If you’re new to business, then wrapping your arms around your tax obligations can seem like an uphill task. The first question you need to ask yourself is which tax laws impact your business from the get-go? It may be safe to assume that your tax obligations kick in once you start making a profit. Not necessarily. Each business is different.
If you hire employees, you’ll have payroll tax obligations. If you operate a retail business, there’s sales tax to deal with. Then there are quarterly estimated tax payments (the self-employed equivalent of withholding).
To help you navigate the business tax landscape, here’s a quick overview of key tax obligations that may impact you.
Understand how your Business Structure Impacts your Tax Obligations
How you legally structure your business will affect your tax situation. For example, if your business is an LLC, the LLC gets taxed separate from the owners. While sole proprietors report their personal and business income taxes on the same form (Form 1040).
At the state level, you will encounter several tax obligations – sales tax, property tax, income tax, unemployment insurance tax, and more. The SBA offers more information on how your business structure determines your tax obligations (plus links to the necessary forms and portals for registering your business with the right tax authority):
- Determine your Federal Tax Obligations
- Determine your State Tax Obligations
Continue reading Just Started A Business? Understand Your Tax Obligations
Starting a business is an exciting proposition, but it’s also an incredibly challenging undertaking. The resources in this section will help you learn about what it takes to start a business.
Great business mentors can have an enormous impact on early-stage startups. Their connections can open doors that would otherwise be closed and their experiences can save entrepreneurs from suffering from the same startup mistakes they’ve already made.
Here are three steps for finding the most experienced mentor to help bring your startup idea to the next level:
1. Recognize what makes a great mentor.
At TechStars, we’ve found that the best mentors are those who ask a lot of tough questions and challenge you to exceed your goals. In doing so, they should share their own experiences and help you uncover new opportunities.
But the best mentors shouldn’t tell you exactly what to do. They understand their role as an advisor and that it’s your company to run, not theirs. Those who tell entrepreneurs what to do, and become upset when their instructions aren’t followed, often cause more damage than good.
2. Find a good fit.
A common mistake we’ve seen is going straight at the busiest, most well-known, most visible mentors. While this may occasionally work, it’s often more productive to analyze your own close network and look locally for mentors whom you respect with relevant experience.
To make that first connection, you might try sending a short email explaining what your startup is doing and why you are reaching out. Avoid “form” emails and always make it relevant and easy for the prospective mentor to help. Take a few minutes to read the person’s blog or Twitter account and learn about his or her background so you can personalize your note. Continue reading 3 Steps To Finding A Business Mentor