the handbook. Wherever possible, however, this Section will provide specifics where the handbook generalizes.
feasibility analysis and checklist...
A feasibility analysis is an important first step and should be completed before you invest too much time and effort into starting a business that you may find later had no chance of succeeding.
Answering the questions posed in the checklist will give you a better idea of whether or not your new or existing business opportunity is worth pursuing.
Additionally, certain question are designed to help you figure out if you truly have what it takes to become a business owner.
The Small Business Administration has an online assessment tool designed to "assist you in evaluating skills, characteristics and experience – as they relate to your preparedness for starting a business. " Submitting the answers will generate a list of proposed steps designed to improve your business start-up skills.
the business plan...
After you have completed a feasibility study and self-assessment, conventional wisdom suggests that the second step is a business plan.
For a different perspective, see Julian Lange's study of 117 new ventures to get Babson College's take on whether or not a business plan is absolutely necessary in the "real world" (hint: it is if you will be seeking startup capital from angels, venture capitalists and most banks).
You can find a lot of additional information on the World Wide Web about business plans; from how to write one to software products designed to assist you in the process (just type "business plan" in your search engine of choice). These products range from free to quite expensive.
The SBA offers a few free online courses that can assist you in starting and growing a business. One of the free courses they offer is entitled "How to Prepare a Business Plan."
Illinois Small Business Development Centers (ILSBDC) offer free, confidential counseling that includes business plan development.
There are five (5) SBDCs located within 75 miles of Galva. The two closet centers are located in Moline and Peoria:
If you would like to know which section of a business plan is hardest to complete, type "hardest section of a business plan" into your search engine of choice. The answer will be the marketing section (what the outline refers to as "market analysis" and "marketing strategy").
The bottom line: no matter how terrific your product or service, if you cannot sell it for a profit your business venture will not succeed.
Chapter one of the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network's handbook for starting a business in Illinois does an outstanding job of concisely defining and comparing the several types of recognized business organizations in the Sate.
Page five (5) of the handbook allows you to compare business types in a chart format.
Keep in mind that information is subject to change, and that the handbook was last updated in 2008. An obvious change is the corporate income tax rate which can be found at the intersection of column seven (7) and row eight (8) of the chart.
Beginning 1 January, 2011, the corporate tax rate in Illinois increased from 4.8% to 7.00% and continues at that rate through 2014. From 2015 through 2024, the corporate rate increase falls to 5.25%, and beginning in 2025 forward the rate returns to 4.80% (pending any further legislative tinkering). The full text of the bill contains other provisions of interest, including a reversion of rates if certain spending caps are exceeded.
If you are unfamiliar with the seven types of organization, scroll through the panels below for a brief description followed by advantages (Pros) and disadvantages (Cons) or download the handbook.
A sole proprietorship is a business which is owned and operated by an individual. The advantages of this form of organization include ease of formation and relative freedom from government controls and restrictions. Disadvantages include less access to capital and financial resources. Also, this form of business organization provides less protection with regard to personal liability (if the owner's company should get into a position of owing more to others than the amount of cash and other assets it has, the owner's personal assets -- home, car, etc. -- may be required to be sold to pay the obligations of the business).
A general partnership is defined as two or more individuals carrying on an association as co-owners of
a business for profit. Types of partnerships include general and limited. Before starting the company, the partners should agree on how much owner equity each partner must contribute, the extent to which
each partner will work in the company, and the share of the profits or losses to be received by each of
them. This agreement should be prepared by an attorney in writing to avoid any future
If organized as a Limited Liability Partnership under a specific section of the General Partnership Act,
partners are not liable for the debts, obligations and liabilities of, or chargeable to the partnership
arising from negligence, wrongful acts, omissions, misconduct or malpractice committed while the
A Limited Partnership is an organization made up of a GENERAL PARTNER, who manages a project; and limited partners, who invest money, but, have limited liability, are not involved in day-today management, and usually cannot lose more than their capital contribution. Usually, limited partners receive income, capital gains, and tax benefits; the general partner collects fees and a percentage of capital gains and income. Typical limited partnerships are in real estate, oil and gas, and equipment leasing and family partnerships, but they also finance movies, research and development, and other projects. Typically, public limited partnerships are sold through brokerage firms for minimum investments of $5,000.00, whereas private limited partnerships are put together with fewer than 35 limited partners who invest more than $20,000.00 each.
