Questions specific to small businesses, generally under 100 employees and revenues less than $1,000,000.

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21
votes
4answers
1k views

When should I start an LLC for my side work?

I am doing quite a bit of sidework this year and wondering at what point would it be a good idea to "start a business" and bill through that.
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Will depositing $10k+ checks each month raise red flags with the IRS?

I am a freelancer that runs a small design business (LLC) and I have one client in particular that I regularly do more than $10k per month worth of business with. Sometimes I'll deposit a check for ...
15
votes
3answers
12k views

What to ask for on a business partnership?

I am being asked to provide technical expertise on a technology entrepreneurship. They are offering me equity of the business, in exchange of my work/commitment. I know they will require a capital ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Will I owe any taxes if I can write off every cent?

Does anyone know if I will owe any taxes for my small business if I can write off every cent? My business is based in the United States. I started a small web design business this year and anticipate ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

A merchant requests that checks be made out to “Cash”. Should I be suspicious?

My barber accepts only cash or checks made out to "Cash". Is there a likely legitimate reason she might want the checks made out to "Cash"? Or am I helping her hide her revenue from the IRS?
9
votes
3answers
276 views

Does that mean I'm fooling the US gov?

I'm a foreign student studying in the US. Soon, I'm a launching a website where an American ad agency will handle posting the ads on it from American advertisers and the revenues are supposed to go to ...
9
votes
5answers
457 views

Should I start my own company so I can claim against tax?

I live in the UK and I'm an employed web and mobile phone developer and very occasionally do some work on the side. I've been recently advised by a family member that I should look at starting my own ...
9
votes
4answers
185 views

Do I need a business credit card?

Do I need to have a business credit card for my own company or can I use my personal credit card and just make sure I keep the records. I don't have a lot of expenses so keeping the records is not a ...
9
votes
2answers
706 views

Employer wants a key man insurance policy on me, should I agree?

Friend is working for a small company as main person in charge of operations. The president is asking them to take out a key man life insurance policy on them. The benefit would pay out to the ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Indian citizen working from India as freelancer for U.S.-based company. How to report the income & pay tax in India?

I am an Indian citizen and I work from India as a freelancer for an U.S.-based IT company. I am getting monthly payments directly into my Indian bank account. My colleagues' monthly payment come to my ...
9
votes
4answers
471 views

What's a Letter of Credit? Are funds held in my bank for the amount in question?

Can someone easily cash one? Is it used for business only, or is there an advantage to consumers using them as well?
9
votes
3answers
379 views

Can I withdraw from my Roth IRA retirement account to fund a startup?

I'm 24 years old and have $10k in my retirement accounts (Roth IRA) after about a year with a real job. I'm considering withdrawing the entire balance to support myself for a few months while I ...
9
votes
1answer
881 views

Can I use my Roth IRA to start a business?

I've recently been reading up on Roth IRA to Self-Directed IRA plans. And I've seen a few places that mention their use as a seed-fund to start your own business.. Where can I find the parts of the ...
9
votes
2answers
131 views

Joint Account for Common Earnings

I've started a tutoring group with two of my peers; the three of us are minors in the state of Ohio. We charge a modest fee and generate approximately $2,000 in revenue per month. We plan on charging ...
8
votes
5answers
11k views

Any practical difference between “personal checks” and “business checks”?

I need to order checks for my LLC. I wrote maybe 5 paper checks last year (by hand, not printed). So it doesn't make sense for me to spend $30-40+ on "business checks" if I can spend $5-10 on ...
8
votes
3answers
304 views

What kind of taxes might I incur if I sell off intellectual property from my small software business?

For a little over five years (I started in fall of 2008) I've been developing an app for the iPhone/iPad, and it's been for sale in the App Store for all of that time. I'm in a position now where I ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Full-time work + running small side business: Best business structure for taxes?

