Should I purchase insurance for my business?

We live in an era where insurance is almost as important as the air that we breathe. Almost everything we own, we end up having to insure it. It is no surprise that purchasing California business insurance would be something that business operators consider as a necessary measure for effective business management. When employees are involved, a business owner will be required to have workman’s compensation. This policy protects the employer and employee at the same time. If you hope to have your company withstand a deal gone wrong, you may need to consider professional liability insurance as a form of protection.

Although a business insurance policy will help your employees, the primary purpose is to protect the assets of the business, in addition to liability against the owners. Proprietors who own the property will also need to think about the damage through water or fire which could cause the business to shut down. The same way the proprietor tries to protect the property, they should also remember the content stored inside the building. While most of the insurance policies will be used to provide adequate coverage for property and content, some policies are put in place to compensate for the loss of data.

The main thing to consider when shopping for business insurance is which are the most important areas you will need to keep your business running. Whether your business provides professional legal or office services, or something else like plumbing or electrical, you should not allow yourself to be wiped out. Maybe your company has a few service vehicles which they use to get to and from the home of a customer, can you afford to lose product stored in the vehicle? Make the call today and let us help you protect the things that are important to you, as you continue to expand your own business.

Louisiana auto insurance essentials

It is a good idea for people to have Louisiana auto insurance coverage to ensure that their vehicle is financially protected in the event of a collision. In the state of Louisiana, car accidents happen on a daily basis. The state has required that drivers take financial responsibility by purchasing auto insurance. The type of insurance that is required is liability insurance. Liability insurance provides coverage for property damage such as damage to the other vehicle involved and medical payments. Medical payments help to pay for expenses for injuries or deaths that happen during or directly as a result of a collision.

The state has coverage amounts that each driver must meet in order to be properly insured. People who do not have insurance coverage will be ticketed by a police officer during traffic stops. Liability coverage is essential but additional coverage can also be an asset to have. Collision coverage is great for accident protection especially where repairs are concerned. Liability coverage does not allow people to file claims for repairs to their vehicles. People should keep this in mind when choosing a policy. Comprehensive coverage extends to other reasons for claims such as weather and theft related losses.

The insurance quote process is the easiest way for people to apply for Louisiana auto insurance. It takes about ten minutes to receive several quotes. The information that is needed includes: age, location, years of driving experience, and type of vehicle. This information is entered into online websites and then drivers can conduct their comparison. Drivers should call a car insurance agent as soon as possible to talk about their quotes and if they can receive a discount on their premiums.

Get Business Insurance Today!

The state of California has become one of the country’s most fastest-growing state in terms of business especially in the district of Silicon Valley. Whether you are planning to run a small business or already own a business, it is very important to get a California business insurance. This is not only for business permit requirements purposes but it is a law that every business should do. The company big or small rely on insurance especially when problems arise in the future.

There are many types of insurance services offered for businesses but employer’s liability insurance is the most common insurance businesses get. If you are employing someone for your company, the worker’s compensation insurance covers to protect your employees from accident at work or injury. An insurance will also cover the damages that the natural disaster has brought to the business that causes the company to unexpectedly shut down. This is called the business interruption insurance. This may applicable if there are physical damages to the business that’s insured.

Many of our products and services offer a competitive rates. We cater all types of business insurance that perfectly suits your needs from employer’s liability insurance to workers’ compensation insurance. Take advantage of our insurance promo and discounts. If you are not happy with your business insurance or planning to get one, then try this easiest and economical way to get insurance that is well-designed entirely for business is to get a California business insurance quotes and you must call one of our agents for additional information.

How to Find the Best Pennsylvania Homeowners Insurance

Buying a home is a big step in your life. You want the perfect home for you and you want it to be protected. In Pennsylvania there are a lot of options for beautiful homes, and you will know when you find your perfect home. You will want to protect your house, because it is everything that you have worked for, which means you need a good Pennsylvania homeowners insurance policy. Your home is where you and your family live, and there is nothing more important than protecting the ones that you love.

