Year-End Bookkeeping Checklist

Year-End Bookkeeping Checklist

Are you ready for the winter rush?

The temperature is dropping, there’s snow on the ground, and there are countless items on your to-do list. Once again, the most wonderful time of year has arrived and, boy, can it be stressful!

This time of year, you have to deal with everything from shopping to dropping the kids off for their school holiday concert practice. There’s so much on your plate that it can be difficult to know where to get started. This is one of the reasons why we want to make it as easy as possible for you to take care of your year-end bookkeeping with this simple checklist. By getting these things out of the way in the next few weeks, you’ll be ensuring that you’re positioned for a fantastic year ahead!

Update Your Bookkeeping Records

Throughout the course of a year, your bookkeeping can get a bit disorganized. If you aren’t working with a professional bookkeeper who will keep everything tidy and up-to-date, then it’s important for you to check your records at the end of the year to confirm everything is in order.

First, make sure that you’ve reconciled every bank and credit card statement with what is in your bookkeeping records. This will tell you if you’ve missed (or even double charged) a transaction.

Next, review your last few months of financial statements to confirm that the numbers are correct and that transactions weren’t improperly labeled. Make sure that your physical inventory, assets, and supplies match up with the numbers you have on paper.

Finally, don’t forget to double-check your accounts payable and accounts receivable (if you use the cash accounting method, you may want to wait to send invoices until January to keep your taxable income lower)!

We admit, updating your bookkeeping records is not the most enjoyable task, but it’s going to be invaluable when you need to do your taxes next year. If you simply can’t find the time to do it, we’d be happy to get everything ready for you!

Budgeting

We understand why you might dread going through your books at the end of the year. So many numbers, so little time! But one way that you can help keep everything on track for the following year is to set up a detailed budget.

By using the knowledge you gained from updating your bookkeeping records, you can project a reasonably accurate yearly budget for your business. By knowing your likely future income and expenses, goals can then be set that will help you grow your business next year.

Your yearly budget should be broken down into periods, monthly or quarterly (or both). This will also help you focus on goal setting for smaller sections of the year.

It can also be helpful to get some additional eyes on your projected budget to make sure that everything is in line with expectations. This is another area where we can help!

Set Goals for the Year Ahead

To be clear, we aren’t talking about a New Year’s Resolution here.

New Year’s Resolutions rarely work because they aren’t goals; they’re more like wishes. You need SMART goals that you can genuinely achieve in the upcoming year. SMART stands for: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

It can be helpful to break up your desired goals for the year, allowing you to regularly check-in and see how things are developing. We recommend setting up monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. If you really want to get into the thick of it, you can also set up daily and weekly goals to improve smaller aspects of your business like daily reporting or customer management.

Reflect On Your Last Year

For small business owners, it’s almost always about “what’s next?” You’re focused on growth and on making your company a success. But it can pay to take some time at the end of the year to reflect on everything that happened to you over the last 12 months.

So much can happen that whizzes by in the moment. By taking a close look at your yearly successes, failures, and struggles, you can know where to focus your energy next year. On top of that, remembering successes can give you a feeling of accomplishment to give you a nice boost! And remember all of those headaches and problems you were dealing with earlier in the year? You’re now past them! Rejoice!

Tax Planning

By doing all of this bookkeeping work at the end of the year, you’re going to be setting yourself up for a much easier tax time in a few months.

Effective tax planning is key to a business’ success. If you aren’t sure of where to find relevant tax credits and rebates that will help you keep more of your money in your pocket, The Number Works would be happy to help!

By starting early, we can put together a plan that will you save big money on your taxes. At The Number Works, we’ll position your finances to maximize your year-end expenses and lower your taxable income. We can also assist with setting up a personal budget! If you’d like some help getting your year-end bookkeeping out of the way so that you can enjoy the holidays, please feel free to contact us today!

Make Better Financial Decisions By Better Understanding Your Income Statement

Make Better Financial Decisions By Better Understanding Your Income Statement

How often do you check your business’ income statement?

When you run a small business, information is your best friend. The more information that you have at your fingertips, the better the decisions you can make for your future. Being able to review your numbers and pull out key data at a moment’s notice is essential when you’re a small business owner.

One of the best ways to measure the health of your company is to check your income statements periodically. This is one of your company’s primary financial reports, sometimes referred to as the Profit & Loss Statement. This document is generated monthly, quarterly, or annually to provide an “in progress” snapshot of the current performance of your business.

What Is Its Main Use?

