Four Tips for Starting a Business

Are you thinking of going into business for yourself?  If you are ready to make that plunge then you need to understand the tax obligations before proceeding.  Here are four things you need to know before taking that step.

1.      Business structure:  One of the first choices you need to make is to decide the type of structure for your business.  The most common types are sole proprietor, partnership and corporationThe type of business you choose determines which tax forms to file.  Making the correct choice is crucial if you want to minimize the amount of tax you are required to pay.

2.      Business taxes: The four general types of business taxes are; income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax.  The type of tax your business pays depends on the business structure you choose.

3.      Employer identification number or EIN:  You may need to apply for and get an EIN for federal tax purposes.  If you choose to be taxed as a sole proprietor and have no employees, you may not need to apply for one.   But most other structures will need one.


4.      Accounting method:  An accounting method is a set of rules that you use to determine when to report income and expenses.  Once you choose which method you want to use, you need to use this method every year.  Although, you can change it, it is much better to choose which method to use from day one.  The three most common methods are cash, accrual and hybrid methods.