I've stumbled into a fairly successful business. What's next?
April 18, 2012 6:42 PM   Subscribe

How to be the best digital content consulting guy I can be: taxes, subcontracting, incorporation, fees, etc. Your thoughts on freelancing business stuff?

So, business is going well and I'm getting more and more organized. So next steps:
-I've always been 1099 or in any case paid directly. What's the best way to go for myself for now in terms of incorporation, and also down the road if I subcontract or employ a part-timer? Why?
-Where to go for people, after I run out of people I've worked with before and already trust? I'd be looking for writers, editors, Office suite experts, library science types.
-What am I missing in terms of tax and other benefits of working for myself?
-Where should I go on my next vacation?

Thanks guys and gals.
posted by lackutrol to Work & Money (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a CPA? If not, get one. He or she will likely be able to best recommend whether to incorporate, and if so, which type. S/he will advise you how to maximize your deductions and alert you to any benefits you should be going after. Mine is worth...(calculates) 16x what he saves me on taxes. He works with a lot of small business/sole proprietor types and has given me a ton of excellent basic financial planning & management advice.
posted by smirkette at 7:37 PM on April 18, 2012

I highly recommend that you promptly find yourself a competent, experienced CPA. Ask others doing similar work (or work at a similar scale) who they use. A good CPA will be a font of wisdom on these and other questions that will come up.

Mine walked me through S corp vs. straight incorporation vs. sole proprietor and advised me based on my anticipated income and financial responsibilities. He talked with me about drawing a salary from the company (with withholding and company tax contributions) as opposed to simply taking draws and paying quarterly taxes. He helped me set up all the legal paperwork to establish the company with local, state and fed authorities, as well as taught me basic bookkeeping and what would be important to track, how to maintain a firewall from personal finances, what would be deductible expenses, etc. As the business grew, he pointed out options to save taxes and help myself by introducing benefits from retirement plans to insurance, then helped set them up. And of course, he handles my annual tax returns. All that service costs me about $600/year ... the best deal going.

As for finding qualified help, work your network. Undoubtedly, everyone you've worked can recommend at least one or two others. Expand your contacts, identify specialists before you need them and keep in touch even if you don't have any collaborations on the immediate horizon. LinkedIn works well for that.

For your next vacation ... I'm partial to Vegas. YMMV.
posted by peakcomm at 7:40 PM on April 18, 2012

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