Whether you are starting a business or already have a business established, there’s a lot more to business ownership than meets the eye. Of course, conducting market research, writing a business plan, determining a name and location are all elements of those recommended first steps.
But the piece of the puzzle that will always be of utmost priority no matter what stage of life your business is in – is the financial aspect.
Whether it’s Day 1 or Day 10,001, if you do not know your business’ numbers, you don’t know your business.
The finances of your business need to be at the front end of your business planning and that includes planning for taxes, cash flow and the need for a budget.
Taxes – It’s easy for business owners (especially eCommerce businesses) to overlook their tax obligations. Sales and use taxes are among the most commonly overlooked tax obligations. If you commit sales where your company doesn’t have a physical presence, you might be responsible for collecting and remitting taxes from out-of-state providers that don’t collect sales tax.
Owners of sole proprietorships and partnerships might also neglect to add the self-employment tax on top of their income taxes. Whereas employers typically pay the Social Security and Medicare tax for W-2 employees, sole proprietors or partnerships have to shoulder this tax burden and many are unaware of their responsibility to do so.
You might subscribe to the notion that you need to pump all of your available funds back into your business. While this strategy has merit, it can have damaging effects when it comes to balancing your tax plan with positive cash flow. Yes, you need to invest in your business to achieve growth, but you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your tax obligations. Set aside a percentage of your revenue and dedicate funds specifically to your tax obligations.
If you have an “S” corporation and you’re earning a salary, you can set aside tax funds each month. Doing so prevents you from having to dedicate a lump sum at the end of the year that can hinder the health of your cash flow.
If you own an LLC or sole proprietorship, you should allocate some of each draw to a tax saving account. When it comes time to pay your estimated taxes, you can pay them out of the savings account.
You can think of withholding your taxes as a trust fund situation. In this model, you are the trustee holding the funds on behalf of others. Because they will eventually be paid as taxes, you shouldn’t treat these funds as yours; they belong to the government.
With the US tax code being thousands of pages long and changing regularly, coupled with state and municipal level taxes, keeping up with the nuances of tax codes and funding the various taxes is challenging for any small business owner.
That’s why taxes should be on the front end of your business priorities as it is one of the most important aspects of ensuring the health of your business’s cash flow.
Cash Flow – Retaining positive cash flow is one of the most critical aspects to small business financial planning. As a small business owner, cash flow influences everything: your daily operations, inventory, and payroll. You name it and cash flow most likely affects it. It is the lifeblood of your business and you can’t afford to ignore the potential obstacles planning for taxes presents to its health.
Because helping small businesses owners thrive is our passion, we offer a variety of free and paid coaching services. The goal is to equip owners with the knowledge and skills necessary to make their company successful for the long haul. Click below for upcoming coaching events:
- Wed., May 24, 2023 @ 2 PM – “10 Biggest Mistakes that Cost Business Owners THOUSANDS” by Bev Stitely – What are the mistakes? Are you making them? What can you do to combat them? Get Details @ Hagerstown Start Up Week
- “If You Don’t Know Your Numbers, You Don’t Know Your Business” by Bev Stitely – Learn the relevance of these basic financials: Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement, Cost of Goods Sold, Budget vs Actual, Accounts Receivable Aging, Profitability by Service/Product, and Retained Earning/Owner’s Equity. Get Details @ Hagerstown Start Up Week
- June 13, 2023 online 8 -9 am for 10 weeks – “Profit First Intensive” – With training and personal, one-on-one coaching, you will implement an accounting methodology to help you manage and improve cash flow and profit by allocating percentages to cover taxes, profit and expenses. Details for Profit First Intensive
Contact our office at 301-714-2071 or visit www.SaundersTax.com for more information. We have been helping small business owners experience a Less Taxing Life and More Prosperous Solutions since 1984!