The U.S. Small Business Administration has a very helpful resource for those struggling to decide if they should have a sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited liability company (LLC), corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.
They say that “the business structure you choose influences everything from day-to-day operations, to taxes and how much of your personal assets are at risk. You should choose a business structure that gives you the right balance of legal protections and benefits.”
Here is a link to the resource page on their website.
Newly-opened Small Business Flex Fund program offers low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits
The Washington State Department of Commerce this week launched a new Small Business Flex Fund. The Fund is a public-private partnership aimed at helping small businesses and nonprofits – particularly those in low-income communities – recover and grow as communities reopen for business. Gov. Jay Inslee in November 2020 approved a foundational investment of $30 million for Commerce to create a recovery loan program. Commerce is partnering with several financial institutions and community-based organizations to lend $100 million or more to small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees and annual revenues of less than $3 million.
Qualifying businesses and nonprofits can apply for loans up to $150,000. Loans are available in 60- or 72-month loan terms at interest rates between 3-4.5%. The Fund works with and through local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which serve under resourced communities and underbanked businesses the Small Business Flex Fund aims to help. Interested applicants pre-apply on the Flex Fund’s online portal and, if they qualify, will be matched with a lender. Once matched, the participating lender will assist the business owner throughout the application process and provide additional advisory support. If a business doesn’t qualify, they will be connected to a trusted community organization that can assist with finding other resources. For more information and to apply, visit smallbusinessflexfund.org.
And which ones should you shred?
If your filing cabinet is bursting at the seams, you’re not alone. As a small business owner, you have a lot of paperwork to keep track of – everything from business licenses, employee records, lunch receipts – the list goes on.
Some of the more challenging records to manage are your business’ tax documents and all of their supporting paperwork. Navigating tax document requirements is complicated and is often unchartered territory for a small business.
As a default, many business owners end up unnecessarily saving every last receipt for years and years. Or, they become overwhelmed and throw away important information. Continue reading
From one-person entities to Fortune 500 companies, no business can escape the dreaded task of bookkeeping. While it’s definitely not one of the more glamorous parts of the job, bookkeeping is at the heart of small business success, which means errors can be crippling.
To avoid the financial headaches that come with bookkeeping mismanagement, it’s important first to be aware of the pitfalls that can ensnare you. Continue reading
New entrepreneurs have a long list of to-dos when starting their businesses. Among the tasks to check off that list is deciding their business structure. For small businesses with a sole owner and no (or very few) employees, the two most popular options are:
- Sole proprietorship
- Single-member LLC (Limited Liability Company)
So, which one might be the best choice for your business?
I advise you to consider talking with an attorney and accountant to dig into the advantages and disadvantages of each for your specific situation.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the basic characteristics of each so that you’ll have some fundamental information as you start your research. Continue reading
by Johnnie Hawkins, CPA
Parker Mooers & Cena, Silverdale
Starting in 2020, Washington will be the fifth state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave benefits. This benefit offers partially paid leave to care for yourself or a loved one in times of serious illness or injury, to bond with a new child joining your home through birth, adoption or foster placement, and for certain military-connected events if you have a family member in active duty service. This isn’t like paid sick leave; you will file your claim with the Employment Security Department (ESD), and your payment will come from ESD. Typically, you’ll have access to up to 12 weeks of paid leave.
Premium collection starts on Jan 1, 2019. In 2019, the premium is 0.4% of wages, or $3.85 per week for someone making $50,000 a year. Employers can either pay the full premium or opt to withhold a portion of the premium from their employees. Employers who choose to withhold premiums from their employees may withhold up to 63 percent of the total premium, or $2.44 per week for an employee making $50,000 annually. The employer is responsible for paying the other 37 percent. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the employer portion of the premium but must still collect or opt to pay the employee portion of the premium.
You can learn more about the program at www.paidleave.wa.gov/employers or contact us with questions at 360-692-8808. Continue reading
When you’ve made the transition from working for someone else to being your own boss, you gain the freedom to create your own professional path. You also get additional responsibilities, like paying self-employment tax.
Self-employed individuals are required to not only submit the income tax they owe to the federal, state, and local governments, they must also submit self-employment tax to the IRS.
Who Is a “Self-Employed Individual”?
The IRS defines a self-employed individual as someone who conducts business as a sole proprietor, independent contractor, member of a partnership, or as someone who otherwise is in business for herself or himself.
What is Self-Employment Tax?
According to IRS.gov, “Self-employment tax is a tax consisting of Social Security and Medicare taxes primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners.”
Employees of a company pay half of their Social Security and Medicare taxes (usually withheld from their wages) and the employer pays the other half. However, as a self-employed individual, a business owner must remit the entire amount. Continue reading