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111 Free Tools to Help You Through the Coronavirus Pandemic


These free tools can help your organization, team and family during this confusing and dangerous time.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


There are more than 10,000 coronavirus cases and more than 150 deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC. The stock market has taken a hit. Businesses are losing customers, and workers are losing jobs. It has become frightening, frustrating and even maddening. 

In response to the pandemic, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan recently reminded us that we can all help each other in our own ways. He has provided K-12 educators with free access to the videoconferencing platform so students can continue learning.

Inspired, I shared an idea with Jason Feifer, editor in chief at Entrepreneur: a simple, organized list of free product and service offerings from all types of companies. Access to these powerful tools can help organizations, teams and families.

He responded quickly. “I like that. Maybe it starts as a post on Entrepreneur.com?”

Boom. Here we go:

111 free tools to help you through the coronavirus pandemic

Communications

  1. Zoom*: Free video conferencing tools for K-12 schools.

  2. RingCentral*: Free video conferencing for educators (K-12 schools), health-care provider, or non-profit.

  3. Google: Free, premium version of its workplace video chat tool until July, to help businesses and schools working remotely due to coronavirus. Those features include having up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.

  4. Slack*: Free upgrades to paid plans for teams working on coronavirus pandemic research, response, or mitigation. Interested teams can email a special address to get this set up, and a consultation on how best to get started with remote collaboration.

  5. Comcast: Free Xfinity WiFi for everyone, with hotspots available to all, including non-Xfinity subscribers. To access the service, look for the “xfinitywifi” network name in a list of hotspots.

  6. LogMeIn: Free site-wide licensing for 3 months of its video conferencing solution, GoToMeeting, for eligible organizations (health care providers, educational institutions, municipalities and non-profits).

  7. Loom*: Free video recording and sharing service for teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities and educational institutions. They have also removed the recording limit on free plans and have cut the price for Loom Pro in half.

  8. Intermedia: Free Video Conferencing for all of 2020, and Pro Video Conferencing until 2021.

  9. Vonage*: Free 3 months of Vonage Business Communications services for educational, healthcare and non-profit organizations within the US, UK, and Australia.

  10. Vidyard: Free secure video messaging to enhance internal communications for all businesses.

  11. Discord: Free, enhanced Go Live streaming service so that it can now support 50 simultaneous users rather than 10.

  12. Dialpad: Free two months of its cloud-based phone system, Dialpad Talk Pro. This also includes video conferences and UberConference Business.

  13. Panopto: Free three-month access to capture and distribute video content for businesses, universities, colleges and schools will enable employees and students to continue learning and working remotely.

  14. BlueJeans*: Free access to video conference service to first responders and NGOs for 90-days.

  15. 8×8: Free video meetings to all users. Offers 80+ local dial-in numbers (11 toll-free) from 55+ countries and meetings of up to 50 participants without any time restrictions.

  16. Bloomz: Free premium version of its communication service to all schools through Jun. 30, 2020. The software allows users to communicate updates in real-time to parents and students; and share lessons, student work and feedback.

  17. EZTexting: Free emergency text alert services to schools. Receive 100,000 free outgoing text messages for six months, access to a set of coronavirus message templates, and one-on-one consulting.

  18. Lifesize: Free unlimited licenses for all organizations impacted by coronavirus worldwide are immediately eligible to use the company’s cloud-based video collaboration platform for six months.

  19. Ribbon Communications: Free Work@Home licenses are available until June 30, 2020. With Work@Home, enterprises that need to switch their operational model to an all-remote workforce have access to a complete Unified Communications and Collaboration solution.

  20. Panopto: Free three-month access to capture and distribute video content for businesses, universities, colleges and schools will enable employees and students to continue learning and working remotely.

  21. Yext: Free, new site search product, Yext Answers, for a 90-day period. Eligible businesses will be able to transform their website into a search engine capable of answering consumers’ COVID-19 specific queries in real-time.

  22. Jamm: Free audio-visual communication tool used by remote and distributed teams. You can quickly record videos or do a live call with your team. Available for 3 months.

Collaboration and productivity

  1. Microsoft: Free six-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams.

  2. Atlassian: Free access to Cloud products for issue-tracking and project-tracking software including Jira and Confluence. Also Free access to Trello Business Class for organizing plans is offered for one-year to educators at K-12 and higher education.

  3. Zoho: Free suite of Remotely apps until July 1. There are 11 apps in all, including ones for online meetings, training sessions, storage, project management and everyday work (in the form of word processing, spreadsheets and presentations).

  4. Dropbox*: Free Dropbox Business and HelloSign Enterprise subscriptions for a three-month period to nonprofits and NGOs that are focused on fighting COVID-19. Organizations working to stop the virus or providing relief to those impacted are encouraged to apply.

  5. Box: Free secure file sharing and collaboration platform for 3 months. The offer is for the Business plan and includes unlimited storage, mobile access, and advanced user and security reporting.

  6. Wrike: Free licenses of the versatile collaborative work management platform (Professional edition) to new customers for 6 months. Current customers are able to add unlimited collaborators. Webinars and advice on remote work are both on the website.

  7. Smartsheet: Free templates that can be used by other organizations to build their own coronavirus preparedness dashboard, rich with CDC documentation and other resources, and related sheets and forms.

  8. PandaDoc*: Free eSign plan gives companies unlimited users, unlimited document uploads, unlimited eSignatures and payment processing.

  9. Docusign: Free access to Docusign for managing electronic agreements.

  10. Lucidchart: Free single user account with access to Lucidchart introductory library and basic templates. Lucidchart is the ultimate online collaboration platform where teams can share, collaborate, visualize complex concepts and save their work in real-time.

  11. Airtable*: Free use of Airtable Pro plan as a modern database for any non-political, humanitarian effort tackling COVID relief. There is no time limit. It is also planning to make service free for students too.

  12. Calendly*: Free Zoom And GoToMeeting integrations for their online appointment scheduling software to help remote workers stay connected. These were previously Premium tier features and will be available through June 30th. Also Free premium plan access to teams working directly on COVID-19.

  13. Evernote: Free sign up and access of Evernote Basic plan. Take notes. Keep a journal. Clip anything from the web. Evernote lets you store and share information quickly and securely.

  14. Project44: Free tracking for organizations — including non-profits, NGOs, government agencies, hospitals, pharmacies, and grocers — to help them support coronavirus relief and prevention efforts.

  15. GanttPRO*: Free account till August 15, 2020, for healthcare and non-profit organizations. Other businesses that suffered from covid-19 are welcome to apply for a free account too. GanttPRO — chart-based software for project planning and management. We help teams execute their projects efficiently even from home.

  16. Nimbus Note: Free Business Version for next few months. Nimbus Note is a flexible yet comprehensive information repository that helps you simplify your work and bring your team together.

  17. Threads: Free access to their collaboration tools and Pro/Team plans for all users through July 1, 2020.

  18. RedmineUP: Free Small plan for 10 users until the end of the year. Project Management is simple with RedmineUP Cloud, and you can manage your projects from home.

  19. Igloo Software: Free access to digital workspace solution with Igloo’s Business Continuity Bundle for new customers until July 6, 2020.