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the non-corporate form of doing business that provides its owners with limited liability, flow-through tax treatment and operating flexibility through participation in management of the business. The LLC is well suited for every type of business venture except banking and insurance, which are prohibited by Statute. Examples of acceptable businesses are: farming, agricultural services, mining, construction, manufacturing, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, investment companies, insurance agents, real estate brokers, all types of real estate ventures, hotels, personal and business services, automotive sales and services, amusement and recreation, health services, accounting, architecture and other professions, just to name a few. Many Illinois businesses could obtain personal limited liability protection by restructuring as an LLC with a minimum of one owner.
A corporation is a distinct legal entity and is the most complex form of organization. A corporation may sell shares of stock, which are certificates indicating ownership, to as many people as is desirable. The shareholders then elect a board of directors, which elects a president and other officers who run the company on a day-to-day basis. Among the advantages of corporate formation are limited liability of the shareholder and ease of transferring ownership. Registration as a CORPORATION. If the decision is made to incorporate, Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the Secretary of State indicating the purpose of the enterprise. The corporation will be required to file annual reports with the Secretary of State. If the name of the business will include the word "Corporation," "Inc.," "Incorporated" or "Corp.," you must incorporate.
Electing S Corporation status is an option that must be made through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when starting a business. In general, an S Corporation passes through income and expenses to its shareholders, who then report them on their own income tax returns. To qualify for S Corporation status, a corporation must meet several requirements, one of which limits the number of shareholders to 75. All shareholders also must consent to the corporation's choice of S Corporation status.
registering a business...
Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships:
The Illinois Assumed Name Act requires the registration of a sole proprietorship or general partnership with the county clerk's office when the name of the business differs from the owner(s) full legal name(s).
You must register your proprietorship or partnership with the Illinois Department of Revenue (ILDOR) by filing a REG-1. You can download a copy of form REG-1 from the ILDOR Website or you may register online at the Illinois Business Gateway.
In addition, the State will require a Schedule REG-1-L Illinois Business Site Location Information form be attached to your REG-1.
Other forms of organization:
The State of Illinois advises that competent counsel be sought before organizing as other than a sole proprietorship or general partnership (should you be unsure about the risks involved in either a sole proprietorship or general partnership, the wise course is also to seek counsel from a competent attorney and/or accountant).
The Illinois Secretary of State's Website maintains a business services section that contains, among other things, up-to-date information, requisite forms and relevant contact information for those wishing to organize as other than a sole proprietorship or general partnership.
In addition, the Illinois Business Gateway Website has up-to-date information on registration requirements, or you may contact one of the offices listed below:
For all forms of organization...
Keep in mind that most businesses are required to be registered with and/or licensed by the Department of Revenue. Use the link to the right (Licensure) for more information about licenses and permits or download the IEN handbook.
A common way to start a business in Illinois is to acquire an existing business.
Be aware that the purchaser of the assets of a business is required to file a "Notice of Sale/Purchase of Business Assets" (form CBS-1), and obtain a Bulk Sales Release of Transferee Liability from the Illinois Department of Revenue.
This aspect of business is regulated by the Franchise Disclosure Act which is administered by the Illinois Attorney General.
The Franchise Disclosure Act requires that the franchiser register with the Illinois Attorney General and provide the franchisee complete information regarding their franchisor-franchisee relationship, the details of the contract, the prior business experience of the franchiser and other information relevant to the franchise offered for sale.
A copy of the Act may be obtained from the office of the attorney general: (217) 782 - 4465
licenses, registration, permits and assistance...
Illinois Department of Revenue:
In Illinois, most businesses are required to be registered and/or licensed by the Department of Revenue.
The (REG-1) Illinois Business Registration, (IL-W-4) Withholding Allowance Certificate; (CBS-1) Notice of Sales or Purchase of Business Assets, are some of the forms that your business may be required to complete.