How do you find a good homeowners policy in Pennsylvania? There are a lot of great insurance companies that will help you find the perfect policy for you. When you are choosing a homeowners policy, make sure you find a company that you can trust with your home. You will want to go over all of your options before you dive into one policy. A homeowners policy includes coverage of any damage caused by fire, natural disasters, but not limited to floods. You might want to consider purchasing an additional add on flood insurance policy to further protect your home.

Choosing a Pennsylvania homeowners insurance policy is a big step in the process of buying your house. Make sure that you are covered, so you can have your home protected. Having a homeowners policy is having comfort and peace knowing that your home will always be in good hands no matter what happens. Don’t wait, call today to find the perfect policy for your Pennsylvania home.

Staying warm at home: Maintenance keeps furnaces running through winter

Now that winter’s definitely set in and subfreezing temperatures are here to stay for the next couple of months, furnace problems are the last thing people need.

But, with proper care and preventive maintenance, you can avoid making that early morning call to the furnace repairman.

Local arizona heating repair companies give some solid advice on limiting the number of home heating problems this winter.

“Furnaces must be looked at in the fall,” Bob Spragg of Spragg Heating & AC in Martins Ferry said. “Filters need to be cleaned regularly so they can do their job.”

He believes preventive maintenance is the best way to avoid furnace troubles in the winter.

Though it’s been a pretty rough winter, Spragg hasn’t had many service calls so far.

“It’s been about the same,” Spragg said, referring to his company answer emergency calls. “I’m a little surprised because it’s been so cold lately. Things love to break down in this kind of weather.”

However, Tim Templin of the H.E. Neumann Co. in Wheeling, said his company has been really busy during the recent cold spell.

“We’ve received every conceivable call from no heat, to noises, to gas and oil calls,” Templin said.

Keeping filters clean is the advice Templin gives. “Homeowners forget about the filters and they get plugged up, stopping the heat flow,” he said.

He also stressed periodic maintenance in all seasons and unblocking the outside exhaust pipe of a high efficiency heater/AC.

“People neglect to clean the outside pipes. In the summer leaves and the winter snow block the exhaust flow. This will shut down the system completely,” Templin said.

Bill Blatt of Blatt Heating & A/C on National Road in Elm Grove suggests that homeowners know how to shut down their furnaces in an emergency.

“Know how to shut down the energy supply,” Blatt said. “You must have some way to control the emergency…That’s my biggest concern,” Blatt said. “There are potential bombs on these things.”

Blatt also suggested preventative maintenance.

“Furnaces and heaters must be checked every year. Don’t wait until the cold weather. All types of heaters should be checked.”

Blatt said the most problems occur because of worn parts which might be able to make it through the season, working off and on. But when they have to run constantly during extreme cold, worn parts often break.

“When a furnace runs constantly, that’s when problems develop,” Blatt said.

“There’s no mystery in why furnaces break down. There’s always a reason behind what goes wrong. Mechanical things have problems. Severe conditions contribute to the problems,” Blatt said.

Blatt also stressed education when it comes to repairing furnaces.

He has more than 50 years of experience and is a member of the West Virginia Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Board.

Jeff Nau of Lou W. Nau, Inc. in Wheeling suggested residents have their furnaces checked before the cold season starts.

“If problems occur, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call a professional if problems develop,” Nau said.

“If people wait to have their furnaces checked, then they will have to pay the price,” said Al Kaufman the owner of Al Kaufman Heating and Air Cond. Inc. in Wheeling.

He said his daytime service calls are up this winter and his nighttime calls are about the same.

Kaufman said he doesn’t mind making the service calls during the day, but said that most night calls, unless they are usual customers or extreme emergencies, are repaired during the day because of the furnace owners’ neglect.

“Except for our regular customers, I go by the theory that if you didn’t take the time to service it before, then why should I rush out and do the maintenance. The people have to pay one way or the other for not having their furnaces serviced.”

Servicing at night can get expensive because, according to Kaufman, the law states that the customer must pay time and a half on nights and weekends.

“Always look ahead. A person spends about $1,000 or less to put in a furnace that could last many years and about $10,000 for a new car that will last five or six. He will maintenance the car, but won’t take the time to look at the furnace.”

