Awesome Ideas for Home Business Record Keeping Good record keeping is essential for any business, but even small home businesses need to nail down this particular aspect of operations. Any home based small business entrepreneur should research and know their applicable laws from municipal up to federal levels. It is a crying shame when a potentially successful home business starts up and then bleeds money it could have otherwise saved simply because some unknown rule or regulation was not followed or taken advantage of. Before you start a home business, do your homework on the laws surrounding it. Finding information at the federal level is usually pretty easy to do online. However, finding out your specific state and local city ordinances can take a little more work. You might have to actually resort to analog methods of research like calling or visiting departments of commerce. Make sure that you have an accountant. They can tell you all the ins and outs of any related or applicable tax codes. On the other hand, if you are comfortable and willing, it is possible to do all this homework yourself and save the fees an accountant would charge in lieu of giving up your own time. Accountants do offer trained and educated professional assistance though, and if there are mistakes on tax preparations they sign off on, they are the one responsible, not you. It can be hard to do sometimes, but business records need to be completely differentiated from personal and/or household records. Tax agencies and government agents like to see clear lines drawn between personal and professional financial matters, and this line will be looked for and enforced at tax time. Keep copies of all your records. This collection can either be hard copy or electronic. Your best bet is a hard copy collection in a fireproof safe or container, with an off-site digital backup somewhere else, uploaded daily online. Make sure your filing system tracks everything, but also make sure that it works for you. Set it up in an intuitive manner so that you can locate any particular copy or document you need at a moment's notice. There are lots of possible tax breaks for home based and small businesses, as politicians are always eager to pass legislation making it easier for someone with an idea to start and operate a business. Taking advantage of all of them is just a matter of finding them out and then following the steps to maximize your possible advantages. All of this means a thorough paper trail. You want your home business to be a source of easy money in a line of work that you do from the comfort of your own residence. You do not want your home business to be an issue at tax time, or in any legal matter. Keep a professional mindset about your record keeping, and you can have the paper trail you need to both protect your interests and make the most of all the perks and tax breaks available to residential entrepreneurs.