For more information on which form is applicable to your business, please contact the Illinois Department of Revenue at 1-800/732-8866, or by writing or visiting Revenue at:
The Department of Revenue also licenses and registers certain businesses upon which miscellaneous and excise taxes are levied. These include, but may not be limited to:
For more information call the Department of Revenue's Miscellaneous Taxes and Excise Tax Office at (217) 782 - 6045, or visit the ILDOR Tax Information page on the DOR Website.
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is the main licensing agency for the State of Illinois. IDFPR is comprised of three divisions that represent the agency's various functions and activities:
For a complete listing of professions regulated and licensed by IDFPR start here.
To contact the Department by phone, mail, or in person:
If you download the IEN guide for starting a business in Illinois, you will notice page seven (7) of the guide includes a fourth division (the Division of Insurance); however, a search of the IDFPR site will leave you wanting for insurance licensing information (with the exception of title insurance).. Insurance matters in Illinois are regulated by the Illinois Department of Insurance (see below).
Illinois Department of Insurance
The Illinois Department of Insurance licenses and regulates all individuals who sell insurance in Illinois and determines their compliance with continuing education requirements.
Licenses are issued to producers, limited insurance representatives, public adjusters, premium finance companies, third party administrators and viatical settlement providers.
All producers and public adjusters must first pass a qualifying examination administered by an independent testing service.
All licensees are subject to investigations and examinations which may lead to regulatory action when violations are discovered.
For more information about licensing requirements, visit the department's Producer Information page, or write, call or visit one of their offices:
Information application packages may be obtained from:
And the list goes on...
In addition, many businesses are required to obtain permits or register with other state agencies. An example of this would be day-care services which are licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services. Trucking companies must register with the Illinois Commerce Commission. Those in the plumbing business register with the Department of Public Health. These are examples of other profession that are licensed by the state. To determine if your occupational activities are regulated, contact the IEN Business Information Center toll free at 800-252-2923 and a business specialist will assist you.
Taxation for small businesses can be quite simple or very complex, depending on the size and type of operation. The following list outlines the major taxes with which a business must be concerned. Of course, the tax liability of each business will be different.
Every individual, corporation, trust and estate residing in Illinois or earning or receiving income in Illinois, must pay an income tax based on net income.
A replacement tax is also applied to the net income of partnerships, corporations and trusts.
S Corporations are subject only to replacement tax.
Four categories of taxes comprise state and local sales taxes. These are:
Sales Tax Exemptions
All for-profit real estate owners are required to pay property taxes. The property tax rate is determined by local taxing jurisdictions and is paid to the township or county tax collector in the year following assessment (see "Taxes" under the Community Profile section of this page for information about local property taxes).
Certain taxes must be withheld from employee wages and remitted to the government. These include state and federal income taxes and FICA (Social Security).
You may be required to register with both the federal government and the State of Illinois for tax withholding purposes.
To learn more about your federal requirements, contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1 - 800 - 829 - 3676 or visit their Small Business Products Online Ordering page to request any of the following materials:
You can find other pertinent publications such as the following in the "Publications Online" section of the IRS Website, or simply click the link of the title you are interested in below to view it online:
Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
Every partnership, corporation and S Corporation must have a FEIN to use as its taxpayer identification number.
A sole proprietorship must have a FEIN if it:
Otherwise, sole proprietors can use their social security number as their business taxpayer identification number.
The Federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires every employer to keep on file a form for every employee certifying that employee's identity and work eligibility.
For further information, contact the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly known as the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (please note that the address listed in the handbook is incorrect):
wage withholding for child support...
Federal and state laws require judges in domestic relations cases to order employers to withhold a portion of an employee's income for payment of child support.
An Income Withholding Notice is prepared and served immediately upon the payor unless a written agreement by both parties to an alternative arrangement has been made.
If the payor becomes delinquent, the Income Withholding Notice will be issued.
The order is mandatory in cases involving Public Aid recipients.
When an Income Withholding Notice is served on the employer, the employer withholds the amount stated and sends the amount withheld to the State Disbursement Unit.
if the employer fails to withhold wages as specified in the Notice, the employer will be liable for the amount that should have been withheld, and may have to pay a fine.