Furnaces should be maintenanced every four or five years, Kaufman said.

During his 42 years in the business, Kaufman has encountered people trying to fix their own furnaces without the help of a professional.

“People trying to keep their furnaces running without knowing a lot about what they’re doing which usually makes the furnaces unsafe,” Kaufman said. “They’re trying to save money by not paying a professional and do strange things that usually end up damaging the furnace even further.”

Another unusual problem he deals with is people removing their thermostats and replacing them improperly.

“People in the spring are remodeling and remove their thermostats to paint the walls, and then bolt them back on the wall and wonder why their furnace doesn’t work.”

Kaufman said that most thermostats must be level because they have mercury in them which is used to activate the furnace.

Artificial grass

A mat which simulates grass and is designed to be used as a teeing-up mat for use in golf training has been developed by Swedish inventors Jan Lindblad and Bo-Roland Olofzon. The mat has been designed to be durable, but also to provide a surface with the general feeling of grass.

When playing golf the club head often penetrates the ground surface to some extent when striking the ball. When this occurs some grass and earth may be dislodged and this divot has to be replaced after the stroke. This permits the surface to heal and it also should prevent permanent damage being done. In the proposed mat the pile yarns are securely anchored to the backing fabric. As the ball is struck part of the pile is pulled from the mat by the club and after some use there is a tendency for the pile to become sparse and for the mat to wear out. One objective of synthetic grass az is to improve durability and strengthen the anchorage of pile to backing. However, as the pile becomes stronger the characteristics of the mat become poorer in terms of play and the similarity with grass diminishes. The inventors argue that in designing teeing-up mats the manufacturers have tended to ignore that grass essentially comprises two layers. The upper layer has relatively soft blades of grass. Beneath this there is a layer comprising earth and grass roots which are harder than the upper surface, but not sufficiently hard to prevent the golf club from penetrating to some extent. Often the bottom of the mat is drenched with a plastic or rubbery compound which serves to protect the pile fibres from being pulled out when struck by the club. The deeper this layer is the further up the pile will it extend and so the harder the mat will become. In the construction proposed the mat consists of a ground or backing fabric with a pile which is combined with the backing. This pile projects upwards from the backing. The mat is drenched with natural or synthetic rubber which binds the pile in place. The backing fabric is woven, having warp and weft ends and through these the pile is interwoven. The pile consists of alternating rows of cut and loop pile yarns. However, there are two pile heights, one being longer cut while the lower, loop pile provides support for the projecting longer pile. This means that the longer cut pile will be comparatively sparse, while that below is much denser.

This construction is said to behave much like natural grass, while the sub-structure resembles ground or earth. The impact of a club will be more effectively absorbed by this denser mass. The longer pile offers less resistance to the club during a stroke and the lower resistance is said to lessen the force of impact on the binder layer that holds the pile to the ground fabric. This mat can be used for sports other than golf, including pitch-and-putt courses, minigolf and indoor hockey.

Easy suggestions for cutting relocation stress

Surveys show it is the most stressful event in life after death and divorce. No, it’s not driving on Interstate 15 at rush hour. Nor is it going on a blind date or having to give a speech.

It’s . . . moving.

Packing belongings, loading a moving van, saying goodbye to friends and neighbors and relocating to a new city creates truckloads of anxieties in many people. Nevertheless, the average American moves 11 times in a lifetime, and nearly a fifth of all Americans — an estimated 43 million people — relocate each year.

Almost half of all moves occur between May 1 and Labor Day because it is easier in warm weather and because families with children want to be settled in their new home before school starts in the fall. With that in mind, people should plan impending moves as early as possible, says Gordon Miller, owner of Utah Moving & Storage, Salt Lake City.

“If they’re moving in September, now is not too soon,” he says. The end and beginning of each month, when most leases expire, are busiest. In the summer, families who hire a professional mover between the 25th of the month and the 5th of the next month can expect to pay a 10% surcharge, Miller says.