  20. Relytree*: Free trial of Stackby, a cloud software that combines best of spreadsheets, databases and business APIs to let anyone build their own custom work tools and collaborate with their team. Offer is Free Economy plan for 3 months till July 1st and free access to NGOs and Non-profits supporting C-19 relief efforts for life.

  21. GForge: Free 12 months for organizations new to GForge in both SaaS or on-premises. For existing customers, we are offering a free upgrade to unlimited users for up to 12 months.

  22. Kissflow: Free 14-day trial of this SaaS-based business process management (BPM) and workflow automation tool.

Marketing

  1. Hootsuite: Free access for Hootsuite Professional to small businesses and nonprofits until July 1st, 2020. Helping to manage social media, and stay connected with your customers and communities.

  2. Salesforce*: Free access to technology for emergency response teams, call centers and care management teams for health systems affected by coronavirus.

  3. Mailchimp*: Free Standard accounts to eligible groups sending critical public health information about COVID-19 through June 30, 2020.

  4. SurveyMonkey: Free questionnaire templates written by survey research experts to gather data/feedback from employees, customers and broader groups impacted by the coronavirus.

  5. Ubersuggest: Free plan for Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, which helps you generate keywords for your content marketing strategy and production.

  6. Moz: Free Moz Academy courses for our community — just use the promo code “wegotthis”.

  7. Adobe*: Free home access to Creative Cloud apps is available by request of students and educators until May 31, 2020. Adobe also offers free 90-day access to Adobe Connect for web conferencing until July 1, 2020.

  8. Benchmark: Free trial of a powerfully simple email marketing solution designed to help you create and send compelling campaigns with ease.

  9. Hatchbuck: Free trial of our all-in-one sales and marketing platform combines email marketing, CRM and marketing automation to turn emails into conversations, website visitors into handshakes, and customers into raving fans. We also provide marketing agencies an alternative solution for their small business clients.

  10. Chamaileon.io : Free plan for email design editor tool. It’s specialty, the collaborative suite: it’s the best email design builder for teams featuring real-time multi-user simultaneous design editing and many other remote-work enabling features.

Software support and security

  1. Cisco: Free license for new customers of Duo Security’s two-factor authentication tool, and current customers can go above their user limit as their employees increasingly work from home. Same deal for its web security tool Umbrella and its VPN product AnyConnect, which is available until July 1. Cisco is extending services for existing customers of Webex, its video conference platform. The offer includes unlimited usage without time restriction, support for fewer than 100 participants and toll free dial-in.

  2. Support.com: Free tech support to anyone working or studying remotely right now.

  3. Okta: Free access to Okta Single Sign-On (SSO) and Okta Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

  4. Kaspersky: Free six-month licenses for our core solutions. Health-care facilities are struggling with the current coronavirus epidemic, so we must help them with cyberprotection.

  5. Ping Identity: Free cloud single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). This way, everyone can conveniently access all your IT resources remotely to keep business running.

  6. 1Password: Free business accounts for the first 6 months. Manage your workforce from anywhere, and safely share logins and other important resources with remote workers.

  7. SecureAuth: Free Intelligent Identity Cloud package through 12/15/2020, including: Risk-based Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), Single Sign-On (SSO) and Passwordless/Biometric Access and Phone Fraud Prevention.

  8. Cloudfare: Free Teams products to small businesses and remote workers to operate securely and easily. This policy will continue for at least the next 6 months.

  9. OneLogin: Free access to the Trusted Experience Platform™️ for educators who are moving to a virtual learning environment in light of health concerns. The free platform, consisting of single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and certificate-based authentication, will deliver secure virtual experiences for all educators K-12, colleges and universities.

  10. Bitdefender: Free 12 months of enterprise-grade, end-to-end protection services available to healthcare customers until the end of June 2020.

  11. Slashtop: Free 60-day licenses to its Business Access remote access software.

  12. SentinelLabs: Free cybersecurity platform SentinelOne Core between Monday, March 16 through Friday, May 16, 2020. SentinelOne’s cloud-based platform seamlessly scales, making it well suited to protect both businesses and employees rapidly transitioning to a work-from-home environment.

  13. Waterfall Security: Free Remote Screen View product licenses available to customers whose vendor personnel or key employees are no longer able to travel to industrial and critical infrastructure sites. Remote Screen View sends real-time images of industrial workstations to a web server that remote vendors can access.

  14. OneClick: Free remote access Basic Starter Package for the next three months to assist those working remotely.

  15. TechSmith: Free licenses to TechSmith Snagit screen capture software and the TechSmith Video Review software through June 30th, 2020.

  16. Clappia: Free licenses to the Nocode platform for apps created to implement COVID19 use cases.

  17. Ericom Shield: Free trial of Ericom Shield remote browser isolation (RBI) technology protects endpoints and enterprise resources from the dangers of the public web, bringing Zero Trust security to browsing, email and downloads.

  18. Systancia: Free teleworking service from Systancia Gate, a cybersecurity solution which provides ultra-secured access to corporate resources and applications for any type of remote user (roaming users, teleworkers, third party service providers, etc.)

  19. Commvault: Free Metallic Endpoint Backup and Recovery with unlimited Microsoft Azure backup storage for up to 1,000 endpoint devices, in the U.S. and Canada through September 1, 2020.

  20. Aventri*: Free registration and website software for 60 days for non-profits, schools, universities, cities/towns, and other organizations that are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The software can be used to set up online sign ups or informational websites for meal pick up times, volunteer sign ups, online learning, aid requests and more.

  21. Creatio (formerly bpm’online)*: Free customer center edition to organizations working to stop the spread and/or mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 through October 1, 2020. It will help organizations on the front line in the fight against COVID-19 react to requests quickly and in accordance with their rules and guidelines.

Research and development

  1. Qualtrics*: Free for all organizations to use Qualtrics Remote Work Pulse.

  2. Nvidia*: Free 90-day license to Parabricks to any researcher in the worldwide effort to fight the novel coronavirus.

  3. Autodesk: Free access to select Autodesk products and services. Products and services will include BIM 360 Docs, BIM 360 Design, Fusion 360, Fusion Team, AutoCAD Web and Mobile and Shotgun — all for commercial use.

  4. Carto*: Free visualization software for organizations fighting COVID-19.

Finance and accounting

  1. Bill.com: Free 90-day subscription for new customers impacted by COVID-19. The cloud-based service helps small and mid-sized businesses to automate the processing of bills, generate invoices, send/receive payments, and manage their cash flows.

  2. Expensify: Reimburse you up to $50 for essential goods and groceries purchased on your SNAP card.

  3. Wave: Free financial software solutions (accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing) for small businesses to help with cash flow, which becomes increasingly important during economic turmoil. In response to COVID-19, Wave has reduced paid services where possible to active customers, in an effort to provide financial relief during a time of need.

  4. Kabbage: Free account through Kabbage Payments, and you can start sharing your custom gift certificate URL on your website, through social media and in other communications. Your business will also be searchable on the site by industry and location.

People and recruiting

  1. Humu: Free nudges to anyone who wants science-backed advice for how to best work remotely, partner with colleagues who are all over the place, show appreciation for those who don’t have the flexibility to work remotely (e.g. cashiers, medical personnel).

