Standing Stone Accounting

Small Business Start Up Guide

As instructed by Linda Baker – Standing Stone Accounting, LLC 

Your Business Infrastructure –

Type of Business -

  • Your business plan or vision – what’s your mission?
  • Business structure – Sole Proprietor, Partnership, LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp
    • Get help in deciding the entity – Tax accountant and/or Lawyer
    • Are you operating on a Cash Basis or Accrual Basis?
  • Apply for your EIN with IRS and fictitious name in your area
  • What business licenses are required in your state?
    • If payroll, set up state and federal payroll accounts
  • Are you required to have a Certificate of Insurance for working with other vendors (companies)
  • Obtain a General Liability Insurance package, which may include other endorsements needed. See your insurance agent.
  • Corporate Tax state payments – does your state require quarterly tax payments for the business
    • DE Gross Receipts Tax due monthly or quarterly, depending on your revenue collected based on your industry.
  • Federal tax payments – estimated taxes paid each quarter to State and Federal for Self-Employed
    • Establish an account on the EFTPS system, and any State Division of Revenue systems for required reporting and tax payment purposes.

Money -

  • Funding needed?
    • Small Business Administration
    • SCORE community help in your area
    • Crowd Funding
    • Personal/Family loans
  • Establish Business Checking, Savings, Money Market, Line of Credit, Credit Card accounts in      business name.
    • Sign up for web/online banking to enable online views of accounts and retrieve monthly statements

Data -

  • Where will you store your data/files?
    • Google Drive
  • Will you conduct most business at an office or on the road?
    • Accounting help
    • Office help
    • Scheduling help
  • Establish procedures and assign duties, making sure there is segregation of duties. Make cross-checks and balances in the duties, but also cross-train individuals in case someone leaves or is out sick.
  • How will you create invoices for customer?
    • QuickBooks Online(QBO) accounting system
    • Google calendar invoices to QBO
    • Third party system related to your industry
    • POS system
    • Contract or Proposal needed before work begins? QBO can do Estimates that turn into invoices.
    • Time Tracking for billing or payroll – T-Sheets (can be included with QBO)
    • Who will make collection calls for invoices not paid?
  • How will you collect payments from your customers?
    • QBO will send the invoice and can collect payment by multiple choices
    • Credit Card system through bank – establish an account for collecting payments. Review the monthly fees associated with the account to reduce costs each year.
    • Mailbox for collecting mailed payments (Who will retrieve these?)
  • Vendor payments? Check, online payment, credit/debit card
    • Purchase business checks
    • Establish a business credit card for business transactions only – no personal charges.
    • Pass documents to accounting by email or shared drives
  • Establish vendor accounts with terms of payment
    • Get terms with every vendor possible – 30 days to pay
    • Who decides who and when they get paid?
  • Will you keep an inventory of products on hand, or purchase only for each job?
    • Set up procedures for documenting the receiving of inventory and the sale of product.
    • Must have a year end count of inventory for tax purposes.

Progression of Business -

  • Establish a Cash Flow system to know what funds are available to pay bills, pay contractors/employees, pay taxes, when to buy new inventory or new equipment.
  • Advertising for new work
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • Other Social Media
    • Email blasts – MailChimp, Constant Contact
    • Mail – flyers, postcards, publications, etc.

The Work -

  • Scheduling the work
    • Google Calendar – keep track of your scheduled work, send notice of the job booked
    • – allow others to book an appointment with you
    • Dynalist – for virtual lists, cut sheets for jobs, notes, etc.
  • Will there be anyone else to assist you on the job?
    • Subcontractors (must collect a W9 from each person and they receive a Form 1099 at year end). Watch state & federal laws about qualifications of a Subcontractor.
    • Employeescost of an employee
      • Payroll system – QBO, Gusto, ADP, Paychex, etc.
      • Human Resource system – included in most out-sourced payroll systems. Must create an   employee handbook.
      • Use T-Sheets to track time for payroll and job costing
      • Health Ins. And Pension Plans offered to employees – most payroll companies offer this now.

The Heartbeat -

  • Tax Accountant – choose a professional that will guide you through the growth of your business and get the best tax cuts for you. Hire a good Accountant that can keep things in order, guide you through the unique circumstances, which will save you money when preparing the taxes with the Tax Accountant.  When your not sure how to record a transaction, ask your Accountant.
  • Review the Financial Statements (Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss, Cash Flow, sales & costs trends) on a regular basis with your Accountant so that you know what lies ahead. Don’t wait to be surprised. Doing this one task will help keep your business alive, well past the first 5 years!
  • What are your future plans … where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? Review this statement in 5 years and ask it again – where do you see yourself in the NEXT 5 years?
    • Keep that vision and make it grow. Hire those who are good at what you are not. Create a team that sees your vision, yet can share new ideas with you.    YOU GOT THIS!

Annual Reports:

All states except AL and OH require an Annual Report Filing. A Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) is required to file an Annual Report, also known as a Statement of Information with the secretary of state’s office annually. This information is required by the state so that they can keep up to date with the company’s vital information.  Most states will require you to submit information about the company’s business activity including information about directors and officers of the corporation and the registered agent and registered office of the corporation. In most states, there is a small filing fee associated with this filing.

If your state requires you to file this report, there is a specific due date upon which the form must be filed by each year to keep your company in order to maintain corporate compliance with the state. Scheduled filings vary by state; failure to submit this filing with the requested information in a timely manner by the requested deadline may result in the assessment of penalties and late fees by your state. In addition, your newly formed company may also be subject to suspension and/or dissolution.

Free Starting a Business Checklist from CorpNet - 

Free Resources to start your business - 

 Click this link to get help with business formation services like state name search, licensing, Federal EIN & State ID’s. Experts in every state to help you be compliant with your industry. Highly recommended source :