An employer may not discharge, discipline, deny employment or otherwise penalize an employee because they are subject to an Income Withholding Notice. An employer who does so may be ordered to em ply, reinstate and/or pay restitution to the employee. A fine may be imposed by the Court on the employer.
The Illinois Department of Health care and Family Services (formerly the Illinois Department of Public Aid) is the child support enforcement agency for the State of Illinois.
For more specific information on provision of wage withholding for child support, contact the Illinois Department of Health care and Family Services at 1 - 800 - 447 - 4278 or visit their Child Support Services web page.
You may be required to make unemployment insurance contributions to the Department of Employment Security.
Generally, you are liable for such contributions if you have:
You also may be liable if you acquire all or part of a business already subject to the Unemployment Insurance Act.
To determine liability, complete and submit a "Report to Determine Liability" form (UI-1).
For additional information, read the Department's guide: "Fast Facts for Employers."
You can download the Department's "New Employer Packet" or request one in writing or by phone:
By law, an employer is required to provide insurance for employee's accidental deaths, injuries, and occupational diseases arising out of and in the course of employment.
The insurance requirement is applicable to almost all businesses and must include provisions for all medical expenses, rehabilitation and retraining, temporary and total disability, permanent disability and death benefits.
Insurance is generally purchased through private firms or agents, although business can apply to the Commission for permission to self-insure.
Annual premiums are based on total company payroll, loss experience and type of business.
Employers must post a notice in the workplace listing the insurance carrier and explaining worker's rights under the law.
Temporary workers who otherwise do not receive any company benefits are still provided worker's compensation.
For further information on worker's compensation, contact:
If you are refused coverage by two or more companies, you can obtain insurance from the Assigned Risk Pool. Rates will generally be approximately 20% higher than on the open market. To receive information on Assigned Risk coverage, call the National Council on Compensation Insurance at 1-800-622-4123 or view their options for submitting applications online.
posters that must be displayed...
Federal and state laws require that certain posters be displayed on business premises to inform employees of their rights and benefits.
These posters may be obtained at no cost from the applicable agencies listed:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)...
The Illinois On site Safety and Health Consultation program administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity helps small businesses meet federal health and safety regulations.
The goal of the program is to assist small businesses to identify and correct occupational health and safety hazards at their facilities. Services are confidential (findings are not reported to OSHA) and are provided at no cost.
Obtaining Legal Counsel
Many business owners consider legal services only when their firms are in trouble. However, costly and time-consuming legal problems can be averted by retaining a competent attorney who can advise on such business areas as:
Attorneys also can provide professional help when dealing with other parties such as:
In addition, other problems may arise requiring the services of an attorney. For instance, the employer may be served with wage deduction orders against employees which, if not handled properly, can result in personal liability on the part of the employer. Other examples:
When seeking an attorney's counsel or assistance, be as prepared as possible. Collect pertinent data, do necessary research and have as much information as possible about your business. This will save your attorney time and you money.
When considering an attorney, use discretion. Remember, an attorney will provide services fundamental to the success of your business.
There are several methods for selecting an attorney. It may be prudent to seek recommendations from other business owners. The Martindale-Hubbel Law Directory contains a listing and rating of attorneys in your city; a copy may be found at the local library. The public library is also a place to obtain reference books on legal topics. Included in this group is the Small Business Legal Advisor by William A. Hancock, published by McGraw-Hill.
Another method of finding an attorney is Illinois Lawyer Finders or call (217) 525 - 5297.
Many people starting a small business fail to consider their insurance needs. A well planned insurance program is essential for protecting a business from unforeseen losses and significant financial burdens.
Four types of insurance coverage are essential:
In addition, there are several desirable types of insurance coverage:
In organizing an insurance program, there are four basic considerations:
Access to proper information is provided by a sound bookkeeping system.
Functions of a good system include:
These responsibilities may be undertaken from within or outside of the business. This will depend on the size and nature of the business and your own experience and available time. Your accountant, attorney or banker can help decide your needs for a bookkeeper or bookkeeping service.