  2. Workable: Free use of the new video interviewing software for all customers, and access to a library of Covid-19 response content for use by HR professionals and business leaders.

  3. HR Acuity: Free version of its SaaS solution to help businesses manage employee issues related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The limited edition provides employee documentation and tracking functionality that will equip businesses to monitor the people impact of the crisis. The limited edition will be available through at least July 1 to businesses with more than 100 employees.

  4. Lever: Free video interviewing for 1:1s and panels via Zoom Integration. Lever’s recruiting software enables scheduling and joining Zoom meetings from within its app.

  5. Harver: Free pre-employment assessment platform for hiring at scale for those affected by COVID-19. Offer valid for at least 60 days. No strings attached.

  6. OutMatch: Free access to OutMatch’s video interviewing platform for 60 days — no strings attached. HR professionals can use pre-recorded and live video interviewing to screen and hire candidates 100 percent virtually.

  7. Lystloc: Free Lystloc Office (Remote) User & API licenses for organizations fighting COVID-19 till June 1st, 2020. Lystloc is a Real-Time Location Intelligence and Analytics SaaS product company.

Education

  1. Linkedin: Free 16 learning courses that provide tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.

  2. Codeacademy*: Free 10,000 scholarships to Codecademy Pro to high school and college students across the world for the rest of the school year. 

  3. Amazon*: Free online access to sponsored computer science courses in the United States. That’s intended for learners in grades 6-12, and teachers who are remotely teaching this age group. Parents can also access this curriculum.

  4. McGraw-Hill*: Free resources for out-of-school learning to help K-12 teachers make the transition to remote instruction.

  5. Scholastic*: Free five days of content, and 15 additional days is on the way.

  6. Age of Learning*: Free at-home access for families at affected schools to ABCmouse, a learning resource for ages 2 to 8.

  7. Crowdmark: Free access to its online grading and analytics platform until May 31.

  8. Epic*: Free remote access of its reading platform to elementary educators and librarians until June 30, 2020, with no credit card required. Students may access the company’s digital library, which has 35,000-plus books, read-to-me and audiobooks, videos and quizzes. Teachers and librarians can stay connected to their students by assigning books or collections and monitoring their progress.

  9. ClassTag*: Free communication platform available to help districts and schools communicate with their families. The software sends messages through SMS, email, apps and the web and automatically translates them into one of 55 languages. The platform can also be used to post videos, assignments and other resources for students to access at home and allow users to run virtual lessons with a video conferencing tool.

  10. Listenwise*: Free access to the Listenwise platform that supports distance learning by allowing you to roster your students, make online customized written assignments, and assign multiple-choice autos-cored listening quizzes. This will give you and your students the ability to learn through May 31st, or until your school reopens.

  11. Avid: Free, temporary licenses of creative tools to qualified media enterprise and educational customers. Starting today, March 16, through Friday, April 17, users who must work remotely because their facility has been closed may obtain 90-day licenses free of charge for Media Composer | Ultimate, Pro Tools, Pro Tools | Ultimate and Sibelius | Ultimate. In addition, any student of an institution who uses our products and can no longer attend school and/or access school facilities can receive a 90-day license of the same products. 

General

  1. Shopify: Free 90-day trial for all new customers. If you’re currently on a 14-day trial, you can extend it to 90 days.

  2. Peloton: Free 90-day trial of its subscription workout app as more gyms shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The fitness freebie doesn’t require a Peloton-branded bike or treadmill. Users can choose from classes such as yoga, meditation, strength training and more.

  3. U-Haul*: Free self-storage for 30 days to all college students who have been impacted by schedule changes at their universities.

  4. TripIt: Free six-month licenses to their Tripit Pro flight tracking service.

  5. UrbanSitter: Free parent subscription for two months during the COVID-19 outbreak. Parents can find trusted childcare help to support them as they work from home during this period. Every sitter is background checked and UrbanSitter provides parents with as much information as possible to make informed decisions.

  6. Brit.co: Free DIY classes for next one to two weeks. Use discount code “selfcare” at checkout.

  7. Zencastr: Free Hobbyist plans will have no recording time limits or limits on the amount of people in your recording. Effective through July 1, 2020.

  8. Headspace: Free meditations you can listen to anytime.

  9. Calm: Free resources from Calm to take care of our minds and stay grounded, including content hand-picked to support your mental and emotional wellness through this time. 

  10. Audible (Amazon): Free stories for kids of all ages to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. For as long as schools are closed, we’re open. Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

Check back soon because we’ll keep this list updated. You can also see all links and submit new free offers here



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Entrepreneurship

How to Make Your Mark on Our Youth


Parents, teachers, investors, community leaders – there are SO many ways that you can make a mark on South Africa’s youth, empowering them to put the work in to reach their full potential. Our country is relying on young entrepreneurs to make a change and to get the economy climbing in the right direction. If you are keen to be a part of the driving force behind this, here is how you can get involved.

Donate money

There are a number of initiatives dedicated to inspiring and supporting entrepreneurship in schools and beyond. SA Teen Entrepreneur is just one of those initiatives. By donating any sum of money to us, you will be investing in a teen’s growing business directly. You can also donate without even trying by simply getting a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card.

Volunteer

Do you have some knowledge to share about the world of entrepreneurship? We have various opportunities available for volunteers and interns. We would love to hear from varsity career offices and graduates who have an interest in empowering our youth.

Start-up an Entrepreneur’s Society at your school

The SA Teen Entrepreneur’s High School Entrepreneur’s Societies are geared towards recruiting members from the school who are interested in learning and empowering themselves regarding entrepreneurship values and organising events that promote entrepreneurship. Register your school to become a part of this exciting project here.

Teaching entrepreneurship

Become a mentor and impart your knowledge and expertise. In this way, you can mould young minds and provide ambitious teens with the inspiration and confidence to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. The great news is that it is possible to become a mentor whether you are a young entrepreneur yourself, a parent, a teacher, a principal, or a community leader.

Don’t hesitate. Make a difference today for the betterment of our youth and our country too.





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Entrepreneurship

Plastiq raises $75M to help small businesses use credit cards more – TechCrunch


When Eliot Buchanan tried to use his credit card to pay his Harvard tuition bill, the payment was rejected because the university said it doesn’t accept credit. Realizing the same problem exists for thousands of different transactions like board, rent and vendor payments, he launched Plastiq. Plastiq helps people use credit cards to pay, or get paid, for anything

Plastiq today announced that it has raised $75 million in venture capital in a Series D round led by B Capital Group. Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, Accomplice and Top Tier Capital Partners also participated in the round. The round brings the company’s total known venture capital raised to more than $140 million.

To use Plastiq, users enter their credit card information on Plastiq’s platform. In return, Plastiq will charge you a 2.5% fee and get your bills paid. While Plastiq was started with consumers in mind, SMBs have now accounted for 90% of the revenue, according to Buchanan. The new financing round will invest in building out features to give SMBs faster services around payments and processing. 

Plastiq provides a way for SMBs and consumers to pay their bills and make sure they have reliable cash flow. For example, restaurants sometimes have a drop in revenue due to seasonality or, as we’re experiencing now with COVID-19, pandemic lockdowns. Or tourism companies for cities that are struggling to attract visitors. Those companies still need cash flow, and using Plastiq’s service, they can use credit cards to pay suppliers even in an off season. 

