I've been thinking of starting a small business hanging suspended
ceilings. I'll be doing pretty much weekend work. No huge jobs as I
will be a one man show. I have never run a small business. I've hung
probably 15 ceilings for friends and family. I have all the tools, a
van, I'm good at it and enjoy doing it. I want to do this legally (pay
taxes etc...). I have been on a few sites (sba.gov is one of them) but
would like to hear from people also. Do I need a contractor's
license for this in Ma even if I am my only employee? I know that in
Massachusetts you are taxed big time but can write all of your expenses
off. I imagine that I will need insurance. Any tips, advise etc would
be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
You need a license, you need insurance. Since you are asking about expense
write off, you need an accountant for at least an initial consultation and
perhaps for your yearly taxes. You can write off direct expenses, but
trucks and some expensive tools need to be amortized. You will need
meticulous record keeping if you are mixing personal tools, office space,
telephone, with the business items. Keep in mind that you will be paying
self employment tax at the end of the year (double what your employer takes
out for SS tax)
You probably have to charge more than you think you do to cover all these
expenses and take home a fair wage.
1. Take "Bookkeeping 101" at your local community college.
2. Work for a company - for free if necessary - doing what you want to do. I
know one chap who rode the train twice a week for six months, from
Philadelphia to Manhattan, so he could intern (for free) at a shop similar
to what he was contemplating.
3. Incorporate in Delaware or Nevada (e.g., see "The Company Corporation").
4. Register said corporation with your state's Secretary of State and
perhaps your county's assumed name department.
5. A bank account and perhaps a company credit card.
6. Get close to a tax attorney.
7. Get a concealed handgun permit (oops, I forgot, Massachusetts).
At a minimum, you'll need an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the
IRS and a state sales tax permit. You may also need various licenses,
including such things as a permit to dispose of hazardous waste, health
certificates, enrollment in your state's unemployment and workmen's
There's about a billion other things you'll need that boggle the mind. I
would bet, for example, you'll have to treat with some government agency
(and pay a fee) to put lettering on your truck!
Or you could work "off the books" (for cash), hire illegal immigrants to do
most of the work, and get rich.
Ahh you want to specialize in just suspended cielings, and probably
while most potential customers will want someone to do say paneling or
other stuff for small jobs.
I have my own business fixing office machines, pia paperwork.
dont forget sales tax even if you dont charge it on your jobs of say
iots tax exempt theres still paperwork to do, the sales tax license
allows you to avoiid paying sales tax on stuff you buy
Yes, if it is for resale or for use in manufacturing. Not everything
qualifies. The MA DOR does audit businesses also so keep those receipts.
It may be cheaper to pay the tax on materials and not charge tax for your
labor and avoid having to do the reports. Check the state laws to be sure
you are doing it correctly.
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