Currently I have a full time job (IT industry) but from time to time I do a side project. Most of the times my clients agree to pay me cash as the amounts are not large. However, last year there ...
8
votes
3answers
282 views

Help: Being charged interest on a loan for which I received no statements telling me of this debt for the past 15 years. Surprise!

Is this legal? This was a private loan within a small business. I was under the assumption that the bill was paid in full 15 years ago. My only drawback is that I never got them to sign to verify the ...
7
votes
3answers
310 views

Is it worth working at home to earn money? Can I earn more money working at home?

I am just started using basicallymoney.com... My question would be Is it worth working at home to earn money? Can I earn more money working at home?
7
votes
4answers
752 views

What financial management software (personal, business, tax) is for Mac OS X?

What financial software written for the Mac is good? I need personal (like Quicken), business (simple bookkeeping) and tax software.
7
votes
1answer
997 views

Borrowed money from a friend for my business, & can't pay it back. Got a lawyer's letter. What can happen?

I borrowed some money from a friend of mine for use in my business and I am not able to pay back to him now due to the bad business. Actually, he put the money into my business first and later decided ...
7
votes
2answers
182 views

What are the ongoing administrative requirements associated with running a small business that is incorporated?

Throughout my career, I've done some development and consulting projects in addition to my full time job. I've always just reported the income on my personal income tax forms. Now that I am getting ...
7
votes
1answer
508 views

When it comes to doing business taxes, do bank statements and bills work in place of receipts?

Just at the beginning of this year, I started a business (not fully, but I've started doing jobs for it). Up until March, when I did my personal taxes, I had no idea what kinds of things I could write ...
7
votes
1answer
219 views

How does one's personal credit history affect one's own company's credit rating?

Quick background: I have no intention whatsoever on actually getting any loan. However, to accept online credit card payments (eg. via Paypal Payments Pro), merchant account providers determine ...
6
votes
3answers
221 views

How high should I set my KickStarter funding goal in order to have $35,000 left over?

I'm creating a KickStarter to raise enough funds to take 3 months off from my full-time job and finish an iOS game that I've been working on for about 3 years now. Put simply, all I need is about ...
6
votes
3answers
495 views

What are the ins/outs of writing equipment purchases off as business expenses in a home based business?

I'm currently self-employed doing computer programming work. As part of self-employment I'm learning about filing taxes quarterly (not fun) and also writing things off as business expenses ...
6
votes
1answer
781 views

What are the benefits and downsides to an LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship vs. Individiual?

As a followup to my previous question, what benefits are there for an LLC vs. a Sole Proprietorship? What are advantages and disadvantages to both and also vs. just being paid as a person?
6
votes
2answers
192 views

Are there any viable alternatives to Paypal for a small site?

I don't want to have the hassle of dealing with credit card or direct payments directly on my website, the volume and amount of transactions don't justify the effort. I've set up Paypal on the site ...
6
votes
1answer
717 views

Funds in closed bank account have gone to the government

My son was advised by his accountant to close his limited company and start a partnership instead. He did this but he was not told that he needed to clear the company bank account - he left this open ...
6
votes
2answers
307 views

I may earn a lot of cash soon through self-employment on a lucrative project. How to handle the tax?

I'm in Canada, and am young and don't know anything about finance. I've been working part-time as a software consultant for a friend who's starting a marketing company. He recently landed a job with ...
6
votes
2answers
172 views

Should I take contributions out of my Roth IRA to live off of?

My current contract is ending, with no future job immediately lined up. I have a few thousand dollars in my checking/savings accounts, and a significant amount of cash in my Roth IRA. I have no debt. ...
6
votes
2answers
142 views

Why Are Credit Card Rates Increasing / Credit Limits Falling?

I thought that there was recent legislation passed that forbid banks for jacking up rates as they had been doing from late 2008 into the first half of 2009. All of my credit cards have seen increases ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Accounting for payment into wrong currency account

I deal with clients in several countries and have two bank accounts in two currencies. Recently, I sent out an invoice with the wrong bank account number, so a client invoiced in SGD made a payment ...
6
votes
1answer
300 views

I have a 401k loan used for a house down payment and now I am changing jobs: What should I do?