There is no shortage of competition from other companies also trying to solve pain points in small-business cash flow. According to Buchanan, Plastiq’s biggest competitors are traditional lenders, as well as companies like Kabbage and Fundbox. Similar claims could be made about Brex, which offers a credit card for startups to access capital faster. 

Kabbage provides funding to SMBs through automated business loans. The SoftBank-backed company landed $200 million in a revolving credit line back in July, fresh off of landing strong partnerships with banks and giants like Alibaba to access more customers. Kabbage loans out roughly $2-3 billion to SMBs every year. 

Plastiq, according to its release, is also on track to make more than $2 billion in transactions. But unlike Kabagge, Plastiq doesn’t issue loans or credit, it just unlocks a payment opportunity.

“SMBs don’t need to be burdened with additional debt or additional loans,” Buchanan said. “So rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, let’s use a behavior they have already earned.” 

Buchanan would not disclose Plastiq’s current valuation or revenue, but he did say that it’s not too far away from $100 million in revenue run rate. The company’s revenue has grown 150% from 2018 to 2019. 

The company also noted that it has surpassed “well over 1 million users,” up 150% in unique new users from 2018 to 2019.

In terms of profitability, Buchanan said that “we could be profitable if we wanted to be,” noting that Plastiq’s revenue and margins could lead them toward profitability if they wanted to focus less on growth. But he added they don’t plan to “slow down” the growth engine any time soon — especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because the Series D round closed at the end of 2019, Buchanan said the pandemic did not impact the deal. However, the company had planned to time the announcement with tax season. Now, as small businesses struggle to secure capital and stay afloat due to lockdowns across the country, Plastiq’s new raise feels more fitting. 

“Our customers are more thankful for solutions like ours as traditional sources of lending are drying up and not as easy to access” Buchanan said. “Hopefully, we can measure how many businesses make it through this because of us.” 

The 140-person company is currently hiring across product and engineering roles.



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Entrepreneurship

Coronavirus Relief & Aid for Small Businesses


During this uncertain time, I know many small business owners and entrepreneurs are feeling overwhelmed and stressed by the unknown. Not only do entrepreneurs worry about how the COVID-19 situation will hurt their businesses, but they also feel concerned about their employees. Indeed, the coronavirus has turned our world upside down.

Fortunately, federal, state, and local governments are stepping up to the plate to create ways to provide Coronavirus relief and aid to businesses and the people who work for them.

In this article, I will share some of the currently available information about various Cornavirus relief, aid, resources, programs, and initiatives in place to help small business owners.

Realize that this is a dynamic topic, and details are constantly changing as agencies and lawmakers continue discussions and decision-making. We will do our best to keep this article up to date with accurate and timely information. However, please refer to the list of resources at the end of this post for the most current information about available developments. Also, consult your attorney and tax advisor for advice and guidance as you assess the assistance you qualify for and navigate the application process.

CDC Guidance for Business Owners

The Centers for Disease Control have created an online interim guide that updates employers on how to plan, prepare, and respond during the COVID-19 outbreak. Within it, they offer recommendations for dealing with sick employees, cleaning the work environment, and creating a response plan. As this crisis will affect virtually every business in the United States, the CDC’s guide is a helpful resource for working through many of the disease-related considerations we all need to address.

Coronavirus Federal Income Tax Relief

The IRS has made changes to tax filing deadlines to help individuals and businesses affected by the impacts of COVID-19.

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS “issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.” Corporate taxpayers are subject to a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020. They may defer payment until July 15, 2020, without suffering any penalties or interest.

As of an announcement on March 20, the federal income tax payment AND filing deadline is extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

The IRS is automatically providing this relief to taxpayers; individuals and businesses do not need to file any additional forms or contact the IRS for the relief. Any unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020, will begin to accrue penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020.

Additional Details about the Federal Income Tax Relief

Individuals:

  • Income tax filing and payment deadlines for individual returns, with a due date of April 15, 2020, are automatically extended until July 15, 2020.
  • The payment relief applies to all individual tax returns (including self-employed persons and all entities other than C Corporations).
  • The relief also includes estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15, 2020.

Corporations:

  • Income tax payment deadlines are automatically extended until July 15, 2020.
  • The relief also includes estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15, 2020.

State Cornavirus Relief

Many states have adjusted their payroll tax filing and payment schedules. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has created a chart with information about the relief provisions by state. Consider also visiting the website of the agency responsible for taxes in your state to get accurate, up-to-date information on Cornavirus relief options.

Also, many states are offering programs and grants to help small businesses in their jurisdiction. See the U.S. Department of Labor’s state-by-state list of workforce agencies for contact information.

SBA Coronavirus Disaster Assistance

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses suffering substantial economic damage because of the Coronavirus. The working capital loans of up to $2 million are available for qualifying small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations in the states and U.S. territories that have been designated as disaster areas. The SBA provides a list of all eligible COVID-19 disaster areas on its website. As the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve, that list will change.

Businesses may use the loans to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that they are unable to pay because of the COVID-19 situation.

Interest Rates

  • 75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. (Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible.)
  • 75 percent for nonprofits

Repayment Terms

Loan repayment terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. A borrower’s ability to repay is considered when deciding on the term. To keep payments affordable for small businesses, the SBA offers loans with long-term repayments, up to a maximum of 30 years.

How to Apply

Business owners in those designated states may apply for a low-interest loan online through the site. They will also be able to track the status of their application there.

Businesses that are in areas not yet designated as Coronavirus disaster zones can become well-informed and better prepared to apply by reviewing information about the SBA’s disaster loan assistance.

Free Business Counseling Services

The SBA continues to assist small businesses through its district offices and its many resource partners across the country. Free business counseling services are available to help small business owners navigate through this period.

You can find local assistance through the SBA website. Note that organizations have suspended in-person counseling, but online and phone support continues to be available.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Cornavirus Assistance

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce offers a Disaster Help Desk to assist small businesses with disaster readiness, relief, and recovery. It advises small businesses on relief options (including federal resources) for the days and months immediately following when a disaster strikes their companies. It also provides advice to help businesses recover long-term and connects business owners with others who can guide them in their plans to re-open and stay open after a disaster.

State Unemployment Insurance Programs and COVID-19

Some states have been amending their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits modifications as businesses and their employees face the economic impact of the Coronavirus.

The federal government has given states more flexibility and allows them to pay benefits in situations where:

  • An employer temporarily stops operations due to COVID-19, and its employees are prevented from coming to work.
  • An individual is quarantined and expected to return to work after the quarantine period is completed.
  • An individual leaves employment because of the risk of Coronavirus infection or exposure or to take care of a family member.

Also, under federal law, an employee does not have to quit employment to receive unemployment benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.

Details about the unemployment insurance programs in individual states can be found by using the search feature on the U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website.

California’s Economic Development Department Work Sharing Program

In my home state of California, employers who have experienced reduced production, services, or other issues that want an alternative to laying off employees may be eligible to apply for the State’s Work Sharing Program.

How Does “Work Sharing” Work?