In addition to bookkeeping requirements, you may need the services of a certified public accountant (CPA), an accountant who has passed a written examination prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and who has received a state license for their public practice of accountancy. CPAs provide the following services:
The Independent Accountants Association of Illinois (IAAI), established in 1949, also can refer a competent accountant to the potential Illinois small businessperson. IAAI's membership is composed of both CPAs and non-CPA accountants. Many of the IAAI accountants are licensed to represent a client before the IRS. Non-CPA accountants can assist with accounting, sales and payroll tax preparation and other business consulting needs.
For more information, contact:
The Illinois CPA Society is the state professional association representing more than 25,000 certified public accountants. The Illinois CPA Society is one of the largest state CPA Societies with members in education, government, industry and public accounting.
Members of the Illinois CPA Society are bound by professional ethical standards.
The Illinois CPA Society sponsors several public service programs. Some of these include: Disaster Relief Assistance for those in need of tax assistance after a natural disaster (floods, tornadoes, etc.), teaching educational courses for small business owners, and speaking engagements throughout the state. For more information, contact The Illinois CPA Society.
There are associations to represent every business/trade/professional imaginable.
Associations are engaged in promoting the business interests of their members and often:
Benefits may include:
The smaller business owner has little time to lobby government officials on issues of interest, which makes a membership in an association a valuable aspect of operating a business, especially if your profession/trade is heavily regulated.
Additional benefits include networking with people in your field of interest and keeping up with industry trends and developments.
Chambers of Commerce
The Illinois Chamber and local chambers of commerce act in much the same way as associations and offer many of the same programs. Chambers, however, support the entire concept of a community and market the area as a whole, which includes its businesses, churches, schools, parks & recreation, special events, historical significance, natural environment and other civic amenities. Benefits of membership in a chamber include opportunities to network and create an awareness of business name, product or service.
By getting involved in chamber activities, members have the opportunity to meet and work with area business leaders on issues impacting not only business, but also the area. Chambers work to improve the economic climate, business environment and community's image as a whole.
Financial resources available to small businesses can vary depending on whether you are starting a new business or purchasing an existing business.
The most common source of financing for a small business is personal resources. Many businesses begin on a "shoestring" or household budget until their financial situation and cash flow are stable. Friends, relatives and financial institutions also are potential sources of financing.
Business loans for startup enterprises are not easily obtained, but fortunately there are various alternatives to consider. US Small Business Administration (SBA) has an excellent pamphlet entitled "The ABC's of Borrowing" which explains the process of borrowing money from banks or other lending institutions.
How To Apply For A Loan
The following guidelines should be used for the current or prospective business owner when preparing to request financial assistance. Those wanting to start a business should:
Those already in business should:
Along with the preceding information, a business plan should be submitted to the lender outlining the basic structure and direction of the business. A business plan outline is located in Appendix B of the Starting A Business In Illinois handbook or you can download just the outline.
Overview Of Federal And State Financial Assistance Programs
There are a number of financial assistance programs available to the business community here in Illinois, including aid from federal sources:
Businesses have special financial needs and the types of commercial accounts available are as varied as those for individuals. Work with your local banker to discuss the following banking services:
Check with the bank's investment advisor or a stock broker for the best plan for your business.
uniform commercial code...
Chapter 810, Illinois Compiled Statutes, Act 5, Article 9, Part 1, contains the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code - Secured Transactions.
If you borrow money using certain items of commercial property as collateral, the lender has the right to file a lien on that property with the Secretary of State's Office, Uniform Commercial Code Division. This guarantees the lender first rights to the property if you default on loan payments or file for bankruptcy.
Many financing plans for small businesses involve, at least in part, the issuance of securities.
Some of the most common forms of securities utilized by small businesses are:
Debt financing obtained from parties other than commercial lenders also may involve a security.
Securities must be registered with the Secretary of State's Office, Securities Department, before being offered or sold in Illinois, unless the securities are exempt from the registration requirements.
Persons selling the securities also may have to be licensed by the Securities Department.
If the business is seeking securities financing in any other state, it probably will also have to comply with federal and the other states' securities registration requirements.
Consult an attorney about whether your financing plan involves securities and the applicable registration requirements and exemptions.
Determining Business Location
The location of the business often is determined by the type of business. Many sole proprietor operations are run in the home. Indeed, some occupations make that desirable and you are entitled to certain tax deductions which can be determined by discussing your business situation with an attorney or accountant.
