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Businesses Add 'Obamacare Fee' to Customer Bills

Some businesses -- mainly restaurants -- "are asking customers to help foot the bill for Obamacare" by adding an Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, CNNMoney reports.

Case in point: At least eight Gator's Dockside restaurants in central Florida are now charging a so-called "Obamacare fee" that amounts to 1 percent of a customer's check.

Should your business include an Obamacare fee or surcharge on customer bills?

Small business owners can now look up their FICO credit scores just like personal consumers, but it won't be free.

With many entrepreneurs relying on small business loans to make their business plans a reality, a FICO score may be the x-factor in landing that crucial funding. So what's your FICO small business score?

Good news for veterans-turned-entrepreneurs looking for small business financing. The federal government has launched a new program to get former service members SBA loans at little cost.

In a press release, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that beginning in 2014, there will be no borrower upfront fee for loans to veterans under the SBA Express Loan program.

How does this fee waiver work, and what other programs are available for veterans looking to start their small business dreams?

SEC Proposes New Crowdfunding Rules

After more than a year of delay, the Securities and Exchange Commission has unanimously approved a proposal of crowdfunding rules to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. The 538-page proposal marks a significant step toward regulating businesses that fund their ventures online.

The public has 90 days to comment on the proposed rules. It could be at least another six months before the agency issues final rules.

Here's a summary of the most significant proposed rules:

NFIB's Business Credit Card: Read the Fine Print

The National Federation of Independent Business has unveiled a new business credit card -- but is it a good deal?

The NFIB Business Edition MasterCard, offered by the First National Bank of Omaha, promotes itself as a "business rewards card built for NFIB members by an NFIB member."

Though the NFIB-branded card boasts a number of perks -- namely, attractive rewards points and no interest for the first nine business cycles -- the card lacks basic borrower protections offered to personal cardholders under the CARD Act, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

What Should You Do With Torn, Mangled Money?

Have you ever received torn money and wondered what to do with it? Many people don't realize that you can often take mutilated money to the bank -- er, the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Mint -- and get reimbursed.

Here's how to trade that mutilated moola and chump change:

Small Business Borrowing Highest Since 2007

Small business borrowing is at the highest it's been in six years, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. This suggests "[t]here is some optimism returning to small businesses," which "are responding to some demand," PayNet's president tells Reuters.

The index, which measures the volume of financing to small companies, rose 11 percent in July. The level has not been this high since August 2007.

With that said, here are some general tips to consider for small business owners who are looking for financing:

Do You Need a Business Credit Card?

Do you need a business credit card? If you're a small business owner, having a credit card that's separate from your personal credit card can pay off in many ways.

For example, a business credit card allows your business to establish creditworthiness, which can help secure financing, the Small Business Administration explains. It's also a way to prevent your personal and business debts from commingling.

However, there are still a few potential drawbacks. Here are some general considerations to keep in mind when deciding if you need a business credit card or not:

A new study of small businesses in the U.S. and Europe has found that fewer and fewer entrepreneurs are optimistic about their success in the coming year.

Insurer Hiscox Ltd. reported that 38% of business owners felt optimistic about the next year, a sharp decline from last year's near half of small business owners who felt confident in their futures, reports Bloomberg.

With confidence dropping, the market is bound to be affected, so here are five tips to shore up your business in uncertain economic conditions.

Kickstarter is a great way to crowdsource investment money for you small business. That is, until your Kickstarter fails.

Here is a legal look at your funding options, obligations to investors, and your promise to deliver when your Kickstarter project fails to live up to your dreams: