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Small Business Checklist

Every new and growing business faces many regulatory challenges that are confusing and distracting from your core mission. Many smart entrepreneurs think they can “do it all” but this is a mistake and takes time away from their critical mission and personal lives. We can help you understand these challenges and implement systems, processes and procedures to manage them. Here are some issues to consider:

1)Don’t co-mingle personal and business funds. Open separate bank and credit card accounts for your business and keep personal expenses separate!

2)Should you incorporate, form an LLC or stay as a sole proprietor? If you form an LLC, do you want to be taxed as a Partnership, a C Corporation or an S Corporation? Your entity type has dramatic implications for the way you pay yourself, the type of tax filings you need to do and so on…

3)You need an accounting system so matter how small you are! QuickBooks Online works very well for most small companies and has hundreds of software applications for the specialized needs of your particular business.

4)Reconciling your bank and credit card accounts is the Holy Grail to making sure you have accounted for everything properly. This is not optional and should be done each month by someone with solid Accounting knowledge.

5)Are you selling taxable products and collecting sales tax appropriately? This is a complex and important area, especially considering how aggressive some taxing authorities are.

6)How are you paying and classifying the people who work for you? Even if they are part-time, they probably do not fit into the category of an “Independent Contractor” and should be paid as W-2 employees.

7)Setting up a payroll service is not difficult – but be careful! Some payroll services cost 5-7 times more than others for the EXACT same level of service!

8)Which vendors do you need to send a 1099s to at the end of the year? The answer is *all of them* unless they are incorporated or you paid them less than $600. It’s important to get W-9s from new vendors up front, but if you didn’t, QuickBooks Online has an easy way for you to obtain them from existing vendors and simplify the year-end IRS filing.

9)Do you know the rules about vacation, sick and Holiday pay? Do you know when you must offer Health Insurance to employees? The answers could surprise you…

10)You need a Human Resources policy to protect yourself from lawsuits or misunderstandings with workers. It needs to include details about vacation, overtime and Holiday pay, any benefits you offer, and your travel and reimbursable expenses policy. We have a template that we can customize for your business and help you clarify the rules.

11)Are you using time cards? If not you should be, and they should be signed by the employees and yourself or designated manager.  You can also use the TSheets application to automate time tracking.

12)Do you need Worker’s Compensation insurance? If you have workers, the answer is yes!

13) Do you understand the various filing and tax deadlines? Tax deadlines are different depending on the type of entity. Some things can be extended and others cannot!

14) Are you reviewing your financial performance on a regular basis? Just knowing that you have cash in the bank is not good enough if you want to scale.

15) Consider the tax benefits of a Pension Plan for your company. A good plan can save you thousands of dollars in taxes an also be a wonderful benefit for your employees.

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