Accounting 101 for Small Business Startups


What does your business start-up need to know about accounting?  Well, here’s where to start:

  1. What is your business structure? Choose the best ownership structure for the short term, but do not forget to consider the long term. Maybe an LLC is appropriate for now, and a C-Corporation later.
  2. Where do we form our entity? Do we choose Delaware or Nevada or California? Do we need to register in more than one state?
  3. Are you going to keep your books on a cash-basis, accrual-basis, income-tax-basis, or use some other method? Do your books need to comply with GAAP?
  4. Filing deadlines are different for start-up businesses than for individuals. We all know the April deadline for personal tax returns, but corporate and business returns are due in March and filing late or missing a deadline could trigger interest and penalties.
  5. You will need an EIN (employer identification number) to file your taxes.
  6. Though not accounting per se, startups need insurance. Whatever risks are associated with your business, you need to get the proper business insurance.
  7. Choose your accounting software. We recommend consulting your CPA to determine the best package to fit your needs.
  8. There is no reason to wait to hire your accountant.  Quite the contrary, waiting can lead to missed opportunities and inefficiencies that could have been otherwise avoided. A credentialed accounting professional will be able to assist you in all aspects of your start-up business.
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