My New Business!

Where and How To Begin!

Starting a business can be scary!  There are so many tasks that must be completed to ensure your business is operating in compliance with the IRS, your State, your County and your City!  And most of the time, many of these tasks must be completed simultaneously, causing confusion and a feeling of being overwhelmed.  

 

Don't doubt yourself when this happens!  This is the time that you should realize you cannot wear every single hat and while you can never delegate accountability, you CAN and SHOULD delegate responsibility.  Choose trusted advisors that can help you in areas that are not your specialty and rely on them to build your team.  This will allow you the time and energy to focus on your own area of expertise - what you do best!

Before you begin any new venture, it is important to review WHY you are doing this and to know your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (AKA, SWOT Analysis).  This will help you determine the areas you may need some guidance in.  And, today is the perfect time (no time like the present!) to figure out exactly what you have done, and what remains to be completed to ensure you are, and remain, in compliance.


Calculating Mileage and Home Office Deductions:

Mileage Deduction

You are going to want to keep a mileage log (and may need to recreate one from the beginning of the year if you are not already keeping one).  You mus track what is shown below.  Some clients like to use Mile IQ which is fine, but keep in mind it needs to be properly set up (with addresses).  You cannot just enter St. Cloud to Orlando – Business for the entire log.

Mileage (You must have a written mileage log even if you claim actual receipts):

a.      Year, make and model of the vehicle

b.      Starting odometer on January 1st (of the tax year)

c.      Ending odometer on December 31st (of the same tax year)

d.      Total business miles

Also keep in mind that if you are using a personal vehicle for business, you may want to consider obtaining Commercial Vehicle Insurance for liability protection.

 

Home Office Deduction

To take a home office deduction, you must have a separate and distinct area of your home used solely for business.  To track this, there are two options.  You can track actual expenses and we then take a percentage at the end of the year OR we can do the “simplified method”.

Actual Receipts Method:

a.      Square footage of the home

b.      Square footage of the office area

c.      If your own your home, we need (total paid for the year): utilities, mortgage interest, property taxes, home owners’ insurance, cleaning, home security, water bill, internet only, landscaping and any improvements made to the home that also affect the office area

d.     If you rent your home, the we need the total rent paid for the year and total fees for utilities, home security, cleaning, renters’ insurance, internet only and any improvements to the rental that affect the office area

 

Simplified Method:

 

Or, if you choose to not itemize your expenses on the home office deduction and use the Simplified Method, we simply take $5 per square foot deduction for home office , up to 300 square feet, (a total of $1500 deduction), no questions asked, no expenses needed!  Then, there is no depreciation recapture when you sell the property if you own the home. 


Helpful Downloads When Starting a New Business:

Download
Start here to review your business purpose, mission and long-term goals!
In-Touch Action Plan - 1 of 2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 192.5 KB
Download
Use this checklist to ensure you opened your business correctly and understand how you are taxed!
In-Touch Action Plan - 2 of 2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 88.7 KB
Download
If you are just beginning to think about starting a business, check out this process overview!
Starting_a_Business_2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 156.4 KB
Download
Managing your Business and some practical advice!
Business_Management_Tips_2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 192.7 KB
Download
To avoid complications in an audit, make sure you understand proper record-keeping for tax purposes!
Record Keeping for Tax Purposes.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 424.3 KB
Download
Whether you have an LLC or Corporation (or are taxed as one), you have meeting requirements!
Corporation Meeting Requirements.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 157.8 KB
Download
If you work from home, you most likely have a qualified "home office" - record-keeping is key!
Business Use of Home.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 342.5 KB
Download
If you claim mileage, a proper log is required - understand EARLY what you need to do!
Mileage and Expense Log.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 199.8 KB
Download
Confused about what is a "business expense" or "write-off", get some advice before you start!
Business Expenses Worksheet for Clients.
Adobe Acrobat Document 140.5 KB

If any of these guidelines are confusing or you feel you may need more assistance, please call our office.  We specialize in helping small and new businesses get started on the right path, save time and money and gain peace of mind!  And for existing and larger businesses, sometimes a fresh perspective on your tax situation is all you need to save money for the future!  Together, let's plan today for a successful tomorrow! 

Download
Learn more about One Stop Consulting Shop today! We would love the opportunity to become your team of trusted accounting and tax advisors!
Company Overview.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 288.7 KB