The primary use of the income statement is right there in the name. It’s a document that you can use to measure whether or not you’re bringing in money. “Bringing in money” doesn’t necessarily mean that you are saving money in the bank, however; to do that, you need to check your Cash Flow Statement.

The information contained in your income statement describes your net profit. In other words, your revenue minus your expenses will equal your net income.

Let’s Look at Revenue

When you generate income through your business operations, that’s your revenue. You might have a number of different revenue sources, depending on your business, which should appear at the end of each section of your income statement. This division can help you analyze which of your departments is performing best and where you might want to put your resources in the future.

This kind of information can be very useful for streamlining operations as it can help you focus in on the most profitable aspects of your business.

Let’s Look at the Cost of Sold Goods

If you’re an inventory-based business (as opposed to service-oriented), then the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is the key to understanding your income statement. Your COGS is the cost of your inventory sold within a given time frame. For example, if you buy approximately $10,000 worth of inventory and only sell 20% of it, then your COGS will be equal to $2,000. The rest ($8,000) can only be expensed once sold. Otherwise, it will be considered an inventory asset of your business.

Before purchasing inventory, it’s important to know what you already have in stock. That’s where your balance sheet can come in handy.

Let’s Look at Gross Profit

Gross profit can be boiled down to a simple equation:

Revenue – COGS = Gross Profit

This is a subtotal within your income statement and represents the revenue that you can disperse on your other expenses after you purchase your inventory. When this is expressed as a percentage, it’s called a gross margin. It can come in handy when you want to make decisions regarding your business taking on more expenses. It’s expressed through this equation:

(Revenue – COGS) / Revenue = Gross Margin

The Gross Margin will, of course, be different for various industries. You should do some research (or ask an accountant) to determine if your Gross Margin is comparable to your competitors’ as a metric of the health of your business. If it’s too low, it means that you are spending too much on inventory, or your sales prices are too low. This could indicate that you should be looking for more competitive prices for inventory or that you should increase your sales price.

Let’s Look at Fixed Costs

Fixed costs are the expenses that are easy to predict. They occur monthly, regardless of your overall sales or other costs. They can include your monthly rent, hydro, water, business and inventory insurance, marketing, and employee salaries.

This is another place where you might want to look at industry benchmarks to determine if you are overspending. For example, if your rent accounts for more than 50% of your fixed costs every month, you are likely paying too much. It could save you money in the long run to start looking for another location for your business and/or try to re-negotiate with your landlord. You could also consider cutting down on the space used for your business and sublease the rest. Always be sure to calculate the percentage of each fixed costs against your overall revenue.

Let’s Look at Variable Costs

These are the costs that vary month to month, depending on your sales and other occasional expenses. For example, if you start to sell more of your products, then the cost of packaging is likely to go up.

Your variable costs will likely fluctuate, depending on whether you are experiencing an increase or decrease in your sales numbers. If you are experiencing a temporary downturn of 20% in sales, but your variable costs remain constant, then you might need to explore some ways to cut down on that overspending.

Variable costs can vary wildly depending on if you are in a slow or rush season. You should constantly be tracking these costs through these seasons to make sure that you are slowing your spending during the slow season to save yourself money.

Basically, your income statement all comes down to this: to figure out your bottom line, you need to subtract your expenses from your gross profit. If you discover that you’re in the black, that’s great news—it means your revenue exceeds your expenses! Yay, profit! If you’re in the red, that unfortunately means you’re going to have to figure out how to shuffle things around financially to get yourself in the black. This can happen periodically, depending on variable costs during slow and rush seasons, so you always need to be on top of your income statement.

If you’re having trouble figuring out the areas where you are overspending and underperforming, we can help. At The Number Works, we can give you a more complete understanding of your income statements and show you places where you might be able to streamline your business. So, feel free to contact us today! We can’t wait to help you better understand all of your financial statements!

Better Understand Your Business' Finances By Breaking Down the Balance Sheet & Key Ratios

Better Understand Your Business’ Finances By Breaking Down the Balance Sheet & Key Ratios

Do you know what your company is really worth?

Whether or not you use a professional bookkeeper and/or accountant, knowing how your business is doing at any given time is an essential part of success. While income statements and cash flow statements can give you a view of your business over a period of time, a balance statement (BS) can give you a snapshot view of your business as it exists at this moment. Add to that an understanding of financial ratios, and you’re well on your way to having a firm grasp of the financial underpinnings of your business!

What Is a Balance Sheet?

