3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: March 13

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Small business tax reform proposed. Rep. David Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, proposed on Tuesday a set of reforms aimed at tax relief for small businesses.

Camp is hoping to spur job creation and higher wages for workers by reducing the burden the tax code places on small businesses, according to Accounting Today.

Components of the draft proposal include: a permanent Section 179 deduction for equipment expensing and greater uniformity between S corporations and partnerships.

"The document would also simplify tax and accounting practices by expanding the use of the simpler 'cash accounting' method to businesses with gross receipts of $10 million or less," the article says. "In addition, it would provide relief for start-up and organizational costs by establishing a unified deduction for these expenses; and make tax compliance easier for partners and S corporation shareholders by reordering and simplifying the due dates of tax returns for partners and S corporations."

2. The coolest college startups. Check out Inc.com's 2013 roster of the 12 most promising "dorm-room"-incubated ideas as well as the "tech-savvy, app-happy, socially-conscious undergrads" behind them.

The group includes a chocolatier, a seamstress, an obesity-fighting gamer and a group of car-sharing chauffeurs, Inc.com says.

3. New patent law to take effect this weekend. In September 2011, President Obama signed into law the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, also known as the Patent Reform Act of 2011, one of the most significant changes to the U.S. patent system in history. The law officially goes into effect on Saturday.

The biggest change to the system that the new law puts in place is the change in guidelines from a "first to invent" to "first to file" system.

"Essentially, where two companies invent the same thing, it is a 'race' to the patent office to see who files their patent applications first and takes priority on patent rights," according to a December VentureBeat article.

"This cutthroat approach to patenting inventions is a motivation for inventors to quickly file for patent protection or risk losing out on those rights if another inventor files his patent application earlier," the article says.

According to research by the Web site Rocket Lawyer, 47% of small-business owners and entrepreneurs are more likely to file a patent in the new system, but only 9% are aware of the changes it will bring, despite understanding the difference between first-to-file and first-to-invent.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

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