Check local ordinances regarding owning and operating a business from your home.
The Galva Zoning Ordinance defines a home occupation thusly:
Opening An Office
If the decision is made to have an office outside the home, a reputable real estate agent specializing in leasing or selling commercial space can help determine a quality location. Take as much time and care in choosing a business site as in choosing a home. The average employee spends 25 percent of his/her time at work and the environment should be as conducive to business as possible. In addition, a local office furniture and supply store can give valuable help in getting the office set up. It can assist with everything from color schemes to company logo design. Shared office space is another alternative whereby space is rented on a yearly, monthly or even hourly basis. Conference rooms, steno service and mailing address use are but a few options.
If your business has additional employees, chances are someone will be ill or unexpectedly absent for personal reasons. If this absence will create major inefficiencies, consider contacting a local employment agency.
Temporary services can supply clerical personnel and, in some instances, workers for light industrial positions. A temporary replacement can usually be on the job within a few hours. The company will charge an hourly rate based on job description. If dissatisfied with the help provided, there generally is no charge. Check the yellow pages of the local telephone directory for Temporary Employment Agencies.
If known in advance that an employee will be out of the office (vacation, for example), contact your local college or university and ask for their placement offices. Students often stop by to check bulletin boards for local job offerings.
There will be instances, of course, when the business must go on without replacement help. If it is obvious that the business is understaffed, explain the situation to the customers and request their patience. The majority will be quite understanding.
Credit Card Service
In this age of plastic, most businesses accept major credit cards as payment for services or product.
A local bank can make your business accessible to the Visa, MasterCharge, American Express and other credit card systems.
When contacting a bank which handles those accounts, you will be asked to provide commercial and financial statements, and the bank will do an analysis of the business' solvency. If unable to estimate the business' income, a personal credit check will be conducted to ascertain dependability.
Upon approval, the bank will establish a commercial account for the business into which you deposit the credit card "bank" copies. The bank receives statements from the credit card company and remits payment from your account.
Each bank imposes a processing cost on the business account depending upon average sales and volume. This can be anywhere from two to twelve percent -- usually the former.
The bank and the credit card company can either rent or sell one or more credit card machines. At some point the business may want to consider more sophisticated equipment which automatically determines the validity of a credit card. After signing an agreement with the bank, the business will receive monthly statements of account balance.
Check Cashing Protection
A business can enhance its profits by welcoming a potential customer's check, but along with a check cashing policy comes the built-in risk of receiving a bad check. No business is immune. There are several ways, however, to be as protected as possible when providing this service.
It is sound policy to have the check writer include their phone, driver's license and social security numbers on the check. The check should have the person's name and address pre-printed. In case of problems, the writer can be reached.
In order to verify if a check is good at point of purchase, several companies provide a tracking system and can tell a subscribing member (generally via an 800 number) whether or not to accept a check. For a one-time enrollment fee, a sales representative will explain the service and provide training for employees on how to use the system. Thereafter, a monthly fee entitles you to check verification and guaranteed payment if the service indicates a check is good that subsequently is not.
There also are check cashing protection systems that will guarantee, up to a certain limit, all bad checks you receive. Acting as a type of insurance agency, the systems charge a monthly rate based on the average volume of checks you receive, and provide personalized service. When you receive an "insufficient" or "non-sufficient funds" (ISF/NSF) check returned by a bank, you have several recourses:
By law, the individual who fails to pay the amount of the written check within 30 days is liable for triple the amount owed, plus attorney's fees and court costs for recovery. In no case is that amount less than $100 or more than $500 plus fees and costs.
In order to bring a civil suit in small claims or other appropriate court, you will need a copy of the letter, certified mail receipt, a copy of the check (front and back), and a letter from the bank indicating that the check is no good.
Another course of action would be to contact the local State's Attorney's Office. The State's Attorney's Office may contact the maker of the check by letter to finally resolve any questions of inadvertence or may initiate prosecution immediately. Upon initial contact with the State's Attorney's Office, you will be asked to complete an incident report to aid in prosecution of the case.
Remember that most people do not set out to defraud or pass bogus checks, but there are enough who do, so remain alert.
The local police department may be a source of assistance if forgery is suspected.
Public relations can be simply defined as "doing good things and then making an effort to alert people that you've done them." In a practical sense, it means getting the word of the positive, newsworthy things that happen in or at your place of business to the media so they, in turn, will tell the story to their audiences -- your potential customers. When this happens successfully, the end result is publicity.
Good publicity is any news that is of potential interest to the people in the community. People make news. Employee promotions and awards make news. Events make news -- business opening, special promotions, anniversary celebrations, participation in or sponsorship of a community activity. Innovations are news -- a new product, a new service.
The more consumers read, see and hear about a business' positive accomplishments, achievements and activities, the greater the awareness will be of you and your business in the local community, resulting in a better image.
Awareness and a good image are what can set a business apart from competitors.
patents, trademarks and copyrights...
In some instances, "protection" may be sought for a product, service, new invention or printed material. Following is a brief discussion of the three primary kinds of intellectual property protection, each of which serves different purposes.
A patent is a grant of a property right by the United States Government to the inventor (or his/her heirs or assigns). The grant is made through the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
There are three types of patents:
Each patent application is a unique document that is prepared individually by the inventor, with or without the help of a patent attorney. The first step in developing an application is a search to be sure the invention is indeed new, unique, non-obvious and, for utility patents useful. When the document is prepared is filed with and examined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. All fees may be revised annual, taking effect October 1, the beginning of the federal government's fiscal year.
General information concerning patents is available on the Web at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.
The State of Illinois has a designated Patent and Trademark Depository Library which is housed in the Chicago Public Library.
Use the trademarks section of the United States Patent and Trademark website to research trademark information.
The mark must be in use in Illinois before it may be registered and examples of this use must be submitted with the application for registration.
For research and/or trademark/service mark registration with the State of Illinois, start with the Secretary of States Trademark/Service Mark web page.
Copyright protects the author, generally allowing the "author" to control the copying of his work. Additional information, forms and electronic filing of copyrights can be done through the Library of Congress web page.
Business.gov, which, by the time you read this may be merged with SBA.gov, puts it succinctly: "The federal government does not provide grants for starting or expanding a business."
The federal government does provide grants for specific non-commercial purposes: "If your small business is engaged in scientific research and development (R&D), you may qualify for federal grants under the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and the STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs...."
Government agencies generally do not make loans directly to business owners. The government provides a guaranty to banks and lenders for money lent to small businesses. This guaranty is a promise to pay a portion of the loan back to the bank in case a business owner defaults on the loan. A guaranty reduces the lender's risk, which allows the lender to make loans to business owners who do not qualify for traditional loans.
That said, there are literally hundreds of loans available to small businesses, and following are some resources available to help you find one if needed:
The State of Illinois offers several programs designed to help existing as well as prospective businesses compete on a state, national and international level. The majority of these programs are administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's (DCEO's) Office of Business Development. Those not directly administered by the Office of Business Development may be accessed via DCEO's website or by one of the links below.
The Illinois State Treasurer's Office offers interest rate reduction programs to large and small businesses, to include child care providers.
The Illinois Finance Authority administers several programs targeted to energy, health care, education, not-for-profits, agri-businesses, industry and small businesses.
The Office of Energy & Recycling administers energy efficiency, renewable energy, recycling and biofuels programs.
The Illinois Film Office offers thirty-percent (30%) tax credits to producers on all qualified expenditures.
Technology grants, including bio, nano and manufacturing technology are administered by DCEO.
Industrial, commercial and service businesses locating or expanding in Henry County may seek loan participation assistance from the Henry County Rural Revolving Loan Fund (RRLF or Fund).
Prospective applicants should note the following:
For more information, contact Lori Merrill with the Rural Revolving Loan Department:
The City of Galva maintains three seperate Tax Increment Financing Districts, and is eager to review projects for those districts that will provide job creation and EAV enhancement.
As an economic development (or redevelopment) tool, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) can help to defray all or some of a developer's costs for:
Reimbursement of all or some of the above expenses comes after the project begins to add a taxing increment to the public treasury through annual payments of property taxes.
"A wise and frugal government...shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
"Economic growth and trade remain the best anti-poverty program in the world."
"No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions. He had money, too."
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