Sunday, January 17, 2010

DEC Small Business Tax Workshop

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Ohio, offered a Tax Workshop in December for small business owners to learn about managing potential financial risks associated with running a small business. Neil Shnider, the founder of The Shnider Group Business and Management Resources, presented the workshop. Many legal aspects of starting a business were covered as well as guidelines of what is necessary to include in a startup business plan. Here are a few highlights that may help other business owners:

1.) Have a good insurance agent – because being sued is certainly a high possibility.
2.) Hire a lawyer and stay in constant contact with him/her – after all, you are paying for their services.
3.) Have an accountant – a CPA is even better because they know tax law and codes, unlike accountants.
4.) Do business with a trusted banker – people at the institution can be helpful in a small business owner’s tough financial times with lines of credit, term loans etc.

These four central points form your advisory board to help you stay out of trouble and make good decisions. Selecting the individuals to work with your legal aspects is almost as important as selecting new employees for the success of your business.

We’ve included a few Q&A’s that you might be interested in.

How do I select the right lawyer, banker, accountant, etc. for me?
- Set up several interviews. This will give a good chance to see how each professional compares to others in his/her field. You want them to be knowledgeable, so make sure they know more than you. Also, make sure the both of you can have decent conversation together – synergy is important when selecting advisors.

Do I need an employee ID number?
- If you have employees, you are required to get an employee number by law. If you are a non-entity or a single employee then it is not required. Either way, it’s free to get one, so it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and fill out the paperwork for it. Your employee ID number (EIN) will take the place of your SSN in many instances and will be easier to grow your business if you already have your EIN in place.

What about tax deductibles?
- Deductions are defined as any ordinary expense for your business that contributes to the generation of revenue. Automobile records need to be detailed and frequently updated; beginning miles, ending miles, and the purpose for your trip are adequate to write-off travel expenses. All other expenses must be logged in detail as well.

The Tax Workshop hosted by the SBDC, occurs at the DEC once a year. Please take a look at the upcoming calendar of events for a complete schedule of free events for small business owners.

-Kevin Uland


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January 21, 2010 at 12:29 AM  

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