Over the next few posts we will discuss different corporate structures. Many wonder what corporate structure is right for them when owning a business. These posts will discuss each corporate structure available and when they should be utilized. In this post we will discuss Sole Proprietorship.
A Sole Proprietorship is not a legal entity as far as the state and federal government are concerned. This type of corporate structure is used often for businesses that are just beginning. If you have a side gig that earns you income. If you will only be working a small amount of hours on your business to start. If you aren’t quite sure what corporate structure you should use yet, you will probably use Sole Proprietorship.
Legalities of running a Sole Proprietorship
First you will probably want to register your business with the county you will conduct business in. This is called a DBA or “Doing Business As”. If you plan to conduct business in a name other than your own you will want to register the name you want to use. Registering your business name will enable you to operate using the business name you wish in your county.
As a Sole Proprietor you will be eligible to file a schedule C on your 1040 tax return. A schedule C is a schedule of business expenses that are deductible on your taxes. Not all expenses are tax deductible and some have certain regulations. You may also be eligible to write off vehicle expenses and business use of home.
A corporate veil is the legal protection operating a legally registered corporation provides. As a Sole Proprietor you do not have a corporate veil. If someone initiates legal action against you, your personal assets are unprotected. Only legally registered corporations offer protection of your personal assets.
If you are considering incorporation or need help with accounting or bookkeeping, please feel free to call us for a free consultation at 800-572-4419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to our blog today for more bookkeeping, accounting and HR tips!
You may be wondering if it is time to take your small business to the next level. Maybe you’ve been self-employed and your business has grown. Maybe you secured funding for your business venture from investors. Maybe you’ve been freelancing and want to expand operations. Knowing when to incorporate can save a lot of headache and unnecessary expense.
Being a self-employed owner is often expensive. Paying for costs out of your pocket can add up. Maybe it seems like incorporation would save you money. It doesn’t. Incorporation often makes the cost of running a business go up. State filing fees can range from the 100’s to the 1000’s of dollars depending on your state. Incorporation also puts you on the radar with many state and federal agencies making you liable for taxes and corporate compliance.
Who is Liable?
This is a good question to ask if your business operations involve others. When you are self-employed and are the sole employee of your business you are responsible for only yourself. When you begin hiring employees, open a physical location or start taking on investors, you become liable for others involved in your business as well. When you incorporate you create an entity outside yourself that is liable for your business operations. Any assets like buildings and equipment for your business are owned by your business. Your personal assets such as houses and vehicles remain your own. If someone sues your business, your personal assets are protected and remain your own so long as your corporation is compliant. If you are concerned about liability, hiring W-2 employees or taking on investors, incorporation is a good way to protect yourself and your assets.
When you incorporate your business is required to file its own tax return with the government and the state you operate in. While this is an additional expense, filing taxes as a corporation can also save you money. If your self-employed business is making more than $100,000.00 per year, it may be time to look into incorporation. As a self-employed business owner you are subject to self-employment taxes. Self-employment taxes mimic corporation taxes which can be higher than corporate taxes depending on your income and deductions. You may also be able to deduct more as a business than you can as self-employed. Certain business expenses are not tax deductible unless you file a corporate tax return.
No Longer Flying Solo
If you are taking on a business partner incorporation is probably the way to go. Becoming a corporation, LLC or General Partnership will protect all people involved in the business. Incorporation also involves detailing the percentage ownership and corporate responsibility of each owner. Having a partnership agreement in place does not require incorporation but is almost always a part of incorporation. If you will be accountable to investors, especially investors that own part of your business, incorporation will help protect your personal assets. Keeping your assets separate from your business assets is essential to your personal financial health.
If you have more questions about incorporation and whether it is right for you, feel free to call us at 1-800-572-4419 for a quote and free consultation. You can also email us at email@example.com.
As we head into tax season it is beneficial to know about your itemized and standardized deductions. What is a standardized deduction? Your AGI or Adjusted Gross Income is the amount used to calculate what taxes you owe. To arrive at your AGI the sum of your earnings minus any deductions or tax credit is used. The standardized deduction is the minimum amount the IRS will allow you to deduct from the sum of your earnings to arrive at your AGI.
Itemized deductions & Tax credits
What is an itemized deduction? Itemized deductions are specific expenses that the IRS allows you to deduct from your income to arrive at your AGI. Tax credits are a dollar reduction in the overall amount you owe. For most people the amount of the standardized deduction will be more than the sum of all itemized deductions. You can take either the standardized deduction or the sum of your itemized deductions but not both.
2020 Standardized deduction List
Standard or Single deduction
Married Filing Jointly
Married Filed Separately
Head of Household
If you need someone to file your personal or business taxes feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-572-4419 for a free consultation. We specialized in virtual bookkeeping and accounting services and also offer tax preparation and filing.