The California Work Sharing Program gives relief to employees who have had their hours and wages reduced. It helps them avoid financial hardship by keeping their current job and receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

It helps business owners by minimizing the need to lay off their employees, thus allowing them to avoid the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees when conditions improve.

Work Sharing gives employers flexibility in managing difficult financial circumstances during a disaster. Instead of laying off employees completely, eligible employers can reduce the hours and wages of all or some employees to avoid layoffs. Employees’ work schedules may be adjusted so that different employees have reduced hours and wages each week. The employer determines which employees will participate and have hour and wage reductions. The employees that have reduced hours and wages are then eligible to apply for unemployment benefits for the percentage of the hours and wage reductions they experience. In the event of a difference between the percentage of wage reduction and the percentage of hour reduction, the unemployment benefit amount is based on the lesser percentage. If an employee earns additional wages during the week by working for one or more employers other than the Work Sharing employer, that income will be deducted (dollar for dollar) from their Work Sharing benefits.

According to the California EDD website, employers must meet all of the below requirements to participate in the Work Sharing Program:

  • Be a legally registered business in California.
  • Have an active California State Employer Account Number.
  • At least 10 percent of the employer’s regular workforce or a unit of the workforce, and a minimum of two employees, must be affected by a reduction in hours and wages.
  • Hours and wages must be reduced by at least 10 percent and not exceed 60 percent.
  • Health benefits must remain the same as before, or they must meet the same standards as other employees who are not participating in Work Sharing.
  • Retirement benefits must meet the same terms and conditions as before, or they must meet the same terms and conditions as other employees not participating in Work Sharing.
  • The collective bargaining agent of employees in a bargaining unit must agree to voluntarily participate and sign the application for Work Sharing.
  • Identify the affected work units to be covered by the Work Sharing plan and identify each participating employee by their full name and Social Security number.
  • Notify employees in advance of the intent to participate in the Work Sharing program.
  • Identify how many layoffs will be avoided by participating in the Work Sharing program.
  • Provide the EDD with any necessary reports or documents relating to the Work Sharing plan.

The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the Work Sharing Program:

  • Leased, intermittent, seasonal, or temporary service employees
  • Corporate officers or major stockholders with investment in the company

Also, be aware that the EDD has stated, “The Work Sharing Program may not be used as a transition to a layoff.”

Businesses are encouraged to contact the EDD Special Claims Office at 916-464-3343 with questions about the program. Visit the EDD website for additional details about Work Sharing and its eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for the California Work Sharing Program

Employers should complete and mail the Work Sharing (WS) Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) (PDF) to apply.

When Will a Work Sharing Plan Be Effective?

According to the EDD, the earliest a plan will be effective is the Sunday before the first date that a business contacts the EDD. Approved plans will be effective for one year.

Renewing a Work Sharing Plan

To renew a Work Sharing plan, a business should complete and mail the Work Sharing (WS) Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) (PDF) no more than ten days after their previous plan has expired. Renewals will be effective the day after their previous plan expires.

If a business submits its application later than the ten days after its previous plan expired, the plan will be effective the Sunday before the EDD receives the application.

California Rapid Response Program

California’s Rapid Response program is available for employers planning a closure or major layoffs as a result of the coronavirus. You can find more information on the EDD’s Rapid Response Fact Sheet.

California Payroll Tax Relief

Employers experiencing a financial hardship related to COVID-19 may request the EDD to grant them up to a 60-day extension to file their state payroll reports and deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. The EDD must receive the written request for an extension within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. More information is available on the Coronavirus 2019 page of the EDD website.

Business Interruption Insurance

If your company has a business insurance policy, consider reaching out to your agent to ask if your policy covers business interruption caused by the Coronavirus. Since the 2006 SARS outbreak, many insurance providers now exclude coverage for losses due to viruses or bacteria. However, many legislators are working on getting that exclusion removed, so it can be worth asking your representative to find out where you stand.

Additional Resources for Coronavirus Relief, Aid, and News

I encourage you to keep the following list of websites and social media accounts handy. These resources will help you stay on top of COVID-19 updates and other Coronavirus relief and aid information that can help you weather the challenges of these unprecedented times.

  • Small Business Administration
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • SCORE (Offers free business mentoring)
  • United States Department of Labor
  • Environmental Protection Agency (Provides a list of disinfectants for use against COVID-19)
  • OSHA (Includes links to interim guidance and other resources for preventing exposure to and infection from the coronavirus).
  • USAGov (Provides a full list of what the U.S. Government is doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information is also available in Spanish.

CorpNet Is Here to Help

CorpNet remains open and in full operation Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. PST to help you stay compliant with your business filings throughout this crisis. Our team is safely self-distanced and set up to work remotely with all of the necessary tools and resources to serve you.

Whether you are incorporating a business, forming an LLC, or filing an annual report, or need another upcoming business filing prepared and submitted, we’re here for you. We have your back in all things related to business formation and compliance. Contact us today; we’re in this together!





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Entrepreneurship

Savoring The High Art Cannabis Solution From Denmark


A month or so ago I received a brand-new Klip grinder. Then it languished in my shelf of to be looked at items for a bit longer. Those well-chosen products that I’m considering for a possible reviews and I had almost forgotten about the one that has truly changed my smoking experience.

For the better!

It took going to Benzinga Cannabis in Miami Beach and then wondering what that box was on my shelf, opening it and gazing into the Danish inspired workings with artistic fervor. And then not knowing what to do with it because I had a perfectly good grinder that I like using. Once I tried the Klip my experience of smoking cannabis flower changed forever. Not only is the Klip gorgeous to look at, but it makes my sesh completely different. And that would be different in a very good way. The flower feels light and airy in my mouth and the flowers retain their potency longer because they are not ground, they are sliced! What does that mean, sliced?

Since I had a few weeks of self-isolation in place, I thought that it would be a good time to revisit the large package on the shelf.

Thoughtfully packaged in a magnetically attached cork and smoked plastic container, the black colored, aluminum grinder resembles a high end cold-pressed juice maker. The packaging is crisp and quite Scandinavian in appearance. As you can see, my own influences to this region of the design world are quite apparent. From my Stonedware Pipe, to the lamp in the background, to the grinder itself. There are creative cues everywhere. It’s just how you look at things differently that’s all.

The Klip Grinder is a practical solution to your cannabis fluffing needs. Fluffing? What’s that? Well, it’s how the herbs are sliced and extended. Not at all like the typical grinders on the market. This one actually makes your flowers fluffy and there is something about this technique that makes the flowers more potent. Less of the important trichomes are left on the grinder teeth because this grinder doesn’t have teeth.

If you look inside, there are no teeth to capture your expensive flowers. There are three blades that spin either east or west, depending on your hands. Left or right, they both work just fine thank you. And the filters all come apart really easily. They’re all magnetic. You can clean the entire thing in hot soapy water, no ISO needed. I used my do-it-all, go/to, Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap. A couple drops in a bowl of hot water and you’re good to go. Everything snaps back together easily too. Lucky that the base holds all the parts with more magnets. Keeps it neat and clean on your desk or coffee table. I wish every cannabis tool was this easy to use, keep clean and use again.