Simply put, a balance sheet is based on an equation:

Assets = Liabilities + Equity

In this context, your assets are what you own, your liabilities are what your company owes, and your equity is the net worth of your company.

Your assets can be either current, fixed, or long-term. Your current assets are the ones that you will be using in the near future. Your fixed and long-term assets are those held beyond one year and often depreciate in value (unless the asset is land, which tends to mature rather than depreciate). You can also include your long-term investments as part of your long-term assets. Your assets can also include intangible things like your brand, trademarks, and patents.

You can think of your liabilities similar to the opposite of your assets. Similarly, there are both current and long-term liabilities. Current liabilities are generally payables and short-term debt that can be paid within a year. Long-term liabilities can include debt to the bank or to your investors.

Finally, equity can be different depending on the structure of your company. If you operate as a sole proprietor or partnership, you’ll likely have an owner’s equity. If your company is a corporation, then you’ll probably have shareholder’s equity. On your balance sheet, equity is usually made up of your retained earnings over the years; the value of what is left of the assets after all liabilities are cleared. This can also be where your capital stock is listed.

Let’s Look at Ratios

But how does any of this information help you? To take advantage of the data in your balance sheet, you need to look at financial ratios. The three most common kinds are:

  • Current ratio
  • Quick ratio
  • Debt-to-equity ratio

Your current ratio should lay out the liquidity of your company and its ability to pay current liabilities with your current assets. In this case, you want a ratio of 2:1 or higher, as you want to be able to cover the current liabilities you owe completely.

Your quick ratio is a more detailed version of your current ratio, removing your inventory from consideration. Much like current ratio, you want this to be 2:1 or higher. That being said, you don’t want it to be too high, as this would mean you aren’t reinvesting your cash back into your company.

Finally, your debt-to-equity ratio is the level of debt you hold against your equity. You want no more than a 2:1 ratio here, as anything above that means your company is taking on more debt than it can handle versus your level of equity.

Having accurate metrics of how your business is doing is vital to your overall success. You can’t rely on luck alone when it comes to growth. Knowing all about balance statements and the financial ratios that can be derived from that data can be invaluable. If all of this sounds pretty complicated, don’t worry because we can help!

At The Number Works, we’ve helped countless small businesses thrive, taking care of their complicated finances. If you want to ensure that everything at your business is kept in financial balance, contact us today! We can’t wait to help you better understand all of your financial statements!

Taking the Leap Towards Self-Employment

Taking the Leap Towards Self-Employment

Are you ready to strike out on your own?

Being self-employed is the dream of countless Canadians. They fantasize about the freedom that comes with being the master of their own destiny…

But of course there’s another side to being self-employed. The rewards of being self-employed can be huge, but so are the risks and strains. Yes, you’re your own boss, but that means all of the responsibilities and risks are yours as well. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to provide your own motivation, pushing yourself every day towards success.

To be clear, we are not trying to talk you out of starting your own business! However, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what’s involved. With that in mind, here are some of the things you need to consider before making the leap to being self-employed.

What Do Your Current Finances Look Like?

Whether you’re considering going freelance or you’ve decided to start your own business, you cannot count on your endeavour becoming profitable right away. In fact, for the first year or so, you might be losing money.

Jumping from a reliable paycheque to invoicing clients and hoping they pay on time can be nerve-wracking—not to mention finding those clients and getting through the start up expenses. You must have detailed knowledge of your finances and your risk resilience before you make the full leap to being self-employed.

Not sure where to start when it comes to your numbers? Luckily, this is an area where The Number Works can help. We can walk you through all of your current financial data, showing you exactly where your profits and expenses are and what you can do to shape things up before you go into business for yourself.

Do Your Research

Before starting your own business, you should probably ask yourself the tough question, “Do I have any idea how to start my own business?”

There can be a real “look-before-you-leap” mentality when it comes to becoming self-employed. It isn’t just about the state of your finances; it’s also about learning the ins and outs of creating your own business and managing it effectively.

The first thing you might want to do is talk to some of your entrepreneurial friends. Getting a first-hand account of what it’s like to be self-employed can be invaluable, enabling you to bypass some of the mistakes they made in the early days of creating their businesses.

You’ll probably also want to read some books about entrepreneurship. While countless books have been written on the subject, you should be selective about which you pick up. There are significant differences between the Canadian and U.S. markets, so be sure your book is focusing on Canadians laws and guidelines. You also need to make sure it was written (or at least updated) within the last four to five years. Technology moves so fast that anything before 2015 will be borderline useless, omitting vast chunks of what it means to be self-employed today.

