Closing An LLC Is Hard Work!

Since I was getting hit with extra fees (and only being notified when the fees have reached the maximum) and was very frustrated by the whole process, I’ve decided to close my LLC, which I’ve had for a few years.
I think I’ve finally nailed down the process and I know what I need to file, but I’ve been so turned off by the whole thing and they are so slow to file any paperwork, that I am making a change now so that I don’t have to deal with it in the future.
Of course that means learning about how to close the LLC, so I did some investigation, and as it turns out, closing an LLC is not all that easy and takes a bit of time.

The Process I’m Taking To Close My LLC

The first step is making sure that all paperwork has been filed. I am not going to operate it for 2014, so everything I am filing is for the 2013 tax year. The easiest part is filing my 2013 form as I always do, the only change being an extra box checked to indicate that this will be my final return. No problem, I don’t owe any additional tax (just the whopping $800 I paid back in April 2013).
The only other step I really need to take to close the LLC is file one extra form with my Secretary of State, which is just one sheet of paper with some basic information. Sounds easy enough, right?

Leaving The Business Open, But Closing The LLC

Since I am not closing the business, just the LLC, I have to make several changes, which is where most of the work comes in. I use several services and each has a different requirement, so it gets a bit complicated.
First, I needed to get a new EIN from the IRS, which takes a couple of minutes.
Next, I had to change the information on file with PayPal. This took a little time to call up and then send them a fax with my new EIN and a copy of my driver’s license.
I have my individual 401(k) set up through Vanguard, but instead of simply changing the name and EIN, I had to open up a completely separate account. This wasn’t a terrible process because I had submitted the same paperwork when I originally opened the individual 401(k), but it took awhile to get everything set up (and it was 8 pages of information that I had to fill out and send in).
Once I completed that, I had to close the original 401(k), which was another set of paperwork. I wish there was a simple way to just change the basic information (because that’s all that’s changing), but nope
Phew, that’s what it takes to really close my LLC. I hope I don’t have to go through all that work again!

Should Employees Feel Guilty About Taking Vacation Days?

In the past few weeks, I’ve heard a couple stories from friends who wanted to use some of their accrued vacation time, but ran into approval issues when it came to actually requesting the time off.

Two Vacation Requests

In one case, my friend wanted a single day off to attend to some personal business and was given a hard time about it. There was no specific reason given as to why the company didn’t want him to take off, but it was made clear to him that approving his vacation request was a favor.

Another friend requested time off to take a two week vacation with her husband. She had saved up her vacation for this big trip and had more than enough time to take off the two weeks, but was getting some resistance from her supervisor. A week would have been doable, but two weeks was too much. There was obviously nothing in the company rules prohibiting vacations longer than a week, it was simply inconvenient for the team to have to pick up the slack for that long.

When Rejecting Vacation Requests Is OK

There are certain situations where it’s reasonable for an employer to deny a vacation request. If there is not enough notice, it can cause short-term issues. If others have requested off at the same time, there are staffing issues to consider. There have to be the right number of people to handle the workload, and if everyone takes off Christmas week, there might not be enough people left to handle the customer inquiries.

Why Most Vacation Requests Should Be Approved

Other than some specific situations, I think it’s ridiculous not to allow employees to use their vacation time. Whether they want to use one day each month or take 2 weeks off at once should be the employee’s decision to make. Especially if it’s done with enough lead time, people can make adjustments. Having an employee out of work is not going to make it easier, but just like employees need to make changes based on employer needs, companies need to adjust to their employee’s commitments. The employee made an adjustment and didn’t take any time off for an extended period of time, the employee has the right to take his accrued vacation time in a way that fits his schedule.

If you can’t take a vacation day without feeling guilty, where’s the trade-off? Employees work for their employers, and return get certain benefits, including vacation days. There shouldn’t be much negotiation about when they’re allowed to be taken or for how long. The way I think about it is if you’re the employer, if you request time off, maybe the employee will simply leave the company? In that case, the employer is usually responsible for paying the employee for the time off, and in the end, they’ll be left without a full trained employee, so it’s a very big risk to reject these types of requests

The Unintended Consequence of Denying Vacation Time

Not allowing employees to use vacation time they’ve accrued probably has an unintended consequence: more sick days. If an employer isn’t allowing employees to take vacation time, they’re probably more likely to have an unannounced day off. Think about it: if you ask for time off and they deny you, you have no other options. But if you don’t ask and are “sick” that day, you can’t really get in trouble, right? I’m glad I’m not in that position, but I wonder if it happens.

Have you ever had a hard time taking vacation time you accrued fairly?

How you Can Benefit from Fluctuations in Exchange Rates

Anyone that regularly conducts overseas money transfers or travels abroad should always be alert about changes to the exchange rate. This can make a huge difference to your personal finances when you transfer or buy at the right time. This means it is always worthwhile understanding what causes the fluctuations in exchange rates as well as keeping an eye on the market, and this can easily be done when you know where to look.

The Impact the Economy has on Currency Value

There are many factors that have an impact on the exchange rate and how much a currency is worth. The current economic stability will have a large impact on this, and this will include inflation, national debt, changes in interest rates and the attractiveness of a country’s goods. You will want to have an idea on the economic stability in your own country as well as the currency zone that you are conducting business with or travelling to, and this will give you an idea of what fluctuations there may be in the exchange rate. One of the easiest ways to gain an understanding of the economic stability will be to keep up to date with the latest national and international news.

Currency Converters Using the Latest Rates

It is also easy to calculate currency and foreign exchange rates using the latest rates through online resources. Sites like Currencies Direct and others have easy to use currency converters, where you can simply select the currencies you want to convert, and then enter the amount. This will then instantly give you the foreign value indicative of the interbank rate. Generally these resources update their rates every 15 minutes, and this will allow you to make an informed decision on when the right time is to make a transfer. The rates will also vary depending on the amount bought and sold, so this needs to be taken into consideration too.

In addition, many of these online resources allow you to select an ideal rate, and then when this rate is achieved you will be contacted, so that you can then make the transfer. This is particularly helpful as it means that you do not have to spend your time watching the market and waiting for the right time.

Using Online Tools to get the Most from your Transaction

This could have a big impact on how much you get for your money, and anyone that regularly conducts transactions with overseas vendors or trades in the foreign exchange market will benefit from using these online resources. By staying abreast of the economic stability of your own country, as well as the currency zone you are trading with, it will give you some indication on the value of yours and international currencies. However, for the important up to date rates you will be able to find these online and even be alerted when your desired rate is achieved so that you can make the transfer when it best suits you.