Accounting 101 for Small Business Startups

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Starting a small business isn't for the faint of heart. Think of it as a huge jigsaw puzzle
that each piece needs to be put perfectly in place in order to have a successful startup.
What happens if there's a few missing pieces? If those missing pieces fall into your
business's accounting, your startup will be shaky. Here's the Accounting 101
information you need to have:

         What is your business structure? You need to choose the best small business
ownership structure for you. Many small businesses choose the simplest of legal
structures, the sole proprietorship, but there are more to choose from. Your choices
include partnership , limited partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or an
S-corp. Knowing which to choose can be confusing, so you might want to talk to an
accountant or, at the very least, do some research so you understand the basics.

          Filing deadlines are different for small businesses than for individuals. We all
know the April 15 th deadline for personal tax returns, but corporate and business
returns are due in March. This mistake could cost you extra fees and penalties for
filing late.

         You'll need an EIN (employer identification number) to file your taxes and to
be recognized by the state. How do you get one? By registering your business with
your state. You should be able to find this information at your state's web site.

        Don't forget to get business insurance when you're tallying up those business
expenses. Whatever risks are associated with your business, you need to get the
proper small business insurance to protect you AND your new business.

         Choose your accounting software and system. Even if you plan on having an
accountant, you still need to have a basic understanding of your business's finances.
Again, if you have any questions, you should talk to an accountant to help you choose

          Are you hiring an accountant and/or bookkeeper? If so, there's no reason to
wait. A financial professional will be able to assist you in all accounting aspects of
starting your small business.

The above is not meant to be an all-inclusive list, but rather a starting point of the
necessities you shouldn't forget to take care of. Your small business startup will go
much smoother, and be much more successful, if you've dealt with the above
accounting issues.

If you are starting a business the Accounting Aisle can help you find the right small
business accountant.