I really didn’t need a new grinder, now I’m finding that I can’t live without the Klip. This grinder without your typical grinder parts looks fantastic on my desk. It’s easy to clean and it gets the job done in a way that I’ve never experienced prior and I’m not just born to this genre or the vipers.

The kief storage at the bottom is almost full, very impressive indeed. The pertinent pollen is not stuck to finger cutting sharp blades like my old grinder. This is a product I’ll own for a long time.

That reminds me. Do you have a light?

That also reminds me. Thanks to DF Tram for his musical guidance

And to Louis Armstrong for making music about the vipers!



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5 Tips to Leading Your Company Through the Chaos


We are in the midst of a “black swan” event that will have drastic, global economic consequences. No company is immune.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


As the world scrambles to make sense of and respond to the coronavirus threat, leadership will be tested in unimaginable ways. Each day brings jarring new information that requires system-wide response. Sequoia Capital is calling this period the “black swan of 2020.” Black swans are rare unexpected events like 9/11 that impact global activity. After living through downturns for 50 years, Sequoia notes the companies that survive are able to act decisively and quickly. But how do you act quickly in the midst of so much uncertainty and human risk? At the macro level, successful companies will “mirror biology as Darwin surmised; those who survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change”. 

Managing change is a special leadership skill. When you’re navigating uncharted waters, slashing budgets and making changes, good leaders will stay attuned to people’s emotions and continue to invest in their teams.

Here are 5 things that leaders can do to navigate this crisis and emerge stronger than ever.

Related: Coronavirus: Australian experts predict $2.4 trillion global GDP loss …

Confront the brutal facts while maintaining faith that you will prevail

Adopt the mental framework of the Stockdale Paradox. Admiral Stockdale survived 8 years as a prisoner in the Vietnam war with this concept. He was able to stay positive without falling trap to the blind optimism of fellow prisoners who failed to confront the reality of their situation. There is no time for denial in this crisis: Stay vigilant to the harshest realities and fast-moving changes. Communicate the brutal facts directly to your team while maintaining confidence that you will get through it together. This will happen faster for teams with high trust. When they believe that you have their backs, they value the truth and will work together to find the best paths forward.

Don’t assume you know what people are afraid of 

It may seem obvious to surmise that people are most worried about getting sick or job security. But there are many other things that might matter to different people. Working from home might cause some to lose visibility and information they get informally from important people. People need different things to feel safe, and it’s important to find out what matters to them. Double down on your listening to ask what people are afraid of losing as this crisis continues. Don’t just focus on tactical communication around hygiene or travel protocol; make sure you allow people to express any emotional concerns they may have. Doing this allows you to help them sort real losses from perceived ones. And when there is real loss coming, deliver that information directly and quickly.

Related: Coronavirus Home Testing Kits Are Coming to Seattle

Get ready for chaos

With so much out of our control, leaders will need to adopt a crisis management approach. Expect anxiety to rise and motivation to suffer. Pick a few priorities to focus on while regaining balance. Set smaller goals with frequent checkpoints so that people can feel some sense of positive movement. Redesign operating rules, even temporarily, to address the needs of this time. Pay close attention to managing stress — including your own.

Do virtual team-building

As companies are encouraging more and more employees to work from home, virtual team-building becomes an imperative. With the loss of informal, personal contact you will need to find new ways to stay connected. Understanding the working styles, motivators and stress behavior of the other people on your team will yield the greatest productivity and help everyone to stay aligned when working remotely. Build in time during one-on-ones for personal check-ins. Think creatively about how to keep people motivated and small ways to get groups to continue building relationships over video conference and instant messaging channels.

Envision the new beginning

Incorporate learning as you go through this time. Ask how this will affect the future of your enterprise and make adjustments. As with any downturn, there are opportunities for creativity and change. Recessions create new problems that can turn into business opportunities. Some incumbents will fall and open doors for new startups. Smart investors will continue to look for good ideas and people. Stay vigilant in seeking out options that might pay off when things return to normal. 

The future state will bring a new normal that no one can predict today. All we can do is prepare ourselves to walk straight into the chaos, bringing our personal best to rally the troops through these challenges into the new day.

Related: Coronavirus and a Looming Recession: How to Raise Capital in …



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Entrepreneurship

Young Entrepreneurs Are Paving the Way in SA


If you can dream it, you can do it. Despite the struggling local economy, young entrepreneurs from across South Africa are obtaining levels of success most cannot even begin to imagine. In other words, if you are focused and dedicated to starting and nurturing your very own business, there is nothing standing in your way of making it work.

Below, we highlight a few incredible young entrepreneur success stories to inspire you to continue forward stronger and more persistent than ever before.

Reabetswe Ngwane

Reabetswe Ngwane of Rustenburg made the Forbes Africa’s Top 30 Under 30 list in 2018 and was also selected as one of News24’s 100 Young Mandela’s – and it comes as no surprise. This ambitious young lady is the creator and CEO of Atyre.

The forward-thinking brand reels in the profits by making stylish, eco-friendly handbags and other fashion accessories out of recycled tyres. Talk about re-inventing the wheel!

Mikie Monoketsi

Mikie Monoketsi is the founder and CEO of Mama’s Herbs and Spices, which she started with just R10,000 start-up capital. The business revolves around supplying township communities with affordable and high-quality herbs and spices.

Furthermore, Mikie Monoketsi’s main priority is using her business to motivate other women. She also operates a network marketing business model, empowering others to trade their way out of poverty.

Zuko Tisani

Zuko Tisani was born in the Port Elizabeth township of Zwide and went on to start Legazy Technology Conferencing a few years ago. The business is geared towards supporting and empowering other local start-ups ‘on their quest to disrupt’ the market.

Tisani was also included on the 2018 Forbes Africa Top 30 Under 30 list and is recognised as one of South Africa’s most up and coming young entrepreneurs.

Feeling inspired? Register with SA Teen Entrepreneur as a young entrepreneur, and you will gain access to a host of supportive material to aid you on your journey to success.





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Healthcare startups Nurx and Carbon Health ship at-home COVID-19 test sample kits – TechCrunch


Efforts to get at-home test kits for the COVID-19 coronavirus are ramping up quickly, and two more health industry startups are bringing their own products to market, with both Carbon Health and Nurx starting to ship their own in-home sample collection kits.

Both of these new offerings are the same in terms of approach to testing: They deliver swab-based sample collection hardware that people can use at home to collect a mucus sample, which they then ship back using included, safety approved, projective packaging to be tested by one of the existing FDA-approved commercial labs across the country.

These tests follow the PCR-based method, which tests for the genetic presence of the COVID-19 virus in a patient. These have a high degree of accuracy, at least when performed in a controlled setting and administered by a medical professional, and are the same tests that are available via drive-through testing stations being set up by state agencies.

At-home use is relatively new to market, and could introduce some potential for error in the collection part of the process, but both Carbon Health and Nurx are offering consultation with medical professionals to help ensure that samples are collected properly, and that results, when available, are correctly interpreted and provided with guidance on next steps for those taking the tests.

None of these tests are free — the Carbon Health test costs $167.50, and the Nurx test costs $181, including shipping and assessment. These are in line with other offerings, including the one from Everlywell we covered earlier this week, which retails for $135. These are described as essentially at-cost prices, and all parties say they are subject to coverage by FSA or HSA money, or potentially by insurers depending on a person’s plan.

