Business on a Shoestring

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 by   No Comments Yet | Posted in Uncategorized · Workshops

This would be a class for writers who either don’t want to or can’t afford to hire an attorney to set up and organize their small business for them. It would also be for the writer who is unsure whether setting up a business for their writing career is advantageous or not.

The class will deal will businesses in the US and Canada.

Is you writing career a business or a hobby, what’s the difference, and why does it matter? If you’ve finished your novel, magazine article, and/or non-fiction work and are ready to send it out, now what? Are you really ready for it to sell? Have you thought about how to handle all the business details that come with success? Are you taking advantage of the tax breaks that come from simply finishing the work-in-progress? What if you consider your writing business a career but don’t have anything ready to send out?

Did you know there are legal tax tricks that can save you money on income taxes? Do you know how to set up a small business and deal with things like getting a tax ID number? Do you know how to avoid a random audit on your business and/or personal income taxes and how to keep red flags off your tax returns? Should you set up a, sole proprietorship, corporation or an LLC? And how do you make a small business a sub-chapter S corporation? What are the tax advantages of doing so? What is a registered agent, why do you need one, and how do you get one? How do you prepare the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, etc., for your small business? When should you just use an assumed name for your business, and how do you get one? Will your small business require a business license?

The class will handle all this and more. From whether or not setting up a structured small business is the right decision for you, to how to go about setting it up, what kind of business to set up, and how to minimize your tax liability. All on a shoestring. If you’re serious about being a professional writer, this class is for you.

Lesson Plan

This is a four week class with two lessons a week as described below and plenty of time for questions and responses:

  1. Business or Hobby. Which category does your writing fall under? How to tell the difference, and what that difference makes with regard to your taxes.
  2. Which Type of Business Entity Should You Choose? The different types of businesses and how to decide which one is right for you: Assumed Business Name, Corporation, LLC, or Sub-Chapter S Corporation—advantages and disadvantages of each.
  3. Setting Up the Business—What You Need to Do – Part 1. Step by step instructions.
  4. Setting up the Business—What You Need to Do—Part 2. As this is complicated and there’s a great deal of information, it’s broken up into two parts.
  5. Getting Started—If You’re Going to Do It, Do It Right. How to organize your business the right way from the very beginning so you have more time for writing.
  6. The Dreaded Tax Monster—Part 1. Employer Identification Number (EIN)—when you need one and how to get one. What tax forms to file for the different types of businesses, how to avoid random audits, how to classify your business with the IRS, and how to keep red flags off your tax returns so you don’t get audited. If you have employees—state and federal payroll taxes, employee W-2s /1099s and when they apply to your business, how to set up an account to pay employee payroll taxes, pitfalls you need to be aware of as an employer. Independent Contractors, what they are and how they apply to your business. Independent Contractor Agreements and Non-Disclosure Agreements, when you need them, how to create them, and what to look for before you sign one as an independent contractor yourself.
  7. The Dreaded Tax Monster—Part 2. Ditto to Lesson 3.
  8. Legal Pitfalls. Things to watch out for so you don’t get sued, how to protect yourself, and what to do if the worst happens.  Resources, links, and where to go for help when you need it.

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