Do I Need to Have a Catchy Name for My Handyman Business?

If you’re interested in selling your business down the road you will want to have a catchy name.  It would be pretty tough to sell Jim Smith’s Handyman Service to Jenny Jones! But there are some downsides.  Using a fictitious name (any name that isn’t your given name) will cost you some extra money.  Once you’ve chosen the name you’ll…

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Who is Required to Have a City Business Tax Certificate?

If you do work within the city limits, where ever you are, there is probably a business license requirement. Here is a quote from the City of Santa Rosa’s website:  “Any person whose business is located in the city or conducts business in the city must apply for a business tax certificate within 30-days of the date the business commences….

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Should I Specialize in One Type of Work?

After viewing the long list of projects above, you might be motivated to specialize in one particular type of work. I have been tempted to specialize because it is challenging to do so many different types of work.  On some jobs I find myself learning as I go and having to excessively focus on avoiding mistakes or wasting materials. When…

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Do I Need to Keep a Mileage Log?

Yes.  At the time of this writing, IRS Form 2106 instructions (for 2008 returns) had this to say about record keeping for your vehicle: “You cannot deduct expenses for travel…unless you keep records to prove the time, place, (and) business purpose…of these expenses.” I keep a small spiral notebook in the visor of my truck.  Each morning I list the…

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What Should My Chart of Accounts Look Like?

Since the 1040 Schedule C is your basic profit and loss statement, I set up my chart of accounts to match the Schedule C as closely as possible.  You should need very few categories that aren’t listed on the Schedule C.  If your state has a sales tax and you have differing tax rates in your area you should break…

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Do I Need an Accountant and a Bookkeeper?

Unless you’ve had a lot of experience with taxes, you may want to have a tax preparer complete your first year’s tax returns.  In subsequent years you can often prepare your own taxes by following last year’s example. I have found that after the chart of accounts has been set up properly your bookkeeping system simply requires maintenance. Bookkeeping software…

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About Record Keeping and Taxes

Federal income taxes, state income taxes, city business license tax, sales tax, payroll taxes, wow!  Taxes and recordkeeping can be quite a load. Your record keeping will make or break your business success.  Setting your books up correctly from the start will make everything easier when it becomes time to prepare your taxes. Here are some keys to success: Open…

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Should I Incorporate My Handyman Business?

What legal business structure should I choose?  The three most commonly chosen legal business structures are Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and S Corporation.  Because I am not a lawyer or a tax attorney I am not qualified to recommend one structure over another.  I can only tell you what I have done and strongly recommend that you consult…

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What About Billing Customers for Completed Work?

If it brings you more business, just say “Yes.”  This has come up in three different situations.  When I’ve done commercial work, work for a property management company or while doing pest repairs for real estate agents. The problem with billing customers on account is the time delay in receiving payment.  Commercial accounts often take up to 90 days to…

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Can I Open a SEP-IRA Retirement Account?

According to the IRS; businesses, corporations and self-employed individuals can open retirement accounts including the SEP-IRA.  As a self-employed handyman the amount you can contribute is dependent on your profit for the year. It is not easy to calculate your allowable contribution.  Always looking for a bargain, I opened a SEP-IRA at one of the large discount mutual fund families. …

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