Many members of the workforce try to keep their personal and professional lives as separate as possible. However, there are a few common elements between the two. Perhaps, you work with your spouse or other family member. Another common thread is paperwork. Whether you are visiting a medical facility because you fell and broke your leg or you are filling out the week’s payroll there will be paperwork involved. For many small business owners, the paper trail starts even before their dream is legally launched.
Handling payroll typically involves sending out payslips to employees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Prior to Launch
Prior to the launch of a company its ownership team has a lot of work to do before the doors can open. Legal obligations begin with setting up the structure of your company. For example, if you are the sole owner of your company, you may want to file the paperwork to become a sole proprietorship. If you plan on going into business with others, then there are other structures you and your partner(s) may want to consider.
There is also the matter of funding your startup costs. If you have enough money in your personal accounts there is likely going to be minimal paperwork involved. However, if you are looking to an outside source for funding, such as a loan, then there will be quite a bit more paperwork involved.
Once you officially launch your company the paper trail does not end there. In fact the forms will change and the amount may even increase. Every industry has its own specialized requirements for business owners to be successful. Make sure you thoroughly search your intended industry prior to launching your company. Knowing what awaits you will help you be more prepared when the time comes. For example, if you are looking to open a restaurant you are going to have to create the menu. Along with the menu you are going to have to keep track of what items are selling and what maybe lagging behind so that you can please your customers and know exactly what you need to order from your vendors.
There are also some general everyday forms that will be requiring your attention. For example, your scheduling and payroll will need regular attention. If you own a company and have even one employee you need to create a schedule that allows you to know when they should be at work as well as when you may need to cover. You are also going to learn payroll in order to pay your employee.
Marketing is another area that may or may not create a large paper trail depending on your approach. Given the advent of social media sites, marketing can now be done almost completely paper free. However, if you choose to go a more traditional route such as placing an ad in your local paper then you can expect that paperwork will likely increase.
Becoming a business owner means you are still responsible for filing your taxes for the business as well as your personal taxes. One way to do this is to efile 1099 forms if needed.
The paper trail of a business owner can become long and confusing. Be sure to keep yourself organized so that you know exactly what’s going on at all times!