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

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23
votes
4answers
2k 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.
15
votes
4answers
9k 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
14k 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
3k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
15k 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?
12
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
907 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?
10
votes
5answers
21k 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 "...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Can my US company buy my foreign company for $1 USD?

I'm a non-US resident and I'm the owner of a Delaware C-corp Inc. I also own a company (equivalent to LLC) in the EU. Although I could "sell" or transfer ownership of my EU company to my US company ...
10
votes
5answers
536 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
497 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
3answers
316 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
6answers
4k views

Why use accounting software like Quickbooks instead of Excel spreadsheets?

Some friends and I are starting a small landscaping cooperative, and are thinking about how we will manage accounting. Places we've worked in the past have used Excel spreadsheets to manage all of ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 company....
9
votes
4answers
203 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
4answers
16k views

Deductible expenses paid with credit card: In which tax year would they fall?

If I paid my business expenses with a credit card during the month of December, which year can I deduct them from my taxes? 2011 (when the purchase was made) or 2012 (when I paid off the credit card)? ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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
141 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
3answers
541 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
4k 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
581 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 $35,...
8
votes
8answers
150 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
337 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
331 views

My Boss owes money but I am named on letter from debt collection agency (UK)

My employer has an outstanding debt with a company he aked me to speak with a couple of years ago. Now that company has my name listed as a "contact". He received a letter from a debt collection ...
7
votes
3answers
374 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
2answers
221 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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
243 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
182 views

Am I required by law to have cash register for my small business (California)?

We have a Point of Sales terminal to handle all credit card transactions. The credit card processor company sends us 1099K form that we use for tax purposes. This works fine for our small beauty salon....
7
votes
1answer
400 views

Can I deduct coffee as a business expense if I work from cafés? (UK)

I have a UK limited company of which I am the sole director and employee. I work from home most days, but occasionally work from my laptop in a local coffee shop when I need to get out of the house. ...
7
votes
1answer
611 views

Determining the minimum dividend that should be paid from my S corporation

I am the sole shareholder and only employee of an S corporation. I understand that all profits of the corporation are passed through and taxed as income to me. I also understand that all dividends ...
7
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
152 views

How to maximize small business 401k contribution?

We own small business (C-Corp without S-election) that currently does not have employees outside the owners (three of us). The business is producing a nice amount of revenue and as of yet none of us ...
7
votes
1answer
621 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
3answers
213 views

Can time invested be considered capital?

If a business owner works for no salary, but puts time and effort into the business, can those hours be considered a capital investment? If so, is there a term for that kind of work? Example 1: A ...
7
votes
1answer
348 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
659 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
6answers
865 views

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

What financial software written for the Mac is good? I need personal (like Quicken), business (simple bookkeeping) and tax software.
6
votes
1answer
1k 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
384 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
1answer
1k 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
192 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
256 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
2answers
192 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
275 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
346 views

Student loan debt and business owner: What's the best loan-payoff strategy?

I graduated from my doctoral pharmacy program 1.5 years ago with ~215k of student loan debt. So far, the balance has been paid down to 170k. The weighted-average of the interest rates is 7%. ...
6
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
260 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
3answers
433 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 pro-...