One big question around these types of tests is how much supply will be available. Nasopharyngeal swabs used for the in-person type of testing are already reportedly in short supply in some regions, and testing needs are only growing. Carbon is using different swabs to collect a simple saliva sample, which it notes are not in as short supply as the nasopharyngeal version. Other types of tests, including a “serological” one being developed by startup Scanwell, instead work by analyzing a patient’s blood, and could provide some relief for the swab-based tests, especially now that the FDA has expanded its emergency guidance to include their use.

Nurx, which also offers at-home HPV screening, says that it will have 10,000 kits available to patients “over the coming weeks,” and hopes to expand to cover “over 100,000 patients” in the “near future.” Carbon Health CEO and co-founder Eren Bali tells me that it should ramp to around “10,000 per day capacity in about two weeks,” through its medical device partner Curative Inc., and that it can do 50 per day today, with an estimated increase to 150 per day by Monday and 1,000 per day by end of week.

All of these tests are gated by a screening and assessment questionnaire, and the round-trip time is likely to take a few days even with round-trip shipping due to testing times. It may seem like a lot of these are popping up, but these startups at least have proven track records in healthcare services, and there will be a need for very widespread testing in order for any broad attempt to flatten the curve of the virus to prove successful, so expect more of these providers to come on line.



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Does Your Business Have to File a Georgia Annual Report by April 1st?


Business entities that are registered with Georgia’s Office of the Secretary of State must file a Georgia annual report each year. The due date for filing Georgia’s annual report is April 1st.

What is an Annual Report?

The correct terminology for an annual report is actually “annual registration.” However, many people refer to it as an “annual report” because that’s what the annual filing is called in many states. Throughout this article, you’ll see that I use both terms to mix things up a little for your reading pleasure!

Businesses required to file a Georgia annual registration must do so to stay legally compliant in the state. The Georgia annual report also ensures the state has the correct current mailing address, entity name, management structure, and registered agent information in its records.

I encourage you to talk with your attorney and tax advisor to get specialized, professional guidance on your legal, tax, and reporting responsibilities. If you confirm that your business must file an annual registration in Georgia, my team at CorpNet can help you tackle the task.

To kickstart your understanding of some of the important aspects of annual registration in Georgia, let’s take a closer look at the topic.

Who Must File a Georgia Annual Report?

The following entity types must complete an annual registration in any year the business will operate in Georgia.

What Information Do You Need to Provide in Your Georgia Annual Registration?

According to the Georgia Secretary of State “Step by Step User Guide on how to file your 2020 Annual Registration,” the information required for entity types is as follows.

Annual Registration for Corporations in Georgia

  • Name of the corporation or control number
  • Name of the individual filing the annual registration
  • Contact’s email address
  • Name and physical address of the company’s registered agent in Georgia
  • Mailing address of the business’s principal office
  • Name and address of each corporate officer
  • Payment via credit card, check, certified bank check, or money order

Annual Registration for LLCs in Georgia

  • Name of the LLC or control number
  • Name of the individual filing the annual registration
  • Contact’s email address
  • Name and physical address of the company’s registered agent in Georgia
  • Mailing address of the business’s principal office
  • Payment via credit card, check, certified bank check, or money order

Annual Registration for Limited Partnerships in Georgia

  • Name of the partnership or control number
  • Name of the individual filing the annual registration
  • Contact’s email address
  • Name and physical address of the company’s registered agent in Georgia
  • Mailing address of the business’s principal office
  • Payment via credit card, check, certified bank check, or money order

How Do You File Your Georgia Annual Registration?

Thanks to Georgia’s multi-year filing option, businesses have a choice in the annual registration period they want their registration filing to cover. When going through the registration process, they can select one of the following terms:

  • Annual registration for the current year
  • Annual registration for two consecutive years (current year and the year to follow)
  • Annual registration for three consecutive years (current year and the following two years)

Georgia provides three methods for completing annual registration.

Option 1: One-Click Registration

Businesses that are up to date on all of their past filings and don’t need to make any changes to their business information may use the Georgia Corporations Divisions’ “One Click Annual Registration” option. Doing so does not require any log in information, so it’s speedy and easy. Note that if a business has any past due fees or has made changes, it needs to report to the state, it will need to use another method of filing. After completion of the one-click registration, the state sends an email to confirm the registration and payment.

Option 2: Online Services

After logging into their eCorp account with the state, businesses can file their Georgia annual registration–with or without making changes to their company information. The state will email the annual registration and receipt to the contact person after the online filing and payment are completed.

Option 3: Print Form

Another option is to print out the annual registration form from the website and mail the completed form with a payment by check or money order. A $10 service charge applies to annual registrations submitted this way.

The form and payment should be mailed to:

Office of Secretary of State
2 MLK Jr. Drive
313 West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

The envelope must be postmarked by April 1 of the current year to avoid a $25 late filing fee.

How Much Does the Annual Filing Cost?

The filing fee for filing a Georgia annual report depends on the type of business entity.

  • Profit Corporation, Professional Corporation, LLC, LP, LLP, LLLP, Trust Estate = $50 online filing; $60 paper filing
  • Non-profit corporation = $30 online filing; $40 paper filing
  • Foreign LLP (operating in Georgia but registered in a different state) = $25 online filing; $35 paper filing

The cost to amend an already submitted annual registration is $20 to do so online and $30 to file by paper. Annual registration fees are non-refundable.

Are There Penalties for Not Filing a Georgia Annual Registration?

Failing to file annual registrations and pay the required fees on time may result in the state suspending the entity’s authorization to transact business in Georgia. It may even lead to administrative dissolution (involuntary termination of the business). That can be especially devastating because it means the business entity loses its rights, powers, and authority in the state. Possible problems caused by administrative dissolution include:

  • Business owners and others who act on the entity’s behalf might be held personally liable for legal and financial debts or obligations of the business. (In other words, owners and stakeholders lose the protection of the corporate veil that protects business owners’ personal assets.)
  • The company will probably not be allowed to bring a lawsuit in the state.
  • Anything the entity does beyond what’s necessary to liquidate its assets and wrap up its affairs may be considered invalid or void.

Where Can You Learn More and Find Additional Details?

I recommend that you talk with your attorney and tax advisor to make sure you understand your business’s legal and tax obligations with the state.

Also, visit the Georgia Secretary of State website and the Georgia Corporations Division website for information and links to online annual registration forms. For a full list of all Georgia’s state current filing costs, take a moment to review the Corporations Division Filing Fees chart that they provide.

CorpNet Can Help Keep You in Compliance!

With the April 1 due date approaching quickly, entities that must file a Georgia annual registration need to act fast.

Fortunately, CorpNet can take the guesswork out of the filing process. Our team has experience in filing annual reports in all 50 states, and we can ensure that your annual registration is prepared and e-filed correctly.

Act now and contact us without delay to make sure your business stays in legal good standing in the Peach State!



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With Dog Obesity Becoming More Prevalent Is A Whole Food Diet The Answer?


Just like being overweight for humans can lead to serious health conditions—the same applies to dogs. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 55.8% of dogs are classified as over weight. To make matters worse, 95% of owners don’t even know their pets are overweight, which the APOP refers to as the “fat pet gap.”

