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 protected].