I guess this could be a cautionary tale, but I am hoping it can be remedied. I had a job that I am leaving, but I had took a 401k loan to put down on a house. I don't have the money to pay it back ...
5
votes
7answers
244 views

What's the best application, software or tool that can be used to track time?

For instance, a contractor, lawyer, accountant etc. would want the ability to easily track time spent on tasks or client activities, without having to manually log/track via spreadsheet. Are there ...
5
votes
8answers
125 views

Finding a good small business CPA?

Maybe I've just had bad luck, but the four CPAs I've met so far with have been morons. The first one I found on superpages and he couldn't help me set a structure for my LLC. Didn't know what ...
5
votes
3answers
314 views

What to do if my aging father is sustaining a hobby that is losing several thousand dollars every month?

My grandfather owned a large and successful bookstore company. My father became was the manager of this company. Due to political reasons, my father was kicked out this family business. (He was ...
5
votes
2answers
256 views

Outstanding cosigned loan and Bankrupt ex-partner

Background: I started a business (LLC) with a partner about 3 years ago. We took out a business Line of Credit. Because the business didn't have credit of its own, we both cosigned. 1.5 years ago ...
5
votes
3answers
881 views

I am the sole owner of an LLC. Does it make a difference if I file as an S-Corp or a sole-member LLC?

As an LLC with one owner, I had the option of filing using Schedule C on my household taxes, effectively treating business income (in this case, losses) as I would a sole proprietorship. My plan had ...
5
votes
4answers
888 views

What's the difference between TaxAct and TurboTax?

I've always used TurboTax, but found an edition of TaxAct that will do state, federal plus schedule c for about 33 percent of the price of the Turbotax edition? Does TaxAct not do some important ...
5
votes
1answer
471 views

Sole proprietorship or LLC?

At what point in the life of a small business would you choose to do a LLC over a sole proprietorship? What's the advantage, and what's the cost of doing an LLC?
5
votes
2answers
155 views

I started some small businesses but need help figuring out taxes. Should I hire a CPA?

I've got a couple of small businesses I run. I started them in the last couple of months. I feel lost when it comes to my taxes. I know I should be paying something, but I'm not real sure where to ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Small business tax dates, what is “the date” of a job?

I work to a tax year that starts on the 6th of April. I have a number of jobs which before this date are: "in the pipeline" i.e. in my order book work in progress finished not invoiced finished and ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

How much should I charge for shipping as a function of unit weight?

I am setting up an e-commerce site that sells workbooks. I would like to calculate an estimated shipping fee based on the total weight of the items purchased. The per-unit weights are as follows: ...
5
votes
3answers
110 views

As an employer, how do I start a 401k or traditional IRA plan?

As a small business owner, what are the requirements for me to start a 401k or traditional IRA fund? How much do they cost to manage? I'm in the very early stages of my company right now but I would ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

How to Transition From Employee to Employer?

I know Making the transition from employee to employer requires financial stability, a good business plan, self-confidence and a lot of discipline. But i am looking for some instructions/tips from ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

How much money/time should be re-invested in your own business, as a contractor?

As a contractor, you realize how valuable your time is - but undoubtedly, an investment back into skills update training or in marketing your business is worth the time you would otherwise spend ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do banks require small businesses to open a business bank account instead of a cheaper personal one?

I understand the need to separate personal finances and the business finances, be it sole-proprietorship or incorporation. I also understand that in the former it's optional, but in the latter it is ...
4
votes
3answers
399 views

What's “wrong” with taking money from your own business?

Let's say there is a small business owner of a business that employs 30 people. From time to time, that business owner takes and/or borrows money from the business for personal expenses, like home ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

I'm self-employed with my own LLC. How should I pay myself, given my situation?

I do a ton of freelance web design and decided to setup a simple LLC so I could have a credit card to make business purchases with. From my limited understanding, I can choose to be taxed as an S-corp ...