People planning a move must first decide whether to hire a professional mover or rent a truck and do it themselves. Each option has its advantages.

A professional mover assumes responsibility for any breakage, provided the mover packs your boxes for you. Most professional movers are trained in packing techniques and have specially designed boxes and packing materials for china and crystal.

Hiring a professional also can free up your time and energy so you can focus on other important matters.

“The right mover will come to your home and go through the move with you beforehand,” says Beth Copeland, Mayflower Transit national spokeswoman. “They will estimate the cost, discuss packing and unpacking options with you, work on a mutually convenient schedule and make sure all your moving questions are answered. Having a professional do the dirty work will take one big worry off your mind.”

Do it yourself? On the other hand, doing it yourself can cost half of a van-line move, and you’ll reach your new home at the same time as your belongings. With some commercial van lines, your furniture and belongings may share a truck with those of several other families moving to different cities. By the time your belongings reach your new home, days or even weeks may have passed.


Plus, moving yourself gives you peace of mind because your belongings are never out of sight, says Janet Cooper, U-Haul national spokeswoman.

“Psychologically, it’s easier having your belongings with you,” Cooper says. Also, you’re likely to treat your fragile boxes more carefully than movers, she says. “Nobody cares for their own belongings like themselves. They will take special care with items they really treasure.”

While loading a truck yourself requires a lot more muscle, it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Friends and family can pitch in, and even the smallest child can help open doors or carry small objects, Cooper says. Elderly movers can hire a loading service to help with the heavy lifting.

“You really don’t need to be Hercules to do this yourself,” Cooper says.

Whether you hire a professional moving company – goodyear az movers or recruit brawny relatives, here are some tips on making your next move as stress-free as possible:

– Get rid of what you don’t need. Pass on unwanted items to friends, family or neighbors, or hold a garage sale. Determine how much you can take to your new home and what will fit once you get there. Extra weight costs more money.

– Plan how you will pack. First pack items you don’t use often. Label your boxes. Pack essential items that need to be opened first, such as bedding and cooking utensils, and make sure they are the last boxes loaded onto the van. Don’t make any carton too heavy to lift. Plan your food purchases to leave your fridge almost empty the day of the move.

Special considerations. Moving can be frightening for children who feel they are losing everything — their home, school, neighborhood friends — that is familiar to them. In conjunction with an April nationwide survey of child psychiatrists, U-Haul recommends the following:

– Discuss the move with your child. Focus on the positive reasons for the move. A child who clearly understands why you are moving will be more able to enthusiastically support the process.

– Visit the new home and school before the move, if possible.

– Involve the child with the move. Let him or her sort and pack belongings. Help the child plan the layout of a new room in advance. Let a child pack a special suitcase with treasured belongings and carry it into the new home.

Moving with pets:

– Make sure the pet is comfortable riding in the car. Plan a few advance outings to help the pet adjust.

– Ask your veterinarian if your pet should be given a sedative before moving.

– Don’t feed your pet just before departure. Feed it at least several hours before beginning the trip, and feed it light meals en route.

– Confine your pet to a pet carrier, but allow it to exercise at rest and fuel stops. Always bring a leash.

– Always have your pet travel in the passenger area of the vehicle. The van box of a moving van is not designed to carry live cargo.

Moving with plants:

– Water and drain plants thoroughly before the move.

– Place plants in boxes and secure them using packing paper around the bottom of the pot.

– Plants are sensitive to temperature change. Either load them last and unload them first or transport them in the cab of the moving van. Long-distance movers may want to move only their larger, more valuable plants and give their common household plants to a friend or relative.

Moving with computers:

– Backup all files on a fixed disk before moving. Store the backup copy in a safe place.

– Remove any diskettes from the external drives.

– If possible, pack the computer in its original box along with the original packing materials. If the original box is not available, write COMPUTER, FRAGILE on the outside of the box.

– Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can damage the computer’s internal components. When setting up the computer in your new home, remember that for every hour a computer is exposed to extreme conditions (high humidity, under 50 degrees or above 125 degrees), it should have a corresponding number of hours at room temperature before use.

Complex scheduled to reopen

Known as Cambridge Apartments when it was built in 1969, the complex at 15th Street and Michigan Avenue – now known as Oak Meadows – has changed management hands several times. In the meantime, it has fallen into disrepair.

Its new owner, Landex Corp., Warwick, R.I., bought the company last year in an auction by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD took ownership of the complex in 1978 after the first owner defaulted on repayment of its loan. It had contracted with management firms until HUD auctioned it for private ownership.

“Now that it is a privately owned property with Section 8, I believe people are really going to see changes with this property,” said Sherry McCoure, Oak Meadows manager who recently resigned and whose replacement will begin work this week.

Landex has been renovating the complex and plans to have it open for tenants next spring, said Ms. McCoure. Along with the face lift, steps to change its reputation for attracting troublesome tenants will be part of the new ownership. An intensive Rental Screening that includes landlord references, court checks for previous evictions, credit and criminal histories and in-home visits will be used to thin out problem tenants.

“Because of the bad reputation of Oak Meadows–it has been known for drugs, the police being out, domestic disturbances, that kind of thing–people thought if it was a below-market property, ‘Oh, no, what’s it going to be like when it’s Section 8?’ I think this screening criteria is going to help,” said Ms. McCoure.

When the 138-unit complex was built, it marked the beginning of a new era in apartment living in Joplin.

Departing from the multistory apartment buildings that dominated the local scene until 1969, the Cambridge was a sprawl of 15 buildings with landscaped grounds, off-street parking, a clubhouse and a playground.

The $1.8 million complex was privately developed, but underwritten by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA insured the financing by guaranteeing a low interest rate and long-term loan in exchange for certain rent restrictions.

It asked that rent be set at 10 percent below the general rental market, making it part of HUD’s “below market property” program. Additionally, it was to target middle-income families. Federal housing programs also assist low income families and people over age 62.

Now the complex is among several privately owned Section 8 apartment complexes in the area.

In federal Government Operations housing subcommittee testimony this year, there were Section 8 tenant complaints of roach and rat infestation, water leaks, holes in walls, drug addicts and prostitutes.

But one area HUD official says it is unfair to use these problems to judge all housing under HUD programs. The public housing in the region is some of the best in the nation, the official says.

“If I had to pick anywhere in the country for (subsidized) housing, this would be this place. I’m very proud of our housing here because I’ve seen some of the housing elsewhere,” says Nancy Metzger, chief of management branch-south for Great Plains Region of HUD, Kansas City. “Even Washington HUD is amazed by our housing here because they are used to seeing row after row of tenements.”

Careful preparation speeds approval

The process of getting a mortgage can try your patience and invade your privacy. The trick to making your way smoothly through the mortgage maze is simpler than you might think, though. It’s all in being prepared and knowing what will be expected of you.

“We want buyers to realize that this is a partnership thing,” says J. Michael Fernandez, a vice president at ICM Mortgage Corp. in Tampa. “As long as they work with us, we’ll try to knock down as many hurdles as we can and get them approved quickly.”

Fernandez offers these tips to home buyers warily entering the world of interest rates and discount points.

“The more prepared you come to your first meeting with the lender, the faster the process will go,” Fernandez says.

The loan officer will fill out a prequalifying statement, a checklist of documents he or she needs to evaluate your financial status (see the box for the list.)

During the interview, the lender will ask you for names and addresses of credit references, banks where you maintain accounts and your past addresses (including landlord’s name and address). He or she also will want to see your Social Security number, names and addresses of your employers for the past two years, verification of employment and any other sources of income, such as alimony, child support, interest. (If divorced, bring a copy of your divorce decree and separation agreement.)

“This gives us more or less a two-year history of the person,” Fernandez says, “and we look for anything that might cause problems.”

Remember that the application fee, which can range from $250 to $300, is usually non-refundable. It pays for a credit report and an appraisal of the house. According to Fernandez, the credit report usually costs about $50, and the appraisal runs $200 to $250.