Dr. Alex Schechter, DVM at Pure Paws Veterinary Care of Hell’s Kitchen tells me, “Dog obesity is a major problem with our New York dog population. Limited exercise, high calorie intake, and non-nutritious foods tend to be the major culprits. In general, most pet parents actually think an overweight dog is a normal healthy baseline.”

“It’s very prevalent,” Dr. Joseph Martins DVM and Certified Fear Free Professional at Belle Mead Animal Hospital tells me of the dog obesity he sees in his practice. “My guesstimate is over 50% of dogs and cats are overweight and over 20% are obese. So 70-80% of pets weigh too much and this problem is growing. It’s getting worse nationwide every year and especially the past few years.” 

So what makes a dog obese, what kind of health issues can obesity cause, and with all the brands popping up promoting whole food diets for dogs are these a viable solution?

The American Kennel Club says that figuring out whether your dog is overweight or not is a matter of both appearance of the body constitution and touch. You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs when you press the sides of their body. Extra weight can lead to a variety of issues including Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, a range of orthopedic issues, skin disease, heart and respiratory disease, and even decreased life expectancy. 

While there aren’t many lifetime studies on dogs, Martins’ tells me, “There is one on Labrador retrievers that shows that labs who are over fed get overweight and consequently get more painful arthritis at earlier ages. Many of these pets require life long arthritis meds for pain years earlier than if they were kept lean. Another shocking part of this study also showed that 50% of overweight dogs were dead by 10 years of age and that dogs kept at an ideal weight lived 2-3 years longer than overweight dogs. This is a huge statistical fact every pet owner needs to know—lean dogs on average live years longer.”

Schechter is a fan of The Farmer’s Dog, a breed-specific customized dog food made from fresh ingredients that’s delivered to your door, for his adult dog patients because he believes the nutritional value of fresh food is far superior than processed dog food. “I recommend The Farmer’s Dog for all of my adult patients. I think they have revolutionized the pet food industry with a simple concept—feed our pets fresher nutritious foods. We vaccinate our patients to prevent disease and have them on monthly medication to prevent against gastrointestinal parasites and ticks. However, I think we often forget that food can also be preventative medicine!”

Pet owner Linda Glass transitioned to The Farmer’s Dog when her Dalmatian, Jasmine, who suffered from persistent diarrhea was diagnosed with various infections and put on antibiotics, but the diarrhea continued.  “I tried a variety of food changes and combinations,” explains Glass. “I added wet food to dry food. I even started boiling chicken and rice. Nothing worked. Then I came across an ad on Facebook for Farmer’s Dog. After the first week of eating their food, Jasmine went to the vet and she weighed 82 pounds. Two months later they weighed her at 64 pounds. The vet was so impressed. Her coat was shiny, she didn’t have flaky skin, and she had very little shedding. I told the vet about the food change and provided them a leaflet with the ingredients, which is now part of her chart.” Glass says the only thing that changed to achieve these results is the dog food and the diarrhea is gone. “It’s worth every penny.”

Brett Podolsky, Co-founder of The Farmer’s Dog tells me, “We’ve heard thousands of success stories from customers over the years. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our day! It’s a constant reminder that making a simple change from highly processed products to real, fresh food can have a transformational impact on health. We hear how easy it becomes for people to manage their dog’s weight and help eliminate all kinds of other health issues like allergies and stomach problems.”

What’s unique about The Farmer’s Dog’s subscription-based fresh food plans is that they allow people to tailor their dog’s daily caloric intake to their very specific requirements based on breed, age, and a variety of other factors which are asked about during the online questionnaire. Furthermore, the plan allows people to adapt their plan to their dog’s changing needs. 

“A kibble bag offers broad, and vague guidelines that don’t take into account an individual dog’s needs, making it very easy to over-feed and kibble-bag guidelines will always err on the side of too much food, so you end up buying more,” continues Podolsky. “Dr. Ernie Ward who runs APOP has told us at Farmer’s Dog that he hears about so many pet owners feeding exactly what they suggest on the bag and those suggestions are too much.”

The Farmer’s Dog is made from human-grade meat and vegetables that provides more bioavailable nutrients for a dog. “Because our food is gently steamed, not processed multiple times at high heat like kibble, it also retains a lot of moisture and the natural nutrients from our whole food ingredients, which is another factor in keeping a dog healthy and satisfied,” explains Podolsky. Kibble type dog foods, on the other hand, are dried and devoid of moisture, which is what allows for the long shelf life.

On why a customized diet is the way to go for our pets, Podolsky tells me, “Customized plans allow people to precisely control their dog’s caloric intake based on their very specific needs. If you have a 16-pound elderly Pug who needs to lose weight, that’s a VERY different caloric demand than a 25-pound Rat Terrier who is younger and extremely active. Yet the guideline on a kibble bag might recommend that any dog ‘between 16 and 25 pounds’ is fed ‘between one and two cups’. That’s a massive gap, and into that gap falls the health of too many dogs, even though the owner has the best intentions.”

Martins’ is also a fan of whole food diets like Freshpet, which creates meals from 100% natural farm-raised poultry, beef and fish and incorporates fiber-packed vegetables and anti-oxidant rich fruits that are gently cooked without preservatives and kept refrigerated (and can be found at major retailers nationwide). 

“I am a fan of whole food diets like Freshpet that are properly nutritionally balanced using fresh ingredients that are prepared and cooked according to FDA and USDA standards, Martins’ tells me. “Actually pets age 7-10 times faster than we do and don’t live as long so maybe its even more important for them. So feeding fresh foods like Freshpet that are gently cooked but provide more moisture, high quality protein, more natural fiber, and highest quality antioxidants makes good sense and pets seem to feel better and look better.”

“Veterinary nutritionists know now more than ever that cats and dogs have their own species specific trace nutrient requirements different from each other and definitely different from humans, to keep their hearts and other vital organs healthy,” continues Martins. “It’s imperative that owners know you cant just feed pets what people eat long term and keep up with their vital micronutrient needs. We are all constantly looking to keep our pets healthier, happier and living longer. One piece of the puzzle to do that right now is to keep pets from becoming overweight by feeding them the freshest, most balanced measured meals daily along with exercise.” 

Protein in the diet is essential for dogs. Dr. Gerardo Perez-Camargo DVM, VP of Research and Development at Freshpet tells me,“Freshpet delivers to the pet twice the amount of protein and half the amount of carbohydrates than dry foods. Pets need protein to maintain, repair and grow muscle. Muscle is metabolically active, that means that it consumes energy. A dog with muscle will be able to burn more energy and maintain a healthier body weight than the same dog with a lower level of muscle in its body.”

Like The Farmer’s Dog, Freshpet has heard stories from thousands of pet parents who’ve experienced incredible transformations once their pets have transitioned to Freshpet. Pet parent Melissa Stewart’s 9-year old overweight Chihuahua Benji had a complete turnaround with his weight once she switched over to Freshpet.  She tells me, “After switching, he slimmed down and acts like he did as a puppy! It really is a miracle! He loves to go on walks and can jump on to the couch again. Benji is a happy dog and so am I!”





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