Considerations When Starting A Business – Part I: The Brief

So, you’ve reached a point in your life and career where you want to take a leap outside of your comfort zone and are considering starting your own business. Maybe you’re tired of being an employee, dealing with a bad boss or working in a toxic work environment. Maybe you’re tired of changing jobs or putting up with a flurry of layoffs. Perhaps you’re tired worrying about job security or you’ve gone through so many mergers & acquisitions you’ve lost track of who your current employer is. Perhaps you don’t feel challenged enough or feel that you aren’t tapping into your full potential. Whatever the case may be, you’ve made a choice to embark on a new journey that will hopefully lead to many potential opportunities, personal & professional growth, achievement and self-fulfillment.

Starting your own business can potentially open the doors to various opportunities and be rewarding in many ways. However, it is not a decision to take lightly nor a decision to make hastily. If you plan to start your own business, you should consider these “driving” words – discipline, dedication, passion, motivation, drive, sacrifice, determination, focus and commitment. These are “driving” words because every single one of these words describe what you need to have to drive yourself and your business. If these words don’t hold any meaning to you, you’re probably looking at your business more like a costly hobby. If that’s the case, don’t do it!

There are many things you should know and understand before you start a business. We’ll touch on a number of these things in future posts. However, one important point to touch on briefly is that there are many factors that can affect the success or failure of your business. While you can take steps to mitigate the impact of many of these factors, there may come a time where the costs will far outweigh the benefits of continuing your business operation. To quote the song lyrics from Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” – “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run.”

There’s a big difference between seeing light at the end of the tunnel and throwing resources into a big black hole. This is something you need to understand right from the start. You don’t want to “rob Peter to pay Paul.” You don’t want to be in debt. You don’t want to go bankrupt. You don’t want to be insolvent. If you reach a point where you’re going to shut the doors, you want to wind down operations in an orderly fashion on your terms!

If you haven’t been scared away and you’re still considering starting your own business, stay tuned for Part II.

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New Filing Deadlines for W-3s & W-2s, 1096s & 1099s

Starting in 2017, the filing deadline for 2016 Form W-3s & W-2s to the Social Security Administation (SSA) and 2016 Form 1096s & 1099s to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has changed due to provisions under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 or PATH Act.

While businesses are still required to furnish W-2s to employees and 1099s to recipients by January 31st, the due dates to submit/file copies to the SSA and IRS; respectively, have been moved up.

In prior years, the due date for filing paper copies of W-3s and W-2s to the SSA and 1096s and 1099s to the IRS was February 28th and for filing electronically, the due date was March 31st.

Under the PATH Act, W-3s and W-2s are now due to the SSA by January 31st regardless of whether filing by paper or electronically. Likewise, 1096s and 1099s are due to the IRS by January 31st regardless of whether filing by paper or electronically IF you made payments for non-employee compensation (Form 1099, Box 7). In addition, the 2016 Form 1096 includes a box that must be marked if any 1099s include payments for non-employee compensation. If there are no payments for non-employee compensation, the due date for filing 1096s and 1099s to the IRS by paper remains February 28th and the deadline for filing electronically remains March 31st. Note: Form 1096 is only required if you file your 1099s by paper. It is not required for electronic filing of 1099s.

It is important to make note of the new due dates as penalties may be assessed for failure to submit these forms in a timely manner to the respective agencies.

You can learn more by visiting the SSA website at http://www.ssa.gov and the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov or by consulting with your Accounting or tax professional.