Ongoing management of finances can be another big hurdle for those who want to jump into the self-employed arena. If you’ve never had to manage anything larger than a personal budget, you might need a hand getting started. That’s another thing we can help you with at The Number Works. Right from the first minute of your business, we can be there to support your financial position and ensure you’re optimized and running things as smoothly as possible.

Start Slowly

Have you ever heard of a “side hustle?” It’s essentially part-time self-employment. A side hustle could be as simple as setting yourself up with an an Etsy store to sell things that you’ve created in your spare time, or taking on a single freelance client to get your feet wet in your desired industry.

Having a side hustle can be a great way to get a small business started. If you’re feeling nervous about jumping into self-employment with both feet, this can be an excellent starting point, building muscles that will come in handy when you decide to quit and go into business for yourself full-time.

Keep in mind that it can require building some serious discipline to force yourself to work even after you get home from your job, but the result can be more than worth it. And you’ll need all that discipline when you’re a full-time entrepreneur who has to continuously self-motivated.

Do Not Forget About Your Taxes

One of the biggest shocks that a self-employed person can go through is their first tax season.

When you’re working for a company, taxes are automatically taken off your paycheques. Now that you’re self-employed, you’re collecting the entire amount you’ve earned… until tax time that is. When tax season rolls around and you need to calculate your taxes, you might be in for a shock! Yes, you knew that your tax bill would be higher than usual because you’re now self-employed but… Surely there must be some kind of mistake, right? Don’t be one of those people who realizes they owe thousands of dollars to the government that they’ve already spent!

While, yes, there is a chance that you made a mistake, it’s much more likely that your numbers are correct and you need to give the government a sum of money that you hadn’t planned for. It’s shocking, but there are several ways you can mitigate this situation.

One thing you should definitely have is an accountant experienced in working with self-employed entrepreneurs in your province. At The Number Works, we know all of the deductions and legal tricks for Ontario that could save you big bucks, especially come tax time. With our help, we might be able to get your taxes down to a slightly less jaw-dropping amount. And we’ll certainly help you prepare so that you aren’t caught off guard when you see the amount you’ll owe.

We also recommend that, rather than just dump every paycheque you have into your Chequing account, you take off about 25% off and put it into a separate savings account that you use for taxes. That way, you’ll have a reserve of money ready for you come tax time, reducing any sense of “sticker shock” when you figure out precisely what you owe.

Take Care of Yourself

For new entrepreneurs and freelancers, self-care can become an afterthought in the pursuit of making your business a success. This is a massive mistake!

If you’ve been putting off going to the gym, heading to yoga, buying healthy groceries, or spending quality time with family or friends, be sure to start scheduling it in your calendar like you would a business meeting or other important event. Same with making sure that you take appropriate breaks for lunch and for stretching if you’re sitting down for long hours. If you don’t take care of yourself physically, you’re going to start getting worn down by the job. Manageable things could start to feel overwhelmingly stressful, all because you aren’t caring for your personal needs.

There is also a mental self-care component of being self-employed. Some people start feeling like every minute they aren’t working is a minute they’re losing money; an unhealthy mindset that can lead to self-esteem issues and self-abusive thoughts of “laziness”.

Even though you’re self-employed and can technically get up at any time of day (including well after 9am), try setting “business hours” where you do your work throughout the day. Working 9 to 5, even if you’re doing so from home, can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you prefer unorthodox hours, that’s ok too but make sure that you schedule your on- vs. off-time. It can keep you from feeling guilty that you aren’t working at 9pm on a Saturday rather than spending time with friends.

It takes a great deal of bravery to be self-employed, either by starting a new business or by going freelance. No matter which path you choose, you can bet that at The Number Works we’ll do whatever we can to help. We work with freelancers and entrepreneurs every single day, helping them balance their finances and making sure they’re fully prepared come tax season. If you want to simplify your financial life while moving towards self-employment, get in touch with us today. We’d love to help your entrepreneurial dreams come to life!

How to Create an Unstoppable Virtual Support Team for your Business

How to Create an Unstoppable Virtual Support Team for your Business

Are you a budding entrepreneur? If so, chances are you’re a natural-born risk-taker! But trying to do everything yourself as a business owner is a risk you really can’t afford to take.

Every business owner needs an unstoppable support team, and in today’s digital world, there’s no reason your rockin’ team can’t be a virtual one!