As the lending officer goes over your financial history with you, be as forthright as you can, Fernandez says: “If you’ve had some credit problems in the past, it’s best to let us know up front so we can work it out immediately. Don’t think the bank won’t find out.”

Remember to mention any debts you may have co-signed; even though you may not be making the payments on those loans, you are still liable.

Obviously, the larger the down payment you can make, the smaller your monthly payments will be. Don’t overlook all possible sources of cash.

“A lot of people forget that they’ve got cash equity in a life insurance policy or a pension plan that they can borrow against,” Fernandez says, “or they can cash in stocks and bonds or other assets.”

If a relative or friend has given you a sum toward your down payment, the money needs to be deposited in your account at least 60 days before you apply for the loan. You may also need to produce a verifying “gift letter” from the donor.

Applicants need to have the down payment in the bank (5 to 10 percent of the purchase price usually is required on a conventional, fixed-rate, 30-year loan),plus enough money to cover two months’ mortgage payments.

“That’s just because the bank wants to make sure they haven’t spent their last penny to close on the house,” said Bob Hagan of Custom Financial Group in Tampa.

After going through your financial history, the loan officer will work up a rough estimate of your debt-to-loan ratio; that is, simply, whether you can afford the house.

“The contract tells us who will pay for what (the seller or buyer),” Fernandez says. “Based on that, we give them a good-faith estimate of how much cash they’ll need to close the transaction.”

The lender also will ask you if you want to “lock in” the interest rate for your loan or let it float until a certain deadline, usually 45 or 60 days later. He or she probably will not offer any advice on whether to lock in.

“That really depends on your personal philosophy as to how the market might change,” Fernandez says. If you suspect that interest rates may fall before you close on your house, you may want to wait as long as you can before locking in the rate.

Within three days after your meeting with the lender, he or she will mail you a truth-in-lending statement. This document is a final version of the proposed loan. It tells you the annual percentage rate, which is a combination of the interest rate plus the amount of your mortgage plus your closing costs. This percentage likely will be slightly higher than the current interest rate.

Then you wait, while the bank spends a few weeks checking all your documentation.

“If it’s a conventional loan with 10 percent down, generally we can work that within three weeks,” Fernandez says. “For FHA, it’s longer – you’re looking at anywhere from three to four weeks – and with Arizona VA Loans it takes about a month just to get the appraisal back, so that could take as long as five weeks.”

Finally you will get the long-awaited phone call from a loan officer: Your mortgage has been approved.

Kids Cashing In

Millons of children yearn for summer work, but some young entrepreneurs have skipped the middleman and formed their own businesses.

Just like their adult counterparts, these children are independent self-starters, creative, hard-working and risk-taking, say Debbie Pierce and Ellen Evancheck of the Young Americans Bank in Cherry Creek, which offers a class for young entrepreneurs, plus ongoing business advice and support.

Melissa Gollick of Denver, a 10-year-old student at St. Anne’s Episcopal School and the YAB’s Entrepreneur of the Year, began playing with computers at the age of 3. When she turned 8, she put her considerable skills to work.

“I overheard a conversation between my dad (real estate consultant Robert Gollick) and one of his clients” concerning their need for a map, she said. “I could do a map,” she told him, and so MelMaps took form. The company offers computer-generated vicinity, location and floor-plan maps that cater to banks, real estate agents, brokers and appraisers.

Melissa charges $5 for a location map, $15 to $20 for a vicinity map and $50 for a floor plan – a third to half of market rates, according to her father.

Although shy about revealing how much money she has squirreled away, Melissa did say she plans to use some of it for a laser printer. She manages just fine on an allowance of $4 a week.

Like Melissa, 15-year-old East High freshman Bryan Chavez pursued his passion – art – first.

“I’ve always been fascinated with art, but two summers ago, I wanted a way to make money,” said Bryan, who airbrushes designs on T-shirts. “I just thought that was a way to show my abilities and make some money at it.”

Bryan bought an airbrush, then took lessons. Basically, “whatever I can draw, I can airbrush,” Bryan said.

“I made a little bit of money at first, then the summer before my freshman year at East, my business just took off.” Bryan worked with a silk-screening company at the Colorado State Fair, airbrushing T-shirts with customer-requested designs, charging $12 and making $7 a shirt.

