Starting a Home-Based Business

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Any bookkeeping, business or tax article contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues, nor a substitute for a formal opinion, nor can it be used to avoid tax-related penalties. If desired, we would be pleased to perform the requisite research and provide you with a detailed written analysis. Such an engagement may be the subject of a separate engagement letter that would define the scope and limits of the desired consultation services.

More than half of all businesses today are home-based. Every day, people are striking out and achieving economic and creative independence by turning their skills into dollars. Garages, basements, and attics are being transformed into the corporate headquarters of the newest entrepreneurs – home-based business people.

And, with technological advances in smartphones, tablets, and iPads as well as rising demand for “service-oriented” businesses, the opportunities seem to be endless.

Is a Home-Based Business Right for You?

Choosing a home business is like choosing a spouse or partner: Think carefully before starting the business. Instead of plunging right in, take the time to learn as much about the market for any product or service as you can. Before you invest any time, effort, or money take a few moments to answer the following questions:

  • Can you describe in detail the business you plan on establishing?
  • What will be your product or service?
  • Is there a demand for your product or service?
  • Can you identify the target market for your product or service?
  • Do you have the talent and expertise needed to compete successfully?

Before you dive headfirst into a home-based business, you must know why you are doing it and how you will do it. To achieve success your business must be based on something greater than a desire to be your own boss and involves an honest assessment of your personality, an understanding of what’s involved, and a lot of hard work. You have to be willing to plan for the long-term and be willing to make improvements and adjustments along the way.

While there are no “best” or “right” reasons for starting a home-based business, it is vital to have a very clear idea of what you are getting into and why. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you a self-starter?
  • Can you stick to business if you’re working at home?
  • Do you have the necessary self-discipline to maintain schedules?
  • Can you deal with the isolation of working from home?

Working under the same roof that your family lives under may not prove to be as easy as it seems. It is important that you work in a professional environment. If at all possible, you should set up a separate office in your home. You must consider whether your home has space for a business and whether you can successfully run the business from your home. If so, you may qualify for a tax break called the home office deduction. Please call if you’d like more information about this tax break or to find out if you qualify for the deduction.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

A home-based business is subject to many of the same laws and regulations affecting other businesses, and you will be responsible for complying with them. There are some general areas to watch out for, but be sure to consult an attorney and your state department of labor to find out which laws and regulations will affect your business.

Zoning

Be aware of your city’s zoning regulations. If your business operates in violation of them, you could be fined or closed down.

Restrictions on Certain Goods

Certain products may not be produced in the home. Most states outlaw home production of fireworks, drugs, poisons, sanitary or medical products, and toys. Some states also prohibit home-based businesses from making food, drink, or clothing.

Registration and Accounting Requirements

You may need the following:

  • Work certificate or a license from the state (your business’s name may also need to be registered with the state)
  • Sales tax number
  • Separate business telephone
  • Separate business bank account

If your business has employees, you are responsible for withholding income, social security, and Medicare taxes, as well as complying with minimum wage and employee health and safety laws.

Planning Techniques

Money fuels all businesses. With a little planning, you’ll find that you can avoid most financial difficulties. When drawing up a financial plan, don’t worry about using estimates. The process of thinking through these questions helps develop your business skills and leads to solid financial planning.

Estimating Start-Up Costs

To estimate your start-up costs include all initial expenses such as fees, licenses, permits, telephone deposit, tools, office equipment, and promotional expenses. In addition, business experts say you should not expect a profit for the first eight to ten months, so be sure to give yourself enough of a cushion if you need it.

Projecting Operating Expenses

Include salaries, utilities, office supplies, loan payments, taxes, legal services, and insurance premiums, and don’t forget to include your normal living expenses. Your business must not only meet its own needs but make sure it meets yours as well.

Projecting Income

One of the most important skills you will need is knowing how to estimate your sales on a daily and monthly basis. From the sales estimates, you can develop projected income statements, break-even points, and cash-flow statements. Use your marketing research to estimate the initial sales volume.

Determining Cash Flow

Working capital – not profits – pays your bills. Even though your assets may look great on the balance sheet, if your cash is tied up in receivables or equipment, your business is technically insolvent. In other words, you’re broke.

Make a list of all anticipated expenses and projected income for each week and month. If you see a cash-flow crisis developing, cut back on everything but the necessities.

If a home-based business is in your future, then a tax professional can help. Don’t hesitate to call if you need assistance setting-up your business or making sure you have the proper documentation in place to satisfy the IRS.

Share this post NOw

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Small Business Financial Services

We help you cut through the clutter and noise and help you focus on a clear path to success. We help you succeed with a reliable bookkeeping, payroll support and income tax reporting.
Learn more

Individual Income Tax Services and IRS Response Assistance

Stressed during tax season? Surprised with a huge tax bill? Receiving an IRS letter? FAS can help make your year-end tax compliance less stressful with professional tax services.
Learn more

US and Canada Cross Border Tax Services

Our experienced staff, combined with our US and Canada locations, allows us to provide the tax support you need, wherever you are, at home or abroad.
Learn more

Running a small business is an extremely challenging task. However with a team like FAS, I do not have to worry about our bookkeeping and tax services.

They are truly great team!
Garage Guys Automotive

Very responsive! FAS bookkeeping service has been an integral part of my consulting business.

I highly recommend FAS to business owners who are looking for a reliable business partner to handle their bookkeeping needs.

Bruce Saxton

I have known Christy for about 5 years. She has assisted several of my clients and me personally.

If you are a business owner, Christy makes an outstanding strategic partner. I highly recommend her.

Gerry Brisson

I started looking for a new bookkeeping and tax service firm as my company was no longer getting the service that we deserve from a bookkeeping firm.

I highly recommend FAS to business owners who are looking for a reliable and professional bookkeeping and tax preparation service firm.

Mark Sargent

 Because of the nature of my business and report requirements from corporate that are time-sensitive.

I can count on Cristy and her team’s eye for detail and reliability to deliver accurate and timely financial information.

Terri Foster

We've been with FAS for years and they are one of the most professional and honest people we've worked with.

I highly recommend Cristy, Dennis and FAS Bookkeeping & Tax Services Firm.

Katie To

Being a small business owner means we’re always constrained by time and resource.

I highly recommend FAS for your bookkeeping and tax preparation needs.

Roy Andrade
FAS, with Cristy & Dennis, has been an important part of our progress as a company and I will not hesitate recommending them to business owners who are looking for a serious business partner for such a sensitive financial matter.
Jorge Vasquez
I have referred Cristy to many of our clients and have always been impressed by her professionalism and dedication to her customers.

If you own a small business and operate in the Houston or Katy area you will benefit from working with Cristy on your financials
Roland Parker
Christy is an awesome bookkeeper and adviser. I highly recommend her for personal tax and business tax.

Not only she help with our taxes, she even organize our entire book keeping for very reasonable price.
Kayla Cory
FAS is the best bookkeeping services I have encountered in my 39 years of self employment. They are hard working, ethical and honest in every aspect of their professional lives.

Both Dennis and Cristy have gone way beyond their normal duties to provide services at the highest level.
Marv Conway