Not only can an unstoppable virtual support team make the difference between the success and failure of your fledgling business, but it will also help keep you sane. Seriously! So many small business owners exhaust themselves working countless hours to take care of their business. While I have great respect for all those hard-workers out there, a bit of assistance from a stellar support team can not only help reduce that frenetic pace, but also boost efficiency and allow your business to grow.

Go For the Best

Typically, an unstoppable support team is made up of two kinds of people: mentors and specialists. Some you hire, some you pay for, and some you find by networking and outreach. Of course, you want your team to be as cost-effectively as possible, but don’t be scared to pay for experience and expertise. Having savvy people by your side is an investment that pays off by saving you years of hard work and mistakes.

As soon as you begin to draft your business plan, you should be on the lookout for members to add to your virtual support team. It’s a great idea to make a list of everyone you know who might be able to help you and your business thrive. Think about family members, old friends from college, even friends of friends who might help you gain the perspective your business needs. Remember, if you believe the person is mature, experienced, and has some relevant know-how, then they could be valuable to you.

The best part about working with a virtual team member is that it doesn’t matter if they move away. Using tools like Slack, Trello, Skype, and good old-fashioned email, you can connect with your entire team, no matter where in the world they’re located.

Decide On Your Team Members

So, what’s the relevant know-how and experience you should be looking for in your virtual team members?

The makeup of a virtual support team might differ a bit based on the industry, but almost every company can benefit from these experts: a designer, a copywriter, an ad specialist, a virtual assistant, and, without a doubt, an accountant.

A talented graphic designer will ensure that all of your branding is flawless, giving your business a truly professional look. Don’t underestimate the power of graphics in today’s online world. Graphics are what catches the eye to entice people to buy from your business. Adding a graphic designer to your team will help communicate your message and enhance the overall feel of your brand story.

Eye-catching graphics are essential, but so is the text that goes with them. An excellent copywriter will get people to click that ‘buy now’ button in record time, making them a major asset when it comes to writing sales copy pieces like your marketing emails and sales pages.

Facebook and Instagram are some of the best advertising platforms out there, and their ROI can go through the roof… if you know what you’re doing! An ad specialist is someone who can create marketing materials that position your calls-to-action in a way that gets you what you’re looking for: more clicks, more sign-ups, and more clients.

A virtual assistant is an asset to any great support team. Virtual assistants are there to lighten your load and take care of more mundane, daily tasks, so you’re free to grow and scale your business. Virtual assistants can help you in so many ways, from taking care of your website to keeping your systems up and running. They may even be able to help the rest of your team with light design, copy, and marketing work.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Good Accountant

No matter what size or type of business you run, you’ll need a professional accountant on your team. Why? Because it’s vital that you accurately track and report all the cash flowing in and out of your accounts that have to do with sales, expenses, and salaries.

Properly managing your books is provincial and federal law, but most importantly, it’s the only way to gain an accurate assessment of how your business is operating.

A professional accountant will be able to provide you with the information you need to make informed financial decisions to help your business succeed. In fact, one of the most common reasons companies fail is because they don’t have a professional accountant on their team.

Plus, the expense of hiring an accountant often pays for itself! A professional accountant will know the ins and outs of tax law, ensuring you’re maximizing your deductions, claiming all your credits, and ending the tax year with the biggest return possible.

Leverage Professional Networking

So, now that you know precisely who you should have on your virtual team, don’t limit yourself to local industry meetups or inviting people out to coffee. The whole world is your networking oyster, thanks to the power of the internet.

To attract the right people, make sure you have a stellar LinkedIn profile and active social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Joining Facebook groups is a fantastic way to network and find the perfect virtual team members, while your LinkedIn and other social media profiles are the best way to make a good first impression on your potential hires.

Contact The Number Works

If you’re in the middle of assembling an unstoppable virtual support team and need a professional accountant in your corner, you’ll want to work with The Number Works. We’re a virtual bookkeeping, accounting, and financial coaching firm that helps creative entrepreneurs tell their financial story.

We offer a wide range of services, including cloud-based bookkeeping, full cycle accounting, financial statement analysis, strategic planning, and taxes. In other words, we’re your one-stop shop for all your business’ accounting needs in Hamilton and the surrounding Southern Ontario area.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and discover if we’re the right fit to join forces and help your business succeed.

Is Incorporation a Good Idea for Your Small Business?

Is Incorporation a Good Idea for Your Small Business?

Are you a small business owner wondering if you should incorporate? Are you worried about costs and what will change about your business?