“In about three weeks’ time, I made $600, and that was only working on weekends.”

At East, kids would ask Bryan where they could get shirts like the ones he wore, and his business flourished.

One of Bryan’s next big purchases will be a heat press machine so he doesn’t have to set his painted designs into the T-shirt with an iron.

According to literature distributed by the YAB, as much as 15 percent of profits should be reinvested into the business.

Eight-year-old Suzanne Switzer noticed graffiti on the garage door across the alley from her Congress Park home and saw a window of opportunity.

“I said, “Mom, I think for a job I’d like to paint out graffiti.’ I’d seen people on TV doing it.”

So with the Switzers keeping track of their whereabouts, Suzanne and her buddy Minda Johnson walk the neighborhood and note new graffiti on garage doors. Then they inquire if the owners would like the marks painted out.

Their fee varies, depending on the size of the job, said Minda, 8, a student at Graland Country Day. Added Suzanne, “If they already have the paint, it’s $2 less.”

Suzanne and Minda let profits accrue so they have enough for change and new brushes. At the end of the month, they split the profits.

Besides the class in how to choose and start a business, the YAB offers young entrepreneurs business loans.

The default rate on YAB loans is 2 percent, said loan officer Susan Cline, lower than at adult banks. Besides borrowing for start-up business costs, youngsters take out loans of $200 to $10,000 for Nintendo products, bicycles, school trips, first cars and college tuition. Parents cosign, but the loan application has to specify how the child will pay back the money.

Looking at children who’ve borrowed for businesses, it’s hard to say whether entrepreneurial spirit is inborn, Cline said, but some kids give that impression. “With some children it really shows: They have a high attention level, they get excited. You can tell by the questions they ask.”

If it doesn’t come naturally, “You can nurture (them) along,” Cline said. “You can help them learn about finances.”

Young Americans Bank staffers are in a unique position to know. No other institution like it exists in the world; more than 17,000 children have accounts there, including many from other countries.

Nor are financial programs set up only for well-to-do children. Young Ameritown, the bank’s interactive civics experience, is booked virtually every day for use by schools in the 2011-12 school year. And Pierce and Evancheck intend to take their Young Entrepreneurs class and support program to kids who live in group homes.

Entrepreneurs need the support and information the Young Americans Bank offers because – despite their age – youthful business owners still must comply with state and federal child labor laws and tax regulations.

In Colorado, anyone under 18 is considered a minor unless they’ve graduated from high school or have a GED, said Chester Burry, labor relations officer at the Colorado Department of Labor. Minors as young as 9 can be employed, Burry said, but the work has to be safe: delivering handbills, shining shoes – “they can do lawn care, but not with a power mower.”

At 12, it’s legal to babysit, do some retail sales, deliver goods and care for lawns with power tools. At age 14 to 15, kids are allowed to do retail sales, some food preparation and office work.

At the Colorado Department of Revenue, Dorothy Dalquist said, “Basically the IRS sets the rules and we follow them.” For example, the IRS isn’t concerned how much money a child makes until he or she hits $3,700. If a child earns more than that, parents aren’t allowed to claim the child as a standard deduction.

Also, Dalquist said kids need to consider if they’re hawking goods or services. Selling goods – tangible objects – means the seller has to pay a sales tax; dealers in services don’t have to pay sales tax.

The state does not pursue lemonade-stand sales taxes, but if kids are making big money – and some are – laws apply.

To most kids, merely multiplying their allowances six or seven times amounts to big money. LaTasha Johnson, 14, who makes and sells crispy rice treats for small coffee shops, only started cooking a month ago and already makes up to $50 a week.

Kelly Hayden and Kylie Dohman, 12-year-olds with a card, bookmark and gift-bag business, especially enjoy their partnership. “It’s fun to come to her house after school and go down to our office,” Kylie said. “On Saturday, we went out for a business lunch.”

“We went to the Village Inn,” said Kelly. “It was really neat – we were there all by ourselves.”