Paystubs for Freelancers
February 18, 2008 3:42 PM   Subscribe

How do I make pay stubs for myself as a freelancer.

I'm a freelance web designer and I have my own corporation with a corporate bank account.

I want to be able to have "paystubs" to represent myself paying myself from my company. Basically, whenever I apply for apartments or car loans they ask for these damn paystubs, and so I want to show that I'm gainfully employed.

Is there some software I should be using? maybe quicken? any tips from other freelancers who've had to get loans, or rent an apartment as to how they managed to play the financial game.
posted by philosophistry to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Where I live, they call that self-employed and ask to see tax returns as proof of income instead.
posted by b33j at 3:49 PM on February 18, 2008

the real question, are you paying yourself on a W2 or 1099 basis?

The reason I ask is that it doesn't seem like it would be a good idea to make up paystubs for yourself if you're 1099 - it could be interpreted as misrepresenting your true employment status. For an apartment, that might not be a huge deal, but misrepresenting income on a car loan could be considered loan fraud.
posted by deadmessenger at 3:51 PM on February 18, 2008

if you are self-employed—and you declare yourself as such—then they would not be asking for "paystubs."

i have been self-employed for 6.5 years and in that time have bought a house and a new car. i've never had any problems with the loans for either. the only drawback is that you will most likely pay a slightly higher interest rate on loans due to your self-employed status.
posted by violetk at 4:11 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you have a corporation and are paying yourself, you probably have some accounting software. Quickbooks has the capacity to produce paystubs though I have never had to use this feature. Check your software
posted by Xurando at 4:21 PM on February 18, 2008

If you are the typical freelancer, you are "self employed", and receive a 1099 from your clients. Generally, where an employee would provide paystubs, a freelancer would provide copies of a 1040 for the last couple of years.

If your clients are paying your corporate shell, and you are paying yourself a salary from that corporate shell, than you better be withholding payroll taxes, FICA, Social Security, and the others (just like any other employer would do for an employee). Most small businesses use a payroll service for this (and you get checks or direct-deposit certificates with stubs that look like everyone else's). At the end of the year, your corporation gives you a W2 (again, usually through the payroll service).

Get thee to an accountant. They'll help you do this stuff correctly.
posted by toxic at 4:37 PM on February 18, 2008

I'm going to assume you aren't doing anything sketchy or illegal and just need a paystub to show agencies who can't comprehend why you wouldn't have a stub.

I was in a similar situation a few years ago when my employer paid me with a handwritten check without a stub. It wasn't anything shady and all the proper amounts were withheld and I received a handwritten breakdown of the amounts - there just was no stub. When I changed apartments, the rental agency literally couldn't wrap their heads around the concept of no paystub.

What I did was whip up a lovely MS Word table that was based on the stub I received at my previous job. I filled in the correct amounts based on the handwritten breakdown given by my boss. When it was printed it looked exactly like a "real" check stub.

I used my faux stub technique successfully several times while at that job for an apartment and a car loan.
posted by Sheppagus at 2:08 PM on February 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everybody for chiming in.
posted by philosophistry at 6:12 AM on February 21, 2008

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