For most businesses, it’s actually not a question of “if,” but “when” to incorporate.

Incorporating a small business offers many potential advantages, as well as a few disadvantages. Whether the pros outweigh the cons depends a lot on your business’ individual situation.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating a small business so you can determine what is right for you.

The Advantages of Incorporation

Limited Liability

Most people decide to incorporate their small business because it offers the advantage of limited liability. If you run a sole proprietorship, then you as the business owner must assume all the liability of the company. This means that as a sole proprietor, your personal assets, like your house and your car, can be seized to pay off any business debts.

However, if you incorporate your business, then you become a shareholder in the corporation. As an individual shareholder, your liability is limited to the amount you have invested in the company.

Furthermore, as a shareholder in a corporation, you can’t be held responsible for the debts of the corporation unless you’ve signed a personal guarantee.

Corporations Have Unlimited Lifespans

Did you know that even if the shareholders die or quit the business, or if the ownership of the business changes, the corporation will continue to exist? This is not the case when it comes to running a sole proprietorship. Thus, many people see this “immortality” as another advantage of incorporating.

It’s also easier to sell a corporation than it is to sell a sole proprietorship.

It Helps with Taxes

Once your small business becomes a corporation, you can figure out when and how you receive income from the company, which is a real perk come tax time.

If you’re incorporated, rather than taking a salary from the business as soon as it begins to generate income, you’re allowed to take your income at a time when you’ll pay less in taxes. You can also earn income from a corporation in the form of dividends rather than a salary, which can also lower your tax bill.

Lastly, if your business is incorporated, it may qualify for the federal small business deduction (SBD). The SBD is calculated at the rate of 10.5% on the first $500,000 of taxable income, which could lower your net corporate business tax to a much lower tax rate than what is applied to your personal income.

It’s Easier to Raise Money

There are more ways for corporations to raise money, which could help your small business grow and scale faster. Like a sole proprietorship, corporations can borrow and incur debt, but they can also raise money through equity financing. This means selling shares in the corporation to angel investors or venture capitalists.

Equity financing is a nice benefit in that equity capital typically doesn’t have to be repaid, and there is no interest on it. (However, you must remember that by issuing shares, you are reducing your percentage of ownership in your business.)

The Disadvantages of Incorporation

Added Paperwork

Once your small business is incorporated, you’ll have to file two tax returns every year, one for your personal income and one for the corporation, which means increased accounting fees.

Plus, corporate losses can’t be deducted from the personal income of the owner, as they can in a sole proprietorship or partnership.

It’s also mandatory for corporations to keep a minute book composed of the corporate bylaws and minutes from corporate meetings, the register of directors, the share register, and the transfer register. These are all corporate documents that must be kept up to date at all times.

It’s Not Always a Tax Advantage

Unfortunately, corporations aren’t eligible for personal tax credits. That means every dollar a corporation earns is taxed, whereas, if you run a sole proprietorship, you may be able to claim tax credits that you can’t claim as a corporation.

Less Flexibility in Handling Business Losses

If your business suffers operating losses as a sole proprietor, you can use the loss to lower your other types of personal income for that year. However, if you run a corporation, these losses can only be carried forward or back to lower the corporation’s income from other years.

Limited Liability Depends on Credit

While the main advantage of incorporating is limited liability, it can be undermined by personal guarantees and/or credit agreements. If a lending institution doesn’t feel that your corporation has sufficient assets to secure debt financing, they usually insist on personal guarantees from the business owner(s).

In this case, even though the corporation technically has limited liability, the owner still winds up being personally liable if the corporation fails to meet their repayment obligations.

It’s Expensive to Register a Corporation

Another disadvantage of incorporating is that it costs more to set up a corporation.

Why?

Because a corporation is a more complicated legal structure than a sole proprietorship or partnership, so it’s more costly to create. This includes the previously stated maintenance and related fees and increased accounting costs.

It’s Harder to Close a Corporation

Closing a corporation in Canada means you need to pass a resolution to dissolve the corporation, settle all payroll accounts, and send a copy of the Certificate of Dissolution to the Canada Revenue Agency. Then you must file your final tax returns for the corporation.

So Should I Incorporate My Small Business?

The answer is, well, maybe!

Now that you’ve read about the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation, it’s time to discuss your personal situation with your accountant and lawyer before making your final decision.

Here at The Number Works, we can help give you a much more exact picture of how incorporation might work to benefit your business and if all the trouble and cost of incorporation is worth it for you.